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notions of social improvement, to pass into one of the most stanch and somewhat intolerant supporters of all existing institutions, de fective as they might be. But he has left many writings that are wholly undeformed by either class of extreme opinions. As a Poet he must be assigned a second rank; but, as a Prose writer, few have exceeded him in purity and clearness of style. Jr. Southey was appointed Poet-Laureate in 1813, and received the degree of LL.D. from the University of Oxford in 1821.]
The French fleet arrived at Alexandria on the 1st of July, and Brueys, not being able to enter the port, which time and neglect had ruined, moored the ships in Aboukir Bay, in a strong and compact line of battle ; the headmost vessel, according to his own account, being as close as possible to a shoal on the north-west, and the rest of the fleet forming a kind of curve along the line of deep water, so as not to be turned by any means in the south-west.
The advantage of numbers, both in ships, guns, and men, was in favour of the French. They had thirteen ships of the line and four frigates, carrying 1,196 guns and 11,230 men. The English had the same number of ships of the line, and one fifty-gun ship, carrying 1,012 guns, and 8,068 men. The English ships were all seventyfours : the French had three eighty-gun ships, and one three-decker, of one hundred and twenty.
During the whole pursuit it had been Nelson's practice, whenever circumstances would permit, to have his captains on board the Vanguard, and explain to them his own ideas of the different and best modes of attack, and such plans as he proposed to execute on falling in with the enemy, whatever their situation might be. There is no possible position, it is said, which he did not take into consideration. His officers were thus fully acquainted with his principles of tactics ; and such was his confidence in their abilities, that the only thing determined upon, in case they should find the French at anchor, was for the ships to form as most convenient for their mutual support, and to anchor by the stern. First gain your victory,” he said, “and then make the best use of it you can.” The moment he perceived the position of the French, that intuitive genius with which Nelson was endowed displayed itself; and it instantly struck him, that where there was room for an enemy's ship to swing there was room for one of ours
to anchor. The plan which he intended to pursue, therefore, was to keep entirely on the outer side of the French line, and station his ships, as far as he was able, one on the outer bow and another on the outer quarter of each of the enemy's. Captain Berry, when he comprehended the scope of the design, exclaimed with transport, “ If we succeed, what will the world say ? ” “ There is no if in the case, plied the admiral ; " that we shall succeed is certain—who may live to tell the story is a very different question."
As the squadron advanced, they were assailed by a shower of shot and shell from the batteries on the island, and the enemy opened a steady fire from the starboard side of their whole line, within half gunshot distance, full into the bows of our van ships. It was received in silence; the men on board every ship were employed aloft in furling sails, and below in tending the braces, and making ready for anchoring;
;-a miserable sight for the French, who, with all their skill and all their courage, and all their advantages of number and situation, were upon that element on which, when the hour of trial comes, a Frenchman has no hope. Admiral Brueys was a brave and able man; yet the indelible character of his country broke out in one of his letters, wherein he delivered it as his private opinion that the English had missed him, because, not being superior in force, they did not think it prudent to try their strength with him. The moment was now come in which he was to be undeceived.
A French brig was instructed to decoy the English, by maneuvering so as to tempt them towards a shoal lying off the island of Beguieres ; but Nelson either knew the danger or suspected some deceit, and the lure was unsuccessful. Captain Foley led the way in the Goliath, outsailing the Zealous, which for some minutes disputed this post of honour with him.
He had long conceived that, if the enemy were moored in line of battle in with the land, the best plan of attack would be to lead between them and the shore, because the French guns on that side were not likely to be manned, nor even ready for action. Intending, therefore, to fix himself on the inner bow of the Guerrier, he kept as near the edge of the bank as the depth of water would admit; but his anchor hung, and, having opened his fire, he drifted to the second ship, the Conquérant, before it was cleared, then anchored by the stern, inside of her, and in ten minutes shot away
her masts. Hood, in the Zealous, perceiving this, took the station which
the Goliath intended to have occupied, and totally disabled the Guerrier in twelve minutes. The third ship which doubled the enemy's van was the Orion, Sir J. Saumarez; she passed to windward of the Zealous, and opened her larboard guns as long as they bore on the Guerrier; then, passing inside the Goliath, sunk a frigate which annoyed her, hauled toward the French line, and, anchoring inside between the fifth and sixth ships from the Guerrier, took her station on the larboard bow of the Franklin and the quarter of the Peuple Souverain, receiving and returning the fire of both. The sun was now nearly down. The Audacious, Captain Gould, pouring a heavy fire into the Guerrier and the Conquérant, fixed herself on the larboard bow of the latter, and, when that ship struck, passed on to the Peuple Souverain. The Theseus, Captain Miller, followed, brought down the Guerrier's remaining main and mizen masts, then anchored inside the Spartiate, the third in the French line.
While these advanced ships doubled the French line, the Vanguard was the first that anchored on the outer side of the enemy, within half-pistol shot of their third ship, the Spartiate. Nelson had six colours flying in different parts of the rigging, lest they should be shot away—that they should be struck, no British admiral considers as a possibility. He veered half a cable, and instantly opened a tremendous fire, under cover of which the other four ships of his division, the Minotaur, Bellerophon, Defence, and Majestic, sailed on ahead of the admiral. In a few minutes every man stationed at the first six guns in the fore part of the Vanguard's deck was killed or wounded—these guns were three times cleared. Captain Louis, in the Minotaur, anchored next ahead, and took off the fire of the Aquilon, the fourth in the enemy's line. The Bellerophon, Captain Darby, passed ahead, and dropped her stern anchor on the starboard bow of the Orient, seventh in the line, Brueys' own ship, of one hundred and twenty guns, whose difference in force was in proportion of more than seven to three, and whose weight of ball, from the lower deck alone, exceeded that from the whole broadside of the Bellerophon. Captain Peyton, in the Defence, took his station ahead of the Minotaur and engaged the Franklin, the sixth in the line ; by which judicious movement the British line remained unbroken. The Majestic, Captain Westcott, got entangled with the main rigging of one of the French ships astern of the Orient, and suffered dreadfully from that threedecker's fire ; but she swung clear, and closely engaging the Heureux, the ninth ship in the starboard bow, received also the fire of the Tonnant, which was the eighth in the line. The other four ships of the British squadron, having been detached previous to the discovery of the French, were at a considerable distance when the action began. It commenced at half-after six, about seven at night closed, and there was no other light than that from the fire of the contending fleets.
Trowbridge, in the Culloden, then foremost of the remaining ships, was two leagues astern. He came on sounding, as the others had done. As he advanced, the increasing darkness increased the difficulty of the navigation, and suddenly, after having found eleven fathoms' water, before the lead could be hove again, he was fast aground; nor could all his own exertions, joined to those of the Leander and the Mutiné brig, which came to his assistance, get him off in time to bear a part in the action. His ship, however, served as a beacon to the Alexander and Swiftsure, which would else, from the course they were holding, have gone considerably further on the reef, and must inevitably have been lost. These ships entered the bay and took their stations, in the darkness, in a manner still spoken of with admiration by all who remember it. Captain Hallowell, in the Swiftsure, as he was bearing down, fell in with what seemed to be a strange sail. Nelson had directed his ships to hoist four lights horizontally at the mizen peak as soon as it became dark, and this vessel had no such distinction. Hallowell, however, with great judgment, ordered his men not to fire.
If she was an enemy,” he said, “ she was in too disabled a state to escape ; but, from her sails being loose, and the way in which her head was, it was probable she might be an English ship.” It was the Bellerophon, overpowered by the huge Orient. Her lights had gone overboard, nearly two hundred of her crew were killed or wounded, all her masts and cables had been shot away, and she was drifting out of the line towards the lee-side of the bay. Her station at this important time was occupied by the Swiftsure, which opened a steady fire on the quarter of the Franklin and the bows of the French admiral. At the same instant Captain Ball, with the Alexander, passed under his stern, and anchored within side on his larboard quarter, raking him, and keeping a severe fire of musketry upon his decks. The last ship which arrived to complete the destruction of the enemy was the Leander. Captain Thompson, finding that nothing could be done that
night to get off the Culloden, advanced with the intention of anchoring athwart-hawse of the Orient. The Franklin was so near her ahead, that there was not room for him to pass clear of the two; he therefore took his station athwart-hawse of the latter, in such a position as to rake both.
The two first ships of the French line had been dismasted within a quarter of an hour after the commencement of the action; and the others in that time suffered so severely, that victory was already certain. The third, fourth, and fifth were taken possession of at halfpast eight. Meantime Nelson received a severe wound on the head from a piece of langridge shot. Captain Berry caught him in his arms as he was falling. The great effusion of blood occasioned an apprehension that the wound was mortal. Nelson himself thought so; a large flap of the skin of the forehead, cut from the bone, had fallen over the eye; and, the other being blind, he was in total darkness. When he was carried down, the surgeon, in the midst of a scene scarcely to be conceived by those who have never seen a cockpit in time of action, and the heroism which is displayed amid its horrorswith a natural but pardonable eagerness, quitted the poor fellow then under his hands, that he might instantly attend the Admiral. “No!" said Nelson, “ I will take my turn with my brave fellows." Nor would he suffer his own wound to be examined, till every man who had been previously wounded was properly attended to. Fully believing that the wound was mortal, and that he was about to die, as he had ever desired, in battle and in victory, he called the chaplain, and desired him to deliver what he supposed to be his dying remembrance to Lady Nelson; he then sent for Captain Louis on board, from the Minotaur, that he might thank him personally for the great assistance he had rendered to the Vanguard ; and, ever mindful of those who deserved to be his friends, appointed Captain Hardy from the brig, to the command of his own ship, Captain Berry having to go home with the news of the victory. When the surgeon came in due time to examine the wound (for it was in vain to entreat him to let it be examined sooner), the most anxious silence prevailed; and the joy of the wounded men, and of the whole crew, when they heard that the hurt was superficial, gave Nelson deeper pleasure than the unexpected assurance that his life was in no danger. The surgeon requested, and, as far as he could, ordered him to remain quiet; but Nelson could not rest. He called