The Routledge Dictionary

Texts - Essays, Moral and Political (1741-42, 1777)

Date of publication: 2017-07-09 10:20

Complete destruction is the most certain way of securing a state that has been free in the past. A prince who does not take this route places himself in a position to be destroyed himself. No matter how long it has been since the state was acquired, rebellions will always revive the legacy of ancient institutions and notions of former liberty, even if the state has benefited from the prince&rsquo s rule. This sense of tradition will unify the people against the prince.

Voltaire, Shakespeare, and Canada

Personal factions arise most easily in small republics. Every domestic quarrel, there, becomes an affair of state. Love, vanity, emulation, any passion, as well as ambition and resentment, begets public division. The Neri and Bianchi of Florence , the Fregosi and Adorni of Genoa , the Colonesi and Orsini of modern Rome , were parties of this kind.

SparkNotes: The Prince: Chapters V–VII

On the other hand, cities or provinces that are accustomed to being ruled by a prince are easy to take over once the ruling family has been destroyed. People in such states are accustomed to obedience and do not know how to live in freedom without having someone to rule over them. Therefore, the new prince can win the province and hold onto it more easily.


On the other hand, it may be observed, that all enthusiasts have been free from the yoke of ecclesiastics, and have expressed great independence in their devotion with a contempt of forms, ceremonies, and traditions. The quakers are the most egregious, though, at the same time, the most inno-

But though law, the source of all security and happiness, arises late in any government, and is the slow product of order and of liberty, it is not preserved with the same difficulty, with which it is produced but when it has once taken root, is a hardy plant, which will scarcely ever perish through the ill culture of men, or the rigour of the seasons. The arts of luxury, and much more the liberal arts, which depend on a refined taste or sentiment, are easily lost because they are always relished by a few only, whose leisure, fortune, and genius fit them for such amusements. But what is profitable to every mortal, and in common life, when once discovered, can scarcely fall into oblivion, but by the total subversion of society, and by such furious inundations of barbarous in-

But the case is not the same with the qualities of beautiful and deformed , desirable and odious , as with truth and falsehood. In the former case, the mind is not content with merely surveying its objects, as they stand in themselves: It also feels a sentiment of delight or uneasiness, approbation or blame, consequent to that survey and this sentiment determines it to affix the epithet beautiful or deformed , desirable or odious. Now, it is evident, that this sentiment must depend upon the particular fabric or structure of the mind, which enables such particular forms to operate in such a particular manner, and produces a sympathy or conformity between the mind and its

There has been substantial debate about the nature and extent of Harriet Taylor’s influence on Mill. Beyond question is that Mill found in her a partner, friend, critic, and someone who encouraged him. Mill was probably most swayed by her in the realms of political, ethical, and social thought, but less so in the areas of logic and political economy (with the possible exception of his views on socialism).

Mill’s criticism of traditional religious doctrines and institutions and his promotion of the “Religion of Humanity,” also depended largely on concerns about human cultivation and education. Though the Benthamite “philosophic radicals,” including Mill, took Christianity to be a particularly pernicious superstition that fostered indifference or hostility to human happiness (the keystone of utilitarian morality), Mill also thought that religion could potentially serve important ethical needs by supplying us with “ideal conceptions grander and more beautiful than we see realized in the prose of human life.” ( CW , ). In so doing, religion elevates our feelings, cultivates sympathy with others, and imbues even our smallest activities with a sense of purpose.

Images for «The happy prince essays».