The greatest ornament of an illustrious life is modesty and humility, which go a great way in the character even of the most exalted princes.
I tell you Wellington is a bad general, the English are bad soldiers; we will settle this matter by lunch time.
My dominion ends where that of conscience begins.
The great art of governing consists in not letting men grow old in their jobs.
Circumstances!—I make circumstances!
When small men attempt great enterprises, they always end by reducing them to the level of their mediocrity.
Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.
The best way to keep one’s word is not to give it.
Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
The most insupportable of tyrannies is that of inferiors.
In my youth, I, too, entertained some illusions; but I soon recovered from them. The great orators who rule the assemblies by the brilliancy of their eloquence are in general men of the most mediocre political talents: they should not be opposed in their own way; for they have always more noisy words at command than you. Their eloquence should be opposed by a serious and logical argument; their strength lies in vagueness; they should be brought back to the reality of facts; practical arguments destroy them. In the council, there were men possessed of much more eloquence than I was: I always defeated them by this simple argumenttwo and two make four.
The Gospel is not merely a book—it is a living power—a book surpassing all others.—I never omit to read it, and every day with the same pleasure. Nowhere is to be found such a series of beautiful ideas, and admirable moral maxims, which pass before us like the battalions of a celestial army … The soul can never go astray with this book for its guide.
A true man hates no one.
You think you are too intelligent to believe in God.—I am not like you.—Not every one who wishes to be is an atheist.
The art of government is not to let me grow stale.
A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of coloured ribbon.
Imagination rules the world.
From the sublime to the ridiculous there is but one step.
When I want any, good head work done; I always choose a man, if possible with a long nose.
Every soldier carries a marshall’s baton in his pack.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Queen Elizabeth I British Monarch
- Christina, Queen of Sweden Swedish Monarch
- Akhenaten Egyptian Monarch
- Frederick II of Prussia Prussian Monarch
- Charles de Gaulle French General, Statesman
- Edgar Degas French Painter
- Catherine Deneuve French Actor
- Michel de Montaigne French Essayist
- Blaise Pascal French Philosopher, Scientist
- Jean Cocteau French Poet, Artist