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1. It had been part of Nelson's prayer that the British fleet might be marked by humanity in the victory which he expected. Setting an example himself, he twice gave orders to cease firing upon the Redoutable, supposing that she had struck, because her great guns were silent; for, as she carried no flag, there was no means of knowing the fact.
2. From this ship, which he had thus twice spared, he received his death. A ball fired from her mizzen-top, which, in the situation of the two vessels, was not more than fifteen yards from that part of the deck where he was standing, struck the epaulet on his left shoulder, about a quarter after one, just in the heat of the action. 3. 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. "I hope not," cried Hardy. "Yes," he replied, "my backbone is shot through."
4. 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, had not been replaced, and ordered that new ones should be made immediately; then, that he might not be seen by the crew, he took out his handkerchief and covered his face and his stars. Had he but concealed these badges of honour from the enemy, England, per
haps, would not have had cause to receive with sorrow the news of the battle of Trafalgar.
5. The cockpit was crowded with wounded and dying men, over whose bodies he was with some difficulty conveyed, and laid upon a pallet in a midshipman's berth. It was soon perceived that the wound was mortal. This, however, was concealed from all except Captain Hardy, the chaplain, and the medical attendant.
6. He himself being certain from the feeling in his back, and the gush of blood he felt every moment 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."
7. All that could be done was to fan him with paper, and frequently to give him lemonade to allay his great thirst. He was in great pain, and expressed much anxiety for the event of the action, which now began to declare itself.
8. As often as a ship struck, the crew of the Victory cheered, and at every hurrah a visible expression of joy gleamed in the eyes and marked the countenance of the dying hero. But he became impatient to see Captain Hardy; and as that officer, though often sent for, could not leave the deck, Nelson feared that some fatal cause prevented him, and often cried : "Will no one bring Hardy to me? He must be killed! he is surely dead?"
9. 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 sublime moment.
10. "Well, Hardy," said Nelson, "how goes the day with us?" "Very well," said Hardy, "ten ships have struck, but five of the van have tacked, and show an intention to bear down on 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."
11. Then, and not till then, Nelson spoke of himself. "I am a dead man, Hardy," said he; "I am going fast. It will soon be all over with me. Come nearer to me. Let my dear Lady Hamilton have my hair, and all other things belonging to me." Hardy observed that he hoped that Mr. Beatty could yet hold out some hope of life. "Oh, no," he replied, "my back is shot through; Beatty will tell you so." Captain Hardy then once more shook hands with him, and, with a heart almost bursting, hastened on deck.
12. By this time all feeling below the breast was gone; and Nelson, having made the surgeon ascertain this, said to him: "You know I am gone; I know it, I feel something rising in my breast," putting his hand to his side, "which tells me so." And upon Beatty's inquiring whether his pain was very great, he replied, "So 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 undertone he added"What would become of poor Lady Hamilton if she knew my situation?" Next to his country, she occupied his thoughts.
SUMMARY.-Nelson received his fatal wound from the Redoutable. He fell upon his face, but was quickly raised by three of the sailors. His backbone was shot through, but in spite of the
intense pain he never lost his presence of mind. That he might not be seen by the crew as he was being carried below he covered his face and stars with his handkerchief. The fact that his wound was mortal was concealed from all but three. All that could be done was to fan him with paper and allay his thirst with lemonade. He was eager as to the result of the action, and was anxious also to see Captain Hardy. The interview between them was painful in the extreme to Hardy, who left him with a heart almost bursting with grief.
Tiller rope-a rope attached to the handle of a rudder.
Cockpit-The lower deck of a ship of war, where there are divisions for the surgeons. It is into this compartment that the wounded are carried. It originally meant the area in which cocks were fought.
Mizzen-top-The platform at the top of the lower mizzen-mast. The mizzen-mast is the mast near the stern of the ship.
Redoutable-A French man-of-war, from the mizzen-top of which the ball was fired that gave Nelson his mortal wound. Hardy-A gallant officer, of whom it is sufficient to say that he was the friend and brother in arms of the gallant Nelson, whose last words he received on board the l'ictory.
Beatty Sir William Beatty was physician to Her Majesty's fleet, and also to Greenwich Hospital. of attending Nelson in his last authentic narrative of his death.
He had the melancholy duty
Sec-re-ta-ry, one who writes for another.
Vis-i-ble, that may be seen.
EXERCISES.-1. Parse and analyse-At every hurrah a visible expression gleamed in the eyes of the dying hero.
2. Verbs are formed from nouns and adjectives by adding ate, en, fy, which mean "to make;" as alien, alienate; black, blacken; pure, purify. In the same way make other nouns from the followingcaptive, sharp, glory. Make interrogative sentences to show the use of these words.
LIII.-DEATH OF NELSON. PART II.
1. Captain Hardy, some fifty 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 see 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."
2. Hardy upon this hinted that Admiral Collingwool would take upon himself the direction of affairs. "Not while I live, Hardy," said the dying Nelson, endeavouring to raise himself from the bed. His previous order for preparing to
"Do you anchor." anchor had shown how clearly he foresaw the necessity of this.
3. 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 the king should please to order it otherwise." Then reverting to private feelings: "Take care of my dear 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."
4. Hardy stood over him in silence for a moment or two, then knelt down and kissed his forehead. "Who is that?" said Nelson; and being informed, he replied, "God bless you, Hardy;" and Hardy then left him--