I'm looking for source of a quote about being better not to give something than to take away. It's been many years, so I can't recall much more about the quote. I thought it would be from the book Shogun by James Clavell. It was oriented around a king deciding whether to reward princes and the idea that being a miser is better than giving something and then potentially needing to take it back later... Unfortunately, google searches aren't super helpful -- too many unrelated hits.
This also seems like something that Machiavelli would have said.