Famous Quotes By Niccolo Machiavelli


  1. A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.
  2. A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests.
  3. God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us.
  4. Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.
  5. It is necessary for him who lays out a state and arranges laws for it to presuppose that all men are evil and that they are always going to act according to the wickedness of their spirits whenever they have free scope.
  6. It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.
  7. Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.
  8. Men are so simple and yield so readily to the desires of the moment that he who will trick will always find another who will suffer to be tricked.
  9. Men ought either to be indulged or utterly destroyed, for if you merely offend them they take vengeance, but if you injure them greatly they are unable to retaliate, so that the injury done to a man ought to be such that vengeance cannot be feared.Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others.
  10. Men should be either treated generously or destroyed, because they take revenge for slight injuries - for heavy ones they cannot.
  11. Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.
  12. Nature that framed us of four elements, warring within our breasts for regiment, doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.
  13. Never was anything great achieved without danger.
  14. No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.
  15. One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others.
  16. Politics have no relation to morals.
  17. Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.
  18. The distinction between children and adults, while probably useful for some purposes, is at bottom a specious one, I feel. There are only individual egos, crazy for love.
  19. The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
  20. 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.
  21. The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.
  22. There is no avoiding war it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.
  23. There is no surer sign of decay in a country than to see the rites of religion held in contempt.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. War is just when it is necessary arms are permissible when there is no hope except in arms.
  27. War should be the only study of a prince. He should consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes as ability to execute, military plans.
  28. Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.
  29. Whoever conquers a free town and does not demolish it commits a great error and may expect to be ruined himself.
  30. Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times.

No comments: