Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

“The surest way to remain poor is to be honest.”

“Ability is of little account without opportunity.”

“Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self-interest.”

“I can no longer obey; I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.”

“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.”

“One must change one’s tactics every ten years if one wishes to maintain one’s superiority.”

“Women are nothing but machines for producing children.”

“The word impossible is not in my dictionary.”

“I must see her and press her to my heart. I love her to the point of madness, and I cannot continue to be separated from her. If she no longer loved me, I would have nothing left to do on earth.”

“If you wish to be a success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing.”

“Religion is what keeps the poor man from murdering the rich.”

“In politics… never retreat, never retract… never admit a mistake.”

“He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.”

“If you start to take Vienna – take Vienna.”

“Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.”

“Imagination rules the world.”

“We must laugh at man to avoid crying for him.”

“All religions have been made by men.”

“As for me, to love you alone, to make you happy, to do nothing which would contradict your wishes, this is my destiny and the meaning of my life.”

“Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them.”

“Throw off your worries when you throw off your clothes at night.”

“The truest wisdom is a resolute determination.”

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

“In politics stupidity is not a handicap.”

“It requires more courage to suffer than to die.”

“There is no such thing as accident; it is fate misnamed.”

“It is the cause and not the death that makes the martyr.”

“To do all that one is able to do, is to be a man; to do all that one would like to do, is to be a god.”

“If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.”

“The best cure for the body is a quiet mind.”

“Music is the voice that tells us that the human race is greater than it knows.”

“There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men: time.”

“No one knows how it is that with one glance a boy can break through into a girl’s heart.”

“You must not fear death, my lads; defy him, and you drive him into the enemy’s ranks.”

“The best way to keep one’s word is not to give it.”

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress.”

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

“A man cannot become an atheist merely by wishing it”

“What is history but a fable agreed upon?”

“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.”

“Great men are meteors designed to burn so that the earth may be lighted.”

“History is a set of lies agreed upon.”

“Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.”

“The people to fear are not those who disagree with you, but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know.”

“Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principals which direct them.”

“Power is my mistress. I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me.”

“The Bible is no mere book, but a living creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it.”

“We often get in quicker by the back door than by the front.”

“We may stop ourselves when going up, never when coming down.”

“Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.”

“I am surrounded by priests who repeat incessantly that their kingdom is not of this world, and yet they lay their hands on everything they can get.”

“Courage is like love; it must have hope for nourishment.”

“There is no place in a fanatic’s head where reason can enter.”

“Skepticism is a virtue in history as well as in philosophy.”

“Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.”

“The first virtue in a soldier is endurance of fatigue; courage is only the second virtue.”

“Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.”

“My downfall raises me to infinite heights.”

“Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires; but what foundation did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded an empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.”

“True heroism consists in being superior to the ills of life, in whatever shape they may challenge us to combat.”

“The greatest general is he who makes the fewest mistakes.”

“A man occupied with public or other important business cannot, and need not, attend to spelling.”

“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”

“History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.”

“A society without religion is like a vessel without compass.”

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.”

“Men take only their needs into consideration, never their abilities.”

“If I had believed in a God of rewards and punishments, I might have lost courage in battle”

“Ability is nothing without opportunity.”

“The extent of your consciousness is limited only by your ability to love and to embrace with your love the space around you, and all it contains”

“Victory belongs to the most persevering.”

“We are either kings or pawns of men.”

“There are times when a battle decides everything, and there are times when the most insignificant thing can decide the outcome of a battle.”

“When I want any, good head work done; I always choose a man, if possible with a long nose.”

“Those who have changed the universe have never done it by changing officials, but always by inspiring the people.”

“A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.”

“The strong man is the one who is able to intercept at will the communication between the senses and the mind.”

“There are only two forces that unite men – fear and interest”

“Truth alone wounds.”

“Never awake me when you have good news to announce, because with good news nothing presses; but when you have bad news, arouse me immediately, for then there is not an instant to be lost.”

“The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies.”

“I made all my generals out of mud.”

“When small men attempt great enterprises, they always end by reducing them to the level of their mediocrity.”

“If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.”

“Do you know what amazes me more than anything else? The impotence of force to organize anything.”

“In order to govern, the question is not to follow out a more or less valid theory but to build with whatever materials are at hand. The inevitable must be accepted and turned to advantage.”

“The only conquests which are permanent and leave no regrets are our conquests over ourselves.”

“An order that can be misunderstood will be misunderstood.”

“I am sometimes a fox and sometimes a lion. The whole secret of government lies in knowing when to be the one or the other.”

“A leader is a dealer in hope.”

“In revolution there are only two sorts of men, those who cause them and those who profit by them.”

“If I always appear prepared, it is because before entering an undertaking, I have meditated long and have foreseen what might occur. It is not genius where reveals to me suddenly and secretly what I should do in circumstances unexpected by others; it is thought and preparation.”

“The human race is governed by its imagination.”

“A true man hates no one.”

“I love power. But it is as an artist that I love it. I love it as a musician loves his violin, to draw out its sounds and chords and harmonies.”

“The great art of governing consists in not letting men grow old in their jobs.”

“One should never forbid what one lacks the power to prevent.”

“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.”

“The most dangerous moment comes with victory.”

“A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights.”

“The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one’s self to destiny.”

“The future destiny of a child is always the work of the mother.”

“There are two levers for moving men: interest and fear.”

“Riches do not consist in the possession of treasures, but in the use made of them.”

“A soul you say? Give my pocket watch to a savage and he’ll think it has a soul.”

“Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.”

“The bed has become a place of luxury to me! I would not exchange it for all the thrones in the world.”

“Let the path be open to talent.”

“When firmness is sufficient, rashness is unnecessary.”

“It is the success which makes great men.”

“A throne is only a bench covered with velvet.”

“There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit.”

“There is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous.”

“I have only one counsel for you / be master.”

“An army marches on it’s stomach.”

“Secrets travel fast in Paris.”

“War is the business of barbarians.”

“In the eyes of empire builders men are not men but instruments.”

“All celebrated people lose dignity on a close view.”

“I know when it is necessary, how to leave the skin of lion to take one of fox.”

“The French complain of everything, and always.”

“Greatness be nothing unless it be lasting.”

“Ten persons who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.”

“Forethought we may have, undoubtedly, but not foresight.”

“Circumstances – what are circumstances? I make circumstances.”

“An aristocracy is the true support of a monarchy.”

“I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of the Quran which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness.”

“International incidents should not govern foreign policy, but foreign policy, incidents.”

“Vanity made the [French] Revolution; liberty was only a pretext.”

“Music, of all the liberal arts, has the greatest influence over the passions, and it is that to which the legislator ought to give the greatest encouragement.”

“A Constitution should be short and obscure.”

“Time is the great art of man.”

“Let France have good mothers, and she will have good sons.”

“The first quality for a commander-in-chief is a cool head to receive a correct impression of things. He should not allow himself to be confused by either good or bad news.”

“When soldiers have been baptized in the fire of a battle-field, they have all one rank in my eyes.”

“Character is victory organized.”

“Do you know what astonished me most in the world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the spirit.”

“The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one’s designs to one’s means.”

“Battles are lost or won in 15 minites”

“Vengeance has no foresight”

“You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war.”

“Public morals are natural complements of all laws: they are by themselves an entire code.”

“Fashion condemns us to many follies; the greatest is to make ourselves its slave.”

“Over-preparation is the foe of inspiration.”

“Valor is a gift. Those having it never know for sure whether they have it till the test comes. And those having it in one test never know for sure if they will have it when the next test comes.”

“Revolution is an idea which has found its bayonets.”

“I have made noise enough in the world already, perhaps too much, and am now getting old, and want retirement.”

“Even when I am gone, I shall remain in people’s minds the star of their rights, my name will be the war cry of their efforts, the motto of their hopes.”

“The inevitable end of multiple chiefs is that they fade and disappear for lack of unity.”

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything.”

“Courage is like love; it must have hope to nourish it.”

“The most insupportable of tyrannies is that of inferiors.”

“He who knows how to flatter also knows how to slander.”

“In war, the moral is to the material as three is to one.”

“The act of policing is, in order to punish less often, to punish more severely.”

“Wash your soiled linen in private.”

“An army marches on its stomach.”

“Who saves his country violates no law.”

“High politic is only common sense applied to great things.”

“Men of genius are meteors intended to burn to light their century.”

“Do you wish to find out the really sublime? Repeat the Lord’s Prayer.”

“Imagination governs the world.”

“Order marches with weighty and measured strides; disorder is always in a hurry.”

“If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon-shots.”

“The only victory over love is flight.”

“Know how to listen and be sure that silence often produces the same effects as science.”

“The herd seek out the great, not for their sake but for their influence; and the great welcome them out of vanity or need.”

“Respect the burden.”

“Chance is the providence of adventurers.”

“The heart of a statesman must be in his head.”

“Doctors will have more lives to answer for in the next world than even we generals.”

“Life is strewn with so many dangers, and can be the source of so many misfortunes, that death is not the greatest of them.”

“When you can use the lightning it is better than cannon.”

“Our hour is marked, and no one can claim a moment of life beyond what fate has predestined.”

“Ambition never is in a greater hurry that I; it merely keeps pace with circumstances and with my general way of thinking.”

“We are born, we live, we die among supernatural.”

“There is no class of people so hard to manage in a state, as those whose intentions are honest, but whose consciences are bewitched.”

“England is a nation of shopkeepers.”

“From the heights of these pyramids, forty centuries look down on us.”

“Medicines are only fit for old people.”

“God! How men of letters are stupid?”

“Public instruction should be the first object of government.”

“Medicine is a collection of uncertain prescriptions, the results of which, taken collectively, are more fatal than useful to mankind.”

“A man’s palate can, in time, become accustomed to anything.”

“Two armies are two bodies which meet and try to frighten each other.”

“The conscience is the sacred haven of the liberty of man.”

“Incidents should not govern policy; but, policy incidents.”

“With audacity one can undertake anything, but not do everything.”

“From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step.”

“Music, of all the liberal arts, has the greatest influence over the passions.”

“Providence is always on the side of the last reserve.”

“Public opinion is the thermometer a monarch should constantly consult.”

“From sublime to ridiculousness there is only one step.”

“Even in war moral power is to physical as three parts out of four.”

“The art of government is not to let me grow stale.”

“The art of the police is not to see what it is useless that it should see.”

“Occupation is the scythe of time.”

“Men of genius are meteors destined to burn themselves out in lighting up their age.”

“Ability has nothing to do with opportunity.”

“The infectiousness of crime is like that of the plague.”

“Lack is more in means than in principles.”

“In war, three quarters turns on personal character and relations; the balance of manpower and materials counts only for the remaining quarter.”

“Every soldier carries a marshall’s baton in his pack.”

“Genuine victories, the sole conquests yielding no remorse, are those gained over ignorance.”

“Put a rouge in the limelight and he will act like an honest man.”

“Since the people eats every day, it should be allowed to work every day”

“What, sir, would you make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck; I pray you excuse me. I have no time to listen to such nonsense.”

“The only one who is wiser than anyone is everyone.”

“Men are lead by trifles.”

“Every private in the French army carries a Field Marshall wand in his knapsack.”

“When you fight, fight as if everything depended on you. When you pray, pray as if everything depended on God.”

“ Mon cher, you are a simpleton. You really don’t understand a thing.”

“Power is my mistress”

“Ambition is never content, even on the summit of greatness.”

“I found the crown of France lying on the ground, and I picked it up with a sword.”

“Music of all the arts has the most influence on the passions and the legislator should give it the greatest encouragement.”

“A celebrated people lose dignity upon a closer view.”

“A revolution can be neither made nor stopped. The only thing that can be done is for one of several of its children to give it a direction by dint of victories.”

“Large legislative bodies resolve themselves into coteries, and coteries into jealousies.”

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