"Napoleon I was awakened from a dream while he was sleeping in his carriage by the explosion of an infernal machine"

   On 24 December 1800, in the Rue Saint-Nicaise, Paris, royalist conspirators attempted to assassinate Napoleon Bonaparte as he travelled to the opera.  A large barrel of hidden explosives was set off nearby as his carriage passed, killing dozens of bystanders but leaving the then First Consul of France unscathed. 

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   Napoleon’s 1797 defeat of Austrian forces at the Tagliamento river in northeast Italy had been an important victory for the French Revolutionary army.  Like much of the second or third-hand evidence presented in this chapter, Freud’s record of Napoleon’s dream should be regarded with suspicion. 

 

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