The Prince (Dover Thrift Editions)

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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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. The chief cause which makes any one lose it, is the contempt of

; so that through these continued cogitations there could never happen any incident when leading his But as to armies for which he was not prepared. exercise for the mind, the prince ought to read history and study the actions of eminent men, see how they acted in warfare, examine the causes of their victories and losses in order to imitate the former and avoid the latter, and above all, do as some eminent men have done in the past, who have imitated some one, who has been much praised and

and deceive themselves about them that they can with difficulty guard choice. which courts and by wishing to guard plague they run the risk of becoming contemptBecause there is no other way of guarding ible. one's self against flattery than by letting men understand that they will not offend you by speaking the truth ; but when every one can tell you the against against this ; it A prudent prince truth, you lose their respect. must therefore take a third course, by choosing in his state

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ability or good fortune, it would appear that either of these things would mitigate in part many difficulties. Nevertheless those who have been wanting as regards good fortune have maintained 20 THE PRINCE The matter 21 themselves best. also facilitated by the prince being obliged to reside personally in his But to come to those territory, having no others. who have become princes through their own merits and not by fortune, I regard as the greatest, And Cyrus. Romulus, Tbqseus. and such

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