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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1401
AUTHOR: Napoleon I (1769–1821)
QUOTATION: In my youth, I, too, entertained some illusions; but I soon recovered from them. The great orators who rule the assemblies by the brilliancy of their eloquence are in general men of the most mediocre political talents: they should not be opposed in their own way; for they have always more noisy words at command than you. Their eloquence should be opposed by a serious and logical argument; their strength lies in vagueness; they should be brought back to the reality of facts; practical arguments destroy them. In the council, there were men possessed of much more eloquence than I was: I always defeated them by this simple argument—two and two make four.
ATTRIBUTION: NAPOLEON, dictated to Count Montholon to be passed on to Napoleon’s son.—Charles-Tristan de Montholon, History of the Captivity of Napoleon at St. Helena, vol. 3, p. 187 (1847).
SUBJECTS: Politicians