Nine years in impoverished Corsica followed by six years in countrified Brienne couldn’t have prepared fifteen-year-old Napoleon for the Paris Ecole Militaire. He must have been overwhelmed when he first saw the grand buildings of Paris, especially his new home at L’Ecole Militaire where he would learn to be an artillery officer. How did he react to the splendor? He wrote the Minister of War a letter protesting that the luxury the cadets lived in was a poor introduction to the hardships of military life! Then he sped through his studies so that he graduated near the bottom quarter of his class, but after only half the normal time in the school.