페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

caused letters to be written to the Governor of brief harangue of Nelson with the similar address Syracuse that he was to encourage the fleet being of Bonaparte to his troops in Egypt. In these supplied with every thing, should they put into the genius of the two nations and the two leaders any port in Sicily. We put into Syracuse, and is mutually characterized. “Soldiers !" said Nareceived every supply, went to Egypt, and de- poleon, “from the summit of those Pyramids forty stroyed the French tleet. Could I have rewarded ages are looking down upon you." " England,” these services, I would not now call upon my said Nelson, addressing his hardy mariners by country ; but as that has not been in my power, signal, “ England expects every man to do his I leave Emma, Lady Hamilton, therefore, a leg- duty." In the one case, the appeal is made to acy to my king and country, that they will give glory, in the other to patriotism. The Englishher an ample provision to maintain her rank in man can not separate his own fame from that of life. I also leave to the beneficence of my coun- his country. The Frenchman combats for the try my adopted daughter, Horatia Nelson Thomp- applause of the whole world. Renown intoxison, and I desire she will use in future the name cates the one, duty is sufficient for the other. of Nelson only. These are the only favors I ask Posterity will judge both according to their enof my king and country at this moment when I dowments and deeds. am going to fight their battle. May God bless “And now,” exclaimed Nelson, as his ear my king and country, and all those whom I hold caught the acclamations with which his signal dear. My relations it is needless to mention ; was received, “I can do no more. May the Althey will, of course, be amply provided for. mighty Disposer of all things decide the event

"Nelson AND BRONTE. according to His will and the justice of our cause. “Witness-HENRY BLACKWOOD.

I thank Him humbly for this great occasion of T. M. HARDY."

discharging my duty.” Having bestowed the necessary attention on He wore embroidered upon his usual uniform those he expected to survive him, Nelson return the stars of the four orders with which he had ed to his quarter-deck, and stood there, surround- been decorated by his own and by foreign goved by his most attached companions in arms, with ernments. These ornaments pointed him out as every thought now concentrated on the approach- a conspicuous mark for the riflemen posted in the ing enemy. He appeared to be calm and serious, tops of the French vessels. The officers upon presenting a contrast to his usual gay and ani- the deck of his ship trembled for the life of their mated manner at the commencement of an action. commander, who thus exposed himself to a preHe was no longer the fiery warrior of Aboukir, meditated aim, and whispered to each other an communicating a portion of his own ardent soul anxious desire that some one should entreat him to the thunder of his broadsides.

to cover them. No one was found bold enough The combined fleet advanced in close order, to do so. It was remembered that on a former with a determination and speed which rapidly di- occasion he had indignantly rejected a similar minished the intervening distance, and placed be- proposal. “No! no !” he replied ; “in honor I yond a doubt the certainty of immediate battle. gained, and in honor I will die with them !" Nelson felt equally confident of victory to his It was merely suggested to him that his posicountry and death for himself. He spoke freely tion as commander-in-chief was too important to of the expected result in conversation with his of- the success of the day to justify him in running ficers. “How many of the enemy's ships do you the gauntlet through the whole of the enemy's think we ought to take or destroy ?" demanded ships by leading the van, and that by shortening he of his friend Blackwood. “ Twelve or fifteen," sail he might suffer the Leviathan, which followreplied the gallant captain. “That will not do,” |ed the Victory, to pass to the front and receive retorted Nelson ; " less than twenty will not sat- the first fire. “Let it be so," exclaimed he; “let isfy me."

the Leriathan go ahead of us if she can." At A few minutes before the two fleets were within the same time, he ordered his flag captain, Hardy, range, Nelson, who had reserved for the last mo- to crowd more sail, and burst like a tempest upon ment the signal of encouragement he was accus. the French line. His captains then quitted the tomed to issue to his sailors, and eagerly expected quarter-deck of the Victory, and each repaired to by them, exhibited from the mast-head of the Vic- his own vessel. On taking leave of them, he tory his memorable word of battle, embracing in pressed Captain Blackwood warmly by the hand, one short sentence the grand emotions which lead who assured him by anticipation of a glorious victhe brave to rush fearlessly on to death-patriot- tory. “Adieu, Blackwood," said he; “may God ism, a sense of duty, and confidence of triumph. bless you; I shall never see you again." The signal ran thus: - ENGLAND EXPECTS THAT A few minutes afterward, the head of the colEVERY MAN WILL DO HIS DUTY."

umn led by Admiral Collingwood, his second in A cry of enthusiastic admiration burst from command, distant from his own about half a mile, every deck as these words became legible. The broke the line of the combined fleets Collingsoul of Nelson, inspired by the sense of duty, ap- wood's flag-ship, the Royal Sovercign, singled pealed to those under him through the same prin- out the three-decker, the Santa Anna, engaged ciple which animated himself. He was under her at close quarters, and was soon enveloped in stood and answered. Every officer and sailor in his own and the enemy's fire. “Look !” exclaimthe fleet responded to the call, with the fullest ed Nelson, with exulting joy, “ see how that galconfidence in their leader. We may parallel this lant fellow, Collingwood, carries his ship into action! He has cleared the way ; let us hasten | ready intelligence, or unity of conception, were after him."

unable to attempt any of those bold counter-strokes While Nelson uttered these words on the poop which often change the features of a battle. of the Victory, Collingwood, reveling in the storm In the mean while, a few stout vessels, aniof thunder and the clouds of smoke that envelop- mated by determined leaders, sustained the full ed him, observed to his own captain, Rotherham, shock of the two columns Ipd by Collingwood and “ What would Nelson give to be here!”

| Nelson. Lucas, the captain of the Redoutable, He was not long behind his second in command. worthy of being opposed to a hero, had covered Already the fire from some of the enemy's vessels the deck of the Victory with killed and wounded passed over his head, tore his sails, and fell like before he was attacked himself. He was soon a storm of hail on the decks of the Victory. The compelled by superior weight of metal to close first who fell dead at his feet was his secretary, his lower ports, and the two ships became so Scott, at that moment in conversation with Cap-closely jammed together that the combatants entain Hardy. While they were removing the body gaged almost man to man. Lucas made preparafrom the Admiral's sight, a chain-shot killed eight tions to board, and armed his most intrepid marmen on the quarter-deck. “This is too warm,” iners that he might be ready to take advantage said he to Hardy, “ to last long." The wind of of opening or opportunity, as either should occur. a cannon ball intercepted his speech, and carried The proximity of the ships inundated the decks a group of sailors between him and the captain. of both with blood and carnage, while the comThe Victory was still silent, reserving her fire, batants were enveloped in a dense cloud of smoke, and advancing gradually. All at once she was which the wind had not sufficient force to dispoured into by the French Redoutable, command-perse. There was the darkness of night at mided by Captain Lucas, the Bucentaur, bearing the day, interrupted only by the flashing of repeated flag of Villeneuve himself, and the Spanish San- discharges, and the thunder of the cannonade. tissima Trinidada, of 150 guns, the largest float- But, at the moment when the French captain ing fortress that the sea had ever borne. Hardy endeavored to lock his yard-arms with those of inquired of the Admiral which vessel he should the enemy's ship, so as to form a single bridge first engage, to break this line of fire, and open of their united decks, and placed his boarding the way for his own column. “ Take the near- ladders against the side of the Victory, another est,” replied Nelson; “it is of little consequence : English vessel, the Téméraire, commanded by choose for yourself.” Hardy ordered the steers- Captain Harvey, pressed up to the assistance of man to lay him alongside the Redoutable. The his admiral, and, ranging across the flank of the two ships, having vomited forth their mutual Redoutable, poured into her his entire broadside. broadsides, closed with a shock, augmented by Nelson, then veering off to a half-cable's length, the swell of the waves, and each prepared to board commenced a cross fire in conjunction with the the other. The force of the attack and the power Téméraire against the Redoutable, carried away of the wind filling the sails at the same moment, her ensign, and three times extinguished her fire compelled the Redoutable to fall a little out of the in the blood of her slaughtered crew. The Reline, and the Victory followed her. The ships doutable, after a short interval of silence, nailed immediately following Nelson passed through the fresh flags to her masts and reopened her fire, opening, and ranging up on the right and left, as if determined to perish rather than ask or reseparated the compact order of the combined fleet ceive pity or favor. Her sharp-shooters, posted into detached squadrons. The rapidity of their in the rigging, on the tops, and on the yards, motion, the accuracy of their maneuvres, the cool kept the victorious enemy at a distance. self-possession of the sailors, the skill with which Villeneuve, during this duel between Nelson they handled their sails, multiplied their number and his best ships, was engaged himself in the at pleasure, and carried thern in a moment wher- Bucentaur, at a short distance. By an accident, ever there was an enemy's vessel to attack, or an his bowsprit had become entangled, at the comEnglish ship to rescue. The sea and the wind, mencement of the action, in the stern gallery of adverse to all others, seemed to act in concert with the huge colossus of the fleet, the Santissima these lords of the ocean. Nelson trusted to them Trinidada, from which impediment he had made to secure the victory, and now thought of nothing many fruitless efforts to disengage himself. but of fighting his own three-decker.

Attacked in this terrible state of forced inacVilleneuve, his centre already penetrated and tion, at first by the Victory, and afterward by four thrown into confusion by Nelson, with his col- other English ships, these two vessels, presentumn of fifteen line-of-battle ships, made repeated ing a combined force of 160 guns and 3000 men, but fruitless signals through his frigates to the succeeded by their double broadsides in keeping squadron of reserve, consisting of ten sail, which at bay the assailants who endeavored to overbe had imprudently stationed too far off to be whelm them from a distance. Villeneuve, recovavailable in the combat. These ships, motionless ering, in the despair of his situation and the arand as if petrified by terror, beheld from a distance dor of battle, the firmness which had failed him the extremity to which their commander was re- in his earlier proceedings, now equaled Nelson duced, and his vain efforts to recover the weather- himself in intrepidity, and in the desperate resgage. Many others, breaking from the line, and olution with which he braved death on the poop floating with the tide beyond the range of shot, of his flag-ship. Bursting with rage and anguish fired ineffective broadsides, and from want of at his utter inability to get free from the Santis.

sima Trinidada, and hasten to the support and embellish the glory of the day. The Fougueur, encouragement of his fleet, he vainly implored commanded successively by three officers who fell the Spanish commander to try, by hoisting a one after the other on the poop, surrendered only crowd of sail, to tear himself from the at- when her decks were strewed with 400 slain. The taching bowsprit, even though his own prow Pluton, commanded by Captain Cosmao, was on should be carried away along with it. But the the point of boarding the Mars, the vanquisher sails of the huge Spaniard were by this time so of the Bucentaur, and of delivering Villeneuve, torn by shot, and her masts so completely dis- who was a prisoner on board that vessel, when abled, that she lay like a helpless log, the mere two of her masts fell under the fire of three other sport of the waves, and a butt for the fire of the English ships advancing to the rescue of their enemy. Villeneuve saw his best officers and 600 companion. The rear-admiral Magon, the Achilof his crew perish around him. His masts fell les of the combined fleet, hastening to anticipate overboard in succession, carrying away shrouds, the attack of the enemy, when his own line gave tops, yards, rigging, and every vestige of his sails. way at their approach, fell upon the English TonAt this moment a sudden gust of wind dissipated | nant, of eighty-four guns, plunged his bowsprit the thick mantle of smoke which concealed from into her main-shrouds, and rushed upon her forethe unfortunate admiral the state of the battle in castle, at the head of his boarders; but the broadother quarters. He saw at least one half of his sides from two heavy ships, one on each side, fleet, motionless spectators of the destruction of overwhelmed him with an iron storm, and forced the rest. He made signals to them to hasten in him to retire upon his own poop behind a rampart stantly into the thickest of the fire. These ships of dead. Three times, with his boarding hatchet were sufficient in number to change defeat to vic- in his hand, he drove back the English who had tory. Either they misunderstood or intention-gained half the deck, and three times hurled them ally disobeyed his orders, and continued to steer, from his bulwarks into the sea. Struck by a bisas if by chance, wherever the breeze directed, cayan* in the right arm, he fought with his left. without fixed object, and as far from the scene A second shot broke his leg; he was then taken of action as they could possibly remove themselves. between decks to stanch the blood; but the rents Villeneuve, seeing the Bucentaur dismasted, strip- in the sides of the Pluton allowed the showers of ped like a pontoon, and on the point of sinking, grape to penetrate even into this refuge of the called in vain upon his own crew, and the crew wounded : a ball entered his breast, and he fell of the Trinidada, to lower a boat, that he might dead in the arms of his supporters. His death fly in person to the reserve, and force them into was the signal for the surrender of his vessel. the combat. The boats suspended from the poup, Eight others struck at the same time. shattered by bullets, foundered when they reached Admiral Gravina, commander-in-chief of the the water : his vessel, completely silenced, emitted Spanish squadron, fell mortally wounded while from her port-holes empty smoke in place of deadly defending his ship, the Prince of Asturias, with broadsides. A long-boat from the English line-of-the characteristic courage of his race. The crew battle ship Mars approached without opposition to of the Achille, the last of Villeneuve's fleet, who save the relics of the crew and to receive the ad- still resisted with the fury of despair, had allowed miral. Villeneuve, unable to find a ball in this her upper decks to take fire during the combat. storm of iron and lead to terminate his existence, Their whole attention engrossed with dealing debut reserved by still heavier misfortune for sui- struction on the enemy, they had entirely neglectcide, surrendered at last, when he had neither a ed their own impending fate. The flames in. cannon under his hand nor a plank beneath his creased beyond their power to subdue them; infeet. The English received him as an enemy stant explosion threatened, and the English ships disarmed, with the respect due to his calamity withdrew to a distance to escape from the conseand his courage. The Spanish admiral's ship, quences. The crew of the Achille still continued the Santissima Trinidada, abandoned by her firing, and casting into the sea some spars, bulseven companions of the same nation, struck her warks, and floating portions of their vessel, precolors after fours hours of determined but solitary pared at the last moment to jump overboard and resistance. At the sight of the English ensign cling to them. In a few moments the Achille floating above this colossus, the remains of the blew up, like an exploding volcano, in the vacant Spanish squadron made all sail and fled toward space, and became the voluntary tomb of 500 the roads of Cadiz.

brave men. The English mariners faithfully As soon as the two admirals had surrendered, obeyed the orders of Nelson-allowed their anger the English fell with their disengaged and victo- to cease with opposition, and instantly lowered rious ships on the remains of the enemy's centre, their boats to resue their drowning enemies. This still equal to cope with them in numbers and sudden thunderbolt terminated the battle in the weight of metal. Again they broke the line by centre of the contending squadrons. an irresistible attack, and, cutting it up into del Rear-admiral Dumanoir-who might still have tached squadrons, engaged in a succession of sin- struck a blow, if not with success, at least with gle combats. In these, each individual captain, honor-hauled off from the head of the line with actuated by weakness or despair, distinguished his four splendid ships, which had not been enhimself by timidity or hardihood, and tarnished gaged; he fired a few useless broadsides as he or adorned his personal character without a hope of serving the public cause, but anxious only to carries an iron ball – TR.

* A biscayan is a particular kind of long musket, which

[ocr errors]

retired unharmed and inglorious from the field of story raised a shout of triumph; as these joyful battle. He expected to reach Brest in safety with cries reached his ears, his eyes flashed with dehis detachment, but he was disappointed; the light, and a ray of glory lighted up his dying featsquadron of Strachan intercepted and took him ures. Captain Hardy had reascended to the before he doubled Cape Bretagne.

quarter-deck to attend to his duty. “Where is The battle was now over, except with the group Hardy ?" repeatedly inquired Nelson. “Why of seven ships, in the centre of which the Re- does he not come to me? Doubtless he is killed, doutable still struggled in despair against the and you fear to tell me.” In another hour, Hardy united attack of the Téméraire and the Victory. returned, and bent over his dying chief. They Captain Lucas, of the Redoutable, jammed close looked on each other with moistening eyes, and against the Victory, and enfiladed at the same clasped hands in a long silence. “Well, Hardy," time from prow to poop by two other English said Nelson, at length, “how goes the day?" vessels, was unable to use his broadside, and the “* Admirably well,” replied the commander of the combat between him and Nelson's flag-ship re- Victory ; “ten ships have already struck; the solved itself into a close fire of musketry on both others fight singly, or disperse altogether. Five sides. The upper deck of the Redoutable, higher fresh vessels appear disposed to bear down on than that of the Victory, swept the latter with a the Victory (this was the squadron of Dumanoir), shower of balls. The French had also stationed but I have called some of our own about us, and riflemen in their tops and on the yards, who pick- we shall soon dispose of them.” “I hope," said ed off the officers, rendered conspicuous by their Nelson, " that none of our ships have struck.” decorations. Captain Hardy was wounded, with “ There is no fear of that, my lord," replied his 200 others. Nelson, remarkable above all by his faithful captain. Satisfied that the victory was stars and gestures of command, was standing in secure, his spirits sank for a moment. “I am a the blood of his companions, when a musket-shot dead man, Hardy,” said he; “I feel that I am from the mizen-top of the Redoutable struck him going fast ; in a few moments it will be all over between the shoulder and the neck, and threw with Nelson." His friend endeavored to encourhim, as if by the impulse of an invisible hand, age him with false hopes, which he was far from face foremost upon the deck. Three sailors and feeling himself, pressed his hand, already clammy Captain Hardy, who covered him with their bodies, with the near approach of death, and with a sad. ran forward to lift him up. He raised himself dened heart resumed his post on the quarter-deck. on one knee with his remaining arm, and looked Nelson then spoke of his state with his medical at Hardy with a steady gaze. “I am killed, my attendant, who watched anxiously the changing friend,” said he; “the French have done for Nel symptoms of life and death. “I feel something son at last.” “I hope not,” replied his captain. here,” said he to the surgeon, placing his hand “ Hope nothing," rejoined Nelson; "the ball has upon his heart, “ which tells me that my end appierced my spine.” His indomitable spirit and proaches." “Do you suffer much pain, my lord ?" the animation of battle still supported him, and inquired the doctor. “So much," answered the he continued to issue orders while they were car- wounded admiral, “ that death would be a relief. rying him below. Observing that the tiller ropes Nevertheless," added he, in a more feeble tone, had been shot away, he directed them to be re- "every body wishes to live a little longer! Alas! placed. As he passed through the middle deck, what would become of poor Lady Hamilton if he covered his face with his handkerchief, lest his she knew the state I was in at this moment !" crew should recognize him and be discouraged by His country, his renown, and his fatal love, dishis fall. The lower deck was strewed with killed puted the possession of his last thoughts. and wounded men, through whom it was necessary An instant after, Hardy came down again, his to clear a passage for the admiral. He was then face beaming with joy, and, taking Nelson by the placed on a cot in one of the midshipmen's berths. hand, announced to him a complete and undisThe surgeons probed the wound, and saw at once puted victory. He could not yet name exactly that it was mortal. The melancholy fact was con- the number of vessels that adorned his triumph, cealed from all, except only Captain Hardy, that but he could answer for fifteen or sixteen at least. no discouragement might be conveyed to the fleet “ 'Tis well! 'tis excellent!” exclaimed Nelson; through the knowledge that their beloved chief" but yet”-as he thought of his conversation in had fallen.

the morning with Blackwood—“I had bargained Convinced himself, by internal sensation, that for twenty.” Then, raising his voice, and speakhis last hour was approaching, and that the re- ing with great rapidity and decision, “ Anchor, sources of art were unavailing, he commanded Hardy," said he; “bring the fleet to an anchor the surgeons to leave him to his fate, and carry before night.” Hardy signified that this care their aid to those who could still profit by it. would devolve on Collingwood, who, by his rank, ** For me," said he, “ you can do nothing.” The would now command the fleet. “No, no; not only relief they administered was by fanning him, while I live!” replied the admiral, making an efand endeavoring to assuage his burning thirst fort to raise himself in his bed; "obey my orders, with a few drops of water. His own thoughts and anchor! Anchor before night-have every were entirely occupied with the progress and thing in readiness to anchor!” He had predictevents of the battle, of which he made incessant ed from the early morning a heavy gale of wind, inquiries from all who entered. As the enemy's which he expected to come on at night, and which ships struck in succession, the crew of the Vic- would prove equally dangerous to the victors and

the vanquished. The thought of placing the fleet | second night after the battle, more terrible than in safety by bringing them to anchor was never the combat itself. The enraged elements sported for a moment absent from his mind. “Don't at pleasure during sixty hours with the three fleets, fling me overboard,” said he to Hardy ; “I wish which, the evening before, had proudly covered the to repose with my family in the church-yard of ocean with their flags. my native village-unless,” he added, thinking of Several of the prizes taken by Nelson, separWestminster Abbey, “ my king and country may ated by the fury of the waves from the English be pleased to order otherwise. But, above all, my ships to which they were attached, broke from the dear Hardy," continued he, with a burst of tender cables that towed them, and sought to escape by regard, increased by the near prospect of eternal flight, or went ashore on the rocks of Cape Trafalseparation, “take care of Lady Hamilton! Hardy, gar. The Bucentaur was dashed to pieces as she watch over the unfortunate Lady Hamilton!" touched the coast. The Indomptable broke from

After a moment of silence, as if to receive from her anchors during the night, and marked her his friend a pledge that his last wishes should be funereal course by the light of her own poop lanfaithfully executed, "Embrace me, Hardy," he terns toward Point Diamond, where she perished said. Hardy bent forward and kissed him on the with her entire crew, who uttered but a single cry cheek. “It is well," added Nelson; "I am now of despair as they went down. Collingwood, fearsatisfied. Thank God, I HAVE DONE MY DUTY!" ing to lose all his trophies, set fire to the SantisHardy, seeing his eyelids close, remained a mo- sima Trinidada, and heaped upon the same ment longer watching his failing respiration, in- enormous pile the three three-deckers, the St. clined once more toward him, and kissed him on Augustin, the Argonauta, and Santa Anna. The the forehead. “Who is that?" inquired Nelson, Berwick foundered, with all hands on board. opening his eyes. “It is Hardy, who takes leave Others floated at the mercy of the winds and of you," replied the captain. “God bless you, waves, from bay to bay on the shores of Africa Hardy,” murmured the dying admiral, endeavor- or Spain. The English admiral with difficulty caring to recognize the features of his friend. Hardy ried the remainder to Gibraltar, chained to the returned to his post, and saw him no more in life. coffin of Nelson. The flag of England reigned

The chaplain knelt in prayer by the side of his triumphant for many years on the wide ocean, cot. Nelson saw, and made a sign that he recog- and throughout the extent of the Mediterranean. nized him. “Doctor,” said he, “I have not been While Bonaparte subjugated Continental Europe a very great sinner." Then, after a long silence, to his arms, Nelson had gained for England the “ Remember," he added, " I bequeath Lady Ham- dominion of the seas. ilton, and my little daughter Horatia, to my country." He then fell into a sort of sleep, while his

THE NEWCOMES.* lips uttered inarticulate sounds, in which the MEMOIRS OF A MOST RESPECTABLE FAMILY. names of Emma, Horatia, and his country were

BY W. M. THACKERAY. partly distinguishable. Then, raising himself with a final effort, he repeated three times the last words of his memorable signal, “ Thank God, 1 have done my duly!" Immediately afterward he expired, as he had lived, a noble and undaunted warrior.

It was now half past four in the afternoon. The last distant cannon resounded across the seas. A salvo of artillery announced the departure of his soul from the scene of combat, and heralded its entrance into a glorious immortality.

Night and tempest assisted to complete the victory, but the waves disputed the possession of the trophies. Six English ships, without sails, masts, or rigging, like those of the French and Spaniards, exhibited, in their crushed ribs and slaughtered crews, an evidence of dearly-bought triumph. With difficulty they were enabled to float upon the heavy swell, which rapidly got up with the wind on the setting of the autumnal sun. Admiral Collingwood, who had succeeded to the command, depressed by the loss of his chief, instead of bringing the fleet to an anchor, as Nelson had emphatically recommended, employed himself in manning the seventeen prizes taken during the

CHAPTER XXX. battle, and in pursuing the relics of the combined

A RETREAT. fleet. Darkness and the storm surprised him while A S Clive lay awake revolving the strange inciendeavoring to secure his spoils. The sea, the A dents of the day, and speculating upon the winds, the thunder, the lightning, and the rocks, tragedy in which he had been suddenly called to rendered that night, the following day, and the * Continued from the August Number.

[graphic]
« 이전계속 »