The Prince: Novel Summary: Chapters 9-10
Chapter 9: Changing the subject slightly, Machiavelli turns his attention to the issue of a private citizen becoming prince not through wickedness, "but by the favor of his fellow citizens." Like the wicked prince, he does not necessarily need the attributes of good luck or intelligence; he simply needs a "happy shrewdness." Sometimes the people choose this kind of leader, but the nobility may also choose him. Here, Machiavelli asserts that a prince chosen by the people has an easier time ruling because he is perceived as the sole authority over his subjects, whereas a noble prince has to compete for power with the nobles who selected him. However, a prince chosen by the noble class yet favored by the people after proving to them that he is kind, is the best prince of all, for "men, when they receive good from him of whom they were expecting evil, are bound more closely to their benefactor; thus the people quickly become more devoted to him than if he had been raised to the principality by their favors." Thus, keeping the peoples' good will is shown to be a matter of utmost importance to Machiavelli.
Chapter 10: Next, Machiavelli considers the strength of the prince. He separates strong princes (those who can rely on themselves for civic and military defense) from weak princes (those who must rely on others in time of need). A wise prince, according to Machiavelli, sees himself as the defender of his city, a father of sorts to his people. He has a responsibility to maintain order and discipline in his city, but also to protect his citizens from outside invaders. The Germans are very good as this, Machiavelli says. Their princes keep their cities well fortified and therefore gain the respect of the people.