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Title: Napoleon's Young Neighbor
Author: Reed, Helen Leah, 1860-1926
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                      NAPOLEON'S YOUNG NEIGHBOR

                         BY HELEN LEAH REED


AUTHOR OF "BRENDA; HER SCHOOL AND HER CLUB," "BRENDA'S COUSIN AT
RADCLIFFE," "BRENDA'S WARD," "AMY IN ACADIA," ETC.


    _ILLUSTRATED_

    BOSTON:
    LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY
    1907

    Copyright, 1907,
    By Little, Brown, and Company.

    _All rights reserved_

    Published October, 1907

    Alfred Mudge & Son, Inc., Printers,
    Boston, Mass., U. S. A.

    TO
    DOROTHY E. B.
    WHOSE LOVE OF HISTORY BESPEAKS
    A WELCOME
    FOR THIS LITTLE VOLUME.



[Illustration: NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA. From the painting by Delaroche]



PREFACE


This book, chronicling some little known passages in the last few years
of Napoleon, is based on the "Recollections of Napoleon at St. Helena,"
by Mrs. Abell (Elizabeth Balcombe), published in 1844 by John Murray.

Her little book is written in an old-fashioned and quiet style, and the
present writer, without altering any words of Napoleon's, has, so far as
possible, given a vivid form to conversations and incidents related
undramatically and has rearranged incidents that Mrs. Abell told without
great attention to chronology. The writer has also added many pages of
matter (with close reference to the best authorities) in order to make
the whole story of Napoleon clear to those who are not familiar with it.



CONTENTS


I. GREAT NEWS

II. A DISTINGUISHED TENANT

III. FROM WATERLOO TO ST. HELENA

IV. NAPOLEON AT THE BRIARS

V. BETSY'S BALL-GOWN

VI. A HORSE TAMER

VII. OFF FOR LONGWOOD

VIII. THE GOVERNOR'S RULES

IX. ALL KINDS OF FUN

X. THE SERIOUS SIDE

XI. THE EMPEROR'S VISITORS

XII. THOUGHTLESS BETSY

XIII. LONGWOOD DAYS

XIV. THE PARTING

XV. THE PANORAMA

XVI. THE LAST PICTURES



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA

JAMESTOWN

THE EMBARKATION ON BOARD THE _BELLEROPHON_

NAPOLEON

THE BRIARS

LONGWOOD



NAPOLEON'S YOUNG NEIGHBOR



CHAPTER I

GREAT NEWS


Far south in the Atlantic there is an island that at first sight from
the deck of a ship seems little more than a great rock. In shape it is
oblong, with perpendicular sides several hundred feet high. It is called
St. Helena because the Portuguese, who discovered it in 1502, came upon
it on the birthday of St. Helena, Constantine's mother. To describe it
as the geographies might, we may say that it lies in latitude 15° 55'
South, and in longitude 5° 46' West. It is about ten and a half miles
long, six and three-quarters miles broad, and its circumference is about
twenty-eight miles. The nearest land is Ascension Island, about six
hundred miles away, and St. Helena is eleven hundred miles from the Cape
of Good Hope.

From the sea St. Helena is gloomy and forbidding. Masses of volcanic
rock, with sharp and jagged peaks, tower up above the coast, an iron
girdle barring all access to the interior. A hundred years ago its sides
were without foliage or verdure and its few points of landing bristled
with cannon. Jamestown, the only town, named for the Duke of York, lies
in a narrow valley, the bottom of a deep ravine. Precipices overhang it
on every side; the one on the left, rising directly from the sea, is
known as Rupert's Hill, that on the right as Ladder Hill. A steep and
narrow path cuts along the former, and a really good road winds zigzag
along the other to the Governor's House. Opposite the town is James's
Bay, the principal anchorage, where the largest ships are perfectly
safe.

The town really consists of a small street along the beach, called the
Marina, which extends about three hundred yards to a spot where it
branches off into two narrower roads, one of which is now called
Napoleon Street. In 1815 there were about one hundred and sixty houses,
chiefly of stone cemented with mud, for lime is scarce on the island.
Among its larger buildings were a church, a botanical garden, a tavern,
barracks, and, high on the left, the castle, the Governor's town
residence.

About a mile and a half from the town there stood in the early part of
the past century a cottage built in the style of an Indian bungalow. It
was placed rather low, with rooms mainly on one floor. A fine avenue of
banyan trees led up to the house, and around it were tall evergreens and
laces, pomegranates and myrtles, and other tropical trees. Better than
these, however, in the eyes of the dwellers at The Briars were the great
white-rose bushes, like the sweetbriar of old England. From these the
house took its name, and thus the family in it seemed less far away from
their old home.

In a grove near the house were trees of every description, grapes of all
kinds and citron, orange, shaddoc, guava, and mango trees in the
greatest abundance. The surplus raised in the garden beyond what the
family could use brought its owner several hundred pounds a year. The
little cottage was shut in on one side by a hedge of aloes and prickly
pear and on the other by high cliffs and precipices. From one of these
cliffs, not far from the house, fell a waterfall, not only beautiful to
the eye but on a hot day refreshing to the mind with its cool splash and
tinkle.

The owner of The Briars at this time was an Englishman named Balcombe,
who was in the service of the government. Besides his servants his
household consisted of his wife, his daughters Jane and Betsy, in their
early teens, and two little boys much younger. They formed a happy,
contented household, living a simple, quiet life, and though the parents
were sometimes homesick, the children were very fond of their island
abode.

One evening in the middle of October, 1815, the Balcombe children were
having a merry time with their parents, when a servant, entering,
announced the arrival of two visitors.

"It is the captain of the _Icarus_," said Mr. Balcombe, turning to his
wife, "and another naval officer."

"The man-of-war that came in to-day?" asked one of the children. "We
heard the alarm sound from Ladder Hill."

"Yes, yes, my dear." Then, turning to a servant, "Show them in."

As the gentlemen entered the room, it was plain that they had something
of importance to communicate.

"Sir," said the senior officer to Mr. Balcombe, after the first
greetings, "I come to tell you that the _Icarus_ is sent ahead of the
_Northumberland_ to announce that the _Northumberland_ is but a few
days' sail from St. Helena."

"Yes," responded Mr. Balcombe politely, wondering why this announcement
should be made so seriously.

"Sir George Cockburn," continued the other, "commands the
_Northumberland_, and in his care is Napoleon Bonaparte, whom he brings
to St. Helena as a prisoner of state."

Mr. Balcombe started to speak; his expression was one of annoyance. He
was not fond of practical jokes. His wife leaned back in her chair,
gazing incredulously at the speaker. The children laughed. The officer's
story was too absurd. Then one of the little boys began to cry. In their
play the older children were in the habit of frightening the others with
the name of Napoleon Bonaparte. It was alarming to hear that the
terrible Napoleon was to come to live on their peaceful island.

Before Mr. Balcombe could express his surprise, the officer repeated:

"Yes, Napoleon Bonaparte, the enemy of England."

"But how can that be?" asked Mr. Balcombe, hardly understanding.
"Bonaparte was on Elba months ago; what has England to do with him now?"

"Surely--" began the captain; then recalling himself, "but I forgot how
far St. Helena is from the rest of the world. After Napoleon escaped
from Elba in February, he gathered a great army. But the Allies, with
our Iron Duke at the head, met him near Brussels, and there in June was
fought the great battle of Waterloo. Thousands were killed, brave
English as well as French. That battle marked the downfall of Napoleon,
and soon he was England's prisoner."

Mr. and Mrs. Balcombe, as well as their children, listened eagerly,
absorbed in a story they now heard for the first time.

"So they send him here?" It was Mr. Balcombe who first spoke.

"Yes; no spot in Europe can hold him. Even on Elba he had begun to
establish a kingdom. He reached beyond that little island, and now he
has had his Waterloo."

"It is clear, then," said Mr. Balcombe, "why they have sent him here.
This is a natural fortress and it belongs to England."

"Yes," said the officer; "England knows that here, in her keeping,
Bonaparte will never again escape to torment the world."

After a few more words of explanation on the one hand and of surprise on
the other, the visitors withdrew.

Of those who had listened to the officer young Elizabeth, or Betsy as
she was commonly called, was the most disturbed. She shivered and turned
pale, and her mother, noticing her agitation, soon sent her to bed.
There she silently wept herself to sleep and her dreams were filled with
visions of that dreadful ogre, Bonaparte. It was not a very long time
since she had really believed Napoleon to be a huge monster, a kind of
Polyphemus with one large, flaming eye in the middle of his forehead and
with long teeth protruding from his mouth, with which he devoured bad
little girls.

Although Betsy had outgrown this first idea of Napoleon, implanted in
her young brain by careless servants, she was still afraid of the
Conqueror. It is true that she realized he was not an ogre, but a human
being; that is to say, the very worst human being that had ever lived.
She knew this must be so, for she had heard sensible grown-up persons
speak of him in this way, even her own father and mother. What wonder,
then, that her dreams should be disturbed by thoughts of the misery that
must come to St. Helena with such a man as Napoleon living on the
island?

The next morning after the visit of the officer from the _Icarus_, the
little girl rose early. She was far from cheerful as she looked about
her on the lovely garden and grove. A wave of hot anger passed over her.
Why should that terrible man be permitted to land and destroy all this
beauty, as he would, of course, on the first opportunity?

From the garden she looked toward the rugged mountain, known as Peak's
Hill, which shut off the valley from the south. Her father had spoken of
the island as a natural fortress. Except for the mountains the
Government would never have thought of sending the dreadful Napoleon to
St. Helena. So she hated the mountains and cliffs.

Perhaps, however, even at that moment when she dreaded the coming of the
exiled Emperor, Betsy may have recalled her own first impressions of St.
Helena and cast a half-pitying thought toward the great man who now saw
in its rocky heights only his prison wall.

One day Betsy's mother had reminded the young girl of the bitter tears
she shed when she had first seen the island.

"You were a silly girl to cry when you first came in sight of land,"
said her mother, recalling the circumstance.

"Yes, but some had told me that the island was really the head of a
great negro that was only waiting for the breakfast bell; then it would
devour me first, and later the rest of the passengers and crew."

"Well, I am glad you told me your fears."

"So am I, for you showed me that these things could not be true."

"Yet I remember," responded Betsy's mother, "that you would not take
your head from my lap until eight bells had sounded. For some reason the
nearness of breakfast made you believe that danger was over."

"But you can't say that I made much fuss when I really was in the power
of a negro," rejoined Betsy; "for I can well remember how strange it
seemed when I was lifted in a basket, and told that a big negro was to
carry me out to The Briars. At first I was a little frightened, for I
had never seen a black man before, but he spoke so pleasantly when he
put me down to rest, even though grinning from ear to ear, that I
decided he would not harm me."

"You saw at once that he was good natured."

"Yes, and he asked me so kindly if I were comfortable in my little nest,
that I trusted him. I was as proud as a peacock when he said he was
honored in being allowed to carry me, because usually he had nothing but
vegetables in his basket. When we reached The Briars I told father I had
had a delightful ride, and so he gave the negro a little present that
made him grin more than ever, and he went off singing merrily at the top
of his voice."

Thus Betsy recalled her first impression of St. Helena.

If Mr. Balcombe and the rest of the family at The Briars were surprised
at the news of Napoleon's approach, people on the island in general were
equally astonished. No communication had reached Governor Wilks, no
letter of instructions as to what should be done with the illustrious
prisoner.

The captain of the _Icarus_ could only tell the residents of St. Helena
that Napoleon was near and that the Second Battalion of the Fifty-third
Regiment had embarked with the squadron. Even in those days, when there
were no cables to flash the news of coming events, when there were no
swift steamboats to act as heralds, it seems strange that in more than
seven months no news of the escape from Elba had reached the little
island.

Now, when the people of St. Helena heard the news, they were greatly
disturbed. They were afraid that the coming of Napoleon might cause
changes in their government, and they were so fond of the Governor that
they did not wish to lose him.

Their fears were well grounded, for when Sir George Cockburn landed it
was found that he had received an appointment that gave him the chief
civil and military power on the island, while Governor Wilks took
secondary rank. Later it was learned that on account of the distinction
of the prisoner, a governor of higher rank than Colonel Wilks would be
sent from England to supersede him, a governor who held his appointment
directly from the Crown.

Two or three days after the visit of the officer to The Briars, Betsy
and her brothers and sister were in a state of great excitement.

"Ah, I hope papa will not be killed," cried little Alexander.

"How silly you are!" responded the older Jane. "Why should he be
killed?"

"Because Napoleon is such a monster. If he should suddenly take out his
sword--"

"Yes, or open his mouth and swallow papa, how terrible it would be!"
added Betsy mockingly.

"Of course Bonaparte is a monster, but he would never dare hurt any one
on this island, especially an Englishman. Don't worry. Papa will come
home safely enough, but I wish he would hurry, so we could hear all
about the wretch."

Later in the day the children gathered eagerly around their father, who
had returned from his visit to the ships.

"Oh, papa, what was he like?" asked each in turn.

"Who, Napoleon?"

"Of course. We wish to hear about him. Didn't you see him? Didn't you
see anybody there?"

"I could hardly visit a fleet without seeing some one."

"Is it a large fleet?"

"Yes, it would be called large in any part of the world."

"How large is it?"

"Besides the _Northumberland_ there are several other men-of-war, and
the transports with the Fifty-third Regiment."

"But did you see Napoleon?" asked one of the children, returning to the
subject of greatest interest.

"I did not see General Bonaparte," replied the father, pausing to see
the effect of his words on the children. Then, as he noted their
expression of disappointment, he quickly added: "But I saw some of the
others,--some of his suite."

"Oh, tell us about it!"

"There is little to tell. After paying my respects to Sir George
Cockburn, I was introduced to Madame Bertrand and Madame Montholon, and
then to the rest of Napoleon's suite."

"What were they like?" asked one of the girls eagerly, as if she
expected her father to describe a group of strange beings.

"Like any travellers, my child, who had had a long voyage, from the
effects of which they were anxious to rest."

"Oh, I wish you had seen Napoleon!"

"I am likely to see him soon, and you may, also, as he is to land
to-night."

At this news the children were silent. To have Napoleon on the island
was not a pleasant prospect. They were not so sure now that they cared
to see him.

"But where will he live, papa, when he comes ashore?" ventured Jane at
last. "Will they put him in a dungeon?"

"Certainly not, my child. He is to live at Longwood, but as the house
needs to be put in repair, he will stay for a while with Mr. Porteous."

"When will he come ashore?" asked Betsy timidly. Now that her father had
spoken so reassuringly of Napoleon, she was curious to see him, at least
from a safe distance.

"He will land to-night,--after dark, I imagine, to escape the gaze of
the crowd;" and their father, turning from the children, went toward the
house.

As he left them, the young people began an animated discussion of
Napoleon. They were already getting used to the idea that he was to live
on St. Helena and that he was an ordinary human being, not unlike the
British officials of high rank sent out by the Crown.

"As he cannot possibly hurt us, why shouldn't we go to the valley to see
him land?" asked Betsy.

"Why shouldn't we?" echoed Jane. So it happened, when they had asked
their parents, that the older children were permitted to go to Jamestown
to see Napoleon land. When they reached the wharf it was dusk and crowds
of people were gathered on every side.

"I did not know there were so many people on the island," whispered
Betsy, as she pressed closer to her sister. "Do you suppose he will be
in the first boat?"

"I don't know. But see, it is coming!"

"Yes, little ladies," said a bystander, "Bonaparte will surely be in the
first boat."

"Here it is, here it is," cried Betsy. "Look, Jane, look!"

Even as she spoke, the passengers from the longboat were coming ashore,
and although it was seven o'clock in the evening, there was still enough
light to enable the watchers to see the figures of those who were
landing.

The girls strained their eyes. Three men marched slowly up from the
ship's boat. "See," cried Betsy, "probably Napoleon is in the middle."

"That little man, and in an overcoat!"

"Yes, for there is something flashing, probably a diamond."

"A man with a diamond! How foolish!" objected Jane.

[Illustration: JAMESTOWN]

"But it is, indeed it is!"

"I wish people wouldn't crowd so."

"They've got to move back. I'm glad of it. The sentries are standing
with fixed bayonets to keep more people from rushing down from the
town."

If Napoleon had landed earlier in the day, he would have been greeted by
an even greater crowd, for people had been gathering on the Marina from
the earliest hours; but disappointed that he was not to land until after
sunset, most of them had gone home. Still, however, a large enough crowd
had gathered to make it necessary for the sentries to use some force to
keep them in order.

In spite of the crowd, the sisters felt that they had been rewarded for
their trouble, for when they reached home they learned that the little
man in the green coat was indeed the dreaded monster.



CHAPTER II

A DISTINGUISHED TENANT


The next morning Betsy rose early. The night before the family had sat
up later than their custom, talking about the arrival of the ship and
the distinguished prisoners.

"Are General Bertrand and Count Montholon prisoners too?" asked one of
the girls.

"No, my dear; I understand that they are at liberty to leave St. Helena
whenever they wish. Of course while they are here they must obey
whatever rules are made for them, but they would not be here if they had
not chosen to share the fate of Napoleon."

"That is very noble," said Jane, "to leave one's home for the sake of
such a man as Napoleon;" and the conversation changed into a discussion
of the reasons that had induced those Frenchmen to follow their leader.
The next morning Betsy awoke feeling that something unusual had
happened.

Her little brothers plied her and Jane with questions about the landing
of the Frenchmen.

"I wish we lived close to the town," complained Alexander, "that we
might hear more about Napoleon."

"Look, look!" cried Betsy, before the little fellow had finished
speaking. "What is that on the side of the mountain?"

Following the direction of her finger, the other children broke into
excited cries. "The French, it must be the French! There are horses with
men on them. There, see the swords flash! They must be guarding a
prisoner."

"Oh, I suppose it is a prisoner. But what is that white thing?"

"It is a plume; you can see that for yourself. Let us get a spyglass."

For some time the children watched the little procession curving around
the mountain-side, high above them.

"It makes me think of a great serpent winding along," said Betsy.

"It doesn't look like a serpent, through the glass. There are five men
on horseback. One of them has a cocked hat. It must be Napoleon, though
he wears no greatcoat."

"They're going to Longwood. That's what it is. Papa says he's to live
there. I wonder how he'll like it after all his palaces in Europe."

"I'm glad he won't live near us. I should never dare leave the house, if
he lived near."

"Who's he?"

"Napoleon, of course."

The morning passed. The children thought of little but Napoleon. They
talked to each other of his victories and were proud that Englishmen had
overthrown him.

Early in the afternoon two gentlemen called, Dr. Warden of the
_Northumberland_ and Dr. O'Meara of the garrison.

"Oh, have you seen him?"

"Seen whom?"

"Why, Napoleon; don't tease us,--Napoleon Bonaparte."

"Well, then, since you are so curious, yes, we have seen him." Dr.
Warden smiled, for he was surgeon of the ship that had brought Napoleon.

"Oh, was he perfectly awful? Weren't you frightened?"

"If we were frightened, I tried not to show it. Napoleon seemed
harmless. He did not even try to bayonet us," replied Dr. O'Meara.

"But how did he look?"

"He hadn't horns or hoofs; at least, we didn't see them, and on the
whole he was charming, though he seemed tired. You girls will like him."

"Oh, no!" cried Betsy. "I shake and shiver whenever I think of him. If
ever I look at him it will be only at a distance, but I could never,
never speak to him."

"Mark my words, you will change your mind, Miss Betsy," cried one of the
two as he turned away.

About four o'clock that same afternoon, when it was approaching dusk in
the little valley, one of the children reported that the same horsemen
they had seen in the morning were again winding around the mountain.

Soon the whole family gathered outside, and as they looked, to their
great astonishment they observed the procession halt at the mountain
pass above the house, and then, after a few minutes' pause, begin to
descend the mountain toward the cottage.

"Oh, mamma, do you suppose they are coming here? I must go and hide
myself," cried the excitable Betsy.

"No, my dear, you will do nothing of the kind. I am surprised that a
great girl should be so foolish."

"But Napoleon is coming, don't you understand, Napoleon. I could not
bear to look at him."

"You will look at him and speak to him, if he comes here. It will be a
good chance for you to put your French to use."

Poor Betsy! Up to this time she had been proud of the French acquired
during a visit to England a few years before, which she had
conscientiously kept up by conversation with a French servant.

It seemed hard that she was now to be called on to do a disagreeable
thing just because of this accomplishment. Of course she could not
disobey her mother, and in spite of her fright she really had some
curiosity to see the distinguished guest.

Not long after the party first came in sight, the French and their
escort were at the gate of The Briars. As there was no carriage road to
the house, all, except Napoleon, got off their horses. He rode over the
grass, while his horse's feet cut into the turf. His horse was jet
black, with arched neck, and as he pranced along he seemed to feel
conscious of his own importance in carrying so distinguished a man as
the Emperor.

"He's handsome," whispered Jane to Betsy.

"The horse?"

"No, Napoleon; just look at those jewels and ribbons on his coat--and I
never saw so beautiful a saddlecloth. It is embroidered with gold."

Before more could be said, Mr. and Mrs. Balcombe were moving forward to
meet Sir George Cockburn and his distinguished companion. The sisters
closely followed their parents, and after the older people had been
presented to Napoleon the turn of the girls came. Betsy, looking up, was
impressed by the charm of Napoleon's smile. She saw that his hair was
brown and silky fine; his eyes were a brilliant hazel. She also noticed
one slight defect,--that his even teeth were dark, the result, she
afterwards learned, of his habit of using much licorice.

The children at first were surprised to find Napoleon neither as tall
nor as impressive as he had appeared on horseback. When they looked in
his face they decided that he was very attractive, and when he spoke his
smile and kindly manner at once won their hearts. From that moment Betsy
forgot that she had ever considered him an ogre. To herself she called
him the handsomest man she had ever seen.

"This is a most beautiful situation," he said to Betsy's mother. "One
could be almost happy here!" he added with a sigh.

"Then perhaps you will honor us with a visit until Longwood is ready,"
interposed Mr. Balcombe. "I understand that you prefer this to the town,
and I have already put some rooms at Sir George Cockburn's disposal."

"I do prefer it."

"Then the rooms are at your service."

Strange language this to a prisoner,--the children may have thought as
they listened,--to give him a choice of abode. Later they learned why
their father had put the matter in this way. They heard how wretched it
made the Emperor to think of returning to the small house where he had
lodged in the town and where people stared into the windows, as if he
were some kind of wild animal. When he found that Longwood would not be
ready for him for several weeks, he had at once declared his
unwillingness to return to Jamestown. The glimpse of The Briars that he
had had from a distance pleased him greatly, and he had asked if it
might not be possible to lodge him there. Mr. Balcombe, as an official
of the Government, having placed some rooms at the disposal of the
Admiral, Sir George Cockburn, was now anxious to put Napoleon at his
ease about occupying them.

The Balcombe children were greatly stirred up when they found that
Napoleon was to be their neighbor, for the rooms to be assigned him were
near, but not in, the main house. Their fear of the Emperor had almost
wholly disappeared.

Continuing to praise the view, Napoleon asked that some chairs be
brought out on the lawn.

"Come, Mademoiselle," he said to Betsy in French, "sit by me and talk.
You speak French?"

"Yes, sir," replied Betsy with apparent calmness, though her heart was
beating violently.

"Who taught you?"

"I learned in England, when I was at school."

"That is well, and what else did you study? Geography, I hope."

"Yes, sir."

"Then you can tell me what is the capital of France?"

"Paris, monsieur."

"Of Italy?"

"Rome."

"Of Russia?"

"St. Petersburg."

He looked up quickly. "St. Petersburg now; it was Moscow."

Then he asked, sternly and abruptly, "_Qui l'a brulé?_" ["Who burned
it?"]

Betsy trembled. There was something terrifying now in his expression, as
well as in the tones of his voice. She could not find words to reply as
she recalled what she had heard about the burning of the great Russian
city and the question as to whether the French or the Russians had set
it on fire.

"_Qui l'a brulé?_" repeated Napoleon.

But there was a twinkle in his eye and a smile in his voice that
encouraged Betsy to venture a stammering "I don't know, sir."

"_Oui, oui_," he responded, laughing heartily. "_Vous savez très bien.
C'est moi qui l'a brulé._" ["Yes, yes, you understand well. It is I who
burned it."]

Then Betsy ventured further:

"I believe, sir, the Russians burned it to get rid of the French."

Again Napoleon laughed and, instead of being angry, seemed pleased that
the little girl knew something about the Russian campaign.

Now while Napoleon was sitting in the garden or walking about the
beautiful grounds, all was confusion and excitement within The Briars.
Betsy's mother, like any other good English housewife, was naturally
somewhat taken aback at having suddenly to make plans to entertain
Napoleon and part of his suite. Even though the English Government might
pay for his board, she must still regard him as her guest, and in the
small time at her disposal do all that she could to make him
comfortable.

Rooms, therefore, must be rearranged and what furniture could be spared
from the rest of the house must be put into Napoleon's apartments. So,
in the short space of a few hours, the dreaded Emperor of the French,
the ogre feared by the children, had become the neighbor, almost the
inmate of a happy English household--English, in spite of its distance,
many thousands of miles away, from the islands of Great Britain.

It was evening when Napoleon came back to the house with the family.
Here again his conversation was chiefly with Betsy, as her fluent French
pleased him. Her parents could use the language only with difficulty.

"Do you like music?"

"Yes, sir."

"But I suppose that you are too young to play."

This rather piqued Betsy.

"I can both sing and play."

"Then sing to me."

Thereupon Betsy, seating herself at the little harpsichord, sang in a
sweet, full voice "Ye Banks and Braes."

"That is the prettiest English air I have ever heard."

"It is a Scotch air," said Betsy timidly.

"I thought it too pretty to be English. Their music is vile,--the worst
in the world. Do you know any French songs? Ah, I wish you could sing
_Vive Henri Quatre_."

"No, sir; I know no French songs."

Upon this the Emperor began to hum the air, and in a fit of abstraction,
rising from his chair, marched around the room, keeping time to the tune
he was singing.

"Now what do you think of that, Miss Betsy?" he asked abruptly. Betsy
hesitated between her love of truth and her desire to please the
Emperor.

"I do not think I like it," she said at last, rather gently. "I cannot
make out the air."

She might also have added that the great Emperor's voice was far from
musical. Neither then nor at other times when he tried to sing could she
tell just what tune he thought he was rendering.

When he discussed music she understood him better and she saw that he
was a good critic. "French music," he said, "is almost as bad as
English. Only Italians know how to produce an opera properly;" and he
sighed heavily, remembering perhaps that his own opera days were over.

Not long after Betsy had finished "Ye Banks and Braes," word was brought
to Napoleon that his rooms were ready, and with a kindly word or two he
bade good night to his young friend.

The little girl's dreams that night were, we can well imagine, quite
unlike any she had ever had before. But if she dreamed of the Emperor it
is certain that she did not regard him as an ogre. His wonderful
personality had gained her heart. Henceforth she was to be his loyal
friend as well as his neighbor.



CHAPTER III

FROM WATERLOO TO ST. HELENA


The events that ended in the voyage of the fallen Emperor to St. Helena,
if told in full, would make a long story. The battle of Waterloo,
however, is a good starting place, the battle that decided the peace of
Europe after its long years of war, when the Allied Powers, led by the
Duke of Wellington, defeated the French, who had rallied around Napoleon
for a last stand.

Napoleon, when he saw that the day was lost for him and the French,
fought desperately, hoping perhaps to meet death. But he seemed to have
a charmed life, and, though he plunged into the thick of the fight, he
was not even wounded.

Some of his friends advised him to continue the struggle, but he saw
that this might mean civil war for France as well as a long contest
against the Allies. He cared too much for France to drag her into
further wars. Some say that in giving up he could not help
himself,--that what he did he had to do. Be that as it may, for a second
time he signed the Act of Abdication, and after proclaiming his son
Napoleon II, he left Paris. First he went to Malmaison, once the
beautiful home of Josephine, where a few friends joined him.

When the Allies were approaching Paris, Napoleon offered his services to
the Provisional Government, promising to retire when the enemy was
driven away. But the men now at the head of affairs at Paris were afraid
to give authority of any kind to Napoleon, even for a limited time. He
had broken one promise, he might break another, and they refused his
offer.

Napoleon now thought of America. Certain Americans in Paris had offered
him help. One shipping merchant, a Massachusetts man, had an excellent
plan, which, had Napoleon followed it, might have resulted in his
reaching America safely. But Napoleon delayed, and although he did not
know it at the time, when he left Malmaison for Rochefort on June 29 he
was too late. Up to the last he hoped to reach a vessel that would carry
him safely to the United States. It is said that he gave up the plan
proposed by the American shipping merchant because he would not desert
his friends, and for the time there seemed to be no way of providing for
them.

It takes strength of mind for a man to decide to live out his destiny
rather than run away from life. Napoleon now decided to make the best of
things. With British ships practically blockading the coast, he saw that
to try to escape was hopeless. He heard with dismay that Paris had
surrendered to the Allies, and that the Provisional Government, that
might have helped him, had dissolved. His last effort was to suggest
sending a flag of truce by Generals Savary and Las Cases to Captain
Maitland, commander of the British squadron, asking to be allowed to
pass out of the harbor. He gave his word of honor that he would then go
directly to America. Captain Maitland replied that even if he himself
could grant this request, Napoleon's vessel would be attacked as soon as
it had left the harbor. Napoleon at last had to admit that the end had
come when the report was brought him that Louis XVIII was again seated
on the throne of France. He therefore again sent two officers to Captain
Maitland, offering to surrender on condition that no harm should come to
his person or property. Another condition was that he should be allowed
to live where he pleased in England as a private individual. The officer
replied that he could not make terms, but that he would probably take
Napoleon and his suite to England as soon as he should receive word from
the Prince Regent. This answer was disappointing to Napoleon, but there
was nothing now for him to do except to set out for the _Bellerophon_,
Captain Maitland's ship, with the flag of truce.

"I come to claim the protection of your prince and your laws," he said
in French, as he advanced on the quarter-deck to meet Captain Maitland.

Soon after this he wrote the following letter in French to the Prince
Regent:

     ROYAL HIGHNESS:

     Exposed to the factions which divide my country and to the
     enmity of the great Powers of Europe, I have terminated my
     political career, and I come like Themistocles to throw myself
     on the hospitality of the British nation. I place myself under
     the safeguard of their laws and claim protection of your Royal
     Highness, the most powerful, the most constant, and the most
     generous of my enemies.

     NAPOLEON.

It is not to be supposed that all this time Napoleon's friends were
indifferent to his fate. Those who were near enough to communicate with
him made various suggestions.

[Illustration: THE EMBARKATION ON BOARD THE _BELLEROPHON_]

At Rochefort his brother Joseph offered to disguise himself and change
places with him, so that the Emperor might get away in the same vessel
in which he himself was preparing to escape. Had Napoleon agreed to this
plan, he would probably have been as successful as Joseph in reaching
America.

Some young and brave French officers are said to have offered themselves
as the crew of a rowing boat to carry Napoleon safely through the
blockading fleet. There would have been some risk in carrying out this
proposal of stealing through the blockade, but it had a fair chance of
success.

There were also swift neutral vessels not far away, on more than one of
which he had friends. But although, with three of his suite, he did
embark on a Danish ship, on second thoughts he decided not to venture
farther, and returned to shore. He might have accepted the suggestion of
the captain of a French frigate then at the Ile d'Aix, who begged
Napoleon to take the chance of intrusting himself to him. He would, he
said, attack a British ship near by, and while the attention of other
vessels was fixed on the encounter, a second French frigate with
Napoleon on board would carry him far outside the harbor to safety. But
this offer, too, was put aside. The admirers of Napoleon, who look back
on his days of indecision at Rochefort, wonder at the change in the man,
who by his policy of delay brought on himself his sad exile on the
barren island.

Yet it is easy to see that even though half willing to try flight,
Napoleon really could not bring himself to the position of a fugitive,
afraid to face his enemies. It was nobler to confront danger, as he had
confronted it often on the battlefield. It was not strange that he
should hope to find appreciation of his courage, even in the hearts of
his enemies.

It was the fifteenth of July when Napoleon embarked on the
_Bellerophon_, and a week afterwards he was in Plymouth Harbor. Too
late, to his great consternation, he found that the British regarded him
as a prisoner. He was helpless; he had no weapons but words, for armed
vessels surrounded him and the few friends who followed him counted for
nothing against his foes.

On the thirtieth of July, General Bonaparte--the British refused him the
title of Emperor--was notified that the British Government had chosen
St. Helena as his future residence, whither a limited number of his
friends might accompany him. On receiving this word, Napoleon's
indignation was loudly expressed. He replied, that he was not the
prisoner, but the guest of England, and that it was an outrage against
him to condemn him to exile into which he would not willingly go. It was
at once evident, however, that, willing or unwilling, he must embark for
his distant prison. From Plymouth he was taken to Torbay, where, on the
eleventh of August, the _Bellerophon_ met the _Northumberland_, on which
the illustrious prisoner was to be taken to St. Helena.

When Napoleon received Lord Keith and Sir George Cockburn on the deck of
the _Bellerophon_ he wore a green coat with red facings, epaulets, white
waistcoat and breeches, silk stockings, the star of the Legion of Honor,
and a _chapeau gris_ with the tricolored cockade. At first the Emperor
spoke bitterly of the action of the British Government, but at last he
abruptly asked Lord Keith for his advice. The latter replied it would be
best for Napoleon to submit with good grace. Napoleon then agreed to go
on board the _Northumberland_ at ten the next morning. Later he recalled
his consent and again talked bitterly of his fate, but at last he
controlled himself and agreed to submit.

The next day, after all the stores and provisions and the personal
belongings of Napoleon and his suite were on board, the
_Northumberland_, with its distinguished prisoner, set sail for St.
Helena.

With Napoleon went a fairly large suite, consisting of the following
persons:

Grand Mareschal Comte de Bertrand, Madame de Bertrand and three
children, one woman servant and her child, one man servant; General
Comte de Montholon, Madame de Montholon and a child, one woman servant;
Comte de las Cases and his son of thirteen; General Gorgaud; three
_valets de chambre_ and three footmen, a cook, a _lampiste_, an usher, a
steward, _chef d'office_.

Among the things that made up the rather large store of baggage that
Napoleon took with him to St. Helena, besides his clothing and more
personal belongings, were two table services of silver, a number of
articles of gold, a beautiful toilet service of silver, including water
basin and ewer, cases of books, and his special beds. Although money
could do little for him in his new home, since all his expenses would be
met by the British Government, it is known that he had with him a large
amount of money.

It is useless now to discuss what would have been the result had his
enemies been kinder to Napoleon. If he had been permitted to settle down
in England as he wished, as a country gentleman, would this have
satisfied him? Even if he had made no attempt to recover the throne of
France for himself, might he not have put forth efforts to have his son
acknowledged Emperor? At the time of his father's downfall, the little
King of Rome was hardly more than a baby, but as years passed on he
could never have lived contentedly with his grandfather, the Austrian
Emperor, knowing that his father was as near as England. In the name of
the young Napoleon, Europe might again have been plunged into a great
war.

Yet, without looking toward the future, Great Britain was only too sure
that the time had come to punish one who had always been the avowed
enemy of England. It is true that England had suffered less than any
other of the Powers at the hands of Napoleon, because he had never
invaded her territory, but in no country was Napoleon so hated.
Thousands of Englishmen had shed their blood in the wars carried on
against him by the Allies, and by the mass of the English people he was
regarded as a monster. Although the so-called Napoleonic wars had their
origin in causes that Napoleon could not have controlled, he was
regarded as the one being responsible for the twenty years' upheaval in
Europe.

When it was announced that the British Cabinet had decided to send him
into exile, many, perhaps the majority, thought the punishment too
light. They would have had him treated as a rebel and immediately hanged
or beheaded. Yet while the mass of the English people hated Napoleon,
Englishmen who had ever met him were apt to be his firm friends, or at
least his admirers.

Captain Maitland, of the _Bellerophon_, said that he had inquiries made
of the crew as to their opinion of him, and this was the result: "They
may abuse that man as much as they please, but if the people of England
knew him as well as we do, they would not touch a hair of his head."

Though Napoleon had surrendered to Great Britain alone, the Allied
Powers, desiring Great Britain to be responsible for him, approved her
course.

During the voyage of ten weeks toward St. Helena, Napoleon suffered
little from sea-sickness after the first few days. He breakfasted in his
own cabin at ten or eleven o'clock. Before he dined he generally played
a game of chess, and remained at dinner, in compliment to the Admiral,
about an hour. After he had his coffee he left the others to walk with
Count Bertrand or Count Las Cases on the quarter-deck. He often spoke to
those officers who could understand French. At first he showed little
interest in the occupations of those about him, but in time he engaged
in more general conversation and was especially inclined to talk to Mr.
Warden, the _Northumberland_ surgeon, about the prevailing complaints on
board the ship and his methods of treating the sick. After a while he
turned to his own books and spent most of the day reading or in
dictating to Las Cases. On the twenty-third of August the
_Northumberland_ crossed the equator. Before this the Admiral had amused
himself trying to frighten the French, telling them of the rough
ceremony practised by the sailors, who always undertook to present to
Neptune all persons on board who had never before crossed the line. It
happened, however, that in this instance all made a special effort to be
courteous. While the sailors presented to Neptune were shaved with huge
razors and a lather of pitch, the French were introduced politely with
compliments, and the Emperor was treated especially well.

Napoleon seemed amused by this novel performance, and later he wished to
have one hundred napoleons divided among the sailors. He was made,
however, to feel his altered position when, after some discussion, the
Admiral courteously but decidedly refused his request.

There were probably few on the _Northumberland_ who did not deeply
sympathize with the fallen Emperor. On this long, monotonous voyage,
when his only amusements were conversation and an occasional evening
game of whist with his friends, he seemed to be trying to make the best
of the situation.

On the morning when the _Northumberland_ approached St. Helena, the
Emperor dressed early, and going up on deck stepped forward on the
gangway. It was the fifteenth of October when the ship, after its long
voyage, lay at anchor. The Emperor, standing on the gangway with Las
Cases behind him, looked through his glass at the shore. Directly in
front he saw a little village, surrounded by barren and naked hills,
reaching toward the clouds. Wherever he looked, on every platform, at
every aperture, on every hill, was a cannon. Las Cases, watching his
face intently, could perceive no change of expression, for Napoleon now
had full control of himself. Unmoved he could look on the island that
was to be his prison, perhaps his grave. He did not stay long on deck,
but, turning about, asked Las Cases to lead the way to his cabin. There
they went on with their usual occupation, waiting until they should be
told that the time for landing had come.

During the long voyage Napoleon had won the regard of most persons on
the ship. The _Northumberland_ was terribly crowded, but while others
grumbled, he made no complaint of the great discomfort, although he,
like the others, was affected by it. Already he had begun to practise
that stoicism which, on the whole, was the keynote of his life at St.
Helena.



CHAPTER IV

NAPOLEON AT THE BRIARS


Napoleon quickly fitted himself into his place in his new surroundings.
So adaptable was he that the children soon ceased to regard him as a
stranger, nor were they inclined to criticise his habits, although in
most respects his ways were quite unlike those of the Balcombe family.
For example, he did not breakfast as they did. After rising at eight
o'clock, he satisfied himself with a cup of coffee and had his first
hearty meal, breakfast or luncheon as they variously called it, at one.
It was nine o'clock in the evening before he dined, and eleven when he
withdrew to his own room.

The Pavilion, the building that chiefly formed his new abode, was a
short distance from the main building of The Briars. It had one good
room on the ground floor, and two garrets. Napoleon selected this
Pavilion, not because it was really more convenient for him, but because
by occupying it he would less disturb the Balcombe family than by taking
quarters in the main house.

Las Cases and his son were in one of the garrets, and Napoleon's chief
_valet de chambre_ and others of his household were in the second. The
rooms were so crowded that some of the party had to sleep on the floor
of the little hall. The Pavilion had been built by Betsy's father as a
ballroom, and had a certain stateliness. The large room opened on a
lawn, neatly fenced around, and in the centre of the lawn was a marquee,
connected with the house by a covered way. The marquee had two
compartments. The inner one was Napoleon's bedroom, and in the other
General Gorgaud slept. There was little but the beds in the marquee.
General Gorgaud slept on a small tent bed with green silk hangings,
which Napoleon had had with him in all his campaigns.

Between the two divisions of the marquee some of the servants of
Napoleon had carved a huge crown in the green turf, on which the Emperor
was obliged to step as he passed through.

At first Count Bertrand and Count Montholon with their families were
lodged at Mr. Porteous's house in the town, where a suitable table was
prepared for them in the French style. They could go to The Briars
whenever they wished, accompanied by a British officer or Dr. O'Meara,
who was appointed physician to Napoleon; or, followed by a soldier, they
were permitted to visit any part of the island except the forts and
batteries.

A captain of artillery resided at The Briars, and at first a sergeant
and soldiers were also stationed there. But the presence of the soldiers
was evidently needless, as well as so disagreeable to the family that,
on hearing various remonstrances, Sir George Cockburn ordered them away.

But for the presence of the artillery officer, Napoleon during his stay
at The Briars might almost have forgotten that he was a prisoner. He and
his suite appreciated the unfailing kindness of Mr. Balcombe and his
family, who from the first left nothing undone for the comfort of the
exiles. During the early days of his stay the dinner for the French
people at The Briars was sent out from town, but soon Mr. Balcombe
fitted up a little kitchen, connected with the Pavilion, where
Napoleon's accomplished cook had every opportunity to display his skill.
Very often after dinner Napoleon obligingly went outside for a walk,
that his attendants might finish their dinner in the room that he had
left.

Soon after his arrival Napoleon was visited by Colonel Wilks, Governor
of St. Helena, Mrs. Wilks, and other officials of the island, and some
of the leading citizens and their families. He had not yet begun to
seclude himself, and he and his companions seemed to be trying to make
the best of their situation. Then and later evening parties were
occasionally given by the French without much appearance of restraint.
Napoleon accepted no invitations except those given by his friends at
The Briars, and in one or two unusual cases, but the others went
sometimes to the well-attended balls given by Sir George Cockburn.

Madames Bertrand and Montholon and the rest of Napoleon's suite, for
whom there was not room at The Briars, often came to see him there, and
remained during the day. To them he was still _le grand empereur_. His
every look was watched, every wish was anticipated, and they showed him
great reverence. Some have thought that in dealing with them he insisted
too much on the etiquette of a court, but certainly none of the suite
complained of formality.

Napoleon was always polite to guests at The Briars, and once went to a
large party given by Mr. Balcombe, pleasing every one by his urbanity.
When guests were introduced he always asked their profession, and then
turned the conversation in that direction. People were always surprised
at the extent of his information. Officers and others on the way from
China sought introductions and were seldom refused.

Indeed in those first months his attitude to people was very different
from what it was later. Not infrequently he himself invited people to
dine with him.

Most of Napoleon's suite shared with him a feeling of friendliness for
the Balcombe family. Las Cases, however, was always ready to criticise
Miss Betsy, whose hoydenish ways he could never understand. One evening,
when she was turning over the leaves of Estille's "Floriant," seeing
that Gaston de Foix was called General, she asked Napoleon whether he
was satisfied with him and whether he had escaped or was still living.
This question shocked Las Cases, for it seemed to him extraordinary that
a girl should imagine that the famous Gaston de Foix had been a general
under Napoleon.

But this was not a very strange mistake for a little English girl to
make. It is to be feared that Las Cases always took a certain pleasure
in correcting the faults of the young Balcombes, or in reporting them to
their parents.

From the first Napoleon claimed more of the society of Betsy than of the
other members of the family, and so agreeable were his manners toward
her that the little girl soon began to regard him as a companion of her
own, with whom she could be perfectly at ease, rather than as one much
older.

"His spirits were very good, and he was at times almost boyish in his
love of mirth and glee, not unmixed sometimes with a tinge of malice,"
wrote Betsy years later.

"Jane," said Betsy to her sister, not long after Napoleon's arrival,
"the Emperor has invited us to dine with him. What fun it will be!"

"I don't know. I am afraid it will be terribly solemn."

"Oh, no; I am not afraid of that. The Emperor isn't solemn. You ought to
get acquainted with him, and you wouldn't think so."

Jane shook her head dubiously.

"I am half afraid of him. I don't see how you can dare to trifle so with
him. What were you laughing at yesterday when Lucy was here? I thought
the Emperor looked rather silly."

"Well, perhaps he did, if you put it that way," responded the blunt
Betsy. "Only Lucy was sillier. I thought she would drag me to the ground
when I told her the Emperor was coming across the lawn."

"Then why did you run and bring him up to her? I saw you do it."

"I needn't have done that. I did more harm than good. I told her he
wasn't the cruel creature she thought him. But I oughtn't to have told
the Emperor she was afraid of him. At least, I wouldn't have done so had
I known how he would act, for he brushed up his hair so it stood out
like a savage's, and when he came up to Lucy he gave a queer growl so
that she screamed until mamma thought she might have hysterics and
hurried her out into the house."

"It was ridiculous for a man to act like a child," responded the sedate
Jane, who had not acquired Betsy's admiration for Napoleon.

"It was more ridiculous for her to scream. Napoleon laughed so at her
that I had to take her part. 'I thought you a kind of an ogre, too,' I
said, 'before I knew you.' 'Perhaps you think I couldn't frighten you
now,' he answered, 'but see;' and then he brushed his hair up higher and
made faces, and he looked so queer that I could only laugh at him. 'So I
can't frighten you!' he said, and then he howled and howled, and at last
seemed disappointed that I wasn't alarmed. 'It's a Cossack howl,' he
explained, 'and ought to terrify you!' To tell you the truth, it was
something terrible, but though I didn't like it I wouldn't flinch. Of
course it was all in fun, for he is really very kind-hearted," concluded
Betsy.

"All the same I don't enjoy the thought of having dinner with him,"
responded the practical Jane. "I've half a mind not to go."

"Oh, Jane, that would never do! What would the Emperor think? After you
have been invited, too. Besides, mother wouldn't let you stay away. An
invitation from royalty is a command."

"But Napoleon isn't--"

"Hush," cried Betsy, not wishing to hear her new friend belittled. She
always took offence if any one called him prisoner.

In spite of her professed distaste for the dinner, Jane would have been
disappointed had she been obliged to stay at home. She set out gayly
enough, proud in her secret heart that she was to have the honor of
being in the company of the great man.

Nine o'clock, Napoleon's dinner hour, was late for the little girls. As
they entered his apartment the Emperor greeted them cordially, meeting
them with extended hands, and a moment after, Cipriani, his _maître
d'hôtel_, stood at the door.

"_Le diner de votre Majesté est servi._" Whereupon Napoleon, with a girl
on each side, led the way after Cipriani, who walked backward, followed
by the rest of his suite, who were dining with him.

Hardly had they taken their places when Napoleon began to quiz Betsy on
the fondness of the English for "rosbif and plum pudding."

"It is better than eating frogs."

"Oh, my dear Mees, how you wrong us!"

"Ah, but see here!" cried Betsy, and she brought him a caricature of a
long, lean Frenchman with his mouth open, his tongue out, and a frog on
the tip of it, ready to jump down his throat. Under it was written, "A
Frenchman's Dinner."

The Emperor laughed loudly at this. "You are impertinent," he cried,
pinching Betsy's ear. "I must show this to the petit Las Cases. He will
not love you so much for laughing at his countrymen."

Upon this Betsy turned very red. The Emperor had touched a vulnerable
point. The young Las Cases, a boy of fourteen, was now at dinner with
them, and Napoleon had found that he could easily tease Betsy about him.

"He will not want a wife," continued Napoleon, "who makes fun of him;"
and Betsy, inwardly enraged, could only maintain a dignified silence.

The Emperor gazed intently at his young friend, and later, when they
rose from the table, he called young Las Cases.

"Come, kiss her; this is your revenge."

Betsy looked about vainly for a means of escape. But the Emperor had
already closed his hands over hers, holding them so that she had no
chance to get away, while young Las Cases, with a mischievous smile,
approached and kissed her.

As soon as her hands were at liberty, Betsy boxed the boy's ears and
awaited her chance to pay Napoleon off.

There was no inside hall to go from Napoleon's apartments to the rest of
the house, and it was necessary to pass outside along a steep, narrow
path, wide enough for only one at a time.

An idea flashed into the mind of mischievous Betsy as Napoleon led the
way, followed by Count Las Cases, his son, and last by Jane.

Betsy let the others get ahead of her, and waited when they were about
ten yards distant. Then with might and main she dashed ahead, running
with full force against the luckless Jane, who fell with extended hand
upon young Las Cases. He in turn struck against his father, and the
latter, to his dismay, against Napoleon.

The latter could hardly hold his footing, while Betsy in the rear,
delighted with the success of her plan, jumped and screamed with
pleasure.

The Emperor said nothing, but Las Cases, horror-struck at the insult
offered his master, became furiously angry as Betsy's laughter fell on
his ear.

Turning back, he caught her roughly by the shoulder and pushed her
against the rocky bank. It was now Betsy's turn to be angry.

"Oh, sir, he has hurt me!"

"Never mind," replied Napoleon; "to please you, I will hold him while
you punish him."

Thereupon it was young Las Cases's place to tremble. While the great man
held him by the hands, Betsy gleefully boxed his ears until he begged
for mercy.

"Stop, stop!" he cried.

"No, I will not. This has all been your fault. If you hadn't kissed
me--"

"There, there," at last called the Emperor to the boy, "I will let you
go, but you must run as fast as you can. If you cannot run faster than
Betsy, you deserve to be beaten again."

The young French page did not wait for a second warning, but starting
off at a run travelled as fast as he could, with Betsy in full pursuit.
Napoleon, watching them, laughed heartily and clapped his hands as the
two raced around the grounds. The little encounter amused him, but Las
Cases the elder took the matter more seriously.

Betsy wrote, "From that moment Las Cases never liked me, after this
adventure, and used to call me a little rude hoyden."

The next afternoon Betsy and Jane joined the Emperor, accompanied by
General Gorgaud, in a walk in a meadow.

"Look, Betsy!" cried Jane, "there are the cows I saw the other day. I am
half afraid of them."

"Nonsense! How silly!" cried the intrepid Betsy. "Afraid of a cow!" and
she repeated her sister's fear to Napoleon. The latter, professing to be
surprised and amused at Jane's fears, joined with Betsy in a laugh at
her sister's expense. But even the dread of ridicule had little effect
on Jane.

"Oh, Betsy," she cried, "I am sure one of those cows is coming at us!"

Looking up, Betsy had to admit that her sister might be right. One of
the cows was rushing toward them with her head down, as if ready to
attack the party. It was no time for words, and Napoleon, feeling it no
disgrace to retreat in the presence of such an enemy, jumped nimbly over
a wall and, standing behind it, was thus protected against the enemy.

General Gorgaud did not run, but standing with drawn sword exclaimed,
"This is the second time I have saved the Emperor's life."

From behind his wall Napoleon laughed loudly at Gorgaud's boast.

"You ought to have put yourself in the position to repel cavalry," he
cried.

"But really, Monsieur," said Betsy, "it was you who terrified the cows,
for the moment you disappeared over the wall the animal became calm and
tranquil."

"Well, well," cried Napoleon, again laughing, "it is a pity she could
not carry out her good intentions. Evidently she wished to save the
English Government the expense and trouble of keeping me."

"Betsy," said the sedate Jane a little later, when she had a chance to
talk to her sister alone, "you ought not to speak so to the Emperor. You
treat him like a child."

"Well, he seems like one of us, doesn't he, Jane? I always feel as if he
were one of us, a brother of our own age, and I am sure he is much
happier than if we acted as if we were afraid of him. But still, if you
like, I will walk very solemnly now."

So Betsy walked along beside her sister with a slow and mincing step,
her face as long as if she had lost her best friend. As she approached
the Emperor he noticed the change.

"_Eh, bien! qu'as tu, Mademoiselle Betsee?_" he asked. "Has le petit Las
Cases proved inconstant? If he have, bring him to me."

Instantly Betsy's new resolves melted away and for the rest of the walk
she and Napoleon were in their usual mood of good comradeship.

The next morning, when Napoleon joined the family circle at The Briars,
one of Betsy's little brothers, hardly more than a baby, sat on
Napoleon's knee, and began to amuse himself as usual by playing with the
glittering decorations and orders that Napoleon wore.

"Come, Mees Betsee," he cried, "there is no pleasing this child. You
must come and cut off these jewels to satisfy him."

"Oh, I have something better to do now!" cried little Alexander, jumping
from Napoleon's knee and picking up a pack of cards. "Look!" he
continued, pointing to the figure of a Grand Mogul on the back of each
card, "look, Bony, this is you."

At first the Emperor, with his imperfect knowledge of English, did not
exactly understand the child's meaning. When he did, instead of taking
offence, he only smiled as he turned to Betsy, saying, "But what does he
mean by calling me 'Bony'?"

"Ah," replied Betsy in French, "it is short for Bonaparte." Las Cases,
however, trying to improve on the little girl's definition, interpreted
the word literally, "a bony person."

Napoleon laughed at this reply, adding, "_Je ne suis pas osseux_," and
this was all. Alexander was not reproved for his familiarity.

It was true that Bonaparte was far from thin or bony, and Betsy had
often admired his plump hand, which she had more than once called the
prettiest in the world. Its knuckles were dimpled like a baby's, the
fingers taper and beautifully formed, and the nails perfect.

"Your hand does not look large and strong enough to hold a sword," she
said to him one day.

"Ah, but it is," said one of his suite, who was present. Drawing his own
sabre from its scabbard, he pointed to a stain on it, saying, "This is
the blood of an Englishman."

"Sheathe your sword," cried the Emperor. "It is bad taste to boast,
particularly before ladies. But if you will pardon me," and he looked
toward the others in the room, "I will show you a sword of mine."

Then from its embossed sheath Napoleon drew a wonderful sword with a
handle in the shape of a golden fleur-de-lis. The sheath itself was
hardly less remarkable, made of a single piece of tortoise shell,
studded with golden bees.

The children were delighted when the Emperor permitted them to touch the
wonderful weapon. It was the most beautiful sword they had ever seen.

As Betsy held the sword in her hands, unluckily she remembered a recent
incident in which she had been at a great disadvantage under the
Emperor's teasing. Now was her chance to get even with her tormentor.

With her usual heedlessness of consequences she drew out the sword and
began to make passes at Napoleon until she had driven him into a corner.

"You must say your prayers," she said, "for I am going to kill you."

"Oh, Betsy, how can you!" remonstrated the more prudent Jane, rushing to
the Emperor's assistance. "I will go and tell father."

But Betsy only laughed at her.

"I don't care," she cried. "People tease me when they like. Now it is my
turn;" and she continued to thrust the sword dangerously near Napoleon's
face, until her strength was exhausted, and her arm fell at her side.
Count Las Cases, the dignified chamberlain, who had entered the room
during the encounter, looked on indignantly. He did not quite dare to
interfere, although his indignation was plainly expressed in his face.
Already he had taken a deep dislike to the little girl, and to him the
sword incident seemed the climax of her misbehavior. If looks could
kill, she would have perished on the spot.

Although the Frenchman's expression had not the power to annihilate
Betsy, something in his look warned her that she had gone far enough.
Daring though she was, she decided that her wisest course was to give up
the weapon. As she handed the sword back to him, Napoleon playfully
pinched her ear.

It happened, unluckily, however, that Betsy's ear had been bored only
the day before. The pinch consequently caused her some pain. Without
venturing to resist the Emperor's touch, she gave a sharp exclamation.
She knew that he had not intended to hurt her.



CHAPTER V

BETSY'S BALL-GOWN


When the little flurry over the sword had ended, Napoleon seemed lost in
thought, and the children wondered what he was thinking of. Perhaps the
laughing ways of these young people reminded him of his little son,
whose growth from babyhood to youth he was destined never to see. Some
such thought must have been in his mind when he turned to one of his
attendants, saying:

"I believe that these children would like to see some of my
_bijouterie_. Go bring me those miniatures of the King of Rome."

In a short time the messenger returned, laden with little boxes, while
the children loudly expressed their delight. They knew the story of the
young Napoleon, once the pride of the French nation, on whom had been
conferred the title King of Rome. They knew that he had gone to live
with the Austrian Emperor, father of his mother, Maria Louisa, and
perhaps some of them had heard of his stout resistance to those who came
to take him away from his beautiful home, the Tuileries. Already they
had seen some of the portraits of the little boy, brought by Napoleon to
St. Helena, and they were pleased by the idea of seeing others of the
collection.

So they gathered around the Emperor as children will when something
interesting is to be shown them.

"How lovely!" cried Jane, gazing at the miniature she was first allowed
to hold in her hand.

It was indeed a beautiful picture, showing a baby asleep in his cradle,
which was in the shape of a helmet of Mars. Above his head the banner of
France was waving and in his tiny right hand was a small globe.

"What does it mean?" asked Betsy, a little timidly now, as she noted the
expression of mingled pride and sadness in Napoleon's face.

"Ah, those are the symbols of greatness. He is to be a great warrior and
rule the world."

"Yes--in a minute," murmured Betsy, as one of the boys whispered to her
to translate "_Je prie le bon Dieu pour mon père, ma mère, et ma
patrie_," inscribed beneath a picture of the child on a snuffbox cover,
which showed the little fellow in prayer before a crucifix. Then they
both looked at another miniature portraying him riding one lamb, while
he was decking another with ribbons.

"Ah!" mused the Emperor again sadly. "Those were real lambs. They were
given him by the inhabitants of Paris,--a hint, I suppose, that they
would rather have peace than war."

"And this is his mother," continued the Emperor, as a woman, far less
handsome than Josephine, was shown in the miniature with the boy,
surrounded by a halo of roses and clouds.

"She is beautiful," exclaimed Napoleon; "but I will show you the most
beautiful woman in the world."

The girls echoed his words. "I never saw any one so beautiful in my
life," cried Betsy, gazing on the portrait of a young, charming woman.

"And you never will," avowed Napoleon.

"The Princess of--" queried one of the French.

"My sister Pauline," said Napoleon, "and you show good taste in admiring
her. She is probably one of the loveliest women ever created."

"But now," he continued, when they had seen all the pictures, "let us go
down to the cottage and play whist."

Turning reluctantly from the miniatures, the children walked down to the
cottage and soon were ready to play.

But the cards did not deal smoothly enough. "Go off there by yourself,"
said Napoleon to young Las Cases, "and deal until the cards run better.
And now, Mees Betsy, tell me about your _robe de bal_."

Betsy's face flushed with pleasure. "Do you really want to see it? I
will go upstairs and get it."

To Betsy the ball to be given soon by Sir George Cockburn was a
wonderful affair. It was considered a great event by all the people of
the island, but for Betsy it had a special significance, because it
would be her very first ball. In England, at her age, her parents would
not have thought of letting her go to a ball, but amusements were so few
at St. Helena that to keep her home would have seemed cruel.

At first her parents had objected to her going, but when Napoleon saw
her in tears one day and learned why, he asked her father to let her go,
and thus she gained her father's consent.

It is not strange then that the little girl took a great interest in her
gown for the ball, and since she felt indebted to the Emperor for his
intercession, she was pleased that he expressed an interest in her
costume.

So she ran upstairs light-heartedly to get the new gown, and in a few
minutes returned with it on her arm.

"It is very pretty," cried the Emperor, examining the gown critically;
and all the others, except the stern Las Cases, had a word of
commendation for it.

It was a delicately pretty gown, trimmed with soft roses. Even if it had
not been her first ball-gown, Betsy's pride in it would have been
justified; but as things were, no cynical person could have found fault
with her for picturing to herself what a fine impression she would make
at this first appearance at a grown-up function.

The Emperor's praises were particularly gratifying, because he had a way
of ridiculing any detail of dress that he did not like.

"Oh, Mees Betsee," he would cry, "why do you wear trousers? You look
just like a boy;" and any one who has seen pictures of girls in
pantalets will admit that they merited criticism. Or again he would say:

"If I were governor I would make a law against ladies wearing those
ugly, short waists. Why do you wear them, Mees Betsee?"

It was, therefore, delightful to the young girl that he approved her
ball-gown.

After sufficient praise had been given the dress, the four sat down to
play, Napoleon and Jane against Las Cases and Betsy.

"Mademoiselle Betsee," said the Emperor, "I tire of sugar-plums. I bet
you a napoleon on the game. What will you put against it?"

"I have no money," replied Betsy, a little shyly for her. "I have
nothing worth a napoleon except--oh, yes--my little pagoda. Will that
do?"

The Emperor laughed. "Yes, that will do, and I will try to get it."

So they began in merry spirits.

"There, there," cried Betsy after a minute or two, "that isn't fair. You
mustn't show your cards to Jane."

"But this is such a good one." Napoleon's eye twinkled.

"Well, it isn't fair," added Betsy with the excitement in her tone often
observable in vivacious natures. As the cards were shuffled she
repeated, "Remember, you mustn't look at your cards until they are all
dealt."

"But it seems so long to wait."

"Then I won't play. You revoked on purpose."

"Did I? Then I must hide my guilt;" and Napoleon mixed all the cards
indiscriminately together, while Betsy tried to hold his hands to
prevent further mischief, as she pointed out what he had done.

Napoleon, amused by Betsy's indignation, laughed until the tears came.

"Mees Betsy, Mees Betsy, I am surprised. I played so fair, and you have
cheated so; you must pay me the forfeit, the pagoda."

"No, Monsieur, you revoked."

"Oh, but Mees Betsy, but you are _méchante_ and a cheat. Ah, but I will
keep you from going to the ball!"

While they were playing Betsy had quite forgotten the pretty gown that
she had laid carefully on the sofa. Now, all too late, she realized its
danger, for the Emperor, suddenly turning toward the sofa, seized it,
and before she could stop him ran out of the room with it, toward the
Pavilion.

Betsy in alarm quickly followed, but though she went fast, Napoleon went
faster, and had locked himself in his room before she reached him.

Poor Betsy was now thoroughly frightened. She was sure that her pretty
gown, with its trimmings of soft roses, would be destroyed.

"Oh, give it to me, please!" she cried in English, as she knocked upon
his door. But the Emperor made no reply. Then she made her appeal in
French, using every beseeching word she knew to get him to return it.
Still his only answer was a mocking laugh, repeated several times, and
an occasional word of refusal. Nor did any one else come to Betsy's
assistance. As short a time as the French had lived at The Briars there
was hardly one of them on whom Betsy had not played some trick, and even
the members of her own family were unsympathetic when a message was
brought her from Napoleon that he intended to keep her dress and that
she might as well make up her mind she could not go to the ball.

Poor Betsy! At night, after many wakeful hours, she cried herself to
sleep. When morning came things did not seem so black. She felt sure
that the Emperor would not do what he had no right to do, keep her
pretty dress. He would surely send it back to her. But the morning wore
away, and, contrary to his habit, Napoleon did not come near his
neighbors of The Briars. Betsy sent several strongly appealing messages,
but to them all came only one reply:

"The Emperor is sleeping, and cannot be disturbed."

So strong indeed was the dignity with which Napoleon had hedged himself,
that even the daring Betsy did not venture to intrude upon him when he
was resting.

Afternoon came, and at last it was almost time to start for the valley.
The family were to ride there on horseback, carrying their ball-dresses
in tin cases, and they were to dress at the house of a friend.

The horses were brought around, the black boys came up with the tin
cases that held the dresses--the dresses of the rest of the party--but
nothing of poor Betsy's. The little girl's cup was full to overflowing;
she, the courageous, began to cry.

She turned to one of the servants:

"Has my dress been packed?"

"Of course not; we didn't have it to pack."

"Then I cannot go."

Her tears had ceased. She was now too angry to cry longer.

"I will go anyway," she said on second thought. "I will dance in my
morning frock, and then you will all feel sorry, for I will tell every
one how I have been treated."

At this moment a figure was seen running down the lawn. It was Napoleon,
and Betsy gave a scream of delight as she saw that in his arms he
carried her dress.

Her face brightened and she hastened to meet him.

"Here, Mees Betsy," he cried; "I have brought your dress. I hope you are
a good girl now, and that you will like the ball; and mind you dance
with Gorgaud."

"Yes, yes!" said Betsy, too happy to get her dress to oppose any
suggestion, although General Gorgaud was no favorite of hers and she had
a long-standing feud with him.

"You will find your roses still fresh," said the Emperor. "I ordered
them arranged and pulled out, in case any were crushed."

To the little girl's delight, when she examined her gown she found that
no harm had been done it, in spite of the rough treatment it had
received at Napoleon's hands.

"I wish you were going, sire," she said politely, as he walked beside
the horses to the end of the bridle path.

"Ah, balls are not for me," he replied, shaking his head. Then he
stopped.

"Whose house is that?" he asked, pointing to a house in the valley far
beneath. "It is beautifully situated," he continued; "some time I shall
visit it. Come, Las Cases, we must not detain the party."

"We must hurry on," whispered one of those on horseback.

"Good-bye, good-bye," and Napoleon and the elder Las Cases went down the
mountain toward the house that he had seen in the distance, while Betsy
and the others rode on toward the ball.

Next day Napoleon said that he had been charmed with the beautiful place
in the valley that he and Las Cases had visited after he had seen the
others ride away to the ball. He had found the owner of the place, Mr.
Hodgdon, very agreeable, and at last he had ridden home on an Arab horse
that the latter had lent him.

Before Napoleon withdrew within his shell he was not only inclined to
receive visitors but to pay visits. Betsy and Jane were riding gayly
along one day when they came unexpectedly upon Napoleon, also on
horseback.

"Where have you been?" asked the venturesome Betsy.

"To Candy Bay," replied Napoleon, without resenting her inquisitiveness.

"Oh, didn't you think Fairyland just the most perfect place?"

"Yes, indeed, I was delighted with it and with its venerable host, Mr.
D. He is a typical Englishman of the highest type."

"Yes, and only think, he is over seventy years old and yet has never
left the island. I don't know what St. Helena would do without him,"
said Jane.

"I call him the good genius of the valley," added Betsy.



CHAPTER VI

A HORSE TAMER


One morning, not long after the ball, Betsy took a slight revenge on the
Emperor. She had a certain favor to ask of him, and she had gone to look
for him in his favorite retreat in his garden, the Grapery, near a large
pond of clear water, full of gold and silver fish. Though called a
grapery, vines of many different kinds twined over the trellis-work,
while the grapevines were chiefly over an arbor at the end.

In the sultriest weather this little arbor was cool and pleasant, and
here Napoleon was in the habit of taking his books and papers when he
wished to work out of doors.

He had no regular hour for rising, and sometimes he would go there as
early as four o'clock and write until breakfast, or dictate to Las
Cases. No one was permitted to intrude on him there, no one but Betsy
occasionally, and then it could hardly be called intruding, for she
usually went at the Emperor's request, or, as it might be said, she had
a general invitation. When Betsy said, "Come and unlock the garden
door," Napoleon stopped, even in the middle of the sentence he might be
dictating, and she was always admitted. This general invitation,
however, might have been withdrawn if Betsy had not been too sensible to
interrupt the Emperor often. She was careful not to abuse what was for
her a special privilege.

On this particular morning she went to the arbor door with some
hesitation. One of her friends from the valley, a very charming girl,
had come to pass the morning with her.

"Now, Betsy," she had said, "I hear that you are a great favorite with
Napoleon and you must introduce me, for I am just dying to see him."

"I do not think I can," replied Betsy. "It is a very hot morning and I
saw him go early to the arbor. I do not like to disturb him when he is
busy."

"Busy! How can a prisoner be busy? It cannot matter whether he is idle
or busy."

"He is not a prisoner, at least we don't call him so," retorted Betsy
indignantly, "and he is writing books."

"Oh, I suppose you know best, but if you cannot be obliging, I shall be
mortified when I go home to say that I did not see him. I heard you knew
him so well, that I supposed you wouldn't mind introducing me."

Thus put on her mettle, Betsy yielded against her better judgment and
went down to the arbor.

At first there was no answer to her knock. Napoleon had fallen asleep
over his papers. At last she succeeded in arousing him. "What do you
want?" he asked rather gruffly as he came to the little door.

"Let me in, and you will know."

"No, tell me first what you want and then I will let you in."

Betsy was not so sure of this, but since she could not help it, she had
to explain her errand.

"I wish to introduce a young lady to you."

"Oh, no, indeed; I am not well."

"But she will be so disappointed,--and she is so pretty."

"Not like the lady I was obliged to say agreeable things to yesterday?"

"Oh, no, she is very different. She is really young and handsome."

"Very well, then, since you have promised, I suppose I must go, but come
in for a minute,"--this not very politely, it must be admitted. As Betsy
entered the little enclosure she rushed to the table and rather rudely
snatched up some of the papers on which Napoleon had been at work.

"Now," she said, "for your ill-nature in making me stand so long at the
door, I shall keep these and find out all your secrets."

The Emperor looked at Betsy with some alarm. He did not like to see his
papers in her hands.

"Put them down instantly," he cried.

"No, no," rejoined Betsy, running around the garden with the papers held
high above her head. The Emperor looked at her sternly.

"Very well! Unless you obey me at once, I shall no longer be your
friend."

[Illustration]

Hardly ever before had Betsy heard Napoleon speak so severely. She saw
that he was in earnest and that she must obey. She saw, too, that she
was in danger of losing his regard, and even without looking far ahead
she realized that he might not go to her friend, if her own foolishness
continued longer. So, giving up her trophies, she seized the Emperor's
hand and led him to the house.

Now that he had yielded to Betsy's wishes, Napoleon was most courteous
to her guest. He talked graciously to the young lady, complimented her
on her beauty, and when she was ready to go home helped her on her
horse.

"She is a very pretty girl," he said later to Betsy, "but she has the
airs of a _marchande de modes_."

In thus intruding on Napoleon in his arbor study, Betsy had shown a
rashness that no one else in the family would have ventured to imitate.
One day, however, Betsy aided an intruder, whose behavior the Emperor
could not resent although he was disturbed by it.

It happened in this way. One morning while Napoleon was busy in his
outdoor study making notes, Betsy was romping about in the garden near
by.

"Come, Tom Pipes!" she called loudly; and a second later a beautiful
Newfoundland dog rushed to her side. Tom Pipes belonged to Sir George
Cockburn, the Admiral, and was well known to every one at The Briars, as
he was in the habit of accompanying his master on his occasional visits
to Mr. Balcombe's house. After his long run up the mountainous road
under the hot sun, Tom Pipes was always delighted to reach The Briars,
for the place had many ponds and little streams, into which the
intelligent dog would plunge for a swim.

On this particular day, Tom needed no second word from Betsy to make him
accept her invitation to take a dip in the pond, stocked with gold and
silver fish, that was near Napoleon's arbor. The dog bathed and swam and
amused himself in the water, and at last clambered up the bank. A moment
later, as if tired from his exertions, he lay down by Napoleon's side.
Napoleon, like every one else at The Briars, knew and admired the dog,
and if he noticed Tom Pipes's approach had no objection to it. He was so
absorbed in his work, however, that he probably was hardly aware of the
nearness of the creature. After a few minutes' rest, Tom Pipes realized
that he had not completed his toilet. So, rising to his feet, he began
to shake himself vigorously. Instantly a shower of water bespattered
Napoleon's face and clothing, and drenched the papers on the table. The
sheet on which he was writing was entirely spoiled, and he himself
looked rather ridiculous, as he tried to brush off the drops of water.
In spite of his annoyance, Napoleon could not help laughing, for
although he scolded and did his best to drive Tom Pipes away, the dog
could not understand him. The two had been shipmates on the
_Northumberland_, and the dog was so delighted to see Napoleon again
that instead of running away, he kept jumping on him, leaving on the
Emperor's clothing repeated imprints of his wet and muddy paws.

While all this was happening, Betsy, looking on, was convulsed with
laughter. She had not had this particular ending in mind when she had
called Tom Pipes to play with her, but no deliberate practical joke of
hers had ever been more amusing to her; and the best part of it was that
the Emperor could not really blame her nor punish Tom Pipes.

Very often, however, it was not Betsy who got the best of a practical
joke. Not infrequently she lost her temper over little things that were
not worth minding, and Napoleon, to whom she was a constant source of
amusement, could not forbear teasing her, just to see how she would take
his fun. One day, looking over Betsy's shoulder, Napoleon discovered
that her translation was not finished. Her father required this bit of
work from her every day, and now Napoleon saw a way to pay her back in
some of her own coin.

Taking the paper from Betsy, and holding it aloft, the Emperor
approached Mr. Balcombe, who was now mounting his horse for a ride.

"Balcombe," he cried, "_voilà le thème de Mdlle. Betsee. Qu'elle a bien
travaillé!_" he concluded sarcastically.

Betsy's father looked at the sheet of paper which was quite blank, and,
entering into the spirit of the thing with Napoleon, he professed to be
very angry. Calling Betsy to him, he reproved her severely.

"If your translation is not ready when I return home to dinner, I will
punish you severely." Mortified by this reproof, Betsy cherished plans
of retaliation against the Emperor, which she carried out when she
pinioned him in the corner with her sword.

Yet after all she deserved the reproof, since her father had made a
rigid rule that his daughters should have a translation from English
into French ready every morning before the hour when Napoleon visited
The Briars. He rightly considered it a great privilege for the young
girls that the great man should be willing to look at their French
themes, with a view to improving their use of his language.

One morning the sisters observed Archambaud, Napoleon's groom, leading a
beautiful horse in front of the house.

"That is the Arab they have bought for him to ride."

"I shouldn't think he'd care to ride that horse," responded the timid
Jane. "See how he rears and plunges."

"He's afraid of that white cloth on the lawn."

"Yes, but they've put it there on purpose, to break him of the habit of
shying."

While they were speaking, Napoleon approached.

"Sir," said the confident Betsy, "I don't believe you can ride that
horse."

"I! Don't you think me a good rider?"

"Yes; I think you look better on horseback than any one I have ever
seen."

"Only _look_!" Napoleon was trying to draw her out.

"But you really ride better than anyone else, as I told you the other
day when you rode around the lawn. I didn't suppose any one could make a
horse wheel in such a narrow circle."

"Yet you think this Arab could conquer me!"

"But it looks so ugly,--I mean its disposition."

The Emperor, without replying directly, called Archambaud to him and
bade him dismount, while he took his seat on the fiery horse. The girls
looked on in horror, but Napoleon only smiled the more, as he compelled
the horse to pass the cloth and continued his discipline until he made
the creature put his foot on it.

Archambaud gazed open-mouthed, hardly knowing whether to laugh or to
cry. The Emperor persevered, and in a short time the horse was
absolutely obedient to him, and the groom, though chagrined at his own
failure, was pleased by the Emperor's success.

"Ah," said Napoleon, dismounting, "it would be a strange horse that did
not understand me. There was one that I rode once one hundred and
twenty-nine miles in one day. My mother was ill, and I had to do it; but
the horse, poor thing, died in the course of the night."

"And you?" asked Betsy.

"Ah, I was fatigued, but in or out of the saddle makes little difference
to me. I could almost sleep in the saddle. But, come, young ladies," he
continued, "I came here to invite you to see my china. It is all
unpacked."

The girls followed the Emperor toward the house, and "Oh!" and "Ah!"
they exclaimed loudly as they looked at the beautiful dishes lately
arrived from France. Among them there were plates that had cost
twenty-five napoleons, each of them painted by a great artist. It was a
beautiful set, given to the Emperor by the people of Paris, and the
pictures were chiefly battle scenes commemorating his great victories.

Before one of these paintings, Betsy stood enraptured. It represented a
slim youth, who looked almost tall, standing on a bridge and evidently
cheering others on, while nearer him were the dead and dying.

"And this was really you?" exclaimed Betsy, for she recognized the
standing figure.

"Yes," replied Napoleon, sighing, as if for his dead youth. "I was that
boy. That was almost the beginning. I was more slender then than now."

"This is the ibis?" asked Betsy, pointing to a bird that appeared on
many plates.

"Yes; these are mostly pictures of Egypt;" and the ibis led him to a
long discourse on the Egyptian campaign.

"But don't go to Egypt, Miss Betsy," he concluded. "You will catch
ophthalmia and spoil your eyes."

"_Pourquoi avez-vous tourné turque?_" ["Why did you turn Turk?"]
interposed Betsy abruptly.

"What is that to you?" he asked, laughing. The question referred to his
having become a Mahometan, but at first it was not clear to Napoleon
what she meant.

"I mean, why did you change your religion?" Betsy explained.

"Fighting is a soldier's religion," he replied. "I never changed that.
The other is the affair of women and priests. _Quant à moi_, I always
adopt the religion of the country I am in. And now," he said at last,
"you have seen all the plates, and there are your little brothers coming
up to find out what our Santini has made for them."

Santini was Napoleon's lamplighter, a clever little fellow, who could
make all kinds of toys and was always ready to play amusing tricks to
entertain the children.

"What has he now?" the little boys asked as the man approached with a
box under his arm.

The children jumped about excitedly. Even the girls were curious, as,
taking the box from under his arm, Santini displayed a tiny carriage to
which were harnessed two pairs of mice. In spite of Santini's efforts,
they did not at once start off, as he had expected, to draw the
carriage, and the boys appealed to the Emperor.

"Pinch the tails of the leaders, and then they will go," commanded
Napoleon.

The boys obeyed, and to the great delight of the children the mice
started off at full speed. As they watched the carriage and the
scampering steeds, the children shouted and clapped their hands.

       *       *       *       *       *

One morning Betsy stood before Napoleon with an expression of
disappointment on her pretty face.

"Of course I thought you meant it."

"But you are a foolish child."

"Why shouldn't you give a ball before you leave The Briars? Not a very
great one, but just large enough for me to dance at. Soon you will be
away, at Longwood. I thought you promised."

"You must have known I was in fun."

At last Betsy noted a tone in the Emperor's voice that warned her to go
no further.

"But since you are so disappointed," said Napoleon kindly, "you may have
whatever you wish to ask of me. _Dites-moi, que veux-tu que je fosse
Mdlle. Betsee pour te consoler?_" ["Tell me, what do you wish me to do
to console you?"]

Betsy's face brightened.

"Let us play the game of blindman's buff you have so often promised.
Then I will forgive you for not having the ball, and never speak of it
again."

"Blindman's buff, as you describe it, did not seem to be just the game
for me. Can't you think of something else?"

"But you promised, and your room is splendid for it, and it wouldn't be
any fun without you."

Seeing that resistance was useless, the Emperor at last consented to
play. He began by binding his fine white handkerchief over Betsy's eyes.

"Can you see?"

"I cannot see you."

But Betsy, although she spoke truly in saying that she could not see the
Emperor, could yet detect a glimmer of light. Napoleon waved his hands
before her eyes, and the shadows and rush of air made her start.

"Ah, leetle monkey, you can see me!" he exclaimed, and he put another
handkerchief over her eyes.

Then, with Betsy in the middle of the room, the game began. Soon the
young girl felt some one pull her nose roughly. She knew who had touched
her, for, as he crept toward her, she recognized Napoleon's footsteps.
As she darted forward, he bounded away just as her hand touched his.
Then, as she groped about, Napoleon pulled her ear. She was sure that
she had recognized him and putting out her hand she cried triumphantly:

"I have you, I have you! Now it is your turn."

When Betsy uncovered her eyes she was mortified to find that it was her
sister she had captured. Napoleon, it was true, had pulled her ear, but
he had accomplished this by reaching his hand over Jane's head. Every
one now laughed at Betsy.

"Come," said Napoleon, "as you have made such a great mistake, you must
pay the penalty and remain blindfolded."

The Emperor continued to tease and quiz, pulling Betsy's ear or her
dress, and always managing to escape being caught.

At last, when the fun was at its height, a servant, entering, announced
that some one had called to see the Emperor. So the young people were
left to themselves for a while. The game was at an end.

"Now, Mees Betsy," exclaimed the Emperor, when he returned to the room,
"you and all the other players must come and dine with me."

"But we have already dined."

"Yet you must come. Now, Navarre," said the Emperor, when they had
reached the marquee, "Mees Betsy is very fond of creams. Bring some for
her."

"I cannot eat them," protested Betsy.

"But you told me you were so fond of them. Come, it is not kind to
refuse."

"But really I cannot eat."

"Oh, nonsense!"

Betsy made the effort, and ate half of a delicious cream.

"That is not enough. I will feed you, little _bambino_, I will feed
you;" and with spoon in hand Napoleon actually began to feed the little
girl, laughing steadily at her as he did so.

Only by running away did Betsy at last escape, and even then the Emperor
called after her:

"Stop, Mees Betsy, do stay and eat another. You know you told me you
liked them."

The next day Marchand brought to the sisters a box of bonbons with the
Emperor's compliments, and with them came some of the famous creams for
"Mdlle. Betsee."



CHAPTER VII

OFF FOR LONGWOOD


New Year's Day was approaching, the day which French people love to
celebrate by making gifts to their friends and paying compliments.

On this first New Year's morning of Napoleon's exile on St. Helena,
Betsy, looking from her window, saw young Tristram Montholon and Henri
Bertrand approaching.

"Look, Jane," she cried excitedly, "they are carrying something; do you
suppose--"

But without finishing her question or waiting for Jane to answer, Betsy
had taken the shortest way to gratify her curiosity by running to greet
the boys. Immediately the two little fellows saluted her with New Year
wishes and before she could ask a question had presented each
sister--for Jane had followed her--with a beautiful crystal basket.

"Something Piron made for you," the boys explained; and the fingers of
the two girls trembled with excitement as they began to uncover the
contents of the baskets. Piron, Napoleon's _confiseur_, could do the
most remarkable things. There was nothing he could not reproduce in
sugar--palaces, triumphal arches, all kinds of curious structures--all
looking too good to eat. Already Betsy and Jane had received presents
from the Emperor, products of Piron's skill, accompanied usually by some
pleasant message. But this New Year's gift surpassed their expectations,
for when they tore off the white satin napkin, inside the baskets they
saw that delicious bonbons were heaped within them on Sèvres plates, a
plate for each girl.

"Cupidons for the Graces," was Napoleon's message accompanying the
kindly gift.

The first of the new year brought a certain regret to the family at The
Briars and to Napoleon as well. His new home at Longwood was nearly
ready for him, and this meant that he should see much less of the
charming family to which he had become attached. Longwood was several
miles away, and the chance was that there he would be guarded more
closely and that it might be harder for the girls to see him.

For the two months before New Year's, Longwood was as busy a place as a
dock-yard in war. The Admiral was often there, hurrying lazy workmen.
Every day two or three hundred seamen carried timber and other building
materials and furniture to Longwood. Although Napoleon was in no hurry
to go there--indeed, he did not wish to go there at all--he watched the
workmen with great interest, as he observed them climbing up the heights
between Longwood and The Briars. He would really have preferred to make
The Briars his home, and he tried to get the Government to buy it for
him, but for reasons, perhaps political, this could not be accomplished.
Longwood, in situation, was bleak and unshaded, and so exposed that it
was not likely he could ever have a garden such as that at The Briars.
Water had to be brought from a distance of three miles, and the houses
that were to be remodelled for the French were known to be damp and
unhealthy. The farmhouses which Napoleon was to occupy were very plain
and have even been called a collection of huts. The expenditure of much
money could not make the place really comfortable.

Napoleon had now been on the island nearly three months. No longer was
he regarded by any one with dread, at least by any one who had come
under his immediate influence. By the Balcombe family he was esteemed an
amiable friend. They had had the chance to see him under all kinds of
conditions, and if they did not regard him as exactly perfect, their
feeling for him was one not only of great sympathy but respect.

As the time for his departure approached he came more often to the
drawing-room at The Briars.

"Ah," he said, half sadly, to the family, "I would rather stay here than
go to Longwood. I could never have imagined it possible to be happy on
such a horrible rock as St. Helena."

One day General Bertrand, coming over from Longwood, told Napoleon the
house smelled so of paint that it was not fit for him at present. All
Napoleon's friends knew his great dislike for unpleasant odors, and that
paint was especially disagreeable to him.

When the Emperor heard this report of the condition of Longwood, his
rage almost choked him. He walked up and down the lawn, gesticulating
wildly.

"I will not live in a house that smells of paint. It is most horrible. I
will send to the Admiral and refuse to go."

Betsy had hardly ever seen him display such temper as he now showed,
declaiming against the lack of consideration shown by the Governor. This
excitement was a result probably of his general dislike for his new
home. Although first interested in the workmen, toward the end he began
to complain of the fifes and drums with which the soldier workmen urged
themselves on as they wound their way up the hill. He had disliked
Longwood from the day when he had first seen it, just after his arrival
on the island, and what he heard about it had not changed his opinion.
No family, it was said, had ever lived there longer than a few months,
so unwholesome was its climate. This came from the situation of the
place--a plain on the top of a mountain, eighteen hundred feet high. It
was on the windward side of the island, and only for a month or six
weeks in the year was the weather pleasant. For three or four weeks it
had the sun directly overhead; the rest of the year was wet and
disagreeable. In the course of a single day there could be extreme
changes of heat and cold.

At last the day of departure came. Sir George Cockburn and all the
Emperor's suite, some of whom lived at a distance from The Briars, came
over to escort him. The younger members of the family stood around the
house, showing their sadness very plainly.

"You must not cry, Mdlle. Betsee," said Napoleon kindly. "You must come
to see me next week, and very often."

"Oh, yes, I want to, but that will depend on my father."

Then Napoleon turned to Mr. Balcombe. "Balcombe, you must bring Misses
Jane and Betsee next week to see me, eh? When will you ride up to
Longwood?"

"Indeed, I will bring them soon," responded Mr. Balcombe.

"But where is your mother?" added the Emperor, casting his eye over the
group that had gathered to bid him good-bye.

"She sent her kind regards to you," replied Betsy, "but is sorry that
she is not well enough to come down."

"Then I will go up to her;" and Napoleon impulsively ran upstairs before
word could be given of his approach.

When Napoleon entered her room, Mrs. Balcombe was lying down. The girls,
who had followed him, saw him sit down on the edge of her bed as he
thanked her very warmly for all her attention to him.

"I should have preferred to stay at The Briars. I am sorry to go to
Longwood," he said; and then he handed a little package to her, saying,
"Now please give this to your husband as a mark of my friendship."
"This" proved to be a beautiful gold snuffbox.

As he turned to leave the room, Napoleon saw the red-eyed Betsy standing
near the door.

"Here, my dear," he said, putting something in her hand, "you can give
this as a _gage d'amour_ to petit Las Cases."

Betsy had no heart now to reply to a jest that ordinarily would have
brought out a spirited reply. But with the beautiful bon-bonnière in her
hand, she ran out of the room and took a post at a window where she
could see Napoleon. Her tears continued to flow and she found that she
could not bear to look longer at the departing Emperor. At last she had
to run to her own room, where, throwing herself on a bed, she wept
bitterly for a long time.

It was true, as Betsy knew, that Longwood was not so very far from The
Briars, and that it was not likely that she would be restrained from
going there sometimes. Yet in spite of this knowledge the little girl
realized that she had lost a great deal by the departure of the Emperor
from her father's house.

Friends, and enemies too, of Napoleon in Europe would have been amazed
at that moment to know that the man who so short a time before had been
dreaded as the commander of one of the world's greatest armies, was now
bewailed by a little girl as a lost playmate, for as playmate and friend
Betsy had certainly come to regard him, and she regretted his removal to
Longwood, not only because it was farther away, but because he was
likely to be hedged in with a greater ceremony that might prevent her
from seeing much of him.

Mr. Balcombe went with Napoleon to Longwood, and when he returned the
girls asked eagerly how the Emperor liked the new residence.

"He seemed out of spirits. He went soon to his own room and shut himself
in;" and at this report they sympathized with his loneliness.

Betsy and Jane, fortunately, were not to be shut off altogether from
their friend. Their father was purveyor to the Emperor, and this meant
that he had a general order to visit Longwood and could take his
daughters with him. Thus it happened that hardly a week passed without
their going there to call, to their own great delight as well as to the
satisfaction of Napoleon, who never tired of them.

Usually their visits were so timed that they could breakfast with the
Emperor at one, and for the most part they found him much the same as he
had been at The Briars. After a while, however, they could not help
noticing that he was less cheerful than formerly.

About a week after his departure, Betsy and her mother and sister made
their first visit to Longwood to call on the Emperor.

"Ah, there he is," Betsy cried; and looking ahead, they saw him seated
on the steps of the billiard-room, talking to little Tristram Montholon.
The moment Napoleon caught sight of them, he hastened toward them.
Saluting them pleasantly, he kissed Mrs. Balcombe and Jane on each
cheek, while he pinched Betsy's ear, as he said: "Ah, Mdlle. Betsee,
_etes-vous sage_, eh, eh?"

Then, with the eagerness of a boy anxious to display a new toy, he
added, "What do you think of the place? I must show you over it. Come,
follow me!"

So the Emperor walked ahead of Mrs. Balcombe and her daughters, leading
them first to his bedroom. Betsy thought this room small and cheerless,
though she did not say so to Napoleon.

As she looked about she observed that the walls were covered with fluted
nankeen, that on the wall were many family pictures that she recognized,
while the bed was the well-known camp bed with the green silk hangings,
the bed Napoleon had used in his Marengo and Austerlitz campaigns.
There, on one side, was the silver wash-hand basin and ewer, and on the
mantelpiece over the bed was a portrait of Maria Louisa, so placed as to
be the first thing to meet Napoleon's eye when he awoke in the morning.
Off the bedroom was a small chamber with a bath that he showed to them.
A dressing-room, dining-room, billiard and drawing room made up the
Emperor's own special suite. The billiard-room, which had been built
according to Sir George Cockburn's orders, was large and well
proportioned. It was the best apartment in the house, and the girls
expressed their admiration for it, although Betsy, when her eye fell on
the billiard table and balls, thought the game a foolish one for men to
play.

"Now to the kitchen!" Napoleon exclaimed, at last. "M. Piron will be so
pleased. Aha, Piron, here is Mees Betsee; you know how she loves creams.
Send her some and some bonbons. See, _regardez, mademoiselle, voilà un
mouton pour mon diner, dont on fait une lanterne_," pointing to the lean
carcass of a sheep hanging up in the kitchen, in which the French
servants had placed a candle which shone through. "But I know," he
continued, "you are dying to see the baby;" and the sisters went with
him to Madame Montholon's apartment to see her six-weeks-old girl.

Napoleon took his little god-daughter in his arms.

"Oh, you will let it fall!" cried Betsy as he dandled it clumsily.

"No, no! See, it will let me do anything with it;" and he pinched little
Lili's nose and chin until she cried.

"You do not know how to hold a baby," protested Betsy.

"But I ought to know," responded Napoleon with a twinkle of amusement in
his eye. "Often and often I have nursed the King of Rome when he was
younger than Lili."

After leaving the baby and Madame Montholon, the little girls went with
Napoleon to the garden outside.

"It is not like The Briars," the Emperor said, shaking his head sadly.

"I should say not;" and Betsy looked from the bare surroundings of the
house to the rugged mountain near by with its scraggly vegetation of
wild samphire, prickly pears and aloes, its iron-covered rocks, with
sharp cliffs and mysterious caves overshadowing the house.

Napoleon's momentary sadness may have come from his casual allusion to
his son, the little King of Rome, the child whom he was never to see
again. Those who observed him when any allusion was made to his child
were always sure that Napoleon's heart held great fatherly affection.
Once when he had been a trifle downcast, Dr. O'Meara told him an
anecdote he had heard about the child. Immediately Napoleon smiled with
great animation and his face brightened. At other times when the
conversation turned on the child, he grew perceptibly sadder.

His love for his own child made Napoleon undoubtedly more interested in
all children, and he was never ashamed, as some men are, to show this
interest in the children of his friends.

This first visit to Longwood was in every way delightful to the sisters,
not only because there was much to see that was new to them in the
arrangement of the house and grounds, but because they found the Emperor
in one of his most boyish moods.

"Now, ladies," he said, as the time for their return approached, "send
your horses off. They can meet you at Hutsgate, and I will take a drive
with you, if you will honor my jaunting car."

Hutsgate was the residence of Madame Bertrand, where Mrs. Balcombe and
her daughters intended to call before returning to The Briars.

"Yes," answered Betsy after a moment's hesitation, "we will drive with
you." She was not fond of driving, but did not dare to expose her
timidity to the ridicule of the Emperor.

Hardly, however, had they started off when she felt that her fears were
justified. The daring Archambaud was their charioteer, and he drove
three unbroken Cape horses abreast.

"This is the most dangerous road for driving on the island. No wonder
they call it the Devil's Punchbowl," cried poor Betsy. As she spoke, the
carriage seemed to be tipping over the edge of the declivity. Those
nearer the edge were in mortal terror, and the others looked as if they
would be crushed against the huge rock.

"You are not frightened, are you, Mees Betsee?" asked Napoleon
mischievously. "Of course it is a narrow road; I only hope the horses
are not running away. They seem rather wild."

Thankful enough was Betsy to arrive at Madame Bertrand's without
accident, and when she started for home she was more than eager to mount
her own quiet pony, Tom. She was not fond of driving over the dangerous
roads, and for a jaunting car she had a special dislike. Napoleon,
knowing this, could not resist the opportunity to tease her. Betsy,
indeed, was not the only one whom he liked to terrify by getting
Archambaud to display his reckless driving. It seemed, indeed, as if his
guest, as well as the Emperor, always took his life in his hands when
driving in the jaunting car.

On a second visit not long after the first, when Betsy and Jane arrived
at Longwood, they found the Emperor firing at a target. He put the
pistol in Betsy's hands, saying, "Ah, _la Petite Tirailleuse_, I will
form a company of sharpshooters and you shall be captain."

A little later he took her to the billiard-room and showed her the
billiard table.

"It is a silly game for men," she said in her positive way, "too much
like marbles. I wouldn't play it."

"Oh, do try," urged the Emperor; but wilful Betsy replied only by aiming
the ball at his fingers, as he rested his hand on the board.

Later, however, the sisters learned to play the game, and at the
billiard table they passed many an hour.

Napoleon himself taught Betsy how to handle a cue, but, when tired of
the lesson, she would often aim at his fingers, and she was always
delighted when a well-directed shot made him cry out.

The visits of Betsy and her sisters gave pleasure to the fallen great
man; still, as time went on, they could not help noticing that he was
less and less buoyant. In their presence he tried to lay aside his
troubles, and continued unfailingly kind.

He and the new Governor, Sir Hudson Lowe, were always at swords' points,
and this wore on his spirits. Moreover, the health of Napoleon was
impaired, and as he realized this he grew more and more gloomy.

Sir Hudson Lowe was very particular that the passes issued for visitors
should be used only as they had been made out.

One day Betsy went to Longwood with a pass that prescribed a visit to
General Bertrand. But when Betsy, wandering about, caught sight of
Napoleon in the billiard-room, she could not resist the temptation of
playing a game with him. Her father vainly tried to remonstrate with
her. Far from listening to him, she bounded off.

Instead of playing billiards, however, Napoleon asked her to read to him
from a book that he had lately received from England. It was by Dr.
Warden, surgeon of the _Northumberland_, describing in English
Napoleon's voyage to St. Helena. Napoleon had not made great headway in
reading English, and Betsy went through several chapters with him,
turning them into her French that he might better understand.

Napoleon listened attentively to her reading. "Dr. Warden's word is a
very true one," he said.

Betsy finished her stay at Longwood this day by remaining awhile with
Madame Bertrand.

The news of Betsy's visit to Napoleon without the requisite permission
reached the Governor's ears; and Mr. Balcombe was severely reproved. In
fact, he nearly lost his position. The Governor from the first insisted
that Mr. Balcombe always acted in the interest of Napoleon, and hence,
as he viewed it in his narrow-mindedness, against the interests of the
English Government. Thus we can see that Napoleon's young neighbor was
wrong in doing things that drew on her father the Governor's reproof.

"My dears," said Mr. Balcombe one morning, "I am going to Longwood
to-morrow, and the Emperor has expressly asked me to bring you. He has
something curious to show you."

"What can it be?" the girls asked each other. This special invitation,
promising a special pleasure, made them eager to start when the next
morning came.

When they reached Longwood with their father they found Napoleon
examining a machine whose use they could guess.

"Come, come, young ladies," the great man cried, when he caught sight of
them, "come see me make ice. You have not been here for a long time,
Mees Betsy, what is the matter?"

"I have been ill,--a sunstroke."

"Oh, I am sorry! What foolish thing did you do?"

"Oh, Jane and I walked with Captain M. to call on Mrs. Wilks. We went
over the mountain, two thousand feet, and also across Francis Plain, and
down into the valley, up the mountain ridges."

Napoleon expressed his astonishment at the extent of their walk.

"Yes, we were nearly dead when we reached Plantation House, but the Lady
Governess and her daughter there were so kind, and at noon we went to
Fairyland."

When Betsy had told her story, Napoleon explained the air-pumps and the
process of ice-making. He was evidently proud of his own proficiency.

"Now, Mr. Balcombe, get an elementary chemistry for Miss Betsy and make
her study every day, and the good O'Meara shall be her examiner."

While he talked Napoleon was watching the machine.

"Do try my ice," he exclaimed at last, when he had a cupful.

"Here, Mees Betsee, take this!" and he put a large piece in her mouth.

"Oh, Mees Betsee, why make such faces?"

This was the first ice that had ever been seen on the island, and those
who had never been off St. Helena were naturally amazed when it was
shown to them.

"It can't be frozen water," exclaimed Miss de F., a young St. Helena
lady who had accompanied the Balcombes on this visit to Longwood; and
she had to hold a piece in her hand before she believed it. Then she
gave a little scream. The glassy substance was so cold at first that she
was ready to drop it. A moment later when it began to melt and the water
streamed down her fingers, she realized that she had actually seen a
very strange thing, the turning of water into ice by artificial means.

Betsy long remembered the day when she had first seen the wonderful ice
machine, and perhaps her remembrance of it was intensified because on
that same morning Napoleon permitted her to cut from his coat an
embroidered bugle, and the coat was the one he had worn at Waterloo.
Napoleon himself was as pleased as a child with the ice machine, and to
more than one person expressed his regret that he had not had it in
Egypt, where its use would have saved the lives of many suffering
soldiers.



CHAPTER VIII

THE GOVERNOR'S RULES


After Napoleon had been at St. Helena a few months, newspapers from
England began to arrive with narratives of many of the happenings at The
Briars.

One journal contained a letter from the Marquis de Montchenu, describing
all the romping games at The Briars, such as the game of blindman's
buff, the sword scare, and other things in which the children had taken
part.

Special comments were made on the manners of Betsy, and the writer said,
"She is the wildest little girl I have ever met; she seems _folle_."
This letter had been translated into French and German journals, so that
Betsy Balcombe's name was now widely known.

Mr. Balcombe was greatly enraged by this letter, and wished to call the
Marquis to account for his ill nature, but Mrs. Balcombe persuaded him
to desist from extreme measures, and in the end the Marquis himself made
an apology.

Napoleon found some amusement in Betsy's fierce anger against the
critical Frenchman. One day Dr. O'Meara called at The Briars, on the way
to St. James Valley, with a message from Napoleon to tell Betsy how she
could revenge herself on the tale-bearer.

The Marquis, a noble of the old school, was in the habit of wearing an
elaborate wig with a long cue.

"Mees Betsy, if you will burn off the cue with caustic, I will reward
you with the prettiest fan in Solomon's shop, if you will send the
pigtail to me," suggested Napoleon to Betsy as a plan of revenge.

"_Eh, bien_," said the Emperor, when next he saw Betsy, "Mdlle. Betsy,
_as tu obei mes ordres et gagné l'éventail_?" ["Have you obeyed my
orders and won the fan?"]

"Oh, sire, how I wanted to do it, but my brother would not let me!"

"Ah, Mees Betsy," and Napoleon pinched her ear, "_tu commences à etre
sage_. Here, O'Meara, have you brought the fan I promised Miss Betsy?"

"No, sire, there were none pretty enough for her in Solomon's shop."

Betsy's face grew serious.

"Do not look sad," expostulated Napoleon. "You shall have something
prettier than a fan;" and Betsy, comprehending, wondered what the
present would be that he evidently intended to give her.

In a few days a package came to The Briars, addressed to Betsy. Opening
it, she saw a ring of brilliants, forming the letter N, surmounted by a
small eagle.

This was a wonderful gift for a little girl, and at first she could
hardly believe that it was for her. Later she found there was no
mistake. It was really hers, and she kept it always.

Although Betsy was not permitted to carry out Napoleon's proposed plan
of revenge on the tale-telling Marquis, she expressed her feelings in a
way of her own by relating to Napoleon an anecdote about him.

"The Marquis," she said, "is extremely fond of cauliflower, a vegetable
that is very hard to get here on the island. Well, the other day, he
dined with us and we had the most delicious cauliflower. Somehow he
didn't see it until it was being removed and then he cried to his
aide-de-camp, who had neglected to point it out, '_Bête, pourquoi-ne m'a
tu pas dit qu'il-y-avait des choux fleurs?_' ['Idiot, why didn't you
tell me that there was cauliflower?'] Now, wasn't he greedy?" asked
Betsy, glad enough to have a story to tell that placed the Marquis at a
disadvantage.

The Marquis de Montchenu, for whom Betsy had professed this dislike, was
one of the three Commissioners sent by the Allied Powers to keep watch
on Napoleon. The other two were the Baron Sturmer, representing Austria,
and Count Balmain, sent by Russia. While England provided the prison and
jailer for Napoleon, these Commissioners were asked to observe
everything and report to their respective countries. France and Austria
had ordered their Commissioners to see Napoleon in their official
capacity every day in order to assure themselves that he was actually
alive. Baron Balmain was instructed by Russia neither to seek nor avoid
an occasion to see him. To describe the vain efforts of the French and
Austrian Commissioners to see Napoleon would make an entertaining story.
Napoleon's orders to his household were not to admit any one presenting
a pass from the British authorities. But as Sir Hudson Lowe would permit
no one to go to Longwood without a pass from him, those who wished to
see Napoleon were in a dilemma.

Things were not bettered when Napoleon wrote Sir Hudson Lowe, desiring
him not to present any one to him, as in future he would receive no
visitors. He acted as if he thought it his duty to shut himself up, in
order that public opinion might be turned against the narrow-mindedness
of the Governor. After this few of the people of St. Helena tried to
call on him. From delicacy of feeling, or because they feared his anger,
civilians and military residents avoided Longwood. Only the two
Commissioners and the resident English officer made an effort to see him
daily, and their efforts, merely to get a glance at him through window
or door, were most absurd. The officer sometimes saw him, but the
Commissioners never had the privilege. The Marquis de Montchenu beheld
him at last only when he lay dead. Baron Sturmer and Baron Balmain left
St. Helena while Napoleon was still alive without having met him.

As to Betsy Balcombe, though she had her own opinion, on account of her
father's position she could not express herself strongly about Sir
Hudson Lowe.

"Has any one run away with a favorite _robe de bal_, or is the pet black
nurse, old Sarah, dead?" asked Napoleon one day, detecting a serious
look on Betsy's face. "What can have occurred?"

Betsy's face did not brighten.

"I am feeling very sad," she said, "because Mrs. Wilks, our kind
Lady-Governess, has gone away. Every one was at the boat to see her go,
and at the castle. It was like a funeral, no one with a dry eye, and all
saying, 'God bless you, and a safe and happy voyage home.'"

Betsy paused for a moment, then continued: "Then they all followed the
Governor and his family to the barge that was to take them to Havana,
and groups of grief-stricken ladies wandered under the peepul trees of
Sisters' Walk, watching the vessel."

"Did you cry too?" asked Napoleon.

"Indeed I did."

"I regret," added Napoleon, "that I had not known the Lady-Governess;
she must have been so amiable."

Napoleon, as well as Betsy, probably realized that but for his coming
the people of St. Helena might have retained their popular Governor,
Mark Wilks. Before the arrival of Napoleon, the Governor of St. Helena
was paid by the East India Company, though appointed by the Crown; but
with so important a personage as Napoleon held there in captivity, it
seemed wisest that full responsibility for him should be laid on the
English Government. It was therefore decided, as we have before seen,
that as soon as possible a Governor of higher rank should be sent out in
place of Governor Wilks. The change at this time seemed unfortunate for
the people of St. Helena. In Governor Wilks they had found an officer
who had their interests more at heart than any preceding Governor. Could
he have been Napoleon's custodian, the Emperor's exile would have been
very much happier than it was with Sir Hudson Lowe in charge.

Betsy, like all who came in contact with Napoleon, sympathized deeply
with his annoyance at the restrictions imposed on him by Sir Hudson
Lowe. The story of the discussion between Napoleon's friends and the
supporters of the Governor would be a long one to tell, but the fact
remains, when all is said in Sir Hudson Lowe's favor, that he was far
too narrow-minded for the important position that he held. Sir Hudson
Lowe was a brave man and had served honorably in many wars, but the
responsibility of guarding the fallen Emperor was too great for him, and
his behavior toward the exile was in every way unfortunate.

Napoleon had been on the island just six months when Sir Hudson Lowe
arrived. From the first he seemed possessed by the idea that Napoleon
was constantly watching for some chance to escape. To those nearest
Napoleon at St. Helena, the Governor's fears that he might escape seemed
absurd. From the island posts approaching ships were seen twenty-four
leagues off. Two ships of war were always cruising to windward and
leeward. Only guard-boats were allowed out at night. All fishing boats
were numbered and had to anchor every evening at sunset under the
supervision of a lieutenant of the navy. No foreign vessels were
permitted to anchor unless under great distress, and then no one from
them could land until an officer and a party from the British ships went
on board to take charge while they stayed. If he had cared to try
flight, Napoleon could hardly have made his escape.

In the very beginning, when Lord Bathurst issued instructions for the
custody of Napoleon, he expressed the earnest desire of the Prince
Regent that no greater personal restraint might be employed than was
necessary to make sure that Napoleon was securely held on the island.

Sir Hudson Lowe, however, in carrying out the instructions of the
British Government, interpreted them as meaning that he should have
constant information about all Napoleon's doings. To accomplish this
was, of course, impossible, and his vain efforts made him the
laughing-stock of the English as well as the French. In his very first
interview with Napoleon the new Governor managed to offend him
seriously, and Napoleon after this was so unwilling to see him that the
two met only five times more during the five years that intervened until
Napoleon's death; and these five interviews were all within the first
three months after Sir Hudson Lowe's arrival.

Under the most favorable conditions Sir Hudson Lowe could hardly have
been popular with the islanders themselves. Governor Wilks, his
predecessor, had been unusually loved, and his charming wife and
daughter had a firm hold on the affections of all the people of St.
Helena. Betsy, as we have seen, was extremely fond of Mrs. Wilks, whom
she called the "Lady-Governess," and she had a young girl's admiration
for the beautiful Miss Wilks, whose praises she continually sang to
Napoleon. One day, not long before Miss Wilks left the island, Napoleon
showed Betsy a portrait that General Gorgaud had drawn from memory of
Miss Wilks, saying, "You think Miss Wilks beautiful. Gorgaud thinks so
too, and this is his portrait from memory."

"Ah," replied Betsy, gazing at the portrait, "she is far more beautiful;
and she is so clever and amiable."

"You are certainly enthusiastic, and I quite long to see her," responded
Napoleon, evidently appreciative of Betsy's enthusiasm for her friend.

During the first months of Napoleon's exile, Colonel Wilks continued to
act as Governor, but the direct custody of Napoleon was the business of
Sir George Cockburn, who had brought the illustrious prisoner on the
_Northumberland_ from England. Not long after Napoleon went to Longwood
an amusing incident happened, resulting from the panic of Captain
Poppleton, the orderly officer whose duty it was to guard Napoleon on
his rides.

The two sisters were sitting at dinner, with their father and Admiral
Cockburn.

"See," cried Betsy to Jane, "here comes Captain Poppleton, looking as if
he had lost his wits. Why is he alone? Don't you remember that he set
out with the Emperor and Generals Bertrand, Montholon, and Gorgaud?"

"But you wouldn't expect them all to march in, when we have company,
too," whispered Jane, looking toward the end of the table where her
father was talking with his especial guest, the Admiral, Sir George
Cockburn.

Before the girls could speculate further, Captain Poppleton broke out
excitedly:

"Oh, sir, I have lost the Emperor."

All looked up, but the Admiral, whom Captain Poppleton addressed, did
not change expression as the officer continued:

"We were riding along one of the paths on the side of the mountain, when
suddenly the Emperor turned short around to the left and almost flew up
the mountain. None of the generals accompanied him. I started, but I
could not follow. My horse would not take the steep ascent. So I came
back to you. If there is a plot--"

"Nonsense!" cried the Admiral, and his tone was echoed by Mr. Balcombe.
It was natural that Captain Poppleton should feel alarm at the sudden
disappearance. But the Admiral was made of sterner stuff. "Go back to
Longwood," he said quietly to the officer. "You will find Napoleon
there."

This proved to be the case, for when he reached Longwood the Emperor was
at dinner, and he laughed at poor Captain Poppleton for his fears.

If Betsy had ventured to express herself regarding the trouble between
Sir Hudson Lowe and the Emperor in this, she certainly would not have
favored the former.

"What do you really think," she asked her father one day, "about this
quarrel between the Governor and the Emperor?"

Mr. Balcombe very properly, as an officer of the Government, was not
inclined to give a direct reply. But Betsy understood him, when he said:

"Their disputes are generally on subjects so trivial that they hardly
seem worth quarrelling about."

But she realized that to Napoleon these disputes were not trivial when
she came upon him one day reading an English book. Looking at it, as he
held it before her, she saw that it was a copy of "Æsop's Fables," a
book that in a translation children often use to improve their knowledge
of French.

The page was open at "The Sick Lion." This is the famous account of the
lion that, when lying sick, receives visits from many other animals who,
instead of sympathizing, exult over his downfall. The lion makes no
complaint until a donkey kicks him in the face. "I could have borne
anything but this," he said.

As Betsy looked at the open page, Napoleon, pointing to the woodcut,
said, "It is myself and your Governor." His expression showed the depth
of his feeling on the subject.

In little ways Betsy was disappointed by the regulations made for
Napoleon by Sir Hudson Lowe. She was exceedingly anxious, for example,
that Napoleon should see a huge boa constrictor that a captain of an
incoming vessel had brought to the island.

"It is a most wonderful creature," she said, as she described it to the
Emperor. "They put a live goat into its cage, and I really believe that
it swallowed it whole, for I could see the poor thing's horns poking
almost through the boa constrictor's skin."

The Emperor smiled as Betsy told her tale. "Your boa constrictor sounds
like the Marquis de Montchenu, or, rather, the latter, from the amount
of food I have heard he consumes, must resemble a boa constrictor."

"He really does," responded Betsy. "Oh, I wish you could see him--not
the Marquis, but the boa constrictor."

"I should like to see it; I will ask them to have it brought here to
me."

As Betsy herself also desired this, she was naturally disappointed when
those in authority decided that the boa constrictor could not be shown
to Napoleon.

Napoleon was not the only one on the island affected by the many
regulations made for his safety in the matter of sentries. The question
of passes, always troublesome to visitors, and the fact that after the
sunset gun had been fired no one could pass the sentries without giving
the countersign, were annoyances to all on the island. Once Betsy
herself had an experience that was far from agreeable, although she was
not the only one to suffer, as the incident concerned many others.

As might be supposed, picnics were a favorite form of diversion with the
people of St. Helena, and they were particularly delightful when, as
usually happened, young and old took part in them. One day there was a
large picnic near the celebrated Friar's Valley. The Balcombes and all
their friends were to go to it.

The day proved pleasant fortunately, for the journey was difficult.
After amusing themselves for hours, the party was at last surprised to
hear the sunset gun from Ladder Hill. They found that none of the party
had the countersign for the night, and they knew that if they ventured
forth without it they would be made prisoners. This was one of the many
strict rules made by the Governor to prevent the mishap of helpers
coming to Napoleon after dark.

At last some of them decided that it was better to make an effort to
reach home rather than spend the night outdoors. Betsy and her parents
were among those who ventured to go toward home.

It was a starlight night, but the road was bad. Mr. Balcombe at last
hailed a light.

"Who goes there?" cried the sentry.

"A friend."

"Advance, friend, and give the countersign."

Now this was just what none of the party could do, and as protests were
useless, they all had to spend the night in the guard-room, where they
were half eaten by fleas, mosquitoes, and other insects.

Those who had stayed on the picnic grounds laughed well at the more
venturous who had gone ahead. Napoleon, when he heard the story, was
highly diverted, pleased to have so good a chance to blame the
Government.



CHAPTER IX

ALL KINDS OF FUN


Any one who had looked in on the sisters one day would have seen that
they were greatly excited. Just at this time they were visiting Madame
Bertrand, and during their stay a ball was to be given.

Plans that promised much pleasure for them had been made. They were to
dine with the Emperor, and then go on to Deadwood in his carriage.

"Don't jerk so, please," cried Betsy, while the maid was arranging her
hair.

"But you must have this Chinese coiffure, if you are going to the ball.
You would not wish to go looking like a little girl."

"Oh, no," responded Betsy faintly, inwardly rebellious, as her hair was
jerked and strained on top of her head. She was willing to bear pain for
the sake of appearing well, but when she looked in the glass she thought
that she had never seen anything so hideous as the coiffure that the
maid had arranged with such care. She no longer desired to appear like a
young lady. Her hair had been drawn back so tight that her eyes were
fairly starting from the socket. Had there been time she would have
pulled the coiffure down, and indeed she was ready to cry with vexation,
but she did not really dare to disarrange it now, for she dreaded the
Emperor's ridicule. How he would laugh at the funny Chinese coiffure! In
a few minutes she was to appear before him.

To her great surprise, when she and her sister entered the dining-room,
the Emperor spared her, saying only:

"Mees Betsy, this is the only time I have ever seen you look really
neat; but I don't like your frock. What is the matter?"

Poor Betsy! She was almost upset by the Emperor's tone. She looked at
him closely, and decided that he meant just what he said. She had
thought her little frock so pretty. Now, what could be the matter with
it?

The Emperor understood her look of inquiry and answered in words.

"It is too short," he said. "You must have it made long before the
ball."

He was certainly in earnest, and the young girl was really troubled.
"But I cannot do anything to it," she protested; "there is not time."

"Oh, but no one will wish to dance with you."

"It isn't as bad as that!"

"But it is."

Betsy knew that Napoleon meant what he said. He knew more about balls
and ball-gowns than any young girl on the island. Indeed, if his
criticism had not been based on his knowledge of the customs of the
modish world, Betsy would still have been inclined to trust to his
judgment; for though at times she seemed to trifle with his wishes, in
her heart she was always ready to please him.

So now, as sensitive as any more conventional girl to the impression she
might make at a ball, Betsy ran off to find Josephine, the maid.

Josephine shook her head when Betsy first told her tale of woe, but at
last she consented to remedy the defect by lengthening the frock. There
was but one thing to do, and consequently some of the tucks were let
down.

Neither Betsy nor the maid was proud of the result of their efforts. The
effect was not good, and Betsy had to take what consolation she could
from the fact that she had obeyed Napoleon.

A dinner with the Emperor was always delightful to Betsy and Jane, and
this one was no exception. When it was over the Emperor rose abruptly
and all went with him to the drawing-room. There the delectable coffee
for which Le Page was famous was brought in, and Betsy, feeling more
grown up than ever, drank a cup into which, disdaining tongs, she
dropped a lump of sugar.

Soon the carriage was announced, and all set out, Madame Bertrand ahead,
carrying her baby, next little Arthur, then Mrs. Balcombe, and finally
Betsy and Jane and General Gorgaud.

When the signal was given, the spirited Cape steeds tore away, dashing
from side to side, while Madame Bertrand screamed loudly to Archambaud
to stop, though without avail, until the carriage ran into a gumwood
tree.

Except for the shaking up and the fright, none of the party was injured,
and when the door was opened all scrambled hastily out. Nothing would
induce them to intrust themselves again to the carriage and the reckless
Archambaud, and though the rain was falling heavily they preferred to
walk over the muddy road to Deadwood. They had nearly a mile to go, and
it was especially hard for Madame Bertrand, whose baby would not be
carried.

Betsy, though she knew that she herself probably looked equally absurd,
could not help laughing when she saw Madame Bertrand arrayed in one of
Mrs. Balcombe's dresses, half a yard too short and small in every way,
which she had to borrow while her own clothes were drying.

But the ball itself was pleasant and all felt repaid for going, even
though they had to walk home in the mist.

The next morning, as ever, Betsy was the victim of Napoleon's raillery.

"So you had a good time last evening, Mees Betsy. I hear you danced very
well and looked well, and might have been Baroness Sturmer's younger
sister, you looked so much like her."

This compliment pleased Betsy mightily, as doubtless Napoleon realized,
for the little English girl thought Baroness Sturmer, wife of the
Austrian Commissioner, the prettiest woman she had ever seen.

Not long after breakfast the visitors from The Briars and several from
Longwood went to the town and to the _Newcastle_ in the bay, on board of
which Sir Pultney and Lady Malcom were to give a breakfast in honor of
Lord Amherst.

When next the sisters visited Longwood, "Ah, Mees Betsee," cried
Napoleon, "I have heard great stories of you. You locked up little Miss
P. the other day, while the other ladies were being shipped over the
side of the frigate to return to shore. When they missed her Captain G.
had to go back to rescue her."

As Betsy did not deny this charge, Napoleon, turning to her father,
exclaimed:

"Balcombe, you must set her a task."

"Indeed I must," responded Betsy's father gravely.

"But I have been punished enough," protested Betsy. "Lady Lowe scolded
me, too, and desired me to use my reason and not to be childish. I
wondered at her lack of perception in giving me credit for what I never
possessed. But I did admire Lord Amherst," she added, a few minutes
later.

"He must be a very fascinating man," responded Napoleon, "so to have
impressed your youthful fancy."

The kindness that Madame Montholon showed Betsy in allowing her maid to
arrange the young girl's hair in a style suitable for a ball, an
undoubted kindness in spite of the discomfort it produced, was in a line
with many other things that she and Madame Bertrand did for the Balcombe
girls. Madame Bertrand was particularly fond of Betsy and often invited
her to her house. She advised her about her studies and, to a certain
extent, supervised some of them. Madame Bertrand had many
accomplishments, some of which she tried to impart to Betsy. Singing was
one of them, and under her instruction Betsy made considerable progress.
Napoleon sometimes listened to their little concerts in the drawing-room
at Longwood. One evening when Betsy was to sing a part from "Les
Styriens," the piano was so out of tune that Napoleon was greatly
distressed. He at once sent for Mr. Guiness, the bandmaster of the
_General Kid_, then in St. James's Harbor, the only man at hand who
could properly tune it, and was naturally annoyed when the Governor
expressed his unwillingness to have Mr. Guiness come.

Of all those who accompanied Napoleon to St. Helena, Madame Bertrand had
made, perhaps, the greatest sacrifices. She was born in Martinique and
was partly of Irish descent, through her father, whose name was Dillon.
In spite of her warm devotion to Napoleon, she almost went out of her
mind when she heard that he was doomed to imprisonment in St. Helena and
that her husband would follow him. Later, however, she became resigned
and did not try to dissuade her husband from accompanying the fallen
Emperor. Undoubtedly she thought of her children and all that they would
lose in living so far from France, but when they were at last in their
new home she bore inconveniences patiently and tried in every way to
make life pleasant for those around her.

"Come," said Napoleon one day when Betsy was wandering around the
Longwood grounds, "come, and I will show you some pretty toys."

Following the Emperor to the billiard-room, she saw upon the table some
gorgeously carved chessmen sent to him by Mr. Elphinstone. Each piece
was perfect. The castles, surmounting lifelike elephants, were filled
with warriors discharging arrows. The knights, cased in armor, were on
beautifully caparisoned horses. The mitred bishops were in flowing
robes, and the pawns each represented a man of a different nation. The
carving was wonderful. Such work had never before left China, and Betsy
saw that Napoleon was as pleased as a child with a new plaything.

"I have just finished a game of chess with Lady Malcom," he said, "and
she has beaten me because I paid more attention to the men than the
game."

Besides the chessmen Mr. Elphinstone had sent workboxes and card
counters with the various tradespeople of China minutely carved on them.

Betsy's interest in these beautiful things was increased by hearing how
Mr. Elphinstone happened to think of sending gifts to Napoleon. He
wished to show his gratitude for Napoleon's kindness to his brother,
severely wounded on the field of Waterloo. Napoleon, it seems,
perceiving the wounded man and hearing that he was faint from loss of
blood, sent to him a goblet of wine from his own canteen.

"The chessmen are too pretty for St. Helena," said Napoleon; "I must
send them to the King of Rome."

Among Mr. Elphinstone's presents, Napoleon showed Betsy a superb ivory
tea-chest, which when opened showed a perfect model of the city of
Canton. Beneath it were packages of fine tea, done up in fantastic
shapes.

"Ah," said Napoleon, turning to Betsy, "this reminds me that when I was
Emperor I did not permit any tea in my dominion, except that grown in
Switzerland. No one could tell the difference from the Chinese tea. I
also cultivated the beet-root to make sugar, instead of depending on
foreign goods."

Napoleon was probably no less pleased with the chessmen because each
piece had a small eagle carved on it. When Sir Hudson Lowe heard of the
eagles he regretted that they had escaped his notice, and that he had
given permission for the gifts to be received at Longwood.

Among the Emperor's treasures were many rare coins and seals which he
often permitted his little neighbor to handle and examine. Yet even
while she appreciated this special privilege, Betsy could not let her
sense of obligation entirely suppress her love of mischief.

Once, for instance, when Betsy approached a table at which Napoleon was
seated, the little girl, unperceived by him, saw that he was in the act
of sealing a letter with one of his precious seals. The temptation was
too strong to resist, and she surprised Napoleon by joggling his arm.
This sudden movement caused a drop of hot sealing wax to fall on his
hand, and as a blister was the result, the pain for the moment must have
been extreme. Nevertheless, Napoleon said hardly a word of reproof, and
his patience was so remarkable that Betsy immediately apologized for her
mischief.

Yet it was not unusual for Napoleon to show patience when teased. In all
his sports with the children, even when they took liberties that their
parents would have disapproved, Betsy never saw him show any temper. He
never fell back on his rank or age, but always professed to be one of
themselves, a good comrade, claiming only for his own part the right to
tease them when he chose.

What wonder that Las Cases, the dignified Chamberlain, sometimes stood
aghast at the merry pranks shared by his illustrious master and his
young friends; but even with the eyes of the disapproving Las Cases upon
her, Betsy always enjoyed her visits to Longwood. Often some pleasant
surprise awaited her on her arrival there.

Napoleon was interested in the various legends of St. Helena, and these
legends are very numerous. Nearly every rock and valley and bit of water
has some story connected with it. The Friar's Valley, for example, takes
its name from a huge rock fashioned by nature into the figure of a monk
with his cowl thrown back, wearing a flowing robe and a rosary.
Immediately around are sterile rocks, some many hundred feet high, some
with aloes growing from the fissures.

Napoleon sometimes rode into this valley, and one day he turned to
Betsy:

"Mees Betsee, have you ever seen 'Will-o'-the-Wisp' that they say lights
the friar's lantern?"

"Oh, yes; my mother used to send me over there for purer air, and my old
nurse had a cottage overlooking the vale. She was teaching me the
alphabet, and when I did not arrange my letters properly she would
threaten me with the friar."

The story, as Betsy had often heard it, was that the friar had been a
good Franciscan monk, but he fell in love with a girl in a mountain
cottage, whom he met while she was tending goats. She asked him to help
her find something that she had lost, and thus attracted his attention.
Later he made love to her and she promised to marry him if he would give
up his faith. So the man broke his vows to the Church; but, when he was
to be married, as he was clasping the bride's hand, there was a fearful
crash: the chapel disappeared and with it all those who were taking part
in the unholy wedding.

"Have you noticed," asked Betsy of Napoleon, coming on him when out
riding, "those three queer sugar-loaf rocks that they call 'Lot's Wife
and Daughters'?"

"Yes," responded Napoleon, "I have seen them."

"Well," persisted Betsy, "do you know the story about them?"

"No, I do not."

"Then I must tell you. More than fifty years ago there were two slaves
on the island who hated to work and to obey their masters, so they hid
themselves in a cave, halfway up the cliff on the top of which we now
see Lot's wife. Every night they used to go down and steal whatever they
could lay their hands on. For a long time people could not find out
where they lived, but at last they were tracked to their cave. No one
could reach them, however, because they rolled stones down toward all
who tried to climb up the cliff."

Napoleon listened attentively, and Betsy continued:

"At last it was thought necessary to send a party of soldiers to fire on
them, if they refused to surrender, but before this was done one of the
besiegers managed to climb the cliff on the other side. He reached a
point opposite the cave and higher up, so that he could roll down stones
toward the slaves. When one of these wretched creatures was standing on
the edge of the cliff he was killed by one of the rocks rolled from
above, and the other who was with him was severely injured; and now,"
concluded Betsy solemnly, "if you go there at the right time, the
islanders say that you will see the murdered slave rushing around at
night just as he used to when alive."

Napoleon, after hearing Betsy's legend, said: "When I ride that way
again I shall certainly look at the sugar-loaf mountain with much
greater interest than ever before."

Undoubtedly these various legends, which Betsy had heard from her
earliest childhood, tended to make her superstitious. Napoleon soon
found that she was easily frightened, and took advantage of this fact
sometimes to tease her unmercifully. When he arrived at The Briars, one
of Betsy's little brothers had as tutor an elderly man named Huff. The
coming of Napoleon had a strange effect on the tutor's brain. Among
other delusions, he believed that it was to fall on him to free the
Emperor from his imprisonment and restore him to his throne again. Old
Huff, as they called him, talked constantly on this subject and no one
could reason with him. It was evident that the poor fellow was mad, but
before it was decided to put him under guardianship he found a chance to
kill himself, although he was closely watched. According to custom, he
was buried at a spot where three crossroads meet. This happened to be a
place near The Briars, and, in consequence, poor Betsy was far from
happy. Napoleon, aware of her fears, would call out, just before she
said good night to the household, "Mees Betsee, ole Huff, ole Huff."

Poor Betsy! She was indeed unhappy, and after these words lay long awake
at night, and in the end often scrambled into her mother's room and
stayed there until morning.

One evening, when Betsy and her mother and her sister Jane were sitting
on the cottage porch enjoying the refreshing evening breeze, a strange
noise made Betsy turn her head, and in an instant she had risen to her
feet with a loud scream. In front of them now walked a figure dressed in
white, not a very terrifying sight, except to one of Betsy's nervous
temperament.

[Illustration: THE BRIARS. From an old print]

Mrs. Balcombe at once understood the situation, for at the moment of the
figure's appearance she had heard a smothered laugh that she recognized
as Napoleon's. Advancing to the white figure, she turned back the
covering, and underneath appeared the black face of a little slave,
grinning from ear to ear.

"What brought you here?" asked Mrs. Balcombe sternly.

"To frighten Miss Betsy;" and the black girl pointed toward Napoleon,
who had now come forward to see what effect his trick had had upon his
young neighbor.

This little ghost scene had a wider effect than Napoleon intended, for
it put the idea of playing ghost into the heads of other servants. One
of the Balcombe slaves had lately run away and could not be found. The
family suspected that he was hiding not far off, because every night
pigs, poultry, bread, and other provisions were stolen in quantities, by
whom nobody could tell. After a while Napoleon began to complain of
thefts, but when the various black servants were questioned they all
said that the thief must be a ghostly white figure that they saw
skipping around the valley from rock to rock. That they believed what
they said was shown by the alarm they showed, for none of them would go
out alone by night.

"I believe that it really and truly is old Huff's ghost," insisted
Betsy.

"You can't believe such a foolish thing; indeed, I should think you
would know better after what happened the other evening, when you
allowed yourself to be terrified by a little black girl," said her
mother reprovingly. She added, "You look pale, Betsy. What is the
trouble?"

"I can't help it. I may be foolish," responded poor Betsy, "but for
nights and nights I have been afraid to close my eyes."

"All on account of the ghost," thought Mrs. Balcombe, wishing that Betsy
were less nervous.

Mr. Balcombe and some friends now undertook to catch the thief, feeling
sure that he would prove to be a substantial individual. After long
watching, one night they saw a figure move stealthily across the valley
toward the house. They called upon it to stop, but when it neither
obeyed nor answered, they felt obliged to shoot. A loud scream followed
the report of the gun, and when they came upon the fallen figure they
discovered the runaway slave Alley. He was badly hurt, although not
fatally, and they did what they could for him. The next morning the
whole party went to the cave to which Alley directed them. Napoleon
accompanied them and was much interested in what he saw.

It reminded him of the catacombs of Paris, he exclaimed, as he looked
about at the heaps of bones which the slave had placed in neatly
arranged piles after he had gorged himself with food.



CHAPTER X

THE SERIOUS SIDE


As Betsy grew to know Napoleon better, she sometimes observed in his
conversation and manner a sadness that she had not noticed earlier. This
slight melancholy was especially evident when the conversation touched
on Josephine or the little King of Rome. Often Napoleon gazed intently
at Mrs. Balcombe, explaining as he did so that it was because she
reminded him strongly of Josephine. He loved to talk of Josephine,
especially with Madame Bertrand, who was a native of Martinique and was
said also to be a distant relative of the Empress.

One day, for example, Madame Bertrand, in Betsy's presence, brought out
a miniature of Josephine. The Emperor seemed deeply moved as he gazed at
it.

"It is the most perfect likeness of her that I have ever seen."

"It is for you, sir," said Madame Bertrand simply.

Thanking her warmly, Napoleon added, "I will keep it until my death."

On this occasion the Emperor was especially inclined to talk about his
first wife, and Betsy, hearing him, wondered that he had been willing to
separate himself from her.

"Josephine," he said, "was the most feminine woman I have ever
known--all charm and sweetness and grace. _Era la dama la piu graziosa
in Francia._" Then he continued: "Josephine was the goddess of the
toilet. All fashions came from her. Besides this she was humane and
always thoughtful of others. She was the best of women. Although the
English and the Bourbons allow that I did some good, yet they generally
qualify it by saying that it was chiefly through the instrumentality of
Josephine. But the fact is that she never interfered in politics. Great
as my veneration was for her, I could not bear to have it thought that
she in any way ruled my public actions."

Napoleon's praises of Josephine continued to flow on.

"She was the greatest patroness of the arts known in France for years;
but though I loved to attend to her whims, yet I always acted to please
the nation, and whenever I obtained a fine statue or valuable picture I
sent it to the Museum for the people's benefit. Josephine was grace
personified. She never acted inelegantly during the whole time we lived
together. Her toilet was perfection, and she resisted the inroads of
time, to all appearances, by exquisite taste."

Napoleon spoke with deep emotion, "She was the best of women!"

Then, as if in answer to Betsy's unspoken question, he said:

"It was only political motives that led me to give her up. Nothing else
would have separated me from a wife so tenderly loved. Thank God, she
died without witnessing my last misfortune!"

From Josephine Napoleon turned to Maria Louisa, his second wife, the
mother of his son, of whom he spoke tenderly and affectionately:

"She was an amiable and good wife. She would have followed me here, but
they would not let her."

Napoleon next called Betsy's attention to one or two portraits of Maria
Louisa, but Betsy, though she made no criticism, thought then, as she
had thought at other times when studying the face of Maria Louisa, that
the Austrian Princess was at a disadvantage when contrasted with the
members of Napoleon's family, all of whom were handsome and looked
intellectual.

This conversation about Josephine and Maria Louisa was interrupted by
the arrival of a visitor, Count Piontkowski, lately arrived from Europe.
He was a Pole who had fought under Napoleon, and his love for his fallen
leader had led him to follow into exile.

Napoleon himself had no clear remembrance of the Pole as an individual,
and he was therefore the more deeply gratified by the spirit of devotion
that had induced Piontkowski to make the long voyage to St. Helena for
the sake of being near his old commander.

The long interview with the newcomer undoubtedly brought before
Napoleon's mind many sad memories, and when he returned to them Betsy
and the others noticed that he was in unusually low spirits. As he
looked again at the portraits of Josephine and Maria Louisa he grew more
and more dejected, and at last, excusing himself, he went to bed much
earlier than usual, leaving the rest of the party under the influence of
his melancholy.

When the second New Year came around, Napoleon was in less than his
usual good spirits. It was not to Betsy, however, but to Dr. O'Meara
that he said in reply to the physician's "Happy New Year":

"Perhaps the next one will find me better situated. Perhaps I shall be
dead, which will be better still. Worse than this cannot be."

It was not the Emperor's habit to show his sadness for any great length
of time. On this second New Year's the sisters were to go over to
Longwood to carry their New Year greeting and to dine with Madame
Bertrand.

When they first arrived at the house Betsy was disappointed that
Napoleon was nowhere in sight and she wondered that no message or
present came from him, for she knew that the French made a special
festival of New Year's and recalled the generosity of the Emperor just a
year before.

Still there was much to see and enjoy in Madame Bertrand's apartment,
and she and Jane were examining with admiration the presents of Madame
Bertrand and her family, when Napoleon himself entered the room. In each
hand he was carefully carrying a beautiful Sèvres cup. As the girls drew
near to look at them, they saw that on one was a portrait of Napoleon
himself, representing him in Turkish costume, and on the other the
figure of an Egyptian woman drawing water.

"Here, Mdlles. Betsee and Jane," he exclaimed, "are two cups for you.
Accept them as a mark of the friendship I entertain for you both and for
your kindness to Madame Bertrand."

Charmed with his beautiful presents, the girls thanked Napoleon warmly.
Betsy, indeed, was so delighted with her cup that she would not let it
go out of her hands, and when at last the time for her departure came
she wrapped it in many folds of cotton to carry it home--at considerable
risk even then, as the journey was made on horseback.

Betsy was a keen observer, and although she was fond of paying Napoleon
back in his own coin when he teased her, she appreciated the depth of
his feelings in his more serious moments.

One beautiful day, when she went over to Longwood, she was impressed by
the brilliancy of the atmosphere, which is, indeed, one of the charms of
St. Helena. Standing on the rocks she watched the waves breaking and
sparkling at their base and noted the sea beyond, glistening like a
sheet of quicksilver. With her spirits especially buoyant under the
influence of the wonderful day, she went up to St. Denis, one of the
Emperor's suite.

"Where is the Emperor?" she asked gayly. "I want to see him."

The Frenchman shook his head so gravely that for the moment the smile
left Betsy's face and she wondered if any misfortune had happened. After
a moment of silence, St. Denis replied:

"The Emperor is watching the _Conqueror_, which is now coming in." The
_Conqueror_ was the vessel bearing the flag of Admiral Pamplin, who was
to succeed Admiral Malcom. "You will find the Emperor," continued St.
Denis, "near Madame Bertrand's, but he is in no mood for badinage
to-day."

If the Frenchman had meant to keep Betsy away from Napoleon, he was not
successful. In spite of his warning Betsy went on toward the cottage. As
soon as she saw the Emperor, she herself came under the influence of his
mood. He was standing on a cliff with General Bertrand, looking out
toward sea, where the _Conqueror_ was still but a speck on the horizon.
Betsy was impressed by the intense melancholy of the exiled Emperor's
expression, as he stood there stern and silent. His eyes were bent sadly
upon the vessel as it came in, beating up proudly to windward.

For some time not a word was uttered by any of the three. Even the
talkative Betsy was silent. At last Napoleon spoke:

"They manage the vessel beautifully; the English are certainly kings
upon the sea," he said. Then his melancholy tone changed to one of
sarcasm. "I wonder what they think of our beautiful island! They cannot
be much elated by the sight of my gigantic walls."

At this moment Betsy did not venture a retort, as was generally the case
when Napoleon railed at her beloved St. Helena. Betsy was alive to all
the beauties of the place, while Napoleon, naturally, saw only its
faults. When Betsy defended the island and waxed eloquent over its
beauties, sometimes he would simply laugh at her impertinence, while at
others, pinching her ear in his favorite fashion, he would say:

"Mees Betsee, how can you possibly dare to have an opinion on the
subject?"

This glimpse of Napoleon, sadly watching the _Conqueror_, was not the
only occasion when Betsy had an opportunity to see the more serious side
of the man whom she admired. Although she was only a young girl, she was
able sometimes by her intelligent questions to draw from him an
explanation of much discussed things in his past. There was, for
example, the oft-repeated story that Napoleon had sanctioned the
butchery of Turkish troops at Jaffa and the poisoning of the sick in the
hospitals.

If the Emperor was vexed with Betsy for touching on forbidden ground, he
did not show his feeling, but entered into an explanation that his young
neighbor was able long afterwards to repeat in his own words. "Before
leaving Jaffa," said Napoleon, "and when many of the sick had been
embarked, I was informed that there were some in the hospital severely
wounded, dangerously ill, and unfit to be moved at any risk. I desired
my medical men to hold a consultation as to what steps had best be taken
with regard to the unfortunate sufferers and to send in their opinions
to me. The result of this consultation was that seven-eighths of the
soldiers were considered past recovery, and that in all probability few
would be alive at the expiration of twenty hours."

Betsy listened attentively, as Napoleon showed how difficult it was to
decide whether it was not more cruel to leave these helpless men to the
mercy of the Turks than to end their misery by a dose of opium: "I
should have desired such a relief for myself under the same
circumstances and I considered it would be an act of mercy to anticipate
their fate by only a few hours. My physician did not enter into my views
of the case, and disapproved of the proposal, saying it was his business
to cure, not to kill. Accordingly I left a rear-guard to protect these
unhappy men from the enemy. They remained until Nature had paid her last
debt and released the expiring soldiers from their agony."

As his auditors did not look convinced of the correctness of his views,
Napoleon turned to Dr. O'Meara, who was of the party.

"I ask you, O'Meara, to place yourself in the situation of one of these
men. Were it demanded of you which fate you would select, either to be
left to suffer the tortures of those miscreants or to have opium
administered to you, which fate would you rather choose? If my own
son--and I believe I love my son as well as any father loves his
child--were in a similar situation, I should advise it to be done. If so
situated myself I should insist upon it, if I had sense enough and
strength to demand it."

Without waiting for comment from the others, Napoleon added that if he
had been capable of secretly poisoning his soldiers or of the barbarity
ascribed to him of driving his carriage over the mutilated bodies of the
wounded, his troops would never have fought under him with the
enthusiasm and reverence they uniformly displayed. "No, no, I should have
been shot long ago. Even my wounded would have tried to pull a trigger
to despatch me."

The Emperor spoke so earnestly that no one could doubt he meant what he
said. Even though they believed that the Turkish prisoners had been
treated with great cruelty, his hearers saw that ambition or a feeling
of necessity had been the impelling motive of the officers who
sanctioned or ordered the cruelty.

Napoleon's conversations with Betsy were of course carried on largely in
French, and but for the little girl's fluency in this language she would
probably have seen much less of the great man. Napoleon himself made a
real effort to learn English. Not only did he study with Las Cases, but
he tried to practise the language with Betsy and her sister. In
conversation, however, he never became very proficient, his
pronunciation was droll, and he was inclined to translate things very
literally. Betsy was less patient than her sister with Napoleon's
English. By his expressed desire she and Jane were always to correct his
mistakes, yet often, in the midst of his efforts, she would run off
without deigning to help him.

"Ah, Mdlle. Betsee," he would then cry in French, "you are a stupid
little creature; when will you become wise?"

Although Napoleon persevered with his English lessons with Las Cases, he
never proceeded much further than to read the newspapers. English books
presented many difficulties, and yet much of the literature that came
his way was in this language. Here again Betsy was able to make herself
very useful by translating books or newspapers for him, and sometimes
she went further and gave him in condensed form the contents of a great
many pages. Even after he went to Longwood, when Betsy went over there
to call on Madame Bertrand, Napoleon would summon her to help him
understand some newly arrived English book.

From Napoleon's own admission to one of his own suite, after he had been
in St. Helena a year or two, we can judge that his progress in English
had not been very rapid. One morning, after the arrival of a number of
French books, he said:

"What a pleasure I have enjoyed! I can read forty pages of French in the
time that it would require to read two of English."

The Emperor enjoyed talking with Betsy, for the little girl was a great
reader herself, and he had the faculty of drawing from her whatever
information she had on a given subject. Occasionally she thoughtlessly
questioned Napoleon on topics that she might better have avoided.

One Sunday, for example, at Madame Bertrand's, he found the girls poring
over a book.

"What are you doing?" he asked abruptly.

"Learning the collect," replied Betsy. "My father is always very angry
if I do not know it." Then she added, not very courteously, "I suppose
you never learned a collect or anything religious in your life, for I
know that you do not believe in the existence of a God."

"You have been told an untruth," replied Napoleon impatiently, evidently
displeased with Betsy. "When you are wiser you will understand that no
one can doubt the existence of a God."

"But you believe in predestination?"

"Whatever a man's destiny calls him to do, that he must fulfil," was the
Emperor's response.

Young though she was, Betsy understood the seriousness that underlay the
superficial gayety most in evidence when Napoleon met her. She decided
that he was not the cold, calculating man that most people thought him,
but rather a man of deep feeling, capable of strong attachments.

One day, not long after he had left The Briars, a lady approached Betsy,
who was in the grounds outside the house.

As she dismounted from her horse Betsy had recognized her as a French
woman of high position, whose husband was one of the diplomatists then
at St. Helena.

"Will you be so good," she said almost timidly to the little girl, "as
to show me the part of the cottage occupied by the Emperor?"

"With pleasure," responded Betsy, leading the way to the Pavilion. The
lady looked about her with great interest.

"Look!" said Betsy, pointing to the spot where the marquee had stood.
"Look at this crown in the turf!"

The lady gazed for some minutes at this empty symbol of the power once
held by the Emperor. The thoughts that it brought up overpowered her.
Losing all self-control, she sank to her knees, sobbing hysterically.
Forgetful of Betsy, she continued to weep so bitterly that the little
girl started for the cottage that she might get her mother, or some one
else of the household, to bring restoratives.

"Stop, stop!" cried the lady, as if realizing her purpose. "Do not call
any one. I shall be myself in a moment." Then, in a voice still filled
with emotion, she added, "Please do me the favor of never mentioning
this to any one. All French people feel as I do. They all treasure
Napoleon's memory as I do, and would willingly die for him."

Betsy gave the required promise and waited patiently until the lady had
recovered her self-possession. Then the latter asked innumerable
questions of the little girl about the life of Napoleon and his suite at
The Briars.

Several times the visitor repeated, "How happy it must have made you to
be with the Emperor!"

When she rode away after her long interview, she put a thick veil over
her face to hide the fact that she had been weeping.

Betsy was true to her word, and although her family, one after another,
asked her why the visitor had made so long a stay, she merely replied
that she had been interested in the Pavilion. But the scene made a deep
impression on the little girl, as showing the remarkable hold of
Napoleon on the hearts of those who had been his subjects. Moreover she
judged, and truly too, that a man for whom such deep feeling was shown
must himself have been of a kind and sympathetic nature.

It is true that she did not need the testimony of any outsider to assure
her of Napoleon's amiability. She was well acquainted with his general
kindliness; she knew of many of his gracious acts, and the charm of his
manner toward all young people had made a deep impression upon her.

Another thing that she noticed convinced Betsy of the softer qualities
of Napoleon's nature. This was the firm devotion of the little band of
Frenchmen and French women who had followed him to St. Helena. They had
made great sacrifices in sharing the exile of Napoleon. There was so
little to hope for, in the way of reward for this devotion, that no
reasonable person could doubt their disinterestedness.



CHAPTER XI

THE EMPEROR'S VISITORS


"Who danced the best at the Governor's ball?" Napoleon asked Betsy one
day.

"Mrs. Wilks, the Governor's lady."

This was before the arrival of Sir Hudson Lowe.

"What sort of dances are in fashion there?"

"Quadrilles, country dances. Mr. C. brought them to St. Helena."

"Oh, he is a great dandy!"

"Yes; he will sit with his feet above his head an hour before dressing,
the more readily to squeeze them into tight shoes. He wore an epaulette
nearly down to his elbow, and his sword hilt was embroidered with golden
oak leaves. The same embroidery confined his stockings, on each knee,
like the order of the garter. When he first arrived he was disgusted
that St. Helena ladies knew only kitchen dances and reels, and finally
he drilled quadrilles and other new dances into them."

Betsy's description of the young dandy amused Napoleon. "Bring him to
Longwood some day," he said.

A pass was obtained for the young man and Napoleon received him most
politely. "I hear from Mees Betsee that you are a great dandy,--and what
a fine coat!"

The young man, who had been in some fear of the Emperor, felt better.

"You are more fortunate than myself," continued Napoleon, "for I have to
wear my coat turned." Although this was true, it was only because there
was no cloth his shade of green on the island.

On the whole Napoleon liked the young dandy, especially as he spoke
French fluently.

But Napoleon was not always glad, or even willing, to receive visitors.
In fact, after the first few months on the island, he practically
refused to allow strangers to be presented to him, unless there was some
special reason for his seeing them.

One day, when Napoleon was still at The Briars, the girls were walking
with him down Pomegranate Walk, which led to the garden, when he heard
strangers' voices. He did not wish to meet them, and began to run away,
but, unluckily, when he reached the garden gate he found it locked.
Napoleon was not likely to turn aside from anything he had undertaken to
do, and as the voices drew nearer, too impatient to wait, he insisted on
jumping over the gate fence. There was a prickly pear on top, the thorns
of which caught him so that at first he could not extricate himself.
Then he had to descend rather ignominiously on the garden side, before
the strangers appeared. The thorns had really done considerable damage,
and it took no little skill on Dr. O'Meara's part to extract them.

To Betsy's friends Napoleon was apt to be more obliging than to others,
and tourists, many of whom stayed over at St. Helena on their way to or
from Africa or India, frequently sought her services to effect an
introduction.

"Sir," said Betsy to Napoleon one day, "may I present a lady to you? She
is just here from India. Her husband has high rank."

Napoleon was not fond of women visitors, but he gave his consent to
Betsy's request.

At the appointed time the lady from India appeared, gowned in crimson
velvet bordered with pearls. Her black hair was braided and adorned with
pearls, and butterflies of diamonds and emeralds and rubies. She was one
of the plainest women Betsy had ever seen, and she was fearful of the
impression she would make on Napoleon.

After Napoleon had asked the usual questions, "Are you married?" and
"How many children have you?" he looked closely at her to see what
compliment he could best pay her.

At length, after a pause that might have embarrassed a less complacent
woman, he said politely, "Madame, you have the most luxuriant hair."

That the lady from India had fine hair was so evident a fact, that she
need not have been so exceedingly pleased by Napoleon's compliment. Yet
she was so overcome by it that when she returned to England she sent
letters to the newspapers speaking of the Emperor's great admiration for
her.

Napoleon, in reality, did not at all like this visitor, and when she had
gone he said severely to the young girl:

"You shall introduce me to no more ladies." His tone was so unusually
severe that Betsy did not dare confess what really was the case, that
she had brought Mrs. S. to see Napoleon merely to tease him, knowing
that it was positively disagreeable to him to meet very plain women.

Betsy one day came to him full of excitement over a traveller whom she
had just seen.

"Oh, he is extraordinary; queerer than any one I have ever met here. His
long black beard reaches to his waist, and he wears a regular mandarin's
dress."

"An Englishman dressed like a Chinaman?"

"Yes! You know he has been there so long, and he has done the most
wonderful things! Why, he has even travelled to Thibet and talked to the
Grand Lama."

The Emperor's interest was aroused.

"I have always wished to hear something about the Grand Lama," he said,
"especially about the way he is worshipped, for I believe that much I
have read is fabulous. I should like to see this traveller."

"I knew you would," cried Betsy, "and he is anxious to see you, too. He
was a prisoner of war once in France, and he says you treated him very
kindly; so he has brought you some presents, and if--"

"Yes, and if he can get a pass--"

The sentence was left unfinished. But Mr. Manning obtained a pass to see
the Emperor and presented him with a number of curious things that he
had collected in his travels.

"The Lama," he said in answer to a question, "when I saw him, was a very
intelligent boy of seven, and I went through the same form of worship as
the others who were introduced into his presence."

"Were you not afraid of being seized as a spy?" asked Napoleon.

The traveller hesitated, as if not quite pleased by the question. Then,
with a laugh, he pointed to his dress and beard, as if they were a
sufficient answer.

"Did you pass for an Englishman?" persisted the Emperor. "The shape of
your nose is too good for a Tartar."

"No," replied Mr. Manning; "I was generally taken for a Hindoo." The
bystanders, looking at his fine eyes and regular features, could easily
understand that in the rôle of a Hindoo he must certainly have been
successful.

The conversation between the two--the Emperor and the traveller--lasted
for some time.

"Travellers," said Napoleon, "are privileged to tell marvellous stories,
but I hope you are not doing this in describing to me all the wonders of
Thibet."

Then he continued his questions, asking much about the Lama, and the
customs and religion of his people. His queries showed that he already
possessed a fund of information about this strange country, and Mr.
Manning finally said, "You have as much information on Thibet as I have
myself."

Napoleon accepted the compliment, but the many questions that he
continued to ask, especially concerning the Chinese and their language
and habits, showed that he was quite willing to admit Mr. Manning's
greater knowledge of the Orient.

When the unusually long interview had ended, Napoleon turned to Betsy
with an expression in which sadness was mingled with satisfaction.

"This conversation," he cried, "has given me more pleasure than anything
I have experienced for many long months."

Betsy, realizing the Emperor's capacity for finding entertainment in
hearing about the small things that made up the life of St. Helena,
always gratified him by describing the little festivities in which she
took part, or even the larger affairs of which she knew only by what
others told her. Like all places garrisoned by British regiments, there
was always much going on, as the phrase is, on the island, and the
gossip of the place, usually harmless enough in itself, never failed to
entertain him.

Sometimes he tried to draw from the little girl information that for one
reason or another she did not care to give him--sometimes merely to
tease him, sometimes because she feared that what she said might disturb
him.

"So you have been calling on Lady Lowe at Plantation House," he said,
after one of her visits to the wife of the Governor. "Tell me, does she
ask about your visits to Longwood?"

"There, that is just the kind of thing she asks me. I am sure to be
questioned what we say and do in your presence;" and beyond this Betsy
would give Napoleon little satisfaction.

"Who is the most beautiful woman on the island?" he asked on another
occasion.

"Madame Bertrand," replied Betsy, never at a loss for an answer, "is
more beautiful than any one I have ever seen. Every one else seems
insignificant beside her. Why, when my father saw her on the
_Northumberland_ he was very much struck by her. Her features may not be
strictly beautiful, but her expression is intellectual. Besides, her
bearing is so queenlike and dignified!"

"But don't you think Madame Montholon pretty?"

"No," responded Betsy unhesitatingly, in spite of the fact that she had
much regard for Madame Montholon.

"Marchand," cried Napoleon, apparently changing the subject, "bring me
my snuffbox,--you know which."

The faithful Marchand obeyed, and when he returned Napoleon took the
snuffbox from his hands to show the girls--for Jane was with Betsy--a
miniature on the lid.

It was a portrait of Madame Montholon, taken many years earlier.

"Yes, it is like her," Betsy admitted, "and beautiful, too."

"She was just like that when she was young," responded the Emperor.

Although Napoleon was fond of teasing Betsy, whenever he found that he
could serve her in any way he never failed to show himself a true
friend.

Once Dr. O'Meara came upon Betsy alone in the garden with tears in her
eyes. To his inquiry as to the cause of her sorrow, she pouted, and at
first hesitated in her reply. On second thoughts she exclaimed, "It is
too mean! Just because I didn't do my lessons yesterday, to keep me home
from the races!"

"Were you warned?"

"Oh, yes, but I did not expect to be punished."

"Probably this isn't the first time, and your parents are bound to make
you remember."

"Oh, it is my father, and it's the meanest thing! He has lent Tom to
somebody. My pony is not in the stable. Who could have been so mean as
to borrow the only pony that I can ride? All the others have ridden off,
and there is no way for me to go."

Dr. O'Meara listened sympathetically. Probably he did not exactly
understand the situation or he would hardly have encouraged a young girl
to disobey her parents. It was quite natural that to Betsy, the lover of
gayety, her punishment seemed greater than she deserved. Every one that
she knew was going to the races, for the Deadwood races, instituted by
John Rous, were made a kind of festival by the people of the island.
Since every one she knew had gone to Deadwood, there was no horse at
hand that she could borrow. For the moment Napoleon's little neighbor
was troubled by no sense of duty; the only question was how to reach
Deadwood.

Dr. O'Meara, after Betsy had poured out her soul to him, rode on towards
Longwood at a rapid pace. Not long afterwards her heart leaped with joy
when she saw Dr. O'Meara winding down the mountain, followed by a slave
with a superb gray horse. At once she recognized Mameluke, one of
Napoleon's stable, and, as the horses drew nearer, she saw that above
his crimson saddlecloth Mameluke wore a lady's saddle. Even before Dr.
O'Meara spoke, she understood what his quick return meant.

"Here, Miss Betsy, cheer up," he cried when he drew near the little
girl. "This horse is for you. When the Emperor heard of your
disappointment, he ordered the quietest horse in his stable to be sent
to you."

Regardless of consequences to herself, pleased by the good-natured
attention of the Emperor, light-hearted Betsy on Mameluke went to the
races. Perhaps she would have hesitated had she known that her father,
rather than she herself, was to be the sufferer by her heedless act, for
afterwards it gave her great pain to learn that Mr. Balcombe had been
severely reprimanded by Governor Lowe for having committed a breach of
discipline in letting his daughter borrow a horse belonging to the
Longwood establishment.

But for the time Betsy had the fun of the races, and the next day she
went over to Longwood to thank Napoleon.

"Aha, Mees Betsee," he said after their first greeting, "perhaps you do
not know that I too saw the races."

"But I did not see you there."

"Ah, where were your eyes? You were not thinking of me; but they were
amusing."

After a little more teasing, Betsy learned that Napoleon had seen the
Deadwood races from an upper window of General Gorgaud's house.

"You were so amused," he added, "that you forgot to be afraid. I have
told your father you should never be encouraged in foolish fears."

"I wish you had been really there!"

"Ah, gayety is not for me." Napoleon's face became grave.

Betsy, noticing this, added quickly, "But you are coming to my birthday
fête."

"Surely! It will not be far away at Rous Cottage."

The day of the birthday was bright and fair, and as large numbers of
guests had assembled, Rous Cottage, which had been chosen for this
picnic fête, was named for the gallant flag officer of the
_Northumberland_, whom Napoleon admired and called "a very brave man."

In the earlier part of the celebration, Betsy, flying among her friends,
was too much absorbed to notice that Napoleon had not come, but when she
missed him she began to look eagerly in the direction in which she might
expect to see him appear. He had said he would come to the party, and
Betsy expected him to keep his promise, though it was an unheard-of
thing for him to mingle in a gay crowd.

After a while she was delighted to see him in the distance, riding along
the hills. Soon she saw that he was no longer riding. His horse was at a
standstill. What could this mean? Presently a messenger from the Emperor
appeared to say that he would content himself by looking on.

The young hostess was not satisfied with this. Rushing off to the hill
where Napoleon waited, she stood before him.

"This is not keeping your promise. You said you would come, indeed you
did, and you should not disappoint me on my birthday."

Napoleon smiled at his young friend, but he spoke with decision:

"No; I won't come down to be stared at by a crowd who wish to gratify
their curiosity by a sight of me."

Betsy begged and pleaded, using every effort to make him change his
mind, but he was firm. Nothing could change him.

A friend in England had sent Betsy a huge birthday cake, ornamented with
a large eagle. That she should have had a cake decorated with this
imperial emblem occasioned much comment on the island. In fact, in the
eyes of some, Mr. Balcombe and his family were under more or less of a
cloud on account of their open admiration for the illustrious prisoner
of St. Helena. When Betsy found that her words made no impression on
Napoleon, she left him for a few moments, only to return with a slice of
the cake.

"You must eat this thick slice," she said, holding it out to him. "It is
the least you can do for getting us into this disgrace. Some people
think it almost treason when they see the eagle on the cake."

Napoleon ate the cake with evident appreciation. Then he pinched Betsy's
ear in his usual familiar fashion, saying as he did so, "Saucy
simpleton!" As he galloped away Betsy could not help smiling, as she
heard him singing, or rather trying to sing in his most unmusical voice,
"_Vive, Henri Quatre_."



CHAPTER XII

THOUGHTLESS BETSY


Sometimes, without intending to hurt Napoleon's feelings, heedless Betsy
must often have come near wounding him. One day, for example, she showed
him a toy that had lately come to St. Helena from Europe. It represented
a toy emperor climbing a ladder, each rung of which was a country. When
he reached the top he sat for an instant astride the world, and then
went headlong down the other side, until he landed at last on St.
Helena.

Napoleon himself did not reprove Betsy for her rudeness, but Mr.
Balcombe was disturbed and angry when he heard of it. Betsy, he decided,
was altogether too fond of playing foolish tricks, and he resolved to
teach her a lesson that she could not forget.

Calling her to him, after he had expressed his displeasure for what she
had done, "Betsy," he said in his severest tone, "you are to spend the
night in the cellar, and every night for a week you shall sleep there.
You must be taught respect for your elders. It is to punish you for your
rudeness to Napoleon that I am resolved to punish you in this way."

Poor Betsy shivered at her father's words. Bold though she was in the
face of danger by day, darkness always had great terrors for her, and to
spend the night underground was a punishment she felt she could hardly
bear. Her protests, however, were useless. Her father locked her in the
dark cellar and left her there. Betsy's experiences that night were
terrible. Rats made the cellar their home, and, as they jumped about in
the darkness, they tumbled the bottles of wine about, making a terrible
noise. Betsy was so frightened that to defend herself from them she
picked up bottle after bottle to hurl against them. At last they were
driven away, but there was no sleep for Betsy on the bed that had been
prepared for her. At dawn a faint light came through the windows, just
enough to show her what havoc she had made. Broken bottles lay about her
everywhere and in every direction ran rivulets of wine.

At last she fell into a heavy stupor, and in this condition a slave, who
had been sent with her breakfast, found her. Alarmed at the sight of
Betsy, apparently half dead, the slave ran to summon Mr. Balcombe. When
he hurried to the cellar, Mr. Balcombe was naturally shocked by what he
saw. He had not thought of rats, and he was only too thankful that Betsy
had escaped serious injury. He not only did not reprove her for the
destruction of the claret, but forgave her for her offence against
Napoleon.

As to Napoleon, "It was too great a punishment," he said, "for so little
an offence." Then he laughed heartily as the lively Betsy, now quite
herself again, gave a vivid account of her battle with the rats. "Ah,
the rats!" he added; "a big one jumped out of my hat one day, as I was
about to put it on. It startled me."

Some time after this adventure in the cellar, Mr. Balcombe again had
occasion to punish Betsy and again he thought of the cellar.

"No, not the cellar!" remonstrated Napoleon. But Mr. Balcombe was
obdurate. He had decided that Betsy should have a week's imprisonment
there, staying by day but released at night that she might sleep in her
own room.

So Betsy went daily to her cell. She managed to vary the monotony of her
prison life by sitting close to the grating of the open window, and
while she sat there, the picture of dejection, Napoleon, approaching the
window, daily expressed a half-mocking sympathy with her. For a time
Betsy maintained an appearance of dignity and injured innocence, but in
the end the Emperor, by mimicking her doleful expression, usually
succeeded in making her laugh.

"Sewing!" he exclaimed in surprise, when he visited Betsy on the third
day of her imprisonment.

"Yes," responded Betsy; "I am making a dress for myself."

"Ah, they indeed are cruel--"

Like all Betsy's acquaintances, Napoleon knew that she had no strong
love for sewing and the ordinary domestic duties. She was at the age
when boyish sports were much more fun than the occupations that older
people prescribed for girls.

"But no one required me to sew. I am sewing because I wish to."

The Emperor expressed his surprise at this announcement.

"Yes," continued Betsy; "I did not know what else to do. It is
frightfully dull here, so I begged old black Sarah to find me some work,
and this is what she brought." Betsy held up the partly made dress with
considerable pride.

It is to Betsy's credit that she finished the dress old Sarah had
brought her, although her fit of industry did not outlast her week's
imprisonment.

"You should keep Mees Betsee's prison livery," said Napoleon to Mrs.
Balcombe, "and show it to her occasionally, when you think that she is
on the point of doing something foolish that ought to be punished."

"Prison livery" was Napoleon's name for the dress that Betsy had made
during her week in the cell.

Betsy, however, was only one of many persons who had disagreeable
experiences with the rats of St. Helena. A sleeping slave, for example,
had a part of his leg bitten off. One of Count Bertrand's horses in the
stable had been severely bitten, and Dr. O'Meara had once had to defend
himself from the rodents by hurling his bootjack repeatedly at them.
Other tales of fierce rats had been told, and in consequence Betsy, when
she thought of her escape from real harm, had good cause for
congratulation.

The battle of the rats happened while Napoleon was still living at The
Briars, and though Betsy long remembered it, it cannot be said that she
altogether profited by the lesson that it should have conveyed to her.
Later, when Napoleon was living at Longwood, Betsy, visiting at Madame
Bertrand's, occupied herself with practising a song that was a favorite
with one of the ladies of the garrison.

Betsy sang and played very well, and Napoleon, hearing the new song,
praised the air though he did not understand the words. Now it happened
that the song was a monody on the death of the Duc d'Enghien, for whose
death Napoleon had been greatly blamed by friends as well as by foes.

"What is the song?" Napoleon asked.

A tactful girl would have devised some answer to spare Napoleon's
feelings. But thoughtless Betsy, without a word, turned to the front
page of the sheet of music, on which was a picture of a man standing in
a ditch, his eyes bandaged and a lantern hanging from his waist, while
soldiers were aiming their muskets at him.

"What is it?" asked Napoleon, to whom the picture conveyed no meaning.

"It represents the murder of the Duc d'Enghien," replied Betsy.

Napoleon examined the picture more closely. Then, turning to the young
girl:

"What do you know of the Duc d'Enghien?"

"That you are considered the murderer of that illustrious prince,"
replied Betsy, with great lack of consideration.

"It is true," responded Napoleon, "that I ordered his execution, for he
was a conspirator and had landed troops in the pay of the Bourbons to
assassinate me. In the face of such a conspiracy, the most politic thing
was to put a Bourbon prince to death so that the Bourbons would not
again try to take my life. The prisoner was tried for having taken arms
against the Republic, and was executed according to law. But he was not
shot in a ditch nor at night. All was open and known to the public."

This talk about the Duc d'Enghien led Napoleon to tell Betsy of many
thrilling experiences of his own in escaping death at the hands of
would-be assassins.

At another time Betsy ran up to Napoleon, crying, "Why is your face so
swollen and inflamed?"

"Oh," replied Napoleon, assuming a doleful look, "Dr. O'Meara has just
drawn a tooth and I have had much pain."

"What!" exclaimed Betsy in the rôle of mentor. "You to complain of
pain--the pain of so trifling an operation, though you have gone through
battles innumerable with storms of bullets whizzing, some of which must
have touched you. I am ashamed. But give me the tooth, and I will get
Mr. Solomon to set it as an ear-ring."

Napoleon, listening to Betsy, was evidently amused by her tone of
assumed severity, and laughing heartily, replied: "See how I laugh, even
while I suffer. Ah, Mees Betsee, I fear you will never cut your wisdom
tooth."

Although Betsy saw more of Napoleon than the other children, they were
all fond of him; but it is to be feared that Betsy's example was not the
best in the world for her little brothers, who were much younger than
she. One day, for example, Napoleon had given little Alexander a pretty
box made by Piron, filled with his delicious bonbons.

"When my brother had eaten all his sugar-plums," said Betsy, "and was
grieving over his exhausted store, he unluckily chanced to espy a
pill-box. He thereupon took some pills from the box and offered them to
the Emperor. Napoleon helped himself, thinking they were sugar-plums,
and began eating. He soon ejected them with coughing and nausea."

Las Cases, it is needless to say, reported this to Mr. Balcombe, who
whipped Alexander soundly. Nobody can deny that the little boy merited
the punishment.

A favorite jest of Napoleon was to cry, "Now, Mdlle. Betsee, I hope you
have been a good child and learned your lessons."

Then Betsy would redden and toss her head, for, like most girls in their
early teens, she wished to be thought older than she was. This habit of
teasing was one that Napoleon had found time to indulge in even when he
was at the height of his power. He was very fond of children, and some
one has said that no case is known in which he refused to grant a favor
when a child was asked to be the messenger. He was fond of his nieces
and nephews, and devoted to his step-children. Few brothers have ever
been kinder to their brothers and sisters than Napoleon to his. When he
was only sixteen, he began to take a great interest in the education of
his brother Lucien, who was six years younger. When he was a lieutenant
in the army, he made real sacrifices for Louis, who was twelve years
old. Yet, in spite of his love for them, he teased them just as he
teased Betsy. Every one knows how he used to fondle the little King of
Rome and carry him around in his arms while he was dictating to his
secretaries. One who knew him writes:

"It used to be a real holiday for the Emperor when Queen Hortense came
to see her mother, bringing her two children. Napoleon would take them
in his arms, caress them, often tease them, and burst into laughter as
if he had been of their own age, when, according to his custom, he had
smeared their faces with jam or cream."

Sometimes, however, he went too far, even with his young relatives. Once
when he had playfully pulled the ears of his nephew, little Achille
Murat, the boy protested, "You are a naughty, wicked man," to the great
amusement of his uncle.

But if Napoleon was inclined to tease the young people at The Briars, he
was also ready to do pleasant things for them. He certainly entered into
the feelings of young people. With them he became a child, and an
amusing one. Many were the games he played with Betsy and her brothers
and sister, not only blindman's buff but puss in the corner and other
quieter games.

Betsy was not the only one of the Balcombe family whom Napoleon loved to
tease. Jane, the elder sister, was the more dignified and it was
therefore easier to embarrass her. Toward the end of her stay at St.
Helena, an English surgeon, Dr. Stokoe, was sent to the island. He was
much the senior of Jane, but, because the two were seen much together,
the gossips of St. Helena thought that he wished to marry her.

Napoleon himself occasionally teased Jane about Dr. Stokoe, and
professed to think that Mr. Balcombe was a cruel father, standing in the
way of his daughter's happiness. "Why have you refused your daughter to
the surgeon of the flagship?" he would ask mischievously, adding,
"_C'est un brave homme_."

Napoleon's capacity for seeing the humorous side of things kept up his
spirits wonderfully during his first year or two of exile. Betsy's
enjoyment of a joke, even of a practical joke, was perhaps the strongest
bond between the Emperor and his little neighbor.

"Come," he would say, "come, Mees Betsee, sit down and sing like our
dear departed friend." By this term Napoleon referred to a certain lady
who believed herself to be the possessor of a very fine voice. To
exhibit her prowess this lady would sit down and sing Italian airs in an
affected style. At the end of a performance the lady expected, and
received, the Emperor's compliments; but when at last she was away and
out of hearing, he roared with laughter as Betsy, at the piano, imitated
the lady's affectations.

With his eyes closed he would pretend that he really believed he was
listening to the operatic lady, and end by thanking Betsy gravely for
the pleasure she had given.

Napoleon himself was a good mimic. He amused the Balcombe family greatly
by his imitation of London cockney street cries.

"Mees Jane," he asked one evening, "have you ever heard the London
cries?"

"No, sir, never," she replied.

"Then I must let you hear them;" and without waiting further, he began
to make a series of shrill sounds. At first it was difficult to
distinguish the words, for Napoleon's droll accent could hardly be
called good English. His intonation, however, was perfect, and exactly
represented the street venders crying their wares.

"You must have been in London, unknown to any one," cried Jane; "for if
you haven't been there, I don't see how you could have got those cries
so perfectly."

In suggesting that Napoleon might have been in London incognito, Jane
was only repeating what then had wide currency--that Napoleon in the
height of his power had slipped away from Paris, letting no one know
that he was to cross the Channel, to spend a few days in London,
studying the English and their ways.

To the inquisitive Jane, however, Napoleon gave no information as to the
truth of this belief.

"I was much entertained," he said, "by one of my buffos, who introduced
London street cries into a comedy that he got up in Paris."

This mention of the theatre led Napoleon to speak of Talma. "He was the
truest actor to nature that ever trod the boards," he said.

"Talma?" repeated Betsy, catching the actor's name. "Oh, I remember;
they used to say that you took lessons from him how to sit on the
throne."

"I have often heard that myself," responded Napoleon, "and I even
mentioned it once to Talma himself as a sign that I was considered to
hold myself well on it."

Napoleon often displayed his powers of mimicry, to the great
entertainment of the children.

A large ball, given by Sir George Bingham in return for the civilities
that had been shown the Fifty-third Regiment, took place not far from
Longwood, and practically every one on the island was invited.

"It was the very prettiest affair I ever saw," said Betsy, "and you
ought to have seen it."

Glancing at Napoleon, she thought she caught a certain meaning in the
smile with which he greeted her remark. "I really believe you _were_
there," she exclaimed. "Some one told us you were going to take a peep
at us incognito, but I did not see you."

Without deigning to reply, Napoleon began an ungraceful imitation of the
saraband, a dance that had been seen at this ball for the first time in
St. Helena. The young lady who waltzed in this dance had been very
awkward, and Napoleon's imitation of her movements was so perfect that
the girls were sure he had really seen her. Moreover he had so many
accurate criticisms to make of the people at the ball, and of the ball
in all its details, that no doubt was left in their minds that he had
been an actual looker-on.

Napoleon thoroughly appreciated the humor of others, and was much
amused, for example, by a remark of Madame Bertrand's that he repeated
to Betsy.

Madame Bertrand's son, Arthur, was about a month old when Napoleon asked
Betsy if she had seen the little fellow, adding, "You must hear the
clever way in which Madame Bertrand introduced the baby to me: 'Allow me
to present to your Majesty a subject who has dared to enter the gates of
Longwood without a pass from Sir Hudson Lowe.'"



CHAPTER XIII

LONGWOOD DAYS


Many a time when in the company of Napoleon and the members of his
suite, Betsy must have realized that this pleasant intercourse could not
last always.

Few people remained indefinitely long at St. Helena,--few people,
indeed, besides the natives and the one life prisoner, the Emperor
Napoleon. Betsy, however, had no desire to leave her beloved island. She
loved its climate and its scenery, and she was happy with the many
people who were her friends. It was a gay little place, with numerous
officers quartered there with their families,--a much gayer place than
it would have been had not the British Government thought it necessary
to make it a great military stronghold for the safeguarding of the
Emperor,--a much gayer place than it had been before Napoleon's arrival.

[Illustration: LONGWOOD]

Almost every day some form of amusement offered itself--races, balls,
picnics, and sham fights. There was also a pretty little theatre on the
island, established by the popular Commissary General, where amateur
plays were performed by the officers, to the great entertainment of all
who saw them.

Madame Montholon and Madame Bertrand and, to a certain extent, the
gentlemen of the Emperor's suite entered more or less into the
festivities of the place. It was only Napoleon who always stayed at home
alone. Betsy, who was an especial favorite of Madame Bertrand, was often
at Longwood, and very often the latter was the young girl's chaperon at
balls or other entertainments.

Yet even when no special gayety was in view, Betsy enjoyed her visits to
Longwood, and the ingenuous girl with her frank speech certainly
brightened the lives of the exiles. As for Betsy herself it was a great
advantage for her to be so much in the society of these French people,
with their cultivation and gayety. On cool evenings chairs were brought
out on the lawn leading to the billiard-room, and there the Countess of
Montholon and Madame Bertrand, with their husbands and children, would
spend the hour after sunset listening to the crickets, of which there
were thousands. Sometimes they sat on the lawn in the moonlight, gazing
long at the sky, which at St. Helena is of a peculiarly deep blue.

Doubtless at such times the hearts of the poor exiles were far away
among home scenes in France, and even lively Betsy for the time was
quiet and subdued.

One splendid starry night, as they were all on the lawn near the
billiard-room steps after a very sultry day, they heard a sound as if
heavy wagons were lumbering over the ground beneath. Those nearer the
house thought that it was about to fall about their heads. Dr. O'Meara
and Major Blakeney, Captain of the Guard, hastening from the room,
expected to find the ladies half dead with fright. All the household,
some from their beds, rushed out, looking wonderingly into the sky, and
little Tristram Montholon ran to his mother, screaming that some one had
tried to throw him out of his bed.

This was in September, and the strange rumbling was caused by an
earthquake, the first one in St. Helena for a long time. Many feared for
their friends in the valleys with the sharp precipices, but fortunately
in the end it was shown that there had been no loss of life.

Napoleon was in bed at the time of the shock.

"Ah Mees Betsee," he asked the next morning, "were you frightened by the
_tremblement de terre_? You look pale and quiet."

Betsy admitted that she had had a little fear at the earthquake.

"I thought," said Napoleon, turning to General Bertrand, "that the
_Conqueror_ had blown up in the harbor; but the second or third shock
showed that it was an earthquake."

The _Conqueror_ was the seventy-four gun ship whose arrival Betsy had
seen Napoleon observe with great interest.

Betsy, for several nights after the earthquake, was too frightened to go
to bed, and in a day or two she was ill with a severe cold, caught while
sitting on the veranda. In this case, as always in illness, Napoleon was
sympathetic, blaming the climate and adding that the houses ought to
have plenty of fireplaces to protect people from sudden changes.

"What would be the use of fireplaces," asked Betsy, "when we have no
coals?"

"Then burn the orange trees," responded Napoleon.

From this remark Betsy saw that for some reason the Emperor was not in
good humor, for he was one of those who realized the need of more trees
on St. Helena, and later--if he had not then begun--devoted much time
and money to planting trees in the neighborhood of Longwood. Perhaps the
presence of the _Conqueror_ in the harbor disturbed him, since this was
the vessel that had brought Admiral Pamplin, who was to relieve Admiral
Malcom. Sir Pultney Malcom had come to St. Helena with Napoleon, and the
two had grown to be very good friends. The Admiral, a courteous old man,
with exquisite, kindly manners, showed great consideration for the
exile. He paid Napoleon many visits, sent him newspapers, and so far as
he could tried to protect him from various annoying things said or done
by Governor Lowe.

It was not strange, then, that Napoleon should feel depressed at the
thought of Admiral Malcom's departure, and, in consequence, seem a
little more brusque than usual with Betsy in talking of her cold.

Napoleon well understood the value of regular occupation and spent many
hours daily in reading and writing. He had few of the works of reference
that he needed for his historical work, yet he persevered in spite of
all difficulties. In the end he really had something to show, volumes of
military commentaries, essays on great generals and historical sketches,
chiefly of the time of the French Republic. These writings may not all
be perfectly accurate, but they show a wonderful memory and grasp of
facts. The inaccuracies, indeed, are chiefly such as must result when a
man writes without the proper documents and books to verify his
statements.

The Memoirs left by Napoleon, the many volumes of conversations
collected by his friends on subjects of general interest, as well as
those books that relate to the military profession, show the wonderful
strength of his mind. His temperate habits were, of course, a great help
in carrying out the broad plans that he made for hard work. He took
little wine, and then only used it as a medicine.

Napoleon's hours for rising and going to bed were very irregular. Often
on moonlight nights he would rise at three o'clock, and when at The
Briars he would go to the garden before Toby was up, getting the key
from the place where the old slave had hidden it. He would then have an
early breakfast of fresh fruits.

Not infrequently, in those early days of his stay at St. Helena, Betsy
would see him in the early morning riding around the lawn on his
beautiful horse Hope, and when she talked with him she would learn that
already he had that day dictated a number of letters. Hope was the first
horse Napoleon rode on the island, and it pleased him to think that this
name was an augury.

When it came to his bed hour, Napoleon's habits were most uncertain.
Frequently, when he was restless, he would have Marchand read him to
sleep.

At times when he was ill he resented the doctor's efforts to get him to
take medicine. He had original ideas on the best treatment of the sick,
and believed strongly in the efficacy of the salt-water bath.

However heterodox his views on any subject, Napoleon seldom hesitated to
express them, at least to those in whom he had confidence.

"I have no faith whatever in medicine," said Napoleon one day to a very
clever medical man who was on the island. "My own remedies are
starvation and the warm bath. Churchmen," he added, "are often
hypocrites, because too much is expected of them. Politicians must have
a conventional conscience, and soldiers are cut-throats and robbers. But
surgeons are neither too good nor too bad; their mission is to benefit
mankind, and they have opportunities to study human nature as well as
science. I have a higher opinion of the surgical profession than of any
other. The practice of the law," he concluded, "is too severe for poor
human nature, for he who distorts truth and exults at the success of
injustice at last will hardly know right from wrong."

       *       *       *       *       *

Napoleon liked sailors, and often talked with those who conducted
fatigue parties around the island.

One day he asked the girls if they had met one active young reefer, who
happened to belong to a distinguished family.

"He is one of the few combinations of high birth and intelligence I have
ever seen."

"We know him," was the reply, "and he is one of the most popular men in
the ward-room. Oh, how funny he was when we first knew him!" added
Betsy. "He was coming back from the Admiral's ball. We met an old cart,
and he was surrounded by brother middies, all shouting, 'Lord W.'s
carriage stops the way.' Well, we couldn't get past, as the cart had
been dragged inside the arch through which we were to pass. Afterwards
this same young man had a narrow escape. He was rowing guard when hailed
by sentry. On account of the surf, the sentry could not hear him give
the password, and so he fired among the crew."

"Yes, he can do anything. Sir Pultney Malcom put him in charge of the
government farm, and said he had never seen such vegetables produced on
the sterile rocks of St. Helena."

"Whatever British sailors take in hand," said Napoleon, "they never
leave undone."

       *       *       *       *       *

A marble bust of the King of Rome was sent to Napoleon, probably by
Maria Louisa. Napoleon gazed on it with proud satisfaction and he seemed
pleased with the praises of Betsy and her mother.

"You ought to be proud to be the father of so beautiful a boy," said
Mrs. Balcombe.

Smiles lit Napoleon's face, and Betsy, child though she was, was
impressed by his expression of paternal fondness.

The bust was of white marble and executed by Caracci, and it bore the
names Napoleon François Charles Joseph. The child was shown wearing the
Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor. It had been brought from Leghorn by
the gunner of a ship bound to St. Helena, and although it had come so
mysteriously, people generally understood that Maria Louisa herself had
taken the trouble to have it sent in this way to Napoleon, her husband.

"Now, come," said Madame Bertrand, after the sisters had spent some time
admiring Napoleon's gifts, "let me show you my presents;" for the ship
that had brought the bust brought things also to others of the French
exiles. These were chiefly for Countess Bertrand and Countess Montholon
from Lady Holland, who often remembered them in this way.

"La bonne Lady Holland," as Napoleon called her, was one of the few
English women not afraid to show her sympathy with Napoleon and those
who had followed him to St. Helena. He was very grateful for her
attentions to him now when he was abandoned by the world. "All members
of the family of Fox," he said, "abound in liberal, generous sentiments.
Fox was sincere in his intentions, and had he lived England would not
have been devastated by war. He was the only minister who rightly
understood the interests of his country." To show that he had always
appreciated Fox, Napoleon told of a visit that the latter with his wife
paid to St. Cloud. By mistake he opened the door of a private room, and
he was surprised to see there his own statue among those of
distinguished citizens of the world, Hampden, Washington, Cicero, Lord
Chatham and his son.

The regulation that an officer must accompany him on his rides was a
continued annoyance to Napoleon. At first he submitted, and rode off,
painfully realizing that a representative of his jailers constantly kept
his eye on him. After a time he decided that he would not ride if he
could not ride alone, and during the last four years of his life he was
not on a horse. As he had depended on riding for exercise during the
greater part of his life, he now suffered from giving it up. He not only
began to grow extremely stout, but his general health became poorer.

It disturbed Napoleon greatly that the English always addressed him as
"General Bonaparte." The title "Emperor" would have been so barren on
St. Helena that it is hard to understand why Napoleon should have cared
much about it. He might easily have been as philosophic about this as he
was about other things.

Soon after his arrival Sir Hudson Lowe addressed a card of invitation to
"General Bonaparte."

"Send this card to General Bonaparte," said Napoleon to Count Bertrand.
"The last I heard of him was at the Pyramids and Mt. Tabor." Yet
Napoleon was never happier, never better loved by the French people,
than when, as General Bonaparte, he was received with the greatest
enthusiasm on his return from his Italian campaign.

The English, on their part, were foolish in objecting to the use of a
title to which he once had had a perfect right, with all its power and
dignity. Now, deprived of the substance, there was no reason for
forbidding him the pleasure of treasuring the shadow. Sir George
Cockburn seems to have been almost childish in writing to Count
Bertrand:

"I have no cognizance of any Emperor being actually upon this island, or
of any person possessing such dignity (as stated by you) having come
here."

Language like this was far more absurd than Napoleon's obstinacy on the
subject. Even his good friend, Admiral Malcom, could not change his
views. In the course of a conversation on the subject of letting him
have the title "Emperor," Malcom said decidedly:

"Still, it would be impossible to treat you as a sovereign."

"Why, they might leave me my honors to amuse me. It would do no harm on
this rock."

"But you would have to be styled Emperor."

"No; they could not do that. I have abdicated."

"But you object to be called General."

"That is because I am no longer a general,--not since I returned from
Egypt,--but why not call me 'Napoleon'?"

It was a long and painful discussion, and it did not end even with
Napoleon's death. The British Government, since Napoleon was securely in
its power, could have afforded to let him wear the title that had once
been his by right, even though on St. Helena it would have shown itself
an almost foolishly vain ornament. The foreign Commissioners were told
by the countries that they represented to give him this title, but the
Act of Parliament dealing with the distinguished prisoner had called him
"Napoleon Bonaparte," and this, or "General Bonaparte," he was to be to
all who had dealings with him at St. Helena.

Within his own circle--and in this circle the Balcombe family may be
included--he was ever "the Emperor."

       *       *       *       *       *

Napoleon often showed great kindness to the sick. For example, when a
certain officer, Captain Meynell, was ill under Mr. Balcombe's roof at
The Briars, Napoleon sent Cipriani, his _maître d'hôtel_, daily to
inquire about him, and seemed really concerned when he asked about him.

Not long after he left The Briars, Betsy had a severe illness. When
Napoleon heard of this he sent constantly to inquire for her, and the
messenger usually brought her some delicacy made by Piron.

Napoleon's kindness of heart was also shown by his attitude toward the
Malay slave, named Toby, who had care of the beautiful garden at The
Briars. When no one was in it the garden was kept locked and the key was
left in Toby's hands. Toby and Napoleon speedily became friends, and the
black man always spoke of the Emperor as "that good man, Bony." He
always placed the key of the garden where Napoleon could reach it under
the wicket. The black man was original and entertaining, and so
autocratic that no one at The Briars ever disputed his authority. His
story was rather pathetic.

He had been enticed from his native place many years before, brought to
St. Helena by the English, smuggled on shore and illegally sold as a
slave, let out to whoever would hire him, and his earnings chiefly
appropriated to his master. Napoleon perhaps recognized in Toby a
kindred spirit, or at least felt a common bond in the fact that both had
been brought unwillingly to the island. Certainly he liked him, and,
when he had heard his story, wished to buy and free him. But for
political reasons, when Mr. Balcombe made Napoleon's wishes known to Sir
Hudson Lowe, he could not get his consent.

Toby, however, was grateful to Napoleon for his wish to help him, and
continued his devoted admirer. On going from The Briars, Napoleon
presented Toby with twenty-nine napoleons and always inquired for his
health. When Napoleon left The Briars, Toby often arranged bouquets and
fruits to go to Longwood,--"to that good man, Bony."

Toby, from all accounts, was an attractive fellow. His countenance had a
frank and benevolent expression. His eyes were animated and sparkling,
his aspect not abject, but prepossessing. So at least he appeared to
Betsy, and one day she was interested to hear Napoleon reflecting upon
him:

"What, after all, is a poor prisoner but a machine? As for poor Toby, he
endures his misfortunes very quietly; he stoops to his work, and spends
his days in innocent tranquillity. This man, after all, had his family
and his happiness and his liberty, and it was a horrible act of cruelty
to bring him here to languish in the fetters of his slavery."

Toby, however, was not the only slave on St. Helena. Not long after the
first discovery of the island by the Portuguese, Juan Denova Castella, a
nobleman, was exiled there for desertion and had to spend four years in
complete solitude, except for a few slaves that he was allowed to have
with him. The Portuguese did not colonize St. Helena, and after a time
the Dutch held it for many years. When they had deserted it, the East
India Company, with plenty of capital, took possession and naturally
fell back on slave labor to cultivate the fields. When the Dutch saw
that St. Helena was likely to prove profitable to the English they tried
to get it back again, but the effort was unsuccessful, and since 1666 it
has been counted an English possession. At one time a law was passed
restricting the importation of slaves, for the colonists had begun to
fear that they might outnumber the Europeans. There was, however, an old
law that every Madagascar ship should leave one slave to work the
company's plantations. The slaves were often troublesome, but the
cruelty with which they were treated was inexcusable. Probably many a
poor creature on the island had been stolen from his home, just as we
know poor Toby had been stolen.

After the arrival of Sir Hudson Lowe, the new Governor reminded the
people of St. Helena that their island was the last British possession
to retain slavery. Various plans were proposed for doing away with it,
and at last, at his suggestion, it was agreed that after Christmas Day,
1818, all children born of slave women should be considered free. Thus
the great evil gradually ceased.

This good action on the part of Sir Hudson Lowe--that he helped gain
freedom for the slaves--made him no better liked by Napoleon and his
friends. From the first, indeed, the Governor was suspicious of
Napoleon's friends, and the fear that they were plotting for Napoleon's
escape was one of the reasons, probably, for the regulations that
greatly annoyed Napoleon. It seemed as if he wished Napoleon to be
surrounded entirely by English, for one of his early acts was to tell
the French that they were at liberty to leave St. Helena whenever they
wished. Every facility, he said, would be offered them to return to
Europe. Had he known human nature better, Sir Hudson Lowe would have
realized that persons who had given up so much to follow Napoleon would
hardly desert him merely because conditions on the island did not suit
them.

At last, on one pretext or another, he contrived to have several of
Napoleon's attendants sent away,--Santini, the clever little
lamplighter, the jack-of-all-trades, who had so often amused Betsy's
small brothers with his toys; Rousseau, his artificer; and Archambaud,
his coachman, whose reckless driving of the jaunting car always struck
terror to Betsy's heart. Most important of all, however, was the
departure of Count Las Cases, who had never failed to frown on Betsy's
hoydenish pranks. With Count Las Cases went his son, the boy about whom
Napoleon had loved to tease Betsy. It was before the end of Napoleon's
first year at Longwood that these two were sent away on the charge of
bribing a young native of St. Helena to carry a letter to Europe for
them. This would not have been a serious offence, except for the reason
that the Governor had made a regulation that no letter should be sent to
Europe without passing through his hands.

For a time Las Cases and his son were in prison on the island. Later
they were despatched to the Cape of Good Hope, where they were detained
seven months and at last sent to England.

"Let them take away all my Frenchmen," said Napoleon sadly, after the
departure of Las Cases. "I do not want them." He especially missed Las
Cases, since it was to him that he daily dictated the material for his
Memoirs.

Not long after the departure of Las Cases, Napoleon was greatly
disturbed because the Governor would not let him receive a visit from a
botanist just arrived from Europe, who was known lately to have seen
Maria Louisa and the little King of Rome. Betsy sympathized with him in
his indignation at this and other needless restrictions.

Sometimes, however, she felt like laughing at him.

"Where is the Emperor, where is the Emperor?" she asked one morning,
when staying at Longwood after a ball.

At first no one could inform her, but at last some one said, "Go over
there; he is building a ditch."

Going in the direction indicated, the young girl found Napoleon
superintending the building of a trench that he was having constructed,
so that he might have a place where he could walk unobserved.

"Do not laugh!" he said, after Betsy had come upon him, standing with
folded arms and downcast gaze. "Do not laugh! I must have a walk of my
own, where no one can look at me when I go out."

Even though she smiled, Betsy understood Napoleon's feeling. In his
early days at The Briars, when he was permitted to walk out unattended,
Napoleon was fond of strolling some distance from the cottage. Later
when he could not go far without the watchful eye of an officer upon
him, he almost gave up walking. At a certain hour of the afternoon, as
it was known that he took a short walk along a straight path not far
from the house, the curious often stationed themselves at a distance
where they could observe him. On account of this annoying observation,
Napoleon conceived the plan of digging a ditch or trench. The ditch
served at least one purpose: while it was digging it gave Napoleon
plenty of occupation in directing the workmen. When it was finished it
is said that he never used it as a promenade.

His unwillingness to take exercise resulted in a serious illness. During
this time Betsy and her sister did not see him, but whenever they met
Dr. O'Meara they eagerly questioned him about their friend. "I would
rather die at once than walk, as you prescribe." These were the words of
Napoleon that Dr. O'Meara reported to the sisters. "I have tried
persuasion of every kind, but I cannot get him to take exercise," he
said, "although I have told him that this is the only thing that can
possibly cure him. I urged him to let me call in another surgeon, so
that if he should grow no better, too much blame need not fall on me,
and what was his reply?"

Dr. O'Meara paused for a moment, and then repeated Napoleon's exact
words: "If all the physicians in the world were collected, they would
but repeat what you have already advised me--to take constant exercise
on horseback. I am well aware of the truth of what you say, but if I
were to call in another surgeon, it would be like sending a physician to
a starving man instead of giving him a loaf of bread. I have no
objection to your making known to him my state of health, if it be any
satisfaction to you; but I know that he will say, 'Exercise.' As long as
this strict surveillance is enforced, I will never stir."

In vain Dr. O'Meara repeated his arguments. Napoleon had but one reply,
"Would you have me render myself liable to insult from the sentries
surrounding my house, as Madame Bertrand was, some days ago?"

"Jane," said Betsy, who always saw the funny side of things, "what a
fine caricature this would have made for the London print
shops--Napoleon stopped at the gates by a sentinel, charging him with a
fixed bayonet! How the Londoners would laugh! No, I don't blame Napoleon
for staying indoors."

But when Betsy saw the Emperor after this illness, her heart was filled
with pity. His skin was a waxy yellow and his cheeks hung in deep
pouches. His ankles were terribly swollen, and he could not stand
without the support of a table on one side and the shoulder of an
attendant on the other.

As Betsy looked at him, tears fell from her eyes and she could hardly
keep from sobbing aloud.

"Ah!" said Napoleon kindly. "Do not cry, Mees Betsee. I am almost
well--and the good O'Meara will surely cure me."

Upon this Betsy became more cheerful, but later, when they were out of
the Emperor's hearing, Mrs. Balcombe shook her head sorrowfully, as she
turned to Betsy, saying, "He has the stamp of death on his brow."

Had Napoleon been less obstinate, within the eight miles of enclosure
allotted him he might certainly have taken enough exercise of various
kinds to preserve his health.



CHAPTER XIV

THE PARTING


At last the time came when Napoleon and his young neighbor must part.
The health of Betsy's mother, Mrs. Balcombe, was not good, and the
family decided to go home to England. Mr. Balcombe obtained six months'
leave, but, although the family professed to expect to return, in their
secret hearts they felt that they were bidding good-bye to St. Helena.

A day or two before sailing Betsy and Jane went over to Longwood to say
farewell to Napoleon. They found him in the billiard-room, as usual,
surrounded by books. There was sadness in his voice as he talked about
their departure.

"I hope your mother's health will soon be restored," he said. "Give her
my kindest regards and best wishes for the journey. Soon you will be
sailing away towards England, leaving me to die on this miserable rock.
Look at those dreadful mountains--they are my prison walls. You will
soon hear that the Emperor Napoleon is dead."

At these melancholy words the emotional Betsy burst into tears and
Jane's eyes grew moist. Betsy sobbed as if her heart would break, and
Napoleon, greatly moved, tried to comfort her. Betsy felt for her
handkerchief, only to find that she had left it in her side-saddle
pocket. So Napoleon, holding his own toward her, said, "Take it, and
keep it in remembrance of this sad day."

The sisters went the rounds of Longwood, bidding good-bye to all that
was dear to them. Later they dined with Napoleon, but Betsy was still so
overcome with grief that she could hardly swallow.

"Take some bonbons," said Napoleon kindly.

"I cannot," she cried. "My throat has a swelling, and I cannot eat!"

When at last they were ready to go, the Emperor embraced the two sisters
with great affection.

"Do not forget me!" he said. "I thank you for your kindness and
friendship, and all my happy hours in your society."

The two sisters could hardly reply.

"Mees Betsee," he added, after a moment's pause, "what would you like to
have in remembrance?"

"A lock of your hair," sobbed the young girl, "better than anything
else."

"Marchand shall bring the scissors, then;" and the devoted Marchand,
promptly obeying, severed four locks for the four older members of the
Balcombe family.

Not long before they left, Napoleon in a conversation with Mr. Balcombe
said:

"I fear that your resignation of your employment in this island is
caused by the quarrels and annoyances drawn upon you by the relation
established between your family and Longwood, in consequence of the
hospitality which you showed on my first arrival in St. Helena. I would
not wish you to regret having known me."

Although Mr. Balcombe did not exactly confirm what Napoleon said about
the reason for his withdrawal from St. Helena, he knew that to a great
extent it was true. For a long time Sir Hudson Lowe had been
dissatisfied with the intimacy existing between Napoleon and the
Balcombes. While he admitted that he had no tangible cause for
complaint, he was constantly watching for one, and was always ready to
call Mr. Balcombe to account for what he considered partiality for the
illustrious exile. As the Governor himself put it, he was not without
suspicion that his relations with Longwood were not limited to the
ostensible duties of his office. The Governor at this time was very
suspicious of Dr. O'Meara, and as Mr. Balcombe and he were intimate
friends, the former was naturally regarded also with disfavor.

More than once had Betsy's careless behavior drawn a reprimand upon her
father. But for the Governor's feeling against him, Mr. Balcombe and his
family might have been on St. Helena during the last sad days of
Napoleon.

As it was, they went back to England the middle of March, 1818, little
more than three years before Napoleon's death. Their ship was the
Winchelsea store-ship, on its way from China, and on the same vessel
went General Gorgaud, the bachelor of Napoleon's suite, a pompous,
though brave man, for whom Betsy had no especial liking. General Gorgaud
knew that he would never return to St. Helena. Mr. Balcombe had obtained
a six months' leave from his official duties, but he, too, may have felt
as the vessel sailed away that he was unlikely ever again to look upon
its frowning walls.

As to Betsy, Napoleon's young neighbor, the tears that fell from her
eyes when she said her last good-bye to the Emperor were not the last
that she shed for him. As the years went by she ever listened eagerly to
all the news that came from St. Helena, until the final mournful tidings
in the early summer of 1821, that Napoleon had died on the fifth of May.

"I am sure," said Betsy long afterwards, "after seeing Napoleon in every
possible mood and in his most unguarded moments, I know that the idea of
acting a part never entered his head. I had the most complete conviction
of his want of guile, and the thorough goodness and amiability of his
heart."

Betsy was a keen observer of human nature, and another of her judgments
is worth remembering: "That this impression of his amiability and
goodness was common to almost all who approached him is proved by the
devotion of his followers at St. Helena. They had then nothing more to
expect from him, and only entailed misery on themselves by adhering to
his fortunes."

It is indeed a fact worth remembering, that Napoleon's suite, in spite
of the fact that to a great extent Napoleon obliged them to practise the
rigid etiquette of a court, were all devoted to him. It is true that
they had to stand in his presence and in certain ways keep up a ceremony
that seemed absurd in an establishment as simple as that of Longwood;
but there were many hours of relaxation. In these hours of relaxation
Napoleon played cards with his friends, or chess, or--after he went to
Longwood--billiards. He was fond of reading aloud, and not infrequently
favored his friends with a long reading. Sometimes he indulged in
declamation, for he was rather proud of the fact that he had learned
something of this art from the great Talma. In his later years at
Longwood he devised ways of getting his needed exercise indoors and
worked almost too vigorously at gardening.

An old St. Helena newspaper has an account of his exertions in his
garden, not long before his death, which has a pathos of its own: "A few
weeks before his death the Emperor labored with a spade in his garden so
long and so severely as to be faint with fatigue. Some one suggested the
probable injury to his health. 'No,' said he, 'it cannot injure my
health; that is lost beyond all hope. It will but shorten my days.'"

The disease from which Napoleon died was one that he had inherited from
his father,--one, indeed, for which there is no cure. So it cannot be
said with certainty that his life might have been prolonged if he had
been more careful to get enough, and only enough, of the right kind of
exercise. Yet though his life may have had to run in its natural course,
his last years would have been much happier if there had been no
friction between him and the Governor of St. Helena.

The last three years of Napoleon's life were undoubtedly the loneliest
he had known. He missed Las Cases, Gorgaud, the Balcombes, and O'Meara,
whom the Governor was at last able to get out of the way. Napoleon kept
himself busy with his gardening and his books, and when, in 1819, the
Government began to build a new house for him, he spent much time
watching its progress, although with true forebodings he often said that
he should never live to occupy it.

He still refused to take exercise, and once in a fit of depression
stayed in the house for three months. Thus his health continued to
suffer and he grew stout and clumsy. When he did go out he was apt to
drive around the eight miles of his enclosure at breakneck speed, in a
carriage drawn by six horses. In October, 1820, he sent word to Sir
William Doveton that he would be glad to breakfast with him. Sir William
was, of course, happy to receive his distinguished guest, and breakfast
was served on the lawn to Napoleon and Generals Bertrand and Montholon.
The breakfast in the society of Sir William Doveton and his family
passed off pleasantly, and Napoleon started to walk home. Unluckily he
had not the strength to carry out his good intentions, and on the way
back to Longwood he had to stop at a cottage by the way to rest, while
his carriage was sent for.

Betsy would have been glad, if the fact had ever come to her ears, to
learn that in his last year or two Napoleon had another little friend
who to a certain degree could fill the place in his affections always
ready for children. This was the young daughter of a soldier of the
garrison, little Julia, nine years old, who was intelligent and
companionable.

When he knew that Julia was coming to see him, Napoleon always had
fruits and sweetmeats ready for her. Not long before he died he hung a
gold watch and chain around Julia's neck, saying, "Wear this for my
sake." On the cover he had scratched an inscription with his penknife,
"The Emperor to his little friend Julia." When she visited him they sat
or walked in the garden, and Napoleon found some amusement in giving her
drawing lessons from nature. One fine morning in April, when Julia
appeared, Napoleon invited her inside the house where the breakfast
table was laid. Standing by the table, he filled her little basket with
fruit and sweet things, and at last put a bottle of wine in the basket,
saying, "For your father to drink my health in."

Alas! it was too late for any one to wish Napoleon good health. Not long
after he had suggested the toast for Julia's father, he had to go to
bed. Whatever others thought, he was sure that he would never rise. He
probably knew that the end was near. The very end came suddenly, and
many on St. Helena, who had not known of the seriousness of his
condition, were greatly surprised to hear of his death on the fifth of
May.

Before the funeral Napoleon's body lay in state, and naval and military
officers and many others were permitted to view it. When Sir Hudson Lowe
looked at Napoleon immediately after his death, he was impressed by the
nobility of the dead man's expression. "His face in death," he wrote to
Lord Bathurst, "was the most beautiful I have ever seen." Yet even to
the dead Napoleon the Governor maintained the same attitude as to the
living, for when it came to the question of the inscription to be placed
on the Emperor's coffin, he would not permit the simple "Napoleon" with
dates and places of birth and death, but insisted that in addition it
should bear the surname "Bonaparte."

British soldiers carried Napoleon from the house to the car that was to
bear him to the burial place; but the horses that drew the car were four
that had belonged to the late Emperor. Orders had been issued to conduct
his funeral as that of a general of the highest rank. In consequence the
left side of the road from Longwood to the grave was lined with troops.
It was a solemn and impressive procession that moved along as escort,
paying the last earthly honors to Napoleon, on whose coffin lay his
sword and the mantle of Marengo.

Napoleon had always wished to be buried in France, but toward the end of
his life, when it seemed unlikely that his wish could be gratified, he
gave directions as to the spot in St. Helena that he preferred. This was
a romantic and picturesque enclosure in a ravine not very far from
Longwood. Often, when out walking, the Emperor had stopped there to
quench his thirst at a small spring. The little valley was shaded with
Norfolk pines, firs, and other trees, and here, near the spring, under
the shade of two great willow trees, Napoleon's body was laid to rest.
As it was lowered into the grave three discharges from eleven pieces of
musketry were fired.

As his sorrowing attendants turned away, how overwhelmingly sad must the
reflections of the two of Napoleon's personal suite have been! Only
Montholon and Bertrand were there at the last, though Marchand and other
attendants still remained. Montholon, when a boy of ten, had known
Napoleon in Corsica, and Bertrand had long been one of his
officers,--"the best engineer officer I have ever known," said Napoleon.

Now their years of faithful devotion were at an end. With heavy hearts
they turned their backs on the lonely grave under the willow trees and
soon they sailed away to the great world, their hearts filled with
memories of Napoleon.

Nineteen years after Napoleon's death a French frigate, _La Belle
Poule_, commanded by the Prince of Joinville, arrived off Jamestown. The
wheel had turned, and the friends and admirers of Napoleon were on top.

Even Great Britain was not unwilling that the dead Napoleon should have
the honor that was his due. The frigate had come for the body of
Napoleon to give it proper honors in France. On _La Belle Poule_ were
Count Bertrand, his son Arthur, born at St. Helena, General Gorgaud, the
young Las Cases, and the faithful Marchand.

The body of Napoleon was taken from the tomb under the willow trees and
borne back to France. Every one knows of the magnificent funeral given
their dead hero by the impulsive French. Every one has heard how
countless throngs filled the streets of Paris, how the military display
has seldom been equalled, as the catafalque, preceded by a riderless
horse, went slowly along the tree-lined boulevards. The wonderful tomb
of Napoleon in the Hotel des Invalides is known to many, but there are
few in comparison who have visited the little enclosure at the bottom of
the deep ravine where the Emperor's body lay for a score of years. Yet,
in the days of wooden ships, when St. Helena was the place where
captains had to call to re-provision their vessels, many a passenger on
going ashore hastened to Napoleon's grave, and while the world stands
the secluded valley will continue to claim the interest of Napoleon's
admirers. The vault itself is now covered with a broad, flat stone,
without inscription, and its cemented surface is cracked in places.
There is a hedge around the fence and a sentry box at the entrance of
the enclosure. Here there is a notice to the effect that the grave is
now the property of the French Republic, and in the sentry box an
attendant keeps a book and registers the names of all who visit the spot
where once lay the body of Napoleon.



CHAPTER XV

THE PANORAMA


Who can blame Betsy for Being Heavy-hearted on that day in early spring
when she sailed away from St. Helena, toward the colder country that was
her real home? Even though her parents and her brothers and sister were
with her, she felt that she was leaving behind much that was dear. She
loved the lonely, mountainous island where she had lived so long. She
believed that no other flowers or fruits could equal those produced on
its tropical soil. She felt that no new friends could compare with those
from whom she had just parted.

More than this, although she tried to persuade herself that in the
future she might revisit St. Helena, she could hardly believe that when
that day arrived, Napoleon would still be there to receive her with his
accustomed cordiality.

Indeed, as a true friend of the Emperor's, Betsy could scarcely wish to
find him there on that indefinite day of her return, since that would
mean long-continued captivity for him. Rather, if she hoped to see him
again, the young girl more probably imagined that after no very long
time some change in the sentiments of those in power might result in
freeing him from his galling bondage.

Though we to-day may not be certain just what form Betsy's thoughts took
on that monotonous homeward voyage, we can be sure that Napoleon had no
small part in them. Already she knew the chief facts in his meteoric
career; and her vivid fancy must have brought before her many scenes in
which he had had part.

Like Betsy, you and I may see the panorama of Napoleon's life unfold in
a series of pictures melting into one another, some clearer than the
others, yet all leaving an ineffaceable impression.

First, there is the thin, pale, serious-eyed boy running half wild over
the hills of his native Corsica. He is an affectionate brother--this
young Napoleon--to the six younger brothers and sisters, and a close
companion of Joseph, only a year older. He is devoted to his
high-spirited and energetic mother, once the beautiful Letitia Ramolino,
whose life, since her marriage, has been so hard. He is dutiful to his
father, the improvident, though ambitious Charles Marié de Buonaparte.
Yet, although dutiful, he resents his father's lack of patriotism in
seeking favors from the Frenchmen in authority in Corsica, for the boy,
born only a year after Corsica had passed under French rule, had small
love for those outsiders who had made it impossible for his native
island to gain independence.

One of our pictures would show us Napoleon, a timid boy in the military
school at Brienne, where his father had secured a place for him by
showing he was of noble descent. The boy works hard at his tasks, his
teachers commend his industry, while calling him reserved and obstinate.

The young Napoleon is not happy in the society of his one hundred and
twenty fellow-pupils, who, like himself, are supported by the Government
at Brienne. They are largely the sons of poor nobles--vain and
indolent--and they love to tease the timid boy.

"I am tired of poverty and the jeers of insolent scholars. If fortune
refuses to smile upon me, take me from Brienne, and make me if you will
a mechanic." In spite of this letter, the father wisely keeps the little
boy at Brienne, and gradually he makes friends, especially among the
teachers.

"I have seen a spark here which cannot be too carefully cultivated,"
writes the aged Chevalier de Keralio, an inspector of the school, who is
anxious to have Napoleon sent to the military school at Paris.

Our pictures are now painted in somewhat brighter colors.

For although at Paris the young Napoleon is not perfectly contented, he
knows that he is on the way to a modest independence. He is surrounded
by foolish young men with whose extravagance he cannot keep up. But only
his sympathetic sister Elizabeth at St. Cyr hears him complain of the
difficulties that beset him.

Napoleon is naturally happier when at the early age of sixteen he finds
himself a second lieutenant in the army. He rejoices at the prospect of
helping his family out of his meagre income of less than two hundred and
fifty dollars a year. But his responsibility is suddenly increased when
Charles Bonaparte, his father, dies. The family is worse off than
before, and when Joseph cannot straighten out their tangled affairs,
Napoleon decides to undertake the task.

After eight years of absence we see Napoleon on leave from his regiment,
returning to Corsica. He has hard work before him. There are four little
children under nine, Louis, Pauline, Caroline, and Jerome, at home with
their widowed mother. There are two, Lucien and Elizabeth, away at
school. Only Joseph and Napoleon are on their feet, and on Napoleon, the
stronger character, falls the brunt of the burden.

When the young lieutenant goes back to the army he takes Louis with him.
He tutors him in mathematics, he shares his all with him. He deprives
himself of many things really necessary to his position in order to help
his family.

"I breakfast on dry bread," he writes. He stints himself for his family,
he stints himself still further to have a little money for the books
that he needs.

The claims of the family are pressing. Again Napoleon has leave of
absence. In Corsica he tries in vain to get something for his mother
from what is left of their property,--from salt works, from a mulberry
plantation belonging to the estate.

It is five or six years since the death of Charles Bonaparte. Napoleon
has been away from his post too long. In 1792, after an absence from his
regiment of fifteen months, he loses his place in the army.

The picture now before us is a dark one. The young man is discouraged.
Hardly knowing where to turn, he drifts toward Paris.

For two or three years he has been uncertain which side to take in the
Revolution on which France is entering. Many things incline him toward
the King's party. He is in Paris on that memorable June 10 when the King
is deposed. He sees the terrible events of the 10th of August. While he
sympathizes with the King, he perceives that the great question is one
of the nation rather than the individual.

Intelligent young men are greatly needed in the army. Napoleon's ability
is known. He receives a captain's commission, signed by the King, though
really given by the Revolutionary Government. Soon he is at Toulon,
where, by acting on his advice, the French drive the English from the
harbor in December, 1793.

The young man's prospects are brightening. There are only a few shadows
on the picture. A revolution in Corsica drives his family to France, and
while he feels his responsibility, Napoleon cannot yet do much for them.

Napoleon's talents impress all who come in contact with him. The time
approaches when he is to reap the reward for all his years of patient
study. Young Robespierre calls attention to his transcendent merit.
Though he is not a Terrorist, he has many friends in the party, and
after the fall of Robespierre the young Corsican spends nearly a
fortnight in prison. Once more he loses his place in the army, in which
he has been commissioned General. Discouraged, with nothing to do in
Paris, he thinks of accepting an office from the Sultan. But Fortune is
soon to favor him again. Not so very long after his release from prison
we gaze on a thrilling scene. It is the 13th Vendémiaire, year III, or
October 15, 1795. The Directory under which the Government of France is
now carried on has to face a revolt of the people and the National
Guard. General Barras, who had observed Napoleon's great ability at
Toulon, summons the young officer to help the Directory. Napoleon orders
the artillery to sweep the Sections.

By this use of cannon, with fearful slaughter, the smaller force of the
Government conquers the uprising. Next day Napoleon is mentioned by the
Commander-in-Chief for his distinguished services, and shortly he
becomes General-in-Chief of the Army of the Interior.

Picture after picture passes quickly before us, and always Napoleon is
in the foreground. We see him now for the first time really enjoying
society. The brusque and rather timid young officer is lionized in the
drawing-room of Madame Tallien. There he meets the beautiful Josephine,
widow of Alexandre de Beauharnais, and soon asks her to marry him.

It is said that Napoleon first became interested in Josephine through
her sending her son Eugène to ask him to secure for him the sword of his
father who had been put to death during the Reign of Terror. But whether
the story is true or not, certainly Napoleon always has the greatest
affection for Eugène and his sister Hortense. Napoleon's family are now
in Paris. They share equally in the prosperity that has come to him. He
lavishes on his mother all that she will accept. It pains him that
neither she nor his brothers and sisters are pleased with his marriage.

Two days after the wedding, Napoleon leaves Josephine to cross the
Apennines as Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Italy. We see the
Italians running before those whom they had contemptuously called the
"rag heroes." The French win victory after victory. Arcola, Lodi,
Milan--eighteen pitched battles, forty-seven smaller engagements.
Everywhere Napoleon is the idol, not only of his own soldiers, but of a
large number of Italians, who hope through him to gain political
liberty.

When, after the Treaty of Campo Formio, Napoleon returns to Paris in
December, 1797, France is at his feet, rejoicing in the glory that comes
to her through victories, rejoicing in the treasures of art that the
young conqueror had brought back to adorn the Paris museums.

The scene changes--Napoleon is setting out for Egypt. He hopes to weaken
England by attacking her power in the East. He hopes to strengthen
himself in the eyes of the French by winning new victories. For idolized
though he is by the French people, he realizes their fickleness, and he
knows that the Directory is jealous of him. This expedition has not the
brilliancy of the Italian campaign. He does not succeed in disabling the
British, the French fleet meets fearful disaster. On land the French
army suffers terribly from pestilence. But Napoleon has many scientific
men with him on this expedition, and science gains greatly by this
Egyptian campaign. Then by chance he learns that there is the utmost
political discontent in France. Almost secretly he sails away from
Egypt. We see him in Paris by the middle of October, 1799. His enemies
are astonished. But Napoleon's hour has come. The famous _coup d'état_
follows, and in less than two months after his return from Egypt,
Napoleon has become temporary Dictator of France. His title is First
Consul, but many shake their heads and murmur that Napoleon, instead of
serving the term prescribed by law, means to make himself Consul for
life.

Yet whatever Napoleon's ambitions may be, it is clear that France needs
a strong man at the head of the Government. Then as we observe the clear
eye and firm bearing of the young Corsican, it is evident that no one
abler than he can be found to direct the work of upbuilding the country.

Our picture of France shows no longer a scene of confusion, of chaos,
although much must be done before the Republic can hold her own--except
in war--with other great nations.

Napoleon is tired of war, but those Powers to whom he suggests peace are
not ready to accept his overtures. They are more willing to listen to
him after his Austrian campaign, when Marengo and Lunéville are added to
the French victories.

The Peace of Amiens gives Europe a breathing spell--for no one believes
that this peace will last forever.

Perhaps among all our pictures of Napoleon there is hardly one more
pleasing than this of his First Consulate, when we see him walking among
his gorgeously attired officers, noticeable for the simplicity of his
attire. For in spite of the example of extravagant dress set by others,
he is content with the plain uniform of a colonel of grenadiers or of
the light infantry.

"His address is the finest I have ever seen," writes one who meets him
at this time, "and said by those who have travelled to exceed not only
every Prince and Potentate now in being, but even all those whose memory
has come down to us.... While he speaks, his features are still more
expressive than his words."

This is the Napoleon whom Betsy knew--this man whose simple, pleasing
manners drew every one to him--every one at least whom he wished to
attract. Had he cared to make the effort he might even have won Sir
Hudson Lowe.

For in those earlier days, before his downfall, many an Englishman, with
a deeply rooted prejudice against Napoleon, on visiting Paris, like the
writer of the above, found his prejudices melt away like snow in summer.



CHAPTER XVI

THE LAST PICTURES


Our pictures change little as they show the next stage of Napoleon's
progress. For when in the summer of 1801 he is made Consul for life, he
appears still to be the same ardent lover of liberty that he was when he
became First Consul. He is still the idol of the French people--as well
he may be--for what ruler has ever done so much for them? When once
things are in his own hands he codifies the laws, gives security to all
forms of religion, and organizes the educational system of France. He
does everything possible for the rebuilding of the state. He regulates
taxes, that the burden may fall equitably on all classes. He helps
manufactures of every kind. He proves himself a masterly road-builder.
He establishes museums, and orders the construction of great public
buildings. In peace he seems to be greater even than he has shown
himself in war. He encourages literature, art, and music, and makes
Paris so beautiful that its citizens are justified in their pride.

He surrounds himself with capable men. In no way does he more clearly
show his own superiority than by letting it be seen that he is free from
jealousy. He is always ready to reward publicly those who help him in
any of his undertakings. Not all Napoleon's plans are carried out during
his Consulship, but they are begun with such vigor that no one doubts
that they will be completed. The country is the better for his firm
hand. Yet in some ways we admired him more in his earlier years. His
ambition now casts a shadow that should warn him that the middle way is
the best.

In one way at least Napoleon's ambitions do not get the better of him.
As he advances in power he does not forget old friends. They share his
prosperity, these schoolmates and associates of his earlier years. They
are given honors that some of them find it hard to wear gracefully.

"Here we are at the Tuileries," he exclaims to an old friend, when made
Consul for life. "We must remain here."

In the short breathing spell made possible by the Peace of Amiens,
France accomplishes more in all directions than the other countries of
Europe. Yet those whose sight is clearest may, perhaps, see a cloud
likely to deepen and blur the picture. Does it come from England, now
making great efforts to gather her strength for a long contest? Or does
the growing ambition of Napoleon mean the overthrow of the very things
he is working for?

Though the gorgeous spectacle of the Imperial Coronation in the great
Cathedral has seldom been surpassed, we incline to turn away from it. It
had been better for Napoleon to remain First Consul rather than to make
himself Emperor. His plain gray suit became him better than this
trailing cloak of purple velvet embroidered in gold and trimmed with
ermine. We recognize the golden bees, and the insignia of the Legion of
Honor, but the diamond collar and the great Pitt diamond blazing in the
pommel of his sword seem unsuited to the young Corsican who once
delighted in simplicity. The laurel wreath that he first wears suits him
better than the Imperial crown that he takes from the hands of the Pope
and places on his own head. But the Pope has anointed him, and Napoleon
is now Emperor of that shadowy Holy Roman Empire, for which in the past
rivers of blood have been shed.

Is Napoleon really happier now than when he roamed, a fearless boy, over
the rough hills of Corsica? Is Josephine as contented wearing the crown
of an Empress as she was wandering light-hearted in the forests of
Martinique? Josephine is indeed fond of jewels and beautiful clothes,
and nothing could be more splendid than her coronation robe of white
satin and silver and gold, with its ornaments of pearls and diamonds.
But Josephine has a long memory. She often recalls the poverty of her
childhood, of her early married life. When Empress she tells one of the
ladies in attendance on her that no present ever made her happier than a
pair of shoes given her for Hortense, her little daughter, who otherwise
would have had to go barefoot part of her voyage from Martinique to
France.

Josephine is a sensible woman. She is not ashamed of her early poverty.
Like Napoleon she had suffered during the Revolution and had even for a
time been thrown into prison. Like Napoleon she, too, had sometimes not
known when she should get her next meal. She had even had to borrow
money to pay her rent. She had suffered everything, when the execution
of her first husband, Alexandre de Beauharnais, during the Reign of
Terror, had left her and her two children destitute.

All the circumstances of her past life may not have flashed before
Josephine's mind at the moment of the Coronation. Yet it is not
improbable that wearing the crown and realizing the responsibilities of
her new position, she may have sighed for a day of freedom from care,
such as she had known in Martinique.

On that December day in 1805 when Napoleon puts on the Imperial crown
more than three years have passed since England signed the short-lived
Peace of Amiens. The war that is now renewed between France and England
is to continue until Waterloo. As Emperor, however, Napoleon seems to be
master of Europe. All the European courts, except England, Russia, and
Sweden, acknowledge his new title.

So we turn to a new picture. It is the eve of Austerlitz. Napoleon walks
among the soldiers, who are resting in camp, awaiting the struggle. When
his men recognize him, they surround him, they rush ahead of him,
holding aloft long poles on which are fastened burning wisps of straw.

"It is the anniversary of the Coronation," they shout as they light his
way. The next day when they measure their strength with Russia and
Austria, the soldiers of the Empire are victorious. Another scene now
stands out vividly. Alexander of Russia is coming to meet Napoleon. At
Tilsit on a raft in the river Niemen the two Emperors greet each other
with a kiss.

"I hate the English as much as you," cries the impulsive Alexander. "I
will be your second in all that you do against them."

The next day we see the King of Prussia arriving half-heartedly at
Tilsit. Friedland has done its work, and for the time Prussia is
humbled.

Brilliant though the panorama of Napoleon's life is after Tilsit, we
view with wonder rather than approval the striking pictures as they
present themselves one by one. We observe the wild enthusiasm of the
French people for their Emperor after Ulm and Austerlitz and
Hohenlinden. Even the battle of Trafalgar--a victory for England--does
not dampen their ardor. But Napoleon himself grows careful, and tries to
keep from the army the news of his loss on the sea.

Prussia is humbled, Austria wishes to make terms, Napoleon has some
successes in Spain, and he hopes to injure England. Though we may not
discover this at first, his interference in the affairs of Spain hastens
the Emperor's downfall. Although he succeeds in having his brother
Joseph made King of Spain, he cannot keep him on the throne.

His ambition increases. His family try to persuade him to divorce
Josephine, that he may strengthen himself by a second marriage with some
royal princess.

We look at the family group of the Bonapartes. With Napoleon at the
height of his power, we count the titles.

Joseph, at first King of Naples, is King of Spain; Louis, King of
Holland; Jerome, King of Westphalia; Lucien, a Prince of the Empire,
later repudiates the title; Eliza, Grand Duchess of Tuscany; Pauline,
Princess Borghese; and Caroline is Queen of Naples; Josephine's
daughter, Hortense, is Queen of Holland; and Eugène, her son, is a
Prince. Old Madame Bonaparte, the devoted mother, is not sure that the
glory of the family will last forever. Of the treasures lavished on her
by Napoleon, she puts aside a portion that may be of service when the
possible rainy day comes.

Josephine is the idol of the French people. But Bonaparte ambition
extends even to them. In these uncertain days France might be stronger
if its Emperor were free to marry into a Royal family.

We note Josephine's anxiety as she studies Napoleon. But she sees no
change in his love for her children. Eugène is his adopted heir.
Hortense is married to Napoleon's brother Louis. Josephine hopes that
those who advise the Royal Alliance may not prevail. Her tears are
useless, and when Napoleon decides she has to yield.

The first of April, 1810, less than five years from the date of the
Coronation, Napoleon is the centre of another brilliant ceremony. This
is the day of his marriage with Maria Louisa, daughter of the Emperor of
Austria. A year later fickle Paris is in a state of feverish excitement
over the birth of the King of Rome. Napoleon, rejoicing in his little
son, seems at the height of his power.

Looking at Napoleon now, we must admit that he has become an autocrat.
Yet he is not a despot in the ordinary sense. Though he may like power
in itself, for what it brings to him, he cares still for the prosperity
of France. The country needs his strong guidance. Outside of France he
has enemies on all sides. While he does not admit it, things are against
him in Spain; and then, as if losing his head, he decides to march into
Russia. The Emperor of Russia is now his bitter enemy. The kiss of
Tilsit was soon wiped away.

If we could, we would close our eyes to the next terrible scene. Before
us marches the best of the young manhood of France--hundreds of
thousands of men--to a certain death. Here is the greatest army of the
time, and at Borodino we see "the bloodiest fight of the century." For
the French the victory is almost worse than a defeat, since they are
thus beguiled farther into Russia. No one can paint adequately the
horrors of that bitter campaign. Of the hundreds of thousands who had
crossed the Niemen a few months earlier, only twenty thousand
frost-bitten spectres stagger again over the bridge in the middle of
December.

Napoleon's thoughts are gloomy enough as he rides desperately back to
France, leaving his fragment of an army in charge of Murat. No one
envies him now, with the world against him. Soon he hears that Joseph
has been driven from Spain. Already he feels the strength of the
coalition formed to overthrow him. Does he realize that Austria is no
longer his friend--that Prussia is ready to fall upon him? All Germany
is waking to new life, and to a great extent its energy is the result of
the teachings of Napoleon himself. We see him struggling to hold his
own, unwilling to admit that he has lost anything. There is likely to be
discontent in France. The flower of French youth has gone with the army,
and there are hardly men enough to till the ground. We glance hastily at
the passing pictures. The victory at Dresden is more than balanced by
the disasters at Kulm and Leipzig. The campaign of 1813 is fatal to
Napoleon, who still trusts to his star.

So we pass on to the last scenes of the panorama.

It is a Sunday in January, 1814. Napoleon is in Paris, intending in a
few days to go to the front. He and the Empress are holding a reception
at the Tuileries, and there is a brilliant throng in the great salon.
All eyes are on the Emperor and Empress as they enter the apartment.
Napoleon holds by the hand a fair-haired boy of three, the little King
of Rome. The child wears the uniform of the National Guard of Paris.
Courtiers, crowding around the group, bow and smile. But as he scans
their faces with his keen eye, Napoleon reads who are his enemies, who
his friends. There are many officers of the National Guard present, and
it is to them perhaps that the Emperor especially addresses himself.

"Gentlemen," he cries, "I am about to set out for the army. I intrust to
you what I hold dearest in the world--my wife and my son."

Although those present do not dream that the end of Napoleon's reign is
so near, they show great emotion. Tears fall and sobs are heard on all
sides as his appeal reaches their hearts. Many of those present at the
Tuileries this afternoon--even those nearest him--will never see
Napoleon again.

In less than two days the Emperor bids his last farewell to Maria Louisa
and their little son. The Empress is to be Regent during his absence.
Joseph is appointed Lieutenant of France.

Then we look on the sad picture of Napoleon's last campaign, when he
meets his match in the dogged Blucher. Before the end of February,
Napoleon has to admit that he is conquered. He accepts the terms made by
the Allies. They give him the island of Elba for a time, with money
enough to keep up a certain small grandeur. Pensions are provided for
Maria Louisa and the King of Rome, and even for the other Bonapartes.

It is a curious spectacle--Napoleon amusing himself with Elba, as if it
were a big toy. One day he increases his standing army, the next he
annexes a neighboring island. His mother and some of his family are with
him, but Maria Louisa has returned to her father with the little King of
Rome.

But Napoleon and his friends have been making their plans, and we are
dazzled, as the world was then, by his rapid march across France, by the
demonstrations of his soldiers and the vigor of the short, sharp
campaign and the greatness of Wellington's victory. Yet Quatre Bras and
Waterloo are soon overshadowed by the rock of St. Helena.

Betsy Balcombe, Napoleon's young neighbor, well knew the story of
Napoleon. She could see as plainly as we can to-day the pictures
revealed in the panorama of his life. Perhaps she stood too near him,
perhaps she was too young to draw the lesson that we of to-day draw from
his meteoric career. Perhaps her sympathy for him in all that he had to
bear at St. Helena blinded her to the fact that he was himself to a
certain extent to blame for his own downfall. He reached too far, his
ambition was too great. As First Consul, depending on the votes of the
people, he might have been stronger than he was as Emperor. The good
that he did France was fairly balanced by the fearful loss of life in
his long wars.

Napoleon's one thought was to carry out his own plans without counting
the cost in men. Yet putting aside the question of the vast loss of life
in his wars and the sorrow that resulted, we may see that his career was
not wholly bad for Europe.

Although ambition and selfishness may have prompted much that he did, he
really wished to promote the welfare of France. To-day that country is
farther ahead than would have been possible but for Napoleon. Many of
the institutions that have most advanced her originated with the First
Emperor. Other countries besides France benefited by Napoleon's energy.
He showed several of them how to realize their ideals of independence.

It is true that the constitutions he gave to various states of
Europe--as well as to France--after his downfall were for a time
cancelled. Still, in the end, his ideas prevailed, and except for
Napoleon not only a French Republic would have been slower in
establishing itself, but also a free Italy, and even a United Germany
might have arrived less quickly.

The sadness of Napoleon's last years modified the judgments of many who
had been his bitter enemies. His personal charm made those who knew him
forget the general selfishness of his whole career. Yet in weighing all
that can be said for and against him, it would be unfair to have the
balance against him. That Napoleon whom Betsy Balcombe knew at The
Briars--fun-loving and considerate of those about him--was as truly
Napoleon as the man before whom many had trembled--whom his enemies had
so criticised--to look at him as his young neighbor looked at him is to
understand a little the secret of his influence.


THE END.



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large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
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+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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