페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

mortal hours, amid rounds of claret, time of peace (and this strange fact rages over and over again.

is vouched for by every person of I thought to myself

, considering every nation), and being asked wherethe above things, what a fine thing it fore the King of Holland had been will be in after-days to say that I have ousted from his throne, replied at been to Brussels, and never seen the once, Parceque c'étoit un voleur:field of Waterloo ; indeed, that I am for which accusation I believe there is such a philosopher as not to care a some show of reason, his Majesty fig about the battle — nay, to regret, having laid hands on much Belrather, that when Napoleon came gian property before the lamented back, the British Government had outbreak which cost him his crown. not spared their men and left him A vast deal of laughing and roaring alone.

passed between these two worldly But this pitch of philosophy was people and the postilion whom they unattainable. This morning, after called "baron,” and I thought, no having seen the Park, the fashionable doubt that this talk was one of the boulevard, the pictures, the cafés many jokes that my companions were having sipped, I say, the sweets of in the habit of making. But not so: every flower that grows in this para- the postilion was an actual baron, the dise of Brussels, quite weary of the bearer of an ancient name, the desplace, we mounted on a Namur dili- cendant of gallant gentlemen. Good gence, and jingled off at four miles an hea s! wl would Mrs. Trollope hour for Waterloo.

say to see his lordship here? His The, road is very neat and agree- father the old baron had dissipated able: the Forest of Soignies here and the family fortune, and here was this there interposes pleasantly, to give young nobleman, at about five-andyour vehicle a shade : the country, forty, compelled to bestride a clatteras usual, is vastly fertile and well ing Flemish stallion, and bump over cultivated. A farmer and the con- dusty pavements at the rate of five ducteur were my companions in the miles an hour. But see the beauty imperial, and, could I have under- of high blood : with what a calm stood their conversation, my dear, grace the man of family accommodates you should have had certainly a report himself to fortune! Far from being of it. The jargon which they talked cast down, his lordship met his fate was, indeed, most queer and puzzling like a man: he swore and laughed

French, I believe, strangely hashed the whole of the journey, and as we up and pronounced, for here and changed horses, condescended to par-. there one could catch a few words of it. take of half a pint of Louvain beer, to Now and anon, however, they conde- which the farmer treated him-inscended to speak in the purest French deed the worthy, rustic treated me to they could' muster; and, indeed, a glass too. nothing is more curious than to hear Much delight and instruction have the French of the country. You can't I had in the course of the journey understand why all the people insist from my guide, philosopher, and upon speaking it so badly. I asked friend, the author of "Murray's the conductor if he had been at the Handbook.” He has gathered tobattle ; he burst out laughing like a gether, indeed, a store of information, philosopher, as he was, and said, “ Pas and must, to make his single volsi bête." I asked the farmer whether ume, have gutted many hundreds of his contributions were lighter now guide-books. How the Continentthan in King William's time, and al ciceroni must hate him, whoever lighter than those in the time of the he is! Every English party. I saw Emperor? He vowed that in war- had this infallible red book” in their time he had not more to pay than in hands, and gained a vast deal of his

now,

torical and general information from | Honorable Colonel This of the it. Thus I heard, in confidence, Guards, Captain That of the Hussars, many remarkable anecdotes of Charles Major So-and-So of the Dragoons, V., the Duke of Alva, Count brave men and good, who did their Egmon, all of which I had before duty by their country on that day, perceived, with much satisfaction, not and died in the performance of it. only in “ The Handbook," but even in Amen. But I confess fairly, that other works.

in looking at these tablets, I felt very The Laureate is among the English much disappointed at not seeing the poets evidently the great favorite of names of the men as well as the offiour guide: the choice does honor to cers. Are they to be counted for his head and heart. A man must have nought? A few more inches of mara very strong bent for poetry, indeed, ble to each monument would have who carries Southey's works in his given space for all the names of the portmanteau, and quotes them in pro- men; and the men of that day were per time and occasion. Of course at the winners of the battle. We have Waterloo a spirit like our guide's a right to be as grateful individually cannot fail to be deeply moved, and to any given private as to any given to turn to his favorite poet for sym- officer; their duties were very much pathy. Hark how the laureated bard the same. Why should the counsings about the tombstones at Water- try reserve its gratitude for the genloo:

teel occupiers of the army-list, and “That temple to our hearts was hallowed forget the gallant fellows whose

humble names were written in the For many a wounded Briton there was regimental books? In reading of

laid, With such for help as time might then duct of the men engaged in them,

the Wellington wars, and the conallow, From the fresh carnage of the field I don't know whether to respect conveyed.

them or to wonder at them most. And they whom human succor could not They have death, wounds, and poverHere, in its precincts, found a hasty ty in contemplation; in possession, grave.

poverty, hard labor, hard fare, and And here, on marble tablets, set on high, small thanks. If they do wrong, In English lines by foreign workmen they are handed over to the inevitable

traced, The names familiar to an English eyė, provost-marshal; if they are heroes, Their brethren here the fit memorial heroes they may be, but they remain placed ;

privates still, handling the old brownWhose unadorned inscriptions briefly bess, starving on the old twopence a Their gallant comrades rank, and day. They grow gray in battle and where they fell.

victory, and after thirty years of The stateliest monument of human pride, bloody service, a young gentleman Enriched with all magnificence

of art, of fifteen, fresh from a preparatory To honor chieftains who in victory died, Would wake no stronger feelings in the school, who can scarcely read, and

came but yesterday with a pinafore Than these plain tablets by the soldiers in to papa's dessert - such a young Raised to his comrades in a foreign gentleman, I say, arrives in a spickland."

and-span red coat, and calmly takes

the command over our veteran, who There are lines for you! wonderful obeys him as if God and nature had for justice, rich in thought and ordained that so throughout time it novel ideas. The passage concerning should be. their gallant comrades' rank should That privates should obey, and that be specially remarked. There in- they should be smartly punished if deed they lie, sure enough; the they disobey, this one can understand

save,

tell

heart

hand

very well. But to say obey for ever do they get? English glory is too and ever - to say that private John genteel to meddle with those humble Styles is, by some physical dispro- fellows. She does not condescend to portion, hopelessly inferior to Cornet ask the names of the poor devils whom Snooks — to say that Snooks shall she kills in her service. Why was have honors, epaulets, and a marble not every private man's name written tablet if he dies, and that Styles shall upon the stones in Waterloo Church fight his fight, and have his twopence as well as every officer's ? Five huna day, and when shot down shall be dred pounds to the stone-cutters shovelled into a hole with other would have served to carve the whole Styleses, and so forgotten ; and to catalogue, and paid the poor comthink that we had in the course of pliment of recognition to men who the last war some 400,000 of these died in doing their duty. If the Styleses, and some 10,000, say, of officers deserved a stone, the men the Snooks sort Styles being by did. But come, let us away and nature exactly as honest, clever, and drop a tear over the Marquis of Anbrave as Snooks and to think glesea's leg ! that the 400,000 should bear this, is As for Waterloo, has it not been the wonder!

talked of enough after dinner? Here Suppose Snooks makes a speech. are some oats that were plucked before "Look at these Frenchmen, British Hougoumont, where grow not only soldiers," says he," and remember oats, but flourishing crops of grapewho they are. Two and twenty shot, bayonets, and legion-of-honor years since they hurled their King crosses, in amazing profusion. from his throne and murdered him Well, though I made a vow not to (groans). “They flung out of their talk about Waterloo either here or country their ancient and famous after dinner, there is one little secret nobility — they published the auda- admission that one must make after cious doctrine of equality — they made seeing it. Let an Englishman go a cadet of artillery, a beggarly law- and see that field, and he never forgets yer's son, into an Emperor, and took it. The sight is an event in his life; ignoramuses from the ranks — drum- and, though it has been seen by milmers and privates, by Jove ! - of lions of peaceable gents — grocers whom they made kings, generals, and from Bond Street, meek attorneys marshals! Is this to be borne?from Chancery Lane, and timid tailors (Cries of “No! no!") “ Upon from Piccadilly - I will wager that them, boys ! down with these godless there is not one of them but feels a revolutionists, and rally round the glow as he looks at the place, and British lion!”

remembers that he, too, is an EnSo saying, Ensign Snooks (whose glishman. flag, which he can't carry, is held by It is a wrong, egotistical, savage, a huge grisly color-sergeant) draws unchristian feeling, and that's the a little sword, and pipes out a feeble truth of it. A man of peace has no huzza. The men of his company, right to be dazzled by that red-coated roaring curses at the Frenchmen, glory, and to intoxicate his vanity prepare to receive and repel a thun- with those remembrances of carnage dering charge of French cuirassiers. and triumph. The same sentence The men fight, and Snooks is knight- which tells us that on earth there ought ed because the men fought so well. to be peace and goodwill amongst

But live or die, win or lose, what men, tells us to whom GLORY belongs.

THE FITZ-BOODLE PAPERS.

« 이전계속 »