Napoleón (Spanish Edition)


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Just like their predecessors, the vast majority never again set foot in Ireland and were lost into history. He had to retreat when he learned that a far larger army led by Napoleon himself was advancing against him. He feared that his army would be enveloped in a pincer movement. They suffered terribly and discipline broke down. The French followed in hot pursuit and suffered greatly in the race to catch up with them. The by now ragged British army finally reached Corunna but was forced to make battle with the French before they could escape back to England.

Moore had saved the army but it had come at a terrible price. They had lost four thousand men, women and children, captured, frozen to death or cut down by the French during the retreat. The British commander was also killed. Terrible atrocities were committed on both sides. Many of the events that happened in the novel were derived from memoirs, such as the shooting of deserters, and were so horrific that I could not have possibly made them up.

The Spanish freedom fighters called the guerrilleros frequently ambushed the French columns as they snaked its way across the lonely, narrow mountain passes. No mercy was shown.


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Letters sent home by Belgian conscripts tell of bodies left hanging from trees. There were many gruesome stories told and retold around the campfires to nervous teenage French conscripts. One can only presume that they listened in terror when they heard of the fate of their comrades. Ryan narrowly escapes capture and manages to stow away to France and join the Irish Legion. They quickly earned their reputation as the worst blackguards in the French army. Ryan is obsessed with catching up with Captain Darkford of the 4th Light Dragoons who murdered his family in Ireland.

Napoleon (Spanish Edition)

Ryan and his band of renegades play their rollicking Irish ballads as they pursue the evil Darkford across Spain. He has to fight a series of duels, is captured and tortured by the Spanish guerrillas and has to lead a mission to retrieve their cherished battle-standard eagle. He is also suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. He told himself that it was just his nerves and that once he catches up with his nemesis all will be well. He has seen too much horror to come out unscatched. Even this will not make him give up his quest of catching up with the evil Darkford. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.

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Nevertheless, I was beginning to notice an end to our difficulties; indeed I could almost see the moment when the Emperor would go beyond the inevitable dislike of the beginning. But imagine if you can what it must have been like for him — the schoolwork of learning conjugations, declensions, articles, etc.

It would have been impossible without huge effort on the part of the pupil and real skill on the part of the teacher. He often asked me if he deserved the cane, suspecting that it had a good effect in schools. He would have got on much faster, he used to say laughingly, if he had had a cane to fear. He complained that he had not made any progress — but the progress he did make would have been enormous for anyone. The larger, the swifter, the broader the spirit, the less likely it is to stop on detail, rules and minutiae. Despite the fact that he grasped extraordinarily easily the theory of the language, the Emperor had few gifts when it came to learning the mechanics of the tongue.

He had an extraordinary intelligence but a very bad memory: 7 this latter particularly upset him. He felt that he was not improving. As soon as I was able to frame the words in question into a law or give a logical analogy for them, that law or analogy went in and was understood immediately. The pupil then would outstrip the teacher in the applications and consequences of the figure.

Napoleon (Spanish Edition)

But when it was simply a question of memorising and repeating mere words, it was a very difficult business. One word would be continually taken for another, and it would become too fastidious to enforce a strict regularity. Another difficulty was the fact that the same letters and vowels as in French required a completely different pronunciation: the pupil wished only to recognise our pronunciation: and the teacher would have doubled the problem of ennui if he had asked for more. Finally the pupil, even in his own language, had a way of garbling proper nouns; as for foreign words, he pronounced them just as he pleased.

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Once they left his mouth, whatever way he had pronounced them, they remained forever that, because he had, once and for all, lodged them in his head in that way. And most of the English words he learned suffered precisely that fate, such that the teacher had to have the wisdom and patience to be happy with the situation, leaving it to the gradual passing of time to correct, if ever possible, all these incorrect things.

Out of this situation arose a completely new language, one it must be said that was only understood by myself. But it brought the Emperor the ability to read English. And he could, more or less, have made himself understood in writing. That was already a great deal, indeed it was everything.

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Goya, Third of May, 1808

Even he was struck at times and showed his happiness like a child. On one of these days, he said at table and he repeated it frequently that he owed this victory to me, and that it was a great one. If it happened that we were not ready when he asked for us and the matter had to be put off till the following day, dislike set in immediately and our work remained stationary until something came along which brought it up again.

There is not one single happy word in our entire existence. Out of respect for the Emperor, I turned away so as to try to read the letter.

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It was in English. It said that I had written a very fine book, but that it was not free of faults, and that if I wanted to correct them in the next edition, the book would certainly be much better; yours sincerely, etc. Such a letter aroused my surprise and a little anger; I went a bit red in the face; so much so that I had not taken the time to look at the handwriting.

When I looked at it, I recognised the hand, despite the unusual beauty of it, and I could not keep from laughing a great deal to one side.


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But the Emperor, who had a side view of me, asked me what was in the letter that I had received. I replied that it was a missive the initial effect of which was much different from the feeling with which it left me. I said this so naturally, since the mystification had been so complete, that he began splitting his sides laughing.

The letter was from him. The pupil had wished to make fun of his teacher and to make a test at his expense.

Napoleón (Spanish Edition) Napoleón (Spanish Edition)
Napoleón (Spanish Edition) Napoleón (Spanish Edition)
Napoleón (Spanish Edition) Napoleón (Spanish Edition)
Napoleón (Spanish Edition) Napoleón (Spanish Edition)
Napoleón (Spanish Edition) Napoleón (Spanish Edition)
Napoleón (Spanish Edition) Napoleón (Spanish Edition)
Napoleón (Spanish Edition) Napoleón (Spanish Edition)
Napoleón (Spanish Edition) Napoleón (Spanish Edition)

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