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The Prince Quotes

25 of the best book quotes from The Prince
  1. #1
    “Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are.”
  2. #2
    “How one lives is so far distant from how one ought to live, that he who neglects what is done for what ought to be done, sooner effects his ruin than his preservation.”
  3. #3
    “The vulgar are always taken by what a thing seems to be.”
  4. #4
    “Where the willingness is great the difficulties cannot be great.”
  5. #5
    “It is necessary for a prince to have the people friendly.”
  6. #6
    “And there is nothing wastes so rapidly as liberality, for even whilst you exercise it you lose the power to do so.”
  7. #7
    “The people do not wish to be ruled nor oppressed by the nobles, and the nobles wish to rule and oppress the people.”
  8. #8
    “A wise prince ought to . . . never in peaceful times stand idle, but increase his resources with industry in such a way that they may be available to him in adversity.”

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  1. #9
    “A prince ought also to show himself a patron of ability, and to honour the proficient in every art.”
  2. #10
    “The lion cannot defend himself against snares and the fox cannot defend himself against wolves. Therefore, it is necessary to be a fox to discover the snares and a lion to terrify the wolves.”
  3. #11
    “The first opinion which one forms of a prince, and of his understanding, is by observing the men he has around him.”
  4. #12
    “Outside of these, he should listen to no one, pursue the thing resolved on, and be steadfast in his resolutions. He who does otherwise is either overthrown by flatterers, or is so often changed by varying opinions that he falls into contempt.”
  5. #13
    “Not to extinguish our free will, I hold it to be true that Fortune is the arbiter of one-half of our actions, but that she still leaves us to direct the other half.”
  6. #14
    “Fortune . . . shows her power where valour has not prepared to resist her, and thither she turns her forces where she knows that barriers and defences have not been raised to constrain her.”
  7. #15
    “There is no other way of guarding oneself from flatterers except letting men understand that to tell you the truth does not offend you.”
  8. #16
    “He ought to question them upon everything, and listen to their opinions, and afterwards form his own conclusions.”
  1. #17
    “The older one gets the more convinced one becomes that his Majesty King Chance does three-quarters of the business of this miserable universe.”
  2. #18
    “Prudence consists in knowing how to distinguish the character of troubles, and for choice to take the lesser evil.”
  3. #19
    “A prince, therefore, ought always to take counsel.”
  4. #20
    “One who becomes a prince through the favour of the people ought to keep them friendly, and this he can easily do seeing they only ask not to be oppressed by him.”
  5. #21
    “Friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by greatness or nobility of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured.”
  6. #22
    “It is the nature of men to be bound by the benefits they confer as much as by those they receive.”
  7. #23
    “You can satisfy the people, for their object is more righteous than that of the nobles, the latter wishing to oppress, while the former only desire not to be oppressed.”
  8. #24
    “This is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous.”
  9. #25
    “A prince who is not wise himself will never take good advice.”
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