THAT WE MUST AVOID BEING DESPISED AND HATED
But as I have now spoken of the most important of the qualities in question, I will now deal briefly with the rest on the general principle, that the prince must, as already stated, avoid those things which will make him hated or despised; and whenever he succeeds in this, he will have done his part, and will find no danger in other vices.
He will chiefly become hated, as I said, by being rapacious, and usurping the property and women of his subjects, which he must abstain from doing, and whenever one does not attack the property or honour of the generality of men, they will live contented; and one will only have to combat the ambition of a few, who can be easily held in check in many ways. He is rendered despicable by being thought changeable, frivolous, efteminate, timid, and irresolute; which a prince must guard against as a rock of danger, and manage so that his actions show grandeur, high courage, seriousness, and strength; and as to the government of his subjects, let his sentence be irrevocable, and let him adhere to his decisions so that no one may think of deceiving him or making him change. The prince who creates such an opinion of himself gets a great reputation, and it is very difficult to conspire
against one who has a great reputation, and he will