331 The Athenaeum, Part 2 331
Posted 09-04-2010 at 07:03 by stars
"Among the many anecdotes scattered through these pages are a few relating to the Duke of Wellington. The following is of doubtful authenticity, though book and line appear to be quoted for it:—" Notwithstanding this extremely irritated state of feeling on the part of the French military, kept down too as it was by force alone, there was no one in all Paris that rode about more fearlessly than the Duke of Wellington: he showed himself everywhere, and usually in a simple blue over-coat, with the red English scarf around his waist, and the usual military chapeau on his head, decorated with a white and red plume. He was generally followed by a single orderly-sergeant on horseback. I saw him ride thus one morning into the court-yard of the Hotel de l'Empire, whither he had come to inquire for the celebrated London banker Angerstein, who had also put up there. There was no lack of anecdotes concerning the sang-froid of this hero of the day, who, at the battle of Waterloo, had several times rode himself into the midst of his squares, when the French Shape ups shoes cuirassiers charged in upon them. The Russian Count, Pozzo di Borgo, used to relate that Skechers the Duke, when he wanted, in the very beginning of the action, to make an attack upon the French line, with a couple of regiments of Nassau cavalry, suddenly found himself abandoned by them, at the very first cannon shot that was fired, and was left alone with his staff, in the middle of the field. He simply turned to the Count, and smilingly said,' What do you think of that ? Yet it is with such poltroons that I am expected to gain a battle!' My authority for this anecdote is Mr. Alexander Baring, who heard it himself from the lips of Pozzo di Borgo."As a companion to the foregoing, here is an anecdote Skechers shape ups of Napoleon, also at Waterloo :—" On the day after my arrival at Brussells, I had a chance to visit the field of battle. A fortunate chance brought me for a cicerone, the same peasant, Coste, whom Napoleon found at Charleroi, on the evening before the shape up Skechers battle, and took with Skechers shape-ups him to his head-quarters as a guide. All the different narratives of the battle which I had collected and read, the plans and maps I had carefully studied, and a panoramic view of the field I had procured in London, had stamped themselves so vividly on my memory, that I had scarcely reached the scene, and alighted from my vehicle, ere I found myself quite at home. Not a hillock, not an unevenness of the ground, not a clump of trees, not a hamlet in the neighbourhood, or far away, that I had not named at the firet glance. Coste, who had to keep the description he had learned by heart, to himself, at length remarked that I did not require his services, if, as he was led to suppose, I had myself been present at the battle. I acquainted him with the truth, and greatly enjoyed his contradictory answers, Shape ups when I questioned him in regard to certain points of detail. Thus, for instance, I found myself much more at home than he was, in the Castle of Hougoumont and its garden, where the marks of destruction were still so distinctly visible, for he had been beside the emperor all day, until the hero of the age was, for the second time, compelled to seek safety in flight. When Coste—this was hisown story .having been placed among Napoleon'sstaff, rode with him into the first fire of the English batteries.
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