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Napoleon's Young Neighbor   By: (1860-1926)

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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... Continue reading book >>




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