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the columns closed up. Night put an end to the firing, and found the allies in rear of the French right. Under cover of night, Soult withdrew from the remaining part of his position, and left Lord Wellington's army in possession of the whole line. The issue of these splendid operations was, that Soult was driven from his long proposed and strongly fortified position, with the loss of 50 guns, 1,500 prisoners, besides stores and ammunition. Soult had 70,000 men, but his troops did not fight with their accustomed energy and spirit. The loss of the allies amounted to 500 killed, and 2,000 wounded, a loss not great, if we consider the strength and difficulty of the positions assailed.
The enemy trusted to their works, and thought it impossible that guns could be brought against them over rocks rivers, and mountains. They did not know British skill and activity ; mountain-pieces on swivelcarriages, harnessed on the backs of mules trained for the purpose, were brought up the hills, and made to play, from positions considered inaccessible for guns ; the foot and horse artillery, were alike active and expert, and the men dragged the cannon up steep precipices with ropes, or lowered them down where they could be used with greater effect.
The French now concentrated themselves within an intrenched camp in front of Bayonne. Lord Wellington took up a position strengthened by a line of defensive outposts, within two miles of the enemy; his left wing supported by the sea, his right at Cambo ; the troops were cantoned between the Nivelle and the coast. The cold and wet weather, with the state of the roads, precluded farther operations for a space, and the wearied troops gladly enjoyed a month's interval of repose. Soult's posi
tion was under the fire of the fortified town of Bayonne ; his right rested on the Adour, and was protected in front by a morass caused by a rivulet which falls into that river ; his centre rested with its right in this morass, and its left lay between the Nieve and the Adour; resting upon the latter, defending the former, and communicating with General Paris' division, at St. Jean Pied de Port ; the whole position so strong as not to admit of an attack, so long as the enemy kept in force within it. As soon as the state of the weather and the roads permitted, materials for bridges were collected, and preparations made for the passage of the Nieve ; on the 9th November, Sir Rowland Hill with the right crossed at Cambo, supported by a division of Beresford's, which crossed likewise at Usteritz. Both these operations were successful, and the French, driven from the right bank, retired in the direction of Bayonne ; on a range of heights parallel with the Adour they arranged a considerable force ; but the British carried them and the adjoining village of Villa Franche. Next morning, Soult boldly attacked the British left under Sir John Hope, whose services on this occasion, Lord Wellington said he could not enough applaud.
The British fought with the utmost bravery, under Hope's skilful directions, who himself was in the thickest of the fight, had his hat and clothes shot through in many places, had two horses killed under him, and was wounded both on the shoulder and the leg. The French, though their plan of attack had been well framed and was well supported, were totally defeated by a comparatively small number of English. On the 11th and 12th, the
enemy made again two unsuccessful attacks on the same quarter.
Soult having thus failed in his attempts on the allies' left, passed through Bayonne during the night, and made a most desperate attack upon the right, under Hill : it was great odds, 30,000 French in massive columns, against 13,000 British and Portuguese. The enemy came on, determined to gain the ridge of St. Pierre, with the great road leading to St. Jean Pied de Port, and break through the position. Hill's dispositions were swiftly and ably made. A heavy fire of artillery caused great havoc among the advancing French columns ; still they established themselves in front of the post, and were gaining ground, when the brigades marching from the flanks arrived at the very time of need, and engaged them. The contest that followed was long and bloody, but in spite of the repeated advances of the French, they were at length driven back with great slaughter. Soult retired, finding that all his efforts were vain ; but he was pursued to the open ground, and his retiring and dispirited troops there sustained considerable loss. He attempted to make a stand on a favourable point before his intrenchments, and occupied in great strength a hill on his left ; from which his troops were driven by General Byng's brigade, and lost two guns. Hill's corps unsupported, maintained this gallant contest. Lord Wellington, who was unable to come up till all was over, expressed himself highly delighted with the ability and conduct of the General, and the brave demeanour of the troops; and as he rode up to Hill, shook him heartily by the hand, with the frank remark, “ Hill, the day's your own ;” and as he examined the ground, remarked that he had never before seen the bodies of so many Frenchmen lying in so small a space. In these contests the French lost, by their own account, 1,300 killed and 4,600 wounded; the allies had nearly 5,000 placed hors de combat. Thus baffled in all their attempts to dislodge the British, the French main body retired from Bayonne, and marched up the right bank of the Adour towards Dax.
The weather was very wet, and the roads so miry, that Lord Wellington placed his troops in cantonments and gave them a season of rest. The British advanced posts were now very near those of the enemy; their right rested on the Adour, their left on the sea, and thus they remained in peace till the begining of February.
Indeed the military glory of the imperial armies was now become obscured ; and a long succession of disasters in every quarter of Europe had made the troops lose heart. In the battle of Leipzig their forces had been destroyed ; Saxony and Bavaria had revolted; and the success of Austria had brought the Russian, Prussian, and Austrian armies to the Rhine. Napoleon, everywhere beset by enemies and dangers, was demanding of the people, who had enjoyed such BLESSINGS under his sway, impossible sacrifices and exertions. He had caused the obsequious senate to pass a decree for the levy of 300,000 men, and the doubling of the priblic contributions : this was impossible, but still much was done to recruit his ranks, and replenish his exhausted treasury. But his people discontented, now openly murmured against his iron rule ;-the hard working citizen apprehended ruin, the mothers of France bewailed their silent hearths and all classes sighed prayed for peace. In southern France especially, the inhabitants hated
Napoleon, and were anxious to send supplies to the British camp, such “golden opinions" had Wellington won from them by his secure protection from injury, and the strict honour of all his conduct towards them. They rejected the proposals repeatedly made to harass the British by irregular warfare, and cut off their supplies ; and were content to leave to their own armies—the objects both of their fear and hatred-the prosecution of the
It is curious to notice Napoleon's feelings at this time, as evinced in the following address to his council of state. His eyes were thoroughly opened to his perilous position. “Wellington, said he, “is in the south; the Russians threaten the northern frontier ; Austria, the south-eastern, yet, shame to speak it! the nation has not risen en masse to repel them :--every ally has abandoned me-the Bavarians have betrayed me!-Peace ? No peace till Munich is in flames !—I demand of you 300,000 men. I will form a camp at Bordeaux of 100,000—another at Lyons-a third at Metz. With the remnants of my former levies, I shall have 1,000,000 of men under arms. But it is men whom í demand from you-full-grown men, in the prime of life ; not those miserable conscriptstripsings, who choke my hospitals with sick, and my highways with their carcasses.—Give up Holland ? rather resign it to the sea ! The word peace is ever in my ear, when all around should re-echo with the cry of war !” In such wild language did Napoleon give vent to the tumult of conflicting passions which boiled within his breast. He had reason to be agitated-for his throne was tottering and heaving under him! The people saw his hopeless condition, in spite of the lies and false reports with which the columns of the Moniteur, under his