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The Prince

The Prince


by Niccolò Machiavelli

The Prince Chapter 26 Summary

An appeal to conquer Italy and free it from foreign occupation

  • At the end of it all, Machiavelli has an appeal to Lorenzo de' Medici. Please take over Italy. Pretty please! It goes a little something like this:
  • It's time for a new ruler. If he wants to, Medici can be like Moses, Cyrus, and all the greats. He can rebuild Italy from its broken down state and be part of the history books. Doesn't that sound sweet?
  • There was one guy (Borgia) who might have been Italy's savior, but well, that didn't work out so well and now look where we are.
  • Italy is ready for someone to save her, and who better than the smart, rich, famous, powerful—and did we mention good-smelling?—Lorenzo de' Medici?
  • Now that he's presumably read the book, Medici has all the knowledge he needs to be a first-rate ruler. God wants him to do it. He has sent miracles. Does he want to displease God? Does he want to get smote?
  • Look at Italy. It's down in the dumps, but its peoples are hard workers. Better than any other country. The best. They just need a leader. Whose name begins with an "L."
  • By the way, Lorenzo, if you haven't gotten it already, if you plan to rule Italy, please establish an army. It's only the right thing to do. Italy can take on the Spanish, it can take on the Swiss—just give it a chance.
  • So, Lorenzo, don't pass up this limited-time offer of ruling Italy. Everyone would love you, everyone would be loyal, and you would be the most adored ruler in the history of Italy. Why would you pass that up?
  • Machiavelli leaves de' Medici with a patriotic quote from Petrarch about taking up arms, and his plea is (finally) over.

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