There is something ludicrous and forlorn in the stiffness of the group something even pathetic, when we think how Napoleon gazed seaward from another island, no longer on horseback, no longer laurel-crowned, an unthroned, unseated conqueror, on S. Helena. His father's house stands close by. An old Italian waiting-woman, who had been long in the service of the Murats, keeps it and shows it.
Since her brother's marriage, she had felt a vacuum in her heart, which often involved her in a soft cloud of pensiveness. She was unthroned, and like an uncrowned queen she sighed over the remembrance of her former royalty.
Strange, that this house should have been the death-place of the unthroned heiress of England, and, forty years afterwards, of the dethroned crafty old French king, Louis Philippe. When we stop at Woking Common, I feel at home. Here, half-a-century ago, when there was not even a hut on the spot which is now a busy town, I used to play as a boy.