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

The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms; and as there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws.

The one who adapts his policy to the times prospers, and likewise that the one whose policy clashes with the demands of the times does not.

If you only notice human proceedings, you may observe that all who attain great power and riches, make use of either force or fraud; and what they have acquired either by deceit or violence, in order to conceal the disgraceful methods of attainment, they endeavor to sanctify with the false title of honest gains. Those who either from imprudence or want of sagacity avoid 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. God and nature have thrown all human fortunes into the midst of mankind; and they are thus attainable rather by rapine than by industry, by wicked actions rather than by good. Hence it is that men feed upon each other, and those who cannot defend themselves must be worried.

It is essential that in entering a new Province you should have the good will of its inhabitants.

Let no man marvel if in what I am about to say concerning Princedoms wholly new, both as regards the Prince and the form of Government, I cite the highest examples. For since men for the most part follow in the footsteps and imitate the actions of others, and yet are unable to adhere exactly to those paths which others have taken, or attain to the virtues of those whom they would resemble, the wise man should always follow the roads that have been trodden by the great, and imitate those who have most excelled, so that if he cannot reach their perfection, he may at least acquire something of its savor. Acting in this like the skilful archer, who seeing that the object he would hit is distant, and knowing the range of his bow, takes aim much above the destined mark; not designing that his arrow should strike so high, but that flying high it may alight at the point intended.

Men forget more quickly the death of a parent losing a heritage.

Nature has so contrived that to men, though all things are objects of desire, not all things are attainable; so that desire always exceeds the power of attainment, with the result that men are ill-content with what they possess and their present state brings them little satisfaction. Hence arise the vicissitudes of their fortune.

One has to be aware of the fox traps erected to him, and to be a lion to terrorize the wolves.

Shooters aiming to point much higher than those that are interested in being infected when they are too far away.

The con who will always find those who Adzon themselves to be deceived.

The people resemble a wild beast, which, naturally fierce and accustomed to live in the woods, has been brought up, as it were, in a prison and in servitude, and having by accident got its liberty, not being accustomed to search for its food, and not knowing where to conceal itself, easily becomes the prey of the first who seeks to incarcerate it again.

In all human affairs, when examined closely, shows that obstacles cannot depart without them developing other.

It is in reference to Pope Julius that Machiavelli moralizes on the resemblance between Fortune and women, and concludes that it is the bold rather than the cautious man that will win and hold them both.

Let no one oppose this belief of mine with that well-worn proverb: 'He who builds on the people builds on mud.

Men hesitate less to injure a man who makes himself loved than to injure one who makes himself feared, for their love is held by a chain of obligation which, because of men's wickedness, is broken on every occasion for the sake of selfish profit; but their fear is secured by a dread of punishment.

Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.

One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.

Should the prince who is afraid of his people more than they fear foreigners to pay tribute to castles, but the fear of foreigners more than they feared the people to work without them, the good is what all the forts based on people's love for the Prince.

The demands of a free populace, too, are very seldom harmful to liberty, for they are due either to the populace being oppressed or to the suspicious that it is going to be oppressed... and, should these impressions be false, a remedy is provided in the public platform on which some man of standing can get up, appeal to the crowd, and show that it is mistaken. And though, as Tully remarks, the populace may be ignorant, it is capable of grasping the truth and readily yields when a man, worthy of confidence, lays the truth before it.

The prince must be a lion, but he must also know how to play the fox.

In conclusion, the arms of others either fall from your back, or they weigh you down, or they bind you fast.

It is necessary for a prince to know how to use animal nimbly, of all he must choose the fox and the lion, for the lion cannot defend himself from traps, and the fox is defenseless against wolves; is therefore necessary to know to be fox traps and lion to frighten wolves. Those who simply adopt the lion do not understand the subject

Licensed former army and created a new one; let old friends and made ??other; and so, surrounded by soldiers and addicted friends, could build on such foundations as building wanted; and what he had worked so hard to acquire, retain cost him little.

Men intrinsically do not trust new things that they have not experienced themselves.

Never do any enemy a small injury for they are like a snake which is half beaten and it will strike back the first chance it gets.

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