By Francesco Guicciardini
"In the historical past of Renaissance idea, Guicciardini's Ricordi occupy a spot of singular significance. Few works of the 16th century enable us so penetrating an perception into the perspectives and sentiments of its writer as those reflections of the good Italian historian. . . . Like Machiavelli's Prince, the Ricordi shape one of many striking files of a time of drawback and transition; yet not like the Prince, they vary over a large box of personal in addition to public lifestyles. In doing so, they revel the guy in addition to the political theorist."—Nicolai Rubenstein, from the Introduction
"Unlike Machiavelli—inveterate dreamer and cynic—Guicciardini's brain is amazing for the stability and masterly coolness of its judgment."—Federico Chabod
"On the skin of it, you wouldn't imagine a e-book resembling this had a lot to supply us at the present time, yet you'd be mistaken. It belongs to a category of books which educate what I name the artwork of 'Crooked Wisdom,' yet that could be extra easily regarded as the artwork of survival in a much from excellent world.
Other books of this sort are Machiavelli's 'The Prince,' Balthasar Gracian's 'The artwork of Worldly Wisdom,' and the 'Maxims of los angeles Rochefoucauld.' even though the 1st of those could be a little too really good to fit the wishes of the standard individual this day, an individual who doesn't comprehend one or of the others, until they occur to be quite astute, is looking for trouble."
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Additional info for Maxims and Reflections (Ricordi)
Was Florentine amballador to his court for two years (1511-14). MAXIMS AND REFLECTIONS it the first time. But not to recognize or use it the second time is to be very foolish indeed. • • • 81. ALTHOUGH A future event may seem inevitable, do not depend upon it completely. Provided you can do so without upsetting everything, you should have altemate plans, in case the opposite of what you expect should occur. Experience shows this to be the wise course to take, for things quite often tum out very differently from what had been generally predicted.
52. WE SEE from experience that nearly everyone who has helped another to attain power will, as time passes, enjoy small retums for his efforts. The reason is said to be that, knowing the man's ability, the prince fears he may some day try to take back what he has given. But it may also come about because the man, believing his services to have been great, wants more than his due. That not being forthcoming, he becomes malcontent, and from that are hom anger and suspicion between him and the prince.
For, as the proverb says, he who has time has life. Delay brings infinite opportunities that at first could not be known or hoped for. • • • 55· Do NOT spend now, relying on future profits, for they very often do not come or are smaller than expected. Whereas, on the contrary, expenses always multiply. lt is this miscalculation that causes so many merchants to go bankrupt. They take out notes in order to use the cash to make larger profits. But when these do not materialize or are slow in coming, they run the risk of being overwhelmed by their notes, which never MAXIMS AND REFLECTJONS cease and never diminish but always continue to run and to devour.
Maxims and Reflections (Ricordi) by Francesco Guicciardini