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

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.

Or he who innovates will have for his enemies all those who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new. This lukewarm temper arises partly from the fear of adversaries who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who will never admit the merit of anything new, until they have seen it proved by the event. The result, however, is that whenever the enemies of change make an attack, they do so with all the zeal of partisans, while the others defend themselves so feebly as to endanger both themselves and their cause.

Such a shortcoming of humanity in general, but calculate the expense of storms in mild weather.

The injuries must be committed once only, so for brevity, the taste offends less; while the benefits should be made ??gradually, so that they are better enjoyed.

If one is on the spot, disorders are seen as they spring up, and one can quickly remedy them; but if one is not at hand, they are heard of only when they are great, and then one can no longer remedy them.

It is better to be bold than too circumspect, because fortune is of a sex which likes not a tardy wooer and repulses all who are not ardent.

It makes him contemptible to be considered fickle, frivolous, effeminate, mean-spirited, irresolute, from all of which a prince should guard himself as from a rock; and he should endeavor to show in his actions greatness, courage, gravity, and fortitude; and in his private dealings with his subjects let him show that his judgments are irrevocable, and maintain himself in such reputation that no one can hope either to deceive him or to get round him.

Men are always wicked at bottom unless they are made good by some compulsion.

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

Nothing is more difficult than to introduce a new order. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.

People love their own free will, but they are afraid the desire of the prince.

Takes us the farther distance from the Old World to something new and revolutionary in human thought. That moral center, however, is hard to find with modern eyes. Locating it requires

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.

If one wishes that a sect of a republic live a long time, it is necessary to draw it back often toward its principle.

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

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