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THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO. Who that has reached the age of manhood does not remember the annual gathering of Waterloo officers, on the 18th of June, at which the Duke of Wellington took the chair f and how toasts, such as, Confusion to our Enemies," "The Conqueror of Napoleon," &c., went round? At first, the officers assembled in hun- dreds but year by year those who were wont to meet missed fond, familiar friends; and before the great D ake's death the numbers had dwindled into tens, and were fast falling into units. Veteran officers, after they had lost their chief, with- held this annual meeting, and the people of England had, in some measure, forgotten the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. But nations who had little to do with that great conflict-such as the Dutch and some of the lesser German States—determined this year to oelebrate the anniversary on a large scale. They who had sent but few soldiers to share England's glory, desired now to keep open a wound which Eng- land has long since closed. The French and the Eng- lish have for the last few years been such close allies, that each determined to oppose this demonstration, and make the anniversary an opportunity of express- ing a more kindly feeling. The French took the initiative, and proposed that a gathering should take place upon the 18th of June, to celebrate and rejoice over the peace which has existed between the two countries for fifty years. Four names of gentlemen, well known for their phi- lanthropy, have been selected to represent France- viz., M. Michel Chevalier, M. Emile de Girardin, M. Ollivier, and M. Gueroult. The four gentlemen se- lected to represent England on the occasion are, Messrs. Baring, Goschen, Charles Buxton, and John Penn. The celebration will take place on the 19th of June, as the 18th this year falls on Sunday. The place of meeting has been fixed for the Crystal Palace, and we trust the sentiments uttered upon this occa- sion will be such as to cement a permanent friendship between the two great nations-that Englishmen will not taunt their neighbours with a victory that was certainly hard to accomplish, and that Frenchmen will bear no enmity for the past. Let us for a moment turn our attention to the period when the battle of Waterloo was fought. At that time, now fifty years ago, Englishmen were in a constant state of alarm for the safety of the nation. A lengthened continental war had impove- rished the people; our resources were fast failing us wheat had risen to a guinea per bushel, and taxes had increased to an enormous extent, to keep up the sinews of war. Thousands of brave soldiers had died on the battle-field, and numerous widows and orphans were left to make lamentation. Still the pluck of England did not decrease; the nautical songs of Dibdin and others served to foster the spirit of hero- worship, and though the pressgang went about forcing the honest toiler to leave his peaceful occupation and take part in the war, the hatred imbibed for French- men, and the fear of invasion, kept up the spirit of the nation. We need not go over the long Peninsular campaign, nor picture to ourselves the terror of England when, after Napoleon's escape from Elba, in the year 1815, Wellington, who considered the war was over, had again to meet his old antagonist in mortal combat. How Napoleon told the people in Paris, on the llth of June, that he was going to have a brush with Wellington;" how he joined his army on the frontier of Flanders on the 15th; how, on the 16th, the grand skirmishing commenced; how the furious cannonade of a pitched battle was heard on the 17th; and how the little village of Waterloo, surrounded by a beau- tiful wood of beech trees, became the rendezvous of the British army how the beelutilut valley between two ridges of hills, then covered with growing corn, was deluged with blood; how the Duke of Wellington, who sat for seventeen hours on the back of his noble charger, Copenhagen, directed the operations of his troops in the greatest battle fought in Europe in modern times how the victory hung in the balance for hours; how the English hero waited patiently during the evening of the 18th for the advance of the Prussian general, Blucher; how a certain portion of the army were concealed behind the crest of a hill, until the final word of command, Up, Guards, and at them," was responded to; how the battle was finally won, and how Napoleon was eventually con- fined at St. Helena-ali l this is known to our readers, and we will not weary them with further details. But what a change has come o'er the spirit of our dreams since that period The nation we once despised we now regard with esteem and amity; and the 18th of June, that waa formerly celebrated with martial festivals, in which triumphant speeches and egotistical bravadoes were echoed, will, on the pre- sent anniversary, be kept as a festival of thanks- giving for the blessings of peace. May it always be so, say we!-Cuase",Vs Illustrated ) Family Paper.



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