This lukewarm temper arises partly from the fear of adversaries who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who will never admit the merit of anything new, until they have seen it proved by the event. The result, however, is that whenever the enemies of change make an attack, they do so with all the zeal of partisans, while the others defend themselves so feebly as to endanger both themselves and their cause.
it is necessary to be a fox to discover the snares and a lion to terrify the wolves.
Injuries, therefore, should be inflicted all at once, that their ill savour being less lasting may the less offend; whereas, benefits should be conferred little by little, that so they may be more fully relished.
And let it here be noted that men are either to be kindly treated, or utterly crushed, since they can revenge lighter injuries, but not graver.
And yet we cannot define as skillful killing one’s fellow citizens, betraying one’s friends, and showing no loyalty, mercy, or moral obligation. These means can lead to power, but not glory.
… Men are either to be kindly treated, or utterly crushed, since they can revenge lighter injuries, but not graver. Wherefore the injury we to do a man should be of a sort to leave no fear of reprisals.
But in republics, there is more vitality, greater hatred, and more desire for vengeance, which will never permit them to allow the memory of their former liberty to rest so that the safest way is to destroy them or to reside there.
Un príncipe que no es sabio no puede ser bien aconsejado y, por ende, no puede gobernar.
And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more dangerous to conduct, nor more doubtful in its success, than to set up as a leader in the introduction of changes.
this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life, and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you. And