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|Quotations by Niccolò Machiavelli|
|Men are of three different capacities - Men are of three different capacities: one understands intuitively; another understands so far as it is explained; and a third understands neither of himself nor by explanation. The first is excellent, the second, commendable, and the third, altogether useless. - Niccolò Machiavelli|
Men are so simple, and yield so much - Men are so simple, and yield so much to necessity, that he who will deceive may always find him that will lend himself to be deceived.
Not titles that reflect honor - For it is not titles that reflect honor on men, but men on their titles.
He who makes war his profession - He who makes war his profession cannot be otherwise than vicious. War makes thieves, and peace brings them to the gallows.
Prudence to abstain from making threats - I consider it a mark of great prudence in a man to abstain from threats or any contemptuous expressions, for neither of these weaken the enemy, but threats make him more cautious, and the other excites his hatred, and a desire to revenge himself.
As men are apt to be cast down by adversity - It is a true observation of ancient writers, that as men are apt to be cast down by adversity, so they are easily satiated with prosperity, and that joy and grief produce the same effects. For whenever men are not obliged by necessity to fight they fight from ambition, which is so powerful a passion in the human breast that however high we reach we are never satisfied.
Modesty and humility shown to the arrogant - It is often found that modesty and humility not only do no good, but are positively hurtful, when they are shown to the arrogant who have taken up a prejudice against you, either from envy or from any other cause.
The duty of a man of honor to teach - It is the duty of a man of honor to teach others the good which he has not been able to do himself because of the malignity of the times, that this good finally can be done by another more loved in heaven.
Judgement of appearance, not reality - Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.
The foundation of all states - The principal foundation of all states are good laws and good arms.
Men may second fortune, but cannot thwart her - This is most true, and all history bears testimony to it, that men may second fortune, but they cannot thwart her,--they may weave her web, but they cannot break it.
Fraud in matters of war - Though fraud in all other actions be odious, yet in matters of war it is laudable and glorious, and he who overcomes his enemies by stratagem is as much to be praised as he who overcomes them by force.
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