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Indeed, the French Emperor seems himself to have been misinformed as to the extent of loss which he had inflicted on the Prussians. Had he known in what good order and with what undiminished spirit they were retiring, he would scarcely have delayed sending a large force to press them in their retreat until noon on the 17th. Such, however, was the case.

On October 22nd MM. Iglesia and Jouvencel fell at Meaux, occupied by the Prussians; their despatches, however, were saved in a dung cart. The twenty-third voyage ended more unhappily. On this occasion a sailor acted as aeronaut, accompanied by an engineer, Etienne Antonin, and carrying nearly 1,000 pounds of letters.

The Prussians were everywhere, at Dijon and at Dieppe, at Vierzon as well as at Mans. And almost every morning came the intelligence of some fortified place that had capitulated, unable longer to hold out under the bombardment.

Then, after that meeting amid the ashes of Hougomont, where they dreamed they had trodden out the embers of all democracy, the Prussians rode on before, doing after their kind. After them went that ironical aristocrat out of embittered Ireland, with what thoughts we know; and Blucher, with what thoughts we care not; and his soldiers entered Paris, and stole the sword of Joan of Arc.

Even should the provincial population bestir itself, the troops it could send would be only raw levies, and there was no great leader to animate or to direct popular enthusiasm. It was quite true that the respectable classes in Paris had as much to fear from the Reds as from the Prussians. The mob of Paris was wild for a commune.

The rumor circulated amongst us that we were to attack the English. I had seen the Russians, Prussians, Austrians, Bavarians and Wurtemburgers and the Swedes. I knew the people of all the countries in the world, and now I was going to make the acquaintance of the English also. If we must be exterminated, I thought, it might as well be done by them as by the Germans.

The Austrians under Prince Schwartzenberg on the right in Volhynie, and the Prussians, to whom he appointed as commander the French Marshal Macdonald, on the left, near the mouth of the Nieman. The centre was composed of French troops and those members of the German federation whose loyalty had been proved at Jena and Wagram.

The Prussians have been told by their literary men that everything depends upon Mood: and by their politicians that all arrangements dissolve before "necessity." That is the importance of the German Chancellor's phrase. He did not allege some special excuse in the case of Belgium, which might make it seem an exception that proved the rule.

"Mon Dieu, monsieur," she said, "I know nothing, except that the guns have been firing all day long since yesterday, and even at times during the night. The sound comes chiefly from the direction of G. Some soldiers, who went by just now with carts, told me the Prussians got into the town yesterday, but that it was to be retaken to-day; and that there were a great many dead and wounded."

Thus far the Prussians had gained but little advantage; but at that hour the powerful division of the Crown Prince, which, like that of Blücher at Waterloo, had been delayed by recent rains, appeared on the Austrian right. The wing of Benedek's army was soon turned. Bittenfeld then broke the left, and under a general advance of the Prussian lines the Austrian centre gave way in confusion.