Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.
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.
Benefits should be conferred gradually; and in that way they will taste better.
A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair.
No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.
Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.
War is just when it is necessary; arms are permissible when there is no hope except in arms.
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.
Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others.
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.
War should be the only study of a prince. He should consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes as ability to execute, military plans.
Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times.
God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us.
Nature that framed us of four elements, warring within our breasts for regiment, doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.
Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.
He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.
The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.
Never was anything great achieved without danger.
The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.
There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.
It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.
Politics have no relation to morals.
It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.