Page:Machiavelli, Romanes Lecture, 2 June 1897.djvu/64

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'My secret consisted in flattering their self-love [Members of Parliament and Cabinet Colleagues], while I took good care to neglect their advice. . . . I had discovered that it is with the vanity of men that you can do the best business, for you often get from it very substantial things, while giving very little substance in return; you will never make as good a bargain with their ambition or their greed; but it is true that to deal profitably with the vanity of others, you must lay aside your own and look only to the success of your scheme; and this is what will always make that kind of trade very difficult.'—Ib. 361-2.

'Nations are like men; they are still prouder of what flatters their passions than of what serves their interests.'—Ib. 394.

20 Villari, ii. 368.

21 De Sanctis, Storia della Let. Ital., ii. 82.

22 Sainte-Beuve has pointed out (Port-Royal, iii. 362-3, ed. 1860) how Machiavelli is here related to Pascal. Pascal's reason allows no sort of abstraction to mix itself up with social order. He had seen the Fronde at close quarters, for he was a man of the world at that epoch. He had meditated on Cromwell. The upshot of it was to place man at the mercy of custom, and at the same time to condemn those who shake off the yoke of custom. 'Custom ought to be followed only because it is custom, and not because it is reasonable or just. People follow it because they think it is reasonable, and take antiquity for the proof that it is so,' etc. etc.—Pensées, Art. vi. 40. Ed. Havet, i. 82.

23 Disc., i. 47. Aristotle, Politics, iii. 11; Jowett (Notes, p. 129) has an uneasy note upon the point. On the whole, Machiavelli seems to take broader and sounder ground than anybody else.

24 Disc., i. 34, i. 18, i. 10, ii. 2.

25 Baumgarten's view is elaborately stated in his Geschickte Karls V. i.; Anhang, 522-36, and Signor Villari's answer in his Niccolò Machiavelli, ii. 496-502.

26 Mandrag, ii. 6.