The KISS Printable Books Page
Casabianca
from - Golden Deeds:
Stories from History Retold for Little Folk
London: Blackie and Son Limited
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 death.