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The Prince must save the State. He must be as good as he can be; at least, he must have no vices that will hurt the State, i. e. endanger his government. There are but two ways to govern, by law or force. The Prince must rule by one or the other, as necessity may dictate. He must mingle the lion and the fox. A Prince cannot keep faith, if keeping faith will hurt the State. Why? Because others will not keep faith with him. “It is frequently necessary–and here is the sentence that has done so much to damn its writer–for the upholding of the State, to go to work against faith, against Charity, against humanity, against religion; and a new Prince cannot observe all the things for which men are reckoned good.” Reason of State is the only universal test for an action. Anything that may preserve the State is right. I wonder what Professor Felix Adler would think of this, with his proposal to make the State “take the place of the personal deity that is passing out of men’s lives. Machiavelli was a fetich worshipper of the State. Preserve the State, say Machiavelli regardless of justice, or pity, or honor! As Diderot, quoted by Mr. Morley, said of this, it is an argument which should be headed, “The Circumstances under which it is right for a Prince to be a Scoundrel.”

Caesar Borgia, the fiend, was Machiavelli’s model, a man who rivalled all the atrocities of the worst Roman emperors. But Borgia failed. That matters not to Machiavelli. His failure was “due to the extreme malignity of fortune.” Mr. Morley’s rapid sketch of Caesar Borgia, ferocious, lustful in insane ways, treacherous, splendidly vile, is a glance into the Hell that was Italy. Machiavelli was in this man’s train and frankly admired him and his methods. All the men of the times seemed to be wild beasts, and Borgia was as courageous, supple and sly as those with whom he dealt. Machiavelli, to do him justice, thought that Caesar Borgia and his father, the Pope, had design to pacify and to unify Italy. They worked with the material and with the tools to hand. Men did not shudder at treachery and assassination in those days. We must judge men by their surroundings. And it is difficult, even now, vide Turkey and Greece, “to govern the world by paternosters.” As Mr. Morley says, “It is well to take care lest in blaming Machiavelli for openly prescribing hypocrisy, men do not slip unperceived into something like hypocrisy of their own. Each age has its own hypocrisy. Mr. Morley traces the influences of Machiavelli, and finds them strong in William the Silent, Henry of Navarre, and Good Queen Bess. All these rulers dallied with creeds and were diplomats to the Machiavellian limit of duplicity. They burned and hanged and tortured on the plea of the strong State. Frederick, the Great, too, Mr. Morley classes as a pupil of Machiavelli, though, once, the “crank” on tall grenadiers threatened to write a refutation of “The Prince” and thereby drew from Arouet de Voltaire a characteristic mot. Napoleon, with his “reasons of State,” was Machiavellian. Machiavelli presided at the shooting of D’Engheim. It was one of the last things which showed “what reason of State may come to, in any age, in the hands of a logician with a knife in his grasp.”

From the influence of Machiavelli upon the Absolutists, Mr. Morley comes down to his influence in the Republican camp. Mazzini, he says “could not curse the dagger” and yet Mazzini was “in some respects the loftiest moral genius of the century.” Mr. Morley does not believe that Machiavellism has pervaded party politics in Europe or America. I wonder if this be not a sample of Mr. Morley’s Machiavellism–a reason of state at this time. If not Machiavellism, what, in God’s name, are our platform straddles, our expediency candidates, our deals and dickers in tariff-bills, our endeavors to catch all kinds of votes from all kinds of “interests.” I am not a silverite, but the regular Democrats made and out-and-out platform and did not hedge. I am a Democrat and glad that, though it “split us wide open,” we fought out the issue just as we fought out the slavery issue. True Democrats, gold or silver, despise only the Machiavellists who talk of compromise. Machiavelli seems to have seen but one side of life–the worse. He knew but one kind of men–Italians of the sixteenth century. They were not normal. It is true that Nature is not moral, but if Machiavelli be right it were just as well that we should return to the conditions of life in Stanley Waterloo’s “Story of Ab.” Whether Nature be moral or not, at least men are. We must look at the facts. We have civilized our code of warfare. The greatest living diplomat is Leo XIII, and no one deems that he succeeds by deceit. Bismark says there is no success in lying, in diplomacy. Reasons of State are not, in the common consent of mankind, good reasons per se. “Talleyrand was false to every one but true to France.” He was an avatar of Machiavelli, and he is despised, universally.