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Fate has these turns; the throne of the world was expected; it was Saint Helena that was seen. If the little shepherd who served as guide to Bulow, Blucher's lieutenant, had advised him to debouch from the forest above Frischemont, instead of below Plancenoit, the form of the nineteenth century might, perhaps, have been different. Napoleon would have won the battle of Waterloo.

Some of the Prussians have certainly debouched on Plancenoit, but Napoleon's Old Guard have turned them out again, and from Limale now comes the sound of heavy cannonade as if Grouchy had come upon Blücher after all and all hopes of reinforcements for the British troops were finally at an end.

La Haye Sainte is evacuated, Hougoumont is abandoned; Papelotte, Plancenoit, the woods, the plains are only filled with running men and the thunder of galloping chargers. Alone the Old Guard has remained unshaken.

Jean, Hougoumont, Frischemont, Papelotte, and Plancenoit, seem confusedly crowned by hosts of specters exterminating one another. The French wished to call it the battle of Mont St. Jean, but Wellington said "The Battle of Waterloo." The victor's wish prevailed. I know not why, except because he was the victor.

Mont-Saint-Jean was cannonaded, Hougomont was burned, La Haie-Sainte was taken by assault, Papelotte was burned, Plancenoit was burned, La Belle-Alliance beheld the embrace of the two conquerors; these names are hardly known, and Waterloo, which worked not in the battle, bears off all the honor.

At this hour the Prussians had appeared at Braine L'Alleud, they had engaged Reille at Plancenoit, but Wellington and the British had still to hold their ground or the news which de Marmont intended to accompany to London might prove true after all. Ye gods, if only that were possible! How gladly would Victor then have lost the hundred thousands which he meant to risk to-morrow!

The frightful 18th of June lives again; the false monumental hillock disappears, the lion vanishes in air, the battle-field resumes its reality, lines of infantry undulate over the plain, furious gallops traverse the horizon; the frightened dreamer beholds the flash of sabres, the gleam of bayonets, the flare of bombs, the tremendous interchange of thunders; he hears, as it were, the death rattle in the depths of a tomb, the vague clamor of the battle phantom; those shadows are grenadiers, those lights are cuirassiers; that skeleton Napoleon, that other skeleton is Wellington; all this no longer exists, and yet it clashes together and combats still; and the ravines are empurpled, and the trees quiver, and there is fury even in the clouds and in the shadows; all those terrible heights, Hougomont, Mont-Saint-Jean, Frischemont, Papelotte, Plancenoit, appear confusedly crowned with whirlwinds of spectres engaged in exterminating each other.

The army yielded suddenly on all sides at once, Hougomont, La Haie-Sainte, Papelotte, Plancenoit. The cry "Treachery!" was followed by a cry of "Save yourselves who can!" An army which is disbanding is like a thaw. All yields, splits, cracks, floats, rolls, falls, jostles, hastens, is precipitated. The disintegration is unprecedented.

In the morning he dismounted in the mud on the slope which forms an angle with the Plancenoit road, had a kitchen table and a peasant's chair brought to him from the farm of Rossomme, seated himself, with a truss of straw for a carpet, and spread out on the table the chart of the battle-field, saying to Soult as he did so, "A pretty checker-board."

A little later, the divisions of Losthin, Hiller, Hacke, and Ryssel deployed before Lobau's corps, the cavalry of Prince William of Prussia debouched from the forest of Paris, Plancenoit was in flames, and the Prussian cannon-balls began to rain even upon the ranks of the guard in reserve behind Napoleon.