"The removal of the well known horses taken from the church of St. Mark in Venice, was a bitter mortification to the people of Paris. These had been peculiarly the objects of popular pride and admiration. Being exposed to the public view, in one of the most frequented situations of Paris, this was esteemed the noblest trophy belonging to the capital; and there was not a Parisian vender of a pail-full of water who did not look like a hero when the Venetian horses were spoken of.

"'Have you heard what has been determined about the horses?' was every foreigner's question. 'Oh! they cannot mean to take the horses away,' was every Frenchman's answer. On the morning of Thursday, the 26th of September, 1815, however it was whispered that they had been at work all night in loosening them from their fastening. It was soon confirmed that this was true—and the French then had nothing left for it, but to vow, that if the allies were to attempt to touch them in the daylight, Paris would rise at once, exterminate its enemies, and rescue its honor. On Friday morning I walked through the square; it was clear that some considerable change had taken place; the forms of the horses appeared finer than I had ever before witnessed. When looking to discover what had been done, a private of the British staff corps came up, 'You see, sir, we took away the harness last night,' said he. 'You have made a great improvement by so doing,' I replied; 'but are the British employed on this work?' The man said that the Austrians had requested the assistance of our staff corps, for it included better workmen than any they had in their service. I heard that an angry French mob had given some trouble to the people employed on the Thursday night, but that a body of Parisian gendarmerie had dispersed the assemblage. The Frenchmen continued their sneers against the allies for working in the dark: fear and shame were the causes assigned. 'If you take them at all, why not take them in the face of day? But you are too wise to drag upon yourselves the irresistible popular fury, which such a sight would excite against you!'

"On the night of Friday, the order of proceeding was entirely changed. It had been found proper to call out a strong guard of Austrians, horse and foot. The mob had been charged by the cavalry, and it was said that several had their limbs broken. I expected to find the place on Saturday morning quiet and open as usual; but when I reached its entrance, what an impressive scene presented itself! The delicate plan—for such in truth it was—of working by night, was now over. The Austrians had wished to spare the feelings of the king the pain of seeing his capital dismantled before his palace windows, where he passed in his carriage when he went out for his daily exercise. But the acute feelings of the people rendered severer measures necessary. My companion and myself were stopped from entering the place by Austrian dragoons: a large mob of Frenchmen were collected here, standing on tip-toe to catch the arch in the distance, on the top of which the ominous sight of numbers of workmen, busy about the horses, was plainly to be distinguished. We advanced again to the soldiers: some of the French, by whom we were surrounded, said, 'Whoever you are, you will not be allowed to pass.' I confess I was for retiring—for the whole assemblage, citizens and soldiers, seemed to wear an angry and alarming aspect. But my companion was eager for admittance. He was put back again by an Austrian hussar:—'What, not the English!' he exclaimed in his own language. The mob laughed loudly, when they heard the foreign soldier so addressed; but the triumph was ours; way was instantly made for us—and an officer on duty, close by, touched his helmet as we passed.

"The king and princes had left the Tuilleries, to be out of the view of so mortifying a business The court of the palace, which used to be gay with young gardes du corps and equipages, was now silent, deserted, and shut up. Not a soul moved in it. The top of the arch was filled with people, and the horses, though as yet all there, might be seen to begin to move. The carriages that were to take them away were in waiting below, and a tackle of ropes was already affixed to one. The small door leading to the top was protected by a strong guard: every one was striving to obtain permission to gratify his curiosity, by visiting the horses for the last time that they could be visited in this situation. Permission, however, could necessarily be granted but to few. I was of the fortunate number. In a minute I had climbed the narrow dark stair, ascended a small ladder, and was out on the top, with the most picturesque view before me that can be imagined. An English lady asked me to assist her into Napoleon's car of victory: his own statue was to have been placed in it, when he came back a conqueror from his Russian expedition! I followed the lady and her husband into the car, and we found a Prussian officer there before us. He looked at us, and, with a good humored smile, said, 'The emperor kept the English out of France, but the English have now got where he could not! 'Ah, pauvre, Napoleon!'

"The cry of the French now was, that it was abominable, execrable, to insult the king in his palace—to insult him in the face of his own subjects by removing the horses in the face of day! I adjourned with a friend to dine at a restaurateur's, near the garden of the Tuilleries, after witnessing what I have described. Between seven and eight in the evening we heard the rolling of wheels, the clatter of cavalry, and the tramp of infantry. A number of British were in the room; they all rose and rushed to the door without hats, and carrying in their haste their white table napkins in their hands. The horses were going past in military procession, lying on their sides, in separate cars. First came cavalry, then infantry, then a car; then more cavalry, more infantry, then another car; and so on till all four passed. The drums were beating, and the standards went waving by. This was the only appearance of parade that attended any of the removals. Three Frenchmen, seeing the group of English, came up to us, and began a conversation. They appealed to us if this was not shameful. A gentleman observed, that the horses were only going back to the place from whence the French had taken them: if there was a right in power for France, there must also be one for other states but the better way to consider these events was as terminating the times of robbery and discord. Two of them seemed much inclined to come instantly round to our opinion: but one was much more consistent. He appeared an officer, and was advanced beyond the middle age of life. He kept silence for a moment; and then, with strong emphasis, said—'You have left me nothing for my children but hatred against England; this shall be my legacy to them.'"—Scott.