By Francesco Guicciardini
"In the historical past of Renaissance suggestion, Guicciardini's Ricordi occupy a spot of singular significance. Few works of the 16th century enable us so penetrating an perception into the perspectives and sentiments of its writer as those reflections of the good Italian historian. . . . Like Machiavelli's Prince, the Ricordi shape one of many awesome records of a time of problem and transition; yet in contrast to the Prince, they vary over a large box of non-public in addition to public existence. In doing so, they revel the fellow in addition to the political theorist."—Nicolai Rubenstein, from the Introduction
"Unlike Machiavelli—inveterate dreamer and cynic—Guicciardini's brain is striking for the stability and masterly coolness of its judgment."—Federico Chabod
"On the outside of it, you wouldn't imagine a ebook corresponding to this had a lot to provide us this present day, yet you'd be flawed. It belongs to a category of books which train what I name the paintings of 'Crooked Wisdom,' yet which can be extra easily considered the artwork of survival in a miles from excellent world.
Other books of this sort are Machiavelli's 'The Prince,' Balthasar Gracian's 'The artwork of Worldly Wisdom,' and the 'Maxims of l. a. Rochefoucauld.' even supposing the 1st of those could be a little too really good to fit the wishes of the standard individual at the present time, an individual who doesn't comprehend one or of the others, except they ensue to be exceedingly astute, is calling for trouble."
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85. FoRTUNE VARIES not only among men but even in the same man. You may be fortunate in one enterprise and unfortunate in another. 1 have been successful in those gains that are made without capital, applying only persona! industry; in others, 1 have been unsuccessful. Things were hard to get when 1 sought them; when 1 was not looking for them, they came running after me. • • • SERIES C 86. IF you are involved in important affairs or are seeking power, you must always hide your failures and exaggerate your successes.
Thus, at their invitation, with good reputation, and without a single note of cupidity, 1 could accomplish what seemed impossible at first. • • • 44· Do ALL you can to seem good, for that can be infinitely useful. But since false opinions do not last, it will be difficult to seem good for very long, if you are really not. My father once told me this. • • • 45· HE ALSO used to say, in praise of thrift, that a ducat in your purse does you more credit than ten you have spent. • • • 46. IN MY administrations 1 never liked cruelty or excessive punishments.
But it may also come about because the man, believing his services to have been great, wants more than his due. That not being forthcoming, he becomes malcontent, and from that are hom anger and suspicion between him and the prince. • • • 53· EACH TIME that you, who have caused or helped me to become prince, want me to govem as you say, or want me to concede to you things that diminish my authority, yoa are cancelling the good you have done me. For you are seeking, partly or completely, to deprive me of what you helped me to acquire.