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The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

Home | Books about and by Machiavelli

Quotes from The Prince by Machiavelli

All quotes are from the translation of The Prince by W. K. Marriott, from the Gutenberg Project.

Shocking Quotes

Other Quotes

Shocking quotes by Machiavelli

Chapter 6

"is necessary to take such measures that, when they believe no longer, it may be possible to make them believe by force. "

Chapter 8

"For injuries ought to be done all at one time, so that, being tasted less, they offend less; benefits ought to be given little by little, so that the flavour of them may last longer."

Chapter 9

"Therefore a wise prince ought to adopt such a course that his citizens will always in every sort and kind of circumstance have need of the state and of him, and then he will always find them faithful. "

Chapter 15

"a man who wishes to act entirely up to his professions of virtue soon meets with what destroys him among so much that is evil. "

"Hence it is necessary for a prince wishing to hold his own to know how to do wrong, and to make use of it or not according to necessity. "

Chapter 16

"We have not seen great things done in our time except by those who have been considered mean; the rest have failed. "

Chapter 18

"You must know there are two ways of contesting, the one by the law, the other by force; the first method is proper to men, the second to beasts; but because the first is frequently not sufficient, it is necessary to have recourse to the second. Therefore it is necessary for a prince to understand how to avail himself of the beast and the man. "

"If men were entirely good this precept would not hold, but because they are bad, and will not keep faith with you, you too are not bound to observe it with them. Nor will there ever be wanting to a prince legitimate reasons to excuse this nonobservance. "

"One prince of the present time, whom it is not well to name, never preaches anything else but peace and good faith, and to both he is most hostile, and either, if he had kept it, would have deprived him of reputation and kingdom many a time. "

Chapter 19

"And here it should be noted that hatred is acquired as much by good works as by bad ones, therefore, as I said before, a prince wishing to keep his state is very often forced to do evil; for when that body is corrupt whom you think you have need of to maintain yourself- it may be either the people or the soldiers or the nobles- you have to submit to its humours and to gratify them, and then good works will do you harm. "

Chapter 21

"And a prince ought, above all things, always to endeavour in every action to gain for himself the reputation of being a great and remarkable man. "

Chapter 25

"because fortune is a woman, and if you wish to keep her under it is necessary to beat and ill-use her; and it is seen that she allows herself to be mastered by the adventurous rather than by those who go to work more coldly. She is, therefore, always, woman-like, a lover of young men, because they are less cautious, more violent, and with more audacity (bold, daring) command her. "

Other Quotes by Machiavelli

"A wise man ought always to follow the paths beaten by great men, and to imitate those who have been supreme, so that if his ability does not equal theirs, at least it will savour of it. "

"he who is the cause of another becoming powerful is ruined"

"he who has not first laid his foundations may be able with great ability to lay them afterwards, but they will be laid with trouble to the architect and danger to the building. "

"a prince to have the people friendly, otherwise he has no security in adversity"

"one of the most efficacious (effective, powerful) remedies that a prince can have against conspiracies is not to be hated and despised by the people"

"two men working differently bring about the same effect, and of two working similarly, one attains his object and the other does not"

"nothing honours a man more than to establish new laws and new ordinances when he himself was newly risen. Such things when they are well founded and dignified will make him revered (respected in awe) and admired."

"there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm (indifferent, uninterested) defenders in those who may do well under the new. "

"he who has relied least on fortune is established the strongest"

"nothing makes a prince so much esteemed as great enterprises and setting a fine example"

"good counsels, whencesoever they come, are born of the wisdom of the prince, and not the wisdom of the prince from good counsels"


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