I compare her [Fortune] to one of those raging rivers, which when in flood overflows the plains, sweeping away trees and buildings, bearing away the soil from place to place; everything flies before it, all yield to its violence, without being able in any way to withstand it; and yet, though its nature be such, it does not follow therefore that men, when the weather becomes fair, shall not make provision, both with defences and barriers, in such a manner that, rising again, the waters may pass away by canal, and their force be neither so unrestrained nor so dangerous. So it happens with fortune, who shows her power where valour has not prepared to resist her, and thither she turns her forces where she knows that barriers and defences have not been raised to constrain her....It is perhaps worth noting that one of the men who influenced Machiavelli's classic work, Cesare Borgia, was famously successful with women and is known to have fathered at least 11 illegitimate children. And it will not escape the Game-savvy reader's attention that this is essentially Roissy's Thirteenth Commandment: Err on the side of too much boldness, rather than too little.
I consider that it is better to be adventurous than cautious, because fortune is a woman, and if you wish to keep her under it is necessary to beat and ill-use her; and it is seen that she allows herself to be mastered by the adventurous rather than by those who go to work more coldly. She is, therefore, always, woman-like, a lover of young men, because they are less cautious, more violent, and with more audacity command her."
- Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince