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he was at Wellington's headquarters in the Peninsula, Wellington had hurt his personal vanity. In any case, from his experience of Wellington in those campaigns he came to the Waterloo campaign with an intense prejudice against him. It is hardly too much to say that the fate of Europe at that time depended on the fact that Blücher had such intense admiration for the Duke of Wellington, and was so cordially loyal to him, that he overruled the suspicions of his exceedingly able Chief of the Staff. All these were points which a biographer, who has devoted ninety-five pages to the Waterloo campaign alone, ought to have carefully investigated and made clear to the world.
The dramatic interest of the Waterloo campaign as concerns the personal relations of the chief actors in it is very great. It turns almost entirely upon the personalities of the Duke of Wellington, of Blücher, Gneisenau, and of Müffling, the Prussian military attaché at Wellington's headquarters. Nor is that all. The whole of the inner history of the campaign was deliberately kept out of view till quite recent years, because of the delicacy of those relations. A biographer of the Duke of Wellington should surely have taken the trouble to make himself acquainted with the whole of this inner history as it has been revealed by successive publications from the Prussian archives. At point after point in the history of the war Sir Herbert Maxwell assigns fictitious reasons for the action because he has never examined this part of the evidence. He says truly enough that the Duke of Wellington made every effort he possibly could to prevent the bistory of the battle and campaign of Waterloo from being written. He seems to be wholly unaware that the reasons for this reticence assigned by the Duke were only such as he thought it convenient to put forward. Partly from personal and partly from political motives, he was most anxious that the really important causes which made it desirable that during his generation at least the whole story should be unknown should not themselves be even incidentally suggested. The time has surely come when all the motives that determined the actions of the different leaders in that campaign should be fully understood. Gneisenau himself, though he was actuated by the most unfair and unjust prejudice against Wellington, was a very great man; a man who did enormous service to Prussia, one who, even in the very acts which most nearly led to the ruin of the Allied cause, played the part, as he believed, and had much reason to believe, of a genuine
patriot. Blücher was quite incompetent to have worked out the strategical combination of a campaign, and relied entirely upon Gneisenau for that work. It is a familiar story that in a London drawing-room he made a bet that he was the only man in the room who could kiss his own head, and then went over to Gneisenau and inflicted a smacking kiss upon his chief of the staff. It was, therefore, a tremendous responsibility which was undertaken by Gneisenau when he consented, under the pressure of Blücher, to march to the field of Waterloo, abandoning entirely the Prussian communications and running the risk of the destruction of the Prussian army, in reliance upon a man whom he did not trust. Sir Herbert, in giving his account of that great movement of the Prussian army_which determined for several generations the fate of Europe, assigns altogether fictitious reasons for the delay in the march of Bülow's corps towards the field of Waterloo. He does not seem to be even aware that Gneisenau had expressly ordered Bülow not to move until the army under Wellington was completely committed to a serious engagement. Gneisenau had written to Müffling to obtain an assurance from him that the Duke really did intend to fight and would maintain his position at Waterloo; urging Müfling to make quite sure that it was not to be a mere demonstration on the part of the Duke. Sir Herbert does not seem to know that it was not until Blücher himself reached Bülow's corps that Gneisenau's orders were countermanded, and that Bülow was pushed forward into the battle. The fact is that the Duke of Wellington was not the only person by many who was anxious to draw a veil over the whole of the history of the campaign. Müffling, the representative of the Prussian army with him, who had for the Duke as profound an admiration as Gneisenau had a distrust, and heartily wished to maintain the most cordial relations between Prussia and England, was fully aware of the nature of Gneisenau's suspicions, and was most anxious that no account should reach the world of the risks to which Gneisenau's consequent intentions had exposed the two armies.
Curiously enough, on another point, apparently from not having recourse to original and because he has trusted himself entirely to secondary evidence, Sir Herbert has done an injustice to English historians and to the English army. He accepts the statement that Chassé, once an officer in Napoleon's service, charged with a Dutch brigade and drove the French in confusion over the declivity at the time when the French middle guard was first moved to the attack. He has evidently not gone into the original evidence which has been recently republished at the Hague. Otherwise, he certainly would not have adopted it. It is about as flimsy as any we ever read. There is no doubt that not a few French writers, among them Colonel Stöffel, have eagerly believed it, largely because it tended to show that the French had been defeated by a combination in which the British army had played a comparatively small part. It is quite clear that at this period Ditmer's brigade of Chassé's division did move forward and that it fired upon the French guard. There is no evidence at all to show that the Dutch-Belgians either charged the French guard or that it was because of their fire that the French fell back. The Dutch officer who has recently brought forward this story relies chiefly upon certain letters of Lord Hill, which, to anybody who reads them without prejudice, are manifestly merely the kindly expressions of a man who does not want to hurt the feelings of those who had served under him, and especially did not want to hurt the pride of Allied troops. They are nothing more. There is no excuse for Sir Herbert Maxwell's note : 'It is scarcely to the credit of English historians that this •fine performance of H. Ditmer's has been little noticed,
considering how much has been said uncomplimentary to ‘our Dutch-Belgian allies. It was the first battalion of 2nd Grenadier Guards that was defeated.'
Before leaving the subject of the Waterloo campaign there is another passage in Sir Herbert Maxwell's account of it to which we must draw attention :
*As Wellington sat watching the enemy [previous to the French attack on Quatre Bras] he was surprised to see that, instead of both corps, 40,000 or 50,000 strong, advancing against him, one of them --that opposite his own left-was moving off sharply to its right in the direction of Ligny. This, though it gratified him at the time, also puzzled him exceedingly; and the explanation was not apparent till many days later.' (Vol. ii. p. 21.) If Sir Herbert Maxwell had ever stood in the position in which Wellington was at that time, or had ever followed on the ground the march of d'Erlon's corps, he would know that this statement represents an impossibility. That is not the worst of it. He brings in truth a serious charge against the Duke of Wellington. In the great despatch on the Waterloo cainpaign Wellington's statement in regard to the attack on Quatre-Bras is as follows: 'At this time the enemy commenced an attack upon Prince Blücher with his whole force, VOL. CXCII. NO. CCCXCIII.
excepting the first and second corps, and a corps of cavalry under General Kellerman, with which he attacked our post
at Les Quatre Bras. According to Sir Herbert Maxwell, therefore, though Wellington had seen and known that d'Erlon's corps did not attack him, he nevertheless in the great Waterloo despatch stated that he had been attacked by both French corps. The statement in the despatch as it stands is sufficiently incorrect; for the Duke, who, no doubt, at the time fully believed what he reported, declares in this despatch that he was attacked by eight divisions of the French army, when, in fact, he was attacked by only three. Sir Herbert Maxwell has correctly accounted for the absence of the whole of d’Erlon's corps. He does not mention, what is nevertheless true, that out of the four divisions of Reille’s corps one was also absent. It would only have been just both to Ney and the French forces under his orders that an English historian should have acknowledged that the efforts of the French at Quatre-Bras had been so splendid that, whereas the assailants only consisted of three divisions of the French army, they had left on the Duke the impression that there were eight. We are very unwilling to write merely in criticism of defects, and we readily grant that no man alive could in two or three years deal exhaustively with such a subject. Judge O'Connor Morris has in his just published volume on the Waterloo campaign alone expended, if we may judge by the result, more time and labour than has sufficed Sir Herbert for the whole of Wellington's career. Of the two tendencies produced by a long tenure of the judicial bench, Judge Morris gives us many experiences. On the one hand he is usually most careful and judicious in his weighing of evidence. On the other he has from time to time a decided inclination to lay down the law when his evidence fails him. It is in many respects a misfortune that Sir H. Maxwell should not have seen the judge's history before he published his · Life.'
When once we throw aside the question of the value of these volumes as a work for students, or for those who really care to understand Wellington's career, we must give the greatest possible credit to Sir Herbert Maxwell for the opportuneness with which a fairly satisfactory life of the man has been just at this moment placed before society. Seeing that only a few weeks ago one of the military newspapers, in discussing the despatch of Lord Roberts to South Africa, illustrated it by the case of Sir Arthur Wellesley's
being sent to the Peninsula 'in order to supersede the in
competent generals who had signed the Convention of • Cintra,’ it was about time that there should be available for ordinary readers some reminiscence of the history of the time which would at least make it impossible for that kind of nonsense to be talked about our great past in relation to our present struggle. On the other hand, we have yet another bone to pick with Sir Herbert Maxwell as a consequence of the glibness with which he talks about matters which he has inadequately investigated. He has done a most serious injury to other men besides Ney, to whom it is necessary to allude in describing the career of Wellington. As a foil to the strong hard character of his hero, who, as he believes, made himself unpopular with his army by the necessary severity with which he dealt with it, Sir Herbert Maxwell sets that soft-hearted, easy-going failure, Sir Jolin Moore. Sir John was in no sense whatever such a man here describes. England owed to him an enormous debt of gratitude, and it is ill repaid in these pages. That is not a subject that there would be space to deal with in this article. Seeing that many, if not most, of the great soldiers on whom Wellington relied throughout his career, Colborne, Graham, the Napiers, and many more, looked back to Moore as their great military master across the vista of Wellington's victorious campaigns, one fancies that there must have been something more than mere kindly good nature which endeared him to men who, like Sir Charles Napier for instance, could on occasion be sufficiently severe in dispensing justice. The portraiture is false. Nor is it even just to the army under Wellington. Wellington's severity towards many of the scoundrels with whom he had to deal was absolutely necessary, and it was fully recognised by his army as such. The Rifleman in the Peninsula,' 'Johnny Kincaid,' to whom Sir Herbert Maxwell has on one occasion alluded, might have explained to him what started the unpopularity of the Duke of Wellington with his army. Kincaid says expressly that, up to the time of the retreat from Burgos, Wellington had been the idol of the whole army. All the best soldiers looked up to him with enthusiasm and love, as much as with admiration for his talents as a soldier. Wellington bimself, in one of his earlier letters, writes, 'I have as usual had a united army
under me,' and there seems reason to suppose that these cordial relations between himself and those who worked under him had come to an end until the army