Niccolò Machiavelli Quotations


All armed Prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed.

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

An evil-disposed citizen cannot affect any changes for the worse in a republic, unless it be already corrupt.

Because just as good morals, if they are to be maintained, have need of the laws, so the laws, if they are to be observed, have need of good morals.

How perilous it is to free a people who prefer slavery.

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

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

It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.

It is the nature of men to be bound by the benefits they confer as much as by those they receive.

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.

Let a prince therefore act to seize and to maintain the state; his methods will always be judged honorable and will be praised by all; for ordinary people are always deceived by appearances and by the outcome of a thing; and in the world there is nothing but ordinary people...

Men are more apt to be mistaken in their generalizations than in their particular observations.

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.

Men rise from one ambition to another -- first they seek to secure themselves from attack, and then they attack others.

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.

When princes think more of luxury than of arms, they lose their state.