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Niccolò Machiavelli

1469-1527. Italian Renaissance political philosopher and statesman.

Books by Niccolò Machiavelli

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.

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Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.

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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.

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Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.

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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.

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There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.

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A wise man will see to it that his acts always seem voluntary and not done by compulsion, however much he may be compelled by necessity.

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One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others.

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Men sooner forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony.

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Tardiness often robs us opportunity, and the dispatch of our forces.

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