Il principe by Niccolo Machiavelli (1891) PDF (Laurence Arthur Burd edition)

Il principe by Niccolo Machiavelli (1891) PDF edited by  Laurence Arthur Burd


One of the most famous political books in history. this book is not evil or good. it is just real. It contains realistic advice for good and bad people. the book is old but human nature, unfortunately, did not change.

Excerpt from the introduction:

The present edition of The Prince is mainly intended for the use of those who are not already familiar with Machiavelli's life and writings. 

Though it deals nominally with The Prince alone, it is hoped that it may prove useful as a foundation for more extended study, and as a general introduction to Machiavelli's works. The aim of the Editor has been to summarise the results at which MachiaveUian studies have now arrived and to indicate the most important sources from which further information may be obtained. The notes have a threefold object.

They are chiefly intended to illustrate Machiavelli's political and ethical ideals, and to throw light upon what has been not inaptly called the ' conscience of the Renaissance.' In the second place, they aim at giving an account of the history of the period, sufficient to enable the reader to understand Machiavelli's criticisms and to follow his arguments without difficulty. Lastly, an attempt has been made to determine what were the chief ancient authorities to which Machiavelli was indebted. It is obvious that The Prince by itself does not supply the necessary materials for a fair estimate of Machiavelli's morality and politics. To be correctly estimated. The Prince requires to be compared at nearly every point with the longer treatises, such as the Discorsi and the Arte della Guerra, which, though not so incisive, are more complete, and therefore, as a rule, more instructive. Machiavelli has nowhere worked out in a full, scientific way, any theory of politics or morals: his method is to set up a thesis, and examine its value; but the order in which his discussions follow each other, and the degree of the thoroughness with which each is worked out, were determined by accidental considerations — by a sentence from Livy, or a Florentine proverb, or some special coup d'etat in contemporary politics. It is the inevitable result of this fragmentary treatment that we are obliged to turn from one work to another, and constantly compare sentence with sentence, if we desire to gather up Machiavelli's scattered reflections to form, so far as may be, a systematic whole, and to discover what were his final views on any given point of statecraft.

 With few exceptions, all the passages from Machiavelli's published works that throw any light on the contents of The Prince are quoted in full in the notes to the present edition; only where the passages were too long to admit of insertion in a note has a bare reference been given. It is hoped that this method of treatment will place the reader in a position to trace for himself the growth of Machiavelli's ideas and to see at a glance what modifications his views underwent as he grew older, and as a more complete experience tended to call in question the value of conclusions once accepted as irrefragable.


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