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adorn, defend, and perpetuate the existence of this country among the ruling nations of the earth.” When the Duke retired, all the members again rose, uncovered, and loudly cheered him.
On Saturday the 9th of July, the Duke of Wellington was entertained at a banquet by the corporation of London ; great cost and magnificence were displayed on the occasion, and he was presented with the freedom of the city in a gold box, and with a splendid sword. In returning thanks, he, as invariably on other occasions, gratefully alluded to the support of his officers, and the bravery of his troops. When he received the sword, he energetically declared that he was ready, whenever called upon, to employ it in the service of his King and country, should it unfortunately happen that the general wish of Europe for a peace should be disappointed. He did not then suspect how soon his pledge would be redeemed.
On the 8th of August, he left England again, having been appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the court of France. On his way to Paris, he visited the Netherlands, and, in company with the Prince of Orange, made a careful examination of the frontier fortresses on that line. On the 24th of August, he was presented to Louis XVIII., delivered his credentials, and took up his residence in Paris.
Napoleon's return from Elba—Duke of Wellington proceeds
to oppose him-Preparations—Napoleon drives in the Prussian outposts--Battle of Quatre Bras--Battle of Ligny-Position of the Duke of Wellington's army--Battle of Waterloo, and total defeat of Napoleon. It was not to be supposed that the exile of Elba would calmly remain in inglorious repose, forgetful of the stirring incidents of his past life. Louis, though desirous of promoting the interests of his subjects, and possessed of considerable talents and accomplishments, was unpopular; he was ill adapted for filling in such trying times, that throne which, amid the blaze of genius and victory, Napoleon had found insecure ; and the French, whose national vanity had been fed by the Emperor's successes, were not yet prepared, after twenty years of constant excitement, to endure the reign of a prince of calm and easy temper.
Discontent was widely spread throughout France; the royalists were offended and chilled by seeing those possessions which they considered the fruits of robbery and crime, enjoyed in peace ; the old republicans could not
; brook legitimate monarchy, the army murmured for their lost chief, and their generals, accustomed to the glittering prizes on which Napoleon had allowed them to speculate, cared not for peaceful honours, while as they thronged the halls of the new monarch, to pay their awkward homage, their presence and intercourse tended to chill the affections of the royalist nobles, who naturally considered them as intruders. The fiery and volatile French, whom at all times it is so easy to excite, had their
discontents fanned into a flame of rebellion by the many personal and political adherents of the late government, who failed not to impress upon them that France was now “fallen from her high estate,” and shorn of much of her dignity.
Such was the state of matters, when Europe was struck with amazement and dread by the intelligence that Napoleon, after escaping the vigilance of the English cruisers, had landed on the coast of France with a small detachment of guards-was every where welcomed by the soldiery, who crowded to his banners—and was marching upon the capital. The fruit of the secret conspiracies of the Bonapartists was now apparent. His partizans had done their work well ; every where it was reported that, repenting of his past errors, he was about to assume the sceptre of equity and peace; that, as every detachment sent against him had only swelled his force, so no efforts could resist him. These representations did not over-rate the danger ; with a few honourable exceptions the soldiery, led on by their officers, joined him ; the last resource of the court, Macdonald's force, stationed near Fontainbleau, on the approach of the Emperor, trampled their white cockades in the dust, rushed from their ranks, and surrounded him with shouts of delight. Louis had already fled from the Tuilleries, and on the 20th of March, 1815, Napoleon once more entered Paris, where he was received at the palace by all the adherents of his cause; and found in the apartments just vacated by the King, a brilliant assemblage of those who in former times had filled the most prominent places in his own councils and court. Napoleon sedulously improved the short space which intervened before the brief struggle which he was conscious awaited him ; professions of liberality
were made to conciliate the different parties, and every effort used to stir up the people ; a solemn ceremonial was held at the Champ de Mai ; Paris was fortified, and incessant preparations made in mustering and equipping the army,-in which Napoleon was aware his only chance of safety depended.
When this sudden change of sovereigns took place in France, the powers who signed the treaty of Paris were then in congress at Vienna, where the Duke of Wellington was present as the plenipotentiary of Great Britain, having left Paris for that capital on the 24th of January. The moment that the news of Napoleon’s daring movement reached them, the Congress published a proclamation in these words :-“ By breaking the convention which established him in Elba, Bonaparte destroys the only legal title on which his existence depended. By appearing again in France, with projects of confusion and disorder, he has deprived himself of the protection of the law, and manifested to the universe, that there can neither be peace nor truce with him. The powers consequently declare that Napoleon Bonaparte has placed himself without the pale of civil and social relations, and that, as an enemy and disturber of the tranquillity of the world, he has rendered himself liable to public vengeance.' All Europe once more prepared for war.
It was evident that Napoleon owed everything to the soldiery-150,000 veterans unwilling and unaccustomed to ordinary labour, the treaty of Paris had thrown idle--and till this ferocious military force was effectually humbled, there could be no peace for the world. A formal treaty was immediately concluded, whereby each of the four great powers bound themselves to maintain in arms 150,000 troops. But the zeal of the contracting parties went beyond the terms settled by the treaty of Vi. enna ; and scarcely was Napoleon seated on his throne, before he heard that in all likelihood he must do his best to defend it against 300,000 Austrians, 225,000 Russians, 236,000 Prussians, 150,000 men from the minor states of Germany, 50,000 from the Netherlands, and 50,000 English under Wel. lington, in all 1,011,000 armed men,
Napoleon, conscious of the stake for which he played, and of the odds against him, was indefatigable. When he landed at Cannes, the army numbered 175,003 men ; the cavalry had been greatly reduced; and the effects of the campaigns of the three preceding years, was visible in the deficiency of military stores and arms, but especially of artillery. By incredible exertions, and notwithstanding the pressure of innumerable cares and anxieties, the Emperor, before the end of May, had 375,000 men in arms—including an imperial guard of 40,000 chosen veterans, a large and brilliant cavalry force, and a numerous and well-appointed train of artillery, Not only was Paris strongly fortified, but all the positions in advance of it on the Seine, the Marne, and the Aube, and among the passages of the Vosgesian hills, with Lyons, had been guarded by strong defences. Massena, at Metz, and Suchet on the Swiss frontier, commanded divisions which were judged sufficient to detain Schwartzenberg for a time on the upper Rhine, and the siege of the fortresses behind him, would detain him still longer. Meantime, Napoleon resolved to attack the most alert of his enemies, the Prussians and English, beyond the Sambre-while the Austrians were thus held in check on the upper Rhine, and before the armies of the north could debouche on Manheim, to co-operate by their right with We ington and Blu