Monday, August 2, 2010

Battle of the Nile

The Battle of the Nile took place on August 2, 1798.  In this battle, Napoleon's navy under Vice Admiral Francois-Paul Brueys D'Aigalliers was defeated by the British Royal Navy under Admiral Horatio Nelson.  The British navy gained the upper hand in the Napoleonic Wars with this victory.

Walter Scott references this battle in the line 'On Egypt...' in his poem Marmion.

'Nor mourn ye less his perished worth,
Who bade the conqueror go forth,
And launch'd that thunderbolt of war
On Egypt, Hafnia, Trafalgar;
Who, born to guide such high emprize,
For Britain's weal was early wise;
Alas! to whom the Almighty gave,
For Britain's sins, an early grave!
His worth, who, in his mightiest hour,
A bauble held the pride of power,
Spum'd at the sordid lust of pelf,
And served his Albion for herself;
Who, when the frantic crowd amain
Strain'd at subjection's bursting rein,
O'er their wild mood full conquest gain'd,
The pride, he would not crush, restrain'd,
Show'd their fierce zeal a worthier cause,
And brought the freeman's arm, to aid the freeman's laws...'

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