The Prince"Men almost always walk in paths beaten by others and act by imitation. Though he cannot hold strictly to the ways of others or match the ability of those he imitates, a prudent man must always tread the path of great men and imitate those who have excelled, so that even if his ability does not match theirs, at least he will achieve some semblance of it.
I say, therefore, that the degree of difficulty which a newly risen prince in a newly founded state encounters will depend upon the degree of ability he possesses. And since his rise from private citizen to prince presupposes either ability or good fortune, it would appear that one or the other of these factors will in part reduce his difficulties." (Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince." ch. 6)
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