Talleyrand did not record the famous "Voila un homme!" comment. Wieland, who also met the emperor and who wrote down his own recollections on the very evening, mentions that Napoleon had called him "Germany's Voltaire."
(Am I being cynical to suggest that many intellectuals and writers today would feel profoundly flattered, as did Wieland and Goethe, to be so distinguished? And to receive the Légion d'honneur? Yes, I am being cynical.)
|Napoleon receives the Austrian ambassador, October 1808|
Picture credit: Fondation Napoleon