„A friend should always underestimate your virtues and an enemy overestimate your faults“

—  Mario Puzo
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1920 - 1999
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„One who reveals your faults to you like a mirror is your true friend, and one who flatters you and covers up your faults is your enemy.“

—  Husayn ibn Ali The grandson of Muhammad and the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib 626 - 680
Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.78, p. 128

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„Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults.“

—  Benjamin Franklin American author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman,... 1706 - 1790
Poor Richard's Almanack (1756); this has also been quoted in a paraphrased form used by Bill Clinton in [ 1998 address to Beijing University http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/122320.stm, as "Our critics are our friends, they show us our faults".

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„Count me not your friend but the enemy of your enemies.“

—  Jack Vance American mystery and speculative fiction writer 1916 - 2013
Chapter 8, section 3 (p. 480)

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Friedrich Nietzsche photo

„Go up close to your friend but do not go over to him! We should respect the enemy that is in our friend“

—  Friedrich Nietzsche German philosopher, poet, composer, cultural critic, and classical philologist 1844 - 1900

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„Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.“

—  Sun Tzu ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher from the Zhou Dynasty -543 - 251 a.C.
This has often been attributed to Sun Tzu and sometimes to Petrarch. It comes most directly from a line spoken by Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974), written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola:<br/> My father taught me many things here. He taught me in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close but your enemies closer.<br/> Also seen in the Thirty-Six Strategems, as the 28th strategem: Befriend a distant state and strike a neighbouring one (遠交近攻/远交近攻, Yuǎn jiāo jìn gōng) Niccolò Machiavelli commented at greater length on the subject in The Prince:<br/> It is easier for the prince to make friends of those men who were contented under the former government, and are therefore his enemies, than of those who, being discontented with it, were favourable to him and encouraged him to seize it.

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„Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.“

—  Niccolo Machiavelli Italian politician, Writer and Author 1469 - 1527
Machiavelli commented on the relative ease of gaining favor from friends and enemies in Chapter 20 of The Prince, quoted above. However, this particular wording comes from a line spoken by Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974), written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola: My father taught me many things here. He taught me in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

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„If you want enemies, excel your friends; but if you want friends, let your friends excel you.“

—  Dale Carnegie American writer and lecturer 1888 - 1955
How to Win Friends and Influence People

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„A blow from your friend is better than a kiss from your enemy.“

—  Pythagoras ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher -585 - -500 a.C.
As quoted in Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists‎ (2007) by James Geary, p. 118

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