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Waterloo.

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ENG
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1

The excursion to Waterloo is a very pleasant one The proprietors of the above conveyances having indeed—through the forest of Soignies. Few made arrangements with Sergt. Martin Viseur to English or American travellers who visit Brussels accompany all passengers by the said coaches over can refrain from going to Waterloo and Mount St. the field, they are recommended to pay a franc in

Jean, the Chateau of Hougoumont, La Haie Sainte, addition to the fare, to include the service of the I Quatre Bras, &c., which, with their exciting as- above Guide. This, of course, does not apply to pas

sociations, are as attractive as ever. It may be sengers by other conveyances, and it is therefore done by rail as well as by coach, &c.

another advantage of going by the Mail Coaches. : The expense of a party going to Waterloo was

Waterloo may also be reached by taking the train formerly 27 francs, but this has been reduced to a

to Greönendael (Great Luxembourg Railway), more reasonable price by the spirit of English

whence there is an Omnibus to the field, which is

distant about 5 miles. enterprise. Instead of the close vigilante, or lum| bering carriage, there are now two English four- Travellers wishing to possess a concise and

horse Mail Coaches, belonging to Messrs. Suffell, authentic history of the celebrated battle should which run between Brussels and Mount St. Jean purchase “The Voice from Waterloo," by the late on the field of Waterloo. Fare, five francs there Serjeant-major Cotton, to be had at the Waterloo and back. Ladies in particular will find these Museum, at the foot of the Lion Mount. The conveyances by far the most agreeable and un- Museum of relics is kept by his niece. exceptionable, as a two-horse branch coach conveys Waterloo is a large and handsome village. Its the passengers from the village of Mount St. Jean

church is an elegant rotunda, adorned by a neat across the field to Hougoumont, thus obviating all

frontispiece, bearing an inscription, which states fatigue on a sultry day, and inconvenience in un

that the Marquis of Castanaga, governor of the | favourable weather. The "Warrior" starts from

Low Countries, laid the first stone of the church the Hotel de l'Univers at 9 a.m., and the “Victoria"

in 1690. The hamlet of Mount St. Jean is a little from the Hotel de Saxe at 10 a.m., calling at the beyond Waterloo. The French named the battle Hotel de l'Univers, and both taking up passengers, of the 18th June, 1815, after this hamlet, Mont St. a short time after, at the Hotel “Grande Bretagne," Jean; the victorious armies, as it is well known, on the Place Royale, returning to Brussels in time

called it after the village of Waterloo. Planohenoit, for the Table d'Hôte. We strongly recommend where the farm of La Belle Alliance, the usual travellers to secure accommodation for Waterloo

Prussian name for the battle, is situated, is still a I or Sedan, at Suffell's, 81, Montagne de la Cour; little further on. where a collection of arms, &c., from Sedan and

The road from Brussels to Waterloo lies for the Gravelotte, may be seen.

greater part through the Forest of Soignies, and These conveyances render a visit to Waterloo

except the view of the town obtained near the agreeable and cheap, but as they interfere with

village of Ixelles, presents no features worthy of the parties who formerly let out vehicles for

observation. Waterloo, these coaches are opposed by Waiters and Commissioners. We, therefore, think it right

Byron, using a poetical license, describes the

march of the British troops through the forest in to warn our readers, that if they mention “Water

the following beautiful lines: 100," attempts will be made to dissuade them from

"And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves, going by the “Mail Coaches," though we hope Dewy with nature's tear drops, as they pass, unsuccessfully, as these conveyances are decidedly Grieving, if ought inanimate e'er grieves, the best, being respectably conducted by steady Over the unreturning brave. Alas! English coachmen; and, considering that the pro

Ere evening to be trodden like the grass prietors are two industrious Englishmen, who have

Which now beneath them, but above shall grow established these coaches for the conveyance of

In its next verdure, when its fiery mass

Of living valour, rolling on the foe, travellers, we think they are entitled to the support

And burning with high hope, shall moulder cold of their fellow-countrymen,

and low."

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This forest is 9 miles long, and about 8 broad. whom were the old imperial guards, all well

The village of Waterloo receives us immedi- equipped, and accompanied by a numerous train ately on leaving the forest, but contains nothing of artillery, passed the Sambre, and having deto attract our attention, except the elegant little feated some regiments of Prussians, took possession chapel, built 1855, surmounted by a handsome dome, of Charleroi, a town, at that time, without defence. and containing several marble tablets to the memory On the 16th they advanced into the plains of of those who fell in the contest, and the house in Fleurus, where the fate of Belgium has thrice which the leg of Lord Uxbridge was amputated. been decided, and at Ligny attacked the Prussian The spot in the garden in which the shattered leg army, whose commander, Field-Marshal Blücher, was buried, is marked by a small monument. In

narrowly escaped being taken prisoner. He had this church are thirty tablets and monuments, been thrown from his horse in the midst of the melancholy memorials of the horrible vicissitudes

action, when surrounded on all sides by the purof war, of its victims the English officers who fell

suing enemy, whose precipitation alone prevented on that memorable field.

their recognising the marshal's person.

A moMany a wounded Briton there was laid

mentary repulse of the French by a body of With such poor help as time might then allow

Prussian cavalry, afforded Blücher time to bo From the fresh carnage of the field conveyed.

extricated from his perilous situation and mounted And they whom human succour could not save, Here in its precincts found a hasty grave.

on a dragoon's horse. The French took some pieces And here, on marble tablets set on high,

of artillery and remained masters of the field. In English lines by foreign workmen trac'd,

While these operations were rapidly carrying on, Are names familiar to an English eye ;

a strong column of French troops advanced towards Their brethren here the fit memorials plac'd,

Quatre Bras, a point of junction of four roads, Whose unadorned inscriptions briefly tell Their gallant comrades' rank and where they fell."

nearly twenty miles from Brussels, on the road to SOUTHEY

Charleroi, where the Prince of Orange was posted It was in this village that the Duke of Wel

with a division composed partly of Belgian and lington established his head-quarters on the night partly of British troops. of the 17th of June, 1815. About a mile beyond A warm action took place, in which the young Waterloo we pass through the hamlet of Mount prince displayed the greatest bravery and ability, St. Jean, and leaving the road to Nivelles on the and the Duke of Brunswick was killed at the right, we proceed in the direction of Genappe and head of his famous black corps, so called from Charleroi, and soon after arrive at the farm of wearing a black uniform, out of respect to the Mount St. Jean, which was immediately in the memory of the duke, his father, who was mortally rear of the centre of the British line. Proceeding wounded at the battle of Jena. During the further on the road to Charleroi, we arrive at night this division of the troops fell back upon La Belle Alliance, a farm-house and hamlet situate Waterloo to join the Duke of Wellington, comon the opposite ridge, and corresponding with the mander-in-chief of the Anglo-Belgian army, who farm of Mount St. Jean. This is the extent of the had his head-quarters in that village; his troops scene of the tourist's observation; and before were posted in front of the forest of Soignies, in drawing his attention to the minute localities, we an extensive line, covered by entrenchments, and proceed to recall to his mind the principal events defended by a numerous train of artillery. This of those memorable battles.

position occupied a line of about one mile and a The campaign of 1815 was remarkable for its half in length, the centre being in front of the brief duration -- four days; yet, in that short farmhouse of Mount St. Jean; the left extending space of time, 50,000 human beings were swept along the ridge until the extreme flank reached from the face of the earth by the ruthless hand a hamlet called Smouken, and a farm-house named of war. On the 15th of June, the French army, Papelotte, and having in front the farm of La commanded by the Emperor Napoleon in person, Haye - Sainte, whence a succession of broken and consisting of about 160,000 men, 20,000 of | roads formed a precarious communication with

Blücher's position at Wavre; and the right stretch- sian general, Blücher, appeared on their flanks, at ing along the same heights, following their direc- the head of two divisions.

A frightful panic then tion in a semicircular slope backwards until the spread through the French ranks, and Bonaparte, extreme flank rested on Marle-Braine, where abandoned by fortune, whose idol he had so often it was protected by a ravine. The right of the seemed, was hurried from the field by the imBritish army, extending along the same emi- petuous torrent of fugitives. All the French nence, occupied and protected the Nivelles Road artillery, a great part of the baggage, and even as far as the enclosures of Hougoumont. The

the private carriage of Napoleon fell into the ground in front of the British position sloped hands of the victors. This victory, however, easily down into lower ground, forming a sort of

was dearly purchased. The loss to the victors valley-not a level plain, but a declivity, varied

was great indeed. Beside the Generals Picton by many gentle sweeps and hollows, as if formed

and Ponsonby, the loss of the British and Hanoby the course of a river. The ground then

verians on the 16th and 18th, amounted to not ascends in the same manner to a ridge opposite less than 13,000 men and 750 officers, the flower to that of Mount St. Jean, and running parallel

of the army, of whom more than two-thirds fell to it at the distance of twelve or fourteen hundred

at Waterloo; the total loss of the Prussians, from yards. This was the position of the enemy. The

the commencement of the campaign, to their valley between the two ridges is entirely open

second triumphant entry into Paris, has been and uninclosed, and on that memorable day bore

officially stated at 38,000; but that of the French a tall and strong crop of corn. But in the centre

almost exceed belief. They began the day of the valley, about half way between the two

between 155,000 to 160,000 strong; and from ridges, and situated considerably to the right of

their own account the wreck of the army when the English centre, was the Château de Gou

it was collected together did not amount to 60,000 mont, or Hougoumont. This was a gentleman's

men. Who can think of this work of human house of the old Flemish architecture, having a

destruction without a thrill of horror at the tower and battlements. It was surrounded on

dreadful havoc of modern warfare, or what man one side by a large farm-yard, and on the other

would hesitate to adopt the christian principles opening to a garden and orchard, and faced by a brick wall: the whole encircled by a grove of

of peace and good will, with the view of averting

such inhuman conflicts as these scenes have tall trees. This château, with the advantages witnessed, or of which these plains were the afforded by its wood and orchard, formed a strong

theatre. From that moment the village of point d'appui to the British right wing.

Waterloo became an object of interesting curiThe château was occupied by a detachment of

osity to travellers of all nations, but above all the guards under Lord Saltoun. The French army was full two miles in length, extending

to the English, who contemplate, with a melanalong the opposite ridge, and having La Belle choly pride, fields which have been moistened Alliance in the centre of their line. Napoleon

with the life-springs of so many of their fellow at this time had about 100,000 men with him ;

countrymen. and the allies about 70,000, exclusive of the Prus

Having briefly traced the momentous events sians. Here took place, on the 18th of June, the that will long continue to impart a powerful sanguinary battle by which the fate of Europe interest to the plains of Waterloo, we proceed to was decided.

It began at eleven o'clock in the point out such particular land-marks as may morning and continued till seven in the evening. serve to give the tourist a correct idea of the The boldness and exasperation exhibited by the positions taken by the contending armies during French troops in their repeated attacks have few the contest, and, with the assistance of a few parallels in history; whilst the English received details, enable him to ascertain the precise spot each successive shock with the coolest and most of many heroic deeds. For this purpose, it is determined intrepidity. The French army was

necessary to retrace our steps, in order to compreparing to make a last assault, when the Prus- mence with the Forest of Soignies. The forest

presents itself at & mile and three-quarters from stupendous triumphal mound of a conical shape, the village, and after displaying all the majestic surmounted by a colossal Belgic lion in bronze, grandeur of sylvan scenery, disappears a little was constructed at the expense of the Netherlands beyond Waterloo. The principal road through government on the plains of St. Jean. The base the wood to this village is of great length and of the monument is 160 yards in diameter, and the extreme regularity; but the unvarying, uniform height of the whole nearly 50 yards. appearance of the trees which fringe it, give a La Haye Sainte.- This is the name of a large sombre aspect to the route. The forest, which farm-house on the road from Mount St. Jean to La is about seven miles and a half in breadth, and Belle Alliance, and about a mile from the former nine miles in length, contains many defiles, and place, on the Genappe road. It was in the left is interspersed with lakes, vales, brooks, hamlets, centre of the British position, and a little in and cultivated plains. Great quantities of oak advance of Wellington's tree. In the immediate were felled by command of Bonaparte, in order vicinity of this house, which received much injury, to supply the dockyards at Amsterdam; but in all directions, and especially in what forms the the forest still abounds in fine timber, and a back part of the building, a dreadful carnage took thousand acres of it, which belong to the Duke place between the combatants. It was taken by of Wellington, are said to yield a revenue of the French army on the day, and maintained by forty francs án acre. The proximity of this them until nearly the end of the battle. On the immense mass of wood to Brussels, renders the side of the building towards the road a monument city somewhat damp and cold when the wind has been erected to the memory of some officers of blows from that quarter; on the other hand, the 2nd German Legion, who fell in the onslaught; from its great attractive powers, thunder-clouds and at a little distance, on the opposite side of the frequently discharge . themselves there, which road, is a hollow way, where 4,000 men and a great might otherwise cårry heavy .storms into the number of horses were buried in one common grave. town. Nearly at the extremity of the forest, and Near this spot fell Sir Thomas Picton, leading a about ten miles from Brussels, stands Waterloo, gallant charge on the French cuirassiers. ås before-mentioned.

Hougoumont. -The large farm-house or chaMont St. Jean.-This hamlet, which, as before-teau, so called, was fiercely contested. It is situated mentioned, is more than a mile from Waterloo, at on the right of La Haye Sainte from Waterloo, at a place where the road divides into two branches, the distance of about a mile from the former place of which that on the left leads to Genappe, and The British had possession of the house and garthat on the right to Nivelles, must not be con- dens, and fought with a desperate courage to mainfounded by the tourist with the farm-house of tain it; while the French, led on by Jerome BonaMount St. Jean, half a mile in advance of the vil- parte, who, though wounded in the arm, still kept lage, on the road to the farm of La Haye Sainte, the field, made equal efforts to expel them, aware which was in the immediate rear of the British that, if they became masters of the place, the position. From this farm an easy ascent leads to whole of the British lines would be exposed to the ridge which formed the line of occupation of their fire. It was, in fact, the key-stone of the the British army. Near the centre of this ridge British position. The garden was protected on stood the Wellington tree, so called in consequence three sides by a strong wall, which served our of the duke having taken his station there during troops as a breast-work, and from behind which

great part of the 18th. This tree was cut down they aimed at the assailants with deadly certainty; and sold in 1821. In front is a little valley, irregu- the unprotected part commanded a view of Lord larly formed, with numerous gentle windings and Wellington's position on the heights. In vain the hollows, and varying in breadth from a quarter to enemy made repeated attempts to scale the garden half a mile. This was the scene of the murderous wall from the adjoining orchard, and though they conflict. The opposite ridges, running parallel to thrice entered the gates of Hougoumont, they were Mount St. Jean, were occupied by the French. A as often repulsed, and driven out with severe loss.

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