This is an article, posted on Jun 11, 2012, about an English letter written by Napoleon.  Excerpts from FRANCE 24 with Japanese translation.

2012年6月に掲載されたナポレオンの英語の手紙に関する記事です。FRANCE 24から抜粋と訳です。


Latest update: 11/06/2012

Napoleon’s English ‘homework’ sells for €325,000


A one-page letter penned by Napoleon in English during his captivity in Saint Helena sold for €325,000 (USD405,000) at an auction Sunday in Paris. The historic document shows the French emperor struggling to learn the language of his jailors.

ナポレオンがセント・ヘレナ島で幽閉されていたときに書いた英語の手紙が、日曜日、パリのオークションで€325,000 (USD405,000)で落札された。この歴史的な文書には、フランス皇帝が看守の国のことばを学ぶのに苦労しているのが見て取れる。

Image: Yahoo News

By News Wires (text)
文:News Wires

AP – An illuminating letter written by Napoleon in English, sold at auction Sunday for 325,000 euros ($405,000), offers a window into the mind of the French emperor, struggling with syntax of the language of enemy Britain.

AP – 日曜日に325,000ユーロ ($405,000)で落札された啓蒙的なナポレオンの英語の手紙には、敵国イギリスの言語の構文に苦労するフランス皇帝の心の中を垣間みることができる。

The standard-sized sheet of paper is a homework exercise Napoleon sent to an English teacher for correction in 1816 and was sealed with the imperial eagle wax stamp.


It’s one of three such English-language letters by Napoleon in the world, according to the auction organizers, and was bought by Paris’ Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in a dramatic bidding war near the Chateau of Fontainebleau, one of Napoleon’s south of Paris.

オークション主催者によると、この手紙はナポレオンが英語で書いた現存する3つの手紙の一つで、パリ南部、ナポレオンが所有していたフォンテーヌブロウ城近くの会場で、劇的な競売の末パリの博物館「Museum of Letters and Manuscripts」が競り落とした。

The selling price – five times what was predicted – suggests the document’s historic value, as rare proof that Napoleon, who famously dismissed England as a “nation of shopkeepers,” learned to speak the language of Shakespeare late in life.


He wrote the letter while a captive by the British in the remote island of Saint Helena following his defeat at Waterloo, according to the Osenat auction house.




“Of course, he was always very worried about his image. He wanted to read what was said about him in the English press, » added Osenat, with a wry smile.


Whatever the reason and despite Napoleon’s best efforts – months of hard study, often late into the night – the letter shows he still had some way to go in mastering the language of Shakespeare.


It begins: “It’s two o’clock after midnight, I have enow sleep, I go then finish the night with you.”

書き出しは:”It’s two o’clock after midnight, I have enow sleep, I go then finish the night with you.”

Napoleon addressed the letter to the Count Las Cases, his teacher, “at his bonk” – thought to be the word “bunk” misspelled.

ナポレオンは手紙を「bonk」にいる教師であるLas Cases伯爵に宛てて書いているが、「bunk」のスペルを間違えてつづっていると考えられている。

In a moment of surprising humility, Napoleon Bonaparte asks his teacher in the letter to indulge him and correct his mistakes.




The letter shows a different face to Napoleon, pensive and in pain, than that of the feared emperor who conquered swathes of Europe.


The hours he spent toiling on a mere 13-line sheet also reveal a Napoleon grappling with the many hours alone.




Napoleon died in island exile on May 5, 1821, aged 52.