THE EMPEROR AT HOME
No picture of St Helena at this time can be complete without at least a sketch of the central figure: all the more as it is the last of the many portraits of Napoleon that we can obtain. Of his physical appearance from the time of his passing into British hands there are various accounts, too long and minute to be inserted here. These, therefore, or the most graphic of them, we relegate to an appendix.
As to his habitation, Longwood itself was a collection of huts which had been constructed as a cattle-shed. It was swept by an eternal wind; it was shadeleas and it was damp. Lowe himself can say no good of it, and may have felt the strange play of fortune by which he was allotted the one delightful residence on the island with twelve thousand a year while Napoleon was living in an old cow-house on eight.
The lord of so many palaces, who had slept as a conqueror in so many palaces not his own, was now confined to two small rooms of equal size--about fourteen feet by twelve, and ten or eleven high. To this little measure had shrunk all his conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils. Each of these rooms was lit by two small windows looking towards the regimental camp. In one corner was the little camp bed with green silk curtains, which the Emperor had used at Marengo and Austerlitz. To hide the back door there was a screen, and between this screen and the fireplace