Apologia pro Niccolo Machiavelli

Did he deserve it then, to have that name thrust on him, a fairly civil servant to pious bunglers, who were better far than the laws they made? Imagine him ashamed of their timid sentiment and swerving alliances with France that lost the war. My lords have been elected, he would scold, to save the city, not to save their souls.

The usual civil servant in retirement, he longed for office, found farming torment. Sarcasm and passion: working in exile, he wrote a manual for kings and devils.

He might have laughed and known that it would stick when first we called the Devil by ‘Old Nick’.

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