Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Bestowed Power

"Those who, by good fortune, only rise from mere private station to the dignity of princess, have but little trouble in achieving that elevation, for they fly there, as it were, on wings; but their difficulties begin after they have been placed in that high position. Such are those who acquire a state either by means of money, or by the favour of some powerful monarch who bestows it upon them. Many such instances occurred in Greece, in the cities of Ionia and of the Hellespont, where men were made princes by Darius so that they might hold those places for his security and glory. And such were those emperors who from having been mere private individuals attained the empire by corrupting the soldiery. These remain simply subject to the will and the fortune of those who bestowed greatness upon them, which are two most uncertain and variable things. And generally these men have neither the skill nor the power to maintain that high rank."

Nicola Machiavelli
Italian Political Philosopher

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