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The Eve of Waterloo Essay

There was sound of revelry by night: A ball was given at Brussels on the evening before the battle of Quatre Bras, which occurred two days before the Battle of Waterloo; Belgium’s capital had then gathered her beauty and chivalry while her lamps shone brightly over fair women and brave men. The thousand hearts beat happily when the music arose with its voluptuous swell and all went out merry as though summoned to church by the wedding bells. Then suddenly a deep sound struck like a rising knell.

It might be that no everyone heard it for the rest thought it to be the powerful movement of the wind or the rattling of a car over the stony street. Yet the patriots moved on with the dance and did not confine their joy nor did they sleep till morning. When the youth and their pleasure met to chase the glowing hours with flying feet, suddenly the heavy sound broke in once more and the clouds repeated its echo. The sound was felt coming nearer and deadlier than before. Finally it became all clear that it was the arm of the cannon’s opening roar.

The fated chieftain of Brunswick; Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick; sate: sat; within a windowed niche of the great high hall. He first heard the sound in the midst of the festival and immediately understood its tone to be caught up with death’s prophetic ear. When his people smiled because he deemed the roaring sound near, his heart knew more truly that pealed too well which stretched his father’s honor on a bloody bier. He also knew that it was only by rousing the vengeance blood alone that could quell his desire for ultimate justice.

He rushed into the battlefield and died fighting in the forefront of the battle and unfortunately for his men who had to hurry to and fro. All his people gathered tears in their eyes and felt the trembling of distress with their cheeks all pale. Perhaps an hour ago, they blushed at the praise of their own loveliness when they had to experience the sudden partings like pressing the life out of young hearts and choking their sighs which might never be repeated.

No one could guess if those mutual eyes should ever meet again, since upon the night that is so sweet should such an awful morning rise. There was mounting on horsebacks in great haste. The steed in mustering squadron: gathering army; and the clattering car charged forward with impetuous speed and swiftly forming themselves into ranks of war. The deep thunder of canons peal on peal far and near while the beat of the alarming drums roused up the soldiers before the morning star came up.

The citizens thronged and were dumb-struck with terror and whispering with white lips that the foe was coming. The wild and high note of the Cameron’s gathering: the war song of the Cameron clan; rose even on behalf of Lochiel: the Cameron clan is from Lochiel in Scotland; which was heard in the Albyn hills too; Albyn: a poetic name for Scotland; to have her Saxon foes: the English (since they belonged to Saxon stock while the Scots were mainly of Celtic origin).

At mid-day and mid-night the Pibroch: a kind of Highland bagpipe; thrills with shrill and savage notes, whose breath fills their mountain pipes and the mountaineers too with the fierce native daring courage which instills the stirring memories of a thousand years and Evan, Donald: Evan Cameron and Donald Cameron, two Scottish chieftains who supported the Stuarts; fame rings in each clansman’s ears.


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