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Men should be either treated generously or destroyed, because they take revenge for slight injuries - for heavy ones they cannot.

Niccolo Machiavelli

It is necessary for him who lays out a state and arranges laws for it to presuppose that all men are evil and that they are always going to act according to the wickedness of their spirits whenever they have free scope.

Niccolo Machiavelli

Men ought either to be indulged or utterly destroyed, for if you merely offend them they take vengeance, but if you injure them greatly they are unable to retaliate, so that the injury done to a man ought to be such that vengeance cannot be feared.

Niccolo Machiavelli

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

Niccolo Machiavelli

God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us.

Niccolo Machiavelli

Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.

Niccolo Machiavelli

A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.

Niccolo Machiavelli

It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.

Niccolo Machiavelli

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

Niccolo Machiavelli

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.

Niccolo Machiavelli

Politics have no relation to morals.

Niccolo Machiavelli

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

Niccolo Machiavelli

Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.

Niccolo Machiavelli

Never was anything great achieved without danger.

Niccolo Machiavelli

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

Niccolo Machiavelli

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

Niccolo Machiavelli

He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.

Niccolo Machiavelli

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.

Niccolo Machiavelli

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

Niccolo Machiavelli

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

Niccolo Machiavelli

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

Niccolo Machiavelli

Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.

Niccolo Machiavelli

Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others.

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