Talleyrand, fully Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, 1st Prince de Bénévent

Talleyrand, fully Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, 1st Prince de Bénévent
1754
1838

French Statesman and Diplomat who turned back on the Catholic Church after ordination in the priesthood

Author Quotes

There are many people who have the gift, or failing, of never understanding themselves. I have been unlucky enough, or perhaps fortunate enough to have received the opposite gift.

Treason is a matter of dates.

We have learned, a little late no doubt, that for states as for individuals real wealth consists not in acquiring or invading the domains of others, but in developing one's own. We have learned that all extensions of territory, all usurpations, by force or by fraud, which have long been connected by prejudice with the idea of 'rank,' of 'hegemony,' of 'political stability,' of 'superiority' in the order of the Powers, are only the cruel jests of political lunacy, false estimates of power, and that their real effect is to increase the difficulty of administration and to diminish the happiness and security of the governed for the passing interest or for the vanity of those who govern.

We're winning!

Who is 'we', mon Prince?

You can do anything with bayonets except sit on them.

Not a word! I will tell you tomorrow.

Nothing succeeds like success.

Pure as an angel, Sweet as love.

Regimes may fall and fail, but I do not.

The best diplomats are people lazy and intelligent.

The only thing you cannot do with a bayonet is sit on it.

Never speak ill of yourself! You can count on your friends for that.

It is the beginning of the end.

Mistrust first impulses; they are nearly always noble.

Napoleon would always be listening with his ear to the door.

A woman will sometimes forgive the man who tries to seduce her, but never the man who misses an opportunity when offered.

Above all, not too much zeal! (Talleyrand?s warning to young diplomats)

An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which under old names have become odious to the public.

Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice Doggie!" till you can find a bigger stick.

I find nonsense singularly refreshing.

If you wish to be popular in society you must consent to be taught many things you already know.

There are many people who have the gift, or failing, of never understanding themselves. I have been unlucky enough, or perhaps fortunate enough to have received the opposite gift.

Treason is a matter of dates.

We have learned, a little late no doubt, that for states as for individuals real wealth consists not in acquiring or invading the domains of others, but in developing one's own. We have learned that all extensions of territory, all usurpations, by force or by fraud, which have long been connected by prejudice with the idea of 'rank,' of 'hegemony,' of 'political stability,' of 'superiority' in the order of the Powers, are only the cruel jests of political lunacy, false estimates of power, and that their real effect is to increase the difficulty of administration and to diminish the happiness and security of the governed for the passing interest or for the vanity of those who govern.

Author Picture
First Name
Talleyrand, fully Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, 1st Prince de Bénévent
Birth Date
1754
Death Date
1838
Bio

French Statesman and Diplomat who turned back on the Catholic Church after ordination in the priesthood