Download Discourses On The First Decade Of Titus Livius by Niccolò Machiavelli PDF

By Niccolò Machiavelli

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For the captain who by his valour has won new dominions for his prince, since while overcoming his enemies, he at the same time covers himself with glory and enriches his soldiers, must needs acquire such credit with his own followers, and with the enemy, and also with the subjects of his prince, as cannot be wholly agreeable to the master who sent him forth. And since men are by nature ambitious as well as jealous, and none loves to set a limit to his fortunes, the suspicion which at once lays hold of the prince when he sees his captain victorious, is sure to be inflamed by some arrogant act or word of the captain himself.

For both Coriolanus and Camillus were banished on account of the wrongs which they inflicted on the commons; and though the former was not forgiven because he constantly retained ill will against the people, the latter was not only recalled, but for the rest of his life honoured as a prince. But the ingratitude shown towards Scipio arose from the suspicion wherewith the citizens came to regard him, which they had not felt in the case of the others, and which was occasioned by the greatness of the enemy whom he had overthrown, the fame he had won by prevailing in so dangerous and protracted a war, the suddenness of his victories, and, CHAPTER XXX 44 finally, the favour which his youth, together with his prudence and his other memorable qualities had gained for him.

And any who shall weigh well what has been said, will not condemn Athens in this matter, nor commend Rome, but refer all to the necessity arising out of the different conditions prevailing in the two States. For careful reflection will show that had Rome been deprived of her freedom as Athens was, she would not have been a whit more tender to her citizens. This we may reasonably infer from remarking what, after the expulsion of the kings, befell Collatinus and Publius Valerius; the former of whom, though he had taken part in the liberation of Rome, was sent into exile for no other reason than that he bore the name of Tarquin; while the sole ground of suspicion against the latter, and what almost led to his banishment, was his having built a house upon the Cælian hill.

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