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Mr. Larpent's volumes, which we do, re- nally published in the early part of commending them to all readers who 1851, soon after the decease of the wish to be amused while they are in- author. The book was reviewed at structed, and who will find them to
great length in the Quarterly Review combine the utile cum dulci in very for December, 1851, and especially reagreeable proportions. They have commended as deserving translation. rapidly gone through the first edition, The author left these memoirs as an ina second is announced, and their popu- heritance to his children, and says himlarity cannot fail to be enduring. They self, in his preface, that he considers will last and be referred to as a valuable them more in the light of family proappendage to the history of the greatest perty than as documents suited for warrior of our age, and as containing publication. In many respects they anecdotes equally interesting and au- soar beyond personal anecdotes or thentic of his private character and private memoranda, and reach the imtransactions. He was not a man of portance of authentic history. There warm, enthusiastic impulse. Had he are points we shall select in which been so moulded he would have been
they are particularly valuable. The less fitted for his post ; but he was in. portion of this work pre-eminently variably just, honourable, and con- interesting to English readers, is sistent, governed by sound principle that which treats of the campaign of and habitual self-control. If not given Waterloo, where the author first came to inordinate praise, he was equally in contact with the Duke of Wel. sparing of censure, and one leading lington, being attached to his headreason which, in conversation, he as. quarters to keep up the correspondence signed for not writing the history of and connexion between the English his own campaigns was, that he should commander-in-chief and the Prussian be compelled to speak the truth, and Field-Marshal Blucher. He proceeded pare down reputations which had been to his appointment without much eminflated beyond their wholesome bulk. pressement, not anticipating that it Voltaire, who delighted in undervaluing would prove particularly satisfactory or human nature, said, that no man was important. The result equally falsified a hero to his valet-de-chambre-mean- his expectations. By some strange mising that close intimacy unveils in. conception, General VonGneisenau, the firmities, and dissipates the halo of chief of the Prussian staff, had adopted superiority with which greatness ap- a very erroneous estimate of the Duke pears to be surrounded when viewed
of Wellington's character, which he from a distance. The phrase has be- endeavoured to impress on the envoy. come proverbial, but is rather a He warned him on his departure to be pungent sarcasm than an aphoristic much on his guard with the Duke, for, truth. There are characters which will as he said, by his early relations with endure the test of the most familiar India, and his transactions with the scrutiny, and retain their pretensions deceitful nabobs, this distinguished even when we are introduced to them
general had so accustomed himself to behind the scenes of every day life. duplicity, that he had at last become The Duke was one of these rare ex- such a master in the art, as even to amples.
His nearest associates never outwit the nabobs themselves. Engfelt their respect diminished by in- lishmen can afford to smile while they timacy, and the veneration which all are a little astonished at the extraacknowledged for the patriot, the legis- ordinary mistakes of foreigners, even lator, and the victorious commander, when friends and allies. A more is increased rather than diminished as straightforward, guileless person than we become better acquainted with the the Duke of Wellingtor. never exmanners, opinions, and domestic habits
isted in the annals of public life. His of the individual man.
unswerving honesty and singleness of Baron Muffling's volume, entitled purpose, is, perhaps, his highest dis“ Passages from my Life," ably edited tinguishing quality, a great secret of by Colonel Philip Yorke, was origi- his constant success, and the undoubted
• The memorable order after the retreat from Burgos may be qaoted as an exception, but it was issued under very trying circumstances and a great disappointment. The Duke himself subsequently admitted that in some points it exceeded in harshness.
charm by which be won the confidence able authority representing it as lax of all who came in contact with him, and indulgent, when compared with either when joined in command, as- our own. During the battle of Watersociated in diplomacy, or entirely sub- loo, Baron Muffling saw a very striking ordinate to his controlling genius. illustration of the uncompromising spirit Baron Muffling scon found that Gneise- with which English officers carry out nau (who in fact really commanded the the orders delivered to them. Two Prussian army, while Blucher merely brigades of British cavalry stood on the acted the part of “ Marshal Forwards, left wing. He rode up to the com. as the bravest in battle and most inde- manders of both, and urged them at a fatigable in exertion), had led him into critical moment to cut in upon the a gross misconception as to the great scattered infantry of the enemy, observ. man with whom he was now in constant ing that they could not fail to bring intercourse. In a short time he back at least 3,000 prisoners. Both won his entire confidence, which the agreed with him fully, but, shrugging Duke bestowed on him without reserve, their shoulders, answered, “ Alas! we when he found the Prussian officer, in dare not; the Duke of Wellington is every point discussed between them, very strict in enforcing obedience to told him the simple truth. Muffling prescribed regulations. says, " he had seen that I had the well- The Prussian general had afterwards fare of all at heart, and that I en- an opportunity of speaking with the tertained towards him thereverence due Duke on this point, which he did with to those talents as a commander, which the less reserve, as the two officers in did not more distinguish him than the question were amongst the most disopenness and rectitude of his cha- tinguished of the army, and had renracter." The following remarks on dered signal services with their brigades the unlimited authority exercised by in the proceedings of the day. The the English general are well worthy of Duke replied at once, that the two gebeing transcribed and remembered:- nerals were perfectly correct in their
answer, for had they made such a gra"I perceived" (says Baron Muffling), tuitous attack without his permission, " that the Duke exercised far greater power even though the greatest success had in the army he commanded than Prince
crowned their attempt, he must have Blucher in the one committed to his care.
brought them to a court-martial. The rules of the English service permitted the suspension of any officer, and sending him
“ With us,” he added, “it is a fixed back to England. The Duke had used this
rule, that a general placed in a prepower during the war in Spain, when dis- arranged position has unlimited power obedience showed itself amongst the higher
to act within it, according to his judgofficerz. Sir Robert Wilson was an instance
ment; for instance, if the enemy asof this. Amongst all the generals, from the sails him, he may defend himself on leaders of corps to the commanders of brigades, the spot, or meet the foe from a covered not one was to be found in the allied position; and in both cases he may army who had been known as refractory. pursue them, but never further than It was not the custom in this army to criticise the obstacle behind which the position or control the commander-in-chief. Dis
assigned him lay; in one word, such cipline was strictly enforced, every one knew
obstacle, until fresh orders, is the limit his rights and his duties. The Duke, in
of his action." matters of service, was very short and decided. He allowed questions, but dismissed
The idle tales that the allies were all such as were unnecessary. His detractors surprised at the opening of the camhave accused him of being inclined to en- paign of 1815, their forces dislocated, croach on the functions of others, a charge
and that the Prussians won the great which is at variance with my experience." fight, while the English only with dif
ficulty held their position, have long We have been so accustomed to been refuted by ample military investhink the code of military discipline in tigation, and the sound conclusions are the Prussian service, established by now fully confirmed by this memoir Frederick William, and carried out with of Baron Muffling, wbich corroborates additional severity under his son and and enlarges on the opinion he delivered successor, Frederick the Great, as so long since in a former published acstern and peremptory, so absolute count of the battle of Waterloo. His in principle and detail, that we are testimony is most explicit as to the rather surprised to find an unquestion fact, “that the battle could have afforded no favourable result to the had declared Napoleon outlawerl, it was his enemy, even if the Prussians had never intention to have him shot, whenever ho come up." Sir Walter Scott's con- caught him. But he desired, at the same clusion was perfectly right, when he
time to know what were the Duke's views wound up bis narrative by saying, “The
on this subject, for should he entertain laurels of Waterloo must be divided
as himself, he wished to act
in concert with him. The Duke stared the British won the battle, the Prus.
at me in astonishment, and in the first place sians completed and rendered available
disputed the correctness of this interpretation the victory." It was an action of con- of the Viennese declaration of outlawry, cert from the beginning, and the late which was never meant to incite to the assasarrival of the Prussians was not cal- sination of Napoleon. He therefore did not culated on. In all reasonable estimate, think that they could acquire from this act they were expected on the ground any right to order Napoleon to be shot, earlier. The heavy rains had clogged should they succeed in making him a priand impeded the roads, and made them
soner of war. But be this as it may, as far almost impassable for artillery, tum
as his own position, and that of the Fieldbrils, and ammunition wagons, ren
Marshal with respect to Napoleon were con
cerned, it appeared to him that, since the dering the march of infantry slow and
battle they had won, they were become much irregular. The Duke himself said,
too conspicuous personages to justify such a "even if Blucher had not come up at all
transaction in the eyes of Europe. I had I would have held my ground through already felt the force of the Duke's arguthe night; he must have been with me ments before I most reluctantly undertook early in the morning, and we then would my mission, and was little disposed to disnot have left Bonaparte an army.” In pute them. I, therefore,' continued the Captain Siborne's original model, the Duke, 'wish my friend and colleague to see Prussian advance is represented as
this matter in the light I do; such an act over-lapping the French right at Plan
would hand down our names to history chenoit at a much earlier hour in the
stained by a crime, and posterity would say
of us, that we did not deserve to be the conday than this movement actually took
querors of Napoleon ; the more so as such a place. He was long before he was
deed is now quite useless, and can have no convinced of this error, of which he
object.'" finally received full conviction, and altered the model accordingly. The If Napoleon was made aware of the most remarkable incident alluded to in tender dispositions of Blucher towards the memoirs of Baron Muffling, is the him, we can readily understand his strange fact that Blucher positively in- anxiety to escape from France, and tended to treat Napoleon as a brigand, the comparative security with which and shoot him off band, if the chances he must have felt himself surrounded, of war, a private treaty, or treachery, when treading the quarter-deck of a had placed him in his power; and that British seventy-four. It was not easy it was only through the urgent remon- to divert Blucher from the object he strances of the Duke of Wellington that had doggedly taken up, but the Duke the savage old Prussian was induced to
prevailed and won him over. Gneisegive up a measure of personal vengeance, nau's final communication to Baron which, if circumstances had allowed Muffling on the subject marks the him to carry it into effect, would have yielding deference paid to the English tarnished his own laurels, and cast an general, while the Prussian authorities indelible disgrace on his country, acknowledge no sympathy with his Muffling's account of this intended moral convictions: outrage, more worthy of Attila or Genghis, than of a warrior of the nine- "TO THE MAJOR-GENERAL BARON Vox teenth century, is as characteristic as it is interesting. He says :
“I am directed by the Field-Marshal to
request your Excellency to communicate to “During the march on Paris, Field-Mar- the Duke of Wellington, that it had been his shal Blucher had at one time a prospect of intention to execute Bonaparte on the spot getting Napoleon into his power ; the de- where the Duc D'Enghien was shot; that livering up of Napoleon was the invariable out of deference, however, to the Duke's condition stipulated by him in every con- wishes, he will abstain from this measure, ference with the French Commissioners sent but that the Duke must take on himself the to treat for peace or an armistice. I received responsibility of its non-enforcement. It apfrom him instructions to inform the Duke of pears to me that the English would feel emWellington, that as the Congress of Vienna barrassed by the delivery of Bonaparte to
VOL. XLII. NO. CCXLVII.
them; your Excellency will therefore only ment on the whole family. The women direct the negotiations, so that he may be de- screamed and fainted. The father livered up to us. When the Duke of Welling
wept and implored, but the young ton declares himself against the execution
Frenchman sat pallid, silent, and apof Bonaparte, he thinks and acts in the mat
palled. The English officer interter as a Briton. Great Britain is under weightier obligations to no mortal man than
fered, and tried to pacify his brother to this very villain ; for by the occurrences
lodger, who, he thought, was seized whereof he is the author, her greatness, pros
with sudden insanity. perity and wealth, have attained their present
He became collected in a moment, elevation. It is quite otherwise with us Prus- and resumed his habitual mildness. sians. We have been impoverished by him. “Madam,” said he, addressing the Our nobility will never be able to right lady of the mansion, “pardon me, itself again. But be it so! If others will
while I explain my strange conduct. assume a theatrical magnanimity, I shall not Your son, who stands there, was an set myself against it. We act thus from esteem for the Duke, and—weakness.
inmate of my father's house in Berlin
for two months. He was received as I (Signed) “Count Von GNEISENAU.
bave been by you, with kindness and Senlis, June 29th, 1815."
respect, and all his wants anticipated;
but his daily conduct, without the This is unquestionably a very unique slightest provocation, was such as I official document, and shows the lasting have now exhibited ; let him deny or rancour which the excesses of the resent this as he pleases. I leave your French in Prussia bad implanted in house, now that he has returned to it; the memories of her children and war- and he knows where to find me." So riors. Our “gentlemen of England, saying, he left the room. The young who live at home at ease," know Frenchman was too conscious of the nothing of these little episodes of war, truth of this charge to take any further by practical experience, or they would steps in the matter, or evince the slightlisten with less unction to the ha. est resentment. On the march up to rangues of peace-demagogues, who Paris after Waterloo, the Prussians would fain persuade them that a standing occupied the finest chateaux and most army is an unnecessary evil, and that comfortable farms; and in the morning the soldier's calling is as unholy as it before their departure, generally burn. is wasteful and superfluous. An indi- ed the stables, broke the furniture, and vidual case of retaliation on the part particularly wreaked their vengeance of a Prussian officer, occurred within on the ornamental glasses and large the writer's knowledge, soon after the mirrors with which French mansions occupation of Paris by the allies in are so amply provided. The English 1815. He was billeted on a French army, who followed in their track, family, who treated him with great found the marks of their predecessors kindness, and he conducted himself in visible desolation wherever they arwith reciprocal decorum.* After two rived. When the restoration of the picor three months, the eldest son of the tures and statues in the Louvre was dehouse, who had been taken prisoner in termined on, the French government the retreat from Moscow, returned entreated the Duke of Wellington to from Russia, and came home. The prevent their dispersion ; but here he Prussian and he recognised each other exercised the same conscientious inat the first glance, and scarcely ac- tegrity with which he had interdicted nowledged acquaintanceship by a cold personal outrage on Napoleon. He inclination. Dinner was announced. refused peremptorily to interfere. As The Prussian, for the first time, found the French, he said, had seized these fault with everything, swore at the ser- masterpieces of art by force of arms vants, flung the dishes about as wildly and as trophies of conquest, they had as Petruchio does in the farce, broke a just right to disgorge them when the plates, glasses and decanters, dashed tide of success turned back into andown his chair, and finally, drew his other channel. It was an opportunity sword and began gesticulating like for teaching them a great moral lesson, madman, declaring that he would sum- which ought not to be neglected. But mon in his troop and inflict chastise- again, when Blucher, in an ebullition
The writer's brother, a young officer in the staff corps, was quartered in the same house.
of drunken frenzy, determined on brity. The author was attached to the blowing up the bridge of Jena, and Duke's family for three years, and actually ordered a body of engineers, bears ample testimony to the kindness sappers and miners, to get under arms and consideration with which he treatfor that purpose, the Duke once more ed youth and inexperience. He menrestrained the barbarism of his col. tions more than one instance of his league, and convinced him that the uncommon patience in regard to his destruction of a monument could nei- horses_a point in which most men are ther re-write nor falsify the pages of particularly tenacious. On a particuhistory, and that Jena was more cre- lar occasion the young aid-de-camp ditably balanced by Rosbach on the had lamed the Duke's favourite hunone side, and Waterloo on the other. ter, for which, in an agony of terror, During the occupation of Paris in 1815, be expected summary dismissal. The and the early part of 1816, the Prus- Duke beard the story patiently, and sians literally lived at free quarters, only remarked, “ You're not to blame exacted what they pleased-well know- --you did your best. But" (the thought ing that in any complaint they would of Othello's remark_never more be be supported by their own authorities, officer of mine,' came across the anxious and that even a gross outrage would mind of the delinquent)" but,” conbe unlistened to, or glossed over. The tinued the great chief, “I can't afEnglish were coerced within the strict- ford to run the chance of losing all my est bonds of discipline ; and a complaint best horses; so, in future" (the listener on the part of a Frenchnian, however quaked, and thought the dreaded clislightly founded, was redressed on the max was coming), “so in future you instant. If you even laughed at your shall have the brown horse and the landlord—which it was almost impos- chestnut mare; and, if you knock sible to avoid, as he was generally in a them up, you must afterwards mount state of excitement, gesticulating like a yourself." The writer adds, “I left galvanised frog on the least provocation the hero of a hundred battles with but
-you were certain to be reprimanded one sentiment, that of overpowering by your commanding officer for a viola- gratitude; and felt that Wellington tion of international decorum. We could was as good in all the kindly oflices of enumerate some amusing cases which social intercourse, as he was great in came within our personal knowledge ; the more extended duties of the field." but we reserve them for a more ap- Anecdotes such as these may serve to propriate opportunity. On the whole, unmystify those who, from a habitual the Prussians were hated, but treated misconception, fancy that the great with respect and attention, at a very soldier was always "the Iron Duke," slight disbursement ; while the English and never had his moments of social paid heavily for small accommodation, familiarity, or his intervals of friendly and were looked upon as fools, for consideration. passing by opportunities which they This little volume, in some minute might fairly have used to their own ad- details, is incorrect both in chronology Fantage. But it has been ever thus and matter; but as they touch no point from remote antiquity. We pay all, of historical interest, we pass them by fight all, and lose all, by mistaken with only a general notice. In one or magnanimity, which nobody under- two instances, we find
passages which stands or reciprocates—when all is in supply information soaring beyond faour power.
miliar gossip. A letter to Sir Charles “ Three Years with the Duke of Stuart, on the subject of the meditated Wellington in Private Life," generally execution of Bonaparte, by Blucher, supposed to be writen by Lord William corroborates what we already find in Lennox, is a light, agreeable volume, the statement of Baron Muffling, and more exclusively anecdotal and do- in nearly the same words. The Duke mestic than either of the works we says, in a communication, dated June have already noticed. Referring back 28th, 1815— to a period when the author was in the morning of life, it well expresses the
“I send you my despatches, which will admiration and respect of youth for å
make you acquainted with the state of afreputation and renown which filled the fairs. You may show them to Talleyrand if world with its loud report, and was
you choose. General has been here then on the topmost pinnacle of cele- this day, to negotiate for Napoleon's passing