Machiavelli advises the ruler to go the first route, stating that if a prince doesn't destroy a city, he can expect "to be destroyed by it". Machiavelli apparently seems to go back on his rule that a prince can evade hate, as he says that he will eventually be hated by someone, so he should seek to avoid being hated by the commonfolk.
That great men should develop and use their virtue and prudence was a traditional theme of advice to Christian princes. Once again these need to be divided into two types: those with a weak spirit a prince can make use of them if they are of good counsel and those who shun being bound because of their own ambition these should be watched and feared as enemies.
Xenophon wrote one of the classic mirrors of princes, the Education of Cyrus. Nevertheless, Machiavelli was heavily influenced by classical pre-Christian political philosophy.
In fact, he was apparently influencing both Catholic and Protestant kings. If the prince does not have the first type of intelligence, he should at the very least have the second type.