Page:Machiavelli, Romanes Lecture, 2 June 1897.djvu/60

This page has been validated.

his giving so many cleanly wipes to the foul noses of the pope and the Italian prelacy' (1642).

'At the beginning of the seventeenth century the Venetian senate was asked to permit the publication of Boccalini's Commentaries on Tacitus. The request was referred to five of the senators for examination. "It is the teaching of Tacitus," they said, "that has produced Machiavelli, and the other bad authors who would destroy public virtue. We should replace Tacitus by Livy and Polybius—historians of the happier and more virtuous times of the Roman republic, and by Thucydides, the historian of the Greek republic, who found themselves in circumstances like those of Venice.'"—Sclopis, Revue Hist. de droit français et étranger (1856), ii. 25.

For the literary use made of Tacitus against the Spanish domination in Italy, see Ferrari, Hist. de la Raison d'Etat, p. 315.

6 An interesting article appeared in the Nineteenth Century (December 1896), designed to show the effect of Machiavelli on the English statesmen of the Reformation. The writer admits that there is no evidence to prove that the action of Elizabeth was consciously based on a study of the Prince, but he finds, as he thinks, proof positive, that Burleigh had studied Machiavelli in a paper of advice from the Lord Treasurer to the Queen. The proof consists in such sentences as these: 'Men's natures are apt to strive not only against the present smart, but in revenging bypast injury, though they be never so well contented thereafter';—'no man loves one the better for giving him the bastinado, though with never so little a cudgel';—'the course of the most wise estates hath ever been to make an assurance of friendship, or to take away all power of enmity'; and so forth. Burleigh very likely may have read the Prince, but it is going too far to assume that a sage statesman must have learned the commonplaces of political prudence out of a book.

7 Dr. Abbott, attacking Bacon with the same bitterness with which Machiavelli was attacked three centuries since (Francis Bacon, 1885, pp. 325 and 457-60), insists that the Florentine secretary was the chancellor's master; but such criticism seems to show as one-sided a misapprehension of one as of the other. Dr. Fowler, the President of Corpus Christi College, has dealt con-