< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: Secondo Pars: L’un Globo – A Dialogue

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Secondo Pars: L’un Globo – A Dialogue

Capolio: I’m not sure I agree with that. But I do know that there is only peace through arms. The paese must be defended through force, or more violence and bloodshed will befall us. We will not let threats mount, but will smite them before they menance.

Debolio: You are right Capolio, that there may be no peace without arms to enforce it. But you miss that the paese is more than a two-armed animal. Our trade, our letters, and our laws are the envy of all. They form three arms, to which there is no defense.

Niccolo: The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms; and as there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws.

Debolio: I understand that, but trade is an important extension of good laws. Trade is an interest that our allies and we have in common. We should exploit it. Raise an army with those with which we share common dreams. A coalition is less costly, and it makes the enemy even more isolated. Let us call on them now.

Niccolo: These arms [Auxiliaries] may be useful and good in themselves, but for him who calls them in they are always disadvantageous; for losing, one is undone, and winning, one is their captive.

Capolio: You are right Niccolo. We cannot become captive to our friends. No! We will not let this paese become but one of many. Our prerogative is ours alone, and we will pursue it no matter the cost. If we have to, we will hire private armies to help us. In this way, we can make our numbers more, and vanquish the enemy wherever he may hide.

Niccolo: I wish to demonstrate further the infelicity of these [Mercenary] arms. The mercenary captains are either capable men or they are not; if they are, you cannot trust them, because they always aspire to their own greatness, either by oppressing you, who are their master, or others contrary to your intentions; but if the captain is not skilful, you are ruined in the usual way.

Capolio: Both choices of arms seem ill advised?

Niccolo: Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous; and if one holds his state based on these arms, he will stand neither firm nor safe; for they are disunited, ambitious and without discipline, unfaithful, valiant before friends, cowardly before enemies; they have neither the fear of God nor fidelity to men, and destruction is deferred only so long as the attack is; for in peace one is robbed by them, and in war by the enemy.