I have not found among my possessions anything which I hold so dear or esteem so highly as the knowledge of the deeds of great men which I have acquired through a long experience of modern events and constant study of antiquity. The results of my long observations and reflections are condensed in one little volume that I am now sending to you.

I have not adorned and padded my work with long periods of bombastic and high-sounding words, or any other rhetorical and unessential ornaments with which many writers are accustomed to arrange and embellish their books[.]

If you will deign to read and study it diligently, you will recognize in it my ardent desire that you may attain that grandeur which Fortune and your own qualities presage for you.