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withdrawn, as if God would allow the angels to ple. In reference to these German contingents, look down and witness this awful spectacle of Sir Walter Scott says-in truthful utterance, man's inhumanity to man.
though with inelegant phrase "They were in Napoleon assembled most of his general offi some instances suspected to be lukewarm to the cers around him to give them his final orders. cause in which they were engaged, so that it “ The enemy's army,” said he, “is superior to would have been imprudent to trust more to their ours by nearly a fourth. There are, however, assistance and co-operation than could not posninety chances in our favor to ten against us.” sibly be avoided."*
"Without doubt,” exclaimed Marshal Ney, At eleven o'clock the horrid carnage comwho had that moment entered, “ if the Duke of menced. On either side every thing was done Wellington were simple enough to wait for your which mortal courage or energy could accomMajesty's attack. But I am come to announce plish. Hour after hour the French soldiers, that his columns are already in full retreat, and shouting “ Vive l'Empereur !" made onset after are fast disappearing in the forest of Soignes." onset, up to the very muzzles of the British guns,
“You have seen badly,” the Emperor replied, and were cut down by those terrific discharges with calm confidence. “It is too late. By such like grass before the scythe. The demon of dea step he would expose hinıself to certain ruin.struction and woe held its high carnival in the He has thrown the dice; they are now for us." midst of the demoniac revelry of those bloody
At half past ten o'clock all the movements hours. Every discharge which blended its thunwere made, and the troops were in their stations der with the roar of that awful battle, was sendfor the battle. Thus far profound silence had ing widowhood and orphanage to distant homes, reigned on the field, as the squadrons moved with blinding the eyes of mothers and daughters with noiseless steps to their appointed stations. The tears of agony, and darkening once happy dwellhospitals were established in the rear. The ings with life-long wretchedness. corps of surgeons had spread out their bandages for many hours the whole field was swept and splinters, knives and saws, and, with their with an unintermitted storm of balls, shells, bulsleeves rolled up, were ready for their melancholy lets, and grape-shot; while enormous masses of deeds of mercy. The Emperor rode along his cavalry, in fluent and refluent surges, trampled devoted lines. Every eye was riveted upon him. into the bloody mire the dying and the dead. Every heart said, "God bless him!”
There were now forty thousand of the combatants “One heart,” says Lamartine, “beat between weltering in gore. The wide-extended field was these men and the Emperor. In such a moment every where covered with bodies in every conthey shared the same soul and the same cause. ceivable form of hideous mutilation. The flash The army was Napoleon. Never before was it of the guns, the deafening thunder of artillery 80 entirely Napoleon as now. At such a mo- and musketry, the groans and the piercing shrieks ment he must have felt himself more than a man, of the wounded, the dense volumes of smoke, more than a sovereign. His army bent in hom- which enveloped the plain in almost midnight age to the past, the present, and the future, and gloom, the delirious shouts of the assailants as welcomed victory or defeat, the throne or death they rushed upon death, the shrill whistling of with its chief. It was determined on every thing, the missiles of destruction, and the wild flight of even on the sacrifice of itself, to restore him his the fugitives, as, in broken bands, they were purempire, or to render his last fall illustrious. To sued and sabred by the cavalry, presented the have inspired such devotion was the greatness of most revolting spectacle of war in all the enorNapoleon; to evince it even to madness was the mity of its guilt and of its fiendish brutality. greatness of his army." Such is the reluctant Who, before the tribunal of God, is to be held concession, blended with ungenerous slurs, of responsible for that day of blood ? Napoleon's most uncandid and most envenomed in the midst of these awful scenes, early in the foe
| afternoon, as portions of Wellington's line were The acclamations which burst from the lips of giving way, and flying in dismay toward Brussels, nearly seventy thousand men, thus inspired with carrying the tidings of defeat, and when Napoleon one affection, one hope, one soul, resounded in felt sure of the victory, the Emperor's quick eye prolonged echoes over the field, and fell portent discerned, far off upon his right, an immense mass ously on the ears of the waiting enemy.
of men, more than thirty thousand strong, emergIn the English army there was probably not a ing from the forest, and with rapid step deployman who was not proud of the renown of Olding upon the plain. At first Napoleon was sanEngland, and proud of the genius of the Duke of guine that it was Marshal Grouchy, and that the Wellington. But in all those serried ranks there was perhaps not one single private who loved the + But a few years after this the Duke of Wellington, Iron Duke. Indeed, there was so strong a sym- so obnoxious to the people, on the anniversary of the Batbattle was decided. But in another moment their | Grouchy betrayed me, and went over to the en. artillery balls began to plow his ranks, and the emy. Of this, however, I am not certain, as I have Emperor learned that it was Bulow, with the ad- never seen Grouchy since.” vance-guard of Blucher's army, hastening to the As the French soldiers witnessed the prompt rescue of Wellington
tle of Waterloo, was chased and pelted by the populace pathy with the Emperor, among the Belgian and
through the streets of London. He narrowly escaped Hanoverian troops, who were compelled to march with his life. The windows of his magnificent mansion under the banner of the Allies, that the Duke were dashed in, and for a long time he kept them barri. had great fears that they would abandon him in caded as a protection against the fury of the mob. Welthe heat of battle, and pass over to the generous,
lington was the idol of the aristocracy, and the bold, consympathizing, warm-hearted chieftain of the peo- | people.
sistent, undisguised enemy of all reform in favor of the
retreat of Bulow's reinforcement, and the EmThis was giving the foe a fearful preponderance peror was about to make a charge with the Old of power. Napoleon had now less than sixty Guard, which never yet had charged in vain, they thousand men, while Wellington, with this rein- deemed the victory sure. Loud shouts of " Vire forcement, could oppose to him a hundred thou- l'Empereur !" rang along their lines, which rose sand. But the Emperor, undismayed, turned above the roar of the battle, and fell ominously, calmly to Marshal Soult, and said, “We had in prolonged echoes, upon the ears of the allied ninety chances out of a hundred in our favor this troops. A panic spread through the ranks of Welmorning. The arrival of Bulow makes us lose lington's army. Many of the regiments were rethirty. But we have still sixty against forty. And duced to skeletons, and some, thrown into disorif Grouchy sends on his detachment with rapidity der, were rushing from the field in fugitive bands. the victory will be thereby only the more decisive, | The whole rear of the English army now presented for the corps of Bulow must, in that case, be en- a tumultuary scene of confusion, the entire space tirely lost."
between Waterloo and Brussels being filled with Napoleon was compelled to weaken his col- stragglers, and all the débris of a routed army, umns, which were charging upon the wavering Wellington stood upon a gentle eminence, lines of Wellington, by dispatching ten thousand watching with intense anxiety for the coming of men to beat back these fresh battalions, thirty Blucher. He knew that he could hold out but a thousand strong. The enthusiastic French, armed short time longer. As he saw his lines melting in the panoply of a just cause, plunged recklessly away, he repeatedly looked at his watch, and then into the ranks of this new foe, and drove him back fixed his gaze upon the distant hills, and as he into the woods. The Emperor with his dimin-wiped the perspiration which mental anguish ished columns continued his terrible charges. He extorted from his brow, exclaimed, Would to kept his eye anxiously fixed upon the distant hori- Heaven that Blucher or night would come.” zon, expecting every moment to see the gleaming Just at this critical moment, when the Emperor banners of Grouchy. The Marshal heard the tre- was giving an order for a simultaneous attack by mendous cannonade booming from the field of his whole force, two long, dark columns, of thirty Waterloo, and yet refused, notwithstanding the thousand each, the united force of Blucher and entreaties of his officers, to approach the scene of Bulow, came pouring over the hills, down upon the terrific strife. He has been accused of treason. the torn and bleeding flank of Napoleon's exNapoleon charitably ascribes his fatal inactivity to hausted troops. Thus an army of sixty thousand want of judgment. The couriers sent to him in fresh soldiers, nearly equal to Napoleon's whole the morning were either intercepted by the enemy force at the commencement of the conflict, with or turned traitors. Grouchy did not receive the exultant hurrahs and bugle peals, and thundering order. In the circumstances of the case, how- artillery, came rushing upon the plain. It was ever, to every one but himself the path of duty an awful moment. It was a thunderbolt of fate. seemed plain.
“ It is almost certain,” says General Jomini, General Excelsmann rode up to Marshal Grou- who had deserted to the Allies, and was at this chy, and said, “ The Emperor is in action with the time aid-de-camp to Emperor Alexander, “that English army. There can be no doubt of it. A Napoleon would have remained master of the field fire so terrible can not be a skirmish. We ought of battle, but for the arrival of 65,000 Prussians to march to the scene of action. I am an old sol- on his rear." dier of the army of Italy, and have heard General | The Emperor's wasted bands were now in the Bonaparte promulgate this principle a hundred extreme of exhaustion. For eight hours every times. If we turn to the left we shall be on the physical energy had been tasked to its utmost enfield of battle in two hours." Count Gerard join- durance, by such a conflict as the world had seled them, and urged the same advice. Had Grouchy dom seen before. Twenty thousand of his soldiers followed these counsels, and appeared upon the were either bleeding upon the ground or motionfield with his division of thirty thousand men, less in death. He had now less than fifty thouprobably not a man of the English or Prussian sand men to oppose to one hundred and fifty thouarmy could have escaped the Emperor. But sand. Wellington during the day had brought Grouchy, though he had lost sight of Blucher, up some additional forces from his rear, and could pleaded his orders to follow him, and refused to now oppose the Emperor with numbers three to move.
“Do you think," said O'Meara to Napoleon at The intelligent French soldiers instantly perSt. Helena, “that Grouchy betrayed you inten-ceived the desperate state of their affairs. But, tionally ?"
undismayed, they stood firm, waiting only for the "No! no!" the Emperor promptly replied ; command of their Emperor. The allied army saw “ but there was a want of energy on his part. at a glance its advantage, and a shout of exultaThere was also treason among the staff. I believe tion burst simultaneously from their lips. The that some of the officers whom I had sent to Emperor, with that wonderful coolness which
never forsook him, promptly recalled the order for peror. The French army also saw that the Guard a general charge, and by a very rapid and skillful was annihilated. An instantaneous panic struck series of manæuvres, as by magic, so changed the every heart. With exultant shouts the army of front of his army as to face the Prussians advanc- Blucher and of Wellington rushed upon the plain, ing upon his right, and the lines of Wellington and a scene of horror ensued at which humanity before him.
shudders. The banners of despotic Prussia and Every thing depended now upon one desperate of constitutional England blended in triumph, charge by the Imperial Guard, before the Prus- and intertwined their folds over that gory field, sians, trampling down their feeble and exhausted where the liberties of Europe were stricken to opponents, could blend their squadrons with the the dust. Blucher and Wellington, with their battalions of Wellington. The Emperor placed dripping swords, met with congratulations in the himself at the head of this devoted and invincible midst of the bloody arena. Each claimed the band, and advanced in front of the British lines, honor of the victory. Together they had achieved apparently intending himself to lead the charge. it. Wellington's troops were so exhausted as to But the officers of his staff entreated him to re- be unable to follow the discomfited army. “Leave member that the safety of France depended solely the pursuit to me,” said Blucher. : “I will send upon him. Yielding to their solicitations, he re- every man and every horse after the enemy." signed the command to Ney
He fulfilled his promise with a merciless energy The scene now presented was one of the most characteristic of this debauched and fierce dragoon. sublime which war has ever furnished. The Im- No quarter was shown. The unarmed were cut perial Guard had never yet moved but in the path down, and even the prisoners were sabred. of victory. As these renowned battalions, in The English soldiers, as usual, were generous two immense columns, descended the one emi- and merciful in the hour of victory. They disnence and ascended the other to oppose their persed over the field and carried refreshments and bare bosoms to point-blank discharges from bat- assistance, not only to their own wounded counteries double-shotted or loaded to the muzzle trymen, but also to their bleeding and dying foes. with grape, there was a moment's lull in the Napoleon threw himself into a small square. storm of battle. Both armies gazed with awe which he had kept as a reserve, and urged it forupon the scene. The destinies of Napoleon, of ward into the densest throngs of the enemy. He France, of Europe were suspended upon the issues was resolved to perish with his Guard. Camof a moment. The fate of the world trembled in bronne, its brave commander, seized the reins of the balance. Not a drum beat the charge. Not the Emperor's horse, and said to him, in beseecha bugle uttered its inspiriting notes. Not a cheer ing tones, “Sire, death shuns you. You will escaped the lips of those proud, determined, in- but be made a prisoner." Napoleon shook his domitable men. Silently, sternly, unflinchingly head, and for a moment resisted. But then his they strode on till they arrived within a few yards better judgment told him that thus to throw away of the batteries and bayonets which the genius his life would be but an act of suicide. With of Wellington had arrayed to meet them. There tears filling his eyes, and grief overspreading his was a flash as of intensest lightning gleaming features, he bowed to these heroes, ready to offer along the British lines. peal as of crashing themselves up in a bloody sacrifice. Faithful thunder burst upon the plain. A tempest of bul- even to death, with a melancholy cry they shoutlets, shot, shells, and all the horrible missiles of ed, “ Vive l'Empereur !” These were their last war, fell like hailstones upon the living mass, words, their dying farewell. Silent and sorrowand whole battalions melted away and were tram-ful, the Emperor put spurs to his horse, and displed in the bloody mire by the still advancing appeared from the fatal field. It was the comhost. Defiant of death, the intrepid Guard, clos- mencement of his journey to St. Helena.* ing up its decimated ranks, pressed on, and pierced This one square, of two battalions, alone covthe British line. Every cannon, every musket ered the flight of the army as a gallant rear-guard. which could be brought to bear, was directed to The Prussians and the English pressed it on three this unfaltering and terrible foe. Ney, in the sides, pouring into its bosom the most destructive course of a few moments, had five horses shot discharges. Squadrons of cavalry plunged upon beneath him. Then, with a drawn sabre, he + " The ranks of the English.” according to the statemarched on foot at the head of his men. Napo- ment of Blucher, as quoted by W. H. Ireland, Esq., “were leon gazed with intense anxiety upon the progress thrown into
with intense anxiety upon the progress thrown into disorder; the loss had been considerable, so of this heroic band, till enveloped in clouds of
that the reserves had advanced into the line, and the sit
uation of the Duke of Wellington was exceedingly critismoke it was lost to sight.
cal. Still greater disorder prevailed in the rear of the At the same moment the Prussians came rush- English army. The roads of the forest of Soignes were
r- encumbered by wagons, artillery, and baggage deserted tillery, entirely overpowering the feeble and ex- | by their drivers ; while numerous bands of fugitives had
spread confusion and allright throughout Brussels and hausted squadrons left to oppose them. A gust
the neighboring roads. Had not the French successes of wind swept away the smoke, and as the anx been interrupted by the march of Bulow, or if Marshal ious eye of Napoleon pierced the tumult of the Grouchy, as the Emperor had every reason to hope, had battle to find his Guard, it had disappeared. Al- followed at the heels of the Prussians, a more glorious
victory could not have been obtained by the French, as it most to a man they were weltering in blood. A
has been affirmed on all hands that not a single man of mortal paleness overspread the cheek of the Em- the Duke of Wellington's army could have escaped."
them, and still they remained unbroken. The | lation. General Cambronne returned the immorflying artillery was brought up, and pitilessly tal reply, The Guard dies, but never surrenpierced the heroic band with a storm of cannonders !" A few more volleys of bullets from the balls. This invincible square, the last fragment infantry, a few more discharges of grape-shot of the Old Guard, nerved by that soul which its from the artillery, mowed them all down. Thus Imperial creator had breathed into it, calmly clos- perished, on the fatal field of Waterloo, the Old ing up as death thinned its ranks, slowly and Guard of Napoleon. It was the creation of the defiantly retired, arresting the flood of pursuit. genius of the Emperor ; he had inspired it with General Cambronne was now bleeding from six his own lofty spirit ; and the fall of the Emperor wounds. But a few scores of men, torn and it devotedly refused to survive. bleeding, remained around him. The English It was now night. The awful clamor of battle, and Prussians, admiring such heroism, and weary the rattle of musketry, and the thunder of artilof the butchery, suspended for a moment their lery, the infuriated shouts of the pursuing Prusfire, and sent a flag of truce, demanding a capitu- sians, and the shrieks of their victims as they
were pierced by bayonets or cut down by sabres, the night long the exhausted Emperor, accompresented a scene of brutal, demoniac war which panied by a few of his suite, in silence and anthe imagination even shrinks from contemplating. guish urged on his horse, while the thunder and The bloody field of Waterloo was covered with the tumult of the awful pursuit resounded through forty thousand gory bodies. The Duke of Wel- the clear midnight air appallingly behind him.* lington, well-satisfied with his day's work, grant- He arrived at this place in the early dawn of ed his soldiers repose, and left the pursuit to the the morning. Utterly wom down in body and Prussians. The savage Blucher, with his savage mind, he threw himself upon a couch for a few band, all the night long continued the work of moments of repose. But the calamity in which death. The French army was dispersed in every he was overwhelmed was too awful to admit of a direction, and nothing remained for Napoleon but moment's slumber. Several of his followers came to return as rapidly as possible to Paris, and en- | in with swollen eyes, and haggard countenances, deavor to raise new forces to attempt to repel the and clothes covered with blood and dirt. As Nainvasion of the enemy. Such was the bloody poleon contemplated the melancholy spectacle, deed by which the Allies succeeded in quenching and appreciated the enormity of the woe which the flame of Continental liberty, and in establish threatened France, he was for a moment quite ing over Europe Russian and Prussian and Aus- unmanned. Silently pressing the hand of his trian despotism. That England should have aid-friend, Baron Fleury, tears gushed from his eyes, ed in this work, is the darkest blot upon En- betraying the cruel anguish with which his hea» gland's escutcheon.
was lacerated. Napoleon immediately turned his steps toward Paris. At one o'clock in the morning he arrived # He had proved,” says Baron Jomini, "at Arcola, at Quatre-Bras. He stopped here for an hour
Eylau, Ratisbon, Arcis, and also at Waterloo, that he
was not afraid of bullets; and had he not believed in to give some directions respecting the retreat, and
the resources of France, he would have died at the head to designate a rallying-point for his fugitive bands, of the remains of his arn
of the remains of his army; he quitted them because be
had not a general of his rear-guard who could not lead from Paris, and then hastened on to Charleroi. them to Laon as well as himself, while no one could re
place him at the helm of the vessel of state, which, for It was a lovely summer's night. The moon shone|
the instant, was not at his head-quarters, but at the Tuilbrilliantly in the unclouded and tranquil sky. Allleries."