|Directions: Your teacher may ask
you to write your own version of this story, in class, in as much detail
as you can, without looking at the text. You should therefore read the
story more than once. You can make a list of the names of people and places.
You can use that list when you write your version of the story.
The Battle of the Nile was a great battle fought at sea between the British
and French in the year 1798. The famous admiral, Lord Nelson, was in command
of the British fleet, and he won a most glorious victory in which only
four French ships escaped.
Towards the close of the battle
the French Admiral’s flagship, L’Orient, caught fire, and blazed
up with terrible brightness. Lord Nelson immediately gave orders that the
British boats should be put off to save as many as possible of the poor
sailors on the burning vessel.
When the boats reached her side,
most of the French officers accepted the offer of safety and sprang into
them. Standing upon L’Orient’s deck was the little ten-year-old
son of the Captain, named Casabianca, who was the favourite of everyone
on board, and as he made no attempt to move, the British sailors shouted
to him to come with them.
“No,” replied the boy; “my father
told me to remain here, and not to stir unless he called me.”
“But,” cried the sailors in
amazement, “your father lies mortally wounded on deck, and the ship will
soon blow up. Jump into the boat and save yourself.”
“No,” again responded the little
fellow; “I must obey my father’s orders.”
As there was no time to linger,
the boat put off from the ship’s side. A few minutes later the figure of
Casabianca was seen in the glare of the flames, leaning over the prostrate
figure of his father.
Soon after, a terrible explosion shook every ship in the bay, while burning
fragments of L’Orient were hurled in the air, falling heavily to the water
in all directions. A dead silence followed this fearful sound, and then
the British boats rowed busily about, picking up those who had leapt from
the burning vessel in time to save their lives. In this way about seventy
were saved. But where was the brave boy, Casabianca? Not a sign of him
was to be seen. The noble lad had perished with his father, faithful until