Page:Machiavelli, Romanes Lecture, 2 June 1897.djvu/35

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words flowed from the deeps of what was undoubtedly sincere and passionate feeling.

However this may be, whether the whole case of Italy or the special case of any new prince, was in his contemplation, the quality of the man required is drawn in four chapters (xv.-xviii.) with piercing eye and a hand that does not flinch. The ruler's business is to save the State. He cannot practise all virtues, first because he is not very likely to possess them, and next because, where so many people are bad, he would not be a match for the world if he were perfectly good. But he should be on his guard against all vices, so far as possible; he should at all events scrupulously abstain from every vice that might endanger his government. There are two ways of carrying on the fight—one by laws, the other by force. The first is the proper distinction of man; the second is the mark of the brute. As the first is not always enough, you must sometimes resort to the second. You must be both lion and fox, and the man who is only lion, is not wise. A wise prince neither can, nor ought to, keep his word, when to keep his word would injure either himself or the State, or when the reasons that made him give his promise have passed away. If men were all good, such a maxim as this would be bad; but as men are inclined to evil, and would not all keep faith with you, why should you keep faith with them? Nostra cattività, la lor—our badness, their badness.26 There are some good qualities which the new ruler need not have, still he should appear to have them. It is well to appear