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SCENE iv PART FIRST
If such he had, be tided through their loss, And soothed amid the sorrow brought by me.
Who's that? Ah—here you come! How, Hardy, now?
The Spanish Admiral's rumoured to be wounded, We know not with what truth. But, be as 'twill, He sheers away with all he could call round, And some few frigates, straight to Cadiz port
A violent explosion is heard above the confused noises on deck A midshipman goes above and returns.
MIDSHIPMAN (in the background)
It is the enemy's first-rate, the " Achilla," Blown to a thousand atoms!—While on fire, Before she burst, the captain's woman there, Desperate for life, climbed from the gunroom port Upon the rudder-chains ; stripped herself stark, And swam for the Pickle's boat. Our men in charge, Seeing her great breasts bulging on the brine, Sang out, " A mermaid 'tis, by God !"—then rowed And hauled her in.—
Such unbid sights obtrude On death's dyed stage!
Meantime the " Achille" fought on, Even while the ship was blazing, knowing well The fire must reach their powder; which it did. The spot is covered now with floating men, Some whole, the main in parts; arms, legs, trunks,
Bobbing with tons of timber on the waves, And splinters looped with entrails of the crew.