That Devil with a Limp


“Talleyrand never failed to sell those who bought him,” assures us Aimée de Coigny. Fair enough, the enormous wealth, women and intrigue is what made the Great Chamberlain a bridge between the XVIII and XIX centuries. Napoleon, shocked by his minister’s dis-loyalties, used to call Charles-Maurice a turd in a silk stocking. Talleyrand would justify his conduct through a series of concepts of his own invention, many of which still govern the world of international politics: his is the idea of neutrality and non-intervention, the idea of preservation of natural boundaries and the continuity in all international conventions, the idea of national interests and the global balance of powers. All of the above allowed him to serve unfaithfully Louis XVI, the French Revolution, Napoleon, Louis XVIII, Charles X and Louis-Philippe.  It is under Louis-Philippe, already at the age of 84, that Talleyrand agonized on his death bed: “Sire, I am suffering the tortures of the damned….” The Citizen-King raised his eye-brows, “Already?”

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This entry was posted in Louis XVI, Louis-Philippe, Napoleon, Talleyrand, The French Revolution. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to That Devil with a Limp

  1. Reblogged this on tiaras and trianon and commented:
    thank god for “Versailles Gossip!” They keep you on your toes when I slack off!

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