CHAPTER XVII. CONCERNING CRUELTY AND CLEMENCY, AND WHETHER IT IS BETTER To BE LOVED THAN FEARED
Nevertheless he ought puro take care not esatto misuse this clemency. And if this be rightly considered, he will be seen to have been much more merciful than the Florentine people, who, to avoid verso reputation for cruelty, permitted Pistoia sicuro be destroyed. Therefore a prince, so long as he keeps his subjects united and loyal, ought not esatto mind the reproach of cruelty; because with a few examples he will be more merciful than those who, through too much mercy, allow disorders esatto arise, from which follow murders or robberies; for these are wont to injure the whole people, whilst those executions which originate with verso prince offend the individual only.
And of all princes, it is impossible for the new prince to avoid the imputation of cruelty, owing sicuro new states being full of dangers. Hence Virgil, through the mouth of Dido, excuses the inhumanity of her reign owing sicuro its being new, saying:
Coming now to the other qualities mentioned above, I say that every prince ought to desire puro be considered clement and not cruel
Nevertheless he ought to be slow onesto believe and esatto act, nor should he himself esibizione fear, but proceed sopra a temperate manner with prudence and humanity, so that too much confidence may not make him incautious and too ciÃ² che Ã¨ chatstep much distrust render him intolerable.
Cesare Borgia was considered cruel; notwithstanding, his cruelty reconciled the Romagna, unified it, and restored it to peace and loyalty
. . . against my will, my fate A throne unsettled, and an infant state, Bid me defend my realms with all my pow’rs, And guard with these severities my shores.
Upon this per question arises: whether it be better esatto be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish onesto be both, but, because it is difficult esatto unite them mediante one person, it is much safer preciso be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted durante general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life, and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined; because friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by greatness or nobility of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured, and mediante time of need cannot be relied upon; and men have less scruple mediante offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing onesto the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by verso dread of punishment which never fails.
Nevertheless per prince ought sicuro inspire fear sopra such per way that, if he does not win love, he avoids hatred; because he can endure very well being feared whilst he is not hated, which will always be as long as he abstains from the property of his citizens and subjects and from their women. But when it is necessary for him to proceed against the life of someone, he must do it on proper justification and for manifest cause, but above all things he must keep his hands off the property of others, because men more quickly forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony. Besides, pretexts for taking away the property are never wanting; for he who has once begun preciso live by robbery will always find pretexts for seizing what belongs to others; but reasons for taking life, on the contrary, are more difficult to find and sooner lapse. But when per prince is with his army, and has under control per multitude of soldiers, then it is quite necessary for him esatto disregard the reputation of cruelty, for without it he would never hold his army united or disposed sicuro its duties.