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"Napoleon Thought Talleyrand Was a Scumbag" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2019 3:47 p.m. PST

"One of the most influential diplomats of the era, Talleyrand was described by Napoleon Bonaparte as "a piece of dung in a silk stocking''.

He was a friend of all and a friend of none and was in constant contact with all sides and factions during one of Europe's most tumultuous periods.

Throughout, his secret relations with the deposed Bourbons and Allies kept him well informed of the prevailing political winds on the Continent."
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The worst one … with the Ragusa traitor too…


ConnaughtRanger19 Oct 2019 4:22 p.m. PST

The feeling was possibly mutual? Brechtel198 will doubtless tell me otherwise – in a minimum of 23 posts.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2019 4:49 p.m. PST

Yep, no news here….. oh my…

You only have to read about his 'proclivities' to know that,, as much a Russian dupe as the Cambridge Five___

Stoppage19 Oct 2019 5:17 p.m. PST


The Proclivities that you wwn,

Are as wind

In the nostrils

Of the cognoscenti

unheard, unappreciated

By The Morasse

Stoppage19 Oct 2019 5:20 p.m. PST

wwn = own

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2019 2:04 a.m. PST

Didn't Talleyrand predict, on Napoleon's return in 1815, that he'd win two or three battles but then it would be 1814 all over again?

von Winterfeldt20 Oct 2019 3:17 a.m. PST

most likely a mutual thinking

Cerdic20 Oct 2019 5:01 a.m. PST

Stoppage – ok, I'm intrigued.

This is about the third different thread that I've seen you addressing mysterious poemy-type stuff to SHaT1984.

Is it some sort of spy thing…?

Art20 Oct 2019 6:17 a.m. PST

G'Day Cerdic

Perhaps it's because Stoppage also knows who "shat 1984" really is as well…

It's not hard to susse out…

Best Regards

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2019 10:15 a.m. PST

'Talleyrand was sacked by Napoleon in 1807 for the same reason Bourrienne was sacked: rapacity. Thereafter Talleyrand worked for the Bourbons' return, accepting heavy bribes from both the Austrian and Russian Governments. He once said that man has been given eyes in the front of his head, so that he can look forward, not back, and when he came to write his Memoirs between 1811 and 1816 Talleyrand certainly had an eye on his future career. Their main theme is that ever since the Revolution he had been working for the Bourbons, and their latest editor, Paul Leon, does not hesitate to term them 'a political maneuver.'

'Talleyrand's treatment of the Duc d'Enghien's execution is a revealing example of how historical fact becomes distorted for political motives into the myth of Memoirs. Talleyrand, we know, encouraged Napoleon to seize the Duke, even though he resided on German soil, and on 8 March 1804 wrote to Napoleon: 'The men of Fructidor are plotting with the Vendeeans. A Bourbon prince is directing them. They intend to assassinate you. You have a right to defend yourself. Justice must inflict rigorous punishment, and no one must be spared.' In 1814, just before the Bourbons entered Paris, Talleyrand destroyed all documents incriminating him in the Duke's execution. In his Memoirs he was therefore free to perpetuate a lie: that he had done all he could to dissuade Napoleon. 'This murder,' he writes, 'could be neither excused nor pardoned. It never has been.'

'But these distorted Memoirs have been even further distorted. They were written up, after Talleyrand's death, by Bacourt, under the direction of Talleyrand's niece, the Duchesse de Dino, who was determined to present her uncle in the most favorable possible light. Lacour-gayet found parts of Talleyrand's original manuscript (most of it has disappeared) and compared them with Bacourt's text, as published in 1891-92. The comparison revealed a number of fundamental changes. For example, Bacourt adds no less than 32 lines to the interview at Nantes in which Spanish affairs were discussed. He presents Talleyrand-who had urged Napoleon to dethrone the Bourbons of Spain-as a champion of the Spanish King, concerned to right the wrongs done to the Spanish dynasty, and he is even depicted overwhelming Napoleon with injurious reproaches.'-Vincent Cronin.

As to Napoleon's supposed remark to Talleyrand, I have seen it attributed to Lannes-which is much more believable considering Lannes' personality.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2019 11:20 a.m. PST

What precisely is the definition of a scumbag anyway? What is its possible function? I appreciate that, as Wellington would have it, his infantry were the scum of the earth (OK I know the next bit too, as his excuse).

But it always strikes me that the scum rises to the top. It should be a "sedimentbag" if to be truly pejorative, but that does not have the same ring I do admit.

All a bit like the old warning about drinking milk from potentially scrofulous cows, in less temperate climes. If the white rises to the top, it is cream. If it sinks to the bottom it is bovine tuberculous pus.

Personal logo Silurian Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2019 11:48 a.m. PST

This has piqued my interest in Talleyrand.
What do you guys recommend as a good, balanced biography?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2019 3:34 p.m. PST

Satan memories…. (smile)


La Fleche20 Oct 2019 8:07 p.m. PST

Tallyrand was for Tallyrand first and foremost; Freemason and Bavarian Illuminist second; faithful supporter of the Bourbons and a French patriot, not one whit.

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