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said he, pouting a lip, as he was wont to do when agitated, “I wished to kill the bear, that I might carry the skin to my father.”
By prudent management the ships were extricated from the ice, and on their return to England the crews were dispersed. His uncle then placed him with Captain Farmer, in the Seahorse, of twenty guns, then going out to the East Indies in the squadron under Sir Edward Hughes. His good conduct crew the attention of the master of the ship, upon whose advice the captain made him a midshipman.
When he had been about eighteen months in India he fell into a dangerous illness, which threatened to prove fatal in its termination. The disease baffled all the power of medicine; he was reduced almost to a skeleton; the use of his limbs was for some time entirely lost; and the only hope that remained was a voyage home. Accordingly, he was brought home by Captain Pigot in the Dolphin; and had it not been for the attentive and careful kindness of that officer on the way, Nelson would never have lived to reach his native shores. Long afterwards, when the name of Nelson was as well known as that of England itself, he spoke of the feelings which he at this time endured. “I felt impressed,” said he, “with a feeling that I should never rise in my profession. My mind was staggered with a view of the difficulties I had to surmount, and the little interest with the Admiralty I possessed. I could discover no means of reaching the object of my ambition. After a long and gloomy reverie, in which I almost wished myself overboard, a sudden glow of patriotism was kindled within me, and presented my king and my country as my patron. Well then, I exclaimed, I will be a hero! and, confiding in Providence, I will brave every danger!”
His interest, however, was far better than he had imagined. During his absence, his uncle, Captain Suckling, had been made Comptroller of the Navy. His health had greatly improved upon the voyage ; and as soon as the Dolphin was paid off, he was appointed acting lieutenant on a ship going to Gibraltar. Soon after his return, on the 8th of April, 1777, he passed his examination for a lieutenancy. His uncle, Captain Suckling, sat at the head of the board ; and when the examination had ended in a manner highly honourable to Nelson, rose from his seat and
introduced him to the examining captains as his nephew. They expressed their wonder that he had not informed them of this relationship before. He replied that he did not wish the youngster to be favoured; he knew his nephew would pass a good examination, and he had not been deceived. The next day he received his commission as second lieutenant on board a frigate then fitting out for Jamaica, of which Captain Locker was the commander.
Soon after this he lost his uncle, Captain Suckling. Captain Locker, however, who had perceived the excellent qualities of Nelson, and formed a friendship with him which continued during his life, recommended him warmly to Sir Peter Parker, then commander-in-chief upon that station.
His promotion from that time became rapid ; but he had many dangers to encounter in the war against the Spaniards. In April, 1780, he attacked one of the islands which the Spaniards had fortified. Nelson, at the head of a few of his
leaped upon the beach. The ground upon which he sprang was so muddy that he had some difficulty in getting out of it, and in doing so lost his shoes. Barefooted, however, he advanced, and, in his own phrase, “boarded the Spanish battery.” The castle of St. Juan was situated about sixteen miles higher up, and the men had to march through woods almost impassable. One of the men was bitten under the eye by a snake, which darted upon him from the bough of a tree. He was unable to proceed from the violence of the pain; and when, after a short while, some of his comrades were sent back to assist him, he was dead, and the body already putrid.
Nelson himself narrowly escaped a similar fate. He had ordered his hammock to be strung under some trees, being very tired, and was fast asleep, when a monitory lizard passed over his face. The Indians happily observed the reptile, and, knowing that it indicated that a poisonous serpent was near, awoke him at once. He started up, and found one of the deadliest serpents of the country coiled up at his feet. Though he escaped this danger, he suffered from poison of another kind, for, drinking at a spring in which some boughs of a poisonous tree had been cast, the effects were so severe as, in the opinion of some of his friends, to inflict a lasting injury on his constitution.
Three kings, both great and high.
John Barleycorn should die.
Put clods upon his head,
John Barleycorn was dead.
And showers began to fall ;
And sore surprised them all.
And he grew thick and strong,
That no one should him wrong.
When he grew wan and pale ;
Showed he began to fail.
He faded into age ;
To show their deadly rage.
And cut him by the knee ;
Like a rogue for forgery.
And cudgell’d him full sore ;
And turned him o'er and o'er.
With water to the brim,
There let him sink or swim.
To work him further woe ;
They toss'd him to and fro.
They wasted o’er a scorching flame
The marrow of his bones
For he crush'd him between two stones.
And drunk it round and round ;
Their joy did more abound.
The Angel of the Iceberg.
BY THE REV. JOHN TODD.
IN TWO PARTS.
AR, far up toward the North Pole, in the gloom of the
knew that here they must die.
With tears rolling and freezing on his cheeks, he laid his own head down on the drifting snow and slept also ! The cold clouds hung far round the horizon, with here and there a bright star that looked down on the frozen men. The polar bear passed
near with his heavy tread, and the wild fox stole over the ice after him, but disturbed not the sleepers.
Just then, two spirits stood with folded wings looking at the icy men, and silent as they gazed. They had come from a fardistant world to catch the last prayer of the dying men, to close their eyes in death, and to see that their bodies were safely buried from the wild beasts. The prayer they had poured into the golden censer : their eyelids they had gently shut; and their bodies were then placed so far down under deep eternal graves that no created eye could ever see them till the morning of the resurrection. The keen-scented bear knew not when he passed over them.
“We have done our errand,” says one of the spirits to the other. “Shall we now leave this dreary spot and go
back?" “I suppose we must; but I have been thinking
Just then a noise was heard, so loud and so sudden that it startled the angels. It seemed as if a world had fallen into the
They peered through the gloom and saw the end of a mighty river of ice, which had been growling and pushing for years till it had now reached the ocean. Here it slowly slid into the water, till the huge mass broke off with a crash that made the earth quake and the ocean to foam and roar. lay rolling, rising, and falling in the water—a great iceberg, two miles long and a mile wide, and towering far up toward heaven. It had just been born.
“Ah! that's the way the icebergs are made. How grand it floats! And there are thousands and thousands of such stretching off far beyond where the eye can see.
But of what were you thinking ?”
“I was thinking that it is these awful icebergs that make these waters so certain to crush the ship, and these regions so sure to be the grave of all that come here. Who knows what a summer might be found here, and what fleets of ships might sail here, and what beauty might spread over all these shores, what birds with the plumage of Paradise might sing here, what cities might rise up and what nations might live here, were it not that these terrible icebergs destroy everything? I do believe that only one thing is wanting to make this a lovely spot—and that is to melt away these icebergs! And I do believe that I could con