MACHIAVELLI?

The word " Machiavellian" is used to denote the employment of brilliant gifts in somewhat shady and ruthless practices, being derived from Niccolo di Bernardo dei Machia-velli, a famous Italian statesman and writer who flourished at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Born at Florence of a distinguished family, Machiavelli served in high offices of state, and undertook important diplomatic missions which he turned to account in his writings on statecraft. A brilliant man, he was nevertheless utterly unscrupulous in the methods he advocated for the obtaining of a stable government, holding that all was fair in diplomacy as well as in love and war. The influence of his doctrines has been apparent in the procedure of many monarchs, from James I to the German Emperors, for he believed in the divine right of rulers ; his ideal prince was an absolute despot. Thus, if you should hear, as you probably will hear, a politician described as a Machiavelli you will know that he is charged with employing his genius in questionable directions to gain his own ends.