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Napoléon Bonaparte Quotes


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Accomplishing the Impossible

How many things apparently impossible have nevertheless been performed by resolute men who had no alternative but death.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Addicted to Command

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Agreed Upon Lies

History is a set of lies agreed upon.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Ambition

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Armies and Stomachs

An army marches on its stomach.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Artistry of Power

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.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Audacity

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Avoid Promising

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Being the King is Good

I have only one counsel for you — be master.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Building With What Is At Hand

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.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

The Burden

Respect the burden.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Courage and Hope

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Courage to Suffer

It requires more courage to suffer than to die.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Creating Good Sons

Let France have good mothers and she will have good sons.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Crime is Infectious

The infectiousness of crime is like that of the plague.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Death is Nothing

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Decide!

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Defeating the Constitution

A Constitution should be short and obscure.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Definition of History

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Definition of History

What is history but a fable agreed upon?

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Definition of Revolution

A revolution is an idea which has found its bayonets.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Definition of a Throne

A throne is only a bench covered with velvet.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Designs Exceeding Means

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Disagreement

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.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

DIY (Do-It-Yourself)

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Endurance is more Important than Courage

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

England

England is a nation of shopkeepers.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Evil Doctors

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Fear Ensures Defeat

He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Fear Not Death

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Feet of Clay

A celebrated people lose dignity upon a closer view.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Finish What You Start

If you start to take Vienna — take Vienna.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Flattery and Slander

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Forethought vs Foresight

Forethought we may have, undoubtedly, but not foresight.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Foxes and Lions

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.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

French Complainers

The French complain of everything and always.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Frequency vs Severity of Punishment

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

God Favours the Best Artillery

God fights on the side with the best artillery.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Govern Through Vices

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Great Ambition

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.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Hate None

A true man hates no one.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Honesty Causes Poverty

The surest way to remain poor is to be an honest man.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

How To Be Prepared

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 which reveals to me suddenly and secretly what I should do in circumstances unexpected by others; it is thought and preparation.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Ignored Abilities

Men take only their needs into consideration — never their abilities.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Imagination

The human race is governed by its imagination.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Imagination

Imagination rules the world.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Impetuous Desire Gets You Nowhere

Few things are brought to a successful issue by impetuous desire, but most by calm and prudent forethought.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Importance of Perseverance

Victory belongs to the most persevering.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Importance of Public Opinion

Public opinion is the thermometer a monarch should constantly consult.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Impossibility

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Interests vs Rights

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Interrupting Your Enemy

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

It Is Not Malice

Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Keeping the Peace

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Levers

There are two levers for moving men — interest and fear.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Limits

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.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Long Nosed Men

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Love of Power

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Making Generals

I made all my generals out of mud.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Making a Martyr

It is the cause, not the death, that makes the martyr.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Motivating Soldiers

A man does not have himself killed for a half-pence a day or for a petty distinction. You must speak to the soul in order to electrify him.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Motivator of the French Revolution

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Music Influences the Passions

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Napoléon Was No Feminist

Women are nothing but machines for producing children.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Necessity of Opportunity

Ability is nothing without opportunity.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Obscurity Is Forever

Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Pipe Dreams

E

Every soldier carries a marshal’s baton in his pack.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Poor Murdering the Rich

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Possession vs Use of Treasure

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Power of Bankers

When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Power of Newspapers

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Power of Revolution

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.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Promise Everything

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

This is Stephen Harper’s life philosophy.

The Purpose of Religion

How can you have order in a state without religion? For, when one man is dying of hunger near another who is ill of surfeit, he cannot resign himself to this difference unless there is an authority which declares, God wills it thus.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Pyramids

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

The Quiet Mind Cure

The best cure for the body is a quiet mind.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Religion the Sleeping Pill

Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Sanitation for Health

Water, air and cleanliness are the chief articles in my pharmacy.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Seeking the Great

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Selling Hope

A leader is a dealer in hope.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Skepticism the Virtue

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Soldier Cats Jump at Ribbons

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Speak Up!

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

The Strong Man

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Sublime vs the Ridiculous

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Sun God

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Surfeit of Precaution

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Sword vs Spirit

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.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Talent

Let the path be open to talent.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

The Two Levers

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Uniters

There are only two forces that unite men — fear and interest.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Useless Medicines

Medicines are only fit for old people.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Vary Your Enemies

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

When Not To Forbid

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

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

Where Stupidity is No Handicap

In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

You Can Only Laugh

We must laugh at man to avoid crying for him.

~ Napoléon Bonaparte (born:1769-08-15 died:1821-05-05 at age:51)

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