Niccolò Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

Niccolò
Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli
1469
1527

Italian Florentine Statesman, Political Philosopher, Historian, Humanist and Writer

Author Quotes

We knew the extent to which lavished praise prince who saves his reign and live a straight life without guile. But the experiences of our time indicate that those princes who have achieved great works are not classifies Testament only slightly. They are able to affect the mind with its cunning. As they were able to overcome the Alomanah made ??of guiding them

There is no other way for securing yourself against flatteries except that men understand that they do not offend you by telling you the truth; but when everybody can tell you the truth, you fail to get respect.

Those who by valorous ways become princes... acquire a principality with difficulty, but they keep it with ease.

Weapons of wage earners and allies useless and dangerous, and anyone who lives on their own weapons forces paid cannot be sure of the strength and Thapa mandate. Because it forces disjointed and her own ambitions, and the organization is not her era, a look strong in front of friends, but when the cemetery Cope with enemies, they do not fear God and do not preserve outdated with the people, and the crash is subject to postponement of aggression. They Anhbounk in peacetime, and Anhpk the enemy in time of war., And the reason they do not find a motive entice them to stay in the field, only the low wages that do not make them willing to die for you.

There is no other way of guarding against adulation, than to make people understand that they will not offend you by speaking the truth. On the other hand, when everyone feels at liberty to tell you the truth, they will be apt to be lacking in respect to you.

Those who either from imprudence or want of sagacity avoids doing so, are always overwhelmed with servitude and poverty; for faithful servants are always servants, and honest men are always poor; nor do any ever escape from servitude but the bold and faithless, or from poverty, but the rapacious and fraudulent.

Well used are those cruelties (if it is permitted to speak well of evil) that are carried out in a single stroke, done out of necessity to protect oneself, and are not continued but are instead converted into the greatest possible benefits for the subjects. Badly used are those cruelties which. although being few at the outset, grow with the passing time instead of disappearing. Those who follow the first method can remedy their condition with God and with men?; the others cannot possibly survive.

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.

Thus it is well to seem merciful faithful humane religious and upright and also to be so but the mind should remain so balanced that were it needful not to be so you should be able and know how to change to the contrary.

When a newly acquired State has been accustomed, as I have said, to live under its own laws and in freedom, there are three methods whereby it may be held. The first is to destroy it; the second, to go and reside there in person; the third, to suffer it to live on under its own laws, subjecting it to a tribute, and entrusting its government to a few of the inhabitants who will keep the rest your friends. Such a Government, since it is the creature of the new Prince, will see that it cannot stand without his protection and support, and must therefore do all it can to maintain him; and a city accustomed to live in freedom, if it is to be preserved at all, is more easily controlled through its own citizens than in any other way.

I say, then, that hereditary States, accustomed to the family of their Prince, are maintained with far less difficulty than new States, since all that is required is that the Prince shall not depart from the usages of his ancestors, trusting for the rest to deal with events as they arise. So that if an hereditary Prince be of average address, he will always maintain himself in his Princedom, unless deprived of it by some extraordinary and irresistible force; and even if so deprived will recover it, should any, even the least, mishap overtake the usurper. We have in Italy an example of this in the Duke of Ferrara, who never could have withstood the attacks of the Venetians in 1484, nor those of Pope Julius in 1510, had not his authority in that State?s been consolidated by time. For since a Prince by birth has fewer occasions and less need to give offence, he ought to be better loved, and will naturally be popular with his subjects unless outrageous vices make him odious. Moreover, the very antiquity and continuance of his rule will efface the memories and causes which lead to innovation. For one change always leaves a dovetail into which another will fit.

In truth, there never was any remarkable lawgiver amongst any people who did not resort to divine authority, as otherwise his laws would not have been accepted by the people; for there are many good laws, the importance of which is known to be the same.

It is truly a marvelous thing to consider to what greatness Athens arrived in the space of one hundred years after she freed herself from the tyranny of Peisistratos; but, above all, it is even more marvelous to consider the greatness Rome reached when she freed herself from her kings. The reason is easy to understand, for it is the common good and not private gain that makes cities great. Yet, without a doubt, this common good is observed only in republics, for in them everything that promotes it is practiced, and however much damage it does to this or that private individual, those who benefit from the said common good are so numerous that they are able to advance in spite of the inclination of the few citizens who are oppressed by it.

May princes know then that they begin to lose (their) state at that hour in which they begin to break the laws and those customs and usages that are ancient and under which men have lived for a long time

Men seldom rise from low condition to high rank without employing either force or fraud, unless that rank should be attained either by gift or inheritance.

No proceeding is better than that which you have concealed from the enemy until the time you have executed it. To know how to recognize an opportunity in war, and take it, benefits you more than anything else. Nature creates few men brave, industry and training makes many. Discipline in war counts more than fury.

Only those means of security are good, are certain, are lasting that depend on yourself and your own vigor.

Still, to slaughter fellow-citizens, to betray friends, to be devoid of honor, pity, and religion, cannot be counted as merits, for these are means which may lead to power, but which confer no glory.

The incredulity of mankind who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it.

I shall always esteem it not much to live in a city where the laws do less than men, because that fatherland is desirable where possessions and friends can be securely enjoyed, not where they can be easily taken from you, and friends for few of them.

Is it better to be loved or feared?

It is truly natural and ordinary thing to desire gain; and when those who can succeed attempt it, they will always be praised and not blamed. But if they cannot succeed, yet try anyway, they are guilty of error and are blameworthy.

Men are always averse to enterprises in which they foresee difficulties.

Men should be either treated generously or destroyed, because they take revenge for slight injuries - for heavy ones they cannot.

Nothing consumes itself so much as generosity, because while you practice it you?re losing the wherewithal to go on practicing it.

Author Picture
First Name
Niccolò
Last Name
Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli
Birth Date
1469
Death Date
1527
Bio

Italian Florentine Statesman, Political Philosopher, Historian, Humanist and Writer