When possible, a prince should strive to rise to power on his own merits and with his own arms. Relying on friends, good luck, or other people’s arms may make the rise easier, but holding onto his newfound power will prove a difficult task. Machiavelli devotes almost an entire chapter to Cesare Borgia , who rose to prominence largely through connections and his father’s help, but was crafty enough to carve out his own niche – though he wound up failing in the end. Princes who rise to the throne through crime are another matter altogether: Machiavelli condemns them as wicked, and yet his words betray his admiration for their cleverness. Cruelty, when well-used, can be justified.