The first way to lose a state is to neglect the art of war; the first way to gain a state is to be skilled in the art of war.

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

It is essential that in entering a new province you should have the good will of its inhabitants.

Princes should devolve on others those matters that entail responsibility, and reserve to themselves those that relate to grace and favour.

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

In peace one is despoiled by the mercenaries, in war by one's enemies.

War is not so to be avoided, but is only deferred to your disadvantage.

Men will not look at things as they really are, but as they wish them to be—and are ruined.

Everything that occurs in the world, in every epoch, has something that corresponds to it in ancient times.

Good individuals cannot exist without good education, and good education cannot exist without good laws.

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

Fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.

There is no other way to guard yourself against flattery than by making men understand that telling you the truth will not offend you.

Nature that framed us of four elements, warring within our breasts for regiment, doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.

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

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

Benefits should be conferred gradually; and in that way they will taste better.

The new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all.

A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair.

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

Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain.

When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred.