CHAPTER XI
THE COMMISSIONERS

IN this dreary drama, as in most human transactions, the element of comedy is not absent, nor even the salt of farce. The comedy is supplied by Sir Hudson Lowe, his beans and his counters. The farce is the career of the Commissioners.

By the treaty of August 2, 1815, it was provided, at the instance of Castlereagh, which he afterwards regretted, that Austria, Prussia and Russia were "to appoint Commissioners to proceed to and abide at the place which the Government of His Britannic Majesty shall have assigned for the residence of Napoleon Buonaparte, and who without being responsible for his custody will assure themselves of his presence." And by the next article His Most Christian Majesty of France was to be invited by the signatory courts to send a similar functionary. Prussia, combining a judicious foresight with a wise economy, declined to avail herself of this privilege. But the other Courts hastened to nominate their representatives. These had, it will be observed, one sole and single duty, "to assure themselves of his presence." It is sufficient to observe that none of them ever once saw him face to face, except one who beheld his corpse.

The Russian once from the race-course thought he saw him standing on the steps of his house. On the same occasion the Austrian, concealed in a trench, perceived through a telescope a man in a three-cornered

-136-

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Napoleon, the Last Phase
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Chapter I - THE LITERATURE 1
  • Chapter II - LAS CASES, ANTOMMARCHI, AND OTHERS 8
  • Chapter III - GOURGAUD 34
  • Chapter IV - THE DEPORTATION 57
  • Chapter V - SIR HUDSON LOWE 66
  • Chapter VI - THE QUESTION OF TITLE 77
  • Chapter VII - THE MONEY QUESTION 92
  • Chapter VIII - THE QUESTION OF CUSTODY 98
  • Chapter IX - LORD BATHURST 116
  • Chapter X - THE DRAMATIS PRERSONÆ 123
  • Chapter XI - THE COMMISSIONERS 136
  • Chapter XII - THE EMPEROR AT HOME 149
  • Chapter XIII - THE CONVERSATIONS OF NAPOLEON 163
  • Chapter XIV - THE SUPREME REGRETS 197
  • Chapter XV - NAPOLEON AND THE DEMOCRACY 206
  • Chapter XVI - THE END 217
  • Appendix 253
  • Index 257
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