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

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1844 - 1900
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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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„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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„We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends.“

—  Cosimo de' Medici First ruler of the Medici political dynasty 1389 - 1464
Attributed to Cosimo de' Medici, Duke of Florence, in Apothegms by Francis Bacon, (1624) No. 206

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