François-René de Chateaubriand cytaty

François-René de Chateaubriand Fotografia
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François-René de Chateaubriand

Data urodzenia: 4. Wrzesień 1768
Data zgonu: 4. Lipiec 1848
Natępne imiona:Francois R. de Chateaubriand, Chateaubriand

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François-René, wicehrabia de Chateaubriand /fʀɑ̃swa ʀəne də ʃatobʀiɑ̃/ – francuski pisarz, polityk i dyplomata.

Urodził się 4 września 1768 roku w Saint-Malo, w starej rodzinie szlacheckiej. Młodość spędził w bretońskich szkołach i w rodzinnym zamku w Combourg. Po śmierci ojca w roku 1786 roku wyjechał do Paryża. W roku 1791 roku wyruszył w podróż do Ameryki. Powrócił stamtąd na wieść o aresztowaniu króla Ludwika XVI. Ożenił się naprędce i zaciągnął się do tworzonej w Belgii "armii książąt". Po ciężkich przejściach znalazł się w Anglii, gdzie pozostał do roku 1800. W Anglii przeżył nawrócenie, rozpoczął też twórczość literacką. Po powrocie do Francji, w tym czasie już napoleońskiej, opublikował Atalę , Geniusz chrześcijaństwa i Renégo . Dzieła te przyniosły mu sławę i otworzyły drogę kariery. Rozpoczął pracę w dyplomacji, z której jednak zrezygnował po egzekucji księcia d’Enghien . W następnych latach wiele pisał i podróżował. W roku 1809 roku wydał powieść Męczennicy, w 1811 Podróż z Paryża do Jerozolimy. W 1814 roku ogłosił pamflet O Buonapartem i Burbonach, torując drogę powrotowi dawnej dynastii na tron. W okresie stu dni towarzyszył Ludwikowi XVIII do Gandawy. Został parem Francji. Wydaną w 1816 roku broszurą O monarchii wedle Karty ściągnął na siebie niełaskę dworu. Jego związki z monarchią były napięte, był w stosunku do niej w równym stopniu wierny, co krytyczny. Po 1820 roku powrócił do działalności politycznej: najpierw jako ambasador w Berlinie, potem jako reprezentant Francji na kongresie w Weronie. Szczytem jego kariery było stanowisko ministra spraw zagranicznych, a największym sukcesem – zwycięska wojna z Hiszpanią . Nie zyskawszy za swe zasługi oczekiwanego uznania przeszedł do opozycji. Po rewolucji lipcowej wycofał się z życia publicznego. Wydał w tym okresie: Studia historyczne , Szkic o literaturze angielskiej , Życie księdza Rancé i wśród powszechnego podziwu pisał dla potomności swe Pamiętniki zza grobu. Zmarł 4 lipca 1848 roku.

Cytaty François-René de Chateaubriand

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„A degree of silence envelops Washington’s actions; he moved slowly; one might say that he felt charged with future liberty, and that he feared to compromise it. It was not his own destiny that inspired this new species of hero: it was that of his country; he did not allow himself to enjoy what did not belong to him; but from that profound humility what glory emerged!“

— François-René de Chateaubriand
Context: A degree of silence envelops Washington’s actions; he moved slowly; one might say that he felt charged with future liberty, and that he feared to compromise it. It was not his own destiny that inspired this new species of hero: it was that of his country; he did not allow himself to enjoy what did not belong to him; but from that profound humility what glory emerged! Search the woods where Washington’s sword gleamed: what do you find? Tombs? No; a world! Washington has left the United States behind for a monument on the field of battle. Bonaparte shared no trait with that serious American: he fought amidst thunder in an old world; he thought about nothing but creating his own fame; he was inspired only by his own fate. He seemed to know that his project would be short, that the torrent which falls from such heights flows swiftly; he hastened to enjoy and abuse his glory, like fleeting youth. Following the example of Homer’s gods, in four paces he reached the ends of the world. He appeared on every shore; he wrote his name hurriedly in the annals of every people; he threw royal crowns to his family and his generals; he hurried through his monuments, his laws, his victories. Leaning over the world, with one hand he deposed kings, with the other he pulled down the giant, Revolution; but, in eliminating anarchy, he stifled liberty, and ended by losing his own on his last field of battle. Each was rewarded according to his efforts: Washington brings a nation to independence; a justice at peace, he falls asleep beneath his own roof in the midst of his compatriots’ grief and the veneration of nations. Bonaparte robs a nation of its independence: deposed as emperor, he is sent into exile, where the world’s anxiety still does not think him safely enough imprisoned, guarded by the Ocean. He dies: the news proclaimed on the door of the palace in front of which the conqueror had announced so many funerals, neither detains nor astonishes the passer-by: what have the citizens to mourn? Washington’s Republic lives on; Bonaparte’s empire is destroyed. Washington and Bonaparte emerged from the womb of democracy: both of them born to liberty, the former remained faithful to her, the latter betrayed her. Washington acted as the representative of the needs, the ideas, the enlightened men, the opinions of his age; he supported, not thwarted, the stirrings of intellect; he desired only what he had to desire, the very thing to which he had been called: from which derives the coherence and longevity of his work. That man who struck few blows because he kept things in proportion has merged his existence with that of his country: his glory is the heritage of civilisation; his fame has risen like one of those public sanctuaries where a fecund and inexhaustible spring flows. Book VI: Ch. 8: Comparison of Washington and Bonaparte.

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„How small man is on this little atom where he dies! But how great his intelligence!“

— François-René de Chateaubriand
Context: How small man is on this little atom where he dies! But how great his intelligence! He knows when the face of the stars must be masked in darkness, when the comets will return after thousands of years, he who lasts only an instant! A microscopic insect lost in a fold of the heavenly robe, the orbs cannot hide from him a single one of their movements in the depth of space. What destinies will those stars, new to us, light? Is their revelation bound up with some new phase of humanity? You will know, race to be born; I know not, and I am departing. Book XLII: Ch. 18: A summary of the changes which have occurred around the globe in my lifetime

„I remember Castelnau: like me Ambassador to England, who wrote like me a narrative of his life in London. On the last page of Book VII, he says to his son: ‘I will deal with this event in Book VIII,’ and Book VIII of Castelnau’s Memoirs does not exist: that warns me to take advantage of being alive.“

— François-René de Chateaubriand
Context: I halt at the beginning of my travels, in Pennsylvania, in order to compare Washington and Bonaparte. I would rather not have concerned myself with them until the point where I had met Napoleon; but if I came to the edge of my grave without having reached the year 1814 in my tale, no one would then know anything of what I would have written concerning these two representatives of Providence. I remember Castelnau: like me Ambassador to England, who wrote like me a narrative of his life in London. On the last page of Book VII, he says to his son: ‘I will deal with this event in Book VIII,’ and Book VIII of Castelnau’s Memoirs does not exist: that warns me to take advantage of being alive. Book VI: Ch. 8: Comparison of Washington and Bonaparte

„I behold the light of a dawn whose sunrise I shall never see. It only remains for me to sit down at the edge of my grave; then I shall descend boldly, crucifix in hand, into eternity.“

— François-René de Chateaubriand
Context: New storms will arise; one can believe in calamities to come which will surpass the afflictions we have been overwhelmed by in the past; already, men are thinking of bandaging their old wounds to return to the battlefield. However, I do not expect an imminent outbreak of war: nations and kings are equally weary; unforeseen catastrophe will not yet fall on France: what follows me will only be the effect of general transformation. No doubt there will be painful moments: the face of the world cannot change without suffering. But, once again, there will be no separate revolutions; simply the great revolution approaching its end. The scenes of tomorrow no longer concern me; they call for other artists: your turn, gentlemen! As I write these last words, my window, which looks west over the gardens of the Foreign Mission, is open: it is six in the morning; I can see the pale and swollen moon; it is sinking over the spire of the Invalides, scarcely touched by the first golden glow from the East; one might say that the old world was ending, and the new beginning. I behold the light of a dawn whose sunrise I shall never see. It only remains for me to sit down at the edge of my grave; then I shall descend boldly, crucifix in hand, into eternity. Book XLII: Ch. 18: A summary of the changes which have occurred around the globe in my lifetime

„It is a long way from Combourg to Berlin, from a youthful dreamer to an old minister. I find among the words preceding these: ‘In how many places have I already continued writing these Memoirs, and in what place will I finish them?'“

— François-René de Chateaubriand
Context: It is a long way from Combourg to Berlin, from a youthful dreamer to an old minister. I find among the words preceding these: ‘In how many places have I already continued writing these Memoirs, and in what place will I finish them? In Berlin, (March 1821); Book IV, Chapter 1: Berlin – Potsdam – Frederick.

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