SCENE n PART SECOND
Him I must further counsel how to close
His twice too tedious battery.—You, then, Souk—
Ney is not yet, I gather, quite come up ?
He's near, sire, on the Benavente road; But some hours to the rear I reckon, stilJ
Him I'll direct to come to your support
In this pursuit and harassment of Moore
Wherein you take my place. You'll follow up
And chase the flying English to the sea,
Bear hard on them, the bayonet at their loins.
With Merle's and Mermet's corps just gone ahead,
And Delaborde's, and Heudelet's here at hand.
While Lorge's and Lahoussaye's picked dragoons
Will follow, and Franceschi's cavalry.
To Ney I am writing that, in case of need,
He will support, with Marchand and Mathieu.—
Your total thus of seventy thousand odd,
Ten thousand horse, and cannon to five score,
Should near annihilate this British force,
And carve a triumph large in history.
(He bends over the fire and makes some notes rapidly.)
I move into Astorga; then turn back, (Though only in my person do I turn) And leave to you the destinies of Spain.
SPIRIT OF THE YEARS
More turning may be here than he designs. In this small, sudden, swift turn backward, he Suggests one turning from his apogee !
The characters disperse, the fire sinks, and snowflakes and darkness blot out all.