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Niccolo Machiavelli

Quote of Niccolo Machiavelli - Not to extinguish our free-will, I...


Biography - Niccolo Machiavelli:

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

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.



Note 

Note



"TWENTY-FIFTH CHAPTER

WHAT FORTUNE CAN EFFECT IN HUMAN AFFAIRS, AND HOW TO WITHSTAND HER

It is not unknown to me how many men have had, and still have, the opinion that the affairs of the world are in such wise governed by fortune and by God that men with their wisdom cannot direct them and that no one can even help them; and because of this they would have us believe that it is not necessary to labour much in affairs, but to let chance govern them. This opinion has been more credited in our times because of the great changes in affairs which have been seen, and may still be seen, every day, beyond all human conjecture. Sometimes pondering over this, I am in some degree inclined to their opinion. Nevertheless, 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.

I compare her to one of those raging rivers, which when in flood overflows the plains, sweeping away trees and buildings, bearing away the soil from place to place; everything flies before it, all yield to its violence, without being able in any way to withstand it; and yet, though its nature be such, it does not follow therefore that men, when the weather becomes fair, shall not make provision, both with defences and barriers, in such a manner that, rising again, the waters may pass away by canal, and their force be neither so unrestrained nor so dangerous. So it happens with fortune, who shows her power where valour has not prepared to resist her, and thither she turns her forces where she knows that barriers and defences have not been raised to constrain her."


Source: The Prince

Wikisource - The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (en) 

Wikisource - Œuvres politiques de Machiavel (fr) 




Translation

Translation

(French)



French
Ne pouvant admettre que notre libre arbitre soit réduit à rien, j’imagine qu’il peut être vrai que la fortune dispose de la moitié de nos actions, mais qu’elle en laisse à peu près l’autre moitié en notre pouvoir.




See also 

See also...



Fate shuffles the cards and we play.

We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.

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