because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot;
therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind
that one does not stand in fear of revenge.
Either treat people well... or completely destroy them.
The Romans never allowed a trouble spot to remain simply to avoid going to war over it, because they knew that wars don't just go away, they are only postponed to someone else's advantage.
If you suspect someone could pose a future threat, deal with them now.
Hence it comes that all armed prophets have been victorious,
and all unarmed prophets have been destroyed.
...It is better to be rash than timid...
Carry a big stick.
A prudent man should always follow in the path trodden by great men
and imitate those who are most excellent,
so that if he does not attain to their greatness,
at any rate he will get some tinge of it.
...it is better to be loved rather than feared,
or feared rather than loved.
It might perhaps be answered that we should wish to be both:
but since love and fear can hardly exist together,
if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.
A prince should make himself feared in such a way
that if he does not gain love,
he at any rate avoids hatred.
Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are.
Perception is reality.
...it is unnecessary for a prince to have ...good qualities
...but it is very necessary to appear to have them.
... appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and to be so,
but with a mind so framed that should you require not to be so,
you may be able and know how to change to the opposite.
...endeavor with the utmost diligence to avoid the hatred of the most powerful.
The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
Smart people hire other smart people."