Friday, November 27, 2009

dreamer of dreams

"He would deal with three or four alternatives at the same time and endeavour to conjure up every possible eventuality—preferably the worst. This foresight, the fruit of meditation, generally enabled him to be ready for any setback, nothing ever took him by surprise … perhaps the most astonishing characteristic of his intellect was the combination of idealism and realism which enabled him to face the most exalted visions at the same time as the most insignificant realities. And, indeed, he was in a sense a visionary, a dreamer of dreams."
- This description of Napoleon is by Louis Madelin, his contemporary and biographer.