Who said “Nature, that framed us of four elements, Warring within our breasts for regiment, Doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.”?
According to the Web, you'd think it was Machiavelli, but my copy of Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine (I:2.7.18−26) suggests otherwise:
The quote is misattributed to Machiavelli.
The concept is from Machiavelli's The Prince but he used different words.
A prince then ought to have no other aim, nor other
thought, nor take anything else for his proper art but
war and the orders and discipline thereof; for that is the sole art which belongs to him that commands, and that is of so great excellence that not only those that are born princes it maintains so, but many times raises men of private fortune to that dignity.
Shakespeare's Patterns of Self Knowledge. pages 33-35
Marlowe's Tamburlaine fully accepts this Machiavellian view of the human condition:
Full Marlow Quote:
Nature, that framed us of four elements
Warring within our breast for regiment,
Doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.
Our souls, who's faculties can comprehend
The wondrous architecture of the world
And measure everything wandering plant's course,
Still Climbing after knowledge infinite,
And always moving as the restless spheres,
Wills us to wear ourselves and never rest,
Until we reach the ripest fruit of all,
That perfect bliss and sole felicity,
The sweet fruition of an earthly crown.
Machiavelli who used his words first, died 3 decades before Marlowe was born. So Machiavelli could not have gotten the idea from Marlowe. Also Machiavelli's work, "The Prince" in which those words appear was published in Europe more than 50 years before Marlowe was born and was well established 70 years before "Tamburlaine the Great" was introduced on stage.
The earliest versions of Niccolò Machiavelli's (May 3, 1469- June 21, 1527), The Prince began circulating in 1513 and was published in 1532, 5 years after Machiavelli's death.
Christopher Marlowe(Feb 26, 1564 - May 30, 1593) died at the age of 29. Tamburlaine the Great** was introduced to the stage in 1587(first produced) and published 1590.
To paraphrase: "Sparta, Rome, the Knights of Europe, the Samurai, They worshipped strength, because it is strength that makes all other values possible. Nothing survives without it. Who knows what delicate wonders have died out of the world for want of the strength to survive? Enter the Dragon
Han to Mr Roper.