The Battle of the Nile

HEN came the battle at the Nile, for which my friends are always desirous to have an antic-dote.

It was shouting, everyone was shouting. Smoke and fire and blood, so much blood. My shoes were filled with the sand that the mates poured on the cockpit floor. The cockpit is a space permanently partitioned off near a hatchway down which the wounded could be carried for treatment.

I remember Cuddy staggered down into the cockpit when the noise above decks had ceased. He was covered from waist to foot in blood, his buff coloured breeches completely red.

"You are undone!" says I.

Cuddy was not his jovial self that day, instead soberly says, "Tis not MY blood I wear Doctor."

The Zealous was fortunate in that she and her crew did not receive the number of casualties of the other ships of the British force.

It is a gruesome tale and not one I wish to recall.

Detail from The Destruction of 'L'Orient' at the Battle of the Nile
George Arnald, 1827, National Maritime Museum

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