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FULL AND CIRCUMSTANTIAL ACCOUNT
of THE *
BATTLE OF WATERLOO:
THE SECOND RESTORATION OF
peportation of papoleon assuonaparte
ISLAND OF ST. HELENA,
AND EVERY RECENT PARTICULAR RELATIVE TO HIS CONDUCT AND MODE OF LIFE IN HIS EXILE.
- LONDON : -
By RiDER and Weed, Little Britain.
FEW subjects have ever possessed more genuine interest, or excited more universal attention, than the BATTLE of WATERLoo; whether it be regarded with respect to the treason which produced it, the circumstances of desperate valour and individual heroism by which it was attended, or the important consequences which have resulted from it.
Scarcely had the nations of Europe congratulated themselves on the happy termination of a tedious, expensive, and sanguinary war, when the demon of Discord, in the person of Napoleon Buonaparte, issued from his seclusion in the isle of Elba ; and, landing on the shores of France, diffused the pestilence of rebellion around him:-an infatuated army—a deluded populace—disgraced themselves and their country by unexampled treason;–a legitimate prince, recently restored to the dominions of his ancestors, was driven into exile;—the arrangements which the greatest of sovereigns and the first of statesmen had made for the repose of the world, were suddenly overthrown;–and the only alternative which remained was that of a renewal of hostilities, or a disgraceful submission to a tyrant who had proved himself regardless of every treaty and of every tie. - - . .
The decision of the allies was marked by wisdom and promptitude. Indignant at the Corsican's attempt to regain by subtlety an empire which he had been unable to defend by arms, they announced their determination to avenge the cause of injured justice, and never to sheathe the sword till the disturber of mankind should be driven from the seat of his usurpation.
The conflict which ensued was most tremendous. The usurper and his adherents fought with the madness of desperation, and the fate of Europe seemed to hang in trembling suspense between the contending armies. Heaven, however, frowned on the unhallowed attempt of imposing new chains on the human race. The commanding genius, the cool equanimity, the intrepid gallantry of a WELLINGtoN, aided by the consummate discipline and unparalleled bravery of British troops, and the splendid achievements of their allies, baffled all the arts and exertions of the foe;—convinced the haughty curiassiers that their boasted armour was not proof against the shafts of death —and proved to the admiring world that the imperial guards of France were no longer invincible. Foiled and defeated at every point, the rebel troops gave way; and their unprincipled leader, abandoning them to the sabres of their triumphant pursuers, fled ignominiously to Paris; there to confirm the news of his decisive overthrow, and to sign a second abdication of his self-assumed authority.
The results of this memorable battle, which has been justly and emphatically styled the salvation of Europe, were equally important and beneficial. Paris, occupied a second time by the allies, was compelled to restore those sumptuous works of art of which she had plundered the surrounding nations, and which had served to legalize robbery in the eyes of her
inhabitants;–the throne, too long stained by usurpation, was again filled by its lawful possessor;-and the disgraced and defeated Corsican, who had so often cursed the world by his criminal projects, or his actual atrocities, surrendered himself to the British government, and was justly doomed to hide his guilty head in the obscurity of St. Helena; whilst WATERLoo, the scene of his defeat, exhibited an imperishable monument of the retributive justice of God, the brilliant success of the allied armies, and the general peace of 1815.
The history of a battle, so astonishing in itself, and so magnificent in its results, will be read with avidity by ages yet unborn; but to the present generation, the contemporaries, friends, and relatives, of the living and the fallen heroes of that day, it presents a source of attraction much easier to be imagined than described.
Here the military man will retrace the terrors and the glories of that field on which the fate of Europe was decided;—the widowed matron and the fatherless child, surveying the noble exploits of a husband or a father, will smile exulting through their tears;–the rising generation, fixing their eyes on the MEN of WATERLoo, will catch the patriotic flame which glowed within their breasts;–the friend of genuine liberty will hail the confederated armies who forced the sceptre from a tyrant's hands; and EveRY BRItoN, worthy of the name he bears, will dwell with fond delight on the prominent characters, in the passing scene, whom he recognizes as natives of his own land.
For these important reasons, the Proprietor has spared no expense—the Editor has shrunk from no laborious research, to render it worthy of universal patronage. Official papers and works of established reputation have been primarily consulted, as historical documents; much original information has been communicated by a gentleman who has actually visited the field of battle, and other parts of the Netherlands;—a rich fund of anecdote has been collected from various authors of unquestionable veracity;-and a bona fide abridgment of the popular letters from St. Helena has been introduced ; to convey to the reader an accurate picture of the retirement, conversations, and pursuits of that adventurer, who, we trust, will never be permitted to quit his present abode till his inordinate ambition is extinguished with his life.
In order to render the following pages as interesting and complete as possible, the affairs of France, from the second usurpation of Buonaparte to his deportation from Europe, have been fully detailed ; and biographical sketches of the principal Waterloo heroes, and other distinguished characters have been drawn from the most impartial and respectable sources. The Editor and Proprietor, therefore, venture to indulge a confident hope, that the work now respectfully submitted to the British public, will be found superior to any thing of a similar kind which has been hitherto attempted.