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I know it. I feel something rising in my breast," putting his hand on his left side, “which tells me
And upon Beatty's inquiring, whether his pain was very great, he replied, “so great, that he wished he was dead. Yet," said he, in a lower voice, "one would like to live a little longer too !” And after a few minutes, in the same under-tone, he added : “What would become of poor Lady Hamilton, if she knew my situation !" Next to his country she occupied his thoughts. Captain Hardy, some fifty minutes after he had left the cockpit, returned ; and, again taking the hand of his dying friend and 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
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.
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 informed, he replied, “God bless you, Hardy.” And Hardy then left him-for ever. Nelson now desired to be turned upon his right side, and said, “I wish I had not left the deck; for I shall soon be gone.” Death was, indeed, rapidly approaching
His articulation 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.
The death of Nelson was felt in England as something more than a public calamity : men started at the intelligence, and turned pale, as if they had heard of the loss of a dear friend. An object of our admiration and affection, of our pride and of our hopes, was suddenly taken from us; and it seemed as if we had never, till then, known how deeply we loved and reverenced him. What the country had lost in its great naval hero—the greatest of our own, and of all former times, was scarcely taken into the account of grief. So perfectly, indeed, had he performed his part, that the maritime war, after the battle of Trafalgar, was considered at an end. The fleets of the enemy were not merely defeated, but destroyed : new navies must be built, and a new rące of seamen reared for them, before the possibility of their invading our shores could again be contemplated. It was not, therefore, from any selfish reflection upon the magnitude of our loss that we mourned for him: the general sorrow was of a higher character. The people of England grieved that funeral ceremonies, and public monuments, and posthumous rewards, were all which they could now bestow upon him whom the king, the legislature, and the nation, would have alike delighted to honour; whom every tongue would have blessed; whose presence in every village through which he might have passed, would have wakened the church-bells, have given schoolboys a holiday, have drawn children from their sports to gaze upon him, and “old men from the chimney corner” to look upon Nelson, ere they died. The victory of Trafalgar was celebrated, indeed, with the usual forms of rejoicing, but they were without joy ; for such already was the glory of the British navy, through Nelson's surpassing genius, that it scarcely seemed to receive any addition from the most signal victory that ever was achieved upon the seas; and the destruction of this mighty fleet, by which all the maritime schemes of France were totally frustrated, hardly appeared to add to our security or strength; for, while Nelson was living to watch the combined squadrons of the enemy, we felt ourselves as secure as now, when they were no longer in existence.
There was reason to suppose, from the appearances upon opening his body, that in the course of nature he might have attained like his father, to a good old age. Yet he cannot be said to have fallen prematurely whose work was done; nor ought he to be lamented, who died so full of honours, and at the height of human fame. The most triumphant death is that of the martyr; the most awful, that of the martyred patriot; the most splendid, that of the hero in the hour of victory; and if the chariot and the horses of fire had been vouchsafed for Nelson's translation, he could scarcely have departed in a brighter blaze of glory. He has left us, not indeed his mantle of inspiration, but a name and an example which are at this hour inspiring thousands of the youth of England-a name which is our pride, and an example which will continue to be our shield and our strength. Thus it is that the spirits of the great and the wise continue to live and to act after them.
THE OLD STONEMASON.
A SHOWERY day in early spring
An old man and a child
Where marble blocks are piled.
As hers by rain and sun;
Were very nearly done.
A staircase proud and vast,
His scanty noon repast.
A blooming child of light ;-
A most pathetic sight.
We had sought shelter from the storm,
And saw this lowly pair,
That watch'd beside them there.