But it is necessary to understand how to set a good colour upon this disposition, and to be able to fain and dissemble throughly; and men are so simple, and yeeld so much to the present necessities, that he who hath a mind to deceive, shall alwaies find another that will be deceivd. I will not conceal any one of the examples that have been of late. Alexander the sixth, never did any thing else than deceive men, and never meant otherwise, and alwaies found whom to work upon; yet never was there man would protest more effectually, nor aver any thing with more solemn oaths, and observe them less than he; nevertheless, his cousenages all thriv’d well with him; for he knew how to play this part cunningly.
Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter 18, English translation of 1640
Greetings to tonight’s reader from Zambia. I don’t know how things are in your country–but I’ll bet they at least do a better job of pretending to be virtuous.