Napoleon Quotes

Quotes tagged as "napoleon" Showing 1-30 of 85
Napoléon Bonaparte
“Music is what tell us that the human race is greater than we realize.”
Napoleon

George Orwell
“Surely, comrades, you don't want Jones back?”
George Orwell, Animal Farm

Victor Hugo
“A cannonball travels only two thousand miles an hour; light travels two hundred thousand miles a second. Such is the superiority of Jesus Christ over Napoleon.”
Victor Hugo

Pierre-Simon Laplace
Napoleon, when hearing about Laplace's latest book, said, 'M. Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its creator.'

Laplace responds, 'Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là. (I had no need of that hypothesis.)”
Pierre-Simon Laplace

Napoléon Bonaparte
“All great events hang by a single thread. The clever man takes advantage of everything, neglects nothing that may give him some added opportunity; the less clever man, by neglecting one thing, sometimes misses everything.”
Napoleon

Christopher Hitchens
“I have often noticed that nationalism is at its strongest at the periphery. Hitler was Austrian, Bonaparte Corsican. In postwar Greece and Turkey the two most prominent ultra-right nationalists had both been born in Cyprus. The most extreme Irish Republicans are in Belfast and Derry (and Boston and New York). Sun Yat Sen, father of Chinese nationalism, was from Hong Kong. The Serbian extremists Milošević and Karadžić were from Montenegro and their most incendiary Croat counterparts in the Ustashe tended to hail from the frontier lands of Western Herzegovina.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

John  Adams
“This society [Jesuits] has been a greater calamity to mankind than the French Revolution, or Napoleon's despotism or ideology. It has obstructed the progress of reformation and the improvement of the human mind in society much longer and more fatally.

{Letter to Thomas Jefferson, November 4, 1816. Adams wrote an anonymous 4 volume work on the destructive history of the Jesuits}”
John Adams, The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams

Pierre-Simon Laplace
“Your Excellency, I have no need of this hypothesis.”
Pierre Laplace

Roman Payne
“Of all public figures and benefactors of mankind, no one is loved by history more than the literary patron. Napoleon was just a general of forgotten battles compared with the queen who paid for Shakespeare's meals and beer in the tavern. The statesman who in his time freed the slaves, even he has a few enemies in posterity, whereas the literary patron has none. We thank Gaius Maecenas for the nobility of soul we attribute to Virgil; but he isn’t blamed for the selfishness and egocentricity that the poet possessed. The patron creates 'literature through altruism,' something not even the greatest genius can do with a pen.”
Roman Payne

Christopher Hitchens
“It was as easy as breathing to go and have tea near the place where Jane Austen had so wittily scribbled and so painfully died. One of the things that causes some critics to marvel at Miss Austen is the laconic way in which, as a daughter of the epoch that saw the Napoleonic Wars, she contrives like a Greek dramatist to keep it off the stage while she concentrates on the human factor. I think this comes close to affectation on the part of some of her admirers. Captain Frederick Wentworth in Persuasion, for example, is partly of interest to the female sex because of the 'prize' loot he has extracted from his encounters with Bonaparte's navy. Still, as one born after Hiroshima I can testify that a small Hampshire township, however large the number of names of the fallen on its village-green war memorial, is more than a world away from any unpleasantness on the European mainland or the high or narrow seas that lie between. (I used to love the detail that Hampshire's 'New Forest' is so called because it was only planted for the hunt in the late eleventh century.) I remember watching with my father and brother through the fence of Stanstead House, the Sussex mansion of the Earl of Bessborough, one evening in the early 1960s, and seeing an immense golden meadow carpeted entirely by grazing rabbits. I'll never keep that quiet, or be that still, again.

This was around the time of countrywide protest against the introduction of a horrible laboratory-confected disease, named 'myxomatosis,' into the warrens of old England to keep down the number of nibbling rodents. Richard Adams's lapine masterpiece Watership Down is the remarkable work that it is, not merely because it evokes the world of hedgerows and chalk-downs and streams and spinneys better than anything since The Wind in the Willows, but because it is only really possible to imagine gassing and massacre and organized cruelty on this ancient and green and gently rounded landscape if it is organized and carried out against herbivores.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Paul Valéry
“What a pity to see a mind as great as Napoleon's devoted to trivial things such as empires, historic events, the thundering of cannons and of men; he believed in glory, in posterity, in Caesar; nations in turmoil and other trifles absorbed all his attention ... How could he fail to see that what really mattered was something else entirely?”
Paul Valéry

Christopher Hitchens
“It can certainly be misleading to take the attributes of a movement, or the anxieties and contradictions of a moment, and to personalize or 'objectify' them in the figure of one individual. Yet ordinary discourse would be unfeasible without the use of portmanteau terms—like 'Stalinism,' say—just as the most scrupulous insistence on historical forces will often have to concede to the sheer personality of a Napoleon or a Hitler. I thought then, and I think now, that Osama bin Laden was a near-flawless personification of the mentality of a real force: the force of Islamic jihad. And I also thought, and think now, that this force absolutely deserves to be called evil, and that the recent decapitation of its most notorious demagogue and organizer is to be welcomed without reserve. Osama bin Laden's writings and actions constitute a direct negation of human liberty, and vent an undisguised hatred and contempt for life itself.”
Christopher Hitchens, The Enemy

Arthur Conan Doyle
“The vegetable kingdom still remains one of the few which Napoleon has not yet conquered.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, Uncle Bernac

Roger Scruton
“The French Revolution sought to replace one religion with another: hence its fanaticism and exterminatory zeal. But the new religion of the nation was demonic, fraught with contradiction and self-hatred, with no power to survive. It quickly gave way to the Napoleonic project of empire, through which violence was externalized and a rule of law re-established at home”
Roger Scruton, The West and the Rest: Globalization and the Terrorist Threat

Eoin Colfer
“What a peach of a night this had turned out to be.

Everett fucking Moreau: master planner.

Like that little French guy who used to get with tall ladies to prove a point. Napoleon.

But not like him at all, except for they both ended up fucked on an island, if he didn’t misremember his history. Or maybe it was Huck Finn who got fucked on an island.

Either way, he was the idiot getting fucked on a water-locked landmass this fine evening.”
Eoin Colfer, Highfire

G.K. Chesterton
“I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire,
And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire;
But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed
To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard made”
G.K. Chesterton

Victor Hugo
“At the time of the Emperor's coronation, some small matter of parish business took him to Paris. Among the influential personages whom he had occasion to visit was Cardinal Fesch, the uncle of Napoleon, and it happened one day, when he was waiting in the cardinal's antechamber, that the Emperor passed through on his way to call on his uncle. Seeing the old priest intently regarding him, he turned to him and asked sharply:
"Who is the gentleman who is staring at me?"
"Sire," replied M. Myriel, "you are looking at a plain man and I am looking at a great man. Each of us may benefit."
That evening the Emperor asked the cardinal the priest's name, and shortly afterwards M. Myriel learned to his great surprise that he had been appointed Bishop of Digne.”
Victor Hugo, Les Misérables: Penguin Classics

“Every teacher of comparative political science will discover what enormous effort it requires to impart a clear notion of European monarchical institutions to even quite mature students. A Napoleonic tyranny, a dictatorship— this is easily within the realm of their comprehension. But a legitimate monarchy seems to the American a simple absurdity, and he cannot understand how otherwise quite intelligent people can have faith in such a thing.”
Ernest Bruncken

Carla Laureano
“The napoleon was an old-fashioned pastry, named after the Italian city rather than the French emperor as so many assumed, so it definitely had to be classic European literature. Melody ran her fingers across the spines of the cloth-bound volumes as if she could absorb their essences by touch. Tolstoy, Hugo, Eliot... Dumas.
She smiled and tipped a scarlet-bound volume of The Count of Monte Cristo off the shelf. Perfect. A French book about a pretend Italian count paired with an Italian dessert with pretend French roots? Her more literate followers would get a kick out of the parallels. Not to mention that Napoleon himself figured prominently in the plot.”
Carla Laureano, Brunch at Bittersweet Café

Carla Laureano
“Something smells amazing. What are we having?"
"Moules marinières," Rachel said. "It seemed a shame to let mussel season close without making it at least once."
"Oh la la," Melody said. "Paris must have been in the air today, because I made a napoleon."
Ana handed over a half-filled wineglass and gave Melody a quick hug. "You're killing me, Mel. I'm still recovering from last week's Death by Chocolate Mousse.”
Carla Laureano, Brunch at Bittersweet Café

“C’est pire qu’un crime, c’est une faute.”
Antoine Boulay de la Meurthe

Emil Ludwig
“He did not simply flutter the pages of his books, but was an attentive reader. There is extant a whole series of copybooks containing Napoleon's notes, penned in an almost illegible handwriting. The contents of these, reprinted, occupies four hundred pages. Here we find a map of the Saxon heptarchy with a list of the kings for three centuries; item, the varieties of foot-race in ancient Crete; item, lists of the Hellenic fortresses in Asia Minor; item, the dates of twenty-seven caliphs, with a note of the strength of their cavalry, and an account of the misconduct of their wives.”
Emil Ludwig, Napoleon

“The interval between the first and second wars in Iraq (1991 and 2003) has seen a remarkable shift from Clausewitz to Sun Tzu in the discourse about contemporary warfare. Clausewitz enjoyed an undreamed of renaissance in the USA after the Vietnam War and seemed to have attained the status of master thinker. On War enabled many theorists to recognize the causes of America’s traumatic defeat in Southeast Asia, as well as the conditions for gaining victory in the future. More recently, however, he has very nearly been outlawed. The reason for this change can be found in two separate developments. Firstly, there has been an unleashing of war and violence in the ongoing civil wars and massacres, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, in the secessionist wars in the former Yugoslavia, and in the persistence of inter-communal violence along the fringes of Europe’s former empires. These developments seemed to indicate a departure from interstate wars, for which Clausewitz’s theory appeared to be designed, and the advent of a new era of civil wars, non-state wars, and social anarchy. Sun Tzu’s The Art of War seemed to offer a better understanding of these kinds of war, because he lived in an era of never-ending civil wars.
Secondly, the reason for the change from Clausewitz to Sun Tzu is connected with the ‘revolution in military affairs’. The concepts of Strategic Information Warfare (SIW) and fourth generation warfare have made wide use of Sun Tzu’s thought to explain and illustrate their position. The ‘real father’ of ‘shock and awe’ in the Iraq War of 2003 was Sun Tzu, argued one commentator in the Asia Times. Some pundits even claimed triumphantly that Sun Tzu had defeated Clausewitz in this war, because the US Army conducted the campaign in accordance with the principles of Sun Tzu, whereas the Russian advisers of the Iraqi army had relied on Clausewitz and the Russian defence against Napoleon’s army in 1812. The triumphant attitude has long been abandoned.”
Andreas Herberg-Rothe, Clausewitz's Puzzle: The Political Theory of War

“Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, as well as the theoreticians of SIW and fourth generation warfare, lack the political dimension with respect to the situation after the war. They concentrate too much on purely military success, and undervalue the process of transforming military success into true victory. The three core elements of Sun Tzu’s strategy could not easily be applied in our times: a general attitude to deception of the enemy runs the risk of deceiving one’s own population, which would be problematic for any democracy. An indirect strategy in general would weaken deterrence against an adversary who could act quickly and with determination. Concentration on influencing the will and mind of the enemy may merely enable him to avoid fighting at a disadvantageous time and place and make it possible for him to choose a better opportunity as long as he is in possession of the necessary means—weapons and armed forces.”
Andreas Herberg-Rothe, Clausewitz's Puzzle: The Political Theory of War

“One might win battles and even campaigns with Sun Tzu, but it is difficult to win a war by following his principles. The reason for this is that Sun Tzu was never interested in shaping the political conditions, because he lived in an era of seemingly never-ending civil wars. The only imperative for him was to survive while paying the lowest possible price and avoiding fighting, because even a successful battle against one foe might leave one weaker when the moment came to fight the next one. Mark McNeilly emphasizes the advantages of following a strategy based on Sun Tzu’s principles for modern warfare. As always in history, if one wishes to highlight the differences to Clausewitz, the similarities between the two approaches are neglected. For example, the approach in Sun Tzu’s chapter about ‘Moving Swiftly to Overcome Resistance’ would be quite similar to one endorsed by Clausewitz and was practised by Napoleon.”
Andreas Herberg-Rothe, Clausewitz's Puzzle: The Political Theory of War

Allison Pataki
“Winning is all for nothing if one does not take advantage of success.”
Allison Pataki, The Queen's Fortune

Allison Pataki
“Ambition is never content, even at the summit of greatness.”
Allison Pataki, The Queen's Fortune

Napoléon Bonaparte
“The men who have changed the world never succeeded by winning over the powerful, but always by stirring the masses. The first method is a resort to intrigue and only brings limited result. The latter is the course of genius and changes the face of the world.”
Napoléon Bonaparte

Napoléon Bonaparte
“In religion I do not see the mystery of the Incarnation, but the mystery of the social order. It associates with Heaven an idea of equality that keeps rich men from being massacred by the poor…Society is impossible without inequality, inequality intolerable without a code of morality, and a code of morality unacceptable without religion.”
Napoléon Bonaparte

“When an apple has ripened and falls, why does it fall? Because of its attraction to the earth, because its stalk withers, because it is dried by the sun, because it grows heavier, because the wind shakes it or because the boy standing below wants to eat it? Nothing is the cause All this is only the coincidence of conditions in which all vital organic and elemental events occur. And the Botanist who finds that the Apple Falls because the cellular tissue decays and so forth, is equally right with the Child Who stands under the tree and says the Apple fell because he wanted to eat it and prayed for it. Equally right or wrong is he who says that Napoleon went to Moscow because he wanted to, and perished because Alexander desired his destruction, and he who says that and undermined hill weighing a million tons fell because the last navvy struck it for the last time with his mattock. In historic events the so-called great men are labels giving names to events, and like labels they have but the smallest connection with the event itself”
Tolstoi Lev Nikolaevich

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