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Niccolo Machiavelli Quotes


A Florentine political philosopher, historian, musician, poet, and romantic comedic playwright.
(1469 - 1527)

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A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.
 

A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.
 

A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair.
 

A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests.
[Against]
 

Ambition is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach we are never satisfied.
[Ambition]
 

Before all else, be armed.
 

Benefits should be granted little by little, so that they may be better enjoyed.
[Capitalism]
 

Decide which is the line of conduct that presents the fewest drawbacks and then follow it out as being the best one, because one never finds anything perfectly pure and unmixed, or exempt from danger.
[Decisions]
 

Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.
[Able]
 

Fear is secured by a dread of punishment.
[Fear]
 

For among other evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you contemptible; which is one of those disgraceful things which a prince must guard against.
[Against]
 

For in the order of things wee find it always, that whensoever a man seeks to avoid one inconvenient; he incurres another.
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From this arises the question whether it is better to be loved rather than feared, or feared rather than loved. It might perhaps be answered that we should wish to be both: but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.
 

God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us.
 

Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.
 

He ought to be slow to believe and to act, nor should he himself show fear, but proceed in a temperate manner with prudence and humanity, so that too much confidence may not make him incautious and too much distrust render him intolerable.
 

He who makes war his profession cannot be otherwise than vicious. - War makes thieves, and peace brings them to the gallows.
[War]
 

He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.
 

Hence it comes about that all armed Prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed.
 

I consider it a mark of great prudence in a man to abstain from threats or any contemptuous expressions, for neither of these weaken the enemy, but the one makes him more cautious, and the other excites his hatred, and a desire to revenge himself.
 


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