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 principles which direct them.
The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one's self to destiny.
We must laugh at man to avoid crying for him.
If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon shots.
When small men attempt great enterprises, they always end by reducing them to the level of their mediocrity.
A man cannot become an atheist merely by wishing it.
It is my wish that my ashes may repose on the banks of the Seine, in the midst of the French people, whom I have loved so well.
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.
You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war.
Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
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.
The army is the true nobility of our country.
Power is my mistress. I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me.
Doctors will have more lives to answer for in the next world than even we generals.
Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress.
Ambition never is in a greater hurry than I; it merely keeps pace with circumstances and with my general way of thinking.
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.
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.
All religions have been made by men.
Water, air, and cleanness are the chief articles in my pharmacy.
What is history but a fable agreed upon?
History is a set of lies agreed upon.
History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.
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.
In politics... never retreat, never retract... never admit a mistake.
To do all that one is able to do, is to be a man; to do all that one would like to do, is to be a god.
Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.
The strong man is the one who is able to intercept at will the communication between the senses and the mind.
Men take only their needs into consideration - never their abilities.
Ability is nothing without opportunity.