Friday, May 29, 2009
Don't Mess With Talleyrand
Talleyrand, the political chameleon of Europe, Napoleon's foreign minister even when Napoleon believed Talleyrand to be "shit in silk stockings", did not have the best of relationships with the military.
During one particular meeting between the emperor, Talleyrand and a top military advisor, the military advisor decided that he was going to use the word "weaklings" to describe the citizenry of Europe... including France. Talleyrand, the only civilian present, politely asked for clarification.
The advisor explained, "We call 'weakling' anybody who is not military."
Talleyrand's rejoinder: "Ah yes, as we call military all those who are not civil."