Niccolo Machiavelli Quotes

The sinews of war are not gold, but good soldiers; for gold alone will not procure good soldiers, but good soldiers will always procure gold.

It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the emnity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain […]

Let no one oppose this belief of mine with that well-worn proverb: ‘He who builds on the people builds on mud.’

Nor would I have it thought presumption that a person of very mean and humble station should venture to discourse and lay down rules concerning the government of Princes. For as those who make maps of countries place themselves low down in the plains to study the character of mountains and elevated lands, and place […]

Men ever praise the olden time, and find fault with the present, though often without reason… Having grown old, they also laud all they remember to have seen in their youth. Their opinion is generally erroneous… We never know the whole truth about the past.

In all cities and in all peoples there are the same desires and the same humors, and the same as they always were. So it is an easy thing for whoever examines past things to foresee future (things) in each republic and to take those remedies that were used by the ancients, or not finding […]

There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to institute a new order of things.

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.

If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.

Men nearly always follow the tracks made by others and proceed in their affairs by imitation, even though they cannot entirely keep to the tracks of others or emulate the prowess of their models. So a prudent man should always follow in the footsteps of great men and imitate those who have been outstanding. If […]