I have read The Prince, Discourses on Livy and The Art of War. In none of these books did I find the quote oft-attributed to Machiavelli that “the ends justify the means”. Did he say it? If so, where? Or is it a misquote? If he didn’t say it, where did it originate?
It is incorrectly assigned to Machiavelli, when it should be to Ovid.
is the original, in latin form for
Written by Publius Ovidius Naso a.k.a Ovid in the collection Heroides (The Heroines), Ovid's most influential work.
Full transcription and quotation can be found here Heroides, II, 85.
There is none saying "verbatim" that.
We have in N.Machiavelli, Il Principe, cap. XVIII (see Il Principe ) :
From Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, The Harvard Classics, 1909-14 :
Note : see also this post for comments and interpretation.