The Prince (Dover Thrift Editions)

Niccolò Machiavelli

Language: English

Pages: 80

ISBN: 0486272745

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


As a young Florentine envoy to the courts of France and the Italian principalities, Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) was able to observe firsthand the lives of people strongly united under one powerful ruler. His fascination with that political rarity and his intense desire to see the Medici family assume a similar role in Italy provided the foundation for his "primer for princes." In this classic guide to acquiring and maintaining political power, Machiavelli used a rational approach to advise prospective rulers, developing logical arguments and alternatives for a number of potential problems, among them governing hereditary monarchies, dealing with colonies and the treatment of conquered peoples. Refreshing in its directness, yet often disturbing in its cold practicality, The Prince sets down a frighteningly pragmatic formula for political fortune. Starkly relevant to the political upheavals of the 20th century, this calculating prescription for power remains today, nearly 500 years after it was written, a timely and startling lesson in the practice of autocratic rule that continues to be much read and studied by students, scholars and general readers as well.

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CHAPTER XIV WHAT THE DUTIES OF A PRINCE ARE WITH REGARD TO THE MILITIA A PRINCE should therefore have no other aim or thought, nor take up any other thing for his study, but war and its order and discipline, for that is the only art that is necessary to one who commands, it is of such virtue that it not only maintains those who are born princes, but often enables men And one of private fortune to attain to that rank. sees, on the other hand, that when princes think more of luxury than of arms, they lose their state.

Thoughtless writers admire on the one hand his actions, and on the And that other blame the principal cause of them. it is true that his other virtues would not have sufficed may be seen from the case of Scipio (very rare not only in his own times, but in all times of which memory remains), whose armies rebelled against him in Spain, which arose from nothing but his excessive kindness, which allowed more license to the soldiers than was consonant with He was reproached with this military discipline.

Whence it may be seen that hatred is gained live licentiously as much by good works I said before, a prince state is often forced to as by and therefore, as evil, who wishes to maintain the do evil, for when that party, whether populace, soldiery, or nobles, whichever be that you consider necessary to you for keeping your position, is corrupt, you must follow its humour and satisfy it, and in that case good works will be inimical to you. But let us come to Alexander, who was of such goodness, that among other things for which he is praised, it is said that in the fourteen years that he reigned no one was put to death by him without a fair trial.

Any external Power who wishes to assail that state will be less disposed to do so ; so that as long as he resides there he will be very hard to disThe other and better remedy is to plant possess. colonies in one or two of those places which form as it were the keys of the land, for it is necessary either to do this or to maintain a large force of armed men. The colonies will cost the prince little ; with little or no expense on his part, he ; 8 NICCOLt) MACH1AVELL1 send and maintain them ; he only injures those whose lands and houses are taken to give to the new inhabitants, and these form but a small proportion of the state, and those who are injured, can remaining poor and scattered, can never do any harm to him, and all the others are, on the one hand, not injured and therefore easily pacified ; and, on the other, are fearful of offending lest they should be treated like those who have been dispossessed of To conclude, these colonies cost nothing, are more faithful, and give less offence ; and the injured parties being poor and scattered For are unable to do mischief, as I have shown.

192) English Prose. Chosen and arranged by W. PEACOCK. Mandeville to Ruskin. (45) Wycliffe to Clarendon. (219) Milton to Gray. (220) Walpole to Lamb. Landor to Holmes (221) (222) Mrs. Gaskell to Henry James. (223) English Prose: Narrative, Descriptive, and Dramatic. Selected by H. A. TREBLE. (204) Introduction by (Nineteenth Century. ) English Short Stories. HUGH WALKER. Prof. Series. Second (193) (228) English Songs and Ballads. Compiled by T. W. H. CROSLAND. (13) English Speeches, from Burke to Gladstone. Selected by EDGAR R.

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