Talk:Horatio Nelson

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"Kiss me, Hardy." NOT ""Kismet, Hardy."[edit]

Kiss me Hardy, Or Kismet? - Mintguy@Wikipedia

"Kiss me, Hardy." - these are sometimes reported as his last words, but this was not the case, and in contemporary accounts he is reported to have made several more comments afterwards, before dying a short time later. ~ Kalki 22:37, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I just reverted a great deal of speculative and incorrect commentary on these last words. That he said, and meant, "Kiss me, Hardy" in his last hours, after being mortally wounded is extensively documented in contemporary accounts, including that of people actually present. That they were not his actual last words is also extensively documented, though not as clearly in many popular accounts. "Kismet Hardy" is a phrase that seems to have become popularly substituted as if they "certainly" had been his "actual" words by some, but thus far I have absolutely no indication that this tale has anything but speculative origins to it, or that it even existed prior to the internet. I have not read the accounts in some time, but I believe that Hardy was reported to have kissed Nelson on the forehead in response, and all this occurred hours before he actually ceased to talk. ~ Kalki 20:08, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The "Kismet Hardy" theory most definitely predates the Internet. As a kid growing up on the South coast of England in the 1960's, just a few miles from Nelson's ship, The Victory (a popular school-trip destination, so I have visited the ship numerous times, and stood on the spot that these words--whatever they were--were spoken), I remember being told both the Kismet and the Kiss me theories. In fact I believe it's most likely that the guides on the ship--Royal Navy personnel, as the ship is still part of the Royal Navy--spoke of both phrases. --Wikidenver (talk) 16:25, 13 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually rereading my comment on the page, which was made fresh after reading several early accounts, he kissed his cheek and then his forehead, though at least one account mentioned only the kiss on the forehead. ~ Kalki 20:38, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I also have replaced this from the Famous last words page:
  • Kismet Hardy / Kiss me, Hardy
    • Who: British Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson. Nelson is rumoured to have said "Kismet Hardy" or "Kiss me, Hardy" whilst he was dying. Kismet means Fate. However, the OED gives the earliest use in the English language of "kismet" as 1849. Both versions are speculative and there's no record of anyone who was present at his death reporting either of them. These words were allegedly spoken to his Flag Captain, Thomas Masterman Hardy, who was alleged to have kissed his cheek and then his forehead.

And, because they are not entirely fiction, I also removed these from the Famous last words in fiction section of that article:

  • "Kiss me, Hardy!"

Kalki 21:33, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I think that the words could well have been "Kismet,Hardy". Soldiers and sailors serving in foreign countries often pick up phrases from those lands. Why should Nelson not have learnt the term Kismet (fate) during his time in Egypt? He certainly could have used the term amongst his officers like Captain Hardy. The fact that it was not in the OED only attests that it was not general currency,in Britain,in 1805. But,as said,Nelson had been in Egypt and being there was a war on it would be most likely he would have thought of fate and been told of kismet, its translation. How many would not wonder about fate in such life and death circumstances? Kismet means fate,fate means kismet! At Trafalgar Nelson was near death, in saying "Kismet, Hardy" he would be acknowledging that fate. It just feels intuitively right. Plus this argument that he would have known the term from Egypt, and therefore could have used it, is stronger than saying that people only want it to be kismet because of a revulsion to men kissing. I felt no such revulsion to the "Kiss me" tale and I knew that years before I even heard of the kismet argument. That was in pre-web days during a 1970s revival of the musical of that name. Vince - 17 - 8 - 12

Corroborated perhaps by the sequence of events: 1 Nelson says, we are told: "Kiss me, Hardy". 2. Hardy kisses him. 3. Nelson asks:"Who is that?" As if Hardy's reaction was unexpected. The 'kismet' theory may be amusing, but not exactly far-fetched. 02:22, 2 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's rather simple to disprove the Kismet theory. The word was not attested in the English language for several decades after Lord Nelson's death. The notion that Lord Nelson would be using a foreign word that no one else would be recorded using for next four decades is absurd. 21:39, 12 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"I see no ships"[edit]

I'm surprised not to find this here, but I gather it's a misquote from the rather less pithy "I really do not see the signal" (e.g. [1], [2]). I've also heard it as "I see no signal" (e.g. [3]).


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable, precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to Horatio Nelson. --Antiquary 18:09, 4 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Gentlemen, when the enemy is committed to a mistake we must not interrupt him too soon.
    • Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Austerlitz. Quoted in Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, Naval Strategy: Compared and Contrasted with the Principles and Practice of Military Operations on Land. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. 1915, pg 289.
  • I could not tread these perilous paths in safety, if I did not keep a saving sense of humor.
  • Never break the neutrality of a port or place, but never consider as neutral any place from whence an attack is allowed to be made.
  • Now I can do no more. We must trust to the Great Disposer of all events and the justice of our cause. I thank God for this opportunity of doing my duty.
  • Recollect that you must be a seaman to be an officer and also that you cannot be a good officer without being a gentleman.

  • It is nonsense, Mr. Burke, to suppose I can live. My sufferings are great but they will soon be over.[citation needed]
  • Kiss me, Hardy
    • Spoken to his Flag Captain, Thomas Masterman Hardy, who kissed his cheek and then his forehead.[citation needed]
  • Thank God, I have done my duty.
  • Let me alone: I have yet my legs and one arm. Tell the surgeon to make haste and his instruments. I know I must lose my right arm, so the sooner it's off the better.
    • After being wounded during the attack on Santa Cruz de Tenerife (July 24. 1797)[citation needed]
  • I had rather suffer death than alarm Mrs. Freemantle, by letting her see me in this state, when I can give her no tidings whatever of her husband.
    • After being wounded during the attack on Santa Cruz de Tenerife (July 24. 1797)[citation needed]
  • First gain the victory and then make the best use of it you can.

  • I cannot, if I am in the field of glory, be kept out of sight: wherever there is anything to be done, there Providence is sure to direct my steps.
  • The Neapolitan officers did not lose much honour, for God knows they had not much to lose - but they lost all they had.
  • I am myself a Norfolk man.
    • On being welcomed on arrival in Great Yarmouth, in his home county[citation needed]
  • My greatest happiness is to serve my gracious King and Country and I am envious only of glory; for if it be a sin to covet glory I am the most offending soul alive.
  • It is warm work; and this day may be the last to any of us at a moment. But mark you! I would not be elsewhere for thousands.
  • If a man consults whether he is to fight, when he has the power in his own hands, it is certain that his opinion is against fighting.
  • If I had been censured every time I have run my ship, or fleets under my command, into great danger, I should have long ago been out of the Service and never in the House of Peers.
  • Duty is the great business of a sea officer; all private considerations must give way to it, however painful it may be.
  • Something must be left to chance; nothing is sure in a sea fight above all.
  • When I am without orders and unexpected occurrences arrive I shall always act as I think the honour and glory of my King and Country demand. But in case signals can neither be seen or perfectly understood, no captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy.[citation needed]

Quotations of others about Nelson[edit]

  • Let the country mourn their hero; I grieve for the loss of the most fascinating companion I ever conversed with— the greatest and most simple of men— one of the nicest and most innocent— interesting beyond all, on shore, in public and even in private life. Men are not always themselves and put on their behaviour with their clothes, but if you live with a man on board a ship for years; if you are continually with him in his cabin, your mind will soon find out how to appreciate him. I could for ever tell you the qualities of this beloved man. I have not shed a tear for years before the 21st of October and since, whenever alone, I am quite like a child.
    • Alexander Scott, Chaplain who attended to Nelson at his death.[citation needed]