Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord Quotes (Author of La Confession de Talleyrand 1754-1838)
Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, prince de Benevent
French Statesman and Diplomat who turned back on the Catholic Church after ordination in the priesthood. 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. 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. An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which under old names have become odious to the public. A woman will sometimes forgive the man who tries to seduce her, but never the man who misses an opportunity when offered.
Born Paris, 2 February — died Paris, 17 May However he sent more time in Paris rue Bellechasse than at his abbey, devoted to his two passions, gambling and women. After the intervention of his father in , the king made him bishop of Autun, thus giving him a seat in the Estates General. There he sponsored the idea of ceding clergy property for national use. In he became a diplomat, and after residences in London and the United States the Directory appointed him Minister for Foreign Affairs.
His parents came from old, aristocratic families but were not rich. Charles-Maurice was sent to be nursed in a Paris suburb, where, when he was four years old, he is said to have fallen off a chest of drawers , dislocating his foot. It is possible, however, that his clubfoot was congenital. As Talleyrand could not follow the family tradition by going into the army, his parents intended him for the church. He liked what he saw, and in entered the seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Paris.
Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, prince de Benevent, French statesman and diplomat noted for his capacity for political survival, who held high office during the.
words that rhyme with longing
Political visionary, ignoring the judgments of his contemporaries, this illustrious person passionate about peace and freedom served, from the Revolution to the Restoration, political systems with contradictory destinies which disappeared in the fury of these times. Taking an active and sometimes decisive share in the political business of these tormented periods it could be called an opportunist, a racketeer, a cynical, a weathercock and even a traitor to Napoleon but one must recognize that he remained faithful all his life to his convictions and France. Marx noted that Talleyrand, Metternich and Bismark were three Gods who ruled Europe in the middle of the 19th century. Talleyrand was born with a club foot which was caused by a congenital disorder called Marfan's syndrome , and not by an accidental fall as it is often written and asserted by Talleyrand himself. From till Talleyrand who was still a little child was sent to the country of Chalais where he stayed, at the Princess de Chalais old castle, his great-grandmother whom he admired deeply. In , he entered the seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Paris where he was ordained in at the age of 25 and consacrated Bishop of Autun in Charles-Maurice stayed only a little longer than three weeks in Autun , the time needed to be elected deputy of the clergy to the States General.
For half a century he served every French regime except that of the Revolutionary "Terror. Charles Maurice de Talleyrand was a masterful diplomat of the old school as ambassador and foreign minister. Admired and often distrusted, sometimes even feared by those he served, he was not easily replaced as a negotiator of infinite wiles. Talleyrand has been an extraordinarily difficult figure for historians to understand and appraise. His moral corruption is beyond question: he was an unabashed liar and deceiver; he not only took but sought bribes from those with whom he was negotiating; and he lived with a niece as his mistress for decades. He repeatedly shifted political allegiance without visible compunction and possessed no political principle on which he would stand firm to the last; and he was also at least technically guilty of treason, engaging in secret negotiations with the public enemies of his country while in its service. Yet closer scrutiny of what Talleyrand did shows an apparent steady purpose beneath the crust of arrogant contempt for the ordinary standards of mankind's judgment, expressed in the comment attributed to him on the kidnaping and execution of the Duc d'Enghien at Napoleon's command: "It was worse than a crime, it was a mistake.