Niccolò Machiavelli.

The works of Nicholas Machiavel ... : translated from the originals : illustrated with notes, annotations, dissertations, and several new plans on the Art of war (Volume 3) online

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** thoufands." This was the tirft caufe of difcontent, the Earl was
not rewarded as he thought he deferved, and he perceived the King
looked upon him with a jealous eye ; for it is impofiible that a Prince
who envies the glory of one of his Subjedts, (hould not difoblige him
feveral ways. The fecond caufe of difguft was, the Earl's being fent
Ambaffador to negociate his Mafter's marriage with Bonne of Savoy,
Sifter to the Queen of France. This marriage was agreed upon, and
jiothing more waited for but the return of an Ambairador, whom the

H 3 Prince

'102 Political Discourses upon Book I.

Prince or a Republic, is in fome meafure excii fable.
Many inftances, and reafons alfo might be deduced
from Hiftory to evince the truth and neceflTuy of this.
For a General, who by his valour has extended his
Mailer's dominions, exterminated his enemies, enrich-
ed his Soldiers, and acquired great glory himfelf, mud
necefTarily conciliate the affections both of the army
and his other fellow fubjefts in fuch a manner, that his
Services will be apt to excite jealoufy in the Prince
that employed him : and fince mankind are naturally
ambitious as well as jealous, and apt to afpire to ftili
greater power, it is ahnoft impoffible, when kich a Ge-
neral is become elated with his fuccefles, and his Prince
has begun to grow fulpicious of him upon that ac-
count, that the jealoufy of the latter fnould not be
Hill more enflamed either by fome infolent fpeech or
action in the former. The Prince therefore feems to

King of France had fent to have the treat)' figned by Edward, when
it came to be known that the King of England had married a Knight's
widow. *• All that nation," fays the above cited Author, " beheld
" this match with the utmoft indignation : but nobody was fo much
*' chagrined at it as the Earl of Warwick, who made no doubt but
** the King did it to expofe and make him ridiculous to all Europe, by
*' fending him to demand a great Princefs, and afterwards marrymg
** a private Gentlewoman only. .... But King Edward's behaviour
*• to him, after his return to London, exafperated him to the laft de-
** <^ree. He was in hopes, however, that his Majeily would endeavour
** to mitio-ate his vexation by good words, or fome lame excufe at leaft .•
*' but he was fo far from making any Apology, that he treated him
*' with fuch a degree of haughtinefs, that a man lefs ftomachful than
" the Earl could hardly have helped refenting it : and to complete his
" mortification, he heard tliat the King had attempted to debauch
*' his Niece, or, as others fay^, his Sifter j and would have taken a
«' Miftrefs out of /lis family, whilft he thought fit to take a wife oat
*' of another." The Earl therefore, with a heart full of revenge, de-
termined to reftore Henry VI, to the throne, and fuccecded in his de-
fign. Thus he fported vvith the Crown ; he deprived Henry VI. of it
to give it to Edward ; and then took it again from him to return it
to Henry- He had credit enough to have raifed himfelf to the throne,
but he thought it more glorious to make Kings than to reign himfelf:
for fuch was the turn of his ambition, that it inclined him not to
reign, but to govern thofe that reigned.— This fort of behaviour has
been fo common both in Princes and Subjeds, that moft Hillorians,
as well as other Writers, take notice of it: from whom numberlefs
examples might be quoted, if neceflary. But Machiavel himfelf cites
feveral in this Chapter. See alfo chap. III. of the Prince at the end :
and the Note upon Francifco Spinola, Hilt. Flor. book V. not far from
the beginning,


Chap. XXIX*. The First Decad of Livy. roj"

be under a necefTity of fccuring himfclf againft his
General, either by putting him to death, or by taking
av/ay his command, or by ielTcning the reputation and
influence he has acquired in the army and amongft
his other countrymen, by induftrioufly inrinuating that
his fuccefs Vv'as not owing to his valour or good con-
dufl, but to accident, or the pufillanimity ot the ene*^
my, or the fuperior abilities of his other officers.

When Vefpafian was ialuted Emperor by the forces
which he commanded in Judea, Antonius Primus be*
ing at the head of an army in lllyria, declared for him
there alfo,' and marching into Italy againft Vitellius
who then was the reigning Emperor, he defeated him
twice, and got po-fre(iiOM of Rome : fo that Mucian,
who had been fent by Vefpanan for the fame purpofe,
found every thing fettled, and ail difficulties already
furmoumed by the expedidon and valour of Antonius.
But obferve how i^nronius was rewarded for his pains:
in the firft place, Mucian deprived him of all com-
mand in the army, and reduced him by degrees to
live in a very private condition, without the leafl
power or authority of any kind at Rome : upon
which, he went to make his complaints to Vefpafian,
who was at that tiiriC in Afia, from whom he met
with 10 cold a reception, that he foon after died in ob-
fcurity and defpair. — Many other examples might be
cited from Pliftory. Every one mull remember, (as
it happened in cur own times) that Confalvo of Cor-
dova, the King of Arragon's General in the Kingdom
of Naples, entirely drove the French out of that
Country, and reduced it into fubjedion to his Mafter
Ferdinand, with great giorv to himielf at the fam

time : in recompence for which, Ferdinand upon his
arrival at Naples, nril turned him out of the govern-
ment of the firong places which he held for him there,
and then deprived him of his command in the armiy ;
after which, he took him back with him into Spain,
where he ended his duys in difgrace.

I'hcfe jealoufies therefore are fo naturally incident
to Princes, that they cannot be prevented , nor it is

H 4 poffible

'fd4 Political Discourses upon Book 1.

polTible for them to be grateful to thofe that have
done them the mod important Services. And if this
be the cafe with Princes, it ought not to feem ftrange
that it is the fame with Commonwt^akhs : for all free
governments having two principal ends, one of which
is to enlarge their dominions, and the other to preferve
their liberties, they will necelTarily fall into cxceTs by
too rio-id an obfervation of the Maxims they have ef-

■—3 V

tablifhed for the accomplifliment of either of thole
ends. The errors and inconveniencies that attend
making new acquifitions fhall be fpoken of" elfewhcre:
but amongfl: others that refult from being too jealous
of their liberties, we may chiefly reckon the dilguft-
ing fuch Citizens as ought to be rewarded, and the
fufpeding thofe in whom they ought to put the mofl:
confidence. Now tho' thefe things occafion great
evils in a Commonwealth that is become corrupt,
and often produce Tyranny at laft, as it happened to
Rome in the time of Julius C^far, who took that by
force, which the ingratitude of his fellow-citizens had
refufed to give him -, yet they are of a great advan-
tage in a State that is not yet corrupted, as they con-
duce to the preiervation of its liberties, by keeping
ambitious and enterprizing men in awe through the
fear of punilliment.

To the reafons already afiigned therefore, it was
owing that no people ever iliewed themfelves lefs un-
grateful to their Citizens than the Romans did : nay
it may truly be faid, that they never behaved with
ingratitude to any one but Scipio. For as to Corio-
lanus and Camillus ^, they were banifhed for the in-

* Coriolanus was banillied for propofTng to humble the Plebeians
by famine. See chap. vii. and Camillus for behaving himfelf with
too much pride, in the Triumph which was granted him after he had
taken Veii ; and for dividing the Spoil amongll the Soldiery only,
without giving the people any fhare of it. His triumphal Car was
drawn by four white horfes. Upon which Plutarch obferves, that no
General ever triumphed in that manner either before or after him,
and that the people thought fuch a Chariot was tco magnificent and
glorious for any one but a God. ** Ta te aWa, c-o-.a^xi eS^iafxCivin xat

vroir,a-a,\TO^ Tr^sTE^ov no' u:r^£ov : ispov yctg ryavrai to TCiarov oyrtjxa tu) BacriXet xat

tra-r^j Tojv 0£a;v J7r< f r.ujsruEvoy." In Vila Camiili. He triumphed four


Chap. XXIX. The First Decad of Livy. 105
juries they refpeflively had done to the people ; and
chough indeed one of them continued in perpetual

times, was five times Di«51ator, and honoured with the title of the
** Second Founder of Rome :" in a word, he acquired all the honour
a mnn can gain in his own Country. During his Cenforlhip, he found
means to make all the Tingle men in Rome marry the widov\s of thofe
that had been killed in war ; and had the glory of putting an end to
the war with the Veientes, the ancient Rivals of Rome, See chap, xiii,
But as he prevented many of the Roman Citizens from going to fettle
at Veil afterwards, they were fo provoked at it, that thsy took an op-
portunity of revenging themfielves upon him. He had made a vow to
give the tenth part of the fpoils of that City to Apollo, but forgot to
doit : upon which, the Senate being informed by the Aurufpices, that
the Gods were oltended, ordered every Soldier to reftore the tenth of
his fpoil. This exafperated the people ftill more againft him. Soon,
after, a war broke out with the Faiifci, in the courfe of which, he
generoufly fent back the children to their parents, whom a School-
raaiter in one of the towns he befjc^ged, had perfidioufly delivered up
to him 3 which had fuch an effeil: upon them, that they voluntarily
fubmitted to the Romans. See chap. xx. book III. of thele Difcourfes.
But this depriving the people of the booty they expefted there, gave
them a frefti handle to exciaim againft him : fo that lofing all pati-
ence, Lucius Apuleius, one of the Tribunes, proiecuted him to make
him give an account of the Spoil taken at Veii 5 in confequence of
which, he was condemned to pay a heavy fine, and afterwards volun-
tarily banifhed himfelf to Veii. Daring this baniPnment, he performed
the moft noble action of his life: for inflead of rejoicing at the Tack-
ing of Rome by the Gauls, (See chap. viii. of tnis book) and of join-
ing them to be revenged on his Country, he exerted all his wifdom
and courage to drive the Enemy away, ajid yet obferved the Laws of
Rome with the utmoft ftridtnefs, in refufing to accept the command
which feveral private people offered him. See Valerius Maximus, lib.
IV. cap. i. He waited for the orders of the people, who were repre-
fented by the fev/ inhabitants of Rome that ftill held out in the Capi-
tol. But before this he had raifed troops at Ardea, where he then
was, and gained fome advantages over the Enemy. The Romans
therefore that were befieged in the Capitol appointed him Diclatorj
in which poll he acled with fo m.uch bravery and condu£l, that he
drove the Gauls entirely out of the Roman territories. This impor-
tant fervice however, with feverai other victories which he afterwards
got, could not fecure him againlt the rage and envy of the Tribunes,
for even whilft he was Dictator, they fent a common Officer to fum-
mon him, who had the audacioufnefs to lay hands upon him. He ap-
peared before the people attended by the whole Senate; and, as the
affair was determined to the fatisfadf ion of the people, vv^as conducted
back agrdn to his hoafe with the higheft acclamations. What Lucan
fays of this great man, when in banilhment, is highly in liis honour,
viz. *' that wherever Camillus dwelt, there was Rome 3'' the Post's
own woids exprefs it much Itronger,
Tarpeia fede perufta

Gallorum facibus, Veiofque habitante Camilk) ;

Iliic Roma fuit. Pharfal, lib. V, acxvii.

When Gallic flames the burning City felt,

At Veii Rome with her Camillus dwelt. Rowe.


io6 Political Discourses UPON Book I.

exile, becaufe he Itiil perfifted obflinate in his preju-
dice againft the people ; yet the other was not only-
recalled, but honoured like a Prince as long as he
lived. But the ingratitude that was fhewn to Scipio
was owing to fuch a degree of jeaioufy as they had
never entertained of any citizen before : and this
arofe from a confideration of the powt^rfulnefs of the
enemy he had conquered •, the reputation he had ac-
quired by bringing a long and dangerous war to fo
fpeedy and fuccefsful a conclufion, after he was ap-
pointed Commander in chief of their armies; the
favour which his youth, his prudence, and ether ad-
mirable accompliiliments had gained him in the eyes
of the people •, all which made him fo popular that
the Magiitrates began to dread his authority, a cir-
cumRance that was as galling to the graver fort, as
it was new and unufual to the Vv'hole Ciry *. Indeed
it appeared fo extraordinary to Cato the Elder, a man
of fevere and inflexible virtue, that he made a formal
complaint of it, and faid, that a State could not be

* Livy in the 26tli book of his Hidory, cap. xix, gives us a fine ac-
count of the means by which Scipio made himfcif fo popular. " Fuit
** enim Scipio, non veris tarttum virtutibus mirabiiis, fed artequoque
*' quadam ab jiiventa in oftentationem earum compoiitus : plersque
" apud multitudinem, aut per no6lurnas vifa fpecies, aut velijt divi-
*' nitus, mente monita, agens : five et ipfe capti quadam fuperftitione
*' animi, five ut imperia conciliaque vekit Ibrfe oraculi raifi'a, fine
** cunftatione aflequeretur. Ad hoc jam inde ab initio prasparans
*' animos, ex quo togam virilem fumpfit, nuUo die prius ullam pub-
** licam privatamve rem egit, quam in Capitolium iret, ingreffufque
" asdem confideret ; & plerumque tempus folus in fecreto ibi tereret.
** Hie mos, qui per omnem vitam fervabatur, feu confulto, feu te-
** mere vulgatac opinioni fidem apud quofdam fecit, fiirpis eum divi*
*' nx virum efi'e ; retulitque faniain, in Alexandro magno prius vul-
" gatam, & vanitate & fabula parem, anguis iminanis concubitu con-
** ceptum, & in cubiculo inatris ejus perlispe vilam prodigii ejus Spe-
** ciem, interventuque hominum evoiutam repente, atque ex occulis
** elapfam. His miracuiis nunquam ab ipfo elufa fides ell, quin po-
** tins au6la arte quadam, nee abnuendi tale quicquam, nee palani
*' affirmandi, Multa alia ejofdem generis, alia vera, alia aflimulata,
** admirationes humanas in eo juvene excefierant modum : quibus
*' freta tunc civitas, setati hauJquaqu'am maturae tantam moiem rerum,
*' tantumque imperium perniilit." It might be obferved here by the
bye, that there are conliderable families in Europe, which pretend to
be defcended from the intercouiTe of a woman with fome fpirit. Mar-
llial de Bafibmpiere relates it of the founder of his family. See his


Chap. XXX. The First Decad of L'lvr. loy

called free where the Magiftrates flood in awe of any-
particular Citizen : ^^ that if the people of Rome in-
clined to Cato's opinion in this cafe, they may in fome
meafure be juililied in a thing that fo nearly concern-
ed their liberties, as I faid before of Princes and Com-
monwealths that are forced to be ungrateful through
motives of Sufpicion, To conclude this difcourfe, 1
fay, that ingratitude being occaficned either by ava-
rice or jealoufy. Commonwealths are hardly ever in-
fluenced by the "former, and much feldomer than
Princes by the latter, as they have lefs occafion ; which
ihall be fhevvn in its proper place.


n^^baf means a Prince or a Comvjonwealth ought to take in
crder to avoid the imputation of Ingratitude ; and hozo
a General or other Citizen muft acl to Jecure himfelf
againft the Effects of it.

Prince who would avoid the neceflity either of
_ _ living in continual jealoufy, or of being ungrate-
tui, ought to go in perlon with his forces upon every
expedition, as the hrii: Roman Emperors ufed to do,
as the Grand Turk does at prefent, and as all brave
Princes always have done^. For if they fucceed,

* *' If any onefhould offer to maintain/' lays a French Author" that
•* it si better for a Prince to carry on wars by others than in his own
*« perfon, Fortune will furniili him with examples enow of thofe whofe
" Lieutenants have brought great enterprizes to a happy ifTue, and of
*' thofe alfo whole prefence hath done more hurt than good. But no
** virtuous and vrJiant Prince can bear to be tutored with fuch (canda-
" lous kfibns, under the colour of fHving his head, like the Statue of
*' a Saint, for the happinefs of his Kingdom, they degrade him from
** and niake him incapable of his Office, which is military throughout.
*' I know one who had much rather be beaten, than flcep whilft an-
** othtr figiUs for him ; and who never heard of any brave thing done,
** even by his own Officers, in his abfence, without envy. Selim the
" firll faid, with very good reafbn, in my opinio.n, " that vi6lories ob-
*' tained without the Sovereign's prefence were never complete,"
*• Much more readily would he have faid, that a Sovereign ought to
«* blu(h for fliame, who pretended to any fliare in one, when he had
*• contributed nothing to it but his voice and thoug^ht \ nor even fo



i©^ Political Discourses upon Book I.

the honour and advantage of the conquefl: redound
folely to themfelves : but if they ftay at home, an-
other reaps the glory and they begin to apprehend
they lliall not be able to maintain their acquifitions,
xcept they either eclipfe or totally extinguifh that
fame of their Generals, which they could not acquire
themfelves 5 and this forces them into injuftice and in-
gratitude, though without doubt much more to their
own prejudice than advantage^. However in this
cafe, if they are either fo imprudent, or fo indolent,
or pufilanimous, as to (lay inglorioufiy at home, and
be content with fencing out a Subilitute, they them-
felves mufl: needs know what they have to do after-
wards, as well as I can tell them. But I will venture
to fay, that if the General finds he cannot otherwife
efcape the efieds of jealoufy and ingratitude, he muft

** much as thofe, confidering that in fuch works as that, the direflion
** and command that deferve honour are only Tuch as are given upon
*' the place, and in the heat of a^iion. The Princes of the Ottoman
*' family (the chief in the world for military fortune) have always
** warmly embraced this opinion. Bajazet the fecond, and his Son,
*' who fwerved from it, fpending their time in Sciences and other em-
** ployments within doors, gave' great blows to their Empires and A-
** murath the third, following their example, did the fame. Edward
** the third of England faid of our Charles the fifth, *' There never
*' was any King who fo feldom put on his armour, that had cut liim
** out fo much work." Indeed he might v.^ell think it ftrange, as it
** was the efttft of chance more than of reafon. Is it not abiurd to
*' reckon the Kings of Caftile and Portugal amongfl: warlike and mag-
** nanimous Conquerors, becaufe at the diftance of twelve hundred
** leagues from the place where they rellded in idlenefs and eafe, they
*' made themfelves mafttrs of both the Indies, by the conduit of their
'* Agents ; which too, they never had the courage fo much as to vifit
** themfelves." Mr.Bayle fay?.,in his HiftoricalDifcourfe upon the Life
of Guftavus Adolphus, " 1 i^at though the conquefts of a warlike
*' Prince are frequently of no fervice to his Subjects, and perhaps it
" might be full as well for them, if their Monarch was contented
** with the dominions left him by his Predeceffors j yet they are fti uck
** with 1 know not what admiration, blended with love for one whole
** name is renowned throughout the whole world. The TeDeum,
** when fung frequently, and bonfires made for th.e tnking of Cities,
" or for Battles won, incline them to furnifli fubfidies for the conti-
*' nuationof 9 war with greater chearfulnefs." Of the truth of this,
the year 1761 may afford a memorable example in our own country,
when the Supplies granted by Parliament amounted to almoft nineteen

• Cecil, Prime Minifler to Queen Elizabeth, ufed to fay, " That
" nothing could be for the advantage of a Prince, which any way
** made againft his reputation,'"


Chap. XXX. The First Decad of Livy. 109
have recourfe to one or other of thefe two expedients;
that is, he muft either voluntarily quit the command
of* the army as foon as the expedition is over, and
not only rellgn it into his Mailer's hands, before it is
demanded of him, but take great care not to difco-
ver any figns of infoience or ambition : that fo when
their is no manner of reafon given for lufpicion, he
may be duly rewarded, at Icafc no: dilgraced, for his
Services. But if he cannot fubmit to this, he muft
take a very diiTerent courfe, and boldly refolve to fet
upfor himlelf i for which purpofe, he muft endeavour
by all means to make it generally believed, that the
merit of the late acquifition is wholly due to him, and
that his Mailer had nor the ieall fhare in it ; he muft
fpare no pains to ingratiate himielf with the Soldiery^
and his other feilov; SubjC(5ts ; to contradl Alliances
with his neighbours, to feize upon fortrefTes, to cor-
rupt the principal Cfncers in the army, to fecure thole»
fume other way, whom he cannot corrupt ; and by
thele means effedually to guard himfelf from the in-
gratitude of his Mader. Belides thefe, there is no other
remedy that I know. But fince very few men can
prevail upon themfelves to be either perfectly good
or thoroughly wicked, as I faid before, and it almoft
always happens that a General is loath to quit his com-
mand after a fuccefsful campaign, they icldom either -
know how to keep their ambition within due bounds,
or to have recourfe to extremities, even when thev
feem to have fjmethins: great and honourable in them :
fo tliat vvhile they itand in fufpence and halting be-
twixt two refolutions they are commonly ruined.

A Republic indeed that would avoid the.fcndal
of ingratitude, has it nor in its power to avail itfelf
of the fame-remedy that a Prince may do ; for not
being able to conduct its armies in perfon, that com-
mand muit necelTarily be delegated to fame of its
Citizens. The bed: way, therefore, in my opinion,
for a comimonweakh to avoid ingratitude as much as
polTible, would be to follov^^ the example of the Ro-
man?, who perhaps had iefs of it than any other peo-

7 P^^'

II© Political Discourses upon Book I,

pie. This was owing to the conflitution of their Go-
vernment; for as all forts of people, both noble and
ignoble, were employed in their wars without diftinc-
tion, fo many brave and virtuous men, and fuch a
number of illuftrious Generals arofe in every age, that
the State had no occafion to be afraid of any one of
them, v/hen there were others enow of equal abilities
to check and oppole him. Hence it came to pals that
every man difcharged his duty with the utmoft inte-
grity, carefully avoiding any flep that might favour
of Ambition, and give the people the leaft offence or
reafon to punifh them as defigning and afpiring men ;
nay, when any one was created Didator, he piqued
himfelf upon laying down his authority again, as foon
as ever the neceflity of affairs could pofLbly admit of
it. Such a manner of proceeding, preventing all
fufpicion, likewife prevented ingratitude ; fo that a
Republic, that would avoid the imputation of being
ungrateful, fhould condu6b itfelf like that of Rome ;
and the perfon who would guard againfl the effedls of
it, ought to imitate the behaviour of the Roman Ci-

* The Romans made a great difference betwixt thofe Generals, wlio
only gained vidtories, and others that put an end to a war. Thofe
that entered the City in triumph with the efiigies of feveral Provinces
or Cities which they had conquered, were much more honoured than
thofe, who could only boall they had killed a great many men. They
feldom continued their Cienerals above two or three years in Commif-
lion ; but almolt every year fent a new Conful to relieve the Conlul of
the foregoing yc;ir : fo that the General did all that lay in his power to
put an end to the war, left his fucceflbr (hould have the honour of fi-
nifhing what he had begun; they all aimed at theglcry debellandi. But
when a General is certain that lie ihall command the army till the end
of the war, he is not always difpofed to haften it : he puts off the peace
as long as he can, and regulates his conduft according to the old max-
im, *' Make a golden bridge for a vanquiflied enemy :" it is his pri-
vate interefl: to give them an opportunity of retrieving their affairs,
and continuing the war a gieat while longer. Tliis is the reafon why

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