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Full text of "The Dynasts : Parts First And Second"

SCENE in                   PART FIRST
SCENE III
THE   SAME.      THE  FRENCH  POSITION
Shortly before dawn on the morning of the 2nd of December. A white frost and fog still prevail in the low-lying areas; but overhead the sky is clear. A dead silence reigns.
NAPOLEON, on a grey horse, closely attended by BERTHIER, and surrounded by MARSHALS SOULT, LANNES, MURAT, and their aides-de-camp all cloaked, is discernible in the gloom riding down from the high ground before Bellowitz, on which they have bivouacked, to the village of Puntowitz on the Goldbach stream, quite near the front of the Russian position of the day before on the Pratzen crest. The Emperor and his companions come to a pause, look around and upward to the hills, and listen.
NAPOLEON
Their bivouac fires, that lit the top last night, Are all extinct.
LANNES
And hark you, Sire; I catch A sound which, if I err not, means the thing We have hoped, and hoping, feared fate would not yield!
NAPOLEON
Faith, can it surely be the tramp of horse And jolt of cannon downward from the hill Towards our right here, by the swampy lakes That face Davout ?    Thus, as I sketched, they work!
MURAT
Yes!    They already move upon Tilnitz.
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