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quered ? Because the design alone wholly belongs to the chief, whilst he is dependent for its execution upon countless hazards and others' co-operation.
The duke of Wellington has been censured for giving battle with a forest in his rear.
His worshippers would have the circumstance advantageous to him. It is obvious to the plainest understanding, with the knowledge of the forest of Soignies, that it must have embarrassed the most orderly, and proved ruinous to a precipitate retrograde movement. But a victorious general may smile at the reproach of not having made it his paramount object to secure a retreat. The duke of Wellington, it is admitted on all sides, placed brave men in a position where they could best fight. His coup-d'ail, physical and moral, of the field of battle, and of its incidents, - was comprehensive, steady, and sagacious; during the engagement he was active, prudent, decisive, and brave, - inspiring courage and confidence by his self-possession and personal contempt of danger. He may be entitled to a place with Eugene and Marlborough-minds of such stature as every age might and generally does produce ; but it would be a vain effort of impotent adulation to rank him with Hannibal, Cæsar, and Napoleon. His career has been brilliant, and productive of great results; but still he may
tourists by a Flemish peasant, who took upon himself the lucrative functions of cicerone at Waterloo, have been repeated and reiterated in print, and with general credit in England. They were the common jest of Brussels at the time; and the shrewd, or as he was called, intelligent peasant, asked pardon of God and man for his impostures on his death-bed.
call himself, the fortunate, like Sylla*, rather than the great.
* Sylla, to manifest his conviction of the extent to which fortune governs success, took the name of Faustus, and gave i to his son,
THE duke of Wellington's despatches, dated the 19th, from the field of Waterloo, reached London late on the night of the 21st of June. A result, surpassing the most sanguine hopes, was hailed with boundless joy, whilst it clothed every family in the United Kingdom with mourning. The thanks of parliament and a public monument to the duke of Wellington and the army, were voted by acclamation on the following day. “The splendour and importance of the victory," said lord Lansdowne, with great felicity, in the house of lords, “ almost stifle every feeling of individual sorrow, and make us regard the fate of the brave who fell as that of men quos nefas est lugere.” A grant of 200,0001. was voted to purchase an estate, and build a mansion for the duke of Wellington, as a memorial of his country's gratitude. The thanks of parliament were at the same time voted to fieldmarshal Blucher and the Prussian army. An East India director took occasion to move the thanks of the house of commons to the duke of York. His motion, after some objections of form, was agreed to; and a sycophant lawyer proposed a similar vote to the prince regent. “ Who," he
ked, “ had rendered the army efficient? the
prince regent, by restoring the duke of York to the Horse Guards. Who had gained the battle of Waterloo ? the prince regent, by giving the command of the army to the duke of Wellington.” The ministers, however, had the grace to over-rule this learned person's exuberant servility.
Napoleon, with the resources of his genius and of France, might still rally, and at least protract the
Further accounts were expected in England with mingled anxiety and curiosity. His misfortunes rapidly accumulated. Having made a fruitless effort to check the Prussians at Genappe on the night of the 18th, he lost the remainder of his artillery with his personal baggage, re-crossed the Sambre on the morning of the 19th, and continued his route through Phillipville to Laon. He made instant dispositions for the safety of this great arsenal ; expedited orders for the corps of the Alps, the Pyrenees, and the West, to bear upon Paris by forced marches; completed the bulletin of his last battle, which he had already sketched on his way; left Soult to collect the scattered wreck of Waterloo, and took post for Paris, which he reached on the morning of the 21st of June. *
“ He received me," says Lavalette, “ with an
* In adopting this course, he is stated by one of his secretaries to have yielded to the representations of the duke of Bassano, and the other persons about him. “Eh bien,” s'écriatil ;“ puisque vous le jugez nécessaire, j'irai à Paris. Mais je suis persuadé que vous me faites faire une sottise. Ma vraie place est ici: je pourrais y diriger ce qui se passera à Paris, et mes frères feraient le reste.” Mémoires de F***. (Fleury de Chaboulon.)
epileptic laugh; cried, 'Oh, my God! Oh, my God!' with his eyes turned up to the heavens, paced the room several times, and became tranquil."
His first act was to assemble a council. “ To save the country,” said he, “the two chambers shall invest me with a temporary dictatorship, and I will rejoin the army to repair our disasters.". The ministers knew the temper of the chamber of representatives, and hung down their heads in silence. He pressed them to speak freely. Carnot, the first who spoke, proposed to sound the old tocsin of the republic; declare the country in danger; call upon all Frenchmen to arm against the foreigner; place the capital in a state of siege ; retire in the last extremity beyond the Loire, and, entrenched there, re-organise the army, and raise all France. This honest, resolute, and wise counsel was over-ruled by the traitorous suggestions of Fouché, and the false prudence of the other ministers.
The chamber of representatives in the mean time had met at 8 o'clock in the morning. Before the chair was yet taken, the members formed themselves into groups, according to their personal or political sympathies. The murmur of conversations in an earnest and ominous under-voice continued even after the president had taken his seat. It was rumoured that Napoleon was coming to dissolve the chambers and assume the dictatorship by a coup d'état. Lafayette, after a short but animating harangue, moved that the chamber should declare its sittings permanent, and any person attempting to dissolve or prorogue it a traitor to his country. The resolution was carried, transmitted instantly to