Such as they are, its ethics are those of Machiavelli's contemporaries; yet they cannot be said to be out of date so long as the governments of Europe rely on material rather than on moral forces.
There is no other way to guard yourself against flattery than by making men understand that telling you the truth will not offend you.
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.
This is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life and children when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you.
Wisdom consists of knowing how to distinguish the nature of trouble, and in choosing the lesser evil.
Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.