Niccolo Machiavelli Quotes

Niccolo Machiavelli

Italian dramatist, historian, & philosopher (1469 - 1527)

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

Categorized under Ambition

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It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones.

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A new system is a hard thing to put into place, it is opposed by those that would be disadvantaged by the new system and it receives no support from those that would benefit.

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There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the leadin the introduction of a new order to things.

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One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.

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A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair.

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Politics have no relation to morals.

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

Categorized under Success

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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.

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Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.

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A prince should therefore have no other aim or thought, nor take up any other thing for his study but war and it organization and discipline, for that is the only art that is necessary to one who commands.

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When neither their property nor their honor is touched, the marjority of men live content.

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There are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, and the third is useless.

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There is no other way of guarding oneself against flattery than by letting men understand that they will not offend you by speaking the truth; but when everyone can tell you the truth, you lose their respect.

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Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for everyone can see and few can feel. Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are.

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

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If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.

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War connot be avoided; it can only be postponed to the others advantage.

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He who blinded by ambition, raises himself to a position whence he cannot mount higher, must thereafter fall with the greatest loss.

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If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.

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...it is a base thing to look to others for your defense instead of depending upon yourself. That defense alone is effectual, sure, and durable which depends upon yourself and your own valor.

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Men are so stupid and concerned with their present needs, they will always let themselves be deceived.

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There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.

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He who has not first laid his foundations may be able with great ability to lay them afterwards, but they will be laid with trouble to the architect and danger to the building.

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God creates men, but they choose each other.

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To be feared is much safer then to be loved.

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There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantages of others.

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Is necessary to take such measures that, when they believe no longer, it may be possible to make them believe by force.

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We have not seen great things done in our time except by those who have been considered mean; the rest have failed.

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Hatred may be engendered by good deeds as well as bad ones.

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Nothing feeds upon itself as liberality does.

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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.

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One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves.

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...people are by nature fickle, and it is easy to persuade them of something, but difficult to keep them persuaded.

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War is a profession by which a man cannot live honorably; an employment by which the soldier, if he would reap any profit, is obliged to be false, rapacious, and cruel.

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