Great undertakings may end in disaster
The proverb originates from the French expression: Du sublime au ridicule il
n'y a qu'un pas.
Although sometimes attributed to the French diplomat Tallyrand (1754-1838) or Napoleon, the expression is used much earlier by French historian Jean Francois Marmontel (1723-99) and later by Thomas Paine in The Age of Reason (1793).
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