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collected in his train, pressing forward, to obtain a sight of his face : many were in tears, and many knelt down before him, and blessed him as he passed. England has had many heroes, but never one who so entirely possessed the love of his fellow-countrymen as Nelson. All men knew that his heart was as humane as it was fearless ; that there was not in his nature the slightest alloy of selfishness or cupidity ; but that, with perfect and entire devotion, he served his country with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his strength; and, therefore, they loved him as truly and as fervently as he loved England. They pressed upon the parapet to gaze after him when bis barge pushed off, and he was returning their cheers by waving his hat. The sentinels who endeavoured to prevent them from trespassing upon this ground, were wedged among the crowd ; and an officer who, not very prudently upon such an occasion, ordered them to drive the people down with their bayonets, was compelled speedily to retreat; for the people would not be debarred from gazing, till the last moment, upon the hero—the darling hero of England !
It had been part of Nelson's prayer, that the British fleet might be distinguished by humanity in the victory which he expected. Setting an example himself, he twice gave orders to cease firing on the Redoubtable, supposing that she had struck, because her guns were silent ; for, as she carried no flag, there was no means of instantly ascertaining the fact. From this ship, which he had thus twice spared, he received his death. A ball fired from her mizentop, which, in the then situation of the two vessels, was not more than fifteen yards from that part of the deck where he was standing, struck the epaulette on his left shoulder, about a quarter after one, just in the heat of action. He fell upon his face, on the spot which was covered with his poor secretary's blood. Hardy, who was a few steps from him, turning round, saw three men raising him up. “ They have done for me at last, Hardy,” said he. not," cried Hardy. “ Yes !” he replied ; “my back-bone is shot through." Yet even now, not for a moment losing his presence of mind, he observed, as they were carrying him down the ladder, that the tiller ropes, which had been shot away, were not yet replaced, and ordered that new ones should be rove immediately: then, that ho might not be seen by the crew, he took ont his handkerchief, and covered his face and his stars. Had he but concealed these badges of honour from the enemy, England, perhaps, would not have had cause to receive with sorrow the news of the battle of Trafalgar. The cockpit was crowded with wounded and dying men; over whose bodies he was with some difficulty conveyed, and laid upon a pallet in the midshipinen’s berth. It was soon perceived upon examination, that the wound was mortal. This, how
“ I hope
ever, was concealed from all except Captain Hardy, the chaplain, and the medical attendants. He himself being certain, from the sensation in his back, and the gush of blood he felt momently within his breast, that no human care could avail him, insisted that the surgeon should leave him, and attend to those to whom he might be useful; “for," said he, you can do nothing for me." All that could be done was to fan him with paper, and frequently to give him lemonade to alleviate his intense thirst. He was in great pain, and expressed much anxiety for the event of the action, which now began to declare itself. As often as a ship struck, the crew of the Victory hurraed; and at every hurra, a visible expression of joy gleamed in the eyes, and marked the countenance of the dying hero. But he became impatient to see Hardy; and as that officer, though often sent for, could not leave the deck, Nelson feared that some fatal cause prevented him, and repeatedly cried : “Will no one bring Hardy to me? he must be killed! he is surely dead !” An hour and ten minutes elapsed from the time when Nelson received his wound, before Hardy could come to him. They shook hands in silence : Hardy in vain struggling to suppress the feelings of that most painful and yet sublimest moment. Well, Hardy,” said Nelson, how goes the day with us?” " Very well," replied Hardy;
“ ten ships have struck, but five of the van have tacked, and show an intention to bear down upon the Victory. I have called two or three of our fresh ships round, and have no doubt of giving them a drubbing." "I hope,” said Nelson, none of our ships have struck.” Hardy answered, “ there was no fear of that.” Then, and not till then, Nelson spoke of himself. “I am a dead man, Hardy," said he ; “I am going fast: it will be all over with me soon. Come nearer to me. Let
my dear Lady Hamilton have my hair, and all other things belonging to me.” Hardy observed, that he hoped Mr. Beatty could yet hold out some prospect of life. " Oh! no," he replied ; “ it is impossible. My back is shot through. Beatty will tell you so.” Hardy then, once more, shook hands with him, and with a heart almost bursting, hastened upon deck.
By this time all feeling below the breast was gone ; and Nelson, having made the surgeon ascertain this, said to him : 6. You know I am gone. I know it. I feel something rising in my breast,” putting his hand on his left side," which tells me so." And upon Beatty's inquiring whether his pain was very great, he replied, great, that he wished he was dead. Yet,” said he, in a lower voice,
one would like to live a little longer too!” And after a few minutes, in the same under-tone, he added : “ What would become of poor Lady Hamilton, if she knew my situation !” Next to his country she occupied his thoughts. Captain Hardy, some fifty
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minutes after he had left the cockpit, returned ; and, again taking the hand of his dying friend and commander, congratulated him on having gained a complete victory. How many of the enemy were taken he did not know, as it was impossible to perceive them distinctly ; but fourteen or fifteen at least. “ That's well,” cried Nelson, “ but I bargained for twenty." And then, in a stronger voice, he said : “ Anchor, Hardy; anchor.” Hardy, upon this, hinted that Admiral Collingwood would take upon himself the direction of affairs. “ Not while I live, Hardy," said the dying Nelson, ineffectually endeavouring to raise himself from the bed : “ do you anchor." His previous orders for preparing to anchor had shown how clearly he foresaw the necessity of this. Presently, calling Hardy back, he said to him, in a low voice, “Don't throw me overboard ;” and he desired that he might be buried by his parents, unless it should please the king to order otherwise. Then reverting to private feelings : “Take care of my dear Lady Hamilton, Hardy: take care of poor Lady Hamilton. Kiss me, Hardy,” said he. Hardy knelt down and kissed his cheek; and Nelson said, “Now I am satisfied. Thank God I have done my duty!” Hardy stood over him in silence for a moment or two, then knelt again and kissed his forehead. Who is that?” said Nelson; and being informed, he replied, “ God bless you, Hardy.” And Hardy then left him-for ever. Nelson now desired to be turned upon his right side, and said, “I wish I had not left the deck; for I shall soon be gone.” Death was, indeed, rapidly approaching. He said to the chaplain, “ Doctor, I have not been a great sinner;" and after a short pause,
“Remember that I leave Lady Hamilton and my daughter Horatia as a legacy to my country." His articulation now became difficult; but he was distinctly heard to say, “ Thank God, I have done my duty !” These words he repeatedly pronounced ; and they were the last words which he uttered. He expired at thirty minutes after four,-three hours and a quarter after he had received his wound.
The death of Nelson was felt in England as something more than a public calamity : men started at the intelligence, and turned pale, as if they had heard of the loss of a dear friend. An object of our admiration and affection, of our pride and of our hopes, was suddenly taken from us; and it seemed as if we had never till then known how deeply we loved and reverenced him. What the country had lost in its great naval herothe greatest of our own and of all former times—was scarcely taken into the account of grief. So perfectly, indeed, had he performed his part, that the maritime war, after the battle of Trafalgar, was considered at an end. The fleets of the enemy were not merely defeated, but destroyed; new navies must be built, and a new race of seamen reared for them, before the pos
sibility of their invading our shores could again be contemplated. It was not, therefore, from any selfish reflection upon the magnitude of our loss that we mourned for him : the general sorrow was of a higher character. The people of England grieved that funeral ceremonies, and public monuments, and posthumous rewards, were all which they could now bestow upon him whom the king, the legislature, and the nation would have alike delighted to honour; whom every tongue would have blessed ; whose presence in every village through which he might have passed would have wakened the church-bells, have given schoolboys a holiday, have drawn children from their sports to gaze upon him, and “old men from the chimneycorner to look upon Nelson ere they died. The victory of Trafalgar was celebrated, indeed, with the usual forms of rejoicing, but they were without joy ; for such already was the glory of the British navy, through Nelson's surpassing genius, that it scarcely seemed to receive any addition from the most signal victory that ever was achieved upon the seas; and the destruction of this mighty fleet, by which all the maritime schemes of France were totally frustrated, hardly appeared to add to our security or strength; for, while Nelson was living to watch the combined squadrons of the enemy, we felt ourselves as secure as now, when they were no longer in existence.
There was reason to suppose, from the appearances upon opening his body, that in the course of nature he might have attained, like bis father, to a good old age. Yet he cannot be said to have fallen prematurely whose work was done; nor ought he to be lamented, who died so full of honours, and at the height of human fame. The most triumphant death is that of the martyr; the most awful, that of the martyred patriot; the most splendid, that of the hero in the hour of victory ; and if the chariot and the horses of fire had been vouchsafed for Nelson's translation, he could scarcely have departed in a brighter blaze of glory. He has left us, not indeed his mantle of inspiration, but a name and an example which are at this hour inspiring thousands of the youth of England—a name which is our pride, and an example which will continue to be our shield and our strength. Thus it is that the spirits of the great and the wise continue to live and to act after them.
329. Samuel Rogers. 1763-1855. (Manual, p. 460.)
And in her fifteenth year became a bride,
Just as she looks there in her bridal dress,
Great was the joy ; but at the nuptial feast, When all sate down, the bride herself was wanting, Nor was she to be found! Her father cried, “'Tis but to make a trial of our love!" And fill’d his glass to all; but his hand shook, And soon from guest to guest the panic spread. 'Twas but that instant she had left Francesco, Laughing, and looking back, and flying still, Her ivory tooth imprinted on his finger. But now, alas! she was not to be found; Nor from that hour could anything be guess’d, But that she was not!
Weary of his life, Francesco flew to Venice, and, embarking, Flung it away in battle with the Turks. Orsini lived; and long might you have seen An old man wandering as in quest of somethingSomething he could not find-he knew not what. When he was gone, the house remained awhile Silent and tenantless, then went to strangers.
Full fifty years were past and all forgotten, When on an idle day, a day of search 'Mid the old lumber in the gallery, That moulderiny chest was noticed ; and 'twas said, By one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra, · Why not remove it from its lurking place ? 'Twas done as soon as said ; but on the way It burst, it fell ; and lo! a skeleton, With here and there a pearl, an emerald stone, A golden clasp, clasping a shred of gold.