Reference > Quotations > S.A. Bent, comp. > Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men
S.A. Bent, comp.  Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men.  1887.
Joseph Fouché
        [Duc d’Otranto, a French Jacobin; born at Nantes, 1763; member of the Convention; minister of police under the Directory and Empire, and a short time after the restoration; banished, 1816; died at Trieste, 1820.]
Death is an eternal sleep (La mort est un sommeil éternel).
          Placed by his orders on the gates of the cemeteries in 1794.
  Robespierre said, in one of his last speeches, “No, Chaumette: death is not an eternal sleep.”
  Napoleon asked Fouché if he did not vote for the death of Louis XVI.; to which he gave the courtier-like reply, “Yes, sire: that was the first service I had the honor of rendering your majesty;” meaning that the death of the king was the first step to the empire.
  A lady wrote him from St. Petersburg, in 1801, that she had seen Alexander I. in a procession, preceded by the assassins of his grandfather (Peter III.), followed by those of his father (Paul), and surrounded by his own. “Behold a woman who speaks Tacitus!” exclaimed Fouché.

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