Niccolo Machiavelli Quotes

Enjoy the top 255 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Niccolo Machiavelli.

Niccolo Machiavelli Quotes

As all those have shown who have discussed civil institutions, and as every history is full of examples, it is necessary to whoever arranges to found a Republic and establish laws in it, to presuppose that all men are bad and that they will use their malignity of mind every time they have the opportunity.
— Niccolo Machiavelli —

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

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

— Niccolo Machiavelli

When fortune wishes to bring mighty events to a successful conclusion, she selects some man of spirit and ability who knows how to seize the opportunity she offers.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

Conquered states that have been accustomed to liberty and the government of their own laws can be held by the conqueror in three different ways. The first is to ruin them; the second, for the conqueror to go and reside there in person; and the third is to allow them to continue to live under their own laws, subject to a regular tribute, and to create in them a government of a few, who will keep the country friendly to the conqueror

— Niccolo Machiavelli

And if, to be sure, sometimes you need to conceal a fact with words, do it in such a way that it does not become known, or, if it does become known, that you have a ready and quick defense.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

Present wars impoverish the lords that win as much as those that lose.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

And above all you ought to guard against leading an army to fight which is afraid or which is not confident of victory. For the greatest sign of an impending loss is when one does not believe one can win.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

The prince who relies upon their words, without having otherwise provided for his security, is ruined; for friendships that are won by awards, and not by greatness and nobility of soul, although deserved, yet are not real, and cannot be depended upon in time of adversity.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

One can make this generalization about men: they are ungrateful, fickle, liars, and deceivers, they shun danger and are greedy for profit; while you treat them well, they are yours. They would shed their blood for you, risk their property, their lives, their children, so long, as I said above, as danger is remote; but when you are in danger they turn against you.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

As all those have shown who have discussed civil institutions, and as every history is full of examples, it is necessary to whoever arranges to found a Republic and establish laws in it, to presuppose that all men are bad and that they will use their malignity of mind every time they have the opportunity.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

An armed republic submits less easily to the rule of one of its citizens than a republic armed by foreign forces. Rome and Sparta were for many centuries well armed and free. The Swiss are well armed and enjoy great freedom. Among other evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you contemptible. It is not reasonable to suppose that one who is armed will obey willingly one who is unarmed; or that any unarmed man will remain safe among armed servants.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

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

— Niccolo Machiavelli

Never do your enemy a minor injury.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

For this is the tragedy of man circumstances change, but he does not.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

It is a common failing of man not to take account of tempests during fair weather.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

Any harm you do to a man should be done in such a way that you need not fear his revenge.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

For friendships that are acquired by a price and not by greatness and nobility of character are purchased but are not owned, and at the proper moment they cannot be spent.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

Ability and perseverance are the weapons of weakness.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

Hence it happened that all the armed prophets conquered, all the unarmed perished.
[It., Di qui nacque che tutti li profeti armati vincero, e li disarmati rovinarono.]

— Niccolo Machiavelli

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