At court one becomes a sort of humarant-eater, and learns to catch one's prey by one's tongue.
A few drops of oil will set the political machine at work, when a ton of vinegar would only corrode the wheels and canker the movements.
To manage men one ought to have a sharp mind in a velvet sheath.
Policy consists in serving God in such a manner as not to offend the devil.
Measures, not men, have always been my mark.
A statesman makes the occasion, but the occasion makes the politician.
By a land of fashionable discipline, the eye is taught to brighten, the lip to smile, and the whole countenance to emanate with the semblance of friendly welcome, while the bosom is unwarmed by a single spark of genuine kindness and good-will.
A politician, Proteus like, must alter his face and habit, and like water seem of the same color that the vessel is that doth contain it, varying his form with the chameleon at each object's change.
If thou be strong enough to encounter with the times, keep thy station; if not, shift a foot to gain advantage of the times. He that acts a beggar to prevent a thief is never the poorer; it is a great part of wisdom sometimes to seem a fool.
Were the king at noonday to say, "This day is night," it would behoove us to reply, "Lo! there are the moon and seven stars!"
It is not juggling that is to be blamed, but much juggling; for the world cannot be governed without it.
Men must learn now with pity to dispense, for policy sits above conscience.
The devil knew not what he did when he made man politic; he crossed himself by it.
Let go thy hold when a great wheel runs down the hill, lest it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee after.
Turn him to any cause of policy, the Gordian knot of it he will unloose, familiar as his garter.
An thou canst not smile as the wind sets, thou wilt catch cold shortly.