By numberless examples it will appear evident that human affairs are as subject to change and fluctuation as the waters of the sea, agitated by the winds. And also how pernicious, often to themselves and even to their people, are the precipitate measures of our rulers, when actuated only by some vain project, or present pleasure and advantage. Such princes never stop to reflect on the instability of fortune; but instead of using the power which is given to them to do good, become the authors of disquiet and confusion by their misconduct and ambition.
Francesco Guicciardini (1483-1540) The History of Italy.
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