Archives For life lessons

All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it’s impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.

Niccolò Machiavelli

 

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

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

I have had such a sickening of men in masses, and of causes, that I would not cross this room to reform parliament or prevent the union or to bring about the millennium. I speak only for myself, mind – it is my own truth alone – but man as part of a movement or a crowd is indifferent to me. He is inhuman. And I have nothing to do with nations, or nationalism. The only feelings I have – for what they are – are for men as individuals; my loyalties, such as they may be, are to private persons alone.

Patrick O’Brian, Master and Commander

Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self interest.

Napoléon Bonaparte

Historia magistra vitae et testis temporum (History is the teacher and witness of times)

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.

C.S. Lewis

Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum (Let him who desires peace prepare for war)

Vegetius