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importance that it not only preserves those who are born princes in their patrimonies, but advances men of private condition to that honourable degree. - (The Prince, ch. xiv.)
OPPORTUNE LACK OF MORAL PRINCIPLE A tender man, and one that desires to be honest in everything, must needs run a great hazard among so many of a contrary principle. Wherefore it is necessary for a prince who is willing to subsist to harden himself, and learn to be good or otherwise according to the exigence of his affairs. . . . No man, I am sure, will deny but that it would be an admirable thing and highly to be commended to have a prince endued with all good qualities; but because it is impossible to have, much less to exercise, them all by reason of the frailty and crossness of our nature, it is convenient that he be so well instructed as to know how to avoid the scandal of those vices which may deprive him of his state, and be very cautious of the rest, though their consequence be not so pernicious, but where they are unavoidable he need trouble himself the less. Again, he is not to concern himself if run under the infamy of those vices without which his dominion was not to be preserved; for if we consider things impartially we shall find some things in appearance are virtuous, and yet, if pursued, would bring certain destruction; and others, on the contrary, that are seemingly bad, which, if followed by a prince, procure his peace and security. — (The Prince, ch. xv.)
THE VALUE OF BLOODSHED AND FEAR I say every prince is to desire to be esteemed rather merciful than cruel, but with great caution that his mercy be not abused; Caesar Borgia was counted cruel, yet that cruelty reduced Romagna, united it, settled it in peace, and rendered it faithful: so that if well considered, he will appear much more merciful than the Florentines, who rather than be thought cruel suffered Pistoia to be destroyed. A prince, therefore, is not to regard the scandal of being cruel, if thereby he keeps his subjects in their allegiance and united. . . . Nevertheless, he is not to be too credulous of reports, too hasty in his motions, nor create fears and jealousies to himself, but so to temper his administrations with prudence and humanity that neither too much confidence may make him careless, nor too much diffidence intolerable. And from hence arises a new question, Whether it be better to be beloved than feared, or feared than beloved? It is answered both would be convenient, but because that is hard to attain, it is better and more secure, if one must be wanting, to be feared than beloved. ... I conclude, therefore, according to what I have said about being feared or beloved, that forasmuch as men do love at their own discretion, but fear at their prince's, a wise prince is obliged to lay foundation upon that which is in his power, not that which depends on other people, but, as I said before, with great caution that he does not make himself odious. — (The Prince, ch. xvii.)
THE USE OF DISSIMULATION How honourable it is for a prince to keep his word, and act rather with integrity than collusion, I suppose everybody understands: nevertheless, experience has shown in our times that those princes who have not pinned themselves up to that punctuality and preciseness have done great things, and by their cunning and subtilty not only circumvented, and darted the brains of those with whom they had to deal, but have overcome and been too hard for those who have been so superstitiously exact. For further explanation you must understand there are two ways of contending, by law and by force: the first is proper to men; the second to beasts; but because many times the first is insufficient, recourse must be had to the second. It belongs, therefore, to a prince to understand both, when to make use of the rational and when of the brutal way. . . . A prince, therefore, who is wise and prudent, cannot or ought not to keep his parole, when the keeping of it is to his prejudice, and the causes for which he promised removed. Were men all good this doctrine was not to be taught, but because they are wicked and not likely to be punctual with you, you are not obliged to any such strictness with them; nor was there ever any prince that wanted lawful pretence to justify his breach of promise. I might instance in many modern examples, and show how many confederations, and peaces, and promises have been broken by the infidelity of princes, and how he that best personated the fox had the better success. Nevertheless, it is of great consequence to disguise your inclination, and to play the hypocrite well; and men are so simple in their temper and so submissive to their present necessities, that he that is neat and cleanly in his collusions shall never want people to practise them upon. I cannot forbear one example which is still fresh in our memory. Alexander VI never did, nor thought of, anything but cheating, and never wanted matter to work upon; and though no man promised a thing with greater asseveration, nor confirmed it with more oaths and imprecations, and observed them less, yet understanding the world well he never miscarried.
A prince, therefore, is not obliged to have all the fore-mentioned good qualities in reality, but it is necessary he have them in appearance; nay, I will be bold to affirm that, having them actually, and employing them upon all occasions, they are extremely prejudicial, whereas, having them only in appearance, they turn to better account; it is honourable to seem mild, and merciful, and courteous, and religious, and sincere, and indeed to be so, provided your mind be so rectified and prepared that you can act quite contrary upon occasion. And this must be premised, that a prince, especially if come but lately to the throne, cannot observe all those things exactly which make men be esteemed virtuous, being oftentimes necessitated, for the preservation of his State, to do things inhuman, uncharitable, and irreligious; and, therefore, it is convenient his mind be at his command, and flexible to all the puffs and variations of fortune; not forbearing to be good whilst it is in his choice, but knowing how to be evil when there is a necessity. A prince, then, is to have particular care that nothing falls from his mouth but what is full of the five qualities aforesaid, and that to see and to hear him he appears all goodness, integrity, humanity, and religion, which last he ought to pretend to more than ordinarily, because more men do judge by the eye than by the
touch; for everybody sees but few understand; everybody sees how you appear, but few know what in reality you are, and those few dare not oppose the opinion of the multitude, who have the majesty of their prince to defend them; and in the actions of all men, especially princes, where no man has power to judge, everyone looks to the end. Let a prince, therefore, do what he can to preserve his life, and continue his supremacy, the means which he uses shall be thought honourable, and be commended by everybody; because the people are always taken with the appearance and event of things and the greatest part of the world consists of the people; those few who are wise taking place when the multitude has nothing else to rely upon. There is a prince at this time in being (but his name I shall conceal) who has nothing in his mouth but fidelity and peace; and yet had he exercised either the one or the other, they had robbed him before this both of his power and reputation. — (The Prince, ch. xviii.)
2. Excerpts from Hugo Grotius, 1683-1645
THE REALITY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
The Civil Law, both that of Rome, and that of each nation in particular, has been treated of, with a view either to illustrate it or to present it in a compendious form, by many. But International Law, that which regards the mutual relations of several Peoples, or Rulers of Peoples, whether it proceed from nature, or be instituted by divine command, or introduced by custom and tacit compact, has been touched on by few, and has been by no one treated as a whole in an orderly manner. And yet that this be done, concerns the human race. .
And such a work is the more necessary on this account; that there are not wanting persons in our own time, and there have been also in former times persons, who have despised what has been done in this province of jurisprudence, so far as to hold that no such thing existed, except as a mere name. Every one can quote the saying of Euphemius in Thucydides;— that for a king or a city which has an empire to maintain, nothing is unjust which is useful: and to the same effect is the saying, that for those who have supreme power, the equity is where the strength is: and that other, that state affairs cannot be carried on without doing some wrong. — (De Jure Belli ac Pacis, Prolegomena.)
THE NEED OF INTERNATIONAL LAW I, for the reasons which I have stated, holding it to be most certain that there is among nations a common law of Rights which is of force with regard to war, and in war, saw many and grave causes why I should write a work on that subject. For I saw prevailing throughout the Christian world a license in making war of which even barbarous nations would have been ashamed; recourse being had to arms for slight reasons or no reason; and when arms were once taken up, all reverence for divine and human law was thrown away, just as if men were thenceforth authorized to commit all crimes without restraint.
(De Jure Belli ac Pacis, Prolegomena.)
AN ATTEMPT TO SET UP A LAW OF NATURE OR
It remains now that I briefly explain with what aids, and with what care,
I undertook this work. In the first place, it was my object to refer the truth of the things which belong to Natural Law to some notions, so certain, that no one can deny them, without doing violence to his own nature. For the principles of such Natural Law, if you attend to them rightly, are of themselves patent and evident, almost in the same way as things which are perceived by the external senses; which do not deceive us, if the organs are rightly disposed, and if other things necessary are not wanting. Therefore Euripides in his Phænissa makes Polynices, whose cause he would have to be represented manifestly just, express himself thus:
I speak not things hard to be understood,