Niccol Machiavelli
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Quotes for
Niccol Machiavelli (Character)
from "The Borgias" (2011)

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Masque of the Red Death (1989)
Machiavel: So shall death exact his charge against man.

Young Prospero: [first lines; riding together, they come across a hanged man] Do you know what crime this man committed, Machiavel?
Machiavel: All crimes exact the same punishment.
Young Prospero: It's easy to kiil.
Machiavel: [glancing at his pupil] Not even Death can look on your father's excesses with approval.
Young Prospero: My rule will be different.
Machiavel: You're a good pupil, Prospero. When your turn comes, I hope you'll remember that there's more justice in this world than mercy... and little enough justice.
Young Prospero: You've been a good tutor, Machiavel.
Machiavel: Well, if I've helped lighten the weight of generations, then my energies will be well spent.
Young Prospero: I won't disappoint you.
Machiavel: It's yourself you'd best not disappoint.

Machiavel: [who's just entered the Great Hall in his Red Death costume] I have a riddle, young pupil... when a man invades Death's domain, where is Death to go?

Prospero: I've not heard much about you since you left court.
Prospero: [pause, then] I've heard much about you.
Prospero: Well, I hope you won't judge me without a trial.
Machiavel: [stops and turns to face Prospero] No more than would you.

Prospero: [realizing that Machiavel has brought the Red Death into his fortress] You! You brought the plague within these walls!
Machiavel: No, dear pupil... it was you invited me in!

Machiavel: [now fully realized as The Red Death] How do you like the face of your tutor, Prospero? I had a dream, dear pupil... and in it I died, the first victim of the Red Death. I entered the realm of the Dead... came face to face with the Master himself, but Death wouldn't let me rest... sent me back to the realm of the living to be his messenger... and it seems, my pupil, that you are fouling his name!
Prospero: How can the name of Death be fouled?
Machiavel: There's only one fairness in life... and that's the fairness of Death. Death doesn't choose between rich and poor... young, old... man, woman... but you, dear pupil, have taken it on yourself to decide who lives and who dies, and there's no fairness in that! When you invade the domain of a neighbor, isn't it to be expected that the neighbor will retaliate?
Prospero: You tutored me too well, old friend!
Machiavel: [shakes his head] Not well enough.


"Sword of Freedom: The Beseiged Duchess (#1.27)" (1957)
Duke de Medici: Master Machiavelli, I cannot understand this suggestion of yours - that, although the Duchess indignitly rejects the castle as a monument to the duke, she will happily except a monument to herself.
Machiavelli: It's just a question of understanding a woman's mind.
Duke de Medici: You're obviously out of yours.


Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (2010) (VG)
Niccolò Machiavelli: Rodrigo surrounds himself with snakes and murderers. Even his daughter Lucrezia has been sharpened into one of his most artful weapons. But she pales in comparison to the man behind the Villa attack. He is ambitious, ruthless and cruel beyond imagining, the laws of men mean nothing to him. He murdered his own brother to take power. He knows neither danger nor fatigue. Those who do not fall by his sword clamor to join his ranks. The powerful Orsini and Colonna families have been brought to kneel at his feet and the King of France stands at his side.
Ezio Auditore Da Firenze: Give me his name.
Niccolò Machiavelli: Cesare, head of the Papal armies. What does he intend to do with this power? What drives the man? That I still do not know. But, Ezio, Cesare has set his sights on all of Italia, and at this rate he will have it.
Ezio Auditore Da Firenze: Is that admiration I hear in your voice?
Niccolò Machiavelli: He knows how to exercise his will. A rare virtue in the world today.


"The Borgias: The Prince (#3.10)" (2013)
[first lines]
Niccolo Machiavelli: I have no servants when here in Rome, my lord. Florence can no longer afford them.
Cesare Borgia: Ah, democracy, Signor Machiavelli.
Niccolo Machiavelli: They say it has its merits.
Niccolo Machiavelli: [after a pause] What would you say is the perfect crime, my lord?
Cesare Borgia: The one without a victim.
Niccolo Machiavelli: [after a negative giggle] The one without suspect.


"The Borgias: World of Wonders (#2.9)" (2012)
Niccolo Machiavelli: [Watching an accused witch being burned at the stake] If angels can fall from Heaven into Hell, then so we can all. The demon waits to devour us.
Cesare Borgia: Then go wrestle with the demon we must.


Assassin's Creed II (2009) (VG)
Mario Auditore: Laa shay'a waqi'un moutlaq bale kouloun moumkine. These are the words spoken by our ancestors that lay at the heart of our creed.
Niccolò Machiavelli: Where other men blindly follow the truth, remember...
Ezio Auditore da Firenze: Nothing is true.
Niccolò Machiavelli: Where other men are limited, by morality or law, remember...
Ezio Auditore da Firenze: Everything is permitted.
Niccolò Machiavelli: We work in the dark, to serve the light. We are assassins.
[Everyone collectively]
Niccolò Machiavelli: Nothing is true, everything is permitted.


"Sword of Freedom: The Pagan Venus (#1.19)" (1957)
[first lines]
[de Medici enters his apartment and finds Machiavelli feeding grapes to a pretty woman]
Duke de Medici: Enjoying yourself, Master Machiavelli?
Machiavelli: Welcome home, your excellence! Did you find what you are looking for?
Duke de Medici: Oh, yes, I found cannon - fine, sturdy brass cannon. I daresay the armorers of the Amelia are as excellent craftsmen as you will find anywhere in Europe.
Machiavelli: And yet I believe I detect a certain discordant note?
Duke de Medici: You do - the ring of brass on an empty coffer.
Machiavelli: And the excellent craftsmen of the Amelia are asking to be paid for their labors.
Duke de Medici: In gold, before delivery. Machiavelli, I must find that money!


"The Borgias: Lucrezia's Wedding (#1.4)" (2011)
Niccolo Machiavelli: And what do you want of Florence?
Giuliano Della Rovere: Nothing.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Oh, then, we will charge you nothing.
Giuliano Della Rovere: You misunderstand. I ask that Florence... do... nothing.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Ah, we let those French barbarians march through our principality and do... nothing. That's a different kind of nothing that will cost you something.


"The Borgias: Death, on a Pale Horse (#1.7)" (2011)
Niccolo Machiavelli: There is genius afoot here, Cardinal. Is it yours?
Giuliano Della Rovere: Have you ever witnessed carnage, Ambassador?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Let's drink to The Great God Carnage.


"The Borgias: The Borgias in Love (#1.5)" (2011)
Niccolo Machiavelli: You are far too clever for a cardinal.
Cesare Borgia: The times make me so.


"Borgia: 1505 (#3.12)" (2014)
Giulia Farnese: [testifying] Cesare was born a perversion of nature. My brother has time and again attempted to save his friend. Even here, now, he tries. Always for naught. Cesare's a disease.
Niccolo Machiavelli: How so?
Giulia Farnese: Oh, in a very literal sense, he has the French disease. How many whores did you sleep with Cesare.
Cesare Borgia: [through his gag] Only you!


"The Borgias: The Choice (#2.5)" (2012)
Rodrigo Borgia: [about Savanarola] Perhaps the good friar could be bought.
Piero De Medici: [Doubtful] With money?
Rodrigo Borgia: With a bishopric. Generalship of the Dominican Order.
Piero De Medici: The Dominican Order already does his bidding.
Niccolo Machiavelli: And how can you buy one who would outlaw trade itself?
Rodrigo Borgia: You offer him something that money cannot buy - Heaven itself!


"Sword of Freedom: Vespucci (#1.21)" (1957)
[Vespucci is seeking backers for another trans-Atlantic voyage]
Vespucci: How you estimate my chances of being heard?
Marco del Monte: What matters, Captain, are your chances of being believed.
Machiavelli: Exactly. To arrange a hearing with the Counsel won't be too difficult, but I can guarantee you'll be dismissed without further consideration unless you can offer evidence to substantiate your claims.
Vespucci: If you mean gold and silver and precious stones, I'm afraid they aren't lying around waiting to be picked up like so many seashells.
Machiavelli: Yes. Yes, that's a point we needed belabor, of course. The counsel is imaginative enough when it comes to visions of easy wealth.


"The Borgias: The Confession (#2.10)" (2012)
Cesare Borgia: [Referring to Savonarola] Who thought a body could stand so much pain! We've tortured the man near to death.
Niccolo Machiavelli: The strength of a faith misguided is still a strength. He thought he could walk through fire.