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[64] conversation of above an hour. He is, I think, simple and unaffected. When he speaks of his early follies, he does it with sincerity; of his journeys in Greece and the East, without ostentation; of his own works he talks with modesty, and of those of his rivals, or rather contemporaries, with justice, generosity, and discriminating praise. In everything, as far as I have seen him, he is unlike the characters of his own ‘Childe Harold’ and ‘Giaour,’ and yet, those who know him best and longest, say that these stories are but the descriptions of his early excesses, and these imaginary characters but the personification of feelings and passions which have formerly been active, but are now dormant or in abeyance. Of this, of course, I know nothing, but from accounts I have received from respectable sources, and the internal evidence, which I have always thought strongly in favor of them.

This morning I talked with him of Greece, because I wished to know something of the modes of travelling there. He gave me a long, minute, and interesting account of his journeys and adventures, not only in Greece, but in Turkey; described to me the character and empire of Ali Pacha, and told me what I ought to be most anxious to see and investigate in that glorious country. He gave me, indeed, more information on this subject than all I have before gathered from all the sources I have been able to reach; and did it, too, with so much spirit, that it came to me as an intellectual entertainment, as well as a valuable mass of instruction.

An anecdote was told me to-day of the Great Captain, which, as it is so characteristic, and, besides,—coming to me only at second-hand, from his aid who brought the despatches,—so surely authentic, that I cannot choose but record it. ‘During the first and second days,’1 said Major Percy, ‘we had the worst of the battle, and thought we should lose it. On the third and great day, from the time when the attack commenced in the morning until five o'clock in the evening, we attempted nothing but to repel the French. During all this time we suffered most terribly, and three times during the course of the day we thought nothing remained to us but to sell our lives as dearly as possible. Under every charge the Duke of Wellington remained nearly in the same spot; gave his orders, but gave no opinion,—expressed no anxiety,—showed, indeed, no signs of feeling. They brought him word that his favorite regiment was ’


1 By the ‘first and second days’ Major Percy must have meant the battle at Quatre Bras on the 16th and the retreat to Waterloo on the 17th. The battle of Waterloo was begun and ended in one day.

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