Dedication Notes from The Prince

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The Prince Dedication

Niccolo Machiavelli to the Magnificent Lorenzo de' Medici

Niccolo Machiavelli begins his short political treatise by dedicating the work to Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Urbino and grandson to Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449-1492). Machiavelli admits that those who want to gain a prince's favor usually offer gifts worthy of greatness, but he, having no such things, will give him the only thing of value he possesses-his knowledge of politics, both modern and ancient. Stating that he has thought long and hard on these matters and giving his qualifications as one with much former experience in politics, Machiavelli urges the prince to consider his gift, as it is both short and devoid of literary adornment. A book of practical political value, his intent is not to counsel or advise presumptuously, but to offer insights about the rule of people as one who is from their ranks. Reiterating again how little and short the work is, Machiavelli expresses his main purpose in writing the book:

"If you will diligently read and consider it, you will detect in it one of my deepest desires, which is that you will come to that greatness which fortune and your own qualities promise you. And if from your great height Your Highness will sometimes cast a glance below to these lowly places, you will see how undeservedly I endure the heavy and relentless malice of fortune." Dedication, pg. 13

Topic Tracking: Fortune 1
Topic Tracking: Virtue 1

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