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While the imagination played so important a part in the morality of the Italians, it must be remembered that they were deficient in that which is the highest imaginative safeguard against vice, a scrupulous sense of honor. It is true that the Italian authors talk much about Onore. Pandolfini tells his sons that Onore is one of the qualities which require the greatest thrift in keeping, and Machiavelli asserts that it is almost as dangerous to attack men in their Onore as in their property. But when we come to analyze the word, we find that it means something different from that mixture of conscience, pride, and self-respect which makes a man true to a high ideal in all the possible circumstances of life. The Italian Onore consisted partly of the credit attaching to public distinction, and partly of a reputation for Virtù, understanding that word in its Machiavellian usage, as force, courage, ability, virility. It was not incompatible with craft and dissimulation, or with the indulgence of sensual vices. Statesmen like Guicciardini, who, by the way, has written a fine paragraph upon the very word in question, did not think it unworthy of their honor to traffic in affairs of state for private profit. Machiavelli not only recommended breaches of political faith, but sacrificed his principles to his pecuniary interests with the Medici. It would be curious to inquire how far the obtuse sensibility of the Italians on this point was due to their freedom from vanity. No nation is perhaps less influenced by mere opinion, less inclined to value men by their adventitious advantages: the Italian has the courage and the independence of his personality. It is, however, more important to take notice that Chivalry never took a firm root in Italy; and honor, as distinguished from vanity, amour propre, and credit, draws its life from that ideal of the knightly character which Chivalry established. The true knight was equally sensitive upon the point of honor, in all that concerned the maintenance of an unsullied self, whether he found himself in a king's court or a robber's den. Chivalry, as epitomized in the celebrated oath imposed by Arthur on his peers of the Round Table, was a northern, a Teutonic, institution. The sense of honor which formed its very essence was further developed by the social atmosphere of a monarch's court. It became the virtue of the nobly born and chivalrously nurtured, as appears very remarkably in this passage from Rabelais : 'En leur reigle n'estoit que ceste clause: Fay ce que vouldras. Parce que gens liberes, bien nayz, bien instruictz, conversans en compaignies honnesties, ont par nature ung instinct et aguillon qui toujours les poulse