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LA BELLE ALLIANCE.
we turned aside from the main road to go to the Farm-house, we passed several trees which bore the marks of cannon-balls and sabre-cuts ! On entering the Farm-yard, which is surrounded by a wall, and the ruins of what were once out-houses, we saw before us nothing but one heap of desolation. In the centre stood the Little CHAPEL, which did not appear to have been much damaged. The inhabited part was at the farther end, and has been repaired since the Battle, The interior walls of the Chapel are covered with the names of those who have visited
Its altar is entirely divested of its ornaments. We entered the Garden, which lay to the Jeft, the wall of which was pierced at short distances to form loop-holes through which the soldiers might fire. After having satisfied our curiosity by a close inspection of the place, we left it by the gate opposite to that by which we had entered. This gate itself was pierced with shot, &c. I broke off a splinter as a relic.
We proceeded across the fields, in the same direction, till we came into the other branch of the road, just by the little public-house which bears the name of LA BELLE ALLIANCE. Here we were assailed by little urchins, furnished with bullets, eagles, &c. which they offered to us for sale. We entered the house, and had some biscuits, fruit and wine, to refresh us.
A Brussels artist was in the other room taking a sketch of it. After leaving the house, we again took the road in the direction towards Mont
LA HAYE SAINTE.
St. Jean. Decoster's Cottage was a little further on, in the contrary direction, towards Genappe.*
Between La Belle Alliance and La Haye Sainte, we saw the hollow in which the Scotch Greys were so dreadfully mangled. We soon reached the farm of La Haye Sainte, built in the form of a square about the farm-yard. We entered the yard, and saw two of the back gates, through one of which the French once gained entrance, but were soon obliged to make a quick exit by the other, which was completely pierced with musket-balls.
We were here shewn a spot, on the opposite side of the road, where were buried sevEN THOUSAND French, along with their horses! The ground was covered with corn, and sunk considerably below the adjacent parts of the field. A little behind the farm FOUR THOUSAND were buried! Against that side of the farm-house which is next to the road, there is fixed a stone lozenge-shaped tablet to the memory of some Officers of the GERMAN LEgion. To the south of the building is a garden, inclosed by a hedge, from which the place derived its name. The house was on the left side of the road as we proceeded from La Belle Alliance towards Mont St. Jean.
* DBCOSTER was an innkeeper and little farmer, whom Buona. parte made his guide on the day of the Battle of WATERLOO. An interesting account of what passed between them, drawn up from the depositions of Decoster himself, may be found in the APPENDIX to Paul's Letters to his Kinsfolk.
Leaving La Haye Sainte, we came in sight of WELLINGTON TREE, situated on a rising ground to the left of the road. I took a Sketch of it, and some of my companions a bough or two. The bongh immediately over the place where the Duke had stood, still bore the mark of a cannon-shot! This bough fell under the axe of an Irish Officer in our party.**
On the opposite side of the road we were shewn the spot where Pioton fell! He was an ancient Briton of distinguished bravery.
A little farther on to the right stands the farm of Mont ST. JEAN, which exhibited but few marks of injury. We then continued along the road till we reached the village of Mont St. JEAN, where we had left the carriages. Here we took some refreshment of boiled ham, fruit, &c. and then entered our vehicles to return. When we came to WATERLOO we stopped at the house which the Maryuis of Anglesea (then Lord Uxbridge) first entered after the battle, and saw the bed on which he lay. We also entered the house
* 6 While the Duke of Wellington stood on the centre of the high road, in front of Mont St. Jean, several guns were levelled at him, distinguished as he was by his suite and the movements of the Officers who came and went with orders. The balls repeatedly grazed a Tree on the right hand of the road, which Tree now bears his name!”
Paul's Letters to his Kinsfolk. See, also, Scott's Revisit to Paris, where this Tree, in his account of the Battle of Waterloo, is mentioned at some length as an object of celebrity.
at the other extremity of the village, close to the church, and were there shewn the corner of the room where the amputation was performed. The woman of the house shewed us a LETTER from Lord Uxbridge's Lady, thanking her for her attendance on her husband, and presenting her with a framed portrait of him, which was then hanging in the room. One side of the house serves as a draper's shop. In the garden, just by, a small willow marks the spot where the amputated limb was buried; and against the back of a shed, which overhangs a well, is to be seen the tablet and inscription recording the event. Remounting our vehicles, we reached BRUSSELS by five o'clock to dinner,
At Mont St. Jean one of our party gave fifteen francs for a French grenadier's cap, covered with a black skin. When we entered BRUSSELS, a great bough from Wellington Tree was protruded from one side of the carriage, and the terrific cap placed on the top of the carriage. On this day the Kermis took place, which is a kind of Fair, when most of the inhabitants of the town go into the neighbouring fields to dance and enjoy themselves. The people who had been tüking this recreation were met by us in droves as we returned, and there was not an individual of them who did not stare at our strange decorations ! The CAP, bearing the Eagle of Napoleon in front, puzzled them exceedingly. Some looked with a vacant gaze~others laughed—whilst several were very thoughtful about the matter. Two YOUNG MEN even
bowed and kissed their hands to it as we passed ! The exhibition, however harmless, created in the spectators astonishment, and occasioned to us du small diversion. Such was our excursion to “ this place of skulls--this grave of France, the deadly WATERLOO," as Lord Byron justly depominates it—a spot than which none will be more famed in the annals of either ancient or modern history!
Tuesday, 17th.--Called on Mr. Van M. His son and another young man accompanied us to see two private Collections of PAINTINGS, one of which belonged to a Counsellor Burtin, a wealthy citizen of Brussels. Returned to the Grand Miroir to breakfast, and went along with our conductor to view the rest of the churches. We saw those of St. Nicolas, St. Clare and Notre Dame de Bon Secours, none of which contained any thing remarkable. We then called on Mr. P whom we now found at home. Dined at the Table d'Hôte, and afterwards went to THE PARK. It consists of a garden prettily laid out, and interspersed with statnes, some of wood and some of stone. The rows of houses which surround the place are the finest that we saw at Brussels. We then revisited the Gallery of Pictures in the MUSEUM, and also went over the department allotted to Natural History. The latter, however, contained nothing very remarkable.
Wednesday, 18th.--Walked to the Grand Sablon, a kind of Square, or Place, in the centre of which is the fountain erected by Lord Bruce, an English pobleman, who resided many years at Brussels.