LESSON 12 Nelson and Hardy
The life of Nelson(1) abounds with illustrations of naval daring, but most of these are well known. One, however, narrated by Colonel Drinkwater Bethune, the historian of "The Siege of Gibraltar," and an eye-witness of what follows, is as well Worthy of general fame as some of Nelson's more splendid achievements. It is the more interesting as, on this occasion, that personal affection for his more immediate followers, which in every case secured their devoted attachment to himself, was the cause of a display of unwonted gallantry.
Commodore(2) Nelson, whose broad pendant at that time was hoisted in the Minerve, Captain Cockburn, got under weigh from Gibraltar on the 11th of February 1797, in order to join Sir John Jervis's fleet. The frigate(3) had scarcely cast round from her anchorage, when two of the three Spanish line-of-battle ships in the upper part of Gibraltar Bay were observed also to be in motion. The headmost of the Spanish ships gaining on the frigate, the latter prepared for action, and the Minerve's situation every instant becoming more hazardous, Colonel Drinkwater asked Nelson his opinion as to the probability of an engagement. The hero said he thought it was very possible, as the headmost ship appeared to be a good sailer; "but," continued he, looking up at the broad pendant,(4) "before the Dons(5) get hold of that bit of bunting I will have a struggle with them; and sooner than give up the frigate, I will run her ashore."
Captain Cockburn, who had been taking a view of the chasing enemy, now joined the commodore, and observed that there was no doubt of the headmost ship gaining on the frigate. At this moment dinner was announced; but before Nelson and his guests left the deck, orders were given to set the studding-sails.(6) Seated at dinner, Colonel Drinkwater was congratulating Lieutenant Hardy,(7) who had lately been exchanged, on his being no longer a prisoner of war, when the sudden cry of "a man overboard" threw the dinner-party into disorder. There is, perhaps, no passage in naval history of deeper interest than the following account of what then occurred:—"The officers of the ship ran on deck; I, with others, ran to the stern windows to see if anything could be observed of the unfortunate man. We had scarcely reached them before we noticed the lowering of the jolly-boat,(8) in which was my late neighbour, Hardy, with a party of sailors; and before many seconds had elapsed, the current of the Strait (which runs strongly to the eastward) had carried the jolly-boat far astern of the frigate, towards the Spanish ships. Of course the first object was to recover, if possible, the fallen man; but he was never seen again. Hardy soon made a signal to that effect, and the man was given up as lost.wow
上校Cockburn，观望着追逐着的敌人，现在加入了海军准将，观察到，毫无疑问的领头的船舰吸引着护卫舰，在这时，晚餐宣布开始了，但是在纳尔逊和他的客人离开甲板之前，命令升起翼帆，在晚餐中就座，上校祝贺着 Lieutenant Hardy，这个不久前被用来交换的人，祝贺他不再是一个战争中的囚犯，突然的哭喊声传来，”有人落水了“将晚宴陷入了一片混乱。或许，海军历史上没有比接下来发生的事更让人感兴趣的了：船上的工作人员跑到甲板上；我，和其他人，跑到船尾的窗户边去看是否有任何事情可以观察得到，关于这个落水的倒霉蛋。我们刚刚到达那里，在我们注意到那个跌落的快艇前，那里是我最近的邻居，哈代，和一群的海员；而且在此之前许多时间过去了，这个海峡的水流趋势（是在汹涌的往东方方向的）带着那快艇大大的向着护卫舰的船尾远离着，向着西班牙船的方向，当然第一件要做的事情就是找回那个落水的人，如果可能的话，但是再也没有看见他。哈代很快使一个信号给其他的人,放弃失去的人。
"The attention of every person was now turned to the safety of Hardy and his boat's crew. Their situation was extremely perilous, and their danger was every instant increasing from the fast sailing of the headmost ship of the chase—the Terrible,—which by this time had approached nearly within gunshot of the Minerve. The jolly-boat's crew pulled 'might and main' to regain the frigate, but apparently made little progress against the current of the Strait. At this crisis, Nelson, casting an anxious look at the hazardous situation of Hardy and his companions, exclaimed, 'No, it shall not be; I shall not lose Hardy: back the mizzen-topsail!'(9)
"No sooner said than done. The Minerve's progress was retarded, having the current to carry her down towards Hardy and his party, who, seeing this spirited man. uvre to save them from returning to their old quarters on board the Terrible, naturally redoubled their exertions to rejoin the frigate. To the landsmen on board the Minerve an action now appeared to be inevitable; and so, it would seem, thought the enemy, who, surprised and confounded by this daring man.uvre of the Commodore's (being ignorant of the accident that led to it), must have construed it into a direct challenge.
"Not conceiving, however, a Spanish ship of the line to be an equal match for a British frigate with Nelson on board of her, the captain of the Terrible suddenly shortened sail in order to allow his consort to join him, and thus afforded time for the Minerve to drop down to the jolly-boat to pick up Hardy and the crew; and the moment they were on board the frigate, orders were given again to make sail. Being now under studding-sails, and the widening of the Strait allowing the wind to be brought more on the Minerve's quarter, the frigate soon regained the lost distance, and in a short time we had the satisfaction to observe that the dastardly Don was left far in our wake;(10) and at sunset, by steering to the southward, we lost sight of him and his consort altogether; and Commodore Nelson thus escaped, to share in the Battle of St. Vincent,(11) and win fresh laurels from the Spaniard."