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sides into the English flag ship, instantly let down her lower deck ports for fear of being boarded through them. Captain Harvey in the Temeraire, fell on board the Redoutable on the other side: another ship in like manner was on board the Temeraire, so that these four ships, in the heat of battle, formed as compact a tier as if they had been moored together, their heads lying all the same way. The lieutenants of the Victory immediately depressed their guns and fired with a diminished charge, lest the shot should pass through and injure the Temeraire; and because there was danger that the enemy's ship might take fire from the guns of the lower deck, whose muzzles touched her side when they were run out. The firemen of each gun stood ready with a bucket of water, which as soon as the gun was discharged he dashed at the holes made in her sides by the shot. The Victory past astern so as to play upon the Bucentaure, Villeneuve's ship, and the Santissima Trinidad, with her larboard guns, and upon the Redoutable, from the other side. In the prayer which Nelson wrote before the action, he prays that humanity after victory might distinguish the British fleet. Setting an example himself, he twice gave orders to cease firing upon the Redoutable, supposing that she had struck, because her great guns were silent; and as she carried no flag, there was no means of ascertaining the fact. From this ship, whose destruction was twice delayed by his wish to spare the enemy, he received his death. A ball fired from her mizen top, struck the epaulette on his left shoulder. He fell with his face on the deck. “They have done for me at last, Hardy, ”said he, “my back bone is shot through.” Yet 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,
so gloriously begun.
and ordered that new ones should be rove immediately; and that he might not be seen by the crew, he took out his handkerchief and covered his face with it, and the insignia upon his coat. Had he but concealed them from the enemy, England perhaps would not have received with sorrow the tidings of the battle of Trafalgar. Certain by the sensation in his back, and the gush of blood which he felt every minute within his breast, that no human aid could avail him, after the wound had been probed, he ordered the surgeon to return to the wounded, and assist those to whom his services could be useful; “for,” said he, “you can do nothing for me.” The pain he suffered was so severe, that he wished himself dead. “ Yet,” said he, in a lower tone, “one would like to live a little longer too:” doubtless, that he might hear the completion of the victory which he had seen Upon inquiring how many ships had struck, and hearing fourteen or fifteen certainly, but it was impossible as yet to ascertain, “that’s well,” said he; “but I bargained for twenty,” and then he emphatically exclaimed, “ anchor | Hardy, anchor (’’ To this the captain replied, that he supposed admiral Collingwood would now take upon himself the direction of affairs. “Not while I live, Hardy,” cried the dying Nelson, ineffectually endeavouring to raise himself from the bed; “no, do you anchor, Hardy.” He had foreseen the infinite importance of this; for by the position in which the enemy waited for the attack, the shoals of Trafalgar and St. Pedro were under their lee; and the port of Cadiz, with the existing wind open to them; and, on this account, he had, before the action, made signal to prepare to anchor. Presently calling Hardy back, he said to him in a low tone, “don’t throw me overboard;” and desired that he might be buried by his father and mother, unless it should plcase the king to order otherwise. “ Kiss me, Hardy,” said he. Hardy knelt down and kissed his cheek, and Nelson said, “ now I am satisfied. I have done my duty. Thank God! I have done my duty:” these words he repeatedly pronounced, and they were the last words which he uttered. The death of Nelson was felt in England as something more than a publick 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 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 might from that day be considered at an end; the fleets of the enemy were not merely defeated, but destroyed; new navies must be built, and a new race 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 our own loss that we mourned for him. The general sorsow was of a higher character. The people of England grieved that funeral ceremonies and publick monuments were all which they could now bestow upon him whom the king, the legislature, and the nation, could alike have delighted to honour; whom every tongue would have blessed; whose presence, in every village through which he should have passed, would have awakened the church bells; have given schoolboys a holyday; 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 indeed celebrated with the usual forms of rejoicing, but they were without joy; for such was the glory
of Nelson and of the British navy, in great measure through his genius, that they scarcely seemed to receive any addition from this; that the most signal victory that ever was achieved upon the seas, and the destruction of so great a fleet, hardly appeared to add to our strength or security; for we felt ourselves as strong and secure while Nelson was living to watch them, as when they were destroyed. 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 hundreds of the youth of England; a name which is our pride and example, 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.
FROM THE EDINBURGH REVIEW.
Travels in America, performed for the Purpose of exploring the Rivers Alleghany, Monongahela, Ohio and Mississippi, and ascertaining the Produce and Condition of their Banks and Vicinity. By Thomas Ashe, Esq. 3 vol. London, 1809.
The author of this work, we are told in the preface, has returned to America; but whether with the view of remaining there, or for the purpose of adding to the surprising discoveries which he has already made, we are not informed.' But, whatever Mr. Ashe may hereafter
perform, it is quite certain, accord
ing to his editor, that he has already done enough to place him on a level with our most celebrated travellers. He has produced a book which cannot fail, we are assured, “to instruct the statesman, delight the naturalist, and astonish the antiquary.” It would be quite inexcusable in us to pass over a work of such extraordinary pretensions, without a particular notice. It was at Pittsburgh that Mr. Ashe entered on the survey of these vast countries which stretch along the Ohio and Mississippi; but in the first part of his book, he favours the reader with a general view of the Atlantick states, and a detailed account of his journey from Philadelphia to the head of the Ohio. And here he begins to discover that unmeasured hatred of the Americans which pervades the whole of his narrative. His account of the Atlantick states, indeed, forms the most comprehensive piece of national abuse we ever recollect to have perused. Their inhabitants, it seems, are all abominably vitious; but in degrees very nicely distinguished; the middle states being bad, the northern very bad, and the southern execrable. That the Americans have great and peculiar faults, both in their manners and their morality we take to be undeniable. They have the
vices and the virtues that belong to their situation; and they will continue to have them until that situation is altered. Their manners, for the most part, are those of a scattered and migratory, but speculating people; and there will be no great amendment, until the population becomes more dense, and more settled in its habits. When wealth comes to be more generally inherited than acquired, there will be more refinement, both in vice and in manners: and as the population becomes concentred, and the spirit of adventure is deprived of its objects, the sense of honour will improve with the importance of character. Mr. Ashe, however, would have us believe, that the Americans are universally and irreclaimably vitious; and his sweeping anathemas are scarcely ever softened by any favourable exceptions, although the traveller in America, to use the words of a truly philosophical observer, “passes through all degrees of civilisation and manners, and sees, in the succession of space, what appears to belong only to the succession of time.”* Mr. Ashe’s journey to Pittsburgh is surprisingly fertile in adventures. He, first of all, kills a stupendous bear, of whose death we have a most pathetick account, the said bear conducting himself most unbecomingly in articulo mortis. We are
next entertained with a fine incident
at an obscure inn among the mountains, where our traveller falls in love with an elegant, damsel, who performed the offices of cook and chambermaid, and presents her with a copy of Thomson’s Seasons, a blank leaf being previously decord: ted with an appropriate, poetick ef. fusion. On the night after this interesting renconter, Mr. Ashe, who had travelled in a state of profound reverie, was overtaken by darkness on the top of a mountain, and there obliged, in order to avoid greater dangers, to take post for the night. The marvels which he beheld from his lofty station, will be best described in his own language.
* M. Talleyrand’s Observations on America.
“The moon shone, but capriciously: for, though some places were adorned with her brightest beams, and exhibited various fantastick forms and colours, others were unaffected by her light, and awfully maintained an unvaried gloom— a “darkness visible’—conveying terrour and dismay. Such apprehensions were aining fast on my imagination, till an object of inexpressible sublimity gave a different direction to my thoughts, and seized the entire possession of my mind The heavenly vault appeared to be all on fire, not exhibiting the stream or character of the aurora-borealis, but an immensity vivid and clear; through which the stars, detached from the firmament, traversed in eccentrick directions, followed by trains of light of diversified magnitude and brightness. o meteors rose majestically out of the horizon; and, having gradually attained an elevation of thirty degrees, suddenly burst, and descended to the earth in a shower of brilliant sparks, or glittering gems. This splendid phenomenon was succeeded by a multitude of shooting stars and balls, and columns of fire; which, after assuming a variety of forms, vanished in slight flashes of lightning, and left the sky in its usual appearance and serenity. Nature stood checked,” &c. Vol. I.
From this mountain scene, Mr. Ashe deduces this most natural conclusion—“ that no one should dare to compose a history of nature without passing such a night on such a mountain.”
The letters from Pittsburgh (for the narrative is thrown into the epistolary form) amidst a great deal of similar rant, contain some details regarding that thriving place and its neighbourhood, which are well worth notice. Situated on the spot where the Alleghany and Monongahela unite to form the Ohio, Pitts
burgh is admirably adapted to the purposes of commerce. These two rivers connect it with an immense extent of country; and their banks, interspersed with farms, villages, and towns, proclaim an increasing and industrious population. It contains above two thousand inhabitants, the most opulent of whom are Irish; and this, says our author, “ has hindered the vitious propensities of the genuine American character from establishing here the horrid dominion which they have assumed over the Atlantick states.” The manufactures are various and flourishing, particularly that of glass; and shipbuilding is practised to a considerable extent. In October 1806, there were several vessels of 350 tons on the stocks. Through Pittsburgh is carried on an extensive trade between the distant ports of Philadelphia and New Orleans. Here are storekeepers who exchange the produce of the surrounding countries, of which they make two collections annually, for goods brought across the mountains from Philadelphia. These they convey by the Ohio and Mississippi to Kentucky and New Orleans: and with the proceeds in dollars, or bills of exchange on Philadelphia, their agents sail to that place to make new purchases, and traverse again the wide circle of their exchanges, a circle which embraces a space of not less than 5650 miles. This immense sphere of activity, too, is the creation of yesterday. Even Mr. Ashe, disposed as he is to decry every thing American, is obliged to admit, that she displays, in the wonders of her growing industry, a picture at once striking and exhilarating. It is impossible to contemplate such a scene without exulting in the triumphs of industry. This peaceful power is here subduing regions of growing forests, which conquering armies would fear to enter; and extending, with silent rapidity, the limits of civilized existence. We cannot help wishing that our countrymen, in general, were a little more alive to the feelings which we conceive such a spectacle is calculated to excite; and that they could be brought to sympathize a little more in the progress of a kindred people, destined to carry our language, our arts, and our interests too, over regions more vast than ever acknowledged the sway of the Cesars of Rome. But the bitter feelings of the colonial war still rankle in too many bosoms on both sides of the Atlantick. The utter impossibility of any national gain in a contest with America, and the pernicious animosities which such a contest is sure to engender, are altogether overlooked by a certain class of politicians. It is enough for them, that we shall drive her ships from the seas, and blockade them in her ports; and that the great naval power of Britain may be employed to scatter the paltry flotillas of America; to palsy the industry of our best customers in the new world; and to burn a few towns still more defenceless and unoffending than Copenhagen | We do not mean to say, that this temper has not been met, and even perhaps provoked, by a corresponding temper in America; but, where the interest of two countries calls so loudly for their conciliation, it is impossible that they should quarrel without gross faults upon both sides. Brilliant as Mr. Ashe is in description, this does not hinder him from aiming at glory as a political philosopher; and, accordingly, we are favoured with a long discourse upon emigration, in which he insists largely on the inevitable disasters that must attend such a step on the part of cwery British subject. His
mode of reasoning on this point is
sufficiently characteristick. He takes, in the first place, a single instance of failure as sufficient to prove that all must fail. In the next place, he carefully selects his instance from
the only description of persons who have no sort of temptation to emigrate, and who, it is universally admitted, must suffer extremely by such a proceeding. Upon these principles he looks round till he finds a gentleman farmer from the county of Sussex, who, being a little democratical in his politicks, had sold his property, and sailed for America, to become a great farmer and statesman. The result was quite natural. This restless person very soon found out “that the high price of labour renders it impossible for a gentleman farmer to make any thing of land there;” and that political consequence depended in America, as well as in other countries, a good deal upon property. It is needless to say, that this example has no application at all to the ambitious mechanicks of England, or the dislodged small farmers of the Highlands. Mr. Ashe also descants, at great length, upon the intellectual capacities and literature of the Americans; and indulges himself in one of the most presumptuous philippicks we ever recollect to have perused. Now, though we are certainly of opinion, that the second rate pamphleteers of that country write in
comparably better than Mr. Ashe, it
is no doubt true, that America can produce nothing to bring her intellectual efforts into any sort of comparison with that of Europe. Liberty and competition have as yet done nothing to stimulate literary genius in these republican states. They have never passed the limits of humble mediocrity, either in thought or expression. Noah Webster, we are afraid, still occupies the first place in criticism; Timothy Dwight, and Joel Barlow in poetry; and Mr. Justice Marshall in history. And as to the physical sciences, we shall merely observe, that a little elementary treatise of botany appeared in 1803; and that this paltry contribution to natural history is chronicled, by the latest American historian, among the