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alition is insatiable; and that after having de-hundred and twenty thousand men. Immediately voured twelve millions of Poles, twelve millions upon his arrival the troops enthusiastically throngof Italians, one million of Saxons, and six mil- ed around him. With a few glowing words he lions of Belgians, it will also devour the second almost supernaturally roused their ardor. They class states in Germany.
rushed toward him, raised their caps upon their “A moment of prosperity has blinded them. bayonets, and filled the air with their shouls. The oppression and humiliation of the French They were all eager to be led by their beloved people are beyond their power. If they enter chieftain upon any adventure however desperFrance, there they will find their tomb. Soldiers ! | ate. we have forced marches to make, battles to wage, In one hour after Napoleon's arrival at Avesnes, perils to encounter. But with constancy the vic- his whole army was on the march. The Emperor tory will be ours. The rights, the honor, the gave minute directions to every corps, traversing happiness of our country will be recovered. For different roads and starting from different points, every Frenchman who has a heart, the moment so to order their march as to meet, at an appointhas now arrived to conquer or perish."
ed hour, at Charleroi, about thirty-five miles from The intrepid and intelligent army, fully con- Avesnes. General Bourmont had command of scious of the fearful odds against which it was one of the divisions of the army. He had been to contend, with proud acclamations bade defiance in early life a stanch royalist, and upon Napoto the whole coalition, and nerved itself with the leon's return from Elba was an officer in the army courage of despair. Not fifty miles north of Na of the Bourbons. He had, however, fallen in poleon there were two armies ready to combine. with the views of the nation in welcoming the Wellington, at Brussels, had over one hundred return of the Emperor, and had solicited a comthousand men. Blucher, but a few leagues from mand in the Imperial army. Napoleon distrusted him, headed an army of one hundred and thirty him, but yielded to the importunities of Ney. thousand Prussians. These two forces, not dream- This man, considering the cause of Napoleon ing of attack, even unconscious that Napoleon had now desperate, in the basest manner deserted, left Paris, were negligently awaiting the arrival and carried to the Allies, as his peace-offering, of the Russian troops, rapidly approaching, two the knowledge of the Emperor's order of march. hundred thousand in number. Napoleon was Napoleon, a perfect master of himself, received about to plunge into these masses with but one the tidings of this untoward defection with his
accustomed tranquillity. Blucher welcomed the them, with great slaughter, from the city. At traitor Bourmont cordially, and the Bourbons six o'clock the French passed triumphantly across loaded him with honors. This event rendered it the bridges of the Sambre, and took possession necessary for Napoleon to countermand some of of Charleroi. The Prussians, having lost two his orders, that he might deceive the enemy. thousand men, retreated to join the main body
Marshal Soult, upon the abdication of Napo- of their army. It is about thirty miles from leon had, with unseemly cordiality, entered into Charleroi to Brussels. Ten miles from Charleroi, the service of the Bourbons. Upon the return on the road to Brussels, is situated the little of the Emperor, with equal alacrity he hastened hamlet of Quatre-Bras, so called from the interback to his side. This apparent fickleness alien- section of two roads, forming four arms. Ney ated from him the affections of the army. The was ordered to advance immediately with 40,000 Emperor, notwithstanding the remonstrances of men and take possession of this important post. Davoust, made Soult the second in command. | “Concentrate there your men,” said Napoleon. The suspected marshal was, however, shorn of Fortify your army by defensive field-works. his power; and by his feeble co-operation even in Hasten, so that by midnight this position, occucurred the probably unjust suspicion of treachery. pied and impregnable, shall bid defiance to any Napoleon, however, never doubted him. He was attack. also accused, by the Bourbons, of treachery to Blucher, with the mass of his army, was at their cause, and was threatened with a trial. the fortified city of Namur, at the confluence of In reference to this charge the Emperor said, the Sambre and the Meuse. By the occupation “Soult is innocent. He even acknowledged to of Quatre-Bras, the one hundred thousand men me that he had taken a real liking to the king of Wellington's army would be cut off from the The authority he enjoyed under him, he said, one hundred and thirty thousand of Blucher. It so different from that of my ministers, was a was then Napoleon's intention to leave a small very agreeable thing, and had quite gained him force behind the intrenchments to beat back the over.”
Prussians, while with the rest of his army he On the evening of the 14th the Emperor ar- would cut in pieces Wellington's forces at Brusrived in the vicinity of Charleroi. The Prussians sels. He would then turn back and make short had posted here, behind their entrenchments, an work with Blucher. The Belgians, who were advance-guard of ten thousand men. In the devoted to Napoleon, thus rescued from the earliest dawn of the morning of the 15th, the Allies, would join his cause. This would revive Imperial troops fell upon the enemy and drove the hopes of the liberal party throughout the Con
tinent. Saxony, Italy, Hungary, Poland would in dreadful weather. Ney, having arrived withrally, and the despots of Europe would again in a few miles of the place, and encountering no quail before the indignant uprising of enslaved foe, and ascertaining by couriers that there was nations. On the evening of the 15th of June, no enemy at Quatre Bras, felt sure that he could all Napoleon's plans had prospered, according to take the position without any obstacle in the his most sanguine hopes. His star was again morning. He accordingly considered the enterluminous, and the meteor glare of despotism be- prise accomplished, and sent a messenger to the gan to wane.
Emperor, informing him that he was actually in possession. The soldiers, half dead with fatigue,
threw themselves upon the flooded sods, and, BRUSSELS
with the careering tempest for their lullaby, forgot their perils and their toils. Little did they dream that by those few hours of repose they were overthrowing the throne of Napoleon, the Empire of France, and popular liberty throughout Europe.
While these heroic defenders of the independMaubenge.
ence of France were sleeping upon the stormdrenched ground, the Duke of Wellington was
attending a very brilliant ball, given by the 'Vervins
Duchess of Richmond, at Brussels. In the midst of the gayety, as Wellington was conversing with the Duke of Brunswick in the embrasure
of a window, a courier approached, and informed Craone
him, in a low tone of voice, that Napoleon had
crossed the frontier and was, with his army, Soissons
within ten miles of Brussels. Wellington, as
tounded by the intelligence, turned pale. The Rheims
Duke of Brunswick started from his chair so suddenly, that he quite forgot a child slumbering in his lap, and rolled the helpless little one vio
lently upon the floor. The news instantly spread MAP OF WATERLOO.
through the ball-room. Wellington and all the
officers hastily retired. The energies of the Iron Napoleon having received intelligence from
Duke were immediately aroused to their utmost Ney that he had taken possession of Quatre,
tension. Bugles sounded, drums beat, soldiers Bras, advanced on the morning of the 16th by 1 rallied, and the whole mighty host, cavalry, artil-another road, in the direction of Ligny, which was lery, infantry, and field-trains, were in an hour about half way between Quatre-Bras and Namur. careering through the dark and flooded streets of Here he quite unexpectedly met Blucher, who | Brussels. with eighty thousand troops had left Namur to The genius of Byron has thrown its splendor: form a junction with Wellington. Blucher was around this scene. rescued from surprise by the intelligence com
“There was a sound of revelry by night, municated by the deserter Bourmont. Napoleon
And Belgium's capital had gathered then had with him sixty thousand veterans. One of Her Beauty and her Chivalry : and bright the most desperate conflicts recorded in history The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men ;. then ensued. All the day long the bloody surges
A thousand hearts beat happily ; and when
Music arose, with its voluptuous swell, of battle rolled to and fro over the plain. As
Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again, the evening sun went down, Napoleon was every And all went merry as a marriage bell ; where a victor on this widely-extended field, and But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell? the Prussians, leaving ten thousand prisoners in
" And there was mounting in hot haste; the steed, his hands, and twenty thousand weltering in
The mustering squadron, and the clatiering car blood, fled, as they had ever been accustomed to
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed, do, before the genius of Napoleon. Had Ney And swiftly forming in the ranks of war: brought up his force to cut off the retreat of the
And the deep thunder, peal on peal, afar ;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum Prussians, as Napoleon had ordered and ex
Roused up the soldier ere the morning star; pected, not one of the enemy would have es While throng'd the citizens, with terror dumb, caped, and “ Waterloo" would not have been. Or whispering, with white lips, The foe! they come! Leaving Napoleon a victor upon the plains of
they come!'" Ligny, we must turn again to Ney. On the The night was black and stormy. For three evening of the 15th, as Ney was approaching days and three nights the rain had fallen almost Quatre Bras, night came on, dark, tempestuous, without intermission. The roads were miry and and with floods of rain, before the Marshal had flooded. It was but fifteen miles from Brussels reached the cross of the roads. The soldiers to Quatre-Bras. Wellington was as fully aware were exceedingly exhausted by two days' march, as was Napoleon of the imminent importance of
that post. Through the whole night the inunda-, enemy from that surprise which would unquestion of war rolled along the road, mingling its tionably have secured his destruction. The negtumult with the uproar of the tempest. In the lect of Ney to take possession of Quatre-Bras, morning Ney was appalled in discerning through and the false intelligence sent to Napoleon that the driving rain that Wellington had possession it was occupied, again snatched a decisive victory of Quatre Bras, and that its recovery, even by from the Emperor. And yet this great manthe fiercest assault, was doubtful.
never disposed to quarrel with his destiny-utAt the same time his perplexity was augmented tered no angry complaints. He knew that Ney to anguish by receiving an order from the Em- had intended no wrong, and he lost not a moperor, who, relying upon his statement that Quatre ment in useless repining. He immediately sent Bras was in his possession, requested him to a friendly message to Ney, and calmly gathered leave a suitable force behind the intrenchments up his resources to do what he could under the to prevent Wellington from coming to the aid of change of circumstances. . the Prussians, while Ney, with all his available Night again came with its unintermitted storm. squadrons, hastened to cut off the retreat of It was the night of the 16th of June. The solBlucher. “The destiny of France," said the diers, drenched, hungry, weary, bleeding, dying, Emperor, in his earnest dispatch to Ney, “is in in vain sought repose beneath that inclement sky your hands."
and in those miry fields. Napoleon, at Ligny, But for this unfortunate failure of Ney, Blu- not ten miles from Quatre-Bras, was a victor. cher's army would have been entirely annihilated. Ney, repulsed at every point, slept upon his arms The next day Napoleon, with his united force, before his indomitable foe at Quatre-Bras. Bluflushed with victory, would have fallen upon cher, with his broken battalions, retreated, unWellington, and the result of the conflict could opposed, during the night, toward Wavre. Wel. not have been doubtful. The Hanoverian and lington, informed of this retreat, fell back to form Belgian troops were strongly in favor of Napo- a junction with the Prussian army at Waterloo. leon, and were fighting against him by compul- Napoleon dispatched Marshal Grouchy, with sion. They would eagerly have rallied beneath thirty thousand men, to pursue the retreating his standard, and the history of the world would | Prussians, to keep them continually in sight, to have been changed. Upon casualties apparently harass them in every way, and to press them so 80 slight are the destinies of mankind sus-hotly that they should not be able to march to pended.
the aid of Wellington. But Ney, instead of being able to cut off the The morning of the 17th of June dawned disretreat of Blucher, was compelled to employ the mally upon these exhausted and wretched vicwhole day in desperate, sanguinary, though un-tims of war, through the clouds and the rain, and availing attempts to get possession of Quatre the still continued wailings of the storm. The Bras. Wellington, fully conscious of his peril, soldiers of Grouchy were so worn down by the urged the march of his troops to the utmost. superhuman exertions and sufferings of the last “ They must not wait for one another,” said he, few days, that they were unable to overtake the “but march by regiments, by divisions, by com rapidly retreating Prussians. They, however, panies even; battalion by battalion, company by toiled along through the miry roads with indomcompany; the first ready, the nearest and the itable energies. Napoleon, leaving Grouchy to bravest. They must not walk but run, as to a pursue the Prussians, immediately passed over fire. Here we must stand or fall to the last man." to Quatre-Bras, to unite his forces with those of Thus every hour reinforcements were arriving, Ney, and to follow the retreat of Wellington. and crowding the post with invincible strength. Their combined army amounted to about 70,000
The anguish of Ney, as he perceived his ir- men. With these the Emperor followed vigorreparable fault, was awful. “You see those ously in the track of Wellington balls," said he to Labédoyère, as the shot from The Duke had retreated during the day tothe English batteries tore his ranks, “would to ward Brussels, and halted on the spacious field Heaven they had all passed through my body!” of Waterloo, about nine miles from the metropGalloping up to Kellerman, he exclaimed, in tones olis. Here, having skillfully selected his ground of despairing anguish, “ One more charge, my and posted his troops, he anxiously awaited the dear general! Dash forward at the heart of the arrival of Blucher, to whom he had sent urgent English army, and break it at any cost. I will dispatches to hasten to his aid. Blucher was at support you. The country requires it of you." | Wavre, but a few hours' march from Waterloo, Kellerman, at the head of his cuirassiers, plunged with 72,000 men. The junction of these forces into the dense masses of the foe. A storm of would give Wellington an overwhelming superiballs, shells, grape-shot, and bullets rolled horses ority of numbers. He would then have at least and riders in blood. The feeble and mangled 150,000 troops with whom to assail less than remnants of the squadrons were driven back as 70,000. by a hurricane.
As night approached, the troops of Napoleon, A series of unparalleled fatalities appear to toiling painfully through the storm, the darkness, have thwarted Napoleon's profoundly laid plans and the mire, arrived also on the fatal plain. The throughout the whole of this momentous cam- late hour at which the several divisions of the paign. The treachery of Bourmont rescued the French army reached the unknown field of bat
tle, involved in the obscurity of darkness and the from the view and the shot of the enemy all but storm, embarrassed the Emperor exceedingly. As those who stood upon the brow of the eminence. the light was fading away, he pointed toward Napoleon established his troops, estimated at from the invisible sun, and said, “ What would I not 65,000 to 75,000, within cannon-shot of the foe, give to be this day possessed of the power of and on the gentle declivity of a corresponding Joshua, and enabled to retard thy march for two rise of land, which extended parallel to that ochours !"
cupied by the English. Napoleon, judging from the bivouac fires of The dreadful night at length passed away, and the enemy that they were strongly posted and the morning of the 18th of June dawned, lurid intended to give battle, reconnoitered the ground and cheerless, through the thick clouds. It was by groping over it on foot, and posted his bat- the morning of the Sabbath day. The vast field talions as they successively arrived. He imme- of Waterloo, plowed and sown with grain, soakdiately sent a dispatch to Marshal Grouchy, or-ed by the rains of the past week, and cut up dering him to press the Prussians vigorously, and by the wheels and the tramp of these enormous to keep himself in a position to combine with the armies, was converted into a quagmire. The Emperor's operations. For eighteen hours the horses sank to their knees in the humid soil. Emperor had tasted neither of sleep, repose, nor | The wheels of the guns, encumbered with adhenourishment. His clothes were covered with sive clay, rolled heavily, axle-deep, in the mire. mud and soaked with rain. But regardless of Under circumstances of such difficulty, the French exposure and fatigue, he did not seek even to were compelled to attack down one ridge of slopes, warm himself by the fires around which his across a valley, and up another ridge, toiling drenched troops were shivering. All the night through the mud, exposed all the way to pointlong the rain fell in torrents, and all the night blank discharges from the batteries and lines of long the Emperor toiled, unprotected in the the English. Wellington was to act simply on storm, as he prepared for the conflict of the mor- the defensive, endeavoring to maintain his posirow.
tion until the arrival of Blucher. Wellington's army, variously estimated at from About eight o'clock the clouds of the long 72,000 to 90,000 in number, was admirably post- storm broke and dispersed; the sun came out in ed along the brow of a gentle eminence, a mile all its glory, and one of the most bright and lovely and a half in length. A dense forest in the rear, of summer Sabbaths smiled upon Waterloo. The where the ground gradually fell away, concealed / skies ceased to weep, and the vail of clouds was