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[ Also see Caution Discretion Expediency Government Impulse Method Politics Prudence Purpose Statesmanship Strategy Tact War Wisdom ]

Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up his prayers for the observers of his law. The people assembled; Mahomet called the hill to come to him, again and again, and when the hill stood still, he was never a whit abashed, but said, "If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill."
      - Francis Bacon, Essays--Of Boldness

At court one becomes a sort of human ant eater, and learns to catch one's prey by one's tongue.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

Kings will be tyrants from policy, when subjects are rebels from principle.
      - Edmund Burke,
        Reflections on the Revolution in France

Like Aesop's fox, when he had lost his tail, would have all his fellow foxes cut off theirs.
      - Robert Burton,
        Anatomy of Melancholy--Democritus to the Reader

All policies allowed in war and love.
      - Mrs. Susannah Centlivre

They had best not stir the rice, though it sticks to the pot.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra),
        Don Quixote (pt. II, ch. XXXVII)

To manage men one ought to have a sharp mind in a velvet sheath.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

Honesty is the best policy, says the familiar axiom; but people who are honest on that principle defraud no one but themselves.
      - James Abram Garfield

The creed of diplomats.
      - Horace Greeley

One of the old philosophers says that it is the part of wisdom to sometimes seem a fool; but in our day there are too many ready-made ones to render this a desirable policy.
      - Thomas Chandler Haliburton (used pseudonym Sam Slick)

He has mastered all points who has combined the useful with the agreeable.
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus)

Don't throw a monkey-wrench into the machinery.
      - Philander Chase Johnson,
        see "Everybody's Magazine", May, 1920, p. 36

Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.
      - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

The policy of adapting one's self to circumstances makes all ways smooth.
      - Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)

It is easiest to "be all things to all men," but it is not honest. Self-respect must be sacrificed every hour in the day.
      - Abraham Lincoln

Masterly inactivity.
      - Sir James Mackintosh, Vindicioe Gallicoe,
        probably from "Strenua inertia", Horace "Epistles", XI, 28

When I see a merchant over-polite to his customers, begging them to taste a little brandy and throwing half his goods on the counter,--thinks I, that man as an axe to grind.
      - Charles Miner,
        Who'll turn Grindstones?--Essays from the Desk of Poor Robert the Scribe,
        in the "Wilkesbarre Gleaner"

The publick weal requires that a man should betray, and lye, and massacre.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne,
        Essays--Of Profit and Honesty

It is better to walk than to run; it is better to stand than to walk; it is better to sit than to stand; it is better to lie than to sit.
      - Proverb, (Hindu)

In a troubled state we must do as in foul weather upon a river, not think to cut directly through, for the boat may be filled with water; but rise and fall as the waves do, and give way as much as we conveniently can.
      - John Selden

The devil knew what he did when he made men politic; he crossed himself by it.
      - William Shakespeare

To beguile the time,
  Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
    Your hand, your tongue; look like th' innocent flower,
      But be the serpent under't.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Lady Macbeth at I, v)

Turn him to any cause of policy,
  The Gordian knot of it he will unloose
    Familiar as his garter; that when he speaks,
      The air, a chartered libertine, is still,
        And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears
          To steal his sweet and honeyed sentences; . . .
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Fifth
         (Canterbury at I, i)

Cervantes shrewdly advises to lay a bridge of silver for a flying enemy.
      - Edwin Percy Whipple

We shall not, I believe, be obliged to alter our policy of watchful waiting.
      - Thomas Woodrow Wilson, Annual Message,
        alluding to Mexico

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