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A plea for help in quoting Napoleon

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  • A plea for help in quoting Napoleon

    Yesterday I had arrayed before me a book, one of a number currently sat on me' desk. In it there was a quote, I believe by Napoleon, or perhaps including him in which the statement is made that although armies do the fighting, generals are remembered for the battles. This is not the quote; soldiers do the fighting, but generals get the credit, by Napoleon. It was instead a longer quote like 'it was caesar, not the legions which conquered gaul, alexander which took Persia' and so on. I've tried internet searches which were fruitless, and despite trying to re-trace my steps int he books, cannot find it. Does anyone know the quote and a source for it?


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  • #2

    I found this

    "It was Socrates, not the Athenians, who gave mankind the ideas handed down to us by his disciples Xenophon and Plato; it was Caesar, not the Roman legions, who conquered Gaul, invaded Britain, vanquished Pompey, and unified the Roman world; it was Frederick the Great, not the Prussian army, who kept at bay the three great European powers for seven years; it was Napoleon, not his marshals, nor even the spirit of the Revolution, who entered nearly every capital as conqueror, created kings, and was the arbiter of Europe for a dozen years. The masses of humanity are like the steppes or prairies of our earth, - extensive, useful, and productive, but painfully
    monotonous and uniform. The leaders of the race, however, are like mountains which lift their heads toward heaven, discern the future and survey the past, hold converse with each other over the intervening fields
    and foothills, catch the first promise of the rising sun, reflect it to a darkened
    world beneath, and finally pass on the solar radiance to more distant peaks,
    till their refulgent summits seem like a line of torch-bearers encircling the

    It's about half way down the webpage I hope this helps
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