Niccolo Machiavelli Quotes & Wallpapers

Niccolo Machiavelli
Total Quotes: 428

For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are. Niccolo Machiavelli

One man should not be afraid of improving his posessions, lest they be taken away from him, or another deterred by high taxes from starting a new business. Rather, the Prince should be ready to reward men who want to do these things and those who endeavour in any way to increase the prosperity of their city or their state. Niccolo Machiavelli

The sinews of war are not gold, but good soldiers. Niccolo Machiavelli

There is simply no comparison between a man who is armed and one who is not. It is simply unreasonable to expect that an armed man should obey one who is unarmed, or that an unarmed man should remain safe and secure when his servants are armed. Niccolo Machiavelli

Wisdom consists in being able to distinguish among dangers and make a choice of the least harmful. Niccolo Machiavelli

He who is the cause of another's advancement is thereby the cause of his own ruin. Niccolo Machiavelli

One should never fall in the belief that you can find someone to pick you up. Niccolo Machiavelli

For, in truth, there is no sure way of holding other than by destroying Niccolo Machiavelli

If the chief party, whether it be the people, or the army, or the nobility, which you think most useful and of most consequence to you for the conservation of your dignity, be corrupt, you must follow their humor and indulge them, and in that case honesty and virtue are pernicious. Niccolo Machiavelli

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

Decide which is the line of conduct that presents the fewest drawbacks and then follow it out as being the best one, because one never finds anything perfectly pure and unmixed, or exempt from danger. Niccolo Machiavelli

Women are the most charitable creatures, and the most troublesome. He who shuns women passes up the trouble, but also the benefits. He who puts up with them gains the benefits, but also the trouble. As the saying goes, there's no honey without bees. Niccolo Machiavelli

In truth, there never was any remarkable lawgiver amongst any people who did not resort to divine authority, as otherwise his laws would not have been accepted by the people; for there are many good laws, the importance of which is known to be the sagacious lawgiver, but the reasons for which are not sufficiently evident to enable him to persuade others to submit to them; and therefore do wise men, for the purpose of removing this difficulty, resort to divine authority. Niccolo Machiavelli

Hence it happened that all the armed prophets conquered, all the unarmed perished. Niccolo Machiavelli

A son could bear with great complacency, the death of his father, while the loss of his inheritance might drive him to despair. Niccolo Machiavelli

Appear as you may wish to be Niccolo Machiavelli

From this arises the following question: whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the reverse. The answer is that one would like to be both the one and the other, but because they are difficult to combine, it is far better to be loved than feared if you cannot be both. Niccolo Machiavelli

A son could bear with great complacency, the death of his father, while the loss of his inheritance might drive him to despair. [Lat., Gli huomini dimenticano piu teste la morte del padre, che la perdita del patrimonie.] Niccolo Machiavelli

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. Niccolo Machiavelli cannot be called ingenuity to kill one's fellow citizens, to betray friends, to be without faith, without mercy, without religion; by these means one can aquire power but not glory. 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

The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms. Niccolo Machiavelli

You have to be a prince to understand the people, and you have to belong to the people to understand the princes... Niccolo Machiavelli

Never was anything great achieved without danger. Niccolo Machiavelli

Men are always averse to enterprises in which they foresee difficulties. Niccolo Machiavelli

A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests. Niccolo Machiavelli

We cannot attribute to fortune or virtue that which is achieved without either. Niccolo Machiavelli

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions. Niccolo Machiavelli

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

Make no small plans for they have no power to stir the soul. Niccolo Machiavelli

A prudent man... must behave like those archers who, if they are skillful, 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

When settling disputes between his subjects, he should ensure that his judgement is irrevocable; and he should be so regarded that no one ever dreams of trying to deceive or trick him. Niccolo Machiavelli

Nothing is of greater importance in time of war than in knowing how to make the best use of a fair opportunity when it is offered. Niccolo Machiavelli

Few men are brave by nature, but good discipline and experience make many so. Niccolo Machiavelli

I assert once again as a truth to which history as a whole bears witness that men may second their fortune, but cannot oppose it; that they may weave its warp, but cannot break it. Yet they should never give up, because there is always hope, though they know not the end and more towards it along roads which cross one another and as yet are unexplored; and since there is hope, they should not despair, no matter what fortune brings or in what travail they find themselves. Niccolo Machiavelli

And when he is obliged to take the life of any one, to do so when there is a proper justification and manifest reason for it; but above all he must abstain from taking the property of others, for men forget more easily the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony. Niccolo Machiavelli

Then also pretexts for seizing property are never wanting, and one who begins to live by rapine will always find some reason for taking the goods of others, whereas causes for taking life are rarer and more quickly destroyed. Niccolo Machiavelli

I hold strongly to this: that it is better to be impetuous than circumspect; because fortune is a woman and if she is to be submissive it is necessary to beat and coerce her. Niccolo Machiavelli

But in Republics there is a stronger vitality, a fiercer hatred, a keener thirst for revenge. The memory of their former freedom will not let them rest; so that the safest course is either to destroy them, or to go and live in them. Niccolo Machiavelli

Wisdom consists of knowing how to distinguish the nature of trouble, and in choosing the lesser evil. Niccolo Machiavelli

Men sooner forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony. Niccolo Machiavelli

Men are more ready to offend one who desires to be beloved than one who wishes to be feared. Niccolo Machiavelli

We must bear in mind, then, that there is nothing more difficult and dangerous, or more doubtful of success, than an attempt to introduce a new order of things in any state. For the innovator has for enemies all those who derived advantages from the old order of things, whilst those who expect to be benefited by the new institutions will be but lukewarm defenders. Niccolo Machiavelli

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. Niccolo Machiavelli

For titles do not reflect honor on men, but rather men on their titles. [It., Perche non i titoli illustrano gli uomini, ma gli uomini i titoli.] Niccolo Machiavelli

He who makes war his profession cannot be otherwise than vicious. War makes thieves, and peace brings them to the gallows. 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

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

And what physicians say about disease is applicable here: that at the beginning a disease is easy to cure but difficult to diagnose; but as time passes, not having been treated or recognized at the outset, it becomes easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. The same thing occurs in affairs of state; for by recognizing from afar the diseases that are spreading in the state (which is a gift given only to a prudent ruler), they can be cured quickly; but when they are not recognized and are left to grow to the extent that everyone recognizes them, there is no longer any cure. Niccolo Machiavelli

All who contribute to the overthrow of religion, or to the ruin of kingdoms and commonwealths, all who are foes to letters and to the arts which confer honour and benefit on the human race (among whom I reckon the impious, the cruel, the ignorant, the indolent, the base and the worthless), are held in infamy and detestation. Niccolo Machiavelli

When they remain in garrison, soldiers are maintained with fear and punishment; when they are then led to war, with hope and reward. Niccolo Machiavelli

The greatest remedy that is used against a plan of the enemy is to do voluntarily what he plans that you do by force. Niccolo Machiavelli

Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration. Niccolo Machiavelli

Ability and perseverance are the weapons of weakness. Niccolo Machiavelli

The vulgar crowd always is taken by appearances, and the world consists chiefly of the vulgar. Niccolo Machiavelli

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. Niccolo Machiavelli

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

Men are able to assist fortune but not to thwart her. They can weave her designs, but they cannot destroy them. Niccolo Machiavelli

It is not titles that make men illustrious, but men who make titles illustrious. Niccolo Machiavelli

War cannot be avoided; it can only be postponed to the other's advantage. Niccolo Machiavelli

When evening comes, I return home and go into my study. On the threshold I strip off my muddy, sweaty, workday clothes, and put on the robes of court and palace, and in this graver dress I enter the antique courts of the ancients and am welcomed by them, and there I taste the food that alone is mine, and for which I was born. And there I make bold to speak to them and ask the motives of their actions, and they, in their humanity, reply to me. And for the space of four hours I forget the world, remember no vexation, fear poverty no more, tremble no more at death: I pass indeed into their world. Niccolo Machiavelli

The wise man does at once what the fool does finally. Niccolo Machiavelli

I'm not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it. Niccolo Machiavelli

The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it. Niccolo Machiavelli

It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver. Niccolo Machiavelli

Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times. Niccolo Machiavelli

How we live is so different from how we ought to live that he who studies what ought to be done rather than what is done will learn the way to his downfall rather than to his preservation. Niccolo Machiavelli

All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it's impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer. Niccolo Machiavelli

Where the very safety of the country depends upon the resolution to be taken, no consideration of justice or injustice, humanity or cruelty, nor of glory or of shame, should be allowed to prevail. But putting all other considerations aside, the only question should be: What course will save the life and liberty of the country? Niccolo Machiavelli

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him. Niccolo Machiavelli

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