Page:Machiavelli, Romanes Lecture, 2 June 1897.djvu/38

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than his example. If what he did failed in the end, it was all due to the extreme malignity of fortune.' He makes no hero of him, except as a type of character well fitted for a given task.

Machiavelli knew him at close quarters.29 He was sent on a mission to Borgia in the crisis of his fortunes, and he saw in him the very qualities of action, force, combat, calculation, resolution, that the weakness of the age required. Machiavelli was in his train when terrible things were done. Cæsar was close, solitary, secret, quick. When any business is on foot, said Machiavelli, he knows nothing of rest or weariness or risk. He no sooner reached a place, than you heard that he had left it. He was loved by his troopers, for though he meted stern punishment for every offence against discipline, he was liberal in pay, and put little restraint on their freedom. Though no talker, when he had to make a case he was so fluent and pressing, that it was hard to find an answer. He was a great judge of occasion. Bold, crafty, resolute, deep, and above all well known never to forget or forgive an injury, he fascinated men with the terror of the basilisk. His firm maxim was to seek order by giving his new subjects a good and firm government, including a civil tribunal with a just president. Remiro was his first governor in the Romagna. It is uncertain how Remiro incurred his master's displeasure, but one morning Machiavelli walked out into the market-place at Cesena, and saw Remiro, as he puts it, in two pieces, his head on a lance, and his body still covered with his fine clothes,