Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Napoleon I (17691821)
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 argumenttwo and two make four.
NAPOLEON, dictated to Count Montholon to be passed on to Napoleons son.Charles-Tristan de Montholon, History of the Captivity of Napoleon at St. Helena, vol. 3, p. 187 (1847).