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

There are two ways to fight, and one legal, the other by force, the first and second humans to animals, and the Prince knowing methods.

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a look strong in front of friends, but when the cemetery Cope with enemies, they do not fear God and do not preserve outdated with the people, and the crash is subject to postponement of aggression.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 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 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 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.

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.

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.

To defeat Fortune, men must anticipate such evils before they arise, and take prudent steps to avoid them. When the waters have already risen, it is too late to build dikes and embankments.

When everyone feels free to tell you the truth, respect for you dwindles? A wise prince should take another course: choose wise men for your advisors, and allow only them the liberty of speaking the truth to the prince, and only on matters about which you ask, and nothing else. But you should question them about everything, listen patiently to their opinions, than form your own conclusions later.

The question is, then, do we try to make things easy on ourselves or do we try to make things easy on our customers, whoever they may be?

Therefore any cruelty has to be executed at once, so that the less it is tasted, the less it offends; while benefits must be dispensed little by little, so that they will be savored all the more.

To govern more securely some Princes have disarmed their subjects...but by disarming, you at once give offence, since you show your subjects that you distrust them, either by doubting their courage, or as doubting their fidelity, each of which imputations begets hatred against you.

When Scipio became consul and was keen on getting the province of Africa, promising that Carthage should be completely destroyed, and the senate would not agree to this because Fabius Maximus was against it, he threatened to appeal to the people, for he knew full well how pleasing such projects are to the populace.

The reason is that nature has so created men that they are able to desire everything but are not able to attain everything: so that the desire being always greater than the acquisition, there results discontent with the possession and little satisfaction to themselves from it. From this arises the changes in their fortunes; for as men desire, some to have more, some in fear of losing their acquisition, there ensues enmity and war, from which results the ruin of that province and the elevation of another.

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.

To understand the nature of the people one must be a prince, and to understand the nature of the prince, one must be of the people.

When they depend upon their own resources and can employ force, they seldom fail. Hence it comes that all armed Prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed.

The reply is, that one ought to be both feared and loved, but as it is difficult for the two to go together, it is much safer to be feared than loved, if one of the two has to be wanting. For it may be said of men in general that they are ungrateful, voluble, dissemblers, anxious to avoid danger, and covetous of gain as long as you benefit them, they are entirely yours; they offer you their blood, their goods, their life, and their children, as I have before said, when the necessity is remote; but when it approaches, they revolt.

Therefore the best fortress is to be found in the love of the people, for although you may have fortresses they will not save you if you are hated by the people.

Upon this, one has to remark that 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.

When you see a Minister thinking more of himself than of you, and in all his actions seeking his own ends, that man can never be a good Minister or one that you can trust. For he who has the charge of the State committed to him, ought not to think of himself, but only of his Prince, and should never bring to the notice of the latter what does not directly concern him.

The Romans never allowed a trouble spot to remain simply to avoid going to war over it, because they knew that wars don't just go away, they are only postponed to someone else's advantage.

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