페이지 이미지

alluded to in the life of Abercrombie. It is, therefore, enough to observe in this place, that Moore was honourably wounded during that period, and pass on to his more enviable services in the Egyptian campaign of 1801. Arrived in Aboukir Bay, so glorious from the preceding victory of the Nile, a rocket was discharged at three o'clock in the morning of the 9th of March, and the first division of the army, amounting to six thousand men, took their seats in the boats, and made straight for that part of the beach where the French appeared most formidable. The position of the latter was highly favourable: from a sandy bill, receding towards the centre like an amphitheatre, they poured a terrible discharge of shot, shell, and grape, which furrowed up the boiling waves around the advancing flotilla with the fury of a tempest. Nothing daunted by this danger, Moore leaped ashore at the head of the 23 and 40th infantry, and charged up the hill with fixed bayonet. This gallant movement succeeded as it deserved ; the other troops effected a safer landing; the enemy retreated on Alexandria, and the invaders encamped, with their right on the sea, and their left on Lake Mandin.

At the battle of Aboukir, which is described in the life of Abercrombie, Moore was again wounded, while leading on the reserve with his usual intrepidity. Notwithstanding this accident, he took an active share in the siege of Cairo, and commanded the escort which led the surrendered enemy to a place of embarkation. The rapid series of victories which soon forced the French to abandon all designs upon Egypt, left bim little that is memorable to perform; he returned to England, was constantly employed on the staff on account of his eminent ability as a disciplinarian; and in 1804, was named to the honours of a Knight of the Bath. In 1807, he superseded General Fox, as Commanderin-Chief of the Island of Sicily; and in 1808 passed over into Sweden with a body of 10,000 men, who were sent to re-inforce the King of that country. But the Swedish Monarch, not only refused to acknowledge his instructions, but vented his indignation of the terms in which they were couched, with a violence, which made the security of Moore's person highly questionable. He therefore retreated from Stockholm with secret despatch, and safely landed his troops in England.

It now only remains for us to speak of the last military com

the King of a body of 10 Sicily; and ina,

mand for which Sir John Moore was spared to his country, and say a few words of the melancholy victory of Corunna. The invasion of Spain by Bonaparte had proceeded with all the rapid dexterity for which that great general was celebrated ; Madrid was in his hands, and the British troops already on the Continent, had retreated before Marshal Soult, when Moore arrived in Gallicia, with a fine body of reinforcements. No sooner had be effected a junction with his countrymen, than Bonaparte, Aushed with recent victory, pressed forward at the head, of superior numbers, and compelled the British to take shelter within the walls of Corunna. But even that place they were soon incompetent to hold, and then their sole refuge was in their ships and the sea. Accordingly every precaution was taken for an embarkation that experience could supply, or promptitude suggest, when, on the morning of the 16th of January, symptoms of a rapid and determined attack became visible along the lines of the enemy. To resist this or perish was the only alternative ; and the choice was not long left unhonoured. Au obstinate contest ensued, which lasted from noon until evening, during which period the movements of the two armies were various and obstinate, and all signalized by desperate assault, but superior defence. The two British Generals highest in command were borne helpless from the field; our loss in wounded and killed, was, moreover, considerable, but the enemy was beaten back, and ultimately the victors embarked in safety. The French did ample justice to the skill and bravery of Sir John Moore. Intercepted in his progress by a strong piece of water, he set the example to his men, as was usual with him, plunged into the ford, which was breast-high, and continued forward in the field until a cannon ball struck him mortally, and made it impossible for him to remain in action. Being carried in a blanket within the town, his enquiries after the fate of the day, and the personal safety of his aid-de-camps, were constant. When General Hope, on whom the command devolved after Sir David Baird lost his arm, arrived by the side of his bed, he expressed himself earnestly, but in broken sentences, Hope, Hope, I have much to say, but cannot get it out; I feel so strong, I fear I shall be long dying: I am in great pain. I hope the people of England will be satisfied—I hope my country will do me justice. You will see my friends as

soon as you can tell them every thing—tell my mother-but here his voice failed him, and for a while he was silent. After an interval he again asked if the enemy were defeated, and being reassured of the fact, added — It is a great satisfaction to me to have beaten the French. You know I have always wished to die this way. Is Colonel Graham, and are all my aid-de-camps well? I have made my will, and remembered my servants.

He then thanked the doctors for their attention-asked once · more for his aid-de-camps, and expired without a struggle. At

an early hour on the following morning a grave, only three feet deep, was hastily prepared for his remains in the bastion of Corunna, and there, while the enemy were still firing upon the little party who performed the obsequies, was his corpse deposited without a coffin ! The scene was well fitted for the burial of a hero.

One of the best proofs which can be given of the merit of this great man, is to be found in the record of that deep sorrow by which his country marked its sense of his death, even without a dissentient voice, and the universally concurring approbation of all the officers who knew him. His military knowledge was clear, profound, and extensive; though his vigilance was unremitting, and his discipline exact, he was beloved by the army; and executed all the duties of his elevated command in a style which has by common consent ranked him among the first of his profession. Wounded early in the action at Aboukir, under Sir Ralph Abercrombie, he refused to leave the field, and continued to exhibit a force of exertion almost incredible to many when the severity of the wound was ascertained. In Holland he was also three times wounded before he could be led from the action. Many were the days which mainly depended upon Sir Jobn Moore; in every quarter his example was the finest ; in every country he exalted the character of his native land, and in death he was the twin-brother of General Wolfe !


BETWEEN the Dome and the Choir of St. Paul's Cathedral stands a national monument to this most popular of British

• In the panel above is a monument by Bacon, to Captain Duff, who fell in the battle of Trafalgar. On the one side Britannia is represented bearing laurel for a sarcophagus, which is decorated with a medallion of the deceased, and on the other, a sailor appears in grief, with the British Flag The inscription is cut as follows:

Erected at the Public Expense

To the Memory of

Captain George Duff,
Who was killed on the xxi of October,

Commanding the Mars,

In the Battle of Trafalgar,
In the Forty-second year of his age,
And the Twenty-ninth of his service.

Of this officer the following facts have been recorded. He was the son of James Duff, Esq. of Banff, in Aberdeenshire, and was born in 1764. A domestic tutor superintended his education until he was nine years old, at which period he ran away from home, and entered on board a merchantship trading between the neighbouring ports. But the Captain no sooner discovered his rank, than he sent him back to his father, who deeming it perverseness to oppose a disposition thus strongly evinced, directed his attention to the study of nautical science for two years, and in 1777 procured him a midshipman's commission on board the Panther, which then lay before Gibraltar, under the command of a relation, Commodore Robert Duff Before he passed his sixteenth year, he had been in thirteen engagemen s, and was rewarded with a Lieutenancy. From the Mediterranean, where he

Admirals. It is executed by Flaxman, R. A., and presents a good statue of his Lordship, in the costume of his rank, resting his left hand on a cable anchor: the want of the right arm is concealed by a cloak thrown over the shoulder, which, as the guides assert, is intended to be a fur pelisse, the gift of the Grand Signior during the time of Nelson's service in the Mediterranean. The pedestal, a structure of noble dimensions, wrought with Sea Gods in alto relievo, is flanked on one side by a lion, couched, and on

was stationed in 1780, he went to the West Indies, under Lord Rodney; was present in all the engagements with the Count de Grasse, and was severely wounded before St. Lucie, by the falling of a mast, on board the Montague, In 1790 he was made a Captain, and appointed to the Martin sloop of war. Soon after this he married Sophia, the second daughter of Alexander Dixon, Esq. of Muiresk, and established his residence in Edin. burgh. Being made a Post-captain in 1793, he was attached to the Medi. terranean Fleet, but was soon removed to the West Indies, with the com. mand of the Duke, of ninety guns. This ship being shivered by lightning in the subsequent attack on Martinique, he returned to England, but having the fortune to be again employed, he served at different intervals on the coast of Ireland, and in the North Seas, until a fleet mustered before Cadiz to encounter the naval strength of France and Spain united. In the great battle which ensued, the Mars was directed to lead the lee division, but was outrun at the onset by the superior sailing of the Royal Sovereign, which carried Lord Collingwood, and the Bellerophon. No sooner, however, did she come into action than a most desperate conflict took place. A French ship bore on her from either side; a first rate Spanish vessel was on her bow, and a fourth was within shot. Under these overwhelming odds, the larboard opponent, the Fougueux, soon showed signs of being disabled, but the smoke was so thick that it was impossible to determine her state precisely. Duff, therefore, gave orders to rake her, and stepped to the end of the quarter-deck to it over the sides, when a cannon-ball swept his head from his shoulders, and killed two sailors who stood behind him.

Captain Duff was a man of commanding appearance, but modest address : he was more than six feet high, strongly made, well proportioned, and agreeably featured. His crew were so warmly attached to him, that report said there was not a dry eye on board the ship when his death was announced, This attachment had been strongly proved on a former occasion, for during the period of the mutiny in 1797, the ringleaders confessed on their trial, at Portsmouth, that it was impossible to move Duiff's crew, in consequence of the affection with which they regarded him. By his wife he had five children, of whom, however, only three, a boy and two girls, survived to join their mother in her affliction.

« 이전계속 »