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were revived from time to time by the inspired the mass with a spirit of enterAustrian war and Schill's chivalrous enterprise in action and endurance under defeat prise; but the prospect was soon clouded, of which few coalitions have presented an and, till the two colossal powers, Russia example. In ordinary times, or with ordiand France, once more arrayed themselves nary objects, Blücher's character and disagainst each other, the distant successes of position would have ill fitted him for acting England in the Peninsula could alone af- with the subtle and jealous Russian, or the ford him a gleam of consolation.
lukewarm Swede, to whom the Germans Among the concessions which Napoleon applied the well-known line from Schiller's extorted from his doubtful ally previous to Song of the Bell, his Russian expedition was the removal of Blücher from his Pomeranian command, a
• Ach! ihm felhlt kein theures haupt.' measure for which the old soldier's reck- Neither the amiability of Schwarzenberg, less language and deportment afforded a nor the patient tact of Wellington, which full justification. It was gilded on the part neither Portuguese nor Spanish could exof the sovereign by a handsome territorial haust, were natural to Blücher: but for his donation in Silesia, to the capital of which two great purposes, the liberation of bis province Blücher, after a short residence country and the humiliation of France, he at Berlin, retired.
could assume both. Defeat, indeed, he It was to Breslau, also, that the King suffered often :—to compare him with that betook himself on the occasion of that fa- great captain from whom thoughout bis mous defection of D’York from the French, campaigns in India and Europe no enemy which fired at once from one end of Prus- ever carried off a gun and kept it, would sia to the other the insurrectionary mate- be preposterous. Few victories, however, rials long and secretly stored up for such a bave been more fairly won, to say nothing contingency. The nature of Blücher's feel of their consequences, than the great battle ings and advice at this juncture might easi- of the Katzbach. No mere bussar inspired ly be anticipated. He was loud in favour his troops with that sterling enthusiasm of an immediate forward movement, louder which could enable them to pursue every in his scorn of more timid and dilatory advantage and rally after every failure, proposals. The King hesitated in bestow- which could retrieve Montmirail on the ing upon him the command which the heights of Montmartre, and keep steadily popular voice and the general feeling of to a programme of combined movement the soldiery would have at once decreed to after Ligny. Blücher must have possessed him. There were among the court ad- real and high skill as a tactician, though visers not a few who looked upon Blücher probably not as a strategist, to which, inas a mere fiery hussar, who would compro- deed, he does not seem ever to have premise by rashness and want of science the tended. At the same time his supreme hopes of the present crisis, and by such the contempt of danger and constant recklesspretensions of Tauenzien were advocated. ness of personal exposure had doubtless The opinion and advice of the deeply- very much to do with his success. He skilled 'Scharnhorst, however, prevailed, possessed with Marmion and Napoleon and on the 15th of March, 1813, Blücher's the art long dream was realized by finding himself at the head of the Silesian army.
• To win the hardy soldier's heart, We have dwelt, perhaps at some length,
Who loves a captain to obey, on the earlier portion of Blücher's career
Boisterous as March, yet fresh as May.' -as affording illustrations of his character His jests, frequently ill calculated for chaste from that part of his biography with which ears, extorted grim smiles from lips black general readers are probably the least fa- with the cartridge, and sent laughter thrı ugh miliar. The subsequent incidents of his the column while grapeshot was tearing military life are so well known as to make its ranks. When he checked his horse in summary revision superfluous. It is im- the hottest cannonade to light his pipe at possible, however, for any one, scientific the linstock of the gunner, the piece or otherwise, to review the great struggle was probably not the worse served. Toof 1813 and ’14 without admitting that if wards the close of the campaign in France to the Emperor Alexander belonged the the infirmities of age at one moment alpolitical influence, and to Schwarzenberg most induced him to conteinplate the the address, which mainly kept together abandonment of his command, and to the discordant elements of the coalition, retire into the Netherlands, but the spirit Blücher was the fighting element which triumphed over the flesh, and though
unable to remain in the saddle for the last Blücher might have long gone on smokattack on Montmartre, he gave his orders ing, gaming, and scolding without interrupwith calmness and precision from a car- tion, if the great, event had not occurred riage. His appearance on this occasion which restored him to bis more legitimate must have taxed the gravity of his staff, vocation. The news of Napoleon's escape for, to protect his eyes, then in a state of found him accidentally at Berlin. His first violent inflammation, the grisly veteran had impulse was to call on the English ambasreplaced his cocked-hat by a French lady's sador, to twit him with the negligence of bonnet and veil. His health prevented his countrymen; his next to exhibit himhim from sharing the triumphal entry of self in the principal street of the capital in the sovereigns into Paris, and, on the 2d his field-marshal's uniform, a significant day of April
, 1814, he resigned the burthen bint to younger generals not to expect that of his military command.
he would concede to them bis place in the The peace of Paris by no means satiated approaching fray. His nomination to that bis thirst for the humiliation of France. post of honour and danger soon ensued, and After enjoying the reward for his services his old companion and adviser, Gneisenau, in the enthusiastic congratulations of Lon- was once more at his side. don and Berlin, he divided for awhile his The Duke of Wellington reached Brusresidence between the latter city and Bres, sels from Vienna on the 5th of April, 1815, lau, at all times and in all places exhaling and found Kleist in command of the Prushis discontent at the concessions of the sian force, for Blücher only arrived at Liege allies. Unmeasured in his language, mix- on the 17th. It appears from the Duke's ing freely in society of all classes, and letter to Lord Clancarty, of the 6th, that he venting his spleen on all diplomatists, but found Kleist disposed to retire, in case of specially on Hardenberg, he became, with being attacked, behind Brussels, a plan out any personal object of aggrandizement which the Duke warmly opposed, in spite or political ambition, but in the mere in- of his own opinion expressed in his letter dulgence of his ill humour, the nucleus of to Lord Bathurst, of the same date, of the a little Fronde, calculated to offend with insufficiency of the force at his disposal. out influencing the sovereign and his From Blücber's temper and turn of mind, ministers.
as well as from the event, we may infer that That Blücher looked forward to another the Duke had little difficulty in recommendtrial of strength between his countrymen ing to the former his own views, based, no and the French is evident, but it is hardly doubt, as much on political as military conpossible that at his age he should have siderations, in favour of a position in adcontemplated the probability of once more vance of Brussels. in person directing the fortunes of the con Frorn the Duke's letter to Lord Clancartest, and of at last feeding fat the ancient ty of the 10th of April, it appears that he grudge he bore not only to Napoleon, but contemplated, in the first instance, taking to the nation. His speculations were pro- the initiative by the end of that month or bably more the offspring of his feelings the beginning of May, at which period he than of any profound observation of the conceived that the allies might throw into political state of Europe. A letter of the France a force of 270,000 men to be opDuke of Wellington, however, to his bro- posed by some 180,000. (Gurwood, xii. p. ther Sir Henry Wellesley (Gurwood, De- 297.) We find, however, that, three days cember 17th, 1841), shows that his views afterwards, his intelligence of Buonaparte's were shared by one whose calmer judg- state of preparation had already led him to ment and nearer observation were not sub- abandon this prospect. In enclosing a ject to such influences, and who had neither memorandum founded on his original ideas, defeats to retrieve in his own person, nor he says :insults to avenge in that of his country :
"I believe the truth to be, that the people of "Since I wrote to your Lordship some imthis country (France) are so completely ruined portant events have occurred in France, which by the revolution, and they are now suffering so will leave Napoleon's army more at his disposal severely from the want of the plunder of the than was expected at that time, and he has world, ihat they cannot go on without it; and adopted measures which will certainly tend to they cannot endure the prospect of a peaceable increase it at an early period. You will see by government. If that is the case, we should the enclosed papers that it is probable that the take care how we' suffered the grand alliance to Duc d'Angoulême will be obliged to quit France, break up, and we ought to look to our alliance and that Buonaparte, besides having called for with the powers of the Peninsula as our sheet- the soldiers recently discharged, amounting, as anchor.'
I understand, to about 127,000, of which 100,000
may be deemed immediately disposable, has(the Duke's scheme for offensive operations organized 200 battalions of Grenadiers of the was throughout kept steadily dependent National Guards. I imagine that the latter will not be a very formidable force; but still upon the movements of the allies on the Low
er and Upper Rhine. This is strikingly numbers were too nearly equal according to the estimate I gave you in my letter of the 10th, evident from a letter to Schwarzenberg, for me to think ii advisatlé, under present cir- dated 2d of June, 1815,* and from the one cumstances, to attempt to carry into execution of the same date which follows it to Sir what is proposed in the enclosed memorandum.' Henry Wellesley.t Napoleon, however,
took the game into his own hands, and The subsequent correspondence shows played it, in the first instance at least, with that neither the condition of his own force a skill and energy worthy of his best days nor that of his allies could have justified the and reputation. experiment. The mutinous state of the
It is probable that no extensive military Saxon troops might alone have been suffi- operation was ever conducted to its issue, cient to derange such a plan of action. whatever that issue might be, without many Some officers indeed of both nations have derangements of the original conceptions been of opinion that it was from the begin- of its leaders, arising from the casualties of ning far more in the power of Napoleon the busy moment, the failure of despatches, than of the allies to take the aggressive the misconstruction of orders, the misdireccourse ; and that by crossing the frontier, tion of columns, &c. The operations now which it is said he might have done with in question were certainly no exception to 40,000 men, very soon after his reinstal- this rule on either side. As to Napoleon, ment in the Tuileries, he would have had if his own account of them be believed, few more chances in his favour than be found commanders in critical circumstances have in June. It is evident that, with all his ex. been worse seconded, as far as prompt ertions, the Duke of Wellington at least obedience and punctuality were concerned, had full occupation for the interval which If Ney and Grouchy are to be credited elapsed, in collecting and adjusting the in their defence, no subordinates ever component parts of an army, which at its suffered more from tardy and contradictory best was far inferior to any he had com- orders on the part of their chief. Captain manded in Europe. His correspondence Pringle, in his excellent remarks on the at once shows his unceasing anxiety to an-campaign of 1815, published in the appenticipate the offensive movement of the ene- dix to Sir Walter Scott's Life of Napoleon, my, in which Blücher fully shared (see truly observes that, in French military Gurwood, 2d June, 1815), and justifies the works, the reader never finds a French prudence which forbade any forward move-army beaten in the field without some ment. It shows, moreover, that the diffi- plausible reason, or, as Las Casas terms it, culties of his position were not confined to a concurrence of unheard-of fatalities, to the well-known deficiencies and imperfec-account for it. • Non nostrum tantas comtions of his army on which Napoleon so ponere lites.' To an ordinary reader much relied, its raw and heterogeneous Grouchy's defence of himself appears composition, the absence of the flower of difficult to answer. It is evident that in the English infantry, the refusal of the Por- this, as probably in every other similar tuguese, &c. Even the article of material, transaction, chance reigned arbiter over which it might have been supposed Wool- many important occurrences; nor were wich would have supplied in profusion, was such accidents confined to the French slowly and scantily doled out to his press- army and operations. The English were ing remonstrances; and instead of 150
* 'Sous ces circonstances il est très important que British pieces, for which he applies on the je sache aussitôt que possible quand vous pourrez 6th of April, we find him on the 21st in commencer vos opérations ; et de quelle nature elles expectation of only 42, making up, with seront, et vers quel tems nous pouvons attendre que the German guns, some 84 pieces; while
vous serez arrivé à une hauteur quelconque, afin que
je puisse commencer de ce côié-ci de manière à atoir he states, from the Prussian returns, that appui de vos opérations. Le Maréchal Biücher est their corps on the Meuse are to take the préparé et très impatient de commencer; mais je field with 200, and their whole force with lui ai fait dire aujourd'hui qu'il me paraissait que no less than 600. With respect to drivers, fussions certain du jour auquel vous, commencericz,
nous ne pouvions rien faire jusqu'à ce que nuus horses, the heavy artillery, pontoons, &c., et en général de vos idées sur ros opérations.'-Gurhis difficulties are shown to have been wood, xii., p. 437. equally embarrassing. (See Gurwood,
+ The whole of Schwarzenberg's army will not 21st April, 1815).—But in addition to all 16th, at about which time I hope we shall begin.'
be collected on the Upper Rhine till towards the these lets and hindrances, it is evident that Gurwood, xii., p. 438.
not exempt; and that the fate of the knowledge and experience of the habits contest at Ligny on the 16th of June was and morale of his own troops, who, as he is seriously influenced by the absence of reported to have expressed himself, liked Bulow's corps, the fourth, is known to to see the enemy. In illustration of the every one. In Plotho's very circumstantial Duke of Wellington's opposite practice in account we find the fact mentioned, that this particular, we are tempted to quote the orders were forwarded to Bulow from following passage from a French military Sombrief, on the 15th, which were expected writer. It is from an article in the 'Bulletin to secure his junction for the next day. The Universelle des Sciences' for 1825, on a dispatch was sent to Hannut, where it was history of the Russian expedition, by the presumed that it would find his head- Marquis de Chambray :quarters established.
These were still, however, at Liege, and the dispatch, ap • The author,' says the reviewer, compares pearing to be of no consequence, unwichtig the English and French methods of fighting, scheinend, lay at Hannut unopened, and and the operations of the generals Massena and was found there by Bulow only on his
Wellington in 1811, Among the remarkable arrival. at 10 o'clock the next morning.
propositions to which the author is led by the We shall have a word or two more to for notice :-To defend a height, the English
results of this inquiry, we select the following say by and bye as to the circumstances infantry did not crown the crest, after the pracunder which Blücher was brought into tice of the infantry of other nations. Massena action at Ligny. That his infantry fought was repulsed, because the English employed admirably against great odds on that for the defence of the heights they occupied the occasion has never been disputed; with manæuvre I have spoken of before that of respeci to the cavalry and the artillery the crest, and leaving only tirailleurs on the
placing themselves some fifty paces in rear of Blücher expressed some
dissatisfaction. Whatever were the merits of the position, use.'
slope), which is preferable to that hitherto in
• This manner of defending heights,' conit is clear that Napoleon was tasked to the tinues the reviewer, is not new. It has been utmost to wrest it before nightfall from the sometimes employed, but it had been adopted old warrior who held it. Few English generally by the English during the Spanish narratives of the campaign have recorded war. It had even been taught their troops in the fact that it was visited by the Duke of places itself usually on the crest in sight of the
time of peace. The infantry of other nations Wellington shortly before the commence- assailant. French' infantry remains rarely on ment of the action, on which occasion the the defensive; and when it has overthrown the two generals còncerted in person their enemy, pursues with such impetuosity as not future measures for mutual co-operation, in always to preserve its ranks. Hence the rewhatever. manner the first collision might verses it has suffered on some of the occasions, end. The German accounts have not failed which are few, when it has defended heights. to record the interview, nor how the atten. Fuentes de Oñoro, and Albuera, it attacked.'
For on most occasions, such as Cor na, Busaco, tion of the well-girded Prussians was drawn to the white neckcloth of the great com
There is doubtless great difference mander, who, but for his cocked hat, with between the local features of Ligny and the cockade by its four colours bespeaking Busaco, between a Flemish slope and a the field-marshal
' of four kingdoms-Eng- Portuguese sierra, and we are aware that land, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands the ' brunt of the former action lay in the -might have been taken for an English low villages of Ligny' and St. Amand; but gentleman on 'his morning ride. We be the principle of non-exposure is the same. lieve it to be the opinion of most English It has been stated that when Napoleon officers acquainted with the ground at Ligny, mounted his horse on the morning of the that the Duke under similar circumstances 18th, seeing few signs of the British force would have defended it in a different man- in his front, he began to vent his disappointner from that adopted by the Prussians, for ment at their presumed escape, but that that the locality admitted of a disposition Foy, who had much Peninsular experience, which would have less exposed the masses warned him not to rely on appearances. not immediately engaged to the murderous “Wellington,' he said, "never shows his fire of the French artillery.* We have troops. A patrole of dragoons will soon heard that Gneisenau was sensible of the ascertain the fact, but if he is yonder, I objectionsio this feature in his own arrange- warn your Majesty que l'infanterie Anglaise ments, but had adopted his course from en duel est le diable.'
The incident of Blücher's fall under his This view is borne out by the remarks of a very ble act of devotion on the part of his aide
expiring horse at Ligny, and of the memoraable Prussian critic of the campaign, the late General Clausewitz.
de-camp, is well known. Modern Warfare
could probably hardly furnish a parallel | Anglesey, with the intelligence that the case, and Froissart has recorded no more 7th hussars had been engaged with the chivalrous exploit than that of Nostitz. French lancers, and that the enemy was From the Prussian accounts of this cavalry pressing his rear. He immediately returncharge, at the head of which Blücher had ed to the field, and remained on the ground thus exposed his person in vain, we collect till dark. Blücher, on the other hand, was that it was repulsed, not at the sword point, forced to keep his bed during this day. but by the carbine fire of the French The 18th, however, saw him again in the cavalry, who stood firm in their ranks. saddle, at the head of Bulow's newly-arrived This we imagine our officers would con- division, urging its onward course, and his sider as rather an old-fashioned proceeding, own, like Milton's griffin through the wil. and worthy of the cuirassiers of the six- derness, cheering the march-worn troops teenth rather than of the present century. till the defile of St. Lambert rang to his old We find, however, that same method was war-cry and sobriquet • Forwards'-reagain resorted to with success by the French minding them of the rain which had spared cavalry under Grouchy in an affair near so much powder at the Katzbach, and tell. Nanur on the 19th.
ing them of the promise of assistance which The victory remained with Napoleon, he stood pledged to redeem to the English. but Blücher, instead of obliging him by Nobly indeed was that promise redeemed, retiring on Namur, clung with tenacity to and the utter ruin of the French army is his communications with the English, and, to be ascribed to that assistance. Ungrateexactly as had been agreed upon, directed ful we should be not to acknowledge such his retreat on Wavre. No beaten army service, though we cannot subscribe to the ever rallied quicker or to better purpose. theories, whether French or Prussian, Blücher was conveyed to a cottage, whence which give it the full merit of saving from he dictated his dispatches and issued his destruction an army which had, while as orders, unshaken in spirit, though sorely yet unsupported, repulsed every attack and bruised in body. While the surgeon was annihilated the French cavalry. rubbing his bruises he asked the nature of We know that no thought of so disastrous the liniment, and, being told it was brandy, a result crossed the minds of those about the stated bis opinion that an internal applica. Duke's person, and that officers of his staff tion would be far more efficacious. This who left the field wounded towards the was applied in the mitigated shape of close of the action, did so with no other champagne, and he said to the messenger feeling of anxiety than for the personal who was on the point of departure with his safety of him they left behind. His servants, dispatch, Tell His Majesty das ich hätte who, in the village of Waterloo, had the kalt nachgetrunken, and that all will do opportunity of witnessing the incidents of well.' His order of the day for the 17th, the rear of such a battle-wbich try the after some reflections on the conduct of the nerves more than those of the fray itselfcavalry and artillery, concluded with these knew their master well. The manæuvres words—I shall lead you again against the of the kitchen were conducted with as much enemy: we shall beat him, for we must.' precision as those of the Footguards at St.
We find in the Life of Napoleon' pub- James's. Reign what confusion there might lished in the Family Library, a story of a in the avenue of Soignies, there was none second interview between the Duke and in the service of the duke's table, and the Blücher on the 17th, stated as a fact well honour of the Vattel of his establishment known to many superior officers in the was preserved free from stain as his own. Netherlands. The author and his inform That he ever returned to eat the dinner ants, however superior, are mistaken. The so prepared was certainly not due to any Duke in the early part of the 17th had avoidance of personal exposure on bis own enough to do to conduct his unexampled part. Of Buonaparte's conduct in that reretreat to Waterloo, from before Napoleon's spect on this his last field-day we have seen united force and superior cavalry-a move no account on which we could rely. We ment which but for the trifling affair of have no doubt of his sang-froid under fire ; Genappe would have been accomplished but whether Waterloo witnessed its conwithout the loss of a man. He remained spicuous display we are ignorant. On at Quatre Bras so occupied till half-past divers celebrated occasions he is known to one P. m., and then retired by the high have abundantly exposed himself; but in road to the field of next day's battle, which general he would seem to have been as he thoroughly examined, and was proceed-free as our own commander from the vul. ing to dinner at Waterloo, when he was gar ostentation of courting danger, and in overtaken by an aide-de-camp of Lord I most of his greater battles there was little