Ambition is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach we are never satisfied.
One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others.
It should be noted that when he seizes a state the new ruler ought to determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He should inflict them once and for all, and not have to renew them every day.
Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.
Benefits should be conferred gradually; and in that way they will taste better.
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.
Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.
Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain.
Many have dreamed up republics and principalities that have never in truth been known to exist; the gulf between how one should live and how one does live is so wide that a man who neglects what is actually done for what should be done learns the way to self-destruction rather than self-preservation.
Category: Ideals And Idealism
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 his own prowess fails to compare with theirs, at least it has an air of greatness about it. He should behave like those archers who, if they are skilful, when the target seems too distant, know the capabilities of their bow and aim a good deal higher than their objective, not in order to shoot so high but so that by aiming high they can reach the target.
Men sooner forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony.
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.
Category: Intelligence And Intellectuals
Men are more apt to be mistaken in their generalizations than in their particular observations.
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.
Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.