War cannot be avoided; it can only be postponed to the other's advantage.
One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves.
One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.
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.
Hatred may be engendered by good deeds as well as bad ones.
We have not seen great things done in our time except by those who have been considered mean; the rest have failed.
There is no other way of guarding oneself against flattery than by letting men understand that they will not offend you by speaking the truth; but when everyone can tell you the truth, you lose their respect.
Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.
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.
Whoever desires to found a state and give it laws, must start with assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature, whenever they may find occasion for it.
He who blinded by ambition, raises himself to a position whence he cannot mount higher, must thereafter fall with the greatest loss.
It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.
...people are by nature fickle, and it is easy to persuade them of something, but difficult to keep them persuaded.
Nothing feeds upon itself as liberality does.
There are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, and the third is useless.
Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see, but only a few can test by feeling. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are, and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion.
Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.
God creates men, but they choose each other.
Is necessary to take such measures that, when they believe no longer, it may be possible to make them believe by force.
When neither their property nor their honor is touched, the marjority of men live content.
A prince should therefore have no other aim or thought, nor take up any other thing for his study but war and it organization and discipline, for that is the only art that is necessary to one who commands.
Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for everyone can see and few can feel. Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are.
War is a profession by which a man cannot live honorably; an employment by which the soldier, if he would reap any profit, is obliged to be false, rapacious, and cruel.
To be feared is much safer then to be loved.
Ambition is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach we are never satisfied.
Before all else, be armed.
...it is a base thing to look to others for your defense instead of depending upon yourself. That defense alone is effectual, sure, and durable which depends upon yourself and your own valor.
If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.
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.
Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.
Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain.
There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.