Machiavelli_The Prince (CLASSICS)_Feb 8 - l4 Realism people...

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Unformatted text preview: l4 Realism people who wished to do so were free to make raids on the Athenians. The Corinthians also made some attacks on the Athenians because of private quarrels of their own, but the rest of the Peloponnesians stayed quiet. Meanwhile the Melians made a night attack and captured the part of the Athenian lines opposite the market-place. They killed some of the troops, and then, after bringing in corn and everything else useful that they could lay their hands on, retired again and made no fur- ther move, while the Athenians took measures .to make their blockade more efficient in fu— ture. So the summer came to an end. 116 In the following winter the Spartans planned to invade the territory of Argos, but when the sacrifices for crossing the frontier turned out unfavourably, they gave up the ex- pedition. The fact that they had intended to invade made the Argives suspect certain peo- ple in their city, some of whom they arrested though others succeeded in escaping, ’ About this same time the Melians again c3 tured another part of the Athenian lines where there were only a few of the garrison on guard As a result of this, another force came out a; terwards from Athens under the command of Philocrates, the son of Demeas. Siege Opera. tions were now carried on vigorously and, as there was also some treachery from inside, the Melians surrendered unconditionally to the Athenians, who put to death all the men of mil- itary age whom they took, and sold the womn and children as slaves. Melos itself they took over for themselves, sending out later a colom. of 500 men.* ' *That there were Melian survivors, who were restored by Lysander at the end of the war, is stated by XenophoE (Hellenica, II, 2, 9). h ,g i 2. From The Prince NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI CHAPTER 5: HOW CITIES OR PRINCIPALITIES ARE TO BE GOVERNED THAT PREVIOUS TO BEING CONQUERED HAD LIVED UNDER THEIR OWN LAWS Conquered states that have been accustomed to liberty and the government of their own laws can be held by the conqueror in three differ- entways. The first is to ruin them; the second, for the conqueror to go and reside there in person; and the third is to allow them to con— tinue to live under their own laws, subject to a regular tribute, and to create in them a gov- ernment of a few, who will keep the country friendly to the conqueror. Such a government, having been established by the new prince, knows that it cannot maintain itself without the support of his power and friendship, and it be- comes its interest therefore to sustain him. A city that has been accustomed to free institu- tions is much easier held by its own citizens than in any other way, if the conqueror desires to preserve it. The Spartans and the Romans Will serve as examples of these different ways of holding a conquered state. 'The Spartans held Athens and Thebes, cre— ating there a government of a few; and yet they lost both these states again. The Romans, for M I‘ From_The Prince. Translated by Christian E. Detmold; lrst published in the United States in 1882. the purpose of retaining Capua, Carthage, and Numantia, destroyed them, but did not lose them. They wished to preserve Greece in somewhat the same way that the Spartans had held it, by making her free and leaving her in the enjoyment of her own laws, but did not suc- ceed; so that they were obliged to destroy many cities in that country for the purpose of hold- ing it. In truth there was no other safe way of keeping possession of that country but to ruin it. And whoever becomes master of a city that has been accustomed to liberty, and does not destroy it, must himself expect to be ruined by it. For they will always resort to rebellion in the name of liberty and their ancient institutions, which will never be effaced from their mem- ory, either by the lapse of time, or by benefits bestowed by the new master. No matter what he may do, or what precautions he may take, if he does not separate and disperse the in- habitants, they will on the first occasion invoke the name of liberty and the memory of their ancient institutions, as was done by Pisa after having been held over a hundred years in sub- jection by the Florentines. . But it is very different with states that have been aCcustomed to live under a prince. When the line of the prince is once extinguished, the inhabitants, being on the one hand accus- tomed to obey, and on the other having lost their ancient sovereign, can neither agree to create a new one from amongst themselves, 16 Realism nor do they know how to live in liberty; and thus they will be less prompt to take up arms, and the new prince will readily be able to gain their good will and to assure himself of them. But republics have more vitality, a greater spirit of resentment and desire of revenge, for the memory of their ancient liberty neither can nor will permit them to remain quiet, and therefore the surest way of holding them is ei- ther to destroy them, or for the conqueror to go and live there. . . . CHAPTER 15: OF THE MEANS BY WHICH MEN, AND ESPECIALLY PRINCES, WIN APPLAUSE, OR INCUR CENSURE It remains now to be seen in what manner a prince should conduct himself towards his sub- jects and his allies; and knowing that this mat— ter has already been treated by many others, I apprehend that my writing upon it also may be deemed presumptuous, especially as in the discussion of the same I shall differ from the rules laid down by others. But as my aim is to write something that may be useful to him for whom it is intended, it seems to me proper to pursue the real truth of the matter, rather than to indulge in mere speculation on the same; for many have imagined republics and princi- palities such as have never been known to exist in reality. For the manner in which men live is so different from the way in which they ought to live, that he who leaves the common course for that which he ought to follow will find that it leads him to ruin rather than to safety. For a man who, in all respects, will carry out only his professions of good, will be apt to be ruined amongst so many who are evil. A prince there— fore who desires to maintain himself must learn to be not always good, but to be so or not as necessity may require. Leaving aside then the imaginary things concerning princes, and confining ourselves only to the realities, I say that all men when they are spoken of, and more especially princes, from being in a more con— spicuous position, are noted for some quality that brings them either praise or censure. Thus one is deemed liberal, another miserly (misero) to use aTuscan expression (for avaricious is he who by rapine desires to gain, and miserly We call him who abstains too much from the en. joyment of his own). One man is esteemed gen- erous, another rapacious; one cruel, another merciful; one faithless, and another faithful; one effeminate and pusillanimous, another fe. rocious and brave; one affable, another haughty; one lascivious, another chaste; One sincere, the other cunning; one facile, another inflexible; one grave, another frivolous; one re. ligious, another sceptical; and so on. I am well aware that it would be most praise. worthy for a prince to possess all of the abovc. named qualities that are esteemed good; but as he cannot have them all, nor entirely ob serve them, because of his human‘ nature s which does not permit it, he should at least be i" prudent enough to know how to avoid the in. s famy of those vices that would rob him of his »_ state; and if possible also to guard against such as are likely to endanger it. But if that be not possible, then he may with less hesitation fol- low his natural inclinations. Nor need he care about incurring censure for such vices, with- out which the preservation of his state may be difficult. For, all things considered, it will be found that some things that seem like virtue will lead you to ruin if you follow them; whilst others, that apparently are vices, will, if fol- lowed, result in your safety and well—being. . wmmmathwimam/ame ' CHAPTER 17: OF CRUELTY AND CLEMENCY, AND WHETHER IT IS BETTER TO BE LOVED THAN FEARED Coming down now to the other aforemen- tioned qualities, I say that every prince ought to desire the reputation of being merciful, and not cruel; at the same time, he should be care- ful not to misuse that mercy. Cesar Borgia'was reputed cruel, yet by his cruelty he reunited the Romagna to his states, and restored that province to order, peace, and loyalty; and lfwe carefully examine his course, we shall find 1t [0 have been really much more merciful than the course of the people of Florence, who to 55' utation of cruelty, allowed Pistoja f: [feddfasrtigyed A prince, therefore, should not mind the ill repute of cruelty, when he can [hereby keep his subjects united and loyal; for a few displays of severity Will really be more merciful than to allow, by an excess of clemency, disorders to occur, Wthh are apt to result in rapine and murder; for these injure a whole community, whilst the execuuon's or- dered by the prince fall only upon a few indl- tq‘dualS- And, above all others, the new prince will find it almost impossible to av01d the rep- utation of cruelty, because new states are gen- erally exposed to many dangers. . . . _ A prince, however, should be slow to beheve and to act; nor should he be too easily alarmed by his own fears, and should proceed moder- ately and With prudence and humanity, so that an excess of confidence may not make him in- cautious, nor too much mistrust make him in- tolerant. This, then, gives rise to the question “whether it be better to be beloved than feared” or “to be feared than beloved.” It will naturally be answered that it would be desir- able to be both the one and the other; but as it is difficult to be both at the same time, it is much more safe to be feared than to be loved, when you have to choose between the two. For it may be said of men in general that they are ungrateful and fickle, dissemblers, avoiders of danger, and greedy of gain. So long as you shower benefits upon them, they are all yours; they offer you their blood, their substance, their lives, and their children, provided the ne- cessity for it is far off; but when it is near at hand, then they revolt. And the prince who re- lies upon their words, without having other- wise provided for his security, is ruined; for friendships that are won by rewards, and not by greatness and nobility of soul, although de- served, yet are not real, and cannot be de- pended upon in time of adversity. Besides, men have less hesitation in of- fending one who makes himself beloved than one who makes himself feared; for love holds by a bond of obligation which, as mankind is bad, is broken on every occasion whenever it is for the interest of the obliged party to break It. But fear holds by the apprehension of pun- From The Prince 17 ishment, which never leaves men. A prince, however, should make himself feared in such a manner that, if he has not won the affections of his people, he shall at least not incur their hatred; for the being feared, and not hated, can go very well together, if the prince abstains from taking the substance of his subjects, and leaves them their women. And if you should be obliged to inflict capital punishment upon any one, then be sure to do so only when there is manifest cause and proper justification for it; and, above all things, abstain from taking people’s property, for men will sooner forget the death of their fathers than the loss of their patrimony. Besides, there will never be any lack of reasons for taking people’s property; and a prince who once begins to live by rapine will ever find excuses for seizing other people’s property. On the other hand, reasons for tak— ing life are not so easily found, and are more readily exhausted. But when a prince is at the head of his army, with a multitude of soldiers under his command, then it is above all things necessary for him to disregard the reputation of cruelty; for without such severity an army cannot be kept together, nor disposed for any successful feat of arms. . . . To come back now to the question whether it be better to be beloved than feared, I con- clude that, as men love of their own free will, but are inspired with fear by the will of the prince, a wise prince should always rely upon himself, and not upon the will of others; but, above all, should he always strive to avoid being hated, as I have already said above. CHAPTER 18: IN WHAT MANNER PRINCES SHOULD KEEP THEIR FAITH It must be evident to every one that it is more praiseworthy for a prince always to maintain good faith, and practise integrity rather than craft and deceit. And yet the experience of our own times has shown that those princes have achieved great things who made small account of good faith, and who understood by cunning to circumvent the intelligence of others; and that in the end they got the better of those 18 Realism whose actions were dictated by loyalty and good faith. . . . A sagacious prince then cannot and should not fulfil his pledges when their observance is contrary to his interest, and when the causes that induced him to pledge his faith no longer exist. If men were all good, then indeed this preceptwould be bad; but as men are naturally bad, and will not observe their faith towards you, you must, in the same way, not observe yours to them; and no prince ever yet lacked legitimate reasons with which to color his want of good faith. Innumerable modern examples could be given of this; and it could eas1ly be shown how many treaties of peace, and how many engagements, have been made null and void by the faithlessness of princes; and he who has best known how to play the fox has ever been the most successful. But it is necessary that the prince should know how to color this nature well, and how to be a great hypocrite and dissembler. for men are so simple, and yield so much to im— mediate necessity, that the deceiver will never lack dupes. . . . . It is not necessary, however, for a prince to possess all the above-mentioned qualities; but it is essential that he should at least Seem to have them. I will even venture'to say, that to have and to practise them constantly is perni- cious, but to seem to have them is useful. For instance, a prince should seem to be merciful, faithful, humane, religious, and upright, and should even be so in reality; but he should have his mind so trained that, when occasion re— quires it, he may know how to change to the opposite. And it must be understood that a prince, and especially one who has but recently acquired his state, cannot perform all those things which cause men to be esteemed as good; he being often obliged, for the sake of maintaining his state, to act contrary to hu- manity, charity, and religion. And therefore 18 it necessary that he should have a versatile mind, capable of changing readily, according as the winds and changes of fortune bid him; and, as has been said above, not to swerve from the good if possible, but to know how to resort to evil if necessity demands it. A prince then should be very careful nevgr to allow anything to escape his lips that (1065 not abound in the above-named five qualities, so that to see and to hear him he may seem all charity, integrity, and humanity, all upfight. ness, and all piety. And more than all else it is necessary for a prince to seem to possess the last quality; for mankind in general Judge mOre by what they see and hear than by what they feel, every one being capable of the former, and but few of the latter. Everybody sees what you seem to be, but few really feel what you are; and these few dare not oppose the opinion of the many, who are protected by the majesty of the state; for the actions of all men, and especially those of princes, are judged by the result, where there is no other judge to whom to appeal. Aprince then should look mainly to the we 3,: cessful maintenance of his state. The means which he employs for this will always be ac- counted honorable, and will be praised by everybody; for the common people are always taken by appearances and by results, and it is the vulgar mass that constitutes the world. But a very few have rank and station, whilst the many have nothing to sustain them. A certain prince of our time, whom it is well not to name, never preached anything but peace and good faith; but if he had always observed either the one or the other, it would in most instances have cost him his reputation or his state. . . . CHAPTER 21: HOW PRINCES SHOULD CONDUCT THEMSELVES TO ACQUIRE A REPUTATION . . . It is also important for a prince to give strik- ing examples of his interior administration (similar to those that are related of Messer Bernabo di Milano) when an occasmn pre- sents itself to reward or punish any one who has in civil affairs either rendered great serViCC to the state, or committed some crime, so tha‘t it may be much talked about. But, above all, a prince should endeavor to invest all his actionS with a character of grandeur and excellenceci A prince, furthermore, becomes esteeme when he shows himself either a true friend 0’ a real enemy; that is, when, regardless of cor“ sequences, he declares himself openly for or ’n st another: which Will always be more agailiitable to him than to remain neutral. For icfrfwo of your neighboring potentates should come to war amongst themselves, they are ei— mer of such character that, when either of them has been defeated, you Will have cause to fear the conqueror, or not. In either case, it mu always be better for you to declare yourself openly and make fair war; for if you fail to do so, you will be very apt to fall a prey to the Vic- my; to the delight and satisfaction of the de- feated party, and you will have no claim for protection or assistance from either the one or the other. For the conqueror Will want no doubtful friends, who did not stand by him in time of trial; and the defeated party will not forgive you for having refused, with arms in hand, to take the chance of his fortunes. . . . And it will always be the case that he who is not your friend will claim neutrality at your hands, whilst your friend will ask your armed intervention in his favor. Irresolute princes, for the sake of avoiding immediate danger, adopt most frequently the course of neutrality, and are generally ruined in consequence. But when a prince declares himself boldly in favor of one party, and that party proves victorious, even though the victor be powerful, and you are at his discretion, yet is he bound to you in love and obligation; and men are never so base as to repay these by such flagrant ingratitude as the oppressing you under these circum- stances would be. Moreover, victories are never so complete as to dispense the victor from all regard for jus- ticc. But when the party whom you have sup- ported loses, then he will ever after receive you as a friend, and, when able, will assist you in turn; and thus you will have become the sharer of a fortune which in time may be retrieved. In the second case, when the contending parties are such that you need not fear the vic- tor, then it is the more prudent to give him your support; for you thereby aid one to ruin the other, whom he should save if he were wise; for although he has defeated his adversary, yet he remains at your discretion, inasmuch as without your assistance victory would have From The Prince 19 been impossible for him. And here it should be noted, that a prince ought carefully to avoid making common cause with any one more powerful than himself, for the purpose of at- tacking another power, unless he should be compelled to do so by necessity. For if the for- mer is victorious, then you are at his mercy; and princes should, if possible, avoid placing themselves in such a position. The Venetians allied themselves with France against the Duke of Milan, an alliance which they could easily have avoided, and which pr...
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