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and the battle was fast becoming a massacre. Nelson therefore wrote as follows to the Crown-Prince: “ Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson has been commanded to spare Denmark when she no longer resists. The line of defence which covered her shores has struck to the British flag ; but if the firing is continued on the part of Denmark, he must set on fire all the prizes he has taken, without having the power of saving the men who have so nobly defended them. The brave Danes are the brothers, and should never be the enemies of the English.”
One of the bravest officers in Nelson's fleet, “the gallant brave Riou,” perished in this battle. Nelson was not here master of his own movements, as at the Nile : he had won the day by disobeying his orders : and in so far as he had been successful had convicted the commander-in-chief of an error in judgment. "Well," said he, “I have fought contrary to orders, and I shall perhaps be hanged ? Never mind, let them!”
For the Battle of Copenhagen, Nelson was raised to the rank of viscount; an inadequate mark of reward for services so splendid. There was, however, some prudence in dealing out honours to him step by step; had he lived long enough he would have fought his way up to a dukedom.
Soon after Sir Hyde Parker was recalled, and Nelson appointed to the sole command. The Emperor Paul of Russia dying about this time, the league of the northern powers was broken up, and a British fleet in the Baltic no longer required.
In 1803 the war with France was renewed, and Nelson was appointed to take the command of the Mediterranean fleet. For fourteen months his fleet was stationed at Toulon, watching the movements of the French. He was cruising about the Mediterranean for some time, until at last news arrived that Spain had become the ally of France, and the united fleets of the two countries had put to sea under the command of Admiral Villeneuve.
He now commenced an active chase after this powerful fleet, in order to baffle the schemes of the Emperor Napoleon, who, it was not doubted, had some project in hand involving the ruin of England. He followed it to the West Indies, and learnt on his arrival there that his enemies had set sail again for Europe. Glad that he had been the means of saving the English colonies
in the West Indies from rapine and plunder, he still continued an eager chase after the French and Spanish combined fleets. “Depend upon it, Blackwood," he repeatedly said, “I shall yet have to give M. Villeneuve a drubbing." At this time he returned to London, and was again sent out in command of a very powerful fleet to engage the united navies of France and Spain. In October, 1805, he came in sight of his enemies off Cape Trafalgar, on the coast of Spain. The signal which at that time he displayed to his fleets was couched in the memorable words:
England expects' every man to do his duty.” He wore his official dress, and the various ornaments he had received, which without doubt enabled the riflemen in the enemy's ships to distinguish him from the other officers. The French Admiral disposed his ships very skilfully for the battle. As the action proceeded, a ball struck his left shoulder, about a quarter after one, just in the heat of the action. The ball came from one of the enemy's ships, which, from feelings of humanity, he had twice spared from destruction. He fell upon his face on the deck, having received a mortal wound. Captain Hardy, who was a few steps from him, turning 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.” Being certain that no human care could do him good, he 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 satisfy his great thirst. He was in great pain, and showed much anxiety for the result of the battle, which now began to be known. As often as à 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. He was very anxious to see Captain Hardy, and when he came said: “Well, Hardy, how goes the day with us?” “Very well,” replied Hardy; "ten ships have struck, and I have no doubt we shall give them a drubbing." “I hope," said Nelson, “none of our ships have struck ?" Hardy answered, “There is no fear of that.” Then, and not till then, Nelson spoke of himself. “I am a dead man, Hardy," said he : “I am going fast; it will be all over with me soon.” Hardy observed that he hoped the surgeon could yet hold out some prospect of life. “Oh no!" he replied, “it is impossible; my back is shot through.” Captain Hardy then once more shook hands with him, and with a heart almost bursting, hastened
Some fifty minutes after, Captain Hardy returned, and again taking the hand of his dying friend, congratulated him on having obtained a complete victory. How many of the enemy were taken he did not know ; but there were fourteen or fifteen of them 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, trying to raise himself on the bed; "do you anchor.” 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. Then reverting to his private feelings, he said, “Take care of
dear Lady Hamilton; take care of poor Lady Hamilton. Kiss me, 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 told, he said, “God bless you, Hardy.” And Hardy then left him, for ever.
Nelson now desired to be turned on his right side, and said, “I wish I had not left the deck, for I shall soon be gone.” Death was indeed rapidly approaching. He said to the chaplain,
Doctor, I have not been a great sinner ;” and after a short pause, “Remember that I leave Lady Hamilton and my daughter Horatia as a legacy to my country." His speech now became difficult, but he was distinctly heard to say: “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.
[We shall make some remarks on Nelson's character in our next]
The Battle of the Baltic,
F Nelson and the North
Sing the glorious day's renown,
When to battle fierce came forth
By each gun the lighted brand
Lay their bulwarks on the brine,
O’er the lofty British line.
As they drifted on their path ;
And the boldest held his breath
To anticipate the scene ;
O'er the deadly space between. “ Hearts of oak!” our captains cried, when each gun,
From its adamantine lips,
Like the hurricane eclipse
And the havoc did not slack,
To our cheering sent us back :
Then ceased, and all is wail,
Or in conflagration pale
As he hailed them o'er the wave : “Ye are brothers ! we are men!
And we conquer but to save :
But yield, proud foe, thy fleet,
And make submission meet To our king."
Then Denmark blessed our chief,
That he gave her wounds repose ;
From her people wildly rose,
While the sun looked smiling bright
Now joy Old England raise,
For the tidings of thy might,
Whilst the wine-cup shines in light;
Let us think of them that sleep,
Once so faithful and so true,
With the gallant good Riou:
While the billow mournful rolls,
FREDERICK THE GREAT AND HIS NEPHEWS.-Frederick the Great was so very fond of children, that the young princes, his nephews, had always access to him. One day, writing in his cabinet, where the eldest of them was playing with a ball, it happened to fall on the table. The king threw it on the floor, and wrote on. Soon after the ball again fell on the table. Hé threw it away once more, and cast a serious look on the young child, who promised to be more careful, and continued his play. At last the ball unfortunately fell on the very paper on which the king was writing, when, being a little out of humour, he put it in his pocket. The little prince humbly begged pardon, and entreated to have his ball again, but he was refused. He continued for some time praying for it in a very piteous manner, but all in vain. At last, grown tired of asking, he placed himself before the king, put his little hand to his side, and said with a threatening look and tone : “Sire, do you choose to restore the ball or not?” The king smiled, took the ball from his pocket, and
gave it him, saying, “Thou art a brave fellow; Silesia will never be re-taken while thou art alive.” [Silesia was a province Frederick had recently taken from Austria.]