CHAPTER XV. CONCERNING THINGS FOR WHICH MEN, AND ESPECIALLY PRINCES, ARE PRAISED OR BLAMED

CHAPTER XV. CONCERNING THINGS FOR WHICH MEN, AND ESPECIALLY PRINCES, ARE PRAISED OR BLAMED

It remains now esatto see what ought to be the rules of conduct for a prince towards subject and friends

But esatto exercise the intellect the prince should read histories, and study there the actions of illustrious men, to see how they have borne themselves mediante war, esatto examine the causes of their victories and defeat, so as onesto avoid the latter and imitate the former; and above all do as an illustrious man did, who took as an exemplar one who had been praised and famous before him, and whose achievements and deeds he always kept mediante his mind, as it is said Alexander the Great imitated Achilles, Caesar Alexander, Scipio Cyrus. And xmeeting whoever reads the life of Cyrus, written by Xenophon, will recognize afterwards mediante the life of Scipio how that succedane was his glory, and how sopra chastity, affability, humanity, and liberality Scipio conformed esatto those things which have been written of Cyrus by Xenophon. Verso wise prince ought onesto observe some such rules, and never con peaceful times stand idle, but increase his resources with industry sopra such per way that they may be available to him sopra adversity, so that if fortune chances it may find him prepared sicuro resist her blows.

And as I know that many have written on this point, I expect I shall be considered presumptuous durante mentioning it again, especially as durante discussing it I shall depart from the methods of other people. But, it being my intention preciso write per thing which shall be useful sicuro him who apprehends it, it appears esatto me more appropriate to follow up the real truth of the matter than the imagination of it; for many have pictured republics and principalities which con fact have never been known or seen, because how one lives is so far distant from how one ought sicuro live, that he who neglects what is done for what ought preciso be done, sooner effects his ruin than his preservation; for a man who wishes esatto act entirely up preciso his professions of virtue soon meets with what destroys him among so much that is evil.

Hence it is necessary for verso prince wishing puro hold his own esatto know how puro do wrong, and esatto make use of it or not according sicuro necessity

Therefore, putting on one side imaginary things concerning a prince, and discussing those which are real, I say that all men when they are spoken of, and chiefly princes for being more highly placed, are remarkable for some of those qualities which bring them either blame or praise; and thus it is that one is reputed liberal, another miserly, using per Tuscan term (because an avaricious person con our language is still he who desires sicuro possess by robbery, whilst we call one miserly who deprives himself too much of the use of his own); one is reputed generous, one rapacious; one cruel, one compassionate; one faithless, another faithful; one effeminate and cowardly, another bold and brave; one agreable, another haughty; one lascivious, another chaste; one sincere, another cunning; one hard, another easy; one grave, another frivolous; one religious, another unbelieving, and the like. And I know that every one will confess that it would be most praiseworthy per a prince esatto exhibit all the above qualities that are considered good; but because they can neither be entirely possessed nor observed, for human conditions do not permit it, it is necessary for him esatto be sufficiently prudent that he may know how to avoid the reproach of those vices which would lose him his state; and also onesto keep himself, if it be possible, from those which would not lose him it; but this not being possible, he may with less hesitation abandon himself onesto them. And again, he need not make himself uneasy at incurring per reproach for those vices without which the state can only be saved with difficulty, for if everything is considered carefully, it will be found that something which looks like virtue, if followed, would be his ruin; whilst something else, which looks like supplente, yet followed brings him security and prosperity.

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