Dialogue in Hell between Machiavelli and Montesquieu

or the Politics of Machiavelli in the 19th Century, by a Contemporary

Translator's Preface
Chronology of Events

"Soon we will see a frightful calm, during which all will unite against the power that violated the law."

"When Sylla wanted to yield liberty back to Rome, it could no longer receive it."

-- Montesquieu, The Spirit of The Laws.

A. Mertens and Son, Printer
Rue de l'escalier, 22

Modest Foreword

This book has traits that can be applied to all governments, but it has one precise goal: to personify one political system in particular that has not varied in its methods for a single day since the unfortunate and, alas, already too faraway date of its inauguration.

This is not a lampoon or a pamphlet; the senses of modern people are already too policed to accept violent truths about contemporary politics. The supernatural duration of certain successes [in this field] is furthermore intended to corrupt honesty itself; but public consciousness still lives, and the heavens will one day day interfere in the games being played against it.

One better judges certain facts and certain principles when one sees them outside of the framework in which they habitually move before our eyes; the change of optical perspective sometimes terrifies the eyes!

Here, everything is presented under the form of fiction; it would be superfluous to provide the key in anticipation. If this book has an import, if it contains a lesson, it will be necessary for the reader to understand it and not have it given to him. Furthermore, such reading will not fail to have quite lively distractions; it is necessary to proceed with it slowly, as is suitable with writings that are not frivolous things.

One will not ask where is the hand that traced out these pages: a work such as this is, in a certain way, impersonal. It responds to an appeal to consciousness; everyone has conceived it; it is executed; the author effaces himself, because he is only the editor of a thought that is in the general sense; he is only a more or less obscure accomplice of the coalition for good.

[Maurice Joly]
Geneva, 15 October 1864

First Part
First Dialogue
Second Dialogue
Third Dialogue
Fourth Dialogue
Fifth Dialogue
Sixth Dialogue
Seventh Dialogue

Second Part
Eighth Dialogue: The Politics of Machiavelli in Action
Ninth Dialogue: The Constitution
Tenth Dialogue: The Constitution, continued
Eleventh Dialogue: The Laws
Twelfth Dialogue: The Press
Thirteenth Dialogue: Conspiracies
Fourteenth Dialogue: Previously Existing Institutions
Fifteenth Dialogue: Suffrage
Sixteenth Dialogue: Certain Guilds
Seventeenth Dialogue: The Police

Third Part
Eighteenth Dialogue: Finances and Their Spirit
Nineteenth Dialogue: The Budgetary System
Twentieth Dialogue: Continuation of the Same Subject
Twenty-First Dialogue: Loans

Fourth Part
Twenty-Second Dialogue: Grandeur of the Reign
Twenty-Third Dialogue: The Diverse means that Machiavelli would employ to Consolidate his Empire and Perpetuate his Dynasty
Twenty-Fourth Dialogue: Particularities of the Physiognomy of the Prince as Machiavelli Conceives It
Twenty-Fifth Dialogue: The Last Word

(Translated from the French by NOT BORED! January 2008.)

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