MACHIAVELLI, Niccolò (1469-1527). Nicholas Machiavel's Prince. Also, The life of Castruccio Castracani of Lucca. And the meanes Duke Valentine us'd to put to death Vitellozzo Vitelli, Oliverotto of Fermo Paul, and the Duke of Gravina. Translated by Edward Dacres. London: R. Bishop for William Hils and Daniel Pakeman, 1640.
12mo (140 x 77 mm). Collation: A6, B-O12. Printed rule borders throughout. (Some borders shaved, a few pale stains.) Modern calf. Provenance: a few old annotations and markings to blank areas and verso of final leaf.
FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH. "'The Prince' is far more than a book of directions to any one of the many Italian princelings. Machiavelli had profited by his journeys to France and Germany to make the most able analyses (in his reports to his government) of a national government, and he now wrote for the guidance of the ruler by whom alone Italy, desperately divided, could be restored to political health. Hitherto political speculation had tended to be a rhetorical exercise based on the implicit assumption of Church or Empire....Politics was a science to be divorced entirely from ethics, and nothing must stand in the way of its machinery. Many of the remedies he proposed for the rescue of Italy were eventually applied. His concept of the qualities demanded from a ruler and the absolute need of a national militia came to fruition in the monarchies of the seventeenth century and their national armies" (PMM). Bertelli & Innocenti XVII, 38; Gerber III, p. 104, no. 2; PMM 63; STC 17168.