The Art of War Machiavelli PDF In English

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Niccolo Machiavelli Art Of War Book PDF Free Download

Summary Of The Book

[1] Many have held and hold this opinion, Lorenzo: that there are no things less in agreement with one another or so dissimilar as the civilian and military lives.

[2] Hence it is often seen that if someone plans to succeed in the soldier’s career,* he not only changes dress immediately, but also departs from every civilian practice in his customs, usages, voice, and bearing.

For he who wants to be unencumbered and ready for every [act of] violence does not believe he can wear the civilian dress; nor can he, judging civilian customs to be effeminate and such usages to be unfavorable to his deeds, have those customs and usages; nor does maintaining his ordinary bearing and words appear fitting to him who wants to frighten other men with his beard and curses. In these times, this makes such an opinion very true.

[3] But if ancient orders were considered, nothing would be found more united, more in conformity, and, of necessity, as much inclined toward one another 6 as these.

For all the arts that are ordered in a city 7 for the sake of the common good of men, all the orders made there for living in fear of the laws and of God would be in vain if their defenses were not prepared. When these [defenses are] well ordered, they maintain the [arts and orders], even though the latter is not well ordered.

Book One of The Art of War

[1] Because I believe that one can praise any man without reproach after his death, since every cause and suspicion of adulation have passed away, I will not hesitate to praise our Cosimo Rucellai, 2 whose name will never be recalled by me without tears, since I knew in him those things that can be desired by friends in a good friend and by his fatherland in a citizen.

[2] For I do not know what was so much his (not even excepting his soul) 3 that it would not have been willingly spent by him for his friends; I do not know of any undertaking that would have frightened him wherein he had recognized the good of his fatherland.

[3] And I confess freely that I have not found among the many men I have known and dealt with, a man in whom there was a spirit more on fire for great and magnif¬ icent things.

[4] Nor in his death did he complain to his friends of anything else but of being born to die young in his own houses and unhonored without hav¬ ing been able, as accorded with his spirit, to help anyone. For he knew that noth¬ ing else could be said of him except that a good friend had died.

[5] It does not stand because of this, however, that we, and anyone else who knew him as we did, cannot vouch for his praiseworthy qualities because his works did not appear.

[6] It is true that fortune was not, however, so much an enemy to him that he did not leave any brief record of the dexterity of his talent, as some of his writings and compositions of love verses show. In these, although he had not been in love, he used to train himself in his youthful age so as not to consume his time in vain, until fortune had conducted him to higher thoughts. Therein one can clearly understand with how much felicity he would have described his con¬ cepts and how much he would have been honored in poetry if it had been practiced by him as his ultimate purpose.

[7] Since, therefore, fortune has deprived us of the use of one [who was] so much a friend, it appears to me that one can¬ not make other remedies—the best that are possible for us to seek—than to enjoy his memory and repeat anything that may have been subtly said or wisely dis¬ puted by him.

[8] And because nothing regarding him is more fresh than the discussion that Lord Fabrizio Colonna 4 had with him in his gardens 5 in recent times (where the things of war were disputed at length by that lord, both subtly and prudently questioned in good part by Cosimo), and having been present with some other friends of ours, it seemed [well] to me to recall it to memory so that by reading it the friends of Cosimo who convened there may refresh the memory of his virtue in their spirit, and others may, on the one hand, complain about not having been there and, on the other hand, learn many things useful not only for military but also civil life, wisely disputed by a very knowledgeable man

AuthorNiccolo Machiavelli
Language English
No. of Pages217
PDF Size2.3 MB

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