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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

 

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

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince