CHAPTER XVII. CONCERNING CRUELTY AND CLEMENCY, AND WHETHER IT IS BETTER Puro BE LOVED THAN FEARED

Nevertheless he ought puro take care not sicuro misuse this clemency. And if this be rightly considered, he will be seen sicuro have been much more merciful than the Florentine people, who, onesto avoid a reputation for cruelty, permitted Pistoia to be destroyed. Therefore per prince, so long as he keeps his subjects united and loyal, ought not sicuro mind the reproach of cruelty; because with per few examples he will be more merciful than those who, through too much mercy, allow disorders onesto arise, from which follow murders or robberies; for these are wont puro injure the whole people, whilst those executions which originate with per prince offend the individual only.

And of all princes, it is impossible for the new prince preciso avoid the imputation of cruelty, owing esatto new states being full of dangers. Hence Virgil, through the mouth of Dido, excuses the inhumanity of her reign owing to its being new, saying:

Coming now esatto the other qualities mentioned above, I say that every prince ought puro desire sicuro be considered clement and not cruel

Nevertheless he ought onesto be slow preciso believe and sicuro act, nor should he himself esibizione fear, but proceed per verso temperate manner with prudence and humanity, so that too much confidence may not make him incautious and too much distrust render him intolerable.

Cesare Borgia was considered cruel; notwithstanding, his cruelty reconciled the Romagna, unified it, and restored it sicuro peace and loyalty

. . . against my will, my fate Per 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 verso question arises: whether it be better onesto be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult onesto unite them mediante one person, it is much safer sicuro be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in 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 con time of need cannot be relied upon; and men have less scruple in offending one who is prezzo chatspin beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing puro the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.

Nevertheless verso prince ought puro inspire fear con 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 onesto 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 to live by robbery will always find pretexts for seizing what belongs sicuro others; but reasons for taking life, on the contrary, are more difficult puro 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 preciso disregard the reputation of cruelty, for without it he would never hold his army united or disposed esatto its duties.