Machiavelli (c. 1469-1527)
“The first impression that one gets of a ruler and of his brains is from seeing the men that he has about him. When they are competent and faithful one can always consider him wise, as he has been able to recognize their ability and keep them faithful. But when they are the reverse, one can always form an unfavorable opinion of him, because the first mistake that he makes is in making this choice.”
- From The Prince (chapter 22) by Machiavelli, translated and printed by the Henry Regnery Company, 1948.