“Algériens, je vous ai compris.”
“On ne complote pas contre le Général de Gaulle”
“ Conspirateurs!”

General de Gaulle, at various times.

it must have been almost a relief to General de Gaulle when he crashed his head through a pane of glass.

The occasion will be remembered. He was on one of his provincial tours and at Lens he leaned forward through a window to acknowledge cheering. Unfortunately, someone had forgotten to open the window. The General staggered back, crying out to his horrified courtiers: “Ce n’est rien, ce n’est rien.” One sees his point. After spending the best part of two years banging his head up against a brick wall, trying with inadequate theories to get to grips with the 20th century, a pane of glass must have seemed little more hostile than a pillowcase.

But still, it couldn’t have been pleasant and someone must have been to blame. It was the Daily Express which found the culprit. “The window-pane,” it observed, “had been specially polished for the General’s visit to Lens.” So there it is. It was the special-polisher of Presidential windows who was at fault. And it is always that way. France may be in just the same mess as it was when the General seized power, but he is never at fault.