De Gaulle seen by himself
"I am a man who belongs to no-one and to everyone."
Press conference, 19 May 1958, in Discours et Messages, t.3, p. 5
"I am quite well. But never fear : one day I will be sure to die !"
Press conference, 4 February 1965
"Since everything comes round again, what I have done will sooner or later become a source of new enthusiasms long after I have disappeared."
In Mémoires de guerre t. 3, p.289
"In the end, you know, my only international rival is Tintin ! We are the little guys who refuse to let the big guys walk all over us. Only nobody notices the likeness, because I am so tall."
According to André Malraux
"I only love those who resist me ; unfortunately, I cannot stand them…"
According to Olivier Guichard
"I am a free Frenchman.
I believe in God and in the future of my country.
I am no-one's man.
I have one mission, and one only, and that is to continue to fight to free my country. I solemnly declare that I am not attached to any political party nor bound to any politician whatsoever, neither of the centre, nor of the right, nor of the left.
I have but one goal : to deliver France."
Little-known text published by Free France in Cairo, in the Journal d'Egypte, 20 April 1941.
"As age encroaches upon me, I find nature comes closer to me. Each year, in the four seasons which follow like so many lessons, I find consolation in her wisdom. In spring, she sings, "Whatever may have happened in the past, I am at the beginning ! All is bright, despite the April showers : all is young, even the stunted trees ; all is beautiful, even these stony fields. Love sets my sap rising, and certainties so radiant and so powerful that they will never end !"
In summer, she proclaims, "Behold the glory of my fertility ! At the cost of great effort, everything that nourishes life comes from me. Each life depends on my warmth. These seeds, this fruit, these flocks that the sun now floods with its light are a triumph nothing can destroy. From this time on, the future is mine !"
In autumn, she sighs, "My task is nearing its end. I have given my flowers, my harvest, my fruit. Now I withdraw into myself. See how lovely I am still, in my robes of crimson and gold, in this keen light. Alas, the winds and the frosts will soon strip my finery away. But one day my youth will flower once again upon my bare body."
In winter, she moans, "Here I lie, barren and frozen. See how many plants, creatures and birds that I gave life to and loved now lie dying upon my breast, that can no longer feed or warm them ! Is my fate sealed ? Is this death's victory for ever ? No ! Already, deep beneath this inert soil, a silent task is under way. Motionless in the deep dark, I feel the portents of the glorious return of light and life."
Old Earth, worn down by the ages, scoured by rain and storm, stripped of its vegetation but ever ready to produce, without end, whatever is needed for living things to go on !
Old France, weighed down with history, ravaged by war and revolution, swinging endlessly from greatness to decline, yet restored, century after century, by the genius of renewal !
Old man, worn out by trials, detached from human endeavours, feeling the eternal cold approaching, yet never weary of watching in the shadows for the glimmer of hope !"
In Mémoires de guerre, t. 3, p. 290 (War Memoirs - Salvation - concluding pages)