Front Matter Early Times The Druids The Britons Caesar in Britain Queen Boadicea The Great Walls The Great Irish Saint The Anglo-Saxons Brave King Arthur The Laws of the Saxons The Story of St Augustine Three Great Men The Danish Pirates King Alfred and the Cakes Alfred conquers the Danes A King's Narrow Escape The King and the Outlaw The Monasteries An Unlucky Couple St Dunstan King Canute and the Waves A Saxon Nobleman Lady Godiva's Ride The Battle of Hastings The Conquest Lords and Vassals Death of William The Brothers' Quarrels Arms and Armour The "White Ship" Matilda's Narrow Escapes Story of Fair Rosamond Thomas a Becket Murder of Thomas a Becket Richard's Adventures Richard and the Saracens The Faithful Minstrel Death of Richard The Murder of Arthur The Great Charter The Rule of Henry III A Race Persecution of the Jews The Conquest of Wales A Quarrel with France The Coronation Stone The Insolent Favourite Bruce and the Spider Death of Edward II The Murderers punished The Battle of Crecy The Siege of Calais The Age of Chivalry The Battle of Poitiers The Peasants' Revolt Richard's Presence of Mind A Tiny Queen Henry's Troubles Madcap Harry A Glorious Reign The Maid of Orleans The War of the Roses The Queen and the Brigand The Triumph of the Yorks The Princes in the Tower Richard's Punishment Two Pretenders A Grasping King Field of the Cloth of Gold The New Opinions Death of Wolsey Henry's Wives The King and the Painter A Boy King Lady Jane Grey The Death of Cranmer A Clever Queen Elizabeth's Lovers Mary, Queen of Scots Captivity of Mary Stuart Wreck of the Spanish Armada The Elizabethan Age Death of Elizabeth A Scotch King The Gunpowder Plot Sir Walter Raleigh King and Parliament Cavaliers and Roundheads "Remember" The Royal Oak The Commonwealth The Restoration Plague and Fire The Merry Monarch James driven out of England A Terrible Massacre William's Wars The Duke of Marlborough The Taking of Gibraltar The South Sea Bubble Bonny Prince Charlie Black Hole of Calcutta Loss of the Colonies The Battle of the Nile Nelson's Last Signal The Battle of Waterloo First Gentleman of Europe Childhood of Queen Victoria The Queen's Marriage Wars in Victoria's Reign The Jubilee

Story of the English - Helene Guerber

The Battle of the Nile

The French, who had helped the Americans fight, and who had been the first to recognize the independence of the United States, had in the meantime grown very much dissatisfied with the state of affairs in their own country. Their king, Louis XIV., had laid heavy taxes upon them to supply money for his wars and for his pleasures. His successor, Louis XV., did not care how much the people suffered, as long as he was comfortable, and carelessly said that after him the deluge might come.

This selfish, hard-hearted king was followed by Louis XVI., a blameless and gentle monarch, who had to suffer for the sins of those who came before him. Seeing that his people were about to rebel, he made arrangements to have the foreign powers help him. The French found this out, and were so exasperated over it that they killed the king's guard, bore the royal family off to prison, beheaded Louis XVI. and his beautiful wife, and, in imitation of the Americans, set up a republic.

But there were cruel and selfish men at the head of the French republic. They pretended that all the nobles were dangerous, and while they were in power they imprisoned and beheaded all those that they could seize. This awful time is known as the Reign of Terror, and Great Britain was first to express indignation at this behaviour and to refuse to recognize so barbarous a government (1793).

With the help of other European nations war was therefore begun against France. The French fleet was defeated by Lord Howe, but the French army soon conquered Holland, which became a republic. France now wanted to do the same with Ireland; but the British put an end to this plan by the naval victories of St. Vincent and Camperdown. To prevent Ireland from again joining the French, it was united to Great Britain, and since 1801 there have been English, Scotch, and Irish members in both Houses of Parliament. Then, too, George III. gave up the empty title of King of France, which had been claimed by English kings ever since the time of Edward III.

When the war began, France was alone against all Europe; but she won many allies, owing to the bravery of her troops and to the military genius of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Dutch helped the French at Camperdown, and the Spaniards lent their aid at St. Vincent.

Glorious First of June


Napoleon, who had recovered Toulon from the English and had become a general in the army, meanwhile carried the war into Italy. Here he won many victories over the Austrians, forcing them to give up the country to him and sign a treaty at Campo Formio.

A great thinker once said that he who was master of Egypt would be master of the whole East, Napoleon, hating the English, determined to destroy their power in India, and set out for the Nile with an army. The battle of the Pyramids made him master of all Egypt, but his plans were spoiled by the bravery of Admiral Nelson. This great English hero came up with a smaller number of ships, and completely destroyed the French fleet (1798).

It was in this naval encounter, the battle of Aboukir, or of the Nile, that the little son of a French officer named Casabianca died an heroic death. His father had told him to stay at his post until called away, so the brave little fellow staid there, amid shot and shell, until the ship was all wreathed in flames. Casabianca had been killed in another part of the ship, but the boy, true to his promise, stood on the deck until the powder magazine exploded and the vessel sank. His courage and obedience were so beautiful that Mrs. Hemans wrote a poem about him, which you will like to read.

After the battle of the Nile, Napoleon vainly tried to take Acre in Syria, but could not do so without a fleet. His had been destroyed by Nelson; so, seeing that he would not be able to carry out his plan of fighting the English in India, he now suddenly decided to go back to France. Passing boldly through the British fleet, he escaped capture by miracle, as it were, and, arriving in Paris, began to rule France, under the title of First Consul.