Disappointed, Napoleon returned to France, and in April 1791 he was appointed first lieutenant to the 4th regiment of artillery, garrisoned at Valence.
But Paoli had no sympathy for the young man, whose father had deserted his cause and whom he considered to be a foreigner.A Corsican by birth, heredity, and childhood associations, Napoleon continued for some time after his arrival in Continental France to regard himself a foreigner; yet from age nine he was educated in France as other Frenchmen were.While the tendency to see in Napoleon a reincarnation of some 14th-century Italian condottiere is an overemphasis on one aspect of his character, he did, in fact, share neither the traditions nor the prejudices of his new country: remaining a Corsican in temperament, he was first and foremost, through both his education and his reading, a man of the 18th century.The post seemed to hold no future for him, and he went to Paris to justify himself.Life was difficult on half pay, especially as he was carrying on an affair with Désirée Clary, daughter of a rich Marseille businessman and sister of Julie, the bride of his elder brother, Joseph.In September he graduated from the military academy, ranking 42nd in a class of 58.
He was made second lieutenant of (“Letters on Corsica”), in which he reveals his feeling for his native island.
, who had been entrusted with dictatorial powers by the National Convention, was unwilling to rely on the commander of the troops of the interior; instead, knowing of Bonaparte’s services at Toulon, he appointed him second in command.
Thus, it was Napoleon who shot down the columns of rebels marching against the National Convention (13 Vendémiaire year IV; October 5, 1795), thereby saving the National Convention and the republic.
With the commander of the National Convention’s artillery wounded, Bonaparte got the post through the commissioner to the army, Antoine Saliceti, who was a Corsican deputy and a friend of Napoleon’s family.
Bonaparte was promoted to major in September and (July 27, 1794).
Apparently through patronage, Napoleon was promoted to the rank of captain but did not rejoin his regiment.