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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1449
AUTHOR: Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527)
QUOTATION: From this we learn that a wise prince sees to it that never, in order to attack someone, does he become the ally of a prince more powerful than himself, except when necessity forces him, as I said above. If you win, you are the powerful king’s prisoner, and wise princes avoid as much as they can being in other men’s power.
ATTRIBUTION: NICCOLÒ MACHIAVELLI, The Prince, chapter 21, in Machiavelli: The Chief Works and Others, trans. Allan Gilbert, vol. 1, pp. 83–84 (1965).