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only that Villeneuve was before him to be fought and beaten, leaving the future to take care of itself. Allemand could not have dared attack the victorious fleet, and Trafalgar might never have been fought. Even if he had not risked the ordeal of battle, he should have kept his enemy in view and never lost touch with him, and thus have been in a position to blockade him as soon as ever he entered a friendly port. But Calder, able seaman and gallant man though he was, lacked the divine fire which inspires the great commander to seek and ensure victory regardless of danger, disdainful of odds. Fortune had thrown into his hands the prize, and he let it slip from his grasp.

During the whole of December 26th the court-martial deliberated. The excitement was intense, and all who, by any pretext, could gain admission, crowded on board the Prince of Wales to await the result; but it was not till the short winter day was drawing to its close that Calder was summoned to hear the judgment. The Court found the charges to have been proved, and, though they declared that the Admiral's conduct had not been attended either by cowardice or disaffeotion, and was due solely to error of judgment, they pronounced it to have been highly censurable, and adjudged him to be severely reprimanded.

For such a result, involving as it did his retirement from active service, Calder was wholly unprepared. He had looked forward to trial by his peers as the surest means by which

his actions would be justified and his character vindicated, and had confidently expected an honourable acquittal-only to have every hope shattered and to leave the Court a disgraced man, overwhelmed with grief. The surprise with which the verdict and sentence of the court-martial were received was general, for the menace of invasion had passed away, and with it passion had died down and a calmer spirit had taken its place. Although Nelson had infected the nation with his fiery spirit, and taught it to be satisfied with nothing less than the annihilation of the enemy's fleets, none could deny that Calder had won 8 victory over Villeneuve which in other days might have won him a coronet; and full investigation had brought to light the difficulties and dangers with which he had been beset, and which had dictated a

course of action wrongly and ignorantly attributed to cowardice. Moreover, his long and distinguished services, the persecution of which he had been the object, and his dignified bearing, had won him widespread sympathy.

Friends were not wanting to come forward on his behalf. In the House of Lords the Duke of Norfolk and the Earl of Romney pleaded his cause, and St Vincent, whilst deprecating criticism of a court of justice, bore testimony to his worth

an officer. But Calder's stoutest champion was his brother-in-law and former chief, Admiral Roddam. In language deeply sincere but

exquisitely quaint, he belauded his kinsman's qualities as a seaman and his virtues as a Christian. With fond exaggeration he roundly declared that "the most glorious deeds of any hero in any age did not surpass that of Sir Robert Calder," that "no commanderin-chief ever had so perilous, so difficult a task, and no commander-in-chief ever went through a situation so difficult 80 judiciously, so valorously, and so successfully," and that "there is not a similar instance of a reprimand of a viotorious commander to be found in the records of the Navy." He denounced the newspapers which had "teemed out abuse against an officer as great in the profession to which he does so much honour," and asked, "Could any man, so acting and so situated, expect a viper had surrounded his native isle and instilled its poisonous dart in the minds of his countrymen?" finally acclaiming him "the Head and Cornerstone of the fabric of Victory." Even in the poems inspired by the battle of Trafalgar, sorry doggerel as they are, reference to Calder's wrongs is not wanting.

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The trial of Calder and the events leading up to it inevitably recall the case of Byng. For failing to fight a decisive battle each Admiral became the victim of a violent popular outory, inflamed by the press and, in Byng's case, fanned by a craven Ministry seeking to save itself by making him a scapegoat. The charges on which they were arraigned


were very similar, and in defence each pleaded justification and represented that his despatches had been mutilated before being made public. Each was fully acquitted of both cowardice and treachery, but each was found guilty: Byng of neglect of duty-for which in his day death was the only penalty, Calder of error of judgment. But in no other respect can the cases be compared. That Byng should be found guilty was inevitable, and only the penalty was unjust, but with Calder the injustice lay in his not being acquitted.

For four years and a half Calder lived in retirement, whilst opinion opinion slowly but surely veered round in his favour, so that in the end his reinstatement in the service was hailed with "universal satisfaction." On the 2nd July 1810 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief at Plymouth, to hoist his flag on the Salvador del Mundo, whose terrible punishment at St Vincent from the guns of his own ship he had witnessed from the deck of the Victory, fifteen years before. It was his last command, for he was now an old man, but he held it for the full term of three years, when he retired to pass the evening of his days at "The Holt," his home amongst the Hampshire downs, and here on the 1st September 1818 he died.

But he had not been forgotten. In January 1815, when the long struggle with France seemed at an end, and to reward the heroes who had

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served their country so well, the establishment of the Order of the Bath was augmented, he took his place amongst them, and was appointed Knight Commander, as if in atonement for all he had suffered.


A man not in the front rank of his profession and cautious, Calder was yet a valiant seaman and a gallant gentleman, who did his duty manfully, according to his lights, in circumstances of exceptional difficulty, whose honesty and uprightness were proverbial, and who ill deserved the ungenerous verdiot passed upon him in history, and the malignity with which his memory has been assailed.

His portrait hangs in the Nelson Room in Greenwich Hospital, not unworthy of its gallant company. The face is

strikingly handsome, with cleancut features and clear blue eyes, kindly and honest, and bears an air of refinement and distinction, marred only by the weakness of the mouth.

He left no children to suoceed him, and his estates passed into the keeping of his nephew to hold in trust for Lady Calder, who survived him for thirteen years, and whose failing mind had necessitated this provision.

"The Holt" is little changed since the days when the old Admiral walked its quiet paths. A typical Georgian mansion, with heavy pedimented front, it stands amongst the trees of a small park in a hollow of the Downs, remote from any high road, far removed from the turmoil of the world, an ideal haven of rest after a life of storm and stress.



LIKE all great events, my first hunt was the result of small unthought-of beginnings. I was asked to spend a couple of weeks with some relations in the country who, from advancing age, had given up their horses. The stable, although large, had a neglected appearance. The old coachman found more occupation in keeping the garden up to date than in grooming horses, a pursuit in which he was encouraged by two unmarried daughters, who were now well beyond the age of love at first sight. They found that the memory of past years was refreshed by the fragrant perfume of deep-scented roses in the summer and Neapolitan violets in the winter. The outhouses and garden were certainly a dream, but after two days I awoke from it, and looked round for a possible antidote to utter inactivity.

A well-known pack of hounds, and a suitable stall for a horse untenanted, appealed to me as factors not to be overlooked. I asked old Tom, the coachman, in confidence, whether it would be possible to borrow or hire a horse on which to ride about the country. He told me that horses were brought into the county town at this time of year specially for letting out, and I could get a very nice mount without doubt. As he

seemed quite keen about it, I approached my host for permission, making a contract that I, not he, was to pay. He was extremely kind and generous, and wanted to make me enjoy my visit, so I had the biggest difficulty in getting over this obstacle. The preliminaries being completed, I came out and consulted again with old Tom. I asked if the food locker wanted replenishing in the stables, but found there was always plenty kept for visitors' horses.

After this there seemed nothing else for me to do but to go straight in and see the hostler people about the hire of the horse, and for this purpose I went back to the house and up to my bedroom, to rig myself out for the possible ride back. Fortunately, I had brought what I thought was practically an unworn pair of riding-breeches with me, but on examination I found them nearly worn out, especially at the knees. Then I remembered that I had some time ago lent them to a friend of mine who was going through his military riding-lessons at Woolwich-I had never expected they would have been so much appreciated by him. At least, however, they gave me the appearance of being an old hand with horses, and therefore came in very usefully in support of my contention before

my host and his daughters, that there was really no fear of my having an accident, as I was quite used to riding. They knew I had been used to a pony as a boy, and from the dilapidated appearance of my breeches considered that I must have kept it up. I felt very guilty all the time, but wished particularly to avoid making them nervous. It came as a great relief that I could tell old Tom how the land lay, and I gathered a considerable amount of confidence in talking over the matter with him,

On getting into the county town I found that what he said was right, namely, that it was the custom to take in horses for hiring out to the gentry, and I had no difficulty in finding the stable to which I was told to go. Here there were several nice-looking horses assembled, mostly for hacking purposes, however.

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I had in my mind, when talking to the hostler, the possibility of being able to follow the hounds if everything went well, but did not wish to say anything about it; so I only approached him with the statement that I wanted horse for a couple of weeks, on which I could ride about the country and perhaps go to a meet or two. The horse I chose turned out, upon the diagnosis of experienced horsemen (confirmed afterwards by the hostler), to be an Irish mare possessing good quality. This I could understand, as she carried her tail and head so high. Her tail was any

thing but good-looking, being practically destitute of hair; but in spite of this defect she used to swing it backwards and forwards as she walked, as much as to say how well it looked. Altogether, however, as facts subsequently proved, my choice turned out remarkably well, and after a time the mare and I got on capitally.

It was late in the afternoon when the saddle was put on her. I boldly mounted, in order to ride her out to my host's stables, where the old coachman was quite excited about getting ready for a live horse once more. He told me before I started that he felt quite young again at the prospect, but personally I was feeling quite old with the excitement and the strain of doing business with a horsedealer. I always gathered from 'Punch's descriptions and drawings that such folk invariably had a parcel of jokes ready for you, and generally succeeded in doing you right and left. I got to the vicinity of the house all right, but before going into the stables I wanted to show my horse to the household and see what they had to say. Everybody turned out on hearing the horse's steps in front of the house; but instead of posing as an accomplished equestrian, I was obliged to stand on my own feet, hanging on to the mare's nose, while they inspected her.

It was this way. I found that opening the drive-gates from a horse's back was quite beyond me in my present con

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