I’m beginning to have a much greater appreciation of Niccolo Machiavelli.
He was the man who wrote about the winners being the ones who write history.
During his lifetime and for a quite a long time after his death, NM was reviled and castigated and dissed by many.
What I’ve found to be so wonderful (because of my own research and affiliations) is the name of the man who first began to publicly rehabilitate Niccolo’s reputation.
This was the writer of the play, The Jew of Malta which begins a speech made by a dead man.
Albeit the world think Machiavel is dead,
Yet was his soul but flown beyond the Alps;
And, now the Guise is dead, is come from France,
To view this land, and frolic with his friends.
To some perhaps my name is odious;
But such as love me guard me from their tongues,
And let them know that I am Machiavel,
And weigh not men, and therefore not mens words.
Admired I am of those that hate me most.
Though some speak openly against my books,
Yet will they read me and thereby attain
To Peter’s chair; and when they cast me off,
Are poisoned by my climbing followers.
I count religion but a childish toy
And hold there is no sin but ignorance.
Birds of the air will tell of murders past?
I am ashamed to hear such fooleries.
Many will talk of title to a crown.
What right had Caesar to the empire?
Might first made kings, and laws were then most sure
When, like the Draco’s, they were writ in blood.
Hence comes it that a strong built citadel
Commands much more than letters can import:
Which maxim had but Phalaris observed,
He’d never bellowed in a brazen bull,
Of great ones envy: o’the poor petty wights
Let me be envied and not pitied!
But whither am I bound? I come not, I,
To read a lecture here in Britanie,
But to present the tragedy of a Jew
Who smiles to see how full his bags are crammed,
Which money was not got without my means.
I crave but this. Grace him as he deserves,
And let him not be entertained the worse
Because he favours me.
I’m a huge fan of Kit Marlowe, both man and poet :o)