Now that everything is over or nearly over, I can say that it was not bad at all. If I had to put it back from the start, I will certainly do it again, without great changes. On the whole, I am almost satisfied. With the days, the weeks, the months and the years going by, I am growing older and wiser as it seems to me. As I take the seventy-three turn and look backward, I have the impression – perhaps a deceiving one- that I have not entirely missed my life, after all. The ways of the providence are really unfathomable. When I was a youngster, I craved to be an artist – a painter or a sculptor, perhaps even an architect. I would have given anything to enter the Beaux-arts in Paris. I was completely fascinated by the lives and works of my great contemporaries, not to speak of the titans of the previous centuries. I wanted to be an artist and wished nothing more than to obtain a scholarship for the Beaux Arts; but fate intended it otherwise. A scholarship was accorded to me, but to study artillery…far from Paris. Thus, I was put on the way that led me, after a long plight, to the post I was occupying before I arrived here, which is considered to be the highest not only in my country, but anywhere in the world, since I was actually President of the Republic.
I have ruled my country during twenty years. When I think about it now, I find that it was a very short period. I did not even feel it elapsing. It was like a dream or a wink. And today, sitting in my long-chair on the balcony of this nice villa overlooking the river, I am able to see my life unfolding before my eyes like a movie, wherein I have been alternately the hero and the walker-on, the hangman and the victim, the film maker manipulating the strings, directing, advising, ordering, and supervising the comedians and the technicians, and the great star playing the paramount role before the cameras. Continue reading EXILE (1)