1469-1527, Italian Author, Statesman
A prince must be prudent enough to know how to escape the bad reputation of those vices that would lose the state for him, and must protect himself from those that will not lose it for him, if this is possible; but if he cannot, he need not concern himself unduly if he ignores these less serious vices.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Vice]

A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Promises]

A wise man will see to it that his acts always seem voluntary and not done by compulsion, however much he may be compelled by necessity.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Wisdom]

Ambition is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach we are never satisfied.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Ambition]

Benefits should be conferred gradually; and in that way they will taste better.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Favors]

God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Will and Will Power]

Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Hatred]

I consider it a mark of great prudence in a man to abstain from threats or any contemptuous expressions, for neither of these weaken the enemy, but threats make him more cautious, and the other excites his hatred, and a desire to revenge himself.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Prudence]

It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Fear]

It should be noted that when he seizes a state the new ruler ought to determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He should inflict them once and for all, and not have to renew them every day.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Conquest]

Many have dreamed up republics and principalities that have never in truth been known to exist; the gulf between how one should live and how one does live is so wide that a man who neglects what is actually done for what should be done learns the way to self-destruction rather than self-preservation.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Ideals and Idealism]

Men are more apt to be mistaken in their generalizations than in their particular observations.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Judgment and Judges]

Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see, but only a few can test by feeling. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are, and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Judgment and Judges]

Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Judgment and Judges]

Men nearly always follow the tracks made by others and proceed in their affairs by imitation, even though they cannot entirely keep to the tracks of others or emulate the prowess of their models. So a prudent man should always follow in the footsteps of great men and imitate those who have been outstanding. If his own prowess fails to compare with theirs, at least it has an air of greatness about it. He should behave like those archers who, if they are skilful, when the target seems too distant, know the capabilities of their bow and aim a good deal higher than their objective, not in order to shoot so high but so that by aiming high they can reach the target.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Imitation]

Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Leaders and Leadership]

Men sooner forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Inheritance]

Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Humankind]

One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Change]

Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.
Niccolo Machiavelli – [Danger]

Quotations 1 to 20 of 32     Next > Last