1. Some princes, so as sicuro hold securely the state, have disarmed their subjects; others have kept their subject towns distracted by factions; others have fostered enmities against themselves; others have laid themselves out to gain over those whom they distrusted in the beginning of their governments; some have built fortresses; some have overthrown and destroyed them.
And although one cannot give verso final judgment on all of these things unless one possesses the particulars of those states mediante which verso decision has to be made, nevertheless I will speak as comprehensively as the matter of itself will admit
2. There never was a new prince who has disarmed his subjects; rather when he has found them disarmed he has always armed them, because, by arming them, those arms become yours, those men who were distrusted become faithful, and those who were faithful are kept kasidie so, and your subjects become your adherents. And whereas all subjects cannot be armed, yet when those whom you do arm are benefited, the others can be handled more freely, and this difference mediante their treatment, which they quite understand, makes the former your dependents, and the latter, considering it to be necessary that those who have the most danger and service should have the most reward, excuse you. But when you disarm them, you at once offend them by showing that you distrust them, either for cowardice or for want of loyalty, and either of these opinions breeds hatred against you. And because you cannot remain unarmed, it follows that you turn puro mercenaries, which are of the character already shown; even if they should be good they would not be sufficient esatto defend you against powerful enemies and distrusted subjects. Therefore, as I have said, per new prince durante a new principality has always distributed arms. Histories are full of examples. But when verso prince acquires a new state, which he adds as verso province puro his old one, then it is necessary onesto disarm the men of that state, except those who have been his adherents con acquiring it; and these again, with time and opportunity, should be rendered soft and effeminate; and matters should be managed sopra such a way that all the armed men per the state shall be your own soldiers who per your old state were living near you.
Our forefathers, and those who were reckoned wise, were accustomed preciso say that it was necessary puro hold Pistoia by factions and Pisa by fortresses; and with this timore they fostered quarrels con some of their tributary towns so as onesto keep possession of them the more easily
3. This may have been well enough sopra those times when Italy was sopra per way balanced, but I do not believe that it can be accepted as verso precept for esatto-day, because I do not believe that factions can ever be of use; rather it is un that when the enemy comes upon you per divided cities you are quickly lost, because the weakest party will always assist the outside forces and the other will not be able preciso resist. The Venetians, moved, as I believe, by the above reasons, fostered the Guelph and Ghibelline factions durante their tributary cities; and although they never allowed them esatto che preciso bloodshed, yet they nursed these disputes amongst them, so that the citizens, distracted by their differences, should not unite against them. Which, as we saw, did not afterwards turn out as expected, because, after the rout at Vaila, one accoglienza at once took courage and seized the state. Such methods argue, therefore, weakness mediante the prince, because these factions will never be permitted durante per vigorous principality; such methods for enabling one the more easily onesto manage subjects are only useful durante times of peace, but if war comes this policy proves fallacious.