Quotes on the Prince
The Prince Quotes Political: •“…and in the actions of men, and especially of princes, from which there is no appeal, the end justifies the means. ” Pg. 94 Meaning: As long as your end result is good, your way to get there, no matter how brutal, cruel, cunning, etc, will be justified. •“…when dominions are acquired in a providence differing in language, law, and customs, the difficulties to be overcome are great…one of the best and most certain means of doing so would be for the new ruler to take up his residence there.
This would render possession more secure and durable… The other and better remedy is to plant colonies in one or two of those places which form as it were the keys of the land, for it is necessary either to do this or to maintain a large force of armed men. The colonies will cost the prince little…” Pg. 36-37 Meaning: Two ways to acquire a foreign providence is to one; go and live there to gain trust from the people there, and two; plant a colony there to establish order. “When those states which have been acquired are accustomed to live at liberty under their own laws, there are three ways of holding them. The first is to despoil them; the second is to go and live there in person; the third is to allow them to live under their own laws, taking tribute of them, and creating within the country a government composed of a few who will keep it friendly to you. ” Pg. 46 Meaning: To govern a state that lives under its own laws, you can despoil (destroy) them, live there in person, or allow to live under their own laws as long as they remain loyal to their prince. “Well committed may be called those (if it is permissible to use the word well of evil) which are perpetrated once for the need of securing one’s self, and which afterwards are not persisted in, but are exchanged for measures as useful to the subjects as possible. Cruelties ill committed are those which, although at first few, increase rather than diminish with time. ” Pg. 62 Meaning: Ill committed cruelties are done for the good of nothing, only done to amuse the abuser.
Well committed cruelties are done for the good of the state, but not necessarily the people. Social: •“The reply is, that one ought to be both feared and loved, but as it is difficult for the two to go together, it is much safer to be feared than loved, if one of the two has to be wanting. ” Pg. 90 Meaning: It is better to be fear than loved. But the fear shouldn’t be so immense that it starts to create hatred. The people can love on their own, but fear is of the prince’s choosing. “A prince, therefore, ought always to take counsel, but only when he wishes, not when others wish; on the contrary he ought to discourage absolutely attempts to advise him unless he asks it, but he ought to be a great asker, and a patient hearer of the truth about those things of which he has inquired…” Pg. 117 Meaning: A prince should get his advice from wise men/counsel, get it only when he wishes, and when an answer is made, he must listen with patience. •“It is not, therefore, necessary for a prince to have all the above-named qualities, but it is very necessary to seem to have them.
I would even be bold to say that to possess them and always to observe them is dangerous, but to appear to possess them is useful. Thus it is well to seem merciful, faithful, humane, sincere, religious, and also to be so; but you must have the mind so disposed that when it is needful to be otherwise you may be able to change to the opposite qualities. ” Pg. 93 Meaning: It is good for a prince to be merciful, faithful, humane, etc. But to possess all of those traits can be dangerous. It is better to have a few, and seem to have the rest, so that when needed, you can change your original traits into cognate traits and even dissimilar traits.
Economy: •“…will be at last compelled, if he wishes to maintain his name for liberality, to impose heavy taxes on his people, become extortionate, and do everything possible to obtain money. This will make his subjects begin to hate him. …a prince must care little for the reputation of being a miser, if he wishes to avoid robbing his subjects…” Pg. 86-87 Meaning: It is better to save money, or in other words to be a miser, than to spend it, which is to spend money liberally. Being a miser only produces disgrace, while spending money liberally produces disgrace and hatred.