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Quotations From NICCOLÒ MACHIAVELLI

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  • 1.
    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.
    Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), Italian political philosopher, statesman. The Prince, ch. 22 (written 1513-1514, published 1532), trans. by George Bull (1961).
  • 2.
    Men sooner forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony.
    Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), Italian political philosopher, statesman. The Prince, ch. 17 (1514).

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  • 3.
    States that rise quickly, just as all the other things of nature that are born and grow rapidly, cannot have roots and ramifications; the first bad weather kills them.
    Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), Italian political philosopher, statesman. The Prince, ch. 4 (1514).

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  • 4.
    The main foundations of every state, new states as well as ancient or composite ones, are good laws and good arms ... you cannot have good laws without good arms, and where there are good arms, good laws inevitably follow.
    Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), Italian political philosopher, statesman. The Prince, ch. 12 (written 1513-1514, published 1532), trans. by George Bull (1961).
  • 5.
    A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.
    Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), Italian political philosopher, statesman. The Prince, ch. 18 (1514).
  • 6.
    The fact is that a man who wants to act virtuously in every way necessarily comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous.
    Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), Italian political philosopher, statesman. The Prince, ch. 15 (1514).

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  • 7.
    For among other evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you contemptible; which is one of those disgraceful things which a prince must guard against.
    Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), Italian political philosopher, statesman. The Prince, ch. 14 (1514).
  • 8.
    It should be noted that when he seizes a state the new ruler ought to determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He should inflict them once and for all, and not have to renew them every day.
    Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), Italian political philosopher, statesman. The Prince, ch. 8 (written 1513-1514, published 1532), trans. by George Bull (1961). "Whoever acts otherwise," Machiavelli added, "either through timidity or bad advice, is always forced to have the knife ready in his hand.... Violence should be inflicted once and for all; people will then forget what it tastes like and so be less resentful."
  • 9.
    There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.
    Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), Italian political philosopher, statesman. The Prince, ch. 3 (1514).

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  • 10.
    Since it is difficult to join them together, it is safer to be feared than to be loved when one of the two must be lacking.
    Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), Italian political philosopher, statesman. The Prince, ch. 17 (written 1513-1514, published 1532), trans. by George Bull (1961).

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