Discourses on Livy (Neville)/First Book/Chapters XXI-XXX

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CHAPTER XXI[edit]

HOW MUCH BLAME THAT PRINCE AND REPUBLIC MERIT WHO LACK THEIR OWN ARMS

Present Princes and modern Republics, who lack their own soldiers in regard to defense and offense, ought to be ashamed of themselves and to think from the example of Tullus that such a defect exists not because of the lack of men suitable for the military, but that by their own fault they have not known how to make soldiers of their men.[3] For Tullus, after Rome had been at peace forty years, did not find a man ((when he succeeded to the Kingdom)) who had ever been in war. None the less, planning to make war, he did not think of availing himself of the Samnites, or of the Tuscans, or of others who were accustomed to bear arms, but as a most prudent man decided to avail himself of his own people: And such was his virtu that he was able quickly to make excellent soldiers under his own government. And there is nothing more true than that (truth), if there are no soldiers where there are men, this results from the defect of the Prince, and not from any local or natural defect: of which there is a very recent example: For everyone knows that in recent times the King of England assaulted the kingdom of France, and did not take as soldiers any other than his own people: and because that Kingdom had been for more than thirty years without making war, he did not have either soldiers or a Captain who had ever fought: none the less, he did not hesitate with them to assault a Kingdom full of Captains and good armies, which had been continually under arms in the wars in Italy. All of which resulted from that King being a prudent man and that Kingdom well organized, that in time of peace did not neglect the arrangements of war. The Thebans, Pelopidas and Epaminondas, after having liberated Thebes, and rescued her from the servitude of the Spartan Empire, finding themselves in a City accustomed to servitude, and in the midst of an effeminate people, did not hesitate ((so great was their virtu)) to put them under arms and with them go to meet the Spartan armies in the field and conquered them: and whoever writes says, that these two in a short time showed that men of war were born not only in Lacedemonia, but in every other place where men are born, as long as there was to be found one man who should know how to train them in military service, as is seen (in the case) of Tullus who knew how to train the Romans. And Virgil could not express this thought better, and with other words shows how he adhered to that, when he said: "And Tullus made of These men soldiers".

CHAPTER XXII[edit]

WHAT IS TO BE NOTED IN THE CASE OF THE THREE ROMAN HORATII AND OF THE THREE ALBAN CURATII

Tullus, King of Rome, and Metius, King of Alba, agreed that that people should be lord of those whose above mentioned three men should overcome (those of) the others. All the Alban Curatii were killed, (and) there remained only one of the Roman Horatii alive, and because of this Metius, King of the Albans, with his subjects, remained subject to the Romans. And when that Horatius returned as conqueror to Rome, meeting his sister who was married to one of the three dead Curatii, and who was weeping over the death of her husband, he killed her. Whence that Horatius, because of this crime, was placed on trial and after much deliberation was freed, more because of thy prayers of his father than because of his own merits. Here three things are to be noted. One, that one should never risk all his fortune with only part of his forces. Next, that in a well organized City, the demerits (crimes) are never rewarded with merits. The third, that proceedings are never wise where one ought to be doubtful of their observance. For being in servitude means much to a City, that it ought never to be believed that any of those Kings or of those People should be content that three of their Citizens should make them subject, as is seen Metius wanted to do, who although immediately after the victory of the Romans confessed himself conquered and promised obedience to Tullus, none the less, in the first expedition in which they were to come against the Veienti, it is seen that he sought to deceive them, as one who sees too late the imprudence of the proceeding undertaken by him. And because this third point has been talked about much, we will talk only of the other two in the following two chapters.

CHAPTER XXIII[edit]

THAT ONE OUGHT NOT TO PUT IN PERIL ALL HIS FORTUNE AND ALL HIS FORCES; AND BECAUSE OF THIS THE GUARDING OF PASSES IS OFTEN HARMFUL

It was never judged (to be) a wise proceeding to put into peril all of one's fortune or all of one's forces. This may be done in many ways. One is to do as Tullus and Metius did when they committed all the fortune of their country and the virtu of so many men, as both of these had in their armies, to the virtu and fortune of three of their Citizens, which came to be only a minimum part of the forces of each of them. Nor did they see that because of this proceeding all the labors that their ancestors had endured in the establishment of the Republic in order to have it exist free a long time, and to make her Citizens defenders of their liberty, were as it were made in vain, it being in the power of so few to lose it. Which action (on the part) of those Kings could not be considered worse. This error is also almost always committed by those who ((seeing the enemy)) plan to hold different places and guard the passes. For almost always this decision will be damaging unless you can thus conveniently keep all your forces (there) in that difficult place. In this case such a procedure is to be taken: but being in a rugged place and not being able to keep all your forces there, the procedure is damaging. I am made to think thusly by the example of those who, when they are assaulted by a powerful enemy, and their country being surrounded by mountains and rugged places, never tried to combat the enemy in the passes and in the mountains, but have gone out to meet them in front of these, or when they did not wish to do that, have awaited him behind these mountains in easy and not-rugged places. And the reason was, as it were, as alleged before; for many men cannot be brought to the guarding of rugged places, not only because it is not possible to live there a long time, but also because being in narrow places capable of (admitting) only a few, it is not possible to sustain an enemy who comes in a large body to hurl himself at you: And it is easy for the enemy to come in large numbers, because his intention is to pass and not stop, while to him who awaits him (the enemy) it is impossible to wait with large numbers, having to quarter himself for a longer time ((not knowing when the enemy may attempt to pass)) in narrow and sterile places, as I have said. Having therefore lost that pass that you had presupposed to hold, and in which your people and the army had trusted, there will very often enter in the people and the rest of the forces so much terror that, without being able to test the virtu of those remaining, they are lost; and thus you have lost all your fortune with only part of your forces.

Everyone knows with how much difficulty Hannibal crossed the Alps which divide Lombardy from France, and with how much difficulty he crossed those which divide Lombardy from Tuscany; none the less, the Romans awaited him first on the Ticino and afterwards on the plains of Arezzo; and they wanted rather that their army should be consumed by the enemy in places where they themselves could conquer, than to lead it over the Alps to be destroyed by the malignity of the site. And whoever reads all the histories attentively will find very few Captians of virtu to have held similar passes and for the reasons mentioned, and because they cannot close them all, the mountains being like the fields and having roads not only well known and frequented, but many other which, if not known to outsiders, are well known to the people of the country, with whose aid you will always be brought to any place against the wishes of whoever opposes you. Of this a most recent example in the year one thousand five hundred fifteen (1515) can be cited. When Francis King of France planned to cross into Italy in order to recover the State of Lombardy, the greater foundation of those who opposed his enterprise was that the Swiss would stop him in the mountain passes. And as was seen from this experience, that foundation of theirs was vain, for that King, leaving aside two or three places guarded by them (Swiss), came by another unknown road, and was already in Italy before they were aware of it. So that, frightened, they retreated to Milan, and all the people of Lombardy adhered to the French forces, having been proved wrong in their opinion that the French would be held in the mountains.

CHAPTER XXIV[edit]

WELL ORGANIZED REPUBLICS ESTABLISH REWARDS AND PENALTIES FOR THEIR CITIZENS, BUT NEVER COMPENSATE ONE (AT THE EXPENSE) OF THE OTHER

The merits of Horatius had been very great, having by his virtu conquered the Curatii. None the less such a homicide displeased the Romans so much, that he was brought to trial for his life, notwithstanding that his merits were so great and so recent. Which thing, to whoever should consider it only superficially, would seem to be an example of the ingratitude of the people. None the less, whoever should examine it closer, and with better consideration will look for what the orders of the Republic ought to be, will blame that people rather for having absolved him than for having wanted to condemn him: and the reason is this, that no well-ordered Republic ever cancels the misbehavior of its citizens by their merits; and having rewarded one for having acted well, if that same one afterwards acts badly, it castigates him without having regard to any of his good actions. And if these orders are well observed, a City will exist free for a long time; if otherwise, it will quickly be ruined. For if to a citizen who has done some eminent work for the City, there is added to his reputation of that which he acquired, and audacity and confidence of being able to do some wrong without fear of punishment, he will in a short time become so insolent as to put an end to all civil law. But wanting that the punishment for evil actions be feared, it is very necessary to observe rewarding good, as is seen was done by Rome. And although a Republic may be poor and can give only a little, it ought not to abstain from giving that little, because every little gift given to someone in recompense for a good deed, no matter how big (the deed), will always be esteemed very greatly by whoever receives it as an honorable thing. And the history of Horatius Codes and that of Mutius Scaevola are well known; how one held back the enemy on a bridge until it was cut, (and) the other burned his hand having erred in wanting to murder Porsenna, King of the Tuscans. For these two eminent deeds two measures of land were given to each of those men by the public. The history of Manlius Capitolinus is also well known. For having saved the Campidoglio from the Gauls who were besieging it, this man was given a small measure of flour by those who had been besieged inside with him, which reward ((according to the value that was then current in Rome)) was great and of quality; (but) when Manlius afterward, either from envy or from his evil nature, moved to raise up sedition in Rome, and seeking to gain over the People to himself, he was, without regard to any of his merits, thrown precipituously from that Campidoglio which he had previously with so much glory saved.

CHAPTER XXV[edit]

WHOEVER WANTS TO REFORM AN ANCIENT STATE INTO A FREE CITY, SHOULD RETAIN AT LEAST A SHADOW OF THE ANCIENT FORMS

He who desires or wants to reform the State (Government) of a City, and wishes that it may be accepted and capable of maintaining itself to everyone's satisfaction, it is necessary for him at least to retain the shadow of ancient forms, so that it does not appear to the people that the institutions have been changed, even though in fact the new institutions should be entirely different from the past ones: for the general mass of men are satisfied with appearances, as if it exists, and many times are moved by the things which appear to be rather than by the things that are. The Romans knew this necessity in the beginning of their free existence, (and) for this reason, had in place of one King created two Consuls, (and) did not want them to have more than twelve Lictors so as not to exceed the number that ministered to the Kings. In addition to this, an annual sacrifice was made in Rome, which could not be done except by the King in person, and as the Romans wishing that the People should not desire any of the ancient things because of the absence of the King, created a chief for the said sacrifice, whom they called the King of sacrifice, and placed him under the high priest. So that the people through this means came to be satisfied with that sacrifice and never to have reason, for lack of them, to desire the return of the King. And this ought to be observed by all those who want to abolish an ancient (system of) living in a City and bring it to a new and more liberal (system of) living. For as new things disturb the minds of men, you ought to endeavor that these changes retain as much as possible of the ancient (forms); and if the magistrates change both in number and in authority and in duration (of term) from the ancients, the names at least ought to be retained. And this ((as I have said)) ought to be preserved by whoever wants to organize an absolute power into a Republic or a Kingdom; but he who wants to establish an absolute power, which by authors is called a Tyranny, ought to change everything, as will be mentioned in the following chapter.

CHAPTER XXVI[edit]

A NEW PRINCE IN A CITY OR PROVINCE TAKEN BY HIM OUGHT TO ORGANIZE EVERYTHING ANEW

Whoever becomes Prince either of a City or a State, and more so if his foundations are weak, and does not want to establish a civil system either in the form of a Kingdom or a Republic, (will find) the best remedy he has to hold that Principality is ((he being a new Prince)) to do everything anew in that State; such as in the City to make new Governors with new titles, with new authority, with new men, (and) make the poor rich, as David did when he became King, who piled good upon the needy, and dismissed the wealthy empty-handed. In addition to this he should build new Cities, destroy old ones, transfer the inhabitants from one place to another, and in sum, not to leave anything unchanged in that Province, (and) so that there should be no rank, nor order, nor status, nor riches, that he who obtains it does not recognize it as coming from him; he should take as his model Philip of Macedonia, father of Alexander, who, by these methods, from a petty King became Prince of Greece. And those who write of him tell how be transferred men from Province to Province, as the Mandrians (Shepherds) move their sheep. These methods are most cruel and hostile to every system of living, not only Christian, but human, and should be avoided by every man; and he should want rather to live as a private individual than as a King at the (expense of the) ruin of men. None the less, he who does not want to take up the first path of good, must, if he wants to maintain himself, follow the latter path of evil. But men take up certain middle paths which are most harmful, for they do not know how to be entirely good or entirely bad, as the following chapter will show by example.

CHAPTER XXVII[edit]

VERY RARELY DO MEN KNOW HOW TO BE ENTIRELY GOOD OR ENTIRELY BAD

When Pope Julius II in the year one thousand five hundred and five (1505) went to Bologna to drive the house of Bentivogli out of that State, of which they had held the Principate (of that State) for a hundred years, he wanted also to remove Giovanpagolo Baglioni from Perugia, of which he was Tyrant, (and) to be the one who planned to eliminate all the Tyrants who were occupying the lands of the Church. And having arrived at Perugia with this purpose and decision known to everyone, he did not wait to enter in that City with his army that was protecting him, but entered unarmed, notwithstanding that Giovanpagolo was inside with large forces that he had gathered for defense. And thus, brought by that fury which governed all his actions, with only his simple guard he placed himself in the hands of the enemy, whom he then carried off with him, leaving a governor in that City who should administer it for the Church. The temerity of the Pope and the cowardice of Giovanpagolo were noted by the prudent men who were with the Pope, nor could they understand whence it happened that he (Baglioni) did not with his perpetual fame attack his enemy at once and enrich himself with booty, there being with the Pope all the Cardinals with their valuables. Nor could it be believed that he abstained either from goodness or that his conscience restrained him; for no regard of piety could enter in the heart of a riotous man, who had kept his sister, and had put to death his cousins and nephews in order that he could reign there: but it is concluded that men do not know how to be entirely bad or perfectly good, and that when an evil has some greatness in it or is generous in any part, they do not know how to attempt it. Thus Giovanpagolo, who did not mind being publicly (called) incestuous and a parricide, did not know how, or to say more correctly, did not dare ((even having a justifiable opportunity)) to make an enterprise where everyone would have admired his courage and which would have left an eternal memory of himself, being the first who would have shown the Prelates how little esteemed are they who live and reign as they do, and would have done an act, the greatness of which would have overcome every infamy and every danger that could have resulted from it.

CHAPTER XXVIII[edit]

FOR WHAT REASONS THE ROMANS WERE LESS UNGRATEFUL TO THEIR CITIZENS THAN THE ATHENIANS

Whoever reads of the things done by Republics will find in all of them some species of ingratitude against their citizens, but he will find less in Rome than in Athens, and perhaps in any other Republic. And in seeking the reasons for this, speaking of Rome and Athens, I believe it was because the Romans had less reason to suspect their citizens than did the Athenians. For in Rome ((discussing the time from the expulsion of the Kings up to Sulla and Marius)) liberty was never taken away from any of its citizens, so that in that (City) there was no great reason to be suspicious of them, and consequently (no cause) to offend them inconsiderately. The very contrary happened in Athens, for her liberty having been taken away by Pisistratus in her most florid time and under the deception of goodness, so soon then as she became free, remembering the injuries received and her past servitude, she became a harsh avenger not only of the errors of her citizens, but even the shadow of them. From which resulted the exile and death of so many excellent men: From this came the practice of ostracism and every other violence which that City at various times took up against her Nobility. And it is very true what these writers say of that Civil Society, that when they have recovered their liberty, they sting their people more severely than when they have preserved it. Whoever would consider, therefore, what has been said, will not blame Athens for this, nor praise Rome, but he will blame only the necessity resulting from the difference of events which occurred in those Cities. For whoever will consider things carefully, will see that if Rome had had her liberty taken away as it was in Athens, Rome would not have been any more merciful toward her citizens than was the latter. From which a very real conjecture can be made of that which occurred after the expulsion of the Kings against Collatinus and Publius Valerius, of whom the first ((although he was found in liberating Rome)) was sent into exile for no other reason than for having the name of the Tarquins, and the other having only given suspicion by building a house on Mount Celius, was also made to be an exile. So that it can be judged ((seeing how severe Rome was in these two suspicions)) that she would have been ungrateful as Athens was, if she had been offended by her citizens as she was in her early times and before her expansion. And so as not to have to return again to this matter of ingratitude, I shall say that which will occur in the following chapter.

CHAPTER XXIX[edit]

WHICH IS MORE UNGRATEFUL, A PEOPLE OR A PRINCE

It appears to me apropos of the above written matter to discuss with example who practiced this ingratitude more, a People or a Prince. And to discuss this part further, I say that this vice of ingratitude arises either from avarice or from suspicion: For when a People or a Prince has sent out one of its Captains on an important expedition, where that Captain ((having won)) has acquired great glory, that People or that Prince is bound in turn to reward him: and if in place of a reward they, moved by avarice, either dishonor or offend him, not wanting ((held back by this cupidity)) to take the trouble, they make an error that has no excuse, but will leave behind for them an eternal infamy. Yet many Princes are found who err in this way. And Cornelius Tacitus tells the reason in this sentence; An injury is more apt to be repaid than a benefit, where gratitude is onerous and exultation is had in revenge. But when they do not reward one; or ((to say it better)) they offend one, moved not by avarice, but by suspicion, then both the People and Prince merit some excuse. And much is read of this ingratitude shown for such reasons, for that Captain who by his virtu has conquered an Empire for his Lord, overcoming the enemy and filling himself with glory and his soldiers with riches, of necessity acquires so much reputation with his soldiers, with his enemies, and with the Prince's very own subjects, that that victory can be distasteful to that Lord who had sent him. And because the nature of men is ambitious and suspicious, and puts no limits on the fortune of anyone, it is not impossible that the suspicion which is suddenly aroused in the Prince after the victory of his captain, may not by itself have been increased by some of his actions or expressions made insolently. So that the Prince cannot think otherwise than to secure himself: and to do this thinks of either having him die or taking away from him that reputation which he gained among his army and the people, and with all industry show that the victory was not due to the virtu of that (Captain), but by chance and cowardice of the enemy, or by the wisdom of other Captains who had been with him in that action.

After Vespasian, while in Judea, was declared Emperor by his army, Antonius Primus, who was to be found with another army in Illyria, took his side, and came into Italy against Vitellius who reigned in Rome, and with the greatest virtu routed two armies of Vitellius and occupied Rome, so that through the virtu of Antonius, Mutianus, who had been sent by Vespasian, found everything achieved and all difficulties overcome. The reward which Antonius received was that Mutianus took away from him the command of the army, and little by little reduced his authority in Rome to nothing: so that Antonius went to find Vespasian who was yet in Asia, by whom he was received in such a fashion, that in a brief time, having been reduced to no rank, died almost in despair. And histories are full of such examples.

In our own times anyone now living knows with what industry and virtu Gonsalvo Ferrante, fighting in the Kingdom of Naples for Ferrando King of Aragon against the French, had conquered and won that Kingdom, and was rewarded for his victory by Ferrando, who departed from Aragon and came to Naples, where he first took away from him the command of the armed forces, then took away from him the fortresses, and then took him with him to Spain, where in a short time he died unhonored.

And this suspicion, therefore, is so natural in Princes that they cannot defend themselves against them, and it is impossible for them to show gratitude toward those who, by victory under their ensigns, have made great conquest. And if a Prince cannot defend himself from them, is it not a miracle or something worthy of greater consideration, that a people does not also defend itself; for a City which exists free has two objectives, one conquering, the other maintaining itself free, and it happens that because of excessive love for both of these it makes errors. As to the errors made in conquering, they will be spoken of in their proper place. As to the errors made in maintaining itself free, among others they are those of offending those Citizens whom it ought to reward, and of having suspicion of those in whom it ought to have confidence. And although these things in a Republic already corrupted cause great evils, and which many times rather leads to tyranny, as happened in Rome under Caesar who took by force that which ingratitude denied him, none the less in a Republic not yet corrupted they are the cause of great good, and make for a longer free existence, maintaining itself because the fear of punishment makes men better and less ambitious.

It is true that among all the people who ever had an Empire for reasons discussed above, Rome was the least ungrateful, for it can be said there is no other example of her ingratitude than that of Scipio; for Coriolanus and Camillus were both made exiles because of the injuries that the one and the other had inflicted on the Plebs: But he one was never pardoned for having always preserved a hostile spirit against the People: the other was not only recalled (from exile), but for the rest of his life was adored as a Prince. But the ingratitude shown to Scipio arose from a suspicion that the Citizens begun to have of him that was never had of others, which (suspicion) arose from the greatness of the enemy that Scipio conquered, from the reputation which that victory in such a long and perilous war had given him, from the rapidity of it, from the favor which his youth, his prudence, and his other memorable virtues had acquired for him. These were so many, that for no other reason, the Magistrates of Rome feared his authority, which displeased intelligent men as something unheard of in Rome. And his manner of living appeared so extraordinary that Cato the elder, reputed a saint, was the first to go against him, and to say that a City could not be called free where there was a Citizen who was feared by the Magistrates. So that if the people of Rome in this case followed the opinion of Cato, they merit the excuse that I said above was merited by those People and those Princes who, because of suspicion, are ungrateful. Concluding this discourse, therefore, I say that using this vice of ingratitude for either avarice or suspicion, it will be seen that the People never use it from avarice, and from suspicion much less than do Princes, having less reason for suspicion, as will be told below.

CHAPTER XXX[edit]

WHAT MEANS A PRINCE OR A REPUBLIC OUGHT TO USE TO AVOID THIS VICE OF INGRATITUDE, AND WHAT THAT CAPTAIN OR THAT CITIZEN OUGHT TO DO SO AS NOT TO BE TOUCHED BY IT

A Prince, to avoid the necessity of having to live with suspicion or to be ungrateful, ought to go on his expeditions in person, as those Roman Emperors did in the beginning, as does the Turk in our times, and as those of virtu have done and still do. For winning, the glory and the conquests are all theirs: and when they do not ((the glory belonging to others)) it does not appear to them to be able to use that conquest unless they extinguish that glory in others which they have not known how to gain for themselves, and to become ungrateful and unjust is without doubt more to their loss than to their gain. But when either through negligence or little prudence they remain idle at home and send a Captain, I have no precept to give them, then, other than that which they know by themselves. But I will say to that Captain, judging that he will not be able to escape the stings of ingratitude, that he must do one of two things: either immediately after the victory he must leave the army and place himself in the hands of the Prince, guarding himself from any insolent and ambitious act, so that he (the Prince) despoiled of every suspicion has reason either to reward him or not to offend him, or if he does not please to do this, to take boldly the contrary side, and take all those means through which he believed that that conquest is his very own and not of his Prince, obtaining for himself the good will of his soldiers and of the subjects, and must make new friendships with his neighbors, occupy the fortresses with his men, corrupt the Princes (Leaders) of his army, and assure himself of those he cannot corrupt, and by these means seek to punish his Lord for that ingratitude that he showed toward him. There are no other ways: but ((as was said above)) men do not know how to be all bad, or all good. And it always happens that immediately after a victory, he (a Captain) does not want to leave his army, is not able to conduct himself modestly, does not know how to use forceful ends (and) which have in themselves something honorable. So that being undecided, between the delays and indecision, he is destroyed.

As to a Republic wishing to avoid this vice of ingratitude, the same remedy cannot be given as that of a Prince; that is, that it cannot go and not send others on its expeditions, being necessitated to send one of its Citizens. It happens, therefore, that as a remedy, I would tell them to keep to the same means that the Roman Republic used in being less ungrateful than others: which resulted from the methods of its government, for as all the City, both the Nobles and Ignobles (Plebeians) devoted themselves to war, there always sprung up in Rome in every age so many men of virtu and adorned with various victories, that the People did not have cause for being apprehensive of any of them, there being so many and one guarding another. And thus they maintained themselves wholesome and careful not to show any shadow of ambition, nor give reason to the People to harm them as ambitious men; and if they came to the Dictatorship, that greater glory derived rather from their laying it down. And thus, not being able by such methods to generate suspicion, they did not generate ingratitude. So that a Republic that does not want to have cause to be ungrateful ought to govern as Rome did, and a Citizen who wants to avoid its sting ought to observe the limits observed the limits observed by the Roman Citizens.