Friday, February 05, 2010

If I Were the Emperor Napoleon

"In his place, I would take ship, and I would go to seek fortune in America and I would live there very peacefully in the forests and the deserts. The fruit of the coconut tree would nourish me, and water clearer than crystal would refresh my burning blood and my burnt-out brain. I would hunt monkeys in the woods, I would reflect on my past greatness and would try to console myself for my present misfortune as best I could. That is what I would do if I were the Emperor Napoleon." Marie Metternich, in a letter to her father, 27 January 1814, quoted in Adam Zamoyski, The Rites of Peace (HarperCollins, 2007), p. 151.

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