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Niccolo Machiavelli

Find the best quotes, maxims and aphorisms of: Niccolo Machiavelli

Biography : Italian diplomat, politician, philosopher, humanist and writer.
Born: 1469 - Died: 1527
Period:
16th century
15th century
Place of birth: Italy
Italy
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Niccolo Machiavelli - Quotes





Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are.
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There are two ways of contesting, the one by the law, the other by force; the first method is proper to men, the second to beasts.
Niccolo Machiavelli - The PrinceTranslations available
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A prudent man should always follow in the path trodden by great men and imitate those who are most excellent.
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Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.
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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.
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Not to extinguish our free-will, I hold it to be true that fortune is the arbiter of one half of our actions, but that she still leaves us to direct the other half, or perhaps a little less.
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We do not suffer from things to which we are accustomed.
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Where nature is lacking, work supplies.
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The wish to acquire more is admittedly a very natural and common thing and when men succeed in this they are always praised rather than condemned. But when they lack the ability to do so and yet want to acquire more at all costs, they deserve condemnation for their mistakes.
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War is just when it is necessary arms are permissible when there is no hope except in arms.
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Nature that framed us of four elements, warring within our breasts for regiment, doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.
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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.
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Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times.
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The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
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God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us.
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Men are so simple and yield so readily to the desires of the moment that he who will trick will always find another who will suffer to be tricked.
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Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.
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No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.
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Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others.
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One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others.
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Never was anything great achieved without danger.
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Men should be either treated generously or destroyed, because they take revenge for slight injuries - for heavy ones they cannot.
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There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.
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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.
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The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.
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A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests.
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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.
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Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.
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Men ought either to be indulged or utterly destroyed, for if you merely offend them they take vengeance, but if you injure them greatly they are unable to retaliate, so that the injury done to a man ought to be such that vengeance cannot be feared.
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There is no surer sign of decay in a country than to see the rites of religion held in contempt.
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