Niccolo Machiavelli Quotations

-The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.

-The question is, then, do we try to make things easy on ourselves or do we try to make things easy on our customers, whoever they may be?

-The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.

-The wish to acquire more is admittedly a very natural and common thing; and when men succeed in this they are always praised rather than condemned. But when they lack the ability to do so and yet want to acquire more at all costs, they deserve condemnation for their mistakes.

-There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first kind is excellent, the second good, and the third kind useless.

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

-There is no surer sign of decay in a country than to see the rites of religion held in contempt.

-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.

-To understand the nature of the people one must be a prince, and to understand the nature of the prince, one must be of the people.

-War is just when it is necessary; arms are permissible when there is no hope except in arms.

-War should be the only study of a prince. He should consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes as ability to execute, military plans.

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

-When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred.

-Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.

-Whoever conquers a free town and does not demolish it commits a great error and may expect to be ruined himself.

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

-It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out nor more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things; for the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order; this lukewarmness arising partly from the incredulity of mankind who does not truly believe in anything new until they actually have experience of it.
Niccolo Machiavelli