Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

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More from Napoleon Bonaparte

Above all, do not fail to give good dinners, and to pay attention to the women.

The first qualification in a general is a cool head – that is, a head which receives accurate impressions, and estimates things and objects at their real value. He must not allow himself to be elated by good news, or depressed by bad.

Maxims, 1831

We may stop ourselves when going up, never when going down.

Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.

There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the mind.