„Better make a weak man your enemy than your friend.“

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Josh Billings19
1818 - 1885
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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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„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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„Assisting the weak is better for you than your act of charity.“

—  Ali al-Rida eighth of the Twelve Imams 766 - 818
Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'Uqul, p. 446-450.

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Moshe Dayan photo

„If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.“

—  Moshe Dayan Israeli military leader and politician 1915 - 1981
As quoted in Newsweek (17 October 1977)

Sun Tzu photo

„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.

Niccolo Machiavelli photo

„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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 Bono photo
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„Flee an enemy who knows your weakness.“

—  Pierre Corneille French tragedian 1606 - 1684
Néarque, act I, scene i.

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