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not suffer so much from being together. A few minutes afterwards a shot passed between Nelson and Hardy. Both stopped and looked anxiously at each other, each thinking the other was wounded. Nelson then smiled, and said, “ This is too warm work, Hardy, to last long."
At four minutes after twelve, the Victory opened her fire on both sides of her deck, and then the master was ordered to put helm to port, and the Victory ran on board the Redoubtable. The French ship received her with a broadside, then instantly let down her lower deck-ports, for fear of being boarded through them, and never afterwards fired a great gun during the action. Her tops, like those of all the enemy's ships, were filled with riflemen. Nelson never allowed this to be done in his ships; he had a strong dislike to the practice, not merely because there is a risk of setting fire to the sails, but also because it is a murderous sort of warfare, by which individuals may suffer and a commander now and then be picked off, but which can never decide the fate of a general engagement.
Captain Harvey, in the Téméraire, fell on board the Redoubtable on the other side. Another enemy was in like manner on board the Téméraire; so that these four ships formed as compact a tier as if they had been moored together, their heads all lying the same way.
The lieutenants of the Victory, seeing this, depressed their guns of the middle and lower decks, and fired with a diminished charge, lest the shot should pass through,
and injure the Téméraire. And because there was danger that the Redoubtable might take fire from the lower-deck guns, the muzzles of which touched her side when they were run out, the fireman of each gun stood ready with a bucket of water, which, as soon as the gun was discharged, he dashed into the ḥole made by the shot. An incessant fire was kept up from the Victory from both sides.
59.-THE DEATH OF NELSON.
badge-s an-chor sur-geon
It had been part of Nelson's prayer that the British fleet might be distinguished by humanity in the victory which he expected. Setting an example himself, he twice gave orders to cease firing upon the Redoubtable, supposing that she had struck because her great guns weré silent; for, as she carried no flag, there was no means of instantly ascertaining the fact. From this ship, which he had thus twice spared, he received his death. A ball, fired from her mizen-top, which in the then situation of the two vessels was not more than fifteen yards from that part of the deck where he was standing, struck the epaulette on his left shoulder, about a quarter after one, just in the heat of action. He fell upon his face, on the spot which was covered with his poor secretary's blood. Hardy, his captain, 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.
Yet even now, not for a moment losing his presence of mind, he observed, as they were carrying him down the ladder, that the tiller ropes, which had been shot away, were not yet replaced, and ordered that new ones should be rove immediately ; then, that he might not be seen by the crew, he took outhis handkerchief, and covered his face and his stars. Had he but concealed these badges of honour from the enemy, England, perhaps, would not have had cause to receive with sorrow the news of the battle of Trafalgar. The cockpit was crowded with wounded and dying men, over whose bodies he was with some difficulty conveyed, and laid upon a pallet in the midshipmen's berth. It was soon perceived upon examination that the wound was mortal. This, however, was concealed from all except Captain Hardy, the chaplain, and the medical attendants. He himself being certain, from the sensation in his back, and the gush of blood he felt momently within his breast, that no human care could avail him, 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 alleviate his intense thirst. He was in great pain, and expressed much anxiety for the
event of the action, which now began to declare itself. As often as a 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.
But he became impatient to see Captain Hardy; and as that officer, though often sent for, could not leave the deck, Nelson feared some fatal cause prevented him, and repeatedly said, “ Will no one bring Hardy to me? He must be killed !” An hour and ten minutes elapsed from the time when Nelson received his wound before Hardy could come to him. They shook hands in silence, Hardy in vain struggling to suppress the feelings of that most painful moment. “Well, Hardy,” said Nelson,“ how goes the day with us?” well,” replied Hardy; " ten ships have struck, but five of the van have tacked, and show an intention to bear down upon the Victory. I have called two or three of our fresh ships round, and have no doubt of giving them a drubbing. said Nelson, “none of your ships have struck ? " Hardy answered, “ There was 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 said a word of hope. “Oh no,” he replied, “it is impossible; my back is shot through-the surgeon will tell you so." Captain Hardy then once more shook hands with him, and, with a heart almost bursting, hastened upon deck.
By this time all feeling below the breast was
gone; and Nelson having made the surgeon ascertain this, said to him, “ You know I am gone; I know it, I feel something rising in my breast which tells me so.” And upon the surgeon inquiring whether his pain was very great, he replied so great, that he wished he were dead. “ Yet,” said he, in a lower voice, “one would like to live a little longer too!” I Captain Hardy, some fifty minutes after he had left the cockpit, returned, and again taking the hand of his commander, congratulated him on having gained a complete victory. How many of the enemy were taken he did not know, as it was impossible to perceive them distinctly, but fourteen or fifteen 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, ineffectually endeavouring to raise himself from the bed; “ do you anchor.” His previous order for preparing to anchor had shown how clearly he foresaw the necessity of this. 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. “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