France: No Doubts

As a student of French history, Charles de Gaulle knows well Talleyrand's admonition on the art of government: "Above all, no zeal." But last week, when he appeared on television to defend himself against mounting criticism, the old man seemed to be telling the French nation that he had changed the motto to "Above all, no doubts." To get his message across, though, he ignored French history and resorted to a metaphorical invocation of Faust.

"In the celebrated drama of Goethe," said le vieux Charles, "Mephistopheles described himself thus: 'I am the spirit which denies all.' Then, in listening to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!