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parts of the world; but one engagement, fought the 1st June 1794, under Lord Howe, was so decisive, that it was called "the glorious 1st of June." A naval expedition against Ireland was, at the close of 1796, completely scattered.
Shortly after this event, no less alarm than sorrow was experienced by the nation, when it was heard that mutiny had broken out amongst those gallant tars whom England so loves. It became known that a plan had been formed, and was to be carried into execution 16th April 1797, by which the seamen were to take the command of the ships from their officers. It appeared plainly, however, that the grievances of which the sailors complained-bad food, small pay, and harsh usage-were so well founded, that redress was promised. Differences were supposed to have been settled, when, on the 7th May, another mutiny broke out at Sheerness, followed by one of the most formidable character at the Nore, which blocked up the trade of the Thames. This was unlike the first, because it wore a political aspect, and was directed by one Richard Parker, a man whose head was filled with revolutionary ideas. By degrees, however, the sailors, satisfied with their improved condition, returned to their duty. Parker was seized and given up, and, with his execution, order was restored.
The year of the mutiny was distinguished by fresh glories at sea. On the 14th February, Sir John Lewis, with fifteen sail of the line, encountered the Spanish fleet, twenty-seven sail of the line, off Cape St. Vincent. It was Nelson who performed the most brilliant part of the action. Perceiving, from his position in the rear of the British line, that the manoeuvres of the Spaniards indicated intentions of escaping, he, on his own responsibility, adopted a course contrary to the orders of his superiors, which brought him into action with seven of the largest ships. Trowbridge joined, and for nearly an hour both sustained this unequal contest. Nelson succeeded in boarding the French admiral's ship, and there received the swords of the officers. After the battle, Sir John Lewis took Nelson in his arms, and told him he could
REBELLION IN IRELAND.
not sufficiently thank him. Sir John, for this victory, was made an Earl. The Dutch fleet was, on the 11th October, defeated off Camperdown by Admiral Duncan.
A rebellion in Ireland, which had long been brewing, broke out in 1798. The example of the successful American revolt had first excited a large party to attempt a blow for the independence of Ireland, and then the French Revolution followed to add fuel to the revolutionary passions. But the animosities between Roman Catholics and Protestants interfering to prevent combination, the latter withdrew, and the rebellion sank into a religious question. The rebels, nearly all Roman Catholics, were put down at some cost of bloodshed. When all was over, a French force of 900 landed at Killala, which, on the 8th September, became prisoners of war to Lord Cornwallis. This rebellion induced Pitt to carry into effect a Parliamentary union between the two countries, which was effected in 1800.
Napoleon Buonaparte, one of the French Republican generals, who had displayed great military genius, having, in the most surprising manner, overthrown the Austrians in Italy, resolved next to assail British power in India, and to begin with the conquest of Egypt. He landed 30,000 troops in Alexandria, and his fleet lay in the bay of Aboukir, when, on the 21st August 1798, Nelson came in sight. Nelson had already lost an eye and an arm in the service of his country. His constitution had, besides, suffered from alter nate exposure to the relaxing heat of the tropics and the severity of the Polar regions; but hardships and sufferings only served to stimulate the ardour of his mind. For many days he had hardly eaten or slept, being altogether absorbed in his search for the French fleet which now lay before him. As soon as he descried it, he ordered dinner, and said to his officers, "Before this time to-morrow, I shall have gained a peerage or Westminster Abbey." The French fleet, thirteen ships of the line, and four frigates, were anchored so as to form a curve which, it was believed, could not be turned. Nelson resolved, however, to get between it and the shore, a manœuvre which was thought impossible; but he reasoned rightly.
His own ships were about equal in number to those of the enemy, but inferior in weight of metal. The action began at twenty minutes past six with a cannonade from the batteries on shore. By seven o'clock, eight of the British ships were anchored and in close action. Within a quarter of an hour two ships of the French line had been dismasted. A third, fourth, and fifth were taken possession of at half-past eight. Meantime, Nelson received a severe wound in the head, which he thought mortal. A large flap of the skin of the forehead had fallen over one eye, and the other being blind, he was in total darkness. When carried down, he would not allow his wound to be examined till every man who had been previously wounded was attended to. When assured that his wound was not mortal, he took a pen and wrote a few words expressive of thanks to God. He was left alone, when suddenly a cry was heard that the Orient, the French Admiral's ship, was on fire, when he made his way up on deck, and gave orders that boats should be sent to the relief of the enemy. By the prodigious light of the conflagration, the two fleets could be distinctly perceived. At eleven o'clock the Orient blew up, and the officers and crew seen clinging to spars and pieces of wreck, were saved by British sailors amidst the fury of the action. Only four vessels escaped, and the victory was so complete, that Nelson called it a conquest. Thanksgiving to God was offered up in every ship. Out of the mast of the Orient a coffin was made for the hero, which he preserved with great care and satisfaction. This victory caused universal transports of joy, and decided the oppressed nations of the Continent to combine for their preservation from the French Republic.
While Nelson was in the zenith of his fame, the star of Wellington was rising in the East. Tippoo Saib hearing of Buonaparte's landing in Egypt, thought his time was come for renewing attempts to expel the English from Hindustan. On the 29th March 1799, he fought a battle for the protection of his capital, Seringapatam, in which he was overthrown by the English under General Harris. It was the 33d regiment, under the command of Colonel Wellesley (afterwards the Duke of Wellington), which
BATTLE OF COPENHAGEN.
decided the battle. Seringapatam fell on the 4th May, and Tippoo was found amongst the slain.
Previous to these events, some important changes had been made under Pitt's ministry, with respect to the government of British possessions in the East, which require to be noticed. The Directors no longer exercised uncontrolled power, but were obliged to submit to the supervision of a Committee of Privy Councillors, called, from the nature of their duties, the Board of Control, which was constituted by Act of Parliament 1784. The Court of Directors still appointed the Governor-general and subordinate Governors, and retained power to declare war; while the Board of Control, acting through its president, had, in addition to its other duties, to see that the expenses of the troops sent to India by the Crown for the support of the Company's rule, were paid out of the Company's revenues.*
We must now follow Nelson to a new scene of glory, although not without some feelings of regret, because our antagonists in this instance were made so rather by force of circumstances than from feelings of hostility. The courts of Denmark and Sweden had, at the instigation of Paul, the mad Emperor of Russia, and of France, formed a confederacy against English naval rights, and the weakness of these courts made it certain that their fleets would soon be at the disposal of our mortal enemy. A fleet was accordingly sent into the Baltic under Sir Hyde Parker, with Nelson second in command, who, the British nation rightly thought, ought to have held the chief post. On the 30th March 1801, the fleet prepared to force the passage of the Sound, and at midday anchored between the island of Huen and Copenhagen. A formidable line of ships, radcans, pontoons, galleys, fire-ships, and gun-boats, four miles in extent, and flanked by batteries, formed the defence of a channel, by nature intricate and difficult of approach. Sir Hyde intrusted the attack to Nelson. It began 2d April. Owing to ships grounding, Nelson was deprived of a fourth of his attacking force, and his situation was deemed so * A lunatic named Hadfield fired a pistol at the king without effect (15th May 1800).
critical, that Sir Hyde gave the signal of recal out of consideration for his subordinate. Nelson was told of what his chief had done, but putting his glass to his blind eye, declared he could not see a signal, and then cried out, "Keep mine, for closer battle, flying; that's the way I answer such signals." The Danes fought most nobly, but without success. When their ships had struck, Nelson prepared to send a message calculated to prevent further useless effusion of blood. A wafer was given to him with which to close his letter, but he ordered a candle and sealing-wax, saying, "This is no time at which to appear hurried and informal.” Negotiations followed. In the course of these Nelson visited the Crown Prince, whom he assured that of the 105 engagements in which he had been, that just concluded was the most tremendous of all. For this battle Nelson was raised to the rank of Viscount, and appointed Commander-in-chief.
Further operations in the Baltic against Russia were prevented by the death of Paul, an event which changed the policy of the Russian government. Nelson's next operation was upon a flotilla of gun-boats, assembled in the harbour of Boulogne, for the invasion of England, which was attended with little advantage beyond proving to his satisfaction the utter futility of the project. But we must return to Egypt, where, although the fleet was destroyed, the French army of invasion still remained.
Buonaparte, after losing his fleet, quitted Egypt. On his arrival in Paris, he, having the soldiers in the capital at his command, upset the Directory, and had himself proclaimed First Consul. His troops, left behind, had contrived to maintain themselves against the hostility of the natives, until a British army under Sir Ralph Abercromby (2d March 1801), appeared in Aboukir Bay, where the battle of the Nile had been fought. On the 8th the British soldiers were landed in boats in defiance of cannon balls and musketry. Although the force did not exceed 12,000, and the French were 30,000 strong, yet the former gained three successive victories. The last was a decisive one, but clouded by the fall of the heroic Abercromby. Lord Hutchinson suc