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Beatty, and who states that he has it still in his pos- 1805. session, “ was not fired from a rifle piece;" and yet Co.' messieurs Clarke and M*Arthur, and after them Mr. Southey, have since declared, that the Redoutable i. and all the french ships had riflemen in their tops, joy." and that it was one of these who aimed at and . wounded lord Nelson.* With marked illiberality too, the gentlemen exult over the supposed death of “ the fellow;”+ who at least did his duty on the occasion, and none sooner than the noble victim would have been ready to acknowledge it. A french writer, well known in England for his general accuracy and candour, says, “Dans la Vie de Nelson, écrite par Southey, panégyriste salarié de la cour de l'Angleterre, sous }. nom de poète lauréat, il est dit qu'au combat de Trafalgar Nelson fut tué par un des arquebusiers tyroliens, apostés pour tirer sur lui. C'est une grossière imposture: is my avait pas un seul Tyrolien sur notre flotte; il n'y avait pas mème d'armes carabinées.”f “While the men," says doctor Beatty, “were *. carrying him (lord Nelson) down the ladder from ... " the middle deck, his lordship observed that the ol. tiller-ropes were not yet replaced; and desired one." of the midshipmen stationed to ore to go upon the quarterdeck and remind captain Hardy of that circumstance, and request that new ones should be immediately rove. Having delivered this order, he took his handkerchief from his pocket, and covered his face with it, that he might be conveyed to the cockpit at this crisis unnoticed by the crew.”S Although the very unlikely circumstance, that a practised seaman, like lord Nelson, would expect the tiller-ropes to have been rove when the wheel was shot away and the ship foul of another, coupled with the fact that no orders to that effect
* Clarke and M'Arthur, vol. ii. pp. 445. 449. t Southey, vol. ii. p. 264. # Dupin's Voyage dans la Grande Bretagne, tome iv. p. 10. § Beatty's Narrative, p. 35.
WOL. IV. I
reached the second in command, renders it doubtful if any remark was made by his lordship about the tiller-ropes, or even about the relieving tackles, the usual substitutes when the wheel is gone, the covering of his face and stars with his handkerchief, (of which there is no doubt,) lest the crew of the Victory should be disheartened at the sight of the bleeding body of him upon whom they justly reckoned so much, proved that even the pangs of death could not weaken the interest which the hero felt in the final success of the day. “It must occur to the reader,” says doctor Beatty, “ that from the nature of the scene passing in the cockpit, and the noise of the guns, the whole of his lordship's expressions could not be borne in mind, nor even distinctly heard, by the different persons attending him.” And yet doctor Beatty has not scrupled to give to the world every disjointed sentence, every half-uttered word, which he or his relaters could catch from the lips of a dying, and at times, such was the intensity of his sufferings, irrational man. Was there no relative, no brother to interfere in suppressing a publication so libellous of this great man's memory? Our strictures upon the conduct of lord Nelson in the bay of Naples show, that we would blink nothing which we considered to be the fair subject of historical observation; but we should have rejected as trash, as worse than trash because of their noxious nature, the rhapsodies of a disordered mind: more especially, when the subject to which they related was wholly of a private, and, compared with passing events, of an uninteresting nature. Unfortunate too it was, that doctor Beatty’s “Narrative,” with all this discreditable matter in it, became extensively circulated; not only by passing through two editions, but by having its objectionable parts transferred to the pages of most of the other works on the same subject, under which the press,
Injurious tendency of Dr. Beatty's publication.
* Beatty's Narrative, p. 52.
in reference especially to messieurs Clarke and 1805. M*Arthur's two ponderous volumes, may be said to o have groaned. To our increased regret, a slight mistake, which we made, but hastened to correct and apologize for, has been the ostensible cause of the appearance, very recently, of a third edition of doctor Beatty's doubtless well intended, but much misnamed, “tribute of respect to the memory of the departed hero.” The discrepancy, that exists between our present and our former account of the Victory's proceedings in the battle of Trafalgar, Hisinshows how much we erred, in relying upon the ac-. curacy of statements which, as emanating from an state: officer of the ship, we took to be authentic. In" justice to ourselves we must observe, that it was owing to causes over which we had no control, and not to any lack of exertion in collecting facts, that the whole of the amended statements now given did not appear in the first edition of this work.
After lord Nelson had been laid upon a bed in o. the cockpit, he was stripped of his clothes, for the ..." purpose of having the wound examined and the course .5 of the ball probed. The surgeon soon ascertained ments, that the wound was mortal; and lord Nelson himself appears, from the first, to have entertained a similar opinion. His sufferings from pain and thirst were manifestly great. “He frequently called for drink, and to be fanned with paper, making use of these words: “Fan, fan, and * Drink, drink.’” He kept constantly pushing away the sheet, the sole covering upon him; and one attendant was as o eIIlployed in drawing it up again over his slender limbs and emaciated body. This recklessness about exposing his person afforded a strong proof of the injury done to his intellect; and well would it have been for lord Nelson's memory, had the listeners around his dying couch possessed discernment enough to distinguish, and friendship enough, (as writers.) to separate, the irrelevant utterings of a mind in a paroxysm of delirium, from the patriotic effusions
Capt. Hardy's first visit to the cockpit
of the same mind, when light up, for a moment or
Victory. I have therefore called two or three of
our fresh ships round us, and have no doubt of giving them a drubbing.’—“I hope, said his lordship, “none of our ships have struck, Hardy.'—“No, my lord, replied captain Hardy; “there is no fear of that.' Lord Nelson then said: ‘I am a dead man, Hardy. I am going fast: it will be all over with me soon.’”
Captain Hardy, in a minute or two, returned to the deck. Soon afterwards the Victory opened her larboard guns upon rear-admiral Dumanoir's squadron passing to-windward, and fired a few of her foremost starboard guns at the Swiftsure, then preparing to rake the Colossus.-- The concussion of the firing so affected lord Nelson, that, apostrophizing his ship, he called out: “Oh, Victory, Victory, how you distract my poor brain P’ M. Dumanoir's ships passing on to the southward, and the Orion ranging up athwart the Swiftsure's stern, the Victory ceased her fire; and, after an interval of about 50 minutes from the conclusion of his former visit, captain Hardy descended a second time to the cockpit. “Lord Nelson and captain Hardy shook hands again; and while the captain retained his lordship's hand, he congratulated him, even in the arms of death, on his brilliant victory;
His return On deck.
His second visit.
* Beatty's Narrative, p. 42. t See diagram at p. 101.
which, he said, was complete, though he did not know 1805; how many of the enemy were captured, as it was im- og. possible to perceive every ship distinctly. He was certain, however, of 14 or 15 having surrendered. His lordship answered, “That is well, but I bargained for 20;’ and then emphatically exclaimed, “Anchor, Lord Hardy, anchor l’ ‘ I suppose, my lord, admiral Noon Collingwood will now take upon himself the direc-.” tion of affairs.’ “ Not while I live, I hope, Hardy, fleet to cried the dying chief; and at that moment endéa- “” voured ineffectually to raise himself from the bed. ‘No,' added he, do you anchor, Hardy.” Captain Hardy then said, “Shall we make the signal, sir?” * Yes,’ answered his lordship, for, if I live,' I'll anchor;” meaning,” adds the &to in a note, “ that in case of his lordship's surviving till all resistance on the part of the enemy had ceased, captain Hardy was then to anchor the british fleet and prizes, if it should be found practicable.” Captain Hardy re- Capt. mained with the dying chief in all about three (not o' “ eight”-H) minutes. In about a quarter of an hour his after the captain had quitted the cockpit, lord Nelson ". became speechless; and, great as must have been his §: previous sufferings, he expired without a struggle or dies. a groan at, by the Victory’s time, 4 h. 30 m. P. M., or, according to the time we have thought it preferable to use, about ten minutes or a quarter of an hour later.j: The moment it was announced to him that lord M. TNelson was no more, and not previously as stated by:. doctor Beatty,S, captain Hardy directed lieutenant .5 Alexander Hills to take the punt, the only remaining " boat, proceed in her to the Royal-Sovereign, and acquaint vice-admiral Collingwood, not that lord Nelson was actually dead, but, to save the feelings of
* Beatty's Narrative, p. 47. t Ibid. p. 49.
# Doctor Beatty's official report of the course and site of the ball, as ascertained since death, will be found in the Appendix, No. 8.
§ Beatty's Narrative, p. 46.