Among so many conflicting ideas, the honest man is confused and distressed. Since one must take sides one must might as well choose the side which is victorious.
—Napoleon Bonaparte, in a letter to his brother, concerning the conquering of his Corsican homeland by the French.
The enemy attacked us, we killed a great many of them. Now, all is quite. I could not be happier.
—Napoleon Bonaparte in a letter to his brother after killing and wounding hundreds of French citizens as they tried to reinstate the monarchy.
What I had done up till now is nothing. I am only at the beginning of the course I must run. I can no longer obey. I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.
—Napoleon Bonaparte, spoken privately, as he reflected on his newfound status as a French hero and the public’s expectation that he would soon rule France as an autocrat.
The true conquests, the only ones that leave no regret, are those that have been wrested from ignorance.
—Napoleon Bonaparte wrote, after he conquered Egypt and set about studying it, including the discover of the famous Rosetta Stone.