Frederick the Great on The Prince

I will defend humanity against this monster which wants to destroy it; I dare to oppose Reason and Justice to sophism and crime; and I ventured my reflections on Machiavel’s Prince, chapter by chapter, so that the antidote is immediately near the poison.

I always have regarded The Prince as one of the most dangerous works which were spread in the world; it is a book which falls naturally into the hands of princes, and of those who have a taste for policy. It is all too easy for an ambitious young man, whose heart and judgment are not formed enough to accurately distinguish good from bad, to be corrupted by maxims which inflame his hunger for power.

From The Refutation of Machiavelli’s Prince (currently reading).

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What is a man…

What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.
Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and god-like reason
To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on the event,
A thought which, quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward, I do not know
Why yet I live to say ‘This thing’s to do;’
Sith I have cause and will and strength and means
To do’t.

Hamlet, Act 4