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LXXXVII. -- LAST CHARGE OF NEY.
CON-TI-NENT'AL, a. As here used, it ZE'nith, n., the point in the heavens
refers to the continent of Europe, directly over our head.
as apart from the British isles. SA'BER or Sa'BRE, n., a sword. EN-SAN'GUŽNED, pp., blood-stained. Plow or Plough, n., an agricultural SQUAD'RON (skwód'run), n., a body of implement. troops in any regular form.
AL-LIED', pp., united by treaty, BAT-TAL'ION, n., a body of soldiers REF'LU-ENT, a., flowing back.
from five to eight hundred! Ex-HAUST' (égz-hawst'), v.t., to empty.
Pronounce Prussia, Proo'she-a. Do not slight er in en'er-gy; e in sud'den-ly;h in ex-haust', ex-hib'it; ow in fol'low, shad'ow.
1. The whole continental struggle exhibited no sublimer spectacle than this last effort of Napoleon to save his sinking empire. Europe had been put upon the plains of Waterloo to be battled for. The greatest military energy and skill the world possessed had been tasked to the utmost during the day. Thrones were tottering on the ensanguined field, and the shadows of fugitive kings flitted through the smoke of battle.
2. Bonaparte's star trembled in the zenith, - now blazing out in its ancient splendor, now suddenly paling before his anxious eye. At length, when the Prussians appeared on the field, he resolved to stake Europe on one bold throw. He committed himself and France to Ney, and saw his empire rest on a single chance.
3. Ney felt the pressure of the immense responsibility on his brave heart, and resolved not to prove unworthy of the great trust. Nothing could be more imposing than the movement of that grand column to the assault. That guard had never yet recoiled before a human foe; and the allied forces beheld with awe its firm and terrible advance to the final charge.
4. For a moment the batteries stopped playing, and the firing ceased along the British lines, as, without the beating of a drum, or the blast of a bugle, to cheer their steady courage, they moved in dead silence over the plain. The next moment the artillery opened, and the head of that gallant column seemed to sink into the earth. Rank after rank went down; yet they neither stopped nor faltered. Dissolving squadrons, and whole battalions disappearing one after another in the destructive fire, affected not their steady courage. The ranks closed up as before, and each, treading over his fallen comrade, pressed firmly on.
5. The horse which Ney rode fell under him, and he had scarcely mounted another before it also sank to the earth. Again and again did that unflinching man feel his steed sink down, till five had been shot under him. Then, with his uniform riddled with bullets, and his face singed and blackened with powder, he marched on foot, with drawn saber, at the head of his men. In vain did the artillery hurl its storm of fire and lead into that living mass. Up to the very muzzles they pressed, and, driving the artillerymen from their own pieces, pushed on through the English lines.
6. But at that moment a file of soldiers who had lain flat on the ground, behind a low ridge of earth, suddenly rose, and poured a volley in their very faces. . Another and another followed, till one broad sheet of flame rolled on their bosoms, and in such a fierce and unexpected flow, that human courage could not withstand it. They reeled shook, staggered back, then turned and fled.
7. Ney was borne back in the refluent tide, and hurried over the field. But for the crowd of fugitives that forced him on, he would have stood alone, and fallen on his footsteps. As it was, disdaining to fly, though the whole army was flying, he formed his men into two immense squares, and endeavored to stem the terrific current, and would have done so, had it not been for the thirty thousand fresh Prussians that pressed on his exhausted ranks.
8. For a long time these squares stood and let the artillery plow through them. But the fate of Napoleon was writ; and though Ney doubtless did what no other man in the army could have done, the decree could not be reversed. The star, that had blazed so brightly over the world, went down in blood, and the " bravest of the brave” had fought his last battle. It was worthy of his great name; and the charge of the Old Guard at Waterloo, with him at their head, will be pointed to by remotest generations with a shudder.
J. T. HEADLEY.
LXXXVIII. - A FIELD OF BATTLE.
ZEPHÖYR (zef'ur), n., a soft breeze. POR-TENT/OUS, a., foretokening ill.
IN-E'BRI-ATE, a., drunk.
en la lect
That wraps this moveless scene. 'Heaven's ebon vault, flo Studded with stars unutterably bright,
Through which the moon's uncloudesta Jered Seems like a canopy which love has spread
Above the sleeping world.
Ah! whence yon glare,
Now swells the intermingling din ; the jar,
The falling beam, the shriek, the groan, the shout, -
Of all the men Whom day's departing beam saw blooming there, In proud and vigorous health, — of all the hearts That beat with anxious life at sunset there,How few survive! how few are beating now kAll is deep silence, like the fearful calm That slumbers in the storm's portentous pause, Save when the frantic wail of widowed love Comes shuddering on the blast, or the faint moan With which some soul bursts from the frame of clay Wrapt round its struggling powers.
The gray morn Dawns on the mournful scene; the sulphur-ous smoke Before the icy wind slow rolls away, And the bright beams of frosty morning dance Along the spangled snow. There, tracks of blood, Even to the forest's depth, and scattered arms, And lifeless warriors, whose hard lineaments Death's self could change not, mark the dreadful path Of the out-sallying victors. Far behind Black ashes note where a proud city stood. Within
forest is a gloomy glen ;Each tree which guards its darkness from the day Waves o’er a warrior's tomb !
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY. (1792 — 1822.)
TRUTH, crushed to earth, shall rise again ;
The eternal years of God are hers;
And dies among her worshipers. BRYANI
CAUSE FOR INDIAN RESENTMENT.
LXXXIX. — CAUSE FOR INDIAN RESENTMENT.
S'M-PLA'CA-BLY, ad., irreconcilably. VIN-DIC'TIVE, a., revengeful.
want of power. In hov'er, nothing, none, give o the sound of short u as in love, a-bove', &c.
1. You say that you have bought the country. Bought it? Yes; — of whom? Of the poor, trembling natives, who knew that refusal would be vain; and who štrove to make a merit of necessity, by seeming to yield with grace what they knew that they had not the power to retain.—Alas, the poor Indians ! No wonder that they continue so implaʼcably vindictive against the white people. No wonder that the rage of resentment is handed down from generation to gen. eration. No wonder that they refuse to associate and mix permanently with their unjust and cruel invaders and exterminators.
2. No wonder that, in the unabating spite and frenzy of conscious impotence, they wage an eternal war, as well as they are able; that they triumph in the rare opportunity of revenge; that they dance, sing, and rejoice, as the victim shrieks and faints amid the flames, when they imagine all the crimes of their oppressors collected on his head, and fancy the spirits of their injured forefathers hovering over the scene, smiling with ferocious delight at the grateful spectacle, and feasting on the precious odor as it arises from the burning blood of the white man.
3. Yet the people here affect to wonder that the Indians are so very unsusceptible of civilization; or, in other words, that they so obstinately refuse to adopt the manners of the white man. Go, Virginians, erase from the Indian nation the tradition of their wrongs. Make them forget, if you can, that once this charming country was theirs; that over these fields, and through