cher, and by their left with Schwartzenberg. He thought that the Belgian army would offer little opposition ; and by some great battle, he hoped to break the confidence and shake the strength of the European confederacy.

Exertions corresponding to the magnitude of the occasion, were made by the allies—their troops poured in on the frontiers of France ; the Prussian advanced corps had already entered Flanders, and an army of English, Belgians, and Hanoverians was asssembled in the Netherlands, under the Duke of Wellington. Wellington had arrived at Brussels early in April, and immediately concerted his plan of operations with the Prussian general, whose troops were collected on the Sambre and Meuse, and occupied Charleroi, Namur, and Liege; the line of their cantonments communicated by its right with the Duke of Wellington's army; so that, while they were ready to act in concert, each general had to keep up a separate line of communications, connected on the

one side with England, on the other by the lower Rhine, with Prussia. The first object was to cover Brussels, and also to guard the approaches from France by Tournay and Mons, and prevent any attack upon Ghent from Lisle ; these roads were all carefully examined, and Wellington's army so arranged as to encounter any offensive movement. The main difficulty to provide for was, in case the enemy should advance on any single point with celerity and force, for the advance troops to check them, so as to afford time for the allied armies to concentrate in a position to protect Brussels.

Bonaparte left Paris on the evening of the 11th of June : he exclaimed as he entered his carriage, “ I go to measure myselt against Wellington.” On the 14th at Beaumont, he assembled and received


that part of the army which had been prepared to act under his own orders; they had been most carefully selected, and formed the most perfect, though by no means the most numerous force, with which he had ever taken the field; it consisted of 25,000 of the imperial guard, 25,000 cavalry in admirable condition, 350 pieces of artillery, and veteran infantry enough to swell the host to 130,000 men. Marshal Ney commanded the centre ; Jerome Bonaparte the left ; Marshal Grouchy the right : among the infantry generals were d'Erlon, Reille, Vandamme, Girard, and Lobeau; among the cavalry Pajol, Excelmans, Kellerman, and Milhaud. Bonaparte reminded them that this was the anniversary of Marengo and Friedland, and asked “Are they and we no longer the same men? The madmen !" continued he, “a moment of prosperity has blinded them. The oppression and humiliation of the French people is beyond their power. If they enter France, they will there find their tomb. Soldiers ! we have forced marches, battles and dan. gers before us.

For every Frenchman who has a heart the moment is arrived to conquer or to perish !" His oration, vigorous and animated as ever, thrilled to the hearts of the devoted soldiery.

Blucher's Prussians numbered 100,000 men. The Duke of Wellington's varied and motley army amounted in all to 75,000, of whom only 35,000 were English—and these chiefly young soldiers, for the flower of the Peninsular army had been sent to America. The King's German Legion however, 8,000 strong, were brave and excellent soldiers ; and there were 5,000 Brunswickers, worthy followers of their gallant Duke. · The Hanoverians amounted to 15,000 ; the Nassau troops, Dutch and Belgian, under the Prince of Orange,

were nearly 17,000 men; but much dependence could not be placed in the Belgian part of the army. The first division occupied Enghien, Brain-leComte, and Nivelles, communicating with the Prussian right at Charleroi. The second, under Lord Hill, was cantoned in Halle, Oudevard, and Grammont-with most of the cavalry. The reserve, under Picton, were at Brussels and Ghent. Wellington chose Quatre Bras as the point at which, should Bonaparte advance on that side, he was to be held in check till the allied troops were concentrated. That junction was ably and certainly accomplished, though all Napoleon's skill in manæuvring and activity of movement were used to prevent it.

On the morning of Thursday the 15th, the French drove in the Prussian outposts on the west bank of the Sambre, and at length assaulted Charleroi : the purpose of Napoleon was now apparent-to crush Blucher before he could concentrate his own army, before Wellington could aid him, and then fall upon Brussels. In spite, however, of a severe loss, Ziethen maintained his ground so long at Charleroi, that the alarm spread along the whole Prussian line: he then fell back in an orderly manner upon a position between Ligny and Amand; where Blucher, at the head of his whole army, excepting Bulow's division, which had not yet come from Liege,-awaited Napoleon's attack. Bona.. parte had thus failed in his attempt to beat the Prussian divisions in detail ; it remained to be seen whether the second part of his plan, that of wholly separating Blucher from Wellington's army, would succeed. Accordingly, while the former concentrated his force about Ligny, the French

occupied the main road between Brussels and Charleroi.

They drove in some Nassau troops at Frasnes, and pursued them as far as the farm-house of Quatre Bras, which derives its name from the circumstance of the roads from Charleroi to Brussels, and from Nivelles to Namur, there crossing each other.

At half-past one o'clock of the same day, a Prussian officer came to the Duke of Wellington's quarters at Brussels, with the intelligence of the French movements. By two o'clock the Duke issued orders to all his cantonments, for the divisions to break up, and effect a junction on the left at Quatre Bras : there the British general intended his whole force to assemble, by eleven o'clock of the following night, the 16th. That night a ball, which was to have been given at the Duchess of Richmond's hotel in Brussels, was intended to be put off; but as on reflection it seemed expedient that the inhabitants should be as little as possible acquainted with the progress of events, at the Duke of Wellington's request it proceeded-himself enjoining the general officers to appear in the ball-room, but each to quit the apartment quietly at ten o'clock, and to join his respective division en route. Soon after the younger officers were summoned from the dance, for the troops were already mustering. The Duke retired at twelve, and left the town at six next morning for Quatre Bras. The reserve quitted Brussels during the night, silently, and unobserved by the inhabitants, none but the military authorities knowing of the event till next day.

When Napoleon came up from Charleroi, about noon on the 16th, he was at first uncertain whether to make his main attack on Blucher at Ligny, or on the English at Quatre Bras. But the AngloBelgian army was not yet concentrated, while the Prussian, with the exception of one division, was : he therefore resolved to devote his personal attention to the latter. The main strength of his army, accordingly, was directed against Blucher at three in the afternoon ; while the subordinate, yet formidable attack on Wellington's position, was begun by Ney with 45,000 men.

The Duke of Wellington had held a conference with Blucher on the morning of the 16th at Bryand fixed with him the ultimate measures to be adopted, whatever course the events of the day might assume. The troops awaited the assault of Ney, under many disadvantages; they were vastly out-numbered, and had most of them been marching since midnight ; while the French were comparatively fresh. The French had besides all the advantage of ground : they were posted among growing corn, as high as the tallest man's shoulders, which, with the sloping and unequal fields, enabled them to draw up a strong body of cuirassiers close to the English, yet screened from view. Many of the Duke's troops, his cavalry in particular, had a long way to march, and had not yet arrived ; so that, when the contest began, there was not more than 19,000 of the allies up, and of these only 4,500 British infantry.

It was very important to maintain the position occupied by the Belgians, which was an alignement between the villages of Sartà Mouline and Quatre Bras, the possession of the roads near which, it was of the utmost consequence that the allies should maintain ; for the high-road led to Brussels, and was intersected by that road which led to the right of the Prussians stationed at St. Amand. The road to Brussels to the right of the allies' position, is skirted by a large and dense wood called Le Bois


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