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with very fatness, and the soil, from the heavy rains, was well nigh impassable to infantry, and much more so to the artillery and cavalry. The tired soldiers almost dispaired to reach the goal before night shadowed in. “You must, my brave comrades," exclaimed their heroic chief;“ Lord Wellington expects us, and we must not disappoint
Napoleon was no idle spectator of the tide of events which were now more thickly setting in. When he beheld the wood of Planchenoit glittering with bayonets, and fresh forces pouring in from the rear, and was witness that Duhesme and Lobau were making a doubtful defence, and in another quarter painfully observed the desperate resolves by which the English maintained their position, he was well aware that a short period would decide his fate. Like a desperate gamester, he determined to venture his last throw. To him there was no middle path between conquest and destruction.
The charm of his name, by which millions were spell-bound; his political existence; his sceptre and purple, his dynasty, his all — depended upon circumstances that were curdled into the next brief hour. His mobile features mirrored forth the powerful workings of that mighty soul, and his brow grew damp with the “dews of thought.” For a few fleeting moments he deliberated on his resolutions; then with an energy which had carried him triumphantly through a thousand difficulties, threw his heels into the sides of his war-horse, and galloped from one point to another, issuing orders, and preparing for the last great stroke on which everything depended. Drouet was desired to collect the remaining battalions of the Imperial Guard, and d'Erlon and Raille to act in concert with the former for a persisting attack the English centre. When the army had descended the hill of La Belle Alliance, and their rear artillery could safely come into operation, the cannoniers by well directed range again worked fearful destruction in the ranks of the Allies, men and horses by hundreds were swept away, yet they closed up and stood fearlessly to die !
"Farewell, thou fair day, thou green earth and ye skies,
Now gay with the bright setting sun ; Farewell, loves and friendships, ye dear, tender ties,
Our race of existence is run!
“In the field of proud honour-our swords in our hands,
Our king and our country to save-
Now came the fitful struggle—now the maniac fury—the reckless charge; and the combatants were thoroughly closed up to one another, and their forcesfully commingled. Dreadful and desperate was the carnage but so dreadful and desperate, that it could not last long; human nature is not constituted for any length of endurance of an onslaught so mad and exterminating. The Imperial eagle and the British lion, symboling the sovereignty of sky and earth, floated in the evening breeze over ground crimsoned with blood, and men were falling before their fellows like grass before the scythe! There the young ensign, whom we had almost forgotten, was where the “thickest of war's tempest lowered,” adding honour to his ancient name
there Colonel Sommerton rode, regardless, through the iron hail, as if he had, forsooth, a charmed life-aye! and there Moreton De Bohun—with face begrimed with smoke, his tall, swelling temple gashed with the sabre, and with those raven locks, so late the “sport of every summer wind," matted with gore—fought with Roman heroism! Many on that day had, beneath the destructive blows of De Bohun’s glittering falchion, in agony bit the ground.
But, brave heart, your hour is at handto you life's moments are waxing fewer and fewer-brief the time, and you will be deaf to the battle's din!
Look for an instant—a body of cuirassiers gallop up the rising ground like a legion of devils, bent on the work of hell!—they make a well-timed attack on the 52nd. Brave 52nd, you repulsed that charge noblyagain—and again—they cannot break your serried ranks! Sommerton's troop advances to the rescue.
De Bohun waves his sword, shouting, like Stentor, as he urges proud Soliman to the dreadful deed, “ Follow, follow, my brave comrades, to glory or the
A momentary flash of frenzied enthusiasm, more akin to madness than reason, lights up the fearful expression of a soul that threatens to startle from those features. As within an hour ago, you are once more engaged in a mortal duel—again your sword clashes on the helmet of your foe! The blade's not tempered—it snaps asunder-ah! Moreton, your short weapon cannot parry that deadly thrust—tis,—it is your last—the red rain in big drops trickles down your manly side ! Soliman's bridle falls from your hand—the hilt from your grasp-your senses reel-your eyes grow dim--and as Soliman quickly