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was picked up by the Swiftsure. Captain Hallowell ordered his carpenter to make a coffin of it; the iron as well as wood was taken from the wreck of the same ship; it was finished as well and handsomely as the workman's skill and materials would permit; and Hallowell then sent it to the Admiral with the following letter, — “Sir, I have taken the liberty of presenting you a coffin made from the mainmast of L'Orient, that when you have finished your military career in this world, you may be buried in one of your trophies. But that that period may be far distant, is the earnest wish of your sincere friend, Benjamin Hallowell.” An offering so strange, and yet so suited to the occasion, was received by Nelson in the spirit with which it was sent. As he felt it good for him, now that he was at the summit of his wishes, to have death before his eyes, he ordered the coffin to be placed upright in his cabin. Such a piece of furniture, however, was more suitable to his own feelings than to those of his guests and attendants; and an old favourite servant entreated him so earnestly to let it be removed, that at length he consented to have the coffin carried below: but he gave strict orders that it should be safely stowed, and reserved for the purpose for which its brave and worthy donor had designed it. The victory was complete; but Nelson could not pursue it as he would have done, for want of means. Had he been provided with small craft, nothing could have prevented the destruction of the store-ships and transports in the port of Alexandria: – four bomb-vessels would at that time have burnt the whole in a few hours. “Were I to die this moment,” said he in his despatches to the Admiralty, “want of frigates would be found stamped on my heart! No words of mine can express what I have suffered, and am suffering, for want of them.” He had also to bear up against great bodily suffering; the blow had so shaken his head, that from its constant and violent aching, and the perpetual sickness which accompanied the pain, he could scarcely persuade himself that the skull was not fractured. Had it not been for Troubridge, Ball, Hood, and Hallowell, he declared that he should have sunk under the fatigue of refitting the squadron. “All,” he said, “had done well; but these officers were his supporters.” But, amidst his sufferings and exertions, Nelson could yet think of all the consequences of his victory; and that no advantage from it might be lost, he despatched an officer overland to India, with letters to the Governor of Bombay, informing
him of the arrival of the French in Egypt, the total destruction of their fleet, and the conse. quent preservation of India from any attempt against it on the part of this formidable arma. ment. “He knew that Bombay,” he said, “was their first object, if they could get there; but he trusted that Almighty God would overthrow in Egypt these pests of the human race. Buonaparte had never yet had to contend with an English officer, and he would endeavour to make him respect us.” This despatch he sent upon his own responsibility, with letters of credit upon the East India Company, addressed to the British consuls, vice-consuls, and merchants on his route; Nelson saying, “that if he had done wrong, he hoped the bills would be paid, and he would repay the Company: for, as an Englishman, he should be proud that it had been in his power to put our settlements on their guard.” The information which by this means reached India was of great importance. Orders had just been received for defensive preparations, upon a scale pro: portionate to the apprehended danger; and the extraordinary expenses which would other: wise have been incurred were thus prevented. Nelson was now at the summit of glory: congratulations, rewards, and honours were showered upon him by all the states, and princes, and powers to whom his victory gave a respite. The first communication of this nature which he received was from the Turkish Sultan: who, as soon as the invasion of Egypt was known, had called upon “all true believers to take arms against those swinish infidels the French, that they might deliver these blessed habitations from their accursed hands”; and who had ordered his “Pashas to turn night into day in their efforts to take vengeance.” The present of “his Imperial Majesty, the power. ful, formidable, and most magnificent Grand Seignior,” was a pelisse of sables, with broad sleeves, valued at five thousand dollars; and 4 diamond aigrette, valued at eighteen thousand — the most honourable badge among the Turks; and in this instance more especially honourable, because it was taken from one 0 the royal turbans. “If it were worth a million." said Nelson to his wife, “my pleasure woul be to see it in your possession.” The Sultan also sent, in a spirit worthy of imitation, a purs. of two thousand sequins, to be distribut among the wounded. The mother of the Sultan sent him a box, set with diamonds, valued at one thousand pounds. The Co. Paul, in whom the better part of his strango compounded nature at this time predominated, presented him with his portrait, set in diamonds, in a gold box, accompanied with a letter of congratulation, written by his own hand. The King of Sardinia also wrote to him, and sent a gold box, set with diamonds. Honours in profusion were awaiting him at Naples. In his own country the king granted these honourable augmentations to his armorial ensign: a chief undulated, argent; thereon waves of the sea ; from which a palm-tree issuant, between a disabled ship on the dexter, and a ruinous battery on the sinister, all proper; and for his crest, on a naval crown, or, the chelengk, or plume, presented to him by the Turk, with the motto, Palmam qui meruit ferat. And to his supporters, being a sailor on the dexter, and a lion on the sinister, were given these honourable augmentations: a palm-branch, in the sailor's hand, and another in the paw of the lion, both proper; with a tri-coloured flag and staff in the lion's mouth. He was created Baron Nelson of the Nile and of Burnham Thorpe, with a pension of 2,000l. for his own life, and those of his two immediate successors. When the grant was moved in the House of Commons, General Walpole expressed an opinion, that a higher degree of rank ought to be conferred. Mr. Pitt made answer, that he thought it needless to enter into that question. “Admiral Nelson's fame,” he said, “would be co-equal with the British name: and it would be remembered that he had obtained the greatest naval victory on record, when no man would think of asking whether he had been created a baron, a viscount, or an earl!” It was strange that, in the very act of conferring a title, the minister should have excused himself for not having conferred a higher one, by representing all titles, on such an occasion, as nugatory and superfluous. True, indeed, whatever title had been bestowed, whether viscount, earl, marquis, duke, or prince, if our laws had so permitted, he who received it would have been Nelson still. That name he had ennobled beyond all addition of nobility: it was the name by which England loved him, France feared him, Italy, Egypt, and Turkey celebrated him; and by which he will continue to be known while the present kingdoms and languages of the world endure, and as long as their history after them shall be held in remembrance. It depended upon the degree of rank what should be the fashion of his coronet, in what page of the red book his name was to be inserted, and what precedency should be allowed his lady
in the drawing-room and at the ball. That Nelson's honours were affected thus far, and no farther, might be conceded to Mr. Pitt and his colleagues in administration: but the degree of rank which they thought proper to allot was the measure of their gratitude, though not of his services. This Nelson felt; and this he expressed, with indignation, among his friends.
Whatever may have been the motives of the ministry, and whatever the formalities with which they excused their conduct to themselves, the importance and magnitude of the victory were universally acknowledged. A grant of Io,oool. was voted to Nelson by the East India Company; the Turkish Company presented him with a piece of plate; the City of London presented a sword to him, and to each of his captains; gold medals were distributed to the Captains; and the First Lieutenants of all the ships were promoted, as had been done after Lord Howe's victory. Nelson was exceedingly anxious that the Captain and First Lieutenant of the Culloden should not be passed over because of their misfortune. To Troubridge himself he said, “Let us rejoice that the ship which got on shore was commanded by an officer whose character is so thoroughly established.” To the Admiralty he stated, that Captain Troubridge's conduct was as fully entitled to praise as that of any one officer in the squadron, and as highly deserving of reward. “It was Troubridge,” said he, “who equipped the squadron so soon at Syracuse: it was Troubridge who exerted himself for me after the action: it was Troubridge who saved the Culloden, when none that I know in the service would have attempted it.” The gold medal, therefore, by the king's express desire, was given to Captain Troubridge, “for his ser. vices both before and since, and for the great and wonderful exertion which he made at the time of the action, in saving and getting off his ship.” The private letter from the Admiralty to Nelson informed him, that the First Lieutenants of all the ships engaged were to be promoted. Nelson instantly wrote to the Commander-in-Chief. “I sincerely hope,” said he, “this is not intended to exclude the First Lieutenant of the Culloden. For Heaven's sake — for my sake – if it be so, get it altered. Our dear friend Troubridge has endured enough. His sufferings were, in every respect, more than any of us.” To the Admiralty he wrote in terms equally warm. “I hope, and believe, the word engaged is not intended to exclude the Culloden. The merit of that ship, and her gallant captain are too well known to benefit by anything I could say. Her misfortune was great in getting aground, while her more fortunate companions were in the full tide of happiness. No; I am confident that my good Lord Spencer will never add misery to misfortune. Captain Troubridge on shore is superior to captains afloat: in the midst of his great misfortunes he made those signals which prevented certainly the Alexander and Swiftsure from running on the shoals. I beg your pardon for writing on a subject which, I verily believe, has never entered your lordship's head; but my heart, as it ought to be, is warm to my gallant friends.” Thus feelingly alive was Nelson to the claims, and interests, and feelings of others. The Admiralty replied, that the exception was necessary, as the ship had not been in action: but they desired the Commander-in-Chief to promote the Lieu
tenant upon the first vacancy which should occur. * * * * *
JANE AUSTEN (1775–1817)
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE CHAPTER I
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters. “My dear Mr. Bennet,” said his lady to him one day, “Have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?” Mr. Bennet replied that he had not. “But it is,” returned she; “for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it.” Mr. Bennet made no answer. “Do not you want to know who has taken it?” cried his wife impatiently. “You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it.” This was invitation enough. “Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was so much delighted
with it, that he agreed with Mr. Morris immediately; that he is to take possession before Michaelmas, and some of his servants are to be in the house by the end of next week.” “What is his name?” “Bingley.” “Is he married or single?” “Oh! single, my dear, to be sure! A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!” “How so? how can it affect them P’’ “My dear Mr. Bennet,” replied his wife, “how can you be so tiresome! you must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them.” “Is that his design in settling here?” “Design nonsense, how can you talk so : But it is very likely that he may fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes.” “I see no occasion for that. You and the girls may go, or you may send them by themselves, which perhaps will be still better, for as you are as handsome as any of them, Mr. Bingley might like you the best of the party.” “My dear, you flatter me. I certainly have had my share of beauty, but I do not pretend to be anything extraordinary now. When a woman has five grown-up daughters, she ought to give over thinking of her own beauty.” “In such cases, a woman has not often much beauty to think of.” “But, my dear, you must indeed go and see Mr. Bingley when he comes into the neighbourhood.” “It is more than I engage for, I assure you.” “But consider your daughters. Only think what an establishment it would be for one of them. Sir William and Lady Lucas are determined to go, merely on that account, for in general, you know, they visit no new-comers. Indeed you must go, for it will be impossible for us to visit him if you do not.” “You are over-scrupulous, surely. I dare say, Mr. Bingley will be very glad to see you; and I will send a few lines by you to assure him of my hearty consent to his marrying whichever he chooses of the girls: though I must throw in a good word for my little Lizzy.” “I desire you will do no such thing. Lizzy is not a bit better than the others; and I am sure she is not half so handsome as Jane, nor half so good-humoured as Lydia. But you are always giving her the preference.” “They have none of them much to recommend them,” replied he; “they are all silly and ignorant, like other girls; but Lizzie has something more of quickness than her sisters.” “Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way! You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion on my poor nerves.” “You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least.” “Ah! you do not know what I suffer.” “But I hope you will get over it, and live to See many young men of four thousand a year come into the neighbourhood.” “It will be no use to us, if twenty such should come, since you will not visit them.” “Depend upon it, my dear, that when there are twenty, I will visit them all.” Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three-and-twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character. Her mind was less difficult to develope. She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news.
Mr. Bennet was among the earliest of those who waited on Mr. Bingley. He had always intended to visit him, though to the last always assuring his wife that he should not go; and till the evening after the visit was paid she had no knowledge of it. It was then disclosed in the following manner: — Observing his second daughter employed in trimming a hat, he suddenly addressed her with, “I hope Mr. Bingley will like it, Lizzy.” “We are not in a way to know what Mr. Bingley likes,” said her mother resentfully, “since we are not to visit.” “But you forget, mamma,” said Elizabeth, “that we shall meet him at the assemblies, : that Mrs. Long has promised to introduce im.” “I do not believe Mrs. Long will do any such thing. She has two nieces of her own. She is a selfish, hypocritical woman, and I have no opinion of her.” “No more have I,” said Mr. Bennet; “and I am glad to find that you do not depend on her serving you.”
Mrs. Bennet deigned not to make any reply, but, unable to contain herself, began scolding one of her daughters. “Don’t keep coughing so, Kitty, for Heaven's sake! Have a little compassion on my nerves. You tear them to pieces.” “Kitty has no discretion in her coughs,” said her father; “she times them ill.” “I do not cough for my own amusement,” replied Kitty fretfully. “When is your next ball to be, Lizzy?” “To-morrow fortnight.” “Aye, so it is,” cried her mother, “and Mrs. Long does not come back till the day before; so it will be impossible for her to introduce him, for she will not know him herself.” “Then, my dear, you may have the advantage of your friend, and introduce Mr. Bingley to her.” “Impossible, Mr. Bennet, impossible, when I am not acquainted with him myself; how can you be so teasing?” “I honour your circumspection. A fortnight's acquaintance is certainly very little. One cannot know what a man really is by the end of a fortnight. But if we do not venture somebody else will; and after all, Mrs. Long and her nieces must stand their chance; and, therefore, as she will think it an act of kindness, if you decline the office, I will take it on myself.” The girls stared at their father. Mrs. Bennet said only, “Nonsense, nonsense!” “What can be the meaning of that emphatic exclamation?” cried he. “Do you consider the forms of introduction, and the stress that is laid on them, as nonsense? I cannot quite agree with you there. What say you, Mary? for you are a young lady of deep reflection, I know, and read great books and make extracts.” Mary wished to say something very sensible, but knew not how. “While Mary is adjusting her ideas,” he continued, “let us return to Mr. Bingley.” “I am sick of Mr. Bingley,” cried his wife. “I am sorry to hear that; but why did not you tell me so before? If I had known as much this morning I certainly would not have called on him. It is very unlucky; but as I have actually paid the visit, we cannot escape the acquaintance now.” The astonishment of the ladies was just what he wished; that of Mrs. Bennet perhaps sur. passing the rest; though, when the first tumult of joy was over, she began to declare that it was what she had expected all the while. “How good it was in you, my dear Mr. Bennet! But I knew I should persuade you at last. I was sure you loved your girls too well to neglect such an acquaintance. Well, how pleased I am I and it is such a good joke, too, that you should have gone this morning and never said a word about it till now.” “Now, Kitty, you may cough as much as you choose,” said Mr. Bennet; and, as he spoke, he left the room, fatigued with the raptures of his wife. “What an excellent father you have, girls!” said she, when the door was shut. “I do not know how you will ever make him amends for his kindness; or me either, for that matter. At our time of life it is not so pleasant, I can tell you, to be making new acquaintance every day; but for your sakes, we would do anything. Lydia, my love, though you are the youngest, I dare say Mr. Bingley will dance with you at the next ball.” “Oh!” said Lydia stoutly, “I am not afraid; for though I am the youngest, I’m the tallest.” The rest of the evening was spent in conjecturing how soon he would return Mr.” Bennet's visit, and determining when they should ask him to dinner.
Not all that Mrs. Bennet, however, with the assistance of her five daughters, could ask on the subject, was sufficient to draw from her husband any satisfactory description of Mr. Bingley. They attacked him in various ways – with barefaced questions, ingenious suppositions, and distant-surmises; but he eluded the skill of them all, and they were at last obliged to accept the second-hand intelligence of their neighbour, Lady Lucas. Her report was highly favourable. Sir William had been delighted with him. He was quite young, wonderfully handsome, extremely agreeable, and, to crown the whole, he meant to be at the next assembly with a large party. Nothing could be more delightful! To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love; and very lively hopes of Mr. Bingley's heart were entertained.
“If I can but see one of my daughters happily settled at Netherfield,” said Mrs. Bennet to her husband, “and all the others equally well married, I shall have nothing to wish for.”
In a few days Mr. Bingley returned Mr. Bennet's visit, and sat about ten minutes with
him in his library. He had entertained hopes of being admitted to a sight of the young ladies, of whose beauty he had heard much; but he saw only the father. The ladies were somewhat more fortunate, for they had the advantage of ascertaining from an upper window that he wore a blue coat, and rode a black horse. An invitation to dinner was soon afterwards despatched; and already had Mrs. Bennet planned the courses that were to do credit to her housekeeping, when an answer arrived which deferred it all. Mr. Bingley was obliged to be in town the following day, and, consequently, unable to accept the honour of their invitation, etc. Mrs. Bennet was quite disconcerted. She could not imagine what business he could have in town so soon after his arrival in Hertfordshire; and she began to fear that he might be always flying about from one place to another, and never settled at Netherfield as he ought to be. Lady Lucas quieted her fears a little by starting the idea of his being gone to London only to get a large party for the ball; and a report soon followed, that Mr. Bingley was to bring twelve ladies and seven gentlemen with him to the assembly. The girls grieved over such a number of ladies, but were comforted the day before the ball by hearing, that instead of twelve he had brought only six from London, — his five sisters and a cousin. And when the party entered the assembly room it consisted only of five all together, — Mr. Bingley, his two sisters, the husband of the eldest, and another young man. Mr. Bingley was good-looking and gentlemanlike; he had a pleasant countenance, and easy, unaffected manners. His sisters were fine women, with an air of decided fashion. His brother-in-law, Mr. Hurst, merely looked the gentleman; but his friend Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien, and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten, thousand a year. The gentlemen pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagree.