WERE it possible, we would ignore all this literature, as it is peculiarly painful for an Englishman to read. He must regret that his Government ever undertook the custody of Napoleon, and he must regret still more that the duty should have been discharged in a spirit so ignoble and through agents so unfortunate. If St Helena recalls painful memories to the French, much more poignant are those that it excites among ourselves.
In these days we are not perhaps fair judges of the situation, as it presented itself to the British Government. They were at the head of a coalition which had twice succeeded in overthrowing Napoleon. It had cost Great Britain, according to the spacious figures of statistical dictionaries, more than eight hundred millions sterling to effect Napoleon's removal to Elba. His return had cost them millions more, besides a hideous shock to the nervous system of nations. What all this had cost in human life can never perhaps be fairly estimated, not less than two millions of lives. The first main object, then, of the Allies--a duty to their own people, who had sacrificed so much,--was to make it absolutely certain that Napoleon should never more escape. Our own view is that under no circumstances could Napoleon have ever again conquered Europe; his energies were exhausted, and so was France for his lifetime. But the Allies could not know this; they would have been censurable had they taken such a view into consideration,