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The Prince

The Prince

by Niccolò Machiavelli

Lies and Deceit; Manipulation Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Having recovered credibility, and not wanting to have to put the loyalty of the French or anyone else to the test, Borgia turned to trickery. He was so good at disguising his intentions that even the Orsini made peace with him, sending Paulo Orsini as mediator. (7.7)

Machiavelli's right hand man, Cesare Borgia, teaches us that sometimes you have to "turn to trickery." Since Machiavelli says over and over again that we should imitate him, we can only assume that we should turn to the dark side, too. The trick is, don't get caught.

Quote #2

Borgia was extremely generous to Paulo, reassuring him with gifts of money, clothes and horses, until the ingenuous Orsinis eventually responded and accepted an invitation to Senigallia, thus delivering themselves into the duke's hands. Having killed the Orsini leaders then and forced their followers to become his allies, Borgia had laid solid foundations for his power: he held Romagna and the Duchy of Urbino and, what's more, he felt he had won the support of the local people who were beginning to enjoy some prosperity. (7.7)

This is how you do it. Lure your enemy in with sweet candy, and then bam! Massacre. Remember guys, this isn't bad behavior. This is what you need to do to keep power. Plus, Borgia's people weren't complaining, were they?

Quote #3

And since, he wrote, he'd been working hard for nothing but the prestige of his position, he wanted to ride into town in style with a hundred mounted friends and servants beside him; that way his fellow citizens would see that he hadn't been wasting his time. (8.4)

Agathocles must be subscribing to Cesare Borgia Daily, because this pattern of trickery seems awfully familiar. Who's going to assume you want to kill them when you just say you want to have a parade and a party? Any Shmoopster, after this.

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