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Mr Stanier Clarke had not long issued his proposals before he discovered that Dr. M'Arthur had obtained possession of a different series of documents, and it was soon announced that a union of both collections had been arranged. Of Dr. M“Arthur the publick knew little or nothing; but as no co-operator could injure the performance of his colleague, it was reasonably to be supposed that any one would improve it. Accordingly the work contains nothing about Noah’s ark, it does not even go back to the origin of the British navy; quotations are not dealt out in it by the yard, neither are there any fabulous stories introduced, though they might be as entertaining as if they were true. Still as a composition it is grievously defective; it is ill proportioned, confused, unsatisfactory in some of the most important parts, and so imperfect that a supplement is hinted at, though it is the bulkiest work of its kind that has been seen in modern times.

In general, criticks may be said to deal out their strictures by dry measure. This, however, is so ponderous a concern, that it may more fitly be estimated by avoirdupois weight. We have weighed it in the balance, and a score weight kicks the beam. This is calculating not merely upon an appetite in the publick, but upon an obsolute bulimia. . Is it to be supposed that they can possibly digest one and twenty pounds of biography, even when Nelson is the subject :

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any book which has been produced in the present age of ornamental literature. Some of the prints are fine; the subjects are not, however, all well chosen. The great naval actions must of course be utterly uninteresting to any but seamen. For all useful purposes the plans which are annexed are better, and surely such prints have nothing but their utility to recommend them. No disrespect is intended towards the artist; we are fully convinced of his skill in subjects of this descrip

tion, Our objection is not to the in- stance, but to the kind. Such re

presentations affect us infinitely less than a narrative of the same events. Far from heightening the images which present themselves to the

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reader's imagination, they diminish . . . and deaden them, and produce a . o pathos visible from the effect of

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; : LIVES OF ADMIRAL LORD VISCOUNT NELSON. 77 which it requires an effort to re- ney with his harpsichord in the cover. The only way in which such Thames, appears perfectly reason| * subjects can be so treated as to im- able and convenient, when compared | *press the beholder, is by taking just with , this accumulation of inconso much of the scene, as is within gruities. Why will painters thus the scope of the picturesque, and in wantonly abuse their prerogative : which human action and human There will come a time, we trust, passions may be exhibited. But when such gross allegories will be when whole fleets are to be shown deemed as repugnant to true taste, s upon the seas, the scale to which as the anthropomorphism of cathos they must be diminished, brings lick church-picture, is to true re* forcibly into contrast the greatness ligion. The invisible world is not

of nature and the littleness of our within the artist's province.

greatest works. No art can over- We have thus previously stated come this difficulty, and the proud-, all which it was requisite to ob! * est vessel that ever rode the wave, serve upon the book, that dismissing and thundered upon its foe, be- all other thoughts, we might enter | * comes as mean an object as the ship upon its subject with the feeling of an eight day clock, keeping time which it requires. The best eulowith its motions to the click of the gium of Nelson is the history of his o, pendulum. o actions; the best history that which Two prints might have been shall relate them most perspicu

so spared. That of stepping into the ously. boat to board the American is one. Horatio Nelson was born on ! The writers did well to record the Michaelmas day 1758, in the parcircumstance, because it had been sonage house of Burnham Thorpe, erroneously stated in other publica- Norfolk. Edmund, his father, was tions, so as most undeservedly to rector of that parish, his mother | oaffect the reputation of another of was descended from the Walpole ficer, and this errour they have with family. He was first sent to the High o * due feeling rectified. But there is School at Norwich, then to North nothing extraordinary in it. Yet this.” Walsham. During the Christmas subject, trivial as it is, has been holidays of the year 1770, he read in selected for the artist, both in this the newspaper that his mother's official life, and in Mr. Bowyer's brother, captain Maurice Suckling, publication. The other is the fron-" was appointed to the Raisonable of } tispiece. Its subject is the immortal- 64 guns. Young as he was, he knew ity of Nelson; for the design of that eight children were a heavier * - which we refer to the work. p. 37. burthen than his father’s income * - Profusely as Mr. Stanier Clarke has could well support, and had often there strowed the flowers of his expressed a wish to remove his rhetorick, it is not all his style ornate part of the weight. It was the which can conceal the absurdities of thought of providing for himself the composition. In the right hand which now actuated him. “ Do, corner of the piece is a dolphin's brother William,” said he, “ write * head, and over the dolphin is a hand to my father, and tell him I should belonging to we know not what, like to goto sea with uncle Maurice.” o, and over the hand is the head of a Mr. Nelson, who was then at Bath, * triton or sea devil; and over him is understood the generous nature of * a horse’s head, and over the horse the boy’s feelings, but did not op* , are boys and girls, sons and daugh- pose his resolution. Accordingly he *ters of the union, we are told “pre- wrote to his brother-in-law. Captain * paring the mournful sable,” &c. &c. Suckling had promised to provide * The famous situation of Dr. Bur- for one of the children in his own

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profession; but this was not the one which he would have chosen, because of the delicacy of his constitution. “What,” said he, in his answer, “ has poor Horace done, who is so weak, that he, above all the

rest, should be sent to rough it out

at sea : But let him come, and the first time we go into action, a cannon ball may knock off his head and provide for him at once.” Yet Horace had already given such indications of a noble spirit, that had the uncle known them, he would have perceived the boy was choosing the course in which his heart and temper qualified him to run a glorious career. In the spring of 1771, his father sent him to join the ship, then lying in the Medway. At the end of the journey he was put down with the other passengers, and left to find his way how he could. After wandering about in the cold, he was at last observed by an officer, who asked him a few questions, and happening to know his uncle, took him home and gave him some refreshments. When he got on board, captain Suckling had not joined, and he paced the deck the remainder of the day without being noticed by any one. The pain which is felt when we are first transplanted from our native soil, when the living branch is cut from the parent tree, is one of the most poignant that we have to endure through life. There are after-griefs which wound more deeply, which leave behind them scars never to be effaced, which

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long in commission. Our dispute .

way. This he considered as too inactive a life for his nephew, and,

ship to the West Indies, under a

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The Raisonable did not remain

with Spain respecting the Falkland Islands being adjusted, she was paid

off, and captain Suckling was ap- pointed to a guard ship in the Med

therefore sent him in a merchant

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Mr. Rathbone, who had formerly Foll been master's mate with him in the | \, Dreadnought. “I came back,” says Nelson, “a practical seaman, with a on horrour of the royal navy, and with - As a saying then constant with the sea- o men, aft the most honour, forward the better man.” So strongly was he possessed with this prejudice, that . " when on his return captain Suckling, " |

received him on board, it was many. weeks before he was in the least reconciled to a man of war. His uncle, who perceived this, and who seems also to have rightly appreciated the boy's character, held out to him as to his reward, that if he attended well , to navigation, he should go in the cutter and decked long boat, which was attached to the commanding officer's ship; and thus he became a good pilot from Chatham to the Tower of London, down the Swin, and the North Foreland, and confident of himself among rocks and sands, which he said, afterwards, was of great comfort to him. In the ensuing year, an expedition of discovery towards the north pole was sent out under captain Phipps, in consequence of an application from the Royal Society; and though, on account of the severity of the service, effective men were entered instead of the usual number of boys, Horatio used all his influence to go with captain Lutwidge in the Carcass as his cockswain. One night , when the ice was all round them,” the young cockswain, and a shipmate of his own standing, stole from the

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ship to hunt a bear. It was not long before they were missed. A thick fog had come on, and captain Lutwidge was exceedingly anxious for their safety. Between three and four in the morning the mist cleared off, and they were seen at a considerable distance, in pursuit of their game. —The signal was made for their return, but Nelson was too intent upon his object to obey it. A chasm in the ice luckily separated him from the beast; his musket flashed in the pan. “Never mind,” said he, “do

but let me get a blow at this devil.

with the but-end, and we shall have him.” A gun from the ship terrified the animal, and Nelson was obliged to return disappointed, and expect‘ing a reprimand. Captain Lutwidge - reproved him somewhat sternly, and ed him what reason he could have or hunting a bear. “Sir,” he replied, pouting his lip, as he was wont to do when agitated, “I wished to get the skin for my father.” ". The situation of the ships became so alarming, that captain Phipps ... thought it necessary to prepare the boats for going away. They were accordingly hoisted out and hauled over the ice; and Nelson had the

command of a four oared cutter

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as my patrons. “Well then,' I exclaimed, ‘ I will be a hero, and confiding in Providence I will brave every danger.” From that hour, as he often declared to captain Hardy, a radiant orb was suspended before his mind's eye, which urged him

the captain, who accordingly onward to renown. No person has

#. particularly recommended him

"placed him on the quarter deck, and - rated him as midshipman. The ser

ever looked to the attainment of any great and worthy object without exson spoke of these aspirations of his youth as if they had in them a character of divinity, as if “The light which led him on Was light from Heaven.” The previous fits of dejection were altogether causeless. His prospects were fair, and his progress almost as rapid as it could be. When he reached England, he found his

o vice which he went through had periencing similar fluctuations. Nelthe comptroller, “I did not wish the to rely upon their own exertions,

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uncle comptroller of the navy and

was immediately appointed to act as fourth lieutenant of the Worcester, 64 guns, capt. Mark Robinson, then on the point of sailing to Gibraltar. His age might have been a sufficient cause for not intrusting him with the charge of a watch, yet the captain used to say he felt as easy when he was upon deck, as any other officer in the ship. On the 8th of April 1777, he past his examination. Capt. Suckling sat at the head of the table, and when it had ended in a manner highly honourable to him, introduced him as his nephew. The examining captains expressed their surprise that he had not told them of this relationship before. “No,” replied

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A plan had been formed by gene

ral Dalling, and approved by the government at home, for taking fort San Juan, upon the river of the same name, which flows from lake Nicaragua, to the Atlantick. The force appointed for this expedition, amounting to about 500 men, were convoyed by Nelson from Jamaica to the Spanish main; and here his services were to have ended. But there was not a man in the whole party who had ever been up the river San Juan; he therefore manned the Mosquito shore craft, and two of the Hinchinbrook’s boats, and resolved to carry the soldiers up himself. Of all the services in which he had been engaged, this was the most perilous, It was the latter end of the dry season; the river was low, full of shoals and sandy beaches, and the men were often obliged to quit the boats and drag them through shallow * channels, which the Indians went before them to explore. This labour and that of forcing their way up the rapids, was chiefly sustained by the sailors; men accustomed at all times

younker to be favoured. I felt convinced that he would pass a good examination, and you see I have not been disappointed.” On the following day, Nelson received his commission as second lieutenant of the Lowestoffe frigate, captain William Locker, then fitting out for Jamaica. After a year's active service, he was removed to the Bristol, the flag-ship of sir Peter Parker, to whom captain

Locker had warmly recommended

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and at all times sure to do their duty. Seven or eight hours during the day they, were exposed to a burning sun, rendered more intolerable by being reflected from dry shoals of white sand; at night they suffered equally from heavy dews, On the ninth of April they arrived at a small island called St. Bartholomew, which commanded the river in a rapid and difficult part, and was defended by a battery mounting nine or ten swivels. Nelson, according to his own phrase, best expres:

sive of a seaman’s feeling, resolved:

to board this out-post. Putting himself at the head of a few sailors, he leaped upon the beach. Captain Despard, since so unhappily notorious, gallantly supported him, and they stormed the battery. Two days afterwards they came in sight of the castle of San Juan, and began to besiege it on the 15th. It surren

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