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braying; and each time were deceived as before, and met again, till they at length agreed, as a signal, to distinguish their own voices from that of the ass, that they should bray twice together, one immediately after the other. Thus, doubling their brayings, they made the tour of the whole mountain, without having any answer from the stray ass, not even by signs. How, indeed, could the poor creature answer, whom at last they found in a thicket, half devoured by wolves ? On seeing the body, the owner said, “Truly, I wondered at his silence ; for, had he not been dead, he certainly would have answered us, or he were no true ass ; nevertheless, neighbour, though I have found him dead, my trouble in the search has been well repaid in listening to your exquisite braying. It is in good hands, friend,' answered the other; 'for, if the abbot sings well, the novice comes not far behind him.'
Hereupon they returned home hoarse and disconsolate, and told their friends and neighbours all that had happened to them in their search after the ass; each of them extolling the other for his excellence in braying.
STAFFA AND IONA.
MERRILY, merrily, goes the bark 1
On a breeze from the northward free,
Or swan through the summer sea.
That guard famed Staffa 2 round.
The cormorant 3 had found,
That Nature's voice might seem to say,
Sir Walter Scott.
THE DEATH OF NELSON1 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 on the Redoubtable, supposing that she had struck, because her guns were 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, 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 back-bone 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 out his 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 hurraed ; and at every hurra, a visible expression of joy gleamed in his 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 that some fatal cause prevented him, and repeatedly cried : “Will no one bring Hardy to me? he must be killed; he is surely dead!” 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 and yet sublimest moment. “Well, Hardy," said Nelson, "how goes the day with us?” “Very 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." "I hope," said Nelson "none of our 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. me nearer to me, Let my dear Lady Hamilton have my hair, and all other things belonging to me." Hardy observed, that he hoped Mr. Beatty could yet hold out some prospect of life. “Oh, no!” he replied ; "it is impossible. My back is shot through. Beatty will tell you so." 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.