For that reason, let a prince have the credit of conquering and holding his state, the means will always be considered honest, and he will be praised by everybody because the vulgar are always taken by what a thing seems to be and by what comes of it; and in the world there are only the vulgar, for the few find a place there only when the many have no ground to rest on. - Niccolo Machiavelli
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A wise prince will seek means by which his subjects will always and in every possible condition of things have need of his government, and then they will always be faithful to him. - Niccolo Machiavelli
Herman Melville - better to be original and fail than to imitate and succeed
If you only notice human proceedings, you may observe that all who attain great power and riches, make use of either force or fraud; and what they have acquired either by deceit or violence, in order to conceal the disgraceful methods of attainment, they endeavor to sanctify with the false title of honest gains. - Niccolo Machiavelli