55+ Best The Prince Quotes: Exclusive Selection

The Prince is a 16th-century political treatise written by the Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli as an instruction guide for new princes and royals. Profoundly inspirational The Prince quotes will get you through anything when the going gets tough and help you succeed in every aspect of life.

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Famous The Prince Quotes

No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution. — The Prince

One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived. — The Prince

The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it. — The Prince

I conclude that since men love as they themselves determine but fear as their ruler determines, a wise prince must rely upon what he and not others can control. — The Prince

It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles. — The Prince

We cannot attribute to fortune or virtue that which is achieved without either. — The Prince

A prince, therefore, must have no other object or thought, nor acquire skill in anything, except war, its organization, and its discipline. — The Prince

Nevertheless, since our free will must not be denied, I estimate that even if fortune is the arbiter of half our actions, she still allows us to control the other half, or thereabouts. — The Prince

The first way to lose your state is to neglect the art of war; the first way to win a state is to be skilled in the art of war. — The Prince

When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred. — The Prince

A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair. — The Prince

It is the nature of men to feel as much bound by the favors they do as by those they receive. — The Prince

By such methods one may win dominion but not glory. — The Prince

God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us. — The Prince

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him. — The Prince

In the end, the arms of another will fall from your hand, will weigh you down, or restrain you. — The Prince

From this it follows that all armed prophets have succeeded and all unarmed ones have failed; for in addition to what has already been said, people are by nature changeable. — The Prince

It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both. — The Prince

This is because by arming your subjects you arm yourself; those who were suspect become loyal, and those who were loyal not only remain so but are changed from merely being your subjects to being your partisans. — The Prince

The lion cannot guard himself from the toils, nor the fox from wolves. He must therefore be a fox to discern toils, and a lion to drive off wolves. — The Prince

These states alone, therefore, are secure and happy. — The Prince

I cannot describe with how much love, with what thirst for revenge, with what resolute loyalty, with what tenderness, with what tears he would be received in all those provinces which have endured these foreign hordes. What gates would be closed to him? What people would deny him obedience? Whose envy would oppose him? What Italian would withhold his allegiance? — The Prince

A prince must have no other objective, no other thought, nor take up any profession but that of war, its methods and its discipline, for that is the only art expected of a ruler.- — The Prince

The main foundations of every state, new states as well as ancient or composite ones, are good laws and good arms you cannot have good laws without good arms, and where there are good arms, good laws inevitably follow. — The Prince

Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times. — The Prince

Hence it comes about that all armed Prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed. — The Prince

Whoever conquers a free town and does not demolish it commits a great error and may expect to be ruined himself. — The Prince

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions. — The Prince

Before all else, be armed. — The Prince

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

From this we can deduce a general rule, which need or rarely fails to apply: that whoever is responsible for another’s becoming powerful ruins himself. — The Prince

Severities should be dealt out all at once, so that their suddenness may give less offense; benefits ought to be handed ought drop by drop, so that they may be relished the more. — The Prince

for fortune is a woman and in order to be mastered she must be jogged and beaten. — The Prince

Therefore, if you are a prince in possession of a newly acquired state and deem it necessary to guard against your enemies, to gain allies, to win either by force or fraud, to be loved and feared by your subjects, to be respected and obeyed by your troops, to annihilate those who can or must attack you, to reform and modernize old institutions, to be severe yet cordial, magnanimous and liberal, to abolish a disloyal militia and create a new one, to preserve the friendship of kings and princes in such a way that they will either favor you graciously or oppose you cautiously-then for such purposes you will not find fresher examples to follow than the actions of this man. — The Prince

I conclude, therefore, that when the prince has the goodwill of the people he must not worry about conspiracies; but when the people are hostile and regard him with hatred he must go in fear of everything and everyone. — The Prince

The one who adapts his policy to the times prospers, and likewise that the one whose policy clashes with the demands of the times does not. — The Prince

It is far better to be feared than loved if you cannot be both. — The Prince

Thus, when fortune turns against him, he will be prepared to resist it. — The Prince

The first opinion that is formed of a ruler’s intelligence is based on the quality of the men around him. When they are competent and loyal he can always be considered wise, because he has been able to recognize their competence and keep them loyal. — The Prince

If you will diligently read and consider it, you will detect in it one of my deepest desires, which is that you will come to that greatness which fortune and your own qualities promise you. And if from your great height Your Highness will sometimes cast a glance below to these lowly places, you will see how undeservedly I endure the heavy and relentless malice of fortune. — The Prince

Politics have no relation to morals. — The Prince

Nonetheless, the less a man has relied on fortune the stronger he has made his position. — The Prince

It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver. — The Prince

The answer is, of course, that it would be best to be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved. — The Prince

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. — The Prince

The two most essential foundations for any state, whether it be old or new, or both old and new, are sound laws and sound military forces. Now, since the absence of sound laws assures the absence of sound military forces, while the presence of sound military forces indicates the presence of sound laws as well, I shall forego a consideration of laws and discuss military forces instead. — The Prince

Many men have imagined republics and principalities that never really existed at all. Yet the way men live is so far removed from the way they ought to live that anyone who abandons what is for what should be pursues his downfall rather than his preservation; for a man who strives after goodness in all his acts is sure to come to ruin, since there are so many men who are not good. — The Prince

The distinction between children and adults, while probably useful for some purposes, is at bottom a specious one, I feel. There are only individual egos, crazy for love. — The Prince

The only way to safeguard yourself against flatterers is by letting people understand that you are not offended by the truth; but if everyone can speak the truth to you then you lose respect. — The Prince

The new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all. — The Prince

From it a noteworthy lesson may be drawn: princes should delegate unpopular duties to others while dispensing all favors directly themselves. I say again that a prince must respect the nobility, but avoid the hatred of the common people. — The Prince

Nature that framed us of four elements, warring within our breasts for regiment, doth teach us all to have aspiring minds. — The Prince

The wise man does at once what the fool does finally. — The Prince

Fortune shows her potency where there is no well-regulated power to resist her, and her impetus is felt where she knows there are no embankments and dykes built to restrain her. — The Prince

Therefore a prince will not actually need to have all the qualities previously mentioned, but he must surely seem to have them. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that having them all and always conforming to them would be harmful, while appearing to have them would be useful. — The Prince

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