More From Bonaparte

The other day I was browsing the shelves at the Norfolk Public Library and came across some old history books.  While leafing through one of the oldest, I stopped at the entries for Napoleon Bonaparte.  Although he’s much maligned, Napoleon is one of my favorite historical figures.  I never cease to find some idea or concept of his to ponder.

This quotation almost lept off the page, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  I’d forgotten that Napoleon was the man who first uttered that famous statement.  I smiled at the reminder.  How many people see or use that sentence without knowing who first said it?  Napoleon’s capacity for sharp observation, analysis and wit always appealed to me.  In the same vein, did you know that Bonaparte coined this phrase?  “England is a nation of shopkeepers”.

I got to wondering about some of Bonaparte’s more arcane sayings.  Those that might surprise many of his advocates and critics alike.  I love how this one reveals his depth of character and insight, “A true man hates no one”.  Seriously, who connects the great French leader with thoughts like this? “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.”

Napoleon was a very great judge of character.  I wish I’d come across his thoughts about integrity sooner in my life. “He who knows how to flatter, also knows how to slander.” Or this one, “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.”  One of the best is, “There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men: time.”

I’d also forgotten that he offered advise to those who wish for wisdom. “The best cure for the body is a quiet mind.” And this one, “Skepticism is a virtue in history as well as in philosophy.” This is priceless, “Throw off your worries when you throw off your clothes at night”. His physical strength is manifested in this: “Water, air, and cleanness are the chief articles in my pharmacy.”

Many people perhaps remember reading one of Bonaparte’s defining statements: “The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided.  It is sometimes better to abandon one’s self to destiny.”

Au revoir

The Blue Jay of Happiness loves this timeless Napoleon quote, “The word impossible is not in my dictionary”.

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in History, Meanderings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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