"The misfortune of men is to take as true what they say." Napoleon himself took it as true what he said? No doubt ... like everyone. Anyway here's a thought to remember every day that we read or write, or listens to talk!
Reissue of a 1857 book, dedicated to Napoleon III, these thoughts and reflections -for Napoleon was not a maximes- to mind were extracted from "Memorial", the "Memoirs" of Bertrand, O'Meara, Antommarchi Mollien, and Napoleon himself ("Memoirs" published in 1834, not to be confused with the "Memorial"), the Journal de Madame Campan, and "History of the Consulate and the Empire", as well as rare books, as Pelet de la Lozere, Gaeta, Thibaudeau ("Memoirs of the Consulate"), or letters to the Management Board and the minutes of the Senate and the State Council. They trace a moral portrait of Napoleon as much as politics, illuminate his character and destiny, shake many prejudices become stubborn since the Emperor out of favor with the intelligentsia, and are adapted to be meditated profitably today as yesterday.
Only the imperial misogyny that is unbearable now. He whose mind, firm and malleable at a time, was built by reflection and experience, drawing, as a person, party on the circumstances, favorable or otherwise, and whose lucidity committed to both understanding if not indulgence towards human weaknesses; he who maintained privileged relations with Josephine, Hortense, Marie Walewska, his mother Laetizia, there is that in this area, the woman, where he remained a Corsican male of his time, obtuse, peremptory ... No personality is complete!
Here are some thoughts and reflections, among the most outstanding in my view, for his time like ours:
"It is in the moral that is true nobility, yet there it is nowhere" (Journal of Madame Campan)
"The man mark in life that dominant character that gave her nature, or by creating a through education, and knowing the change following the obstacles he encounters." (Nothing better defines that Napoleon thought he epitomized.)
"The revolution, despite all its horrors, has nevertheless been the real cause of the regeneration of our morals" (Memorial)
"The throne, with our liberal ideas, gradually ceases to be a lordship, and becomes purely a bench." (Memorial)
"In terms of politics and religion, often what we preach is not convinced." (Memorial)
"Constitutions are the work of time, we can not leave too wide track improvements." (Thiers)
"The most difficult art is not to choose men but to give men we selected all the value they may have." (Memoirs by Count Mollien)
"Any legitimate government extinguished the rights and the legitimacy of governments that preceded it." (Memorial)
"We have to win public opinion by justice and equity, it is not resistant to these two powers. By compressing it exasperates him." (Journal of Madame Campan)
"To be popular, it must serve the people with dignity and do not care to please him. The nice way to earn is to do him good." (Memorial)
"The fanatical heads have no body where reason can penetrate." (Letter of June 19, 1799)
"No one cared or repelled by the government for his ideas and political views, as long as it does not disturb the order by acts that compromise." (Memoirs of the Duke of Gaeta)
"Only those who want to deceive the people and govern for their benefit who may want to engage men in ignorance." (Memorial)
A reissue that should have been done, plus notes handing certain thoughts in context, context out of which they can be misunderstood, and some information on this A.-D. Mariotti, who defends himself in the introduction to be writer, and admits that he "obeyed as a feeling of admiration and veneration for Napoleon the Great" by presenting to the public its compilation ... but which remains a stranger. This double laziness of the publisher keeps me from giving five stars deserves a collection of instructive.