vrijdag 23 maart 2012

'I know it already, sir.

Napoleon began his education at a boys' school in Ajaccio. Then, at age ten, he was allowed to enter French military schools for aristocrats and was sent in 1779, with his older brother Joseph, to the College of Autun in Burgundy, France. 

Napoleon later transferred to the College of Brienne, another French military school. While at school in France, he was made fun of by the other students for his lower social standing and because he spoke Spanish and did not know French well. His small size earned him the nickname of the "Little Corporal." Despite this teasing, Napoleon received an excellent education. When his father died, Napoleon led his household. Napoleon-Bonaparte

By dint of solicitation he had secured a place among the free pupils of the college at Autun for his son Joseph, the oldest of the family, and one for Napoleon at the military school at Brienne. To enter the school at Brienne, it was necessary to be able to read and write French, and to pass a preliminary examination in that language. This young Napoleon could not do; indeed, he could scarcely have done as much in his native Italian.  A preparatory school was necessary, then, for a time.  The place settled on was Autun, where Joseph was to enter college, and there in January, 1779, Charles Bonaparte arrived with the two boys. 
Napoleon was nine and a half years old when he entered the school at Autun.  He remained three months, and in that time made sufficient progress to fulfil the requirements at Brienne.  The principal record of the boy's conduct at Autun comes from Abbe Chardon, who was at the head of the primary department.  He says of his pupil: 
 "Napoleon brought to Autun a sombre, thoughtful character.  He was interested in no one, and found his amusements by himself.  He rarely had a companion in his walks.  He was quick to learn, and quick of apprehension in all ways.  When I gave him a lesson, he fixed his eyes upon me with parted lips; but if I recapitulated anything I had said, his interest was gone, as he plainly showed by his manner.  When reproved for this, he would answer coldly, I might almost say with an imperious air, 'I know it already, sir.'" history-world.org/Napoleon

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