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Niccolo Machiavelli Quotes (145 Quotes)


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  • And truly it is a very natural and ordinary thing to desire to acquire, and always, when men do it who can, they will be praised or not blamed; but when they cannot, and wish to do it anyway, here lies the error and the blame.
    (Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince")

  • It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.
    (Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince")

  • 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, "The Prince")

  • Men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.
    (Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince")

  • Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.
    (Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince")


  • Nevertheless, that our freewill may not be altogether extinguished, I think it may be true that fortune is the ruler of half our actions, but that she allows the other half or a little less to be governed by us.
    (Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince")

  • Florence which included diplomatic missions to various European courts.
    (Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince")

  • The vulgar crowd always is taken by appearances, and the world consists chiefly of the vulgar.
    (Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince")

  • For it must be noted, that men must either be caressed or else annihilated; they will revenge themselves for small injuries, but cannot do so for great ones; the injury therefore that we do to a man must be such that we need not fear his vengeance.
    (Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince")

  • There is no other way to guard yourself against flattery than by making men understand that telling you the truth will not offend you.
    (Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince")

  • For on Cardinal Rohan saying to me that the Italians did not understand war, I replied that the French did not understand politics.
    (Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince")

  • Therefore a wise prince ought to adopt such a course that his citizens will always in every sort and kind of circumstance have need of the state and of him, and then he will always find them faithful.
    (Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince")

  • For one change always leaves a dovetail into which another will fit.
    (Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince")

  • Therefore it is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them. And I shall dare to say this also, that to have them and always to observe them is injurious, and that to appear to have them is useful; to appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and to be so, but with a mind so framed that should you require not to be so, you may be able and know how to change to the opposite.
    (Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince")

  • For that reason, let a prince have the credit of conquering and holding his state, the means will always be considered honest, and he will be praised by everybody because the vulgar are always taken by what a thing seems to be and by what comes of it; and in the world there are only the vulgar, for the few find a place there only when the many have no ground to rest on.
    (Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince")


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