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though of a feeble constitution, he was sent on shipboard at the
of thirteen. 2. Even before that first rude separation from the paternal roof, however, the character of the future hero had shown itself. When a mere child he strayed far from home, with a peasant boy of his acquaintance; and after being absent the whole day, he was discovered alone, sitting composedly by the side of a brook, which he could not get over. “I wonder," said the lady who found him, “that hunger and fear did not drive you home.” “Fear!" replied the future champion of England, "what is it? I never saw fear.”
3. Nelson's love of adventure made him volunteer on board the Racehorse, which was sent by the admiralty on a voyage of discovery to the North Pole. The marvels of the North Seas, the perilous adventures of the seaman's life, amidst their boundless fields of ice, strongly attracted the young seaman's imagination. One night, during the mid-watch, he dropped from the ship's side, and followed a huge bear for a great distance on the ice; his musket missed fire, but he was attacking him with the butt-end, when Captain Ludlow, seeing his danger, fired a gun from the ship, which frightened the beast, and probably saved Nelson's life. Being severely reprimanded on his return for such rashness, “Sir,” said he, “I wished to kill the bear, that I might carry the skin to my father.”
4. Subsequently he distinguished himself as a subaltern in various actions during the American War. Early in the revolutionary contest, he was employed in the siege of Bastia, in the island of Corsica, which he reduced-a singular coincidence, that the greatest leaders both at land and sea in that struggle should have first signalised themselves on the same island. After the Battle of St. Vincent and the bombardment of Cadiz, he was sent on an expedition against the island of Teneriffe; but though the attack, conducted with his wonted courage and skill, was at first successful, and the town for a short time was in the hands of the assailants, they were ultimately repulsed, with the loss of seven hundred men and Nelson's right arm.
5. Gifted by nature with undaunted courage, indomitable resolution, and undecaying energy, Nelson was also possessed of the eagle glance, the quick determination, and coolness in danger, which constitute the rarest qualities of a consummate commander. Generous, openhearted, and enthusiastic, the whole energies of his soul were concentrated in the love of his country; he loved danger itself, not the rewards of courage; he was incessantly consumed by that passion for great achievements, that sacred fire, which is the invariable characteristic of heroic minds.
6. His soul was constantly striving after historic exploits; generosity and magnanimity in danger were so natural to him, that they arose unbidden on every occasion calculated to call them forth. On one occasion, during a violent storm off Minorca, Nelson's ship was disabled, and Captain Ball took his vessel in tow. Nelson thought, however, that Captain Ball's ship would be lost if she kept her hold, and deeming his own case desperate, he seized the speaking-trumpet, and with passionate threats ordered Ball to let him loose.
7. But Ball took his own trumpet, and in a solemn voice replied, “I feel confident I can bring you in safe; I therefore must not, and by the help of Almighty God I will not leave you." What he promised he performed, and on arriving in harbour, Nelson embraced him as his deliverer, and commenced a friendship which continued for life.
8. His whole life was spent in the service of his country; his prejudices, and he had many, were all owing to the excess of patriotic feeling. He annihilated the French navy, by fearlessly following up the new system of tactics, plunging headlong into the enemy's fleet, and doubling upon a part of their line—the same system which Napoleon practised in battles on land. The history of the world has seldom characters so illustrious to exhibit, and few achievements so momentous to commemorate. —Sir Archibald Alison (1792–1867).
Heads of examination on the lesson :—Nelson's birthplace? Date of birth? Age at which he went to sea ? Experience as seaman gained where? Where did he first signalize himself ? Coincidence in this ? Where lost his arm? The great qualities he possessed? His ruling passion? His tactics? Like whose? Result of his success?
Teneriffe, the largest of the Canary Islands, off the N.W. coast of Africa. The Peak of Teneriffe, a famous extinct volcano, is 12,182 feet above the level of the sea.
“ THE GREATEST SAILOR SINCE OUR WORLD
PART III.—THE DEATH OF NELSON.
1. Nelson, certain of a triumphant issue to the day, asked Blackwood what he should consider as a victory. That officer answered that, considering the handsome way in which battle was offered by the
apparent determination for a fair trial of strength, and the situation of the land, he thought it would be a glorious result if fourteen were captured. He replied, “I shall not be
satisfied with less than twenty.” Soon afterwards he asked him if he did not think there was a signal wanting. Captain Blackwood made answer that he thought the whole fleet seemed very clearly to understand what they were about. These words were scarcely spoken before that signal was made which will be remembered as long as the language, or even the memory of England shall endure,-Nelson's last signal: ENGLAND EXPECTS EVERY MAN TO DO HIS DUTY!” It was received throughout the fleet with a shout of answering acclamation, made sublime by the spirit which it breathed and the feeling which it expressed. “Now,” said Lord Nelson, “I can
do no more. We must trust to the great Disposer of all events and the justice of our cause. I thank God for this great opportunity of doing my duty.”
2. He wore that day, as usual, his admiral's frock-coat, bearing on the left breast four stars of the different orders with which he was invested. Ornaments which rendered him so conspicuous a mark for the enemy were beheld with ominous apprehension by his officers. known that there were riflemen on board the French ships, and it could not be doubted but that his life would be particularly aimed at. They communicated their fears to each other; and the surgeon, Mr. Beatty, spoke to the chaplain, Dr. Scott, and to Mr. Scott the private secretary, desiring that some person would entreat him to change his dress or cover the stars; but they knew that such a request would highly displease him. “In honour I gained them,” he had said when such a thing had been hinted to him formerly, “and in honour I will die with them.”
3. It had been part of Nelson's prayer that the British fleet might be distinguished by humanity in the victory he expected. Setting an example himself, he twice gave orders to cease firing upon the Redoubtable, supposing that she had struck because her great 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 mizen-top, 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.
4. Hardy, who was a few steps from him, turning