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A Week at Waterloo in 1815 by Magdalene de Lancey

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-scene_--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."


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