Boekgegevens
Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
URL: https://schoolmuseum.uba.uva.nl/bookid/LCSM_204683
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
* jaar van uitgave niet op de gebruikelijke wijze verkregen, mogelijk betreft het een schatting
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•130
'An English officer, who was wounded
and made a prisoner, was brought to him.
He made several enquiries, and among the
rest, what was the strength of the English
army. The officer told him that it was
very strong, and would almost immediately
be reinforced by 60,000 men. 'So much
the better,' said he; 'the more we meet,
the more we shall conquer.' He despatched
several messengers with despatches, which
he dictated to a secretary, and repeated
many times, in a tone of distraction, 'The
victory is mine — remember to say that.'
It was at this period, when all his attempts
had been abortive, that information was
brought to him of Prussian columns debouch-
ing on his right-llank, and threatening his
rear; but he would not believe these re-
ports, and constantly answered, that these
pretended Prussian troops were no other
than those of General Grouchy. It was
not long however , before he was undeceiv-
ed by the violence of the enemy's attack.
Part of the 6th corps was sent to sustain
this new shock, until Grouchy's corps arriv-
ed, which was every minute expected. The
Prussian corps, which now appeared in the
field at so critical a juncture, was that of
General Bulow.
'Buonaparte, without altering his resolu-
tion in any degree, was of opinion that the
moment was come to decide the day. He
formed, for this purpose, a fourth column,
almost entirely composed of the guards,
and directed it at the pas-de-charge on
Mount Saint Jean, after having despatched
instructions to every point, that the move-
ment, on which he thought victory to de-
pend, might be seconded. The veterans
marched up the hill with the intrepidity
which might be expected of them. The
whole army resumed its vigour, and the
combat was resumed throughout the line.
The guards made repeated charges, and
were as often repulsed. Overpowered by
an irresistible discharge of artillery, which
seemed every moment to increase, these
invincible grenadiers saw their ranks con-
stantly thinned, but they closed together
■ftîith perfect coolness, and advanced into
the heat of the fray without intimidation.
Nothing arrested their progress but.death,
or the severest'wounds.
'The hour of their defeat, however, was
come. Enormous masses of infantry, support-
ed by an immense force of cavalry, to
which the French could oppose no resist-
ance , as their own was entirely destroyed,
poured down upon them from all sides
with a degree of fury which made all idea of
quarter, on either part, out of the question.
'It was in vain that Buonaparte attempt-
ed to make a final effort by bringing into
action some battalions of the guards, which
had not yet been employed, and which he
himself headed. All was useless. Intimi-
dated by what passed around them, and
overpowered by numbers, this feeble reserve
soon yielded, and with the rest lied back
like a torrent. The artillerymen abandoned
their cannon; the soldiers of the waggon-
train cut the traces of their horses; the in-
fantry, the cavalry, and every other species
of soldiery, formed one confused interming-
led mass, partly flying along the road, and
partly across the field. The generals were
lost in this crowd; the corps had no longer
any regular commander, and not a single
battalion existed, behind which the rest
could attempt to rally. Even the guards,
who had hitherto been the very bulwark
of the army, and the terror of the enemy,
were dispersed among the multitude, the
disorder of which was increased by the
darkness of the night.
'The fugitives, painfully pressed by an
overwhelming foe, ran rapidly over the
two leagues which separate Genappe from
the field of battle, and at length reached
this small place, w-here the greater number
trusted that they should be able to pass
the night. In order to oppose some ob-
stacles to the enemy, they collected car-
riages on the road, and barricadoed the en-
trance to the principal street. A few can-
non were collected into the form of a bat-
tery; bivouacs were formed into the town
and its environs, and the soldiers entered
every house in search of shelter and food;
but scarcely were these dispositions made
when the enemy appeared. The discharge
of their cannon spread universal alarm
among their dejected enemies. All fled
again, and the retreat became more dis-
orderly than ever.
'At this time every one was ignorant of
Buonaparte's fate, for he had suddenly dis-
appeared. The general report was, that
he had fallen in the heat of the battle.
This intelligence being conveyed to a well-
known general, he replied in the words of
Megret, after the death of Charles XH.
at Friederickstadt, 'Then the tragedy is
ended.' Others said, that while making a
charge at the head of his guards, he had
been dismounted and taken prisoner. The
same uncertainty prevailed as to Marshal
Ney, and most ot the principal officers.
A great number of persons, however, affirm-
ed that they had seen the emperor pass
through the crowd, and that they knew him
by his grey great-coat and horse. This