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the Great Sailor

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French. The ruler of France was then the Emperor Napoleon. He wished to make himself ruler of the whole world. With his armies Napoleon made himself ruler over many lands, but he never ruled Britian. Why was this? Britian was an island, and the ships of the British navy would not let Napoleon and his In 1805 a great war was fought between the British and the armies cross the sea. The greatest of all the British sailors at this time was Horatio Nelson.

Nelson fought many times against the French ships. He was very brave, and when the ship was in battle, he was always to be seen on desk, cheering on his man. In one battle he was blinded in his right eye; in another he lost his right arm; but he didn`t think of giving up.

Nelson was kind and just, as well as brave. Once, when he saw that a young boy who had jast joined the ship was afraid to climb up the tall masts, he cried out; « Сome along, I`ll race you to the top!» In the race to be the first the boy forgot his fear.

“There, now,” said Nelson when the two were at the top, “that`s nothing! You must learn to climb masts much higher than this!”

“Our Nel,” the man used to say, “is as brave as lion, and as gentle as a lamb.”

Nelson`s great fight with the French was the battle of Trafalgar, which was fought near Cape Trafalgar on the coast of Spain. Just as the battle was about to begin, the signal flags were seen flying on the masts of Nelson`s ship, the Victory. This was the signal which the British sailors read: England Expects That Every Man This Day Will Do His Duty.

As the British ships bore down on the French line, the sailors remembered Nelson`s message, and made up their minds to fight their hardest for their brave leader.

Soon the battle was raging. The guns roared, ships crashed together and masts struck by gunfire fell with a thud to the decks. Through the noise and the smoke the captains and officers shouted their commands, the sailors toiled at the guns and the ships` boys ran to and fro with powder and shot.

Nelson, on the Victory, was on deck as usual. His men could pick him out, even through the smoke, by the four stars which shone upon his blue and white coat. These four stars were the cause of his death. A man on one of the enemy ships saw them and fired. Nelson was struck on the shoulder and was carried below to die.

Already the British were winning the fight. Nelson heard cheer after cheer from his men, as one enemy ship after another was captured. Before long one of his officers brought word that the battle was won.

Two hours later the gallant sailor died. With his last breath he said: “Thank God, I have done my duty!’

Admiral Horatio Nelson won several brilliant victories over the French Navy near the coast of Egypt, at Copenhagen, and finally near Spain, at Trafalgar, in 1805, where he destroyed the French-Spanish fleet . Nelson was himself killed, but became one of Britain`s greatest national heroes. His words before the battle of Trafalgar, “England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty”, have remained a reminder of patriotic duty in time of national danger.

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