The Corner

Not Villepin

Napoleon is said to have described Talleyrand as a “mass of filth [except he didn’t use the word ‘filth’] in a silk stocking”, a phrase that nicely combines images of outward elegance and inner squalor. Anyone who thinks that quote has come to mind because of the French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, would, of course, be quite wrong.

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