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for his secretary, Mr. Campbell, to write the despatches. Campbell had himself been wounded, and was so affected at the blind and suffering state of the Admiral, that he was unable to write. The chaplain was sent for; but, before he came, Nelson, with his characteristic eagerness, took the pen, and contrived to trace a few words, marking his devout sense of the success which had already been obtained. He was now left alone; when suddenly a cry was heard on the deck that the Orient was on fire. In the confusion, he found his way up, unassisted and unnoticed; and, to the astonishment of every one, appeared on the quarter-deck, where he immediately gave orders that boats should be sent to the relief of the enemy.
It was soon after nine that the fire on board the Orient broke out. Brueys was dead; he had received three wounds, yet would not leave his post; a fourth cut him almost in two. He desired not to be carried below, but to be left to die upon deck. The flames soon mastered his ship. Her sides had just been painted, and the oil-jars and paintbuckets were lying on the poop. By the prodigious light of this conflagration, the situation of the two fleets could now be perceived, the colours of both being clearly distinguishable. About ten o'clock the ship blew up, with a shock which was felt to the very bottom of every vessel. Many of her officers and men jumped overboard, some clinging to the spars and pieces of wreck with which the sea was strewn; others swimming to escape from the destruction which they momently dreaded. Some were picked up by our boats; and some, even in the heat and fury of the action, were dragged into the lower ports of the nearest British ships by the British sailors. The greater part of her crew, however, stood the danger to the last, and continued to fire from the lower deck. This tremendous explosion was followed by a silence not less awful: the firing immediately ceased on both sides; and the first sound which broke the silence was the dash of her shattered masts and yards falling into the water from the vast height to which they had been exploded. It is upon record, that a battle between two armies was once broken off by an earthquake :-such an event would be felt like a miracle ; but no incident in war, produced by human means, has ever equalled the sublimity of this coinstantaneous pause, and all its circumstances.
About seventy of the Orient's crew were saved by the English boats. Among the many hundreds who perished were the Commodore, Casa
Bianca, and his son, a brave boy only ten years old. They were seen floating on a shattered mast when the ship blew up. She had money on board (the plunder of Malta) to the amount of six hundred thousand pounds sterling. The masses of burning wreck which were scattered by the explosion, excited for some moments apprehensions in the Eng. lish which they had never felt from any other danger. Two large pieces fell into the main and foretops of the Swiftsure, without injuring any person. A port-fire also fell into the main-royal of the Alexander: the fire which it occasioned was speedily extinguished. Captain Ball had provided, as far as human foresight could provide, against any such danger. All the shrouds and sails of his ship, not absolutely necessary for its immediate management, were thoroughly wetted, and so rolled
up, that they were as hard and as little inflammable as so many solid cylinders.
The firing recommenced with the ships to leeward of the centre, and continued till about three. At daybreak the Guillaume Tell and the Généreuse, the two rear ships of the enemy, were the only French ships of the line which had their colours flying; they cut their cables in the forenoon, not having been engaged, and stood out to sea, and two frigates with them. The Zealous pursued; but, as there was no other ship in a condition to support Captain Hood, he was recalled. It was generally believed by the officers that, if Nelson had not been wounded, not one of these ships could have escaped; the four certainly could not, if the Culloden had got into action; and, if the frigates belonging to the squadron had been present, not one of the enemy's fleet would have left Aboukir Bay. These four vessels, however, were all that escaped; and the victory was the most complete and glorious in the annals of naval history. “Victory,” said Nelson, “is not a name strong enough for such a scene ; "—he called it a conquest. Of thirteen sail of the line, nine were taken, and two burnt; of the four frigates, one was sunk; another, the Artemise, was burnt in a villanous manner by her Captain, M. Estandlet, who, having fired a broadside at the Theseus, struck his colours, then set fire to the ship, and escaped with most of his crew to shore. The British loss, in killed and wounded, amounted to 895. Westcott was the only captain who fell : 3,105 of the French, including the wounded, were sent on shore by
. cartel, and 5,225 perished.
Thus ended this eventful battle, which exalted the name of Nelson
to a level at least with that of the celebrated conqueror, whose surprising success at the head of the French armies had then begun to draw the attention of the civilized world. Bonaparte had stained his laurels by the unprecedented baseness of his private conduct; he had not scrupled to turn Turk, and all his public proclamations were disgraced by the absurd phrases of Mahometan superstition: Nelson, on the other hand, had no occasion of showing that he was an Englishman and a Christian; the first words of his despatches on this memorable occasion prove his gratitude to that Providence which had protected him :-“ Almighty God has blessed his Majesty's arms."
244.-AUTUMNAL FIELD SPORTS.
POETRY has little to do with the field-sports of the present day, except to express a truthful hatred of those selfish enjoyments which demoralize the whole agricultural population. Yet we may find in the Poets many inspiriting pictures of the field-sports of our forefathers ; and we must never forget that, however these things have degenerated, the manly exercises of the old English gentlemen were fitted to nourish the bold spirit of the sturdy yeomen with whom they lived in honest fellowship. Shakspere was unquestionably a keen sportsman, and has in many passages shown the nicest appreciation of what belonged to the excellence of horse and hound. He knew all the points of the horse, as may be seen in the noble description in the • Venus and Adonis ;' he delighted in hounds of the highest breed
So flew'd, so sanded; and their heads are hung
The chase in his day was not a tremendous burst for an hour or two, whose breathless speed shuts out all sense of beauty in the sport There was harmony in every sound of the ancient hunt—there was poetry in all its associations. Such lines as those which Hippolita utters were not the fancies of a cloistered student :
I was with Hercules and Cadmus once,
The solemn huntings of princes and great lords, where large assemblies were convened to chase the deer in spaces inclosed by nets, but where the cook and the butler were as necessary as the hunter, were described in stately verse by George Gascoigne. “ The noble art of venerie" seems to have been an admirable excuse for ease and luxury “ under the greenwood tree.” But the open hunting with the country squire's beagles was a more stirring matter. By daybreak was the bugle sounded; and from the spacious offices of the Hall came forth the keepers, leading their slow-hounds for finding the game, and the foresters with their greyhounds in leash. Many footmen are there in attendance with their quarter-staffs and hangers. Slowly ride forth the master and his friends. Neighbours join them on their way to the wood. There is merriment in their progress, for, as they pass through the village, they stop before the door of the sluggard, who ought to have been on foot, singing, “ Hunt's up to the day:"
The hunt is up, the hunt is up,
The birds they sing,
Hey nony, nony-no:
Hey troli-lo, trololilo.
It is a cheering and inspiriting tune-the réveillée-awakening like the “ singing of the lark, or the “lively din ” of the cock. Sounds like these were heard, half a century after the youth of Shakspere, by the student whose poetry scarcely descended to the common things which surrounded him; for it was not the outgushing of the heart over all life and nature ; it was the reflection of his own individuality, and the echo of books- beautiful indeed, but not all-comprehensive :
Oft list'ning how the hounds and horn
To the wood leads the chief huntsman. He has tracked the hart or doe to the covert on the previous night; and now the game is to be roused by man and dog. Some of the company may sing the fine old song, as old as the time of Henry VIII.:
Blow thy horn, hunter,
Blow thy horn on high.
Then blow thy horn, hunter,
The hart is roused. The hounds have burst out in “ musical confusion.” Soho! is cried. The greyhounds are unleashed. And now rush horsemen and footmen over hill, through dingle. A mile or two of sharp running, and he is again in cover. Again the keepers beat the thicket with their staves. He is again in the open field. And so it is long before the treble-mort is sounded; and the great mystery of wood-craft,” the anatomy of the venison, is gone through with the nicest art, even to the cutting off a bone for the raven.
In Coleridge's Literary Remains,' the Venus and Adonis' is cited as furnishing a signal example of “ that affectionate love of nature and natural objects, without which no man could have observed so steadily, or painted so truly and passionately, the very minutest beauties of the external world.” The description of the hare-hunt is there given at length as a specimen of this power. A remarkable proof of the completeness as well as accuracy of Shakspere's description presented itself to our mind, in running through a little volume, full of talent, published in 1825— Essays and Sketches of Character, by the late Richard Ayton, Esq.' There is a paper on hunting, and especially on hare-hunting. He says—" I am not one of the perfect fox-hunters of these realms; but having been in the way of late of seeing a good deal of various modes of hunting, I would, for the benefit of the uninitiated, set down the results of my observations.” In this matter he writes with a perfect unconsciousness that he is describing what any one has described before. But as accurate an observer had been before him :