The fox and the lion…

A prince… must learn from the fox and the lion… One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Those who act simply as lions are stupid. So it follows that a prudent ruler cannot, and must not, honour his word when it places him at a disadvantage and when the reasons for which he made his promise no longer exist.

– The Prince (1513) – Niccolò Machiavelli

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