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photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

The main foundations of every state, new states as well as ancient or composite ones, are good laws and good arms you cannot have good laws without good arms, and where there are good arms, good laws inevitably follow.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

The peasant wants only to be left alone to prosper in peace.

--Niccolo Machiavelli

photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.

--Niccolo Machiavelli

photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

The prince must consider, as has been in part said before, how to avoid those things which will make him hated or contemptible; and as often as he shall have succeeded he will have fulfilled his part, and he need not fear any danger in other reproaches.

--Niccolo Machiavelli

photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Violence must be inflicted once for all; people will then forget what it tastes like and so be less resentful. Benefits must be conferred gradually; and in that way they will taste better.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Hence a prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as necessity requires.

--Niccolo Machiavelli

photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

And the prince who has relied solely on their words, without making other preparations, is ruined, for the friendship which is gained by purchase and not through grandeur and nobility of spirit is merited but is not secured, and at times is not to be had.

--Niccolo Machiavelli


photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Then also pretexts for seizing property are never wanting, and one who begins to live by rapine will always find some reason for taking the goods of others, whereas causes for taking life are rarer and more quickly destroyed.

--Niccolo Machiavelli

photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

A prince being thus obliged to know well how to act as a beast must imitate the fox and the lion, for the lion cannot protect himself from snares, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Though fraud in all other actions be odious, yet in matters of war it is laudable and glorious, and he who overcomes his enemies by stratagem is as much to be praised as he who overcomes them by force.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

It is much better to tempt fortune where it can favor you than to see your certain ruin by not tempting it.

--Niccolo Machiavelli

photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

I believe that it is possible for one to praise, without concern, any man after he is dead since every reason and supervision for adulation is lacking.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

All the armed prophets conquered; all the unarmed ones perished.

--Niccolo Machiavelli


photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

For whoever conquers a free Town, and does not demolish it, commits a great Error, and may expect to be ruin 'd himself.

--Niccolo Machiavelli

photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

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.

--Niccolo Machiavelli

photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

The lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

One must be a fox to recognize traps and a lion to frighten wolves.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
grayscale photo of soldiers on battle tank

Wars begin when you will, but they do not end when you please.

--Niccolo Machiavelli

photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

It is a foolish prince who entrusts the safety of his lands to hired men.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

People should either be caressed or crushed. If you do them minor damage they will get their revenge; but if you cripple them there is nothing they can do. If you need to injure someone, do it in such a way that you do not have to fear their vengeance.

--Niccolo Machiavelli


photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Gold will not always get you good soldiers, but good soldiers can get you gold.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it's impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

When neither their property nor their honor is touched, the majority of men live content.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

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.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Never was anything great achieved without danger.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Since it is difficult to join them together, it is safer to be feared than to be loved when one of the two must be lacking.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
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War is just when it is necessary; arms are permissible when there is no hope except in arms.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first kind is excellent, the second good, and the third kind useless.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Whoever conquers a free town and does not demolish it commits a great error and may expect to be ruined himself.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Politics have no relation to morals.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
person holding green plant during daytime

It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

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

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

To understand the nature of the people one must be a prince, and to understand the nature of the prince, one must be of the people.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

There is no surer sign of decay in a country than to see the rites of religion held in contempt.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

The new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

The distinction between children and adults, while probably useful for some purposes, is at bottom a specious one, I feel. There are only individual egos, crazy for love.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Before all else, be armed.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

War should be the only study of a prince. He should consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes as ability to execute, military plans.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

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

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Tardiness often robs us opportunity, and the dispatch of our forces.

--Niccolo Machiavelli

photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Severities should be dealt out all at once, so that their suddenness may give less offense; benefits ought to be handed ought drop by drop, so that they may be relished the more.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

The one who adapts his policy to the times prospers, and likewise that the one whose policy clashes with the demands of the times does not.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

We cannot attribute to fortune or virtue that which is achieved without either.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

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

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

It is necessary for him who lays out a state and arranges laws for it to presuppose that all men are evil and that they are always going to act according to the wickedness of their spirits whenever they have free scope.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

Nature that framed us of four elements, warring within our breasts for regiment, doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

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

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

It is much more secure to be feared than to be loved.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

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

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.

--Niccolo Machiavelli
photo of author Niccolò Machiavelli with quote

It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.

--Niccolo Machiavelli

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