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Full Online Book HomePlaysThe Dynasts: An Epic Drama Of The War With Napoleon - Part 3 - Act 7 - Scene 3. Saint Lambert's Chapel Hill
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The Dynasts: An Epic Drama Of The War With Napoleon - Part 3 - Act 7 - Scene 3. Saint Lambert's Chapel Hill Post by :myonlineincome Category :Plays Author :Thomas Hardy Date :May 2012 Read :2331

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The Dynasts: An Epic Drama Of The War With Napoleon - Part 3 - Act 7 - Scene 3. Saint Lambert's Chapel Hill

PART THIRD. ACT SEVENTH. SCENE III.

(A hill half-way between Wavre and the fields of Waterloo, five miles to the north-east of the scene preceding. The hill is wooded, with some open land around. To the left of the scene, towards Waterloo, is a valley.)

DUMB SHOW

Marching columns in Prussian uniforms, coming from the direction of Wavre, debouch upon the hill from the road through the wood.

They are the advance-guard and two brigades of Bulow's corps, that have been joined there by BLUCHER. The latter has just risen from the bed to which he has been confined since the battle of Ligny, two days back. He still looks pale and shaken by the severe fall and trampling he endured near the end of the action.

On the summit the troops halt, and a discussion between BLUCHER and his staff ensues.

The cannonade in the direction of Waterloo is growing more and more violent. BLUCHER, after looking this way and that, decides to fall upon the French right at Plancenoit as soon as he can get there, which will not be yet.

Between this point and that the ground descends steeply to the valley on the spectator's left, where there is a mud-bottomed stream, the Lasne; the slope ascends no less abruptly on the other side towards Plancenoit. It is across this defile alone that the Prussian army can proceed thither- a route of unusual difficulty for artillery; where, moreover, the enemy is suspected of having placed a strong outpost during the night to intercept such an approach.

A figure goes forward--that of MAJOR FALKENHAUSEN, who is sent to reconnoitre, and they wait a tedious time, the firing at Waterloo growing more tremendous. FALKENHAUSEN comes back with the welcome news that no outpost is there.

There now remains only the difficulty of the defile itself; and the attempt is made. BLUCHER is descried riding hither and thither as the guns drag heavily down the slope into the muddy bottom of the valley. Here the wheels get stuck, and the men already tired by marching since five in the morning, seem inclined to leave the guns where they are. But the thunder from Waterloo still goes on, BLUCHER exhorts his men by words and eager gestures, and they do at length get the guns across, though with much loss of time.

The advance-guard now reaches some thick trees called the Wood of Paris. It is followed by the LOSTHIN and HILLER divisions of foot, and in due course by the remainder of the two brigades. Here they halt, and await the arrival of the main body of BULOW'S corps, and the third corps under THIELEMANN.

The scene shifts.

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