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LIFE OF NELSON.
CHAPTER I. FROM HIS BIRTH, 1758, TO THE YEAR 1783. JUVENILE YEARS or Nelson — HE ENTERS INTO The Naval
SERVICE - VOYAGE TO THE WEST INDIES - His SKILL IN PILOTAGE – ACCOMPANIES CAPTAIN LUTWIDGE IN THE VOYAGE OP DISCOVERY TOWARDS The North Pole — Goes TO The East Indies APPOINTED ACTING LIEUTENANT OF THE WORCESTER- - RECEIVES HIS COMMISSION AS LieuteNANT OF THE LOWESTOPPE - PROCEEDS TO JAMAICA — REMOVED TO THE BRISTOL-APPOINTED TO THE BADGER BRIG -OBTAINS POST RANK — - AssisTS AT THE REDUCTION OF FORT JUAN - RETURNS TO ENGLAND ON ACCOUNT OF ILL HEALTH – SAILS WITH A CONVOY TO NEWFOUNDLAND PROCEEDS TO THE WEST INDIES — RETURNS TO EUROPE ON THE CONCLUSION OF Peace.
HORATIO was the fourth son of the Reverend Edmond Nelson, rector of Burnham Thorpe, in the county of Norfolk, by Catherine, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Suckling,.prebendary of Westminster. His father's family had been long resident at Hilborough, in the same county, of which living the Nelsons have for a considerable period been the patrons.
His mother was the granddaughter of Sir Charles Turner, of Warham, who married the sister of Sir Robert Walpole, and was thus related to the noble families of Walpole, Cholmondeley, and Townshend. Her ancestors had been seated at Woodton, in Norfolk, nearly three centuries.
Anecdotes of his childhood. The parsonage-house of the rectory of Burnham is rendered illustrious as the birthplace of Horatio Nelson. He there came into the world on the 29th of September, 1758, and was named after the first Lord Walpole, brother of the celebrated Sir Robert Walpole. The first rudiments of education were instilled into his aspiring mind at the High School of Norwich, whence he was afterwards removed to North Walsham. At this early period of life he imbibed from his father and his preceptors such principles of religion, honour, and morality, as were indelibly impressed on his mind, and laid the foundation of that spirit of unaffected piety which so eminently distinguished him in all the perilous and trying situations to which he was afterwards subjected.
In the tender years of infancy, he doubtless exhibited to the eye of his observant parents many traits indicative of the daring hardihood which formed such a conspicuous feature of his character. Of these few are on record : the following anecdotes have, however, been preserved.
Being on a visit, when five or six years old, at his grandmother's at Hilborough, he one day went out bird's-nesting, with a companion of about his own age. The hour of dinner arrived, but Horatio never made his appearance. The old lady became alarmed, and despatched messengers different ways, on horseback and on foot, in quest of him. The young rambler, whose companion had left him, was at length discovered sitting composedly on the bank of a brook, which he could not get over. His grandmother began to scold him for being absent without permission, and concluded her lecture with saying: “I
wonder, child, that fear did not drive you
Grandmother, replied Horatio, innocently, “I never saw Fear."
In his schoolmaster's garden there was a pear tree that produced very fine fruit, which was in the highest
Anecdotes of his childhood.
degree tempting to the boys, and which they considered as their lawful booty : but the difficulty was how to get at them. The boldest were afraid to make the attempt. Young Nelson offered to undertake the hazardous enterprize: his companions lowered him down by means of sheets from the window of their bedroom, and, after he had stripped the tree, drew him up with the pears, which he divided among his schoolfellows, without reserving one for himself. “I only took them,” he said, “because all the other boys were afraid.”
He once set out on horseback, after the Christmas helydays, with his brother William, who was a year and a half older than himself, to return to school. William, who did not much like leaving home, prevailed on him to turn back, because there had been a fall of snow, and he told his father that it was too deep for them to venture through it. “ If that is the case,” said the father, “I shall not insist on your going; but make another trial, and I will leave it to your honour. If the road is dangerous, come back : but, remember, boys, I leave it to your honour.” The snow was deep enough to have afforded an excuse, but Horatio was not to be persuaded to turn back a second time." We must go on,” said he ; ber, brother, it was left to our honour.”
There can be no doubt that at an early age he exhibited many proofs of invincible spirit as well as of a mild and amiable disposition, which rendered him a great favourite with his mother, who was herself a woman of great firmness and fortitude, united with great meekness and piety. In one of the customary quarrels of brothers, in which William was his antagonist, when some friends, who happened to be present, alarmed at the noise, begged her to interfere in favour of the younger, she replied, with the utmost composure and visible satisfaction pervading