CHAPTER VII
THE MONEY QUESTION

WE pass from the question of title on which we have been compelled to dilate, because it was the root of all evil, to the question of finance; which, fortunately--for it is the most squalid of the St Helena questions--may be treated more briefly, as it is only incidental to others. The question of title has even its bearing on finance, for our Government may have held that if Napoleon was to be treated as an abdicated monarch, he might be held to require an expensive establishment. But the war had been costly, and the prisoner must be cheap. The most expensive luxury was Sir Hudson himself; his salary was £12,000 a year. Napoleon and his household, fifty-one persons in all, were to cost £8000. What more he required he might provide for himself. The real cost seems to have been £18,000 or £19,000 a year, though Lowe admits that Napoleon's own wants were very limited. But everything on the island was scarce and dear, "raised," as Lowe said, "to so extravagant a price," and Lowe pointed out that Bathurst's limit was impossible. The Governor magnanimously raised the captive to an equality with himself. He fixed the allowance at £12,000; and eventually there was rather more latitude. It is only fair to say that Lowe was, in this matter, less ungenerous than Bathurst, his official chief.

But, in the meantime, much had happened. Lowe was ordered by Bathurst to cut down the expenses of

-92-

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