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A Week at Waterloo in 1815   By:

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[Transcriber's Note: A table of contents has been added for the reader's convenience. Minor, obvious printer errors have been corrected without note. Numbers in brackets are footnotes, which are set forth below the paragraphs in which they appear. Numbers in parentheses appearing in the narrative are endnotes, which can be found in the Notes to Lady De Lancey's Narrative.]

A WEEK AT WATERLOO IN 1815

LADY DE LANCEY'S NARRATIVE

BEING AN ACCOUNT OF HOW SHE NURSED HER HUSBAND, COLONEL SIR WILLIAM HOWE DE LANCEY, QUARTERMASTER GENERAL OF THE ARMY, MORTALLY WOUNDED IN THE GREAT BATTLE

EDITED BY MAJOR B.R. WARD ROYAL ENGINEERS

LONDON JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W. 1906

[Illustration: Major William Howe De Lancey

45th Regiment c. 1800.]

"Dim is the rumour of a common fight, When host meets host, and many names are sunk; But of a single combat Fame speaks clear."

Sohrab and Rustum.

CONTENTS

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS INTRODUCTION A WEEK AT WATERLOO IN 1815 NOTES TO LADY DE LANCEY'S NARRATIVE APPENDIX A Letters to Captain Basil Hall, R.N., from Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens APPENDIX B Bibliography of Lady De Lancey's Narrative INDEX

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

MAJOR WILLIAM HOWE DE LANCEY, 45th Regt. of Foot, c. 1800. From a miniature in the possession of Wm. Heathcote De Lancey of New York Frontispiece

THE GOLD CROSS OF SIR WM. DE LANCEY, received after serving in the Peninsular War, with clasps for Talavera, Nive, Salamanca, San Sebastian, and Vittoria. In the possession of Major J.A. Hay Face p. 10

LADY DE LANCEY. From a miniature after J.D. Engleheart " 24

PART OF AN AUTOGRAPH LETTER OF SIR WALTER SCOTT " 34

PART OF AN AUTOGRAPH LETTER OF CHARLES DICKENS " 36

COLONEL SIR WILLIAM HOWE DE LANCEY, c. 1813 " 38

MAP OF PART OF THE BATTLEFIELD OF WATERLOO " 110

THE VILLAGE OF MONT ST JEAN, 1815 " 113

THE WATERLOO MEMORIAL IN EVERE CEMETERY " 118

A WEEK AT WATERLOO IN 1815

INTRODUCTION

The following narrative, written over eighty years ago, and now at last given to the world in 1906, is remarkable in many respects.

It is remarkable for its subject, for its style, and for its literary history.

The subject a deathbed scene might seem at first sight to be a trite and common one. The mise en scène the Field of Waterloo alone however redeems it from such a charge; and the principal actors play their part in no common place or unrelieved tragedy. "Certainly," as Bacon says, "Vertue is like pretious Odours, most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed: For Prosperity doth best discover Vice; But Adversity doth best discover Vertue."

As to the style, it will be sufficient to quote the authority of Dickens for the statement that no one but Defoe could have told the story in fiction.

Its literary history is even more remarkable than either its style or its subject.

It is no exaggeration to say of the narrative as Bacon said of the Latin volume of his Essays that it "may last as long as Bookes last." And yet it has remained in manuscript for more than eighty years. This is probably unique in the history of literature since the Invention of Printing.

As regards the hero of the narrative, the Duke of Wellington once said that he "was an excellent officer, and would have risen to great distinction had he lived."[1]

[Footnote 1: Notes of Conversations with the Duke of Wellington , by Earl Stanhope, p. 183.]

Captain Arthur Gore, who afterwards became Lieutenant General Gore, alludes to him in the following terms: "This incomparable officer was deservedly esteemed by the Duke of Wellington, who honoured him with his particular confidence and regard... Continue reading book >>




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