Translation: the actions of men allow ME to be the interpreter of their thoughts.
I take it to mean, "the way to figure out what men really think is to watch what they do."Thus, to figure out what Machiavelli really meant in The Prince, we look to his life and see that he worked very hard to maintain the Republic in Florence and oppose the return of a prince.
You seem to be saying that we can use actions to better interpret what people mean by what they say (that is, Machiavelli's actions show that we should not read The Prince as a straightforward statement of unvarnished monarchism). Yes, this is one way to read the statement. But my experience is that more often such statements mean either (1) a sort of chest-thumping denunciation of intellectualism (words are just hot air; actions are all that count)--admittedly, probably not what Locke is getting at--or (2) license for a rather high-handed freedom to interpret a person's actions however one likes while ignoring their actual stated intentions (the classic pose of the materialist, but also found elsewhere). It was the latter impulse I was mocking in my first post, thereby of course high-handedly interpreting Locke in a way that pleased me at the moment. You may be right about Locke, but I'm not sure others who emit such statements deserve your charity.
I suppose this statement might also have been made by the kind of cynic who thinks nobody believes anything, e.g., "Marx talked a radical line, but look how he treated his daughter!" or "Reagan said he opposed big government but look how much it grew while he was President!" And that does get annoying.
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