Thus relieved about his left, but realizing that D'Erlon had returned to Ney, the emperor had perforce to finish the battle singlehanded.
Its contents, as was to be expected, are of a very chaotic character - of a character so chaotic indeed that the reader is almost at the mercy of the arrangement, perforce an arbitrary arrangement, of the editors.
Montmorin did not dare to come to a decision without consulting his masterful friend, but on the other hand neither Mirabeau nor La Marck were under any illusions as to the broken character of the reed on which they had perforce to lean.
Marshal Soult was appointed chief of the staff, a post for which he possessed very few qualifications; and, when the campaign began, command of the left and right wings had perforce to be given to the only two marshals available, Ney and Grouchy, who did not possess the ability or strategic skill necessary for such positions.
If the Prussians now retired northwards, parallel to the direction which Wellington would follow perforce on the morrow, the chance of co-operating in a decisive battle would still remain to the allies; and Gneisenau's order issued by moonlight, directing the retreat on Tilly and Wavre, went far to ensuring the possibility of such combined action.