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[452] It was a most agreeable visit, and yet there was something strange and sad about it; not only because the Italian customs and feelings I witnessed formed such a contrast with the climate and circumstances in which I found them, but because I could not well avoid constantly remembering that two of the high-minded, intellectual persons with whom I was sitting and conversing were under sentence of death, and two others liable to imprisonment for life if they could be found within the grasp of Austrian power.

Waterloo.— Certainly we did not pass six days in Brussels without giving one of them to Waterloo, which is only nine miles off; and I must needs say that I have seldom passed one of the sort in a manner so entirely satisfactory. It was all plain; the battle, the positions, the movements, everything; and all quite intelligible at a single glance, from the top of the vast mound erected by the Belgians in honor of the victory. I will only mention a few things which surprised me.

First. We passed, of course, through the forest of Soignies, and I found it much larger than I anticipated. The road from Brussels lies through it the greater part of the way; and in general it is about twenty-one miles long and nine broad, so that the English, retreating from Ligny and Quatre Bras after the battles of the 16th of June, had no choice but to fight here. They could fall back no farther.

Second. Immediately on emerging from the forest, we came upon the poor little village of Waterloo, with its rather plain church. It was here the Duke of Wellington fixed his headquarters during the night of the 17th; but the little hamlet of Mont St. Jean is full a mile in front of it, and the farm-house of Mont St. Jean, which was exactly in the rear of the British centre, is a sort of outpost still farther on than the hamlet itself. I was surprised to find these distances so great.

Third. From the farm-house of Mont St. Jean to La Haye Sainte was not above twenty-five hundred feet, and from La Haye Sainte to La Belle Alliance, where the French centre passed the night before the battle, is just about twenty-five hundred feet more, so that the armies during that night were about three thousand feet only apart, and their outposts and videttes not above five hundred feet. I was greatly surprised to find these distances so small, particularly the last.

Fourth. We commonly hear of the two armies being encamped before the battle on two parallel ranges of hills, with a valley between. The land undulates a little, but there is nothing to be seen that deserves the name either of hill or of valley.

Fifth. The road by which the two armies had come up from the batties

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