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We left this place again very suddenly, and apparently on the same wild-goose-chase as before. After marching upwards of thirty miles, by a roundabout way, we reached the city of Tourney at one o'clock in the morning, dreadfully tired. The night was very dark ; the street lamps were nearly all out; and as we were not expected, no billets had been provided ; and, cold as the night was, most of the men took out their great coats, and laid down on the pavement. An intimation was given us, that if we could prevail on the persons on whom we had been billeted, when we were last here, to open the door to us, we might do so; but we were strictly prohibited from making use of force or intimidation. As I had been on exceedingly good terms at my quarters, I thought I would try the experiment, Groping my way therefore, in the dark, I reached the place alone, just as the clock struck two, and rang at the bell. Presently the servant came, but not being thoroughly awake, I was some time in making her understand who I was; when I did do so, she uttered an exclamation of sur
prise; but went and acquainted her master and mistress of the circumstance, and by the time I was admitted, the whole establishment was up.
Even the children came running round me, almost in a state of nudity. always kind to the children, and that sometimes made me a favourite with the parents. After the gratulations were over, I took some little refreshment, and went to my old bed, completely worn out with the day's journey. After breakfast, next morning, they insisted that I should not seek another billet, but come and live with them, without one; but I never saw them afterwards, as we left the town immediately
We proceeded directly to Ath, another strongly fortified place, on the borders of France; where we obtained information of the return of Napoleon. Nothing was known as to his future movements; but it was considered most likely, that his first attempt would be to drive the British from Belgium, when the inhabitants and troops would no doubt join him.
The circumstances attending the return of Buonaparte, were of such an extraordinary character, that a brief narrative of the facts cannot be altogether irrelevant to a work of this description. I shall therefore devote the next chapter thereto.
“ But now the trumpet, terrible from far,
In shriller clangours animates the war,
Proclamation of Napoleon, on landing in
" To the Army.
1st of March, 1815. “ Napoleon ! by the Grace of God, and the Constitution of the Empire, Emperor of the French, &c. &c. &c.
“ To the French People. " Soldiers ! “We were not conquered ; two men, raised from our ranks, betrayed our laurels—their Country—their Prince-their Benefactor.
“ Those, whom during twenty-four years, we have seen traversing all Europe, to raise
up enemies against us; who have passed their lives in fighting against us in the ranks of foreign armies, cursing our beautiful France ! shall they pretend to command and control our Eagles, on which they have not dared even to look ? Shall we endure that they should inherit the fruits of our glorious labours ? That they should clothe themselves with our honour and our goods ? That they should calumniate our glory? If their reign should continue, all would be lost ;-even the memory of those immortal days. With what fury do they pervert their very nature? They seek to poison what the world admires : and if there still remain any defenders of our glory, it is among those very enemies whom we have fought on the field of battle.
“Soldiers ! in my exile I heard your voices. I have arrived through all obstacles and perils. Your General, called to the throne by the choice of the people, and educated under your banners, is restored to you: come, and join him. Tear down those colours which the nation has proscribed ; and which, for twenty