The nature of man is such that people consider themselves put under an obligation as much by the benefits they confer as by those they receive.

Niccolo Machiavelli

Niccolo Machiavelli

Profession: Author
Nationality: Italian

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This it happens in affairs of state, for when the evils that arise have been foreseen (which it is only given to a wise man to see), they can be quickly redressed, but when, through not having been foreseen, they have been permitted to grow in a way that every one can see them, there is no longer a remedy.

IT IS customary for such as seek a Prince's favour, to present themselves before him with those things of theirs which they themselves most value, or in which they perceive him chiefly to delight.

Do not let our princes accuse fortune for the loss of their principalities after so many years' possession, but rather their own sloth, because in quiet times they never thought there could be a change (it is a common defect in man not to make any provision in the calm against the tempest), and.

These opportunities, then, gave these men the chance they needed, and their great abilities made them recognize it.

For the friendships which we buy with a price, and do not gain by greatness and nobility of character, though they be fairly earned are not made good, but fail us when we have occasion to use them.

Any injury we do to a man must be such that we need not fear his vengeance.

There are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, and the third is useless..

That deliverance is of no avail which does not depend upon yourself; those only are reliable, certain, and durable that depend upon yourself and your valor.

Everyone who wants to know what will happen ought to examine what has happened: everything in this world in any epoch has their replicas in antiquity.

For whoever believes that great advancement and new benefits make men forget old injuries is mistaken.

Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with.

For love is held by the tie of obligation, which, because men are a sorry breed, is broken on every whisper of private interest; but fear is bound by the apprehension of punishment which never relaxes its grasp.

No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.

He said that it always struck him with surprise that while men in buying an earthen or glass vase would sound it first to learn if it were good, yet in choosing a wife they were content with only looking at her.