Text 4No man has been more harshly judged than Machiavelli, especially in the two centurie
No man has been more harshly judged than Machiavelli, especially in the two centuries follow-ing his death. But he has since found many able champions and the tide has turned. The prince has been termed a manual for tyrants, the effect of which has been most harmful. But were Machiavelli's doctrines really new? Did he discover them? He merely had the frankness and cour- age to write down what everybody was thinking and what everybody knew. He merely gives us the impressions he had received from a long and intimate intercourse with princes and the affairs of state. It was Lord Bacon who said that Machiavelli tells us what princes do, not what they ought to do. When Machiavelli takes Caesar Borgia as a model, he does not praise him as a hero at all, but merely as a prince who was capable of attaining the end in view. The life of the state was the prima- ry object. It must be maintained. And Machiavelli has laid down the principles, based upon his stud-y and wide experience, by which this may be accomplished. He wrote from the view-point of the politician-not of the moralist. What is good politics may be bad morals, and in fact, by a strange fatality, where morals and politics clash, the latter generally gets the upper hand. And will anyone contend that the principles set forth by Machiavelli in his Prince or his Discourses have entirely per- ished from the earth? Has diplomacy been entirely stripped of fraud and duplicity? Let anyone read the famous eighteenth chapter of The Prince:"ln what Manner Princes should Keep their Faith,"and he will be convinced that what was true nearly four hundred years ago, is quite as true today.
Of the remaining works of Machiavelli the most important is the History of Florence written be-
tween 1521 and 1525, and dedicated to Clement VII. This book is merely a rapid review of the Middle
Ages, and as part of it the history of Florence. Machiavelli's method has been criticized for adhering
at times too closely to the chroniclers of his time, and at others rejecting their testimony without ap-
parent reason, while in its details the authority of his History is often questionable.lt is the straightfor-
ward, logical narrative, which always holds the interest of the reader, that is the greatest charm of
56. It can be inferred from the beginning of the text that
[ A] many people used to think highly of Machiavelli.
[ B] Machiavelli had been very influential among the rulers.
[ C] Machiavelli was widely read among his contemporaries.
[ D] Machiavelli has been a target of criticism throughout history.