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  1. LwyrFirat's Avatar

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    Quote from Napoleon

    'England is a nation of shopkeepers'

    When I was surfing on the net today, I came across this quotation from Napoleon. As it is from a French leader to England, at first I thought it might have negative meaning. But what is wrong with being a shopkeeper. If it’s the opposite, if it’s for complimenting, what is important for being shopkeeper? Could someone explain to me please? Thanks in advance
    Last edited by LwyrFirat; 18-Sep-2007 at 05:01.

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    Re: Quote from Napoleon

    In Napoleon's day, shopkeepers were not socially acceptable people. He is being rude by suggesting that the English could not successfully fight a war because they are too interested in making money and did not therefore have the martial spirit.

    There is an interesting background to the saying: A nation of shopkeepers

  2. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
    English Teacher
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    Re: Quote from Napoleon

    A related quote (although Oscar Wilde didn't mention shopkeepers) is

    Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
    Picture of Dorian Gray

    I think Napoleon was accusing the British of being similarly penny-pinching and short-sighted.


  3. Key Member
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    Re: Quote from Napoleon

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Picture of Dorian Gray
    A great book, by the way.

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