Page images


Not wound

Beatty, and who states that he has it still in his

possession, " was not fired from a rifle piece ;” and yet Oct. messieurs Clarke and MʻArthur, and after them Mr. Southey, have since declared, that the Redoutable and all the french ships had riflemen in their tops, ed by a and that it was one of these who aimed at and ball. 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, panegyriste salarié de la cour de l’Angleterre, sous le nom de poëte 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 : il n'y avait pas un seul Tyrolien sur notre flotte ; il n'y avait pas même d'armes carabinées.”I

“ While the men,” says doctor Beatty, carrying him (lord Nelson) down the ladder from his the middle deck, his lordship observed that the lordtiller-ropes were not yet replaced; and desired one of the midshipmen stationed +1 re 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."B

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


Anecdote of


* Clarke and M'Arthur, vol. ii. pp. 445. 449.
† Southey, vol. ii. p. 264.
# Dupin's Voyage dans la Grande Bretagne, tome iv. p. 10.
§ Beatty's Narrative, p. 35.



ous tend


1805. reached the second in command, renders it doubtful


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. Injuri “ It must occur to the reader,” says doctor Beatty,

“that from the nature of the scene passing in the of Cyr. cockpit, and the noise of the guns, the whole of his Beat- lordship’s expressions could not be borne in mind, publi

nor even distinctly heard, by the different persons cation, attending him.”* And yet doctor Beatty has not

scrupled to give to the world every disjointed sen-
tence, 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, irra-
tional 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

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,

* Beatty's Narrative, p. 52.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


the ac



in reference especially to messieurs Clarke and 1805. M'Arthur's two ponderous volumes, may be said to 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, His inshows how much we erred, in relying upon curacy of statements which, as emanating from an stateofficer 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 Lord the cockpit, he was stripped of his clothes, for the in his purpose of having the wound examined and the course dying 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 constantly employed 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

[ocr errors][merged small]

first visit to


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

1805. of the same mind, when light up, for a moment or Oct. so, by a ray of returning reason.

In about an hour and 10 minutes after lord Nelson Capt. had received his wound, or at about 2 h. 35 m. P. M., dy's captain Hardy found a moment's leisure from his

anxious duty on deck to comply with the frequently

repeated request of the admiral, conveyed through cockpit the surgeon, to visit him in the cockpit. “They

shook hands affectionately, and lord Nelson said:
Well, Hardy, how goes the battle? How


the day with us ? —Very well, my lord,' replied captain Hardy: 'we have got 12 or 14 of the enemy's ships in our possession; but five of their van have tacked, and show an intention of bearing down upon the 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


I am going fast: it will be all over with me soon.'

Captain Hardy, in a minute or two, returned to the turn on deck. Soon afterwards the Victory opened her lar

board 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

my poor brain !” M. Damanoir'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 con-

clusion of his former visit, captain Hardy descended His se- a second time to the cockpit. “Lord Nelson and cap

tain 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;

* Beatty's Narrative, p. 42.
+ See diagram at p. 101.


His re


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]



which, he said, was complete, though he did not know 1805. how many of the enemy were captured, as it was im- Oct. 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, Hardy, anchor !

'I suppose, my lord, admiral Nelson Collingwood will now take upon himself the direc- orders tion of affairs. "Not while I live, I hope, Hardy,' fleet to cried the dying chief; and at that moment endea- anchor, 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 doctor 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 Hardy eight”+) minutes. În about

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 Nelson 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. I

The moment it was announced to him that lord MesNelson was no more, and not previously as stated by --adm. doctor Beatty,) captain Hardy directed lieutenant Colling 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


Sage to


Beatty's Narrative, p. 47.

+ Ibid.


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. 3.

§ Beatty's Narrative, p. 46.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »