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1805, a dear friend of the deceased, that he was mortally or ‘Go" dangerously wounded. Shortly afterwards captain co- Blackwood came on board the Victory, to inquire to after the safety of his friend and patron, and then learnt . the first tidings of lord Nelson's wound and death. soard Captain Hardy, soon afterwards, embarking with § captain Blackwood in the Euryalus's boat, went himreign. .# to acquaint vice-admiral Collingwood with what had really happened, as well as to deliver to the new commander in chief lord Nelson's dying request, that, for their preservation in reference to the shore and the prospect of a gale, the fleet and prizes, as soon as was practicable, might be brought to an ... anchor. Bosom friends as they always had been, Y. Nelson and Collingwood were diametrically opposed join their plans of proceeding; as was most evident ji when the latter exclaimed: “Anchor the fleet? ord Why, it is the last thing I should have thought of.” to an Accordingly it was not done, and the consequences * followed, which we shall presently have to relate. ... To die in the arms of victory is, of all deaths, that ... which a true warrior most covets. What then was ... there so particularly to deplore in the death of lord Nei: Nelson? Had he survived the battle, he would per... haps have passed some 15 or 20 years in inglorious inactivity; for nothing more, and certainly nothing greater, was left for him to do. His time come, he would have died, not on a midshipman's pallet in the cockpit of the Victory, but on a down bed in a chamber of his seat at Merton. What a contrast ! Lord Nelson's friends, strictly such, did probably wish a slight modification in the manner of his death, —that he had died on the spot where he had fallen, and where he wished he had remained, the Victory's quarterdeck, and that the only words heard from his lips had been the last which he actually uttered:— “I have done my duty; I praise God for it.” As, in bestowing our humble tribute of praise upon the professional character of lord Nelson, we may
not, after all that has been written upon the subject,
be able to steer clear of plagiarism, we shall be con- 1805. tented with transcribing three, as they appear to us, o' not less eloquently than justly drawn opinions. The first, penned by an Englishman and a friend to the deceased; the second, either by, or for, the author of a contemporary work; and the third, by a Frenchman who, if not personally an enemy of the british admiral, belonged to a nation whose brightest hopes had been humbled by repeated acts of his skill and valour, by the last act in particular. “Thus,” says doctor Beatty, “died, this match-io, less hero, after performing in a short but brilliant; and well-filled life, a series of naval exploits, un-o. exampled in any age of the world. None of the . sons of fame ever possessed greater zeal to promote * the honour aud interest of his king and country; none ever served them with more devotedness and glory, or with more successful and important results. His character will for ever cast a lustre over the annals of this nation, to whose enemies his very name was a terror. In the battle off Cape St. Vincent, though then in the subordinate station of a captain, his unprecedented personal prowess will long be recorded with admiration among his profession. The shores of Aboukir and Copenhagen subsequently witnessed those stupendous achievements , which struck the whole civilized world with astonishment. Still these were only preludes to the battle of Trafalgar; in which he shone with a majesty of dignity as far surpassing even his own former renown, as that renown had already exceeded every thing else to be found in the pages of naval history; the transcendently brightest star in a galaxy of heroes. His splendid example will operate as an everlasting impulse to the enterprising genius of the british navy.” “Thus,” says captain Brenton, “fell the greatest. sea officer, of this or any other nation, recorded in ..." history; his talents, his courage, his fidelity, his * zeal, his love for his king and country, were ex
* Beatty's Narrative, p. 53.
ceeded by none. Never had any man the happy
intuitive faculty, of seizing the moment of propitious fortune, equal to Nelson. His whole career, from his earliest entrance into the service, offers to the youth of the british navy, the most illustrious examples of every manly virtue; whether we view him as a midshipman, a lieutenant, as the captain of a frigate, or a commander in chief. We o Seen him, as captain of the Agamemnon, in Larma bay, writing his despatches while his ship lay aground in an enemy's port; we have seen him, as captain of a 74-gun ship, on the 14th of February, lay a spanish first-rate, and an 84-gun ship on board, and with his little band of heroes rush from ship to ship, and take them both. Equally great in the hour of defeat as of victory, see him at Teneriffe with his shattered arm going to the rescue of his companions and saving their lives, while every moment of delay increased the peril of his own by hemorrhage and exhaustion: see him walk up the ship's side—hear him command the surgeon to proceed to amputation; and see the fortitude with which he bore the agonizing pain. Follow him to the Nile, and contemplate the destruction of the fleet of France, and the consequent loss of her vast army led by Buonaparte. How great was his professional knowledge and decision
at Copenhagen, when, despising death, he refused
to obey the signal of recall; because he knew that by such obedience his country would have been disgraced, the great object of the expedition frustrated, and Britain, overpowered by the increased energy of the northern confederacy, might have sunk under the multiplied force of her enemies. See him on the same occasion sit down in the midst of carnage, and address a letter to the crown prince of Denmark, which, while it gave a victory to his country, added to her glory by stopping the useless effusion of human blood. We have seen him the patient, watchful, and anxious guardian of our honour, in the Mediterranean, where, for two years, he sought
an opportunity to engage an enemy of superior 1805. force. Three times we have seen him pursue the Go." foes of his country to Egypt, and once to the West Indies. And these great steps he took entirely on his own responsibility, disregarding any personal consideration, any calculation of force, or any allurement of gain. Coming at last to the termination of his glorious career, the end of his life was worthy of all his other deeds; the battle of Trafalgar will stand, without the aid of sculpture or painting, the greatest memorial of british naval valour ever exhibited; no pen can do justice, no description can convey an adequate idea of the glories of that day; and the event, which deprived us of our favourite chief, consummated his earthly fame, and rendered his name for ever dear to his country. Had not his transcendent virtues been shaded by a fault, we might have been accused of flattery. No human being was ever perfect, and however we may regret the blemish in the affair of Caraciolli, we must ever acknowledge, that the character of Nelson, as a public servant, is not exceeded in the history of the world.”% “Nelson,” says M. Dupin, “ought to be held up as By M. a pattern for admirals, by the extreme pains he took” to impress upon his flag-officers and captains, the spirit of the enterprises which he resolved to undertake. He unfolded to them his general plan of operations, and the modifications with which the weather, or the manoeuvres of the enemy, might force him to qualify his original design. When once he had explained his system to the flag and superior officers of his fleet, he confided to them the charge of acting according to circumstances, so as to lead, in the most favourable manner, to the consummation of the enterprise thus planned. And Nelson, who was allowed to choose the companions of his glory, possessed the talent and the happiness to find men worthy of his instruction and confidence; they learnt,
* Brenton, vol. iii. p. 463.
Immediate result of the battle.
in action, to supply what had escaped his fore-
* For the original see Appendix, No. 9.