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Machiavelli, Volume I
written by "Machiavelli, Niccolò, 1469-1527"
...suddenly executed; for they are all united, and all bent to the obedience of another. But for the mercenaries to hurt thee, when they have vanquished, there is no more need of time, and greater occasion, they not being all united in a body, and being found out and paid by thee, wherein a third that thou mak'st their head, cannot suddenly gaine so great authority, that he can endammage thee. In summe, in the mercenaries their sloth and lazinesse to fight is more dangerous: in the auxiliaries their valour. Wherefore a wise Prince hath alwayes avoyded these kind of armes, and betaken himselfe to his owne, and desired rather to loss with his owne, than conquer with anothers, accounting that not a true victorie which was gotten with others armes. I will not doubt to alleadge Cæsar Borgia, and his actions. This Duke entred into Romania with auxiliarie armes, bringing with him all French souldiers: but afterwards not accounting those armes secure, bent himselfe to mercenaries, judging lesse danger to be in those, and tooke in pay the Orsini and the Vitelli, which afterwards in the proof of them, finding wavering, unfaithful, and dangerous, he extinguishd, and betook himselfe to his owne; and it may easily be perceiv'd what difference there is between the one and the other of these armes, considering the difference that was between the Dukes reputation, when he had the French men alone, and when he had the Orsini and Vitelli; but when he remaind with his own, and stood of himselfe, we shall find it was much augmented: nor ever was it of grate esteeme, but when every one saw, that he wholly possessed his owne armes. I thought not to have parted from the Italian examples of late memory; but that I must not let passe that of Hiero the Siracusan, being one of those I formerly nam'd. This man (as I said before) being made general of the Siracusans forces, knew presently that mercenary souldiery was nothing for their profit in that they were h...

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