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Sleeping giant

Posted by ESC on August 02, 2008 at 15:48

In Reply to: Sleeping giant posted by Roberto on August 02, 2008 at 10:53:

: About Napoleon quote regarding China as a sleeping giant that when awakes the wold will tremble ...

: Can someone help me, as I always thought Napoleon referred to two giants in their cots, namely America and Russia. Napoleon never mentioned China.
: Am I right?

Mr. Safire has a long passage about the term. He says it is "Perhaps derived from the plight of the title character in Jonathan Swift's 1726 novel, 'Gulliver's Travels.'...The term itself may have appeared after the attack on Pearl Harbor." In this case, the Japanese referring to the United States. "In 1978, Vermont Royster offered another possible source in the 'Wall Street Journal': 'China is a sickly, sleeping giant. But when she awakes the world will tremble.' For over a century and a half that prophecy -- attributed to Napoleon by Lord Amherst who visited him at St. Helena on his way back from China in 1816 -- has remained unfulfilled." "Safire's New Political Dictionary" by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993). Page 715.

Maybe searching under Lord Amherst would yield a longer quote that mentions Russia.