CHAPTER VIII
THE QUESTION OF CUSTODY

THE last group of grievances related to the question of custody. The main object of the coalesced Governments was, not unnaturally, that under no circumstances should Napoleon escape from confinement and trouble the world again. So they chose the most remote island that they could think of, and converted it laboriously into a great fortress. Strangers could scarcely conceal their mirth, as they saw Lowe adding sentry to sentry, and battery to battery, to render more inaccessible what was already impregnable; although, before leaving England, he had avowed to Castlereagh that he saw no possible prospect of escape for Napoleon but by a mutiny of the garrison. Nevertheless he increased the precautions at compound interest. Las Cases in his intercepted letter to Lucien described them with some humour, and declared that the posts established on the peaks were usually lost in the clouds. Montchenu, the French Commissioner, declared that if a dog were seen to pass anywhere, at least one sentinel was placed on the spot. He is indeed copious on the subject, though he considered his interest and responsibility in the matter second only to those of Lowe himself. He details with pathetic exactitude the precautions taken. The plain of Longwood, where Napoleon lived, is, he says, separated from the rest of the island by a frightful gully which completely surrounds it and is only crossed by a narrow tongue of land not twenty feet broad, so steep that if

-98-

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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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