But we now come to the case where a citizen becomes prince not through crime or intolerable violence, but by the favor of his fellow-citizens… To attain this position depends not entirely on worth or entirely on fortune, but rather on cunning assisted by fortune.. One attains it by help of popular favor or by the favor of the aristocracy. For in ever city these two opposing parties are to be found, arising from the desire of the populace to avoid the oppression of the great, and the desire of the great to command and oppress the people… He who becomes prince by help of the nobility has greater difficulty in maintaining his power than he who is raised by the populace, for he is surrounded by those who think themselves his equals, and is thus unable to direst or command as he pleases. But one who is raised to leadership by popular favor finds himself alone, and has no one, or very few, who are not ready to obey him. Besides which, it is impossible to satisfy the nobility by fair dealing and without inflicting injury on others, whereas it is very easy to satisfy the mass of the people in this way… It must be added that the prince can never insure himself against a hostile populace on account of their number, but he can against the hostility of the great, as they are but few.
“Of the Civic Principality”: The Prince