It is often found that modesty and humility not only do no good, but are positively hurtful, when they are shown to the arrogant who have taken up a prejudice against you, either from envy or from any other cause.
Men are of three different capacities: one understands intuitively; another understands so far as it is explained; and a third understands neither of himself nor by explanation. The first is excellent, the second, commendable, and the third, altogether useless. – Niccolò Machiavelli
It is the duty of a man of honor to teach others the good which he has not been able to do himself because of the malignity of the times, that this good finally can be done by another more loved in heaven.
I consider it a mark of great prudence in a man to abstain from threats or any contemptuous expressions, for neither of these weaken the enemy, but threats make him more cautious, and the other excites his hatred, and a desire to revenge himself.
Though fraud in all other actions be odious, yet in matters of war it is laudable and glorious, and he who overcomes his enemies by stratagem is as much to be praised as he who overcomes them by force.
It is a true observation of ancient writers, that as men are apt to be cast down by adversity, so they are easily satiated with prosperity, and that joy and grief produce the same effects. For whenever men are not obliged by necessity to fight they fight from ambition, which is so powerful a passion in the human breast that however high we reach we are never satisfied.