RARE notebooks belonging to Napoleon show that the French emperor struggled to grasp the English language while he was being held captive by the British. The defeated leaders 190-year-old writings show how like generations of French students after him, he failed to grasp English irregular verbs. On one page, the military mastermind scrawled run, runned, running in his battle to understand the past tense. When trying to translate the French for Whats happened?, he could only manage 'What was it arrived? Pages of doodles also show designs for ramparts and military fortifications. Napoleon was captured by the British at Waterloo in 1815 and held on the remote Atlantic island of Saint Helena until his death in 1821. The scraps of the notebooks, mounted on three framed boards, are due to fetch up to 8,500 at auction in Paris on Sunday. Jean-Pierre Osenat, the Osenat auction house chairman, said: Even learning English, he couldnt shake off the soldier, the army man inside him. His doodles are of walls and designs of military fortifications. Its incredible to think that after fighting the English for his entire life, Napoleon only decided to learn English at the end. Telegraph