Page images

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!" 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 he might not be seen by the crew, he took out his handkerchief and covered his face and stars. Had he but concealed these badges of honour from the enemy, Eng. land perhaps 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 on a pallet in the midshipmen's berth. It was soon perceived upon examination that the wound was mortal. This, however, 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 hurrahed; and at every hurrah a visible expression of joy gleamed in the eyes and marked the countenance of the dying hero.

6. But he became impatient to see Captain Hardy; and

as that officer, though often set 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 is no fear of that.”

7. Then, and not till then, Nelson spoke of himself. “I am a dead man, Hardy,” said he; “I am going fast, is will be all over with me soon. Come nearer to ine.

" 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." Captain Hardy then once more shook hands with him; and with a heart almost bursting hastened upon deck.

8. 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 on his left side—“which tells me so." And upon Beatty's inquiring whether his pain was very great, he replied, that it was so great that he wished he was dead.

“Yet," said he in a lower voice, "one would like to live a little longer too."

9. Captain Hardy, some fifty minutes after he 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 order for preparing to anchor had shown how clearly he foresaw the necessity of this.

10. 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 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

His articulation now became difficult; but he was distinctly heard to

“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.--Southey.

Heads of examination on the lesson :-Blackwood's idea of what would constitute a great victory? Nelson's? The great signal ?

“ Kiss me,

[ocr errors]


How received ? Nelson's trust? His dress? The danger of it? His words when formerly warned of it? Evidence of his humanity? Whence he received his death-wound? Proof of continued presence of mind? His interest in the progress of the fight? His interview with Hardy? His last order in regard to the feet? The closing scene?

Trafalgar, a cape in the S.W. of Spain between Cadiz and Gibraltar. The battle was fought on the 21st October, 1805.

Say to your sons,-Lo, here his grave,
Who victor died on Gadite wave;
To him, as to the burning levin,
Short, bright, resistless course was given.
Where'er his country's foes were found,
Was heard the fated thunder's sound,
Till burst the bolt on yonder shore,

Rolld, blazed, destroy'd—and was no more.
Gadite wave; the ancient name for Cadiz was Gades.
Levin, is a Scotch word for lightning.

[graphic][ocr errors]


[The Prince Consort died in December, 1861. The speech here quoted, in which Mr. Disraeli eloquently described the loss which the nation had sustained by the Prince's death, was delivered in the House of Commons in January, 1862.]

1. No person can be insensible of the fact that the House meets to-night under circumstances very much changed from those which have attended our assembling for many years. Of late, indeed for more than twenty years past, whatever may have been our personal rivalries and our party strifes, there was at least one sentiment in which we all acquiesced and in which we all shared, and that was a sentiment of admiring gratitude to that throne whose wisdom and goodness so frequently softened the acerbities of our free public life, and so majestically represented the matured intelligence of an enlightened people. All that has changed. He is gone who was the comfort and support of that throne.

2. It has been said that there is nothing which England so much appreciates as the fulfilment of duty. The prince whom we have lost not only was eminent for the fulfilment of his duty, but it was the fulfilment of the highest duty; and it was the fulfilment of the highest duty under the most difficult circumstances. Prince Albert was the consort of his Sovereign. He was the father of one who might be his Sovereign. He was the prime councillor of a realm, the political constitution of which did not even recognize his political existence. Yet, under these circumstances, so difficult and so delicate, he elevated even the throne by the dignity and purity of his domestic life.

« PreviousContinue »