The prince (1921) - PDF book by Niccolò Machiavelli

The prince (1921) by Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò Machiavelli

Of all Machiavelli's works, The Prince is undoubtedly the greatest, and a new English edition of it is likely to welcome to all those who have not the advantage of reading it in the classical Italian original. For a true appreciation of Machiavelli, impossible in a brief Preface, 

I must refer the English reader to Macaulay's Essay on the Italian historian and statesman. In it, he will see how our Author's ideas and work were wrongfully and wilfully misinterpreted by the very men who, while profiting by his wisdom, have with great ingratitude criticized the statesman and defamed his name, like that of the inventor of the worst political system ever imagined. 

Yet, as his whole life was an indefatigable and un- remitting endeavor to secure for his native Florence a good and popular government, and as he lost his great office of Secretary to the Florentine Republic on account of his avowed liberal opinions, it is not only unjust but ridiculous to accuse him of helping tyrants to enslave the people. 

What he did was to show in the most deliberate and in the plainest way the arts by which free peoples were made slaves; and, had his words of advice been always heeded, no tyrant in Italy or elsewhere could have been successful in his policy. That he was not listened to, and his advice scorned and spurned, was not Machiavelli's fault.  

Those who still share the opinion of his interested detractors should read his private correspondence with the leaders of liberal ideas in Italy many of his letters being still left unpublished in the MS. Collection of Giuliano Ricci in the National Library, in the Riccardiana Library (No. 2467), in the Government Archives (Strozzi, Nos. 133 and 1028) of Florence, in the Barberini Library, and in the Collezione Gonnelli of the Palatine Library in Rome.

Contents of the book

1. The various kinds of Government and the ways by which they are established. 3
2. Of Hereditary Monarchies ... 4
3. Of Mixed Monarchies .... 5
4 Why the Kingdom of Darius, Occupied by Alexander did not rebel against the successors of the latter after his death. 14
5. The way to Govern Cities or Dominion That, previous to being occupied, lived under their own Laws.... 18
6. Of New Dominions which have been acquired by one's own Arms and Powers. 20
7. Of New Dominions Acquired by the Power of Others or by Fortune ... 24
8. Of those who have attained the position of Prince by villainy .... 32
9. Of the Civic Principality. ' .37
10. How the strength of all States should be measured ...... 41
11. Of Ecclesiastical Principalities. , 44
12. The different kinds of Militia and Mercenary Soldiers 47
13. Of Auxiliary, Mixed, and Native Troops 53
14. AVTiat the duties of a Prince are with regard to the Militia .... 67
15. Of the things for which Men, and Especially Princes, are praised or blamed. 60
16. Of Liberality and Niggardliness . . 62
17. Of Cruelty and Clemency, and whether it is better to be loved or feared . . 65
18. In what way Princes must keep the faith. 69
19. That we must avoid being despised and hated 72
20. Whether Fortresses and other things which Princes often make are useful or injurious 83
21. How a Prince must act in order to gain reputation 88
22. Of the Secretaries of Princes ... 92
23. How Flatterers must be shunned . . 94
24. Why the Princes of Italy have lost their
States 97
25. How much Fortune can do in human
affairs, and how it may be opposed. 99
26. Exhortation to liberate Italy from the Barbarians .... 103

translated by Luigi Ricci
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