Caulaincourt on Napoleon

“Only those who knew Napoleon in the intercourse of private life can render justice to his character. For my own part, I know him, as it were, by heart; and in proportion as time separates us, he appears to me like a beautiful dream. And would you believe that, in my recollections of Napoleon, that which seems to me to approach most nearly to ideal excellence is not the hero, filling the world with his gigantic fame, but the man, viewed in the relations of private life?”

Caulaincourt’s memoirs can be found here: