Produced by Steven Gibbs, Stephen Ellison and the PG Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
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Printed by Macdonald and Son, Smithfield,
FOR THOMAS LOVEWELL & CO. STAINES HOUSE,
In presenting to the Public the Letters of LORD NELSON to LADY
HAMILTON, something may justly be expected elucidatory of them.
Their mutual attachment is so generally known, that for the Editors to have given notes, however desirable and explanatory, might not, perhaps, have been deemed perfectly decorous.
They now stand on their own real merits. Some parts (though not very numerous) have been suppressed, from the most honourable feelings to individuals, as they would certainly have given pain.
That portion of Letters now offered to the BRITISH NATION, written by the first of her Naval Commanders, will shew his most private sentiments of men and measures, of countries and their rulers.
It is the duty of the Editors to state, that every letter has been most accurately transcribed, and faithfully compared with the originals in their possession.
Should our IMMORTAL HERO have expressed an erroneous opinion of some individuals and of things, let us ever remember, they were written (often under the feelings of sickness and of disappointment) by him who so repeatedly fought, and almost as frequently bled, for our country—for his "DEAR ENGLAND;" and let us never forget, that to him we owe more than to any man for our existence as a great and powerful Nation.
His country has truly honoured him; and it is not presumptuous in the Editors to affirm, that his deeds will be remembered, not only in name, but in their consequences, by our remotest posterity.
Were we to dedicate them, unto whom should we?—To the BRITISH NAVY; as the genuine sentiments of a true seaman—the first even of their own Heroes; for NELSON could forego all private feelings, all selfish motives, for that which will ever be the first object of a truly great and brave man—the glory and happiness of his country.
Our task, which has, from various causes, been attended with more difficulties than could be imagined, is thus far accomplished; and we have the pleasure to inform the public, that a very large collection of LORD NELSON'S most important public and private correspondence, &c. with the most distinguished characters (at home and abroad) is now in preparation for the press. Many of the documents will certainly throw a light on political transactions at present very imperfectly understood; and those which we intend to present to the world, we doubt not, will be found more than usually interesting.
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LETTER I. Page 3
Letters from Lord Nelson to Mrs. Thomson.
LETTER I. Page 173
Letters from Lady Hamilton to Lord Nelson.
LETTER I. Page 181
Letters from the Reverend Edmund Nelson, (Lord
Nelson's Father) to Lady Hamilton.
LETTER I. Page 189
Letters from the Reverend Dr. Nelson, now Earl
Nelson, to Lady Hamilton.
Letters from the Earl of St. Vincent to Lady Hamilton.
LETTER I. Page 217
Letters from Sir Alexander John Ball to Lady
LETTER I. Page 233
Letters from the Earl of Bristol, Bishop of Derry
in Ireland, to Lady Hamilton.
LETTER I. Page 241
Letter from the Honourable Charles Greville, Nephew of Sir William Hamilton, to Lady Hamilton.
Letters from Lady Hamilton to the Honourable
LETTER I. Page 269
THE Letters OF LORD NELSON TO LADY HAMILTON.
Vanguard, off Malta,
Oct. 24, 1798.
After a long passage, we are arrived; and it is as I suspected—the ministers at Naples know nothing of the situation of the island. Not a house or bastion of the town is in possession of the islanders; and the Marquis de Niza tells me, they want arms, victuals, and support. He does not know, that any Neapolitan officers are in the island; perhaps, although I have their names, none are arrived; and it is very certain, by the Marquis's account, that no supplies have been sent by the governors of Syracuse or Messina.
However, I shall and will know every thing as soon as the Marquis is gone, which will be to-morrow morning. He says, he is very anxious to serve under my command; and, by his changing his ship, it appears as if he was so: however, I understand the trim of our English ships better.
Ball will have the management of the blockade after my departure; as, it seems, the Court of Naples think my presence may be necessary, and useful, in the beginning of November.
I hope it will prove so; but, I feel, my duty lays at present in the East; for, until I know the shipping in Egypt are destroyed, I shall never consider the French army as completely sure of never returning to Europe.
However, all my views are to serve and save the Two Sicilies; and to do that which their Majesties may wish me, even against my own opinion, when I come to Naples, and that country is at war. I shall wish to have a meeting with General Acton on this subject.
You will, I am sure, do me justice with the Queen; for, I declare to
God, my whole study is, how to best meet her approbation.
May God bless you and Sir William! and ever believe me, with the most affectionate regard, your obliged and faithful friend,
I may possibly, but that is not certain, send in the inclosed letter.
Shew it to Sir William. This must depend on what I hear and see; for
I believe scarcely any thing I hear.
Once more, God bless you!
[May 12, 1799.]
Accept my sincere thanks for your kind letter. Nobody writes so well: therefore, pray, say not you write ill; for, if you do, I will say—what your goodness sometimes told me—"You l—e!" I can read, and perfectly understand, every word you write.
We drank your and Sir William's health. Troubridge, Louis, Hallowell, and the new Portuguese Captain, dined here. I shall soon be at Palermo; for this business must very soon be settled.
No one, believe me, is more sensible of your regard, than your obliged and grateful
I am pleased with little Mary; kiss her for me. I thank all the house for their regard. God bless you all!
I shall send on shore, if fine, to-morrow; for the feluccas are going to leave us, and I am sea-sick.
I have got the piece of wood for the tea-chest; it shall soon be sent.
Pray, present my humble duty and gratitude to the Queen, for all her marks of regard; and assure her, it is not thrown away on an ungrateful soil.
Vanguard, May 19, 1799,
Eight o'Clock. Calm.
Lieutenant Swiney coming on board, enables me to send some blank passports for vessels going to Procida with corn, &c. and also one for the courier boat.
To tell you, how dreary and uncomfortable the Vanguard appears, is only telling you, what it is to go from the pleasantest society to a solitary cell; or, from the dearest friends, to no friends. I am now perfectly the great man—not a creature near me. From my heart, I wish myself the little man again!
You, and good Sir William, have spoiled me for any place but with you. I love Mrs. Cadogan. You cannot conceive what I feel, when I call you all to my remembrance. Even to Mira, do not forget your faithful and affectionate
May 20, 1799.
Many thanks to you and Sir William for your kind notes. You will believe I did not sleep much, with all my letters to read, &c. &c.
My letters from Lord St. Vincent are May 6th. He says—"We saw the Brest squadron pass us yesterday, under an easy sail. I am making every effort to get information to Lord Keith; who I have ordered here, to complete their water and provisions. I conjecture, the French squadron is bound for Malta and Alexandria, and the Spanish fleet for the attack of Minorca."
I must leave you to judge, whether the Earl will come to us. I think he will: but, entre nous, Mr. Duckworth means to leave me to my fate. I send you (under all circumstances) his letter. Never mind; if I can get my eleven sail together, they shall not hurt me.
God bless you, Sir William, and all our joint friends in your house; Noble, Gibbs, &c. and believe me ever, for ever, your affectionate friend,
February 3, 1800.
Having a Commander in Chief, I cannot come on shore till I have made my manners to him. Times are changed; but, if he does not come on shore directly, I will not wait.
In the mean time, I send Allen to inquire how you are. Send me word, for I am anxious to hear of you. It has been no fault of mine, that I have been so long absent. I cannot command; and, now, only obey.
Mr. Tyson, and the Consul, have not been able to find out the betrothed wife of the Priore; although they were three days in their inquiries, and desired the Neapolitan Consul to send to Pisa. I also desired the Russian Admiral, as he was going to Pisa, to inquire if the Countess Pouschkin had any letters to send to Palermo; but, as I received none, I take for granted she had none to send.
May God bless you, my dear Lady; and be assured, I ever am, and shall be, your obliged and affectionate
Off La Valette, Feb. 20, 1800.
Had you seen the Peer receive me, I know not what you would have done; but, I can guess. But never mind! I told him, that I had made a vow, if I took the Genereux by myself, it was my intention to strike my flag. To which he made no answer.
If I am well enough, I intend to write a letter to Prince Leopold, and to send him the French Admiral's flag; which I hope you will approve of, as it was taken on the coast of his father's kingdom, and by as faithful a subject as any in his dominions.
I have had no communication with the shore; therefore, have seen neither Ball, Troubridge, or Graham: nor with the Lion; when I have, I shall not forget all your messages, and little Jack. I only want to know your wishes, that I may, at least, appear grateful, by attending to them.
My head aches dreadfully, and I have none here to give me a moment's comfort.
I send the packet to General Acton; as I think it may go quicker, and he will be flattered by presenting the flag and letter to the Prince.
Malta, I think, will fall very soon, if these other corvettes do not get in.
Pray, make my best regards acceptable to Mrs. Cadogan, Miss Knight, little Mary Re Giovanni, Gibbs, &c. &c. and ever believe me your truly faithful and affectionate
June 16, [1800.] Seven o'Clock.
What a difference—but it was to be—from your house to a boat!
Fresh breeze of wind, the ship four or five leagues from the mole; getting on board into truly a hog-stye of a cabin, leaking like a sieve, consequently floating with water. What a change!
Not a felucca near us. I saw them come out this morning, but they think there is too much wind and swell.
Pray, do not keep the cutter; as I have not a thing, if any thing important should arrive, to send you.
Only think of Tyson's being left!
May God bless you, my dear Lady; and believe me, ever, your truly affectionate and sincere friend,
Lady Hamilton—Put the candlestick on my writing-table.
January 28, 1801.
What a fool I was, my dear Lady Hamilton, to direct that your cheering letters should be directed for Brixham! I feel, this day, truly miserable, in not having them; and, I fear, they will not come till to-morrow's post.
What a blockhead, to believe any person is so active as myself! I have this day got my orders, to put myself under Lord St. Vincent's command: but, as no order is arrived to man the ship, it must be Friday night, or Saturday morning, before she can sail for Torbay. Direct my letters, now, to Brixham.
My eye is very bad. I have had the physician of the fleet to examine it.
He has directed me not to write, (and yet I am forced, this day, to write Lord Spencer, St. Vincent, Davison about my law-suit, Troubridge, Mr. Locker, &c. but you are the only female I write to;) not to eat any thing but the most simple food; not to touch wine or porter; to sit in a dark room; to have green shades for my eyes—(will you, my dear friend, make me one or two? Nobody else shall;)—and to bathe them in cold water every hour. I fear, it is the writing has brought on this complaint. My eye is like blood; and the film so extended, that I only see from the corner farthest from my nose. What a fuss about my complaints! But, being so far from my sincere friends, I have leisure to brood over them.
I have this moment seen Mrs. Thomson's friend. Poor fellow! he seems very uneasy and melancholy. He begs you to be kind to her; and I have assured him of your readiness to relieve the dear good woman: and believe me, for ever, my dear Lady, your faithful, attached, and affectionate,
NELSON & BRONTE.
I will try and write the Duke a line. My brother intended to have gone off to-morrow afternoon; but this half order may stop him.
San Josef, February 8th, 1801.
Mr. Davison demands the privilege of carrying back an answer to your kind letter; and, I am sure, he will be very punctual in the delivery.
I am not in very good spirits; and, except that our country demands all our services and abilities, to bring about an honourable peace, nothing should prevent my being the bearer of my own letter. But, my dear friend, I know you are so true and loyal an Englishwoman, that you would hate those who would not stand forth in defence of our King, laws, religion, and all that is dear to us.
It is your sex that make us go forth; and seem to tell us—"None but the brave deserve the fair!" and, if we fall, we still live in the hearts of those females. You are dear to us. It is your sex that rewards us; it is your sex who cherish our memories; and you, my dear, honoured friend, are, believe me, the first, the best, of your sex.
I have been the world around, and in every corner of it, and never yet saw your equal, or even one which could be put in comparison with you. You know how to reward virtue, honour, and courage; and never to ask if it is placed in a Prince, Duke, Lord, or Peasant: and I hope, one day, to see you, in peace, before I set out for Bronte, which I am resolved to do.
Darby's is one of the ships sent out after the French squadron; I shall, therefore, give the print to Hardy. I think, they might come by the mail-coach, as a parcel, wrapped up round a stick; any print shop will give you one: and direct it as my letters. The coach stops, for parcels, at the White Bear, I believe, Piccadilly.
Pray, have you got any picture from Mrs. Head's? I hope, Mr. Brydon has executed the frames to your satisfaction; the bill, he is directed to send to me.
Only tell me, how I can be useful to you and Sir William; and believe, nothing could give me more pleasure: being, with the greatest truth, my dear Lady, your most obliged and affectionate friend,
NELSON & BRONTE.
I am told, the moment St. George arrives, that I am to be tumbled out of this ship; as the Ville de Paris is going to Plymouth, to be paid, and the Earl will hoist his flag here: and if I am as fortunate in getting a fresh-painted cabin, (which is probable) I shall be knocked up. At all events, I shall be made very uncomfortable by this hurry.
It has been very good, and friendly, of Mr. Davison, to travel upwards of two hundred miles, to make me a visit.
I rather think, the great Earl will not much like his not having called on him; but his manner of speaking of Mr. Davison, for his friendship to me, in the matter of the law-suit, Lord St. Vincent states to my solicitors as offensive to him. Why should it? only that Mr. Davison wishes that I should have justice done me, and not to be overpowered by weight of interest and money.
Once more, God bless you and Sir William.
N. & B.
Sir Isaac Heard has gazetted Troubridge's, Hood, &c.'s honours; but has not gazetted mine: and he has the King's orders for mine as much as the others.
No 2. San Josef, February 16th, 1801.
Your letters have made me happy, to-day; and never again will I scold, unless you begin. Therefore, pray, never do; My confidence in you is firm as a rock. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I cannot imagine, who can have stopped my Sunday's letter! That it has been, is clear: and the seal of the other has been clearly opened; but this might have happened from letters sticking together.
Your's all came safe; but the numbering of them will point out, directly, if one is missing. I do not think, that any thing very particular was in that letter which is lost.
Believe me, my dear friend, that Lady A. is as damned a w—— as ever lived, and Mrs. W—— is a bawd! Mrs. U—— a foolish pimp; eat up with pride, that a P—— will condescend to put her to expence. Only do as I do; and all will be well, and you will be every thing I wish.
I thank you for your kindness to poor dear Mrs. Thomson. I send her a note; as desired by her dear good friend, who doats on her.
I send you a few Lines, wrote in the late gale; which, I think, you will not disapprove.
How interesting your letters are! You cannot write too much, or be too particular.
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Though ——'s polish'd verse superior shine,
Though sensibility grace every line;
Though her soft Muse be far above all praise.
And female tenderness inspire her lays:
Deign to receive, though unadorn'd
By the poetic art,
The rude expressions which bespeak
A Sailor's untaught heart!
A heart susceptible, sincere, and true;
A heart, by fate, and nature, torn in two:
One half, to duty and his country due;
The other, better half, to love and you!
Sooner shall Britain's sons resign
The empire of the sea;
Than Henry shall renounce his faith,
AND PLIGHTED VOWS, TO THEE!
And waves on wares shall cease to roll,
And tides forget to flow;
Ere thy true Henry's constant love,
Or ebb, or change, shall know.
The weather, thank God, is moderating.
I have just got a letter from the new Earl at the Admiralty, full of compliments. But nothing shall stop my law-suit, and I hope to cast him.
I trust, when I get to Spithead, there will be no difficulty in getting leave of absence.
The letters on service are so numerous, from three days interruption of the post, that I must conclude with assuring you, that I am, for ever, your attached, and unalterably your's,
NELSON & BRONTE.
I shall begin a letter at night.
You say, my Dearest Friend, why don't I put my Chief forward? He has put me in the front of the battle, and Nelson will be first. I could say more; but will not make you uneasy, knowing the firm friendship you have for me.
The St. George will stamp an additional ray of glory to England's fame, if Nelson survives; and that Almighty Providence, who has hitherto protected me in all dangers, and covered my head in the day of battle, will still, if it be his pleasure, support and assist me.
Keep me alive, in your and Sir William's remembrance. My last thoughts will be with you both, for you love and esteem me. I judge your hearts by my own.
May the Great God of Heaven protect and bless you and him! is the fervent prayer of your and Sir William's unalterable friend, till death.
Friday Night, Nine o'Clock.
St. George. [March 1801.]
Having, my truly Dearest Friend, got through a great deal of business, I am enabled to do justice to my private feelings; which are fixed, ever, on you, and about you, whenever the public service does not arrest my attention.
I have read all, all, your kind and affectionate letters: and have read them frequently over; and committed them to the flames, much against my inclination. There was one I rejoiced not to have read at the time. It was, where you consented to dine and sing with * * * *. Thank God, it was not so! I could not have borne it; and, now, less than ever. But, I now know, he never can dine with you; for, you would go out of the house sooner than suffer it: and, as to letting him hear you sing, I only hope he will be struck deaf, and you dumb, sooner than such a thing should happen! But, I know, it never now can.
You cannot think how my feelings are alive towards you; probably, more than ever: and they never can be diminished. My hearty endeavours shall not be wanting, to improve and to give US NEW ties of regard and affection.
I have seen, and talked much with, Mrs. Thomson's friend. The fellow seems to eat all my words, when I talk of her and his child! He says, he never can forget your goodness and kind affection to her and his dear, dear child. I have had, you know, the felicity of seeing it, and a finer child never was produced by any two persons. It was, in truth, a love-begotten child! I am determined to keep him on board; for, I know, if they got together, they would soon have another. But, after our two months trip, I hope, they will never be separated; and, then, let them do as they please.
We are all bustle and activity. I shall sail, on Monday, after your letter arrives. Troubridge will send it, as an Admiralty letter. On Tuesday I shall be in the Downs, if we have any wind; and Troubridge will send, under cover to Admiral Lutwidge.
It is not my intention to set my foot out of the ship, except to make my take-leave bow to Admiral Milbank. I have been much pressed to dine ashore: but, no; never, if I can help it, till I dine with you.
Your dear letters just come on board. They are sympathetic with my own feelings; and, I trust, we shall soon meet, to part no more!
Monday, I shall be here for letters; Tuesday, at Deal. Recollect, I am, for ever, your's; aye, for ever, while life remains, your's, your's faithfully,
NELSON & BRONTE.
I charge my only friend to keep well, and think of her Nelson's glory.
I have written to Lord Eldon, the Chancellor, as my brother desired.
Pray, as you are going to buy a ticket for the Pigot diamond—buy the right number, or it will be money thrown away.
For ever, ever, your's, only your's.
Kindest regards to my dear Mrs. Thomson, and my God Child.
Deal—[Shall be on board the Medusa before this letter go from the Downs]—July 31, 1801.
Did not you get my letter from Sheerness on Thursday morning, telling you I was just setting off for Deal; as I have no letter from you of yesterday, only those of Wednesday, which went to Sheerness? It has been my damned blunder, and not your's; for which I am deservedly punished, by missing one of your dear letters. They are my comfort, joy, and delight.
My time is, truly, fully taken up, and my hand aches before night comes.
I got to bed, last night, at half past nine; but the hour was so unusual, that I heard the clock strike one. To say that I thought of you, would be nonsense; for, you are never out of my thoughts.
At this moment, I see no prospect of my getting to London; but, very soon, the business of my command will become so simple, that a child may direct it.
What rascals your post-chaise people must be! They have been paid
every thing. Captain Parker has one receipt for seven pounds odd, and
I am sure that every thing is paid; therefore, do not pay a farthing.
The cart-chaise I paid at Dartford.
You need not fear all the women in this world; for all others, except yourself, are pests to me. I know but one; for, who can be like my Emma? I am confident, you will do nothing which can hurt my feelings; and I will die by torture, sooner than do any thing which could offend you.
Give ten thousand kisses to my dear Horatia.
Yesterday, the subject turned on the cow-pox. A gentleman declared, that his child was inoculated with the cow-pox; and afterwards remained in a house where a child had the small-pox the natural way, and did not catch it. Therefore, here was a full trial with the cow-pox. The child is only feverish for two days; and only a slight inflammation of the arm takes place, instead of being all over scabs. But, do you what you please!
I did not get your newspapers; therefore, do not know what promise you allude to: but this I know, I have none made me.
The extension of the patent of peerage is going on; but the wording of my brother's note, they have wrote for a meaning to. The patent must be a new creation. First, to my father, if he outlives me; then to William, and his sons; then to Mrs. Bolton, and her sons; and Mrs. Matcham, and her's. Farther than that, I care not; it is far enough. But it may never get to any of them; for the old patent may extend by issue male of my own carcase: I am not so very old; and may marry again, a wife more suitable to my genius.
I like the Morning Chronicle.
Ever, for ever, your's, only your,
NELSON & BRONTE.
Best regards to Mrs. Nelson, the Duke, and Lord William.
I have totally failed for poor Madame Brueys.
Bonaparte's wife is one of Martinique, and some plan is supposed to be carried on.
Sheerness, August 11th, 1801.
I came from Harwich yesterday noon; not having set my foot on shore, although the Volunteers, &c. were drawn up to receive me, and the people ready to draw the carriage.
Parker had very near got all the honours; but I want none, but what my dear Emma confers. You have sense to discriminate whether they are deserved or no.
I came on shore; for my business lays with the Admiral, who lives in a ship hauled on shore, and the Commisioner. Slept at Coffin's: and, having done all that I can, am off for the Downs; to-day, if possible.
As far as September 14th, I am at the Admiralty's disposal; but, if Mr. Buonaparte do not chuse to send his miscreants before that time, my health will not bear me through equinoctial gales.
I wish that Sir William was returned; I would try and persuade him to come to either Deal, Dover, or Margate: for, thus cut off from the society of my dearest friends, 'tis but a life of sorrow and sadness. But, patienza per forza!
I hope you will get the house. If I buy, no person can say—this shall, or not, be altered; and, you shall have the whole arrangement.
Remember me most kindly to Mrs. Nelson, the Duke, and Lord William.
Write to me in the Downs.
May the Heavens bless and preserve you, for ever and ever! is the constant prayer of, my dear Emma, your most affectionate and faithful
NELSON & BRONTE.
The Mayor and Corporation of Sandwich, when they came on board to present me the freedom of that ancient town, requested me [to] dine with them. I put them off for the moment, but they would not be let off. Therefore, this business, dreadful to me, stands over, and I shall be attacked again when I get to the Downs. But I will not dine there, without you say, approve; nor, perhaps, then, if I can get off. Oh! how I hate to be stared at.
Deal, August 18th, 1801.
Your dear, good, kind, and most affectionate letters, from Saturday to last night, are arrived, and I feel all you say; and may Heaven bless me, very soon, with a sight of your dear angelic face. You are a nonpareil! No, not one fit to wipe your shoes. I am, ever have been, and always will remain, your most firm, fixed, and unalterable friend.
I wish Sir William had come home a week ago, then I should have seen you here.
I have this morning been attending the funeral of two young Mids: a Mr. Gore, cousin of Capt. Gore, and a Mr. Bristow. One nineteen, the other seventeen years of age.
Last night, I was all the evening in the Hospital, seeing that all was done for the comfort of the poor fellows.
I am going on board; for nothing should keep me living on shore, without you were here. I shall come in the morning, to see Parker, and go on board again directly.
I shall be glad to see Oliver: I hope he will keep his tongue quiet, about the tea-kettle; for, I shall not give it till I leave the Medusa.
You ask me, what Troubridge wrote me? There was not a syllable about you in it. It was about my not coming to London; at the importance of which, I laughed: and, then, he said, he should never venture another opinion. On which, I said—"Then, I shall never give you one." This day, he has wrote a kind letter, and all is over.
I have, however, wrote him, in my letter of this day, as follows—viz. "And I am, this moment, as firmly of opinion as ever, that Lord St. Vincent, and yourself, should have allowed of my coming to town, for my own affairs; for, every one knows, I left it without a thought for myself."
I know, he likes to be with you: but, shall he have that felicity, and he deprive me of it? No; that he shall not!
But this business cannot last long, and I hope we shall have peace; and, I rather incline to that opinion. But the Devil should not get me out of the kingdom, without being some days with you.
I hope, my dear Emma, you will be able to find a house suited for my comfort. I am sure of being HAPPY, by your arrangements.
I have wrote a line to Troubridge, about Darby.
Parker will write you a line of thanks, if he is able. I trust in God, he will yet do well!
You ask me, my dear friend, if I am going on more expeditions? And, even if I was to forfeit your friendship, which is dearer to me than all the world, I can tell you nothing.
For, I go out; [if] I see the enemy, and can get at them, it is my duty: and you would naturally hate me, if I kept back one moment.
I long to pay them, for their tricks t'other day, the debt of a drubbing, which, surely, I'll pay: but when, where, or how, it is impossible, your own good sense must tell you, for me or mortal man to say.
I shall act not in a rash or hasty manner; that you may rely, and on which I give you my word of honour.
Just going off. Ever, for ever, your faithful
NELSON & BRONTE.
Every kind thing to Mrs. Nelson.
Medusa, Downs, August 31st, 1801.
Sir William is arrived, and well; remember me kindly to him. I should have had the pleasure of seeing him, but for one of my lords and masters, TROUBRIDGE; therefore, I am sure, neither you or Sir William will feel obliged to him.
The weather is very bad, and I am very sea-sick. I cannot answer your letter, probably; but I am writing a line, to get on shore, if possible: indeed, I hardly expect that your letter can get afloat.
I entreat you, my dear friend, to work hard for me, and get the house and furniture; and I will be so happy to lend it to you and Sir William!
Therefore, if you was to take the Duke's house, a cake house, open to every body he pleases, you had better have a booth at once; you never could rest one moment quiet. Why did not the Duke assist Sir William, when he wanted his assistance? why not have saved you from the distress, which Sir William must every day feel, in knowing that his excellent wife sold her jewels to get a house for him; whilst his own relations, great as they are in the foolish world's eye, would have left a man of his respectability and age, to have lodged in the streets. Did the Duke, or any of them, give him a house then?
Forgive me! you know if any thing sticks in my throat, it must out. Sir William owes his life to you; which, I believe, he will never forget.
To return to the house—The furniture must be bought with it; and the sooner it is done, the better I shall like it.
Oh! how bad the weather is!
The devils, here, wanted to plague my soul out, yesterday, just after dinner; but I would have seen them damned, before they should have come in. The Countess Montmorris, Lady this, that, and t'other, came along-side, a Mr. Lubbock with them—to desire they might come in. I sent word, I was so busy that no persons could be admitted, as my time was employed in the King's service. Then they sent their names, which I cared not for: and sent Captain Gore, to say it was impossible; and that, if they wanted to see a ship, they had better go to the Overyssel (a sixty-four in the Downs.) They said, no; they wanted to see me. However, I was stout, and will not be shewn about like a beast! and away they went.
I believe, Captain Gore wishes me out of his ship; for the ladies admire him, I am told, very much: but, however, no Captain could be kinder to me than he is. These ladies, he told me afterwards, were his relations.
I have just got your letters; many thanks, for them! You do not say, in the end, Sir William is arrived.
I am glad, that you approve. You may rely, my dear friend, that I will not run any unnecessary risk! No more boat work, I promise you; but, ever, your attached and faithful
NELSON & BRONTE.
To the Duke, and Lord William, say every thing which is kind; and to
I am so dreadfully sea-sick, that I cannot hold up my head!
September 21st, [1801.]
Quarter past Ten o'Clock.
I wish you would send the letter to Mrs. Dod's, directly; for, otherwise, he may, inadvertently.
If done, and it comes to London, deliver some of the things. The wardrobe is her's; and if any of her clothes are at Mr. Dod's, they had better be separated from mine—and, indeed, what things are worth removing—to have them directly sent to Merton. A bed, or two, I believe, belong to my father; but, am not sure.
I send you Dr. Baird's comfortable note, this moment received.
You will [find] Parker is treated like an infant. Poor fellow! I trust, he will get well, and take possession of his room at the farm.
Ever your affectionate,
NELSON & BRONTE.
Amazon, September 26, 1801.
Your kind letters came on board about six o'clock.
You may rely upon one thing, that I shall like Merton; therefore, do not be uneasy on that account. I have that opinion of your taste and judgment, that I do not believe it can fail in pleasing me. We must only consider our means; and, for the rest, I am sure, you will soon make it the prettiest place in the world.
I dare say, Mr. Hazelwood acted, like all lawyers, whose only consideration was for their client: but, I am sure, you will do, for me, all the civil things towards Mrs. Greaves.
If I can afford to buy the Duck Close, and the field adjoining, it would be pleasant; but, I fear, it is not in my power: but, I shall know, when my accounts are settled, at New Year's Day.
To be sure, we shall employ the trades-people of our village, in preference to any others, in what we want for common use, and give them every encouragement to be kind and attentive to us.
From my heart, do I wish that I was with you: and it cannot be long; for, to-day, I am far from well; violent head ache, and very cold; but, it may be agitation.
Whatever, my dear Emma, you do for my little charge, I must be pleased with. Probably, she will be lodged at Merton; at least, in the spring, when she can have the benefit of our walks. It will make the poor mother happy, I am sure.
I do not write to her to-day, as this goes through the Admiralty; but, tell her all I would say. You know my unchangeable thoughts about her.
I shall have the child christened, when I come up.
Have we a nice church at Merton? We will set an example of goodness to the under-parishioners.
Would to God, I was with you at Laleham. I shall never forget our happiness at that place.
Mr. Davison will pay Mrs. Nelson fifty pounds, October 1st. I dare say, Mr. Shakespeare has some orders about it.
I had, yesterday, a letter from my father; he seems to think, that he may do something which I shall not like. I suppose, he means, going to Somerset Street.
Shall I, to an old man, enter upon the detestable subject; it may shorten his days. But, I think, I shall tell him, that I cannot go to Somerset Street, to see him. But, I shall not write till I hear your opinion.
If I once begin, you know, it will all out, about her, and her ill-treatment to her son. But, you shall decide.
Our accounts of dear Parker, I fear, preclude all hopes of his recovery.
It was my intention to have gone ashore this morning, to have called on Admiral Lutwidge: but, the wind's coming fresh from the S.W. I have declined it; for, I doubt, if I could get off again.
At ten o'clock, with your letters, came off Dr. Baird's note, to say every hope was gone! I have desired, that his death should be sent, by telegraph, to the Admiralty. They will, surely, honour his memory, although they would not promote him.
What are our feelings, my dear Emma! but, we must cheer up: and, with best regards to Mrs. Nelson, believe me ever, for ever, your most affectionate,
NELSON & BRONTE.
Best regards to Sir William.
I send you the last report. Who knows!
Amazon, October 8, 1801.
I do not expect, although I am writing, that any boat can communicate with us to-day.
What can be the use of keeping me here? for, I can know nothing such weather; and, what a change since yesterday! It came on, in one hour, from the water like a mill-head, to such a sea as to make me very unwell. If I had gone to make my visit, I could not have got off again. I rejoice that I did not go.
Until I leave the station, I have no desire to go on shore; for, Deal was always my abhorrence.
That Parker is a swindler. Langford owed our dear Parker twenty-five pounds, of which there was no account; but Langford desired his agents to pay Mr. Parker. Langford requested, that he would wait two or three months, as it would be more convenient to him. To which the other agreed—"Aye, as long as you please." He got one pound eleven shillings and sixpence from Samuel, by casting his account wrong. The first thing he does, is to desire Langford's agents to pay thirty-four pounds for Langford, nine pounds more than the debt. He is worse than a public thief. His conduct to me was, absolutely, the worst species of thieving; for, it was under false pretences. He sent Dr. Baird on board, to me, to say that, in London, his pocket book was stole, in which was twenty pounds; and begged my assistance to get him home; and that he had not a farthing to buy mourning for his dear son. At this time, he had forty-seven pounds in his pocket, besides what he had sold of his son's. He has behaved so unlike a gentleman, but very like a blackguard, to both Captain Sutton, Bedford, and Hardy, I am now clear that he never lost one farthing, and that the whole is a swindling trick. So, you see, my dear friend, how good-nature is imposed upon. I am so vexed, that he should have belonged to our dear Parker!
I have now done with the wretch, for ever. I hope he has got nothing from you; and, if you have promised him any thing, do not send it.
Your kind letters are arrived. I rejoice that you have got into
Merton. I hope to get the letter on shore; but, it is very uncertain.
Ministry, my dearest friend, think very differently of my services from you! But, never mind; I shall soon have done with them afloat.
Make my kindest regards to Sir William, and all our friends; and believe me, ever, your faithful and affectionate
NELSON & BRONTE.
I have just got a very kind letter from Captain Read. He says, he will come and see me, be where it will. He inquired after you and Sir William.
Amazon, Ten o'Clock,
October 12, 1801.
This being a very fine morning, and smooth beach, at eight o'clock, I went with Sutton and Bedford, and landed at Walmer; but found Billy fast asleep: so, left my card; walked the same road that we came, when the carriage could not come with us that night; and all rushed into my mind, and brought tears into my eyes. Ah! how different to walking with such a friend as you, Sir William, and Mrs. Nelson.
Called at the barracks, on Lord George; but, he is gone to London.
From thence to the Admiral's, found him up; and, waiting half an hour to see Mrs. Lutwidge, who entreated me to stay dinner, came directly on board.
I did not even call to see poor Langford; who has been worse these few days past, and God knows when he will be well. I am afraid it will be a long time; for several pieces of bone are lately come away, and more to come.
But Troubridge has so completely prevented my ever mentioning any body's service, that I am become a cypher, and he has gained a victory over Nelson's spirit. I am kept here; for what, he may be able to tell, I cannot: but long it cannot, shall not, be.
Sutton and Bedford are gone a tour, till dinner time: but nothing shall make me, but almost force, go out of the ship again, till I have done; and the Admiralty, in charity, will be pleased to release me.
I am, in truth, not over well. I have a complaint in my stomach and bowels, but it will go off. If you was here, I should have some rhubarb; but, as you are not, I shall go without.
Sutton has sent into Yorkshire, for a cow that, in the spring, will give fourteen pounds of butter a week; and, he has given Allen the finest goat I ever saw. The latter, I am afraid, will be troublesome.
Just as I was coming off, I received your packet; and thank you, from my heart, for all your kindness.
What can Reverend Sir want to be made a Doctor for? He will be laughed at, for his pains!
I thank you for the King's letters, I shall write a kind line to Castelcicala, and answer the King's, very soon: and, write to Acton; for he can make Bronte every thing to me, if he pleases. I dare say, I did wrong, never to write him; but, as he treated Sir William unkindly, I never could bring myself to it.
I am glad the Duke has been to see you; and taking plants from him, is nothing. Make my kindest remembrances to him.
I would have every body like your choice; for, I am sure, you have as fine a taste in laying out land, as you have in music. I'll be damned, if Mrs. Billington can sing so well as you. She may have stage trick, but you have pure nature.
I always say every thing, for you and Sir William. I wish you had translated the King's and Acton's letters, Banti cannot.
I may be able to dispose of Charles, but not of the other, and he would corrupt Charles.
For ever yours,
NELSON & BRONTE.
Mrs. Lutwidge inquires always particularly after you. We all laugh, and say she is more fond of soldiers than ever, since General Don has shewn her how he would keep off the French!
Amazon, October 15th, 1801.
I have received all your letters of yesterday, and the one sent from the post at Merton; and, also, one mis-sent to Poole: but I do not write direct to Merton, till I hear that mine to Sir William, sent yesterday, gets to you before those by London.
The Admiralty will not give me leave, till the 22d; and, then, only ten days. What a set of beasts!
My cold is now got into my head; and I have such dreadful pain in my teeth, that I cannot hold up my head: but none of them cares a damn for me or my sufferings; therefore, you see, I cannot discharge my steward.
And yet, I think, upon consideration, that I will send up all my things, and take my chance as to their sending me down again. What do you think? At all events, every thing except my bed. I have table-spoons, forks, every thing; at least, I shall have, soon, two hundred pounds worth.
What a b—— that Miss Knight is! As to the other, I care not what she says.
My poor dear father is wrong. But more of this, when we meet: which will be Friday, the 23d, at farthest; if possible, the 22d. But, the Admiralty are hard upon me.
I am sorry to hear, that you have been ill: and my cold is so dreadfully bad, that I cannot hold up my head; and am so damned stupid that you must, my dear friend, forgive my letter.
Admiral Lutwidge is going to Portsmouth. Sir William Parker is going to be tried, for something.
Make my kindest respects to Sir William; and believe me, ever, your's most faithfully,
NELSON & BRONTE.
I have wrote a line to Merton.
Excuse my letter.
Amazon October 16th, 1801.
It being a very fine morning, and the beach smooth, I went to call on
Admiral Lutwidge, and returned on board before ten o'clock.
Mrs. Lutwidge is delighted with your present. Sutton, &c. were called forth to admire it. She joins in abusing the Admiralty. She pressed me very much to dine with them at three o'clock; but, I told her I would not dine with the angel Gabriel, to be dragged through a night surf!
Her answer was, that she hoped soon I should dine with an angel, for she was sure you was one. In short, she adores you; but, who does not? You are so good, so kind, to every body; old, young, rich, or poor, it is the same thing!
I called on poor Langford; who has a long time to look forward to, for getting well; he told me your goodness, in writing him a line: and I called upon Dr. Baird; he disapproves of rhubarb, and has prescribed magnesia and peppermint: and I called on Mr. Lawrence. So, you see, I did much business in one hour I was on shore.
Civility to Lutwidge was proper for me; and, indeed, my duty.
The moment I got your letters, off I came, and have read them with real pleasure. They have made me much better, I think; at least, I feel so.
I admire the pigs and poultry. Sheep are certainly most beneficial to eat off the grass. Do you get paid for them; and take care that they are kept on the premises all night, for that is the time they do good to the land. They should be folded. Is your head man a good person, and true to our interest? I intend to have a farming book. I am glad to hear you get fish; not very good ones, I fancy.
It is, I thank God, only six days before I shall be with you, and to be shewn all the beauties of Merton. I shall like it, leaves or no leaves.
No person there can take amiss our not visiting. The answer from me will always be very civil thanks, but that I wish to live retired. We shall have our sea friends; and, I know, Sir William thinks they are the best.
I have a letter from Mr. Trevor, begging me to recommend a youngster for him; but, none before your Charles.
Banti, I suppose, must return; but, at present, we know not what ships are to be kept in commission.
I have a letter from a female relation of mine. She has had three husbands; and he, Mr. Sherstone, three wives. Her brother, a Nelson, I have been trying, ever since I have been in England, to get promoted. The last and present Admiralty promised. I never saw the man; he is in a ship in the North Seas, forty-five years of age.
I have a letter from Troubridge, recommending me to wear flannel shirts. Does he care for me? No; but, never mind. They shall work hard, to get me back again.
Remember me, kindly, to Sir William, the Duke, and all friends; and believe me, ever, your most affectionate
NELSON & BRONTE.
Do you ever see Castelcicala? He is a good man, and faithful to his master and mistress.
Amazon, October 16th, 1801.
I send you a letter for Allen's wife; and one for Germany, which I wish you would make Oliver put in the Foreign Post Office, and pay what is necessary.
I would send you the letter to which it is an answer, but it would be over-weight. It is all compliments; and, the man says, it is all truth.
The wind is freshened cold, but very fine day.
Best regards to Sir William, Mrs. Cadogan, Mr. Oliver, and all friends.
For ever, your's faithfully,
NELSON & BRONTE.
I have a letter from Reverend Doctor—he is as big as if he was a Bishop; and one from the Bedel of the university, to say how well he preached. I hope you ordered something good for him, for those big wigs love eating and drinking.
Amazon, October 17th, 1801.
Although my complaint has no danger attending it, yet it resists the medicines which Dr. Baird has prescribed; and, I fancy, it has pulled me down very much.
The cold has settled in my bowels. I wish the Admiralty had my complaint: but, they have no bowels; at least, for me.
I had a very indifferent night, but your and Sir William's kind letters have made me feel better.
I send you a letter from Lord Pelham. I shall certainly attend; and let them see, that I may be useful in council as I have been in the field. We must submit; and, perhaps, these Admiralty do this by me, to prevent another application.
You may rely, that I shall be with you by dinner, on Friday; at half past three, or four at farthest.
I shall not dine with Pitt, as Mr. and Mrs. Long are staying there.
Not that I ever saw her in my life, nor care if I never do.
I pray that I may not be annoyed, on my arrival: it is retirement with my friends, that I wish for.
Thank Sir William, kindly, for his letter; and the inclosure, which I return.
Sutton is much pleased with your letter; and, with Bedford, will certainly make you a visit. They are both truly good and kind to me.
Our weather has been cold these two days, but not bad. I have got a fire in the cabin; and, I hope my complaint will go off.
May Heaven bless you!
I send this, through Troubridge, direct in Piccadilly.
I shall, you may rely, admire the pig-stye, ducks, fowls, &c. for every thing you do, I look upon as perfect.
Dr. Baird has been aboard, to see me. He thinks, I shall be better; and, that a few days on shore will set me up again.
Make my kind remembrances to Sir William, the Duke, and all friends; and believe me, ever, your most affectionate
NELSON & BRONTE.
Bedford has made me laugh. Mrs. Lutwidge has been babbling, that she will go to Portsmouth with the Admiral; who says, he shall be so fully employed that he cannot be much with her. She whispered Bedford—"I have many friends in the army there!"
She will certainly marry a soldier, if ever she is disposable. But, perhaps, you will agree with me, that no good soldier would take her. I am sure, the purchase would be dear, even if it was a gift. Don't call this a bull.
Sutton's man was on the farm; and the sheep, when not belonging to the farm, always paid so much sheep, so much lambs: but, I dare say, you manage well.
Sir William's letter has delighted me, with your activity and prudence.
The two letters would have been over-weight, so I send you the letter
I have answered. Pray, take care of it, it is a curiosity!
Ever your faithful
NELSON & BRONTE.
Amazon, 2 P.M.
Yawkins is in great distress: his cutter paid off; and he, like many others, very little to live upon. He begs his best respects to Sir William. He breakfasted here this morning.
Many very long faces at peace!
Hardy begs you will send the inclosed to Naples.
I wish Tyson would come home; for many are pulling at him, and I want to pay him. I will not be in his debt forty-eight hours after his arrival.
Hardy is just anchored, and his commodore gone on shore.
Ever your most faithful
NELSON & BRONTE.
Mrs. Nelson had better direct her letters to me, unless I am on the spot. You see, you paid postage, and it lays me open to their Post Office conversation.
Amazon, October 19th, 1801.
What a gale we have had! But Admiral Lutwidge's boat came off; and, as your letter was wrote, it got on shore: at least, I hope so; for the boat seemed absolutely swallowed up in the sea. None of our boats could have kept above water a moment; therefore, I could not answer all the truly friendly things you told me in your letters, for they were not opened before the boat was gone.
I am sure, you did well to send Mrs. Lutwidge a gown, and she loves you very much, but there is no accounting for taste. She admires entirely red coats; you, true blue.
They dine with Billy Pitt, to-day; or, rather, with Mr. Long; for Pitt does not keep house, in appearance, although he asked me to come and see him: and that I shall do, out of respect to a great man, although he never did any thing for me or my relations. I assure you, my dear friend, that I had rather read and hear all your little story of a white hen getting into a tree, an anecdote of Fatima, or hear you call—"Cupidy! Cupidy!" than any speech I shall hear in parliament: because I know, although you can adapt your language and manners to a child, yet that you can also thunder forth such a torrent of eloquence, that corruption and infamy would sink before your voice, in however exalted a situation it might be placed.
Poor Oliver! what can be the matter with him?
I must leave my cot here, till my discharge, when it shall come to the farm, as cots are the best things in the world for our sea friends.
Why not have the pictures from Davison's, and those from Dodd's; especially, my father's, and Davison's?
A-propos! Sir William has not sat, I fear, to Beechey. I want a half-length, the size of my father's and Davison's.
I wonder your pictures are not come from Hamburg! You have not lost the directions for unfolding them; nor the measure, that I may have frames made for them? For, up they shall go, as soon as they arrive. What, have your picture, and not hang it up? No; I will submit, in the farm, to every order but that.
The weather, to-day, is tolerable; but, I do not think I could well get on shore: but Thursday, I hope, will be a fine day.
I shall call on Mr. Pitt, make my visit at the Hospital, and get off very early on Friday morning.
My cold is still very troublesome, I cannot get my bowels in order. In the night I had not a little fever.
But, never mind; the Admiralty will not always be there. Every one has their day.
God bless you, my dear friend; and believe me, ever, your's most faithfully,
NELSON & BRONTE.
Write on Wednesday.
Your letters of yesterday are received. Reverend Doctor would like to be a Bishop.
I have sent poor Thomson's letter, and the distressed Mrs. ——, to the Earl. Kindest regards to Sir William.
Amazon, October 20th, 1801.
How could you think, for a moment, that I would be a time-server to any Minister on earth! And, if you had studied my letter a little closer, you would have seen that my intention was, to shew them that I could be as useful in the cabinet as in the field.
My idea is, to let them see that my attendance is worth soliciting. For myself, I can have nothing; but, for my brother, something may be done.
Living with Mr. Addington a good deal; never, in your sense of the word, shall I do it. What, leave my dearest friends, to dine with a minister? Damn me, if I do, beyond what you yourself shall judge to be necessary! Perhaps, it may be once; and once with the Earl but that you shall judge for me.
If I give up all intercourse—you know enough of Courts, that they will do nothing: make yourself of consequence to them, and they will do what you wish, in reason; and, out of reason, I never should ask them.
It must be a great bore, to me, to go to the House. I shall tell Mr. Addington, that I go on the 29th to please him, and not to please myself; but more of this subject, when we meet.
Dr. Baird is laid up with the rheumatism; he will now believe, that the cold may affect me. This is the coldest place in England, most assuredly.
Troubridge writes me that, as the weather is set in fine again, he hopes I shall get walks on shore. He is, I suppose, laughing at me; but, never mind.
I agree with you, in wishing Sir William had a horse. Why don't you send to the Duke, for a poney for him.
I am just parting with four of my ships—Captains Conn, Rowley, Martin, and Whitter—who are proceeding to the Nore, in their way to be paid off.
The surf is still so great on the beach, that I could not land dry, if it was necessary, to-day; but, I hope, it will be smooth on Thursday: if not, I must go in a boat to Dover, and come from thence to Deal.
Sutton says, he will get the Amazon under sail, and carry me down; for, that I shall not take cold: Bedford goes with a squadron to Margate; so that all our party will be broke up. I am sure, to many of them, I feel truly obliged.
Make my kindest respects to Sir William; and believe me, ever, your most faithful and affectionate
NELSON & BRONTE.
I wish Banti was separated from Charles, for he is a knowing one. I wish I could get him with a good Captain, who would keep him strict to his duty.
Hardy cannot get paid a hundred pounds he advanced for Mr. Williams's nephew.
Many thanks for Mrs. Nelson's letters.
The Reverend Doctor likes going about. Only think of his wanting to come up with an address of thanks! Why, [the] King will not receive him, although he is a Doctor; and less, for being my brother—for, they certainly do not like me.
Amazon, October 20th, 1801.
Only two days more, the Admiralty could, with any conscience, keep me here; not that I think, they have had any conscience.
I dare say, Master Troubridge is grown fat. I know, I am grown lean, with my complaint: which, but for their indifference about my health, would never have happened; or, at least, I should have got well, long ago, in a warm room, with a good fire, and sincere friends.
I believe, I leave this little squadron with sincere regret, and with the good wishes of every creature in it.
How I should laugh, to see you, my dear friend, rowing in a boat; the beautiful Emma rowing a one-armed Admiral in a boat! It will certainly be caricatured.
Well done, farmer's wife! I'll bet your turkey against Mrs. Nelson's; but, Sir William and I will decide.
Hardy says, you may be sure of him; and, that he has not lost his appetite.
You will make us rich, with your economy.
I did not think, tell Sir William, that impudence had got such deep root in Wales. I send you the letter, as a curiosity; and to have the impudence to recommend a midshipman!
It is not long ago, a person from Yorkshire desired me to lend him three hundred pounds, as he was going to set up a school!
Are these people mad; or, do they take me for quite a fool?
However, I have wisdom enough to laugh at their folly; and to be, myself, your most obliged and faithful friend,
NELSON & BRONTE.
Best regards to Sir William, Mrs. Cadogan, and all friends.
Amazon, October 21st, 1801.
It blows strong from the westward, and is a very dirty day, with a good deal of surf on the beach; but Hardy and Sutton recommended my going on shore this morning, as they believe it may blow a heavy gale to-morrow. But, what comfort could I have had, for two whole days, at Deal?
I hope the morning will be fine: but I have ordered a Deal boat, as they understand the beach better than our's; and, if I cannot land here, I shall go to Ramsgate Pier, and come to Deal in a carriage.
Has Mrs. Cadogan got my Peer's robe? for I must send for Mr. Webb, and have it altered to a Viscount's.
Lord Hood wrote to me, to-day, and he is to be one of my introducers. He wanted me to dine with him the 24th; but I'll be damned if I dine from home that day, and it would be as likely we should dine out the 23d.
If you and Sir William ever wish me to dine with his brother, it must be the time of a very small party; for it would be worse than death to me, to dine in so large a party.
I expect, that all animals will increase where you are, for I never expect that you will suffer any to be killed.
I am glad Sir William has got the Duke's poney; riding will do him much good.
I am sorry to tell you, that Dr. Baird is so ill, that I am told it is very probable he may never recover.
This place is the devil's, for dreadful colds: and I don't believe I should get well all the winter; for both cough, and bowels, are still very much out of order.
You are now writing your last letter for Deal; so am I, for Merton, from Deal: at least, I hope so; for, if I can help it, I will not return to it.
I have much to do, being the last day on board; but ever, my dearest friend, believe me your truly affectionate
NELSON & BRONTE.
I am literally starving with cold; but my heart is warm.
I suppose I shall dine with Lutwidge: but I am not very desirous of it; for I shall have Sutton, Bedford, and Hardy, with me.
You must prepare Banti's mother, as it is a peace, for some other line of life than the navy. Yesterday, he sold a pair of silver buckles; he would soon ruin poor Charles, who is really a well-disposed boy.
I never shall get warm again, I believe. I cannot feel the pen.
Make my kindest regards to Sir William, Mrs. Cadogan, Oliver, &c.
Sutton, Hardy, and Bedford, all join in kind remembrances.
As Monday is Horace's birth-day, I suppose I must send him a one pound note.
May 22d, [1803.]
Eight o'Clock in the Morning.
We are now in sight of Ushant, and shall see Admiral Cornwallis in an hour.
I am not in a little fret, on the idea that he may keep the Victory, and turn us all into the Amphion. It will make it truly uncomfortable; but, I cannot help myself.
I assure you, my dear Emma, that I feel a thorough conviction, that we shall meet again, with honour, riches, and health, and remain together till a good old age. I look at your and my God's Child's picture; but, till I am sure of remaining here, I cannot bring myself to hang them up. Be assured, that my attachment, and affectionate regard, is unalterable; nothing can shake it! And, pray, say so to my dear Mrs. T. when you see her. Tell her, that my love is unbounded, to her and her dear sweet child; and, if she should have more, it will extend to all of them. In short, my dear Emma, say every thing to her, which your dear, affectionate, heart and head, can think of.
We are very comfortable. Mr. Elliot is happy, has quite recovered his spirits; he was very low, at Portsmouth. George Elliot is very well; say so, to Lord Minto. Murray, Sutton—in short, every body in the ship, seems happy; and, if we should fall in with a French man-of-war, I have no fears but they will do as we used to do.
Hardy is gone into Plymouth, to see our Dutchman safe. I think, she will turn out a good prize.
Gaetano desires his duty to Miledi! He is a good man; and, I dare say, will come back: for, I think, it cannot be a long war; just enough to make me independent in pecuniary matters.
If the wind stands, on Tuesday we shall be on the coast of Portugal; and, before next Sunday, in the Mediterranean.
To Mrs. Cadogan, say every kind thing; to good Mrs. Nelson, the
Doctor, &c. &c.
If you like, you may tell him about the entailing of the pension: but, perhaps, he will be so much taken up with Canterbury, that it will do for some dull evening at Hilborough.
I shall now stop, till I have been on board the Admiral. Only, tell Mrs. T. that I will write her the first safe opportunity; I am not sure of this.
I shall direct to Merton, after June 1st. Therefore, as you change, make Davison take a direction to Nepean; but, I would not trouble him with too many directions, for fear of embroil.
We were close in with Brest, yesterday; and found, by a frigate, that Admiral Cornwallis had a rendezvous at sea. Thither we went; but, to this hour, cannot find him.
It blows strong. What wind we are losing! If I cannot find the Admiral by six o'clock, we must all go into the Amphion, and leave the Victory, to my great mortification. So much for the wisdom of my superiors.
I keep my letter open to the last: for, I still hope; as, I am sure, there is no good reason for my not going out in the Victory.
I am just embarking in the Amphion; cannot find Admiral Cornwallis.
May God in Heaven bless you! prays your most sincere
NELSON & BRONTE.
Stephens's publication I should like to have.
I have left my silver seal; at least, I cannot find it.
Although I have wrote letters from various places, merely to say—"Here I am," and "There I am;"—yet, as I have no doubt but that they would all be read, it was impossible for me to say more than—"Here I am, and well:" and I see no prospect of any certain mode of conveyance, but by sea; which, with the means the Admiralty has given me, of small vessels, can be but seldom.
Our passages have been enormously long. From Gibraltar to Malta, we were eleven days: arriving the fifteenth in the evening, and sailing in the night of the sixteenth—that is, three in the morning of the seventeenth—and it was the twenty-sixth before we got off Capri; where I had ordered the frigate, which carried Mr. Elliot to Naples, to join me.
I send you copies of the King and Queen's letters. I am vexed, that she did not mention you! I can only account for it, by her's being a political letter.
When I wrote to the Queen, I said—"I left Lady Hamilton, the eighteenth of May; and so attached to your Majesty, that I am sure she would lay down her life to preserve your's. Your Majesty never had a more sincere, attached, and real friend, than your dear Emma. You will be sorry to hear, that good Sir William did not leave her in such comfortable circumstances as his fortune would have allowed. He has given it amongst his relations. But she will do honour to his memory, although every one else of his friends call loudly against him on that account."
I trust, my dear Emma, she has wrote you. If she can forget Emma, I hope, God will forget her! But, you think, that she never will, or can. Now is her time to shew it.
You will only shew the King and Queen's letters to some few particular friends.
The King is very low; lives, mostly, at Belvidere. Mr. Elliot had not seen either him or the Queen, from the seventeenth, the day of his arrival, to the twenty-first. On the next day, he was to be presented.
I have made up my mind, that it is part of the plan of that Corsican Scoundrel, to conquer the kingdom of Naples. He has marched thirteen thousand men into the kingdom, on the Adriatic side; and he will take possession, with as much shadow of right, of Gaeta and Naples: and, if the poor King remonstrates, or allows us to secure Sicily, he will call it war, and declare a conquest.
I have cautioned General Acton, not to risk the Royal Family too long; but Naples will be conquered, sooner or later, as it may suit Buonaparte's convenience.
The Morea, and Egypt, are likewise in his eye. An army of full seventy thousand men are assembling in Italy.
Gibbs and Noble are gone to Malta.
I am, you may believe, very anxious to get off Toulon, to join the fleet.
Sir Richard Bickerton went from off Naples, the day I left Gibraltar.
We passed Monte Christo, Bastia, and Cape Corse, yesterday; and are now moving, slowly, direct for Toulon.
What force they have, I know not; indeed, I am totally ignorant: some say, nine sail of the line; some, seven; some, five. If the former, they will come out; for we have only the same number, including sixty-fours, and very shortly manned.
However, I hope they will come out, and let us settle the matter. You know, I hate being kept in suspence.
I left this hole, to put down what force the French have at Toulon. Seven sail of the line ready, five frigates, and six corvettes. One or two more in about a week. We, to day, eight sail of the line—to-morrow, seven; including two sixty-four gun ships.
You will readily believe, how rejoiced I shall be to get one of your dear, excellent letters, that I may know every thing which has passed since my absence.
I sincerely hope, that Mr. Booth has settled all your accounts. Never mind, my dear Emma, a few hundred pounds; which is all the rigid gripe of the law, not justice, can wrest from you.
I thank God, that you cannot want; (although that is no good reason for its being taken from you:) whilst I have sixpence, you shall not want for fivepence of it! But, you have bought your experience, that there is no friendship in money concerns; and, your good sense will make you profit of it.
I hope, the minister has done something for you. But, never mind, we can live upon bread and cheese.
Independence is a blessing; and, although I have not yet found out the way to get prize money—what has been taken, has run into our mouths—however, it must turn out very hard, if I cannot get enough to pay off my debts, and that will be no small comfort.
I have not mentioned my Bronte affairs to Acton, as yet; but, if Naples remains much longer, I shall ask the question. But, I expect nothing from them. I believe, even Acton wishes himself well, and safely removed.
I think, from what I hear, that the King's spirits are so much depressed, that he will give up the reins of Naples, at least, to his son, and retire to Sicily. Sir William, you know, always thought, that he would end his life so. Certainly, his situation must be heart-breaking!
Gaetano returned in the frigate. I believe, he saw enough of Naples. He carried his family money; and Mr. Falconet (Gibbs being absent) will pay Mr. Greville's pension to Gaetano's family. I have now [sent] Gaetano to the post: and he desires, to present his duty; and to tell you, that Mr. Ragland, from Sir William's death, will not pay any more pensions, without orders from Mr. Greville.
Vincenzo has had none paid. He is very poor; keeps a shop. His son wanted, I find, to come in the frigate to me. I cannot afford to maintain him; therefore, I shall give no encouragement.
Old Antonio was allowed a carline a day; that is, now, not paid.
Sabatello lives with Mr. Elliot.
Nicolo, and Mary Antonio, have left Mr. Gibbs, for some cause; Gaetano says, he believes, for amore.
Francesca has two children living, and another coming. She lives the best amongst them, like gallant homme.
Pasqual lives with the Duke Montelione; and Joseph, with the old
Your house is a hotel; the upper parts are kept for the Marquis, the owner.
Mr. Elliot has taken the house of the Baille Franconi, on the Chaia.
Doctor Nudi inquired kindly after us; and all the women at Santa Lucia expected, when they saw Gaetano, that you was arrived.
Bread never was so dear; every thing else in plenty. The wages not being raised, Gaetano says, the poor of England are a million times better off.
So much for Gaetano's news. He desires his duty to Signora Madre; and remembrances to Mary Ann, Fatima, &c.
We joined, this morning, the fleet. The men in the ships are good; but the ships themselves are a little the worse for wear, and very short of their complements of men. We shall never be better: therefore, let them come; the sooner, the better.
I shall write a line to the Duke, that he may see I do not forget my friends; and I rely, my dearest Emma, on your saying every kind thing, for me, to the Doctor, Mrs. Nelson, Mrs. Bolton, Mr. and Mrs. Matcham, Mrs. Cadogan; whose kindness, and goodness, I shall never forget.
You will have the goodness to send the inclosed, as directed; and be assured, that I am, to the last moment of my life, your most attached, faithful, and affectionate,
NELSON & BRONTE.
Victory, off Toulon,
August 1, 1803.
[I do not know that you will get this letter.]
Your letter of May 31, which came under cover to Mr. Noble, of Naples, inclosing Davison's correspondence with Plymouth, arrived by the Phoebe two days ago: and this is the only scrap of a pen which has been received by any person in the fleet since we sailed from England.
You will readily conceive, my dear Emma, the sensations which the sight and reading even your few lines [occasioned.] They cannot be understood, but by those of such mutual and truly sincere attachment as your's and mine. Although you said little, I understood a great deal, and most heartily approve of your plan and society for next winter; and, next spring, I hope to be rich enough to begin the alterations at dear Merton. It will serve to amuse you; and, I am sure, that I shall admire all your alterations, even to planting a gooseberry bush.
Sutton joined me yesterday, and we are all got into the Victory; and, a few days will put us in order.
Every body gives a very excellent character of Mr. Chevalier, the servant recommended by Mr. Davison; and I shall certainly live as frugal as my station will admit. I have known the pinch, and shall endeavour never to know it again.
I want to send two thousand one hundred pounds, to pay off Mrs.
Greaves, on October 1st. But, I have not received one farthing; but,
I hope to receive some soon. But Mr. Haslewood promised to see this
matter kept right for me.
Hardy is now busy, hanging up your and Horatia's picture; and I trust soon to see the other two safe arrived from the Exhibition. I want no others to ornament my cabin. I can contemplate them, and find new beauties every day, and I do not want any body else.
You will not expect much news from us. We see nothing. I have great fear, that all Naples will fall into the hands of the French; and, if Acton does not take care, Sicily also. However, I have given my final advice so fully and strongly that, let what will happen, they cannot blame me.
Captain Capel says, Mr. Elliot cannot bear Naples. I have no doubt, but that it is very different to your time.
The Queen, I fancy, by the seal, has sent a letter to Castelcicala; her letter to me is only thanks for my attention to the safety of the kingdom. If Dr. Scott has time, and is able, he shall write a copy for you.
The King is very much retired. He would not see the French General, St. Cyr; who came to Naples, to settle the contribution for the payment of the French army.
The Queen was ordered to give him and the French minister a dinner, but the King staid at Belvidere.
I think, he will give it up soon; and retire to Sicily, if the French will allow him.
Acton has never dared give Mr. Elliot, or one Englishman, a dinner.
The fleet are ready to come forth; but, they will not come for the sake of fighting me.
I have this day made George Elliot, post; Lieutenant Pettit, a master and commander; and Mr. Hindmarsh, gunner's son, of the Bellerophon, who behaved so well this day five year, a Lieutenant.
I reckon to have lost two French seventy-fours, by my not coming out in the Victory; but I hope they will come soon, with interest.
This goes to Gibraltar, by Sutton, in the Amphion.
I shall write the Doctor in a day or two. I see, by the French papers, that he has kissed hands.
With kindest regards to your good mother, and all at Merton, &c. &c. &c. ever your's, most faithfully and affectionately,
NELSON & BRONTE.
Victory, off Toulon,
August 10th, 1803.
I take the opportunity of Mr. Acourt's going through Spain, with Mr. Elliot's dispatches for England, to send this letter: for I would not, for the world, miss any opportunity of sending you a line.
By Gibraltar, I wrote you, as lately as the 4th; but all our ways of communicating with England, are very uncertain: and, I believe, the Admiralty must have forgot us; for, not a vessel of any kind or sort has joined us, since I left Spithead.
News, I absolutely am ignorant of: except, that a schooner, belonging to me, put her nose into Toulon; and four frigates popped out, and have taken her, and a transport loaded with water for the fleet. However, I hope to have an opportunity, very soon, of paying them the debt, with interest.
Mr. Acourt says, at Naples, they hope that the mediation of Russia will save them: but, I doubt, if Russia will go to war with the French for any kingdom; and they, poor souls! relying on a broken reed, will lose Sicily.
As for getting any thing for Bronte, I cannot expect it; for, the finances of Naples are worse than ever. Patienza, however; I will— * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I see, many Bishops are dead. Is my brother tired of Canterbury? I wish I could make him a Bishop. If you see him, or write, say that I have not ten minutes to send away Mr. Acourt, who cannot be detained.
I hope Lord St. Vincent has sent out Sir William Bolton. As soon as I know who is first Lord, I will write him.
Your friend's godson arrived safe yesterday afternoon; and I shall, you know, always feel too happy in obeying your commands: for, you never ask favours, but for your friends.
In short, in every point of view, from Ambassatrice to the duties of domestic life, I never saw your equal!
That elegance of manners; accomplishments; and, above all, your goodness of heart, is unparalleled: and only believe, for ever, and beyond it, your faithful and devoted
NELSON & BRONTE.
Victory, August 24th, 1803.
[N.B. The Mysterious Letter appears to have been inclosed in this Packet.]
August 26th, 1803.
Wrote several days past.
By the Canopus, Admiral Campbell, I have received all your truly kind and affectionate letters, from May 20th to July 3d; with the exception of one, dated May 31st, sent to Naples.
This is the first communication I have had with England since we sailed.
All your letters, my dear letters, are so entertaining! and which paint so clearly what you are after, that they give me either the greatest pleasure or pain. It is the next best thing, to being with you.
I only desire, my dearest Emma, that you will always believe, that Nelson's your own; Nelson's Alpha and Omega is Emma! I cannot alter; my affection and love is beyond even this world! Nothing can shake it, but yourself; and that, I will not allow myself to think, for a moment, is possible.
I feel, that you are the real friend of my bosom, and dearer to me than life; and, that I am the same to you. But, I will neither have P.'s nor Q.'s come near you! No; not the slice of Single Gloster! But, if I was to go on, it would argue that want of confidence which would be injurious to your honour.
I rejoice that you have had so pleasant a trip into Norfolk; and I hope, one day, to carry you there by a nearer tie in law, but not in love and affection, than at present.
I wish, you would never mention that person's name! It works up your anger, for no useful purpose. Her good or bad character, of me or thee, no one cares about.
This letter will find you at dear Merton; where we shall one day meet, and be truly happy.
I do not think it can be a long war; and, I believe, it will be much shorter than people expect: and I shall hope to find the new room built; the grounds laid out, neatly but not expensively; new Piccadilly gates; kitchen garden; &c. Only let us have a plan, and then all will go on well. It will be a great source of amusement to you; and Horatia shall plant a tree. I dare say, she will be very busy. Mrs. Nelson, or Mrs. Bolton, &c. will be with you; and time will pass away, till I have the inexpressible happiness of arriving at Merton. Even the thought of it vibrates through my nerves; for, my love for you is as unbounded as the ocean!
I feel all your good mother's kindness; and, I trust, that we shall turn rich, by being economists. Spending money, to please a pack of people, is folly, and without thanks. I desire, that you will say every kind thing from me to her, and make her a present of something in my name.
Dr. Scott is gone with my mission to Algiers, or I would send you a copy of the King and Queen's letter. I send you one from the Queen. Both King, Queen, and Acton, were very civil to Sir William Bolton. He dined with Acton.
Bolton does very well in his brig; but, he has made not a farthing of prize money. If I knew where to send him for some, he should go; but, unless we have a Spanish war, I shall live here at a great expence: although Mr. Chevalier takes every care, and I have great reason to be satisfied.
I have just asked William, who behaves very well, whether he chooses to remit any of his wages to his father. It does not appear, he does, at present. He is paid, by the King, eighteen pounds a year, as one of my retinue; therefore I have nothing to pay. I have told him, whenever he chooses to send any, to tell Mr. Scott, or Captain Hardy, and he will receive a remittance bill; so, he may now act as he pleases.
A-propos of Mr. Scott. He is very much obliged to you for your news of Mrs. Scott's being brought to bed. No letters came in the cutter, but to me, and he was very uneasy. He is a very excellent good man; and, I am very fortunate in having such a one.
I admire your kindness to my dear sister Bolton. I have wrote her, that certainly I will assist Tom Bolton at college. It is better, as I tell her, not to promise more than I am sure I can perform. It is only doing them a injury. I tell her, if vacancies, please God, should happen, that my income will be much increased.
With respect to Mr. Bolton—every body knows, that I have no interest; nobody cares for me: but, if he will point out what he wants, I will try what can be done. But, I am sure, he will not be half so well off as at present. Supposing he could get a place of a few hundreds a year, he would be a ten times poorer man than he is at present. I could convince you of it, in a moment; but, if I was to begin, then it would be said, I wanted inclination to render them a service.
I should like to see Sir H—— P——'s book. I cannot conceive how a man that is reported to have been so extravagant of government's money, to say no worse, can make a good story.
I wrote to the old Duke, not long since. I regard him; but, I would not let him touch you for all his money. No; that would never do!
I believe Mr. Bennett's bill to be correct; but, it was not intended you should pay that out of the allowance for Merton; and, how could you afford to send Mrs. Bolton a hundred pounds. It is impossible, out of your income.
I wish Mr. Addington would give you five hundred pounds a year; then, you would be better able to give away than at present. But your purse, my dear Emma, will always be empty; your heart is generous beyond your means.
Your good mother is always sure of my sincerest regard; pray, tell her so.
Connor is getting on very well: but, I cannot ask Captain Capel to rate him; that must depend upon the boy's fitness, and Capel's kindness. I have placed another year's allowance of thirty pounds in Capel's hands, and given Connor a present.
What a story, about Oliver and Mr. Matcham buying an estate in Holstein; and, to sell out at such a loss! I never heard the like. I sincerely hope it will answer his expectations; it is a fine country, but miserably cold.
How can Tyson be such a fool! I sincerely hope, he will never want money. I am not surprised at Troubridge's abuse; but, his tongue is no scandal. You make me laugh, when you imitate the Doctor!
I am quite delighted with Miss Yonge's goodness: and I beg you will
make my best respects to her and her good father; and assure Mr.
Yonge, how much obliged I feel for all his kind attentions to you.
Those who do that, are sure of a warm place in my esteem.
I have wrote to Dumourier; therefore, I will only trouble you to say how much I respect him. I fancy he must have suffered great distress at Altona. However, I hope, he will now be comfortable for life. He is a very clever man; and beats our Generals, out and out. Don't they feel his coming? Advise him not to make enemies, by shewing he knows more than some of us. Envy knows no bounds to its persecution. He has seen the world, and will be on his guard.
I put Suckling into a frigate, with a very good man, who has a schoolmaster; he does very well. Bulkley will be a most excellent sea-officer; it is a pity he has not served his time. I have answered Mr. Suckling's letter.
Gaetano is very well, and desires his duty. I think, sometimes, that he wishes to be left at Naples; but, I am not sure.
Mr. Denis's relation has been long in the Victory; but, if the Admiralty will not promote my lieutenants, they must all make a retrograde motion. But, I hope, they will not do such a cruel thing. I have had a very affectionate letter from Lord Minto. I hope George will be confirmed; but, the Earl will not answer his application.
I shall send you some sherry, and a cask of paxoretti, by the convoy. Perhaps, it had better go to Merton, at once; or, to Davison's cellar, where the wine-cooper can draw it off. I have two pipes of sherry, that is bad; but, if you like, you can send the Doctor a hogshead of that which is coming. Davison will pay all the duties. Send it entirely free, even to the carriage. You know, doing the thing well, is twice doing it; for, sometimes, carriage is more thought of than the prime cost.
The paxoretti I have given to Davison; and ordered one hogshead of sherry to Canterbury, and one to dear Merton.
Victory, September 10th, 1803.
What can I send you, buffeting the stormy gulph of Lyons; nothing, but my warmest affection, in return for all your goodness to me and mine!
I have sent to Naples, to try and get some shawls from the King's manufactory; and have requested Mr. Falconet to ask his wife to choose some for you, and also some fine Venetian chains. I only wish, my dear Emma, that I knew what you would like, and I would order them with real pleasure; therefore, pray tell me.
We have so very little communication with the Mediterranean world, Malta and Toulon are in separate worlds. It takes, on the [average,] six or seven weeks to get an answer to a letter: and, in fifteen to twenty days, by the French papers, which we get from Paris, we have news from London; not the best side of the question, you may be sure, but enough to give us an idea of how matters go on.
I am of opinion, that we shall have a peace much sooner than is generally expected: and that will be, to me, the very highest pleasure in this world; to return to Merton, and your dear beloved society. Then, I agree with you, that "I would not give sixpence to call the King my uncle!"
I have wrote again to Gibbs, about my Bronte affairs; and [the copy of a letter] to Mrs. Græfer I will send you, if I can; but you must preserve it, for I have no other. It may be necessary, situated as I am, to keep her in good humour; for a thousand pounds may be easily sold off the estate, and I never the wiser. However, you will see what I have said.
I have wrote to Mr. Elliot about Sabatello. What a rascal he must be! Gaetano is going to Naples, and I shall tell him; but, of course, he would rather favour Sabatello, his brother-in-law, than Julia.
I send you, my dearest Emma, an hundred pounds, which you will dispose of as follows—a present for yourself; and, if you like, a trifle to the servants: something to the poor of Merton; something for Mrs. Cadogan, Miss Connor, Charlotte, &c. &c. I only send this as a trifling remembrance from me, whose whole soul is at Merton.
The day after I wrote the former part of this letter, Mr. Scott received from Venice, and desired to present to you, two very handsome Venetian chains, received from Venice. This I would not suffer; for I allow no one to make my own Emma presents, but her Nelson. Therefore, he will be paid for them; but, your obligation is not the less to him. He is a very worthy, excellent, modest man, and an excellent secretary.
Dr. Scott is, at times, wrong in the head; absolutely, too much learning has turned him. But we all go on very well.
I had a letter from Gibbs about Bronte, and from Noble, which will begin another letter; only, believe me, at all times, sides, and ends, most faithfully your's, for ever,
NELSON & BRONTE.
September 26th, 1803.
We have had, for these fourteen days past, nothing but gales of wind, and a heavy sea. However, as our ships have suffered no damage, I hope to be able to keep the sea all the winter. Nothing, but dire necessity, shall force me to that out of the way place, Malta. If I had depended upon that island, for supplies for the fleet, we must all have been knocked up, long ago; for, Sir Richard Bickerton sailed from Malta, the same day I left Portsmouth. So that we have been a pretty long cruise; and, if I had only to look to Malta for supplies, our ships companies would have been done for long ago. However, by management, I have got supplies from Spain, and also from France; but it appears, that we are almost shut out from Spain, for they begin to be very uncivil to our ships. However, I suppose, by this time, something is settled; but, I never hear from England. My last letters are July 6th, near three months. But, as I get French newspapers occasionally, we guess how matters are going on.
I have wrote Mr. Gibbs, again, a long history about Bronte; and, I hope, if General Acton will do nothing for me, that he will settle something: but, I know, whatever is settled, I shall be the loser. Till next year, the debt will not be paid off; how—
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Victory, off Toulon,
October 18th, 1803.
Your truly kind and affectionate letters, from July 17th, to August 24th, all arrived safe in the Childers, the 6th of this month.
Believe me, my beloved Emma, that I am truly sensible of all your love and affection, which is reciprocal. You have, from the variety of incidents passing before you, much to tell me; and, besides, you have that happy knack of making every thing you write interesting. Here I am, one day precisely like the other; except the difference of a gale of wind, or not.
Since September 1st, we have not had four fine days; and, if the
French do not come out soon, I fear, some of my ships will cry out.
You are very good, to send me your letters to read.
Mrs. D—— is a damned pimping bitch! What has she to do with your love? She would have pimped for Lord B——, or Lord L——, or Captain M'N——, * * * * of * * * *, or any one else. She is all vanity: fancies herself beautiful; witty; in short, like you. She be damned!
As I wrote you, the consulship at Civita Vecchia will not, in itself, pay their lodgings; and, the bad air will tip her off.
There will be no Lord Bristol's table. He tore his last will, a few hours before his death. It is said, that it was giving every thing to those devils of Italians about him.
I wish he may have given Mrs. Denis any thing; but, I do not think it: and, as for you, my dear Emma, as long as I can, I don't want any of their gifts.
As for old Q. he may put you into his will, or scratch you out, as he pleases, I care not.
If Mr. Addington gives you the pension, it is well; but, do not let it fret you. Have you not Merton? It is clear—the first purchase—and my dear Horatia is provided for: and, I hope, one of these days, that you will be my own Duchess of Bronte; and, then, a fig for them all!
I have just had a letter from Gibbs, of which I send you a copy. You see what interest he is taking about Bronte.
I begin to think, without some assistance like his, that I never should have touched a farthing. It will be 1805, before I touch the estate. Neither principal or interest of the seven thousand ounces have been paid; and, it is now eight thousand ounces debt.
You will see, Gibbs, at last, has fixed on sending his daughter home; and I shall be glad of so good an opportunity of obliging him, as it will naturally tie him to my interest. He was a great fool, not to have sent the child with you, as you wished.
I am glad to find, my dear Emma, that you mean to take Horatia home. Aye! she is like her mother; will have her own way, or kick up a devil of a dust. But, you will cure her: I am afraid I should spoil her; for, I am sure, I would shoot any one who would hurt her.
She was always fond of my watch; and, very probably, I might have promised her one: indeed, I gave her one, which cost sixpence! But, I go no where to get any thing pretty; therefore, do not think me neglectful.
I send you Noble's letter; therefore, I hope you will get your cases in good order: they have had some narrow escapes.
I am glad you liked South End.
How that Coffin could come over, and palaver, Rowley, Keith, &c. and Coffin to abuse the Earl! Now, I can tell you, that he is the Earl's spy.
It is Coffin, who has injured Sir Andrew Hammond so much: and his custom is, to abuse the Earl, to get people to speak out; and, then, the Earl takes his measures accordingly.
To me, it is nothing. Thank God! there can be no tales told of my cheating; or, I hope, neglecting my duty. Whilst I serve, I will serve well, and closely; when I want rest, I will go to Merton.
You know, my dear Emma, that I am never well when it blows hard. Therefore, imagine what a cruize off Toulon is; even in summer time, we have a hard gale every week, and two days heavy swell.
It would kill you; and myself, to see you. Much less possible, to have
Charlotte, Horatia, &c. on board ship!
And I, that have given orders to carry no women to sea in the Victory, to be the first to break them!
And, as to Malta, I may never see it, unless we have an engagement; and, perhaps, not then: for, if it is complete, I may go home, for three months, to see you; but, if you was at Malta, I might absolutely miss you, by leaving the Mediterranean without warning.
The other day, we had a report the French were out, and seen steering to the westward. We were as far as Minorca, when the alarm proved false.
Therefore, my dearest beloved Emma! although I should be the happiest of men, to live and die with you, yet my chance of seeing you is much more certain by your remaining at Merton, than wandering where I may never go; and, certainly, never to stay forty-eight hours.
You cannot, I am sure, more ardently long to see me, than I do to be with you; and, if the war goes on, it is my intention to get leave to spend the next winter in England: but I verily believe that, long before that time, we shall have peace.
As for living in Italy, that is entirely out of the question. Nobody cares for us, there; and, if I had Bronte—which, thank God! I shall not—it would cost me a fortune to go there, and be tormented out of my life. I should never settle my affairs there.
I know, my own dear Emma, if she will let her reason have fair play, will say, I am right; but she is, like Horatia, very angry, if she cannot have her own way. Her Nelson is called upon, in the most honourable manner, to defend his country! Absence, to us, is equally painful: but, if I had either stayed at home, or neglected my duty abroad, would not my Emma have blushed for me? She could never have heard of my praises, and how the country looks up.
I am writing, my dear Emma, to reason the point with you; and, I am sure, you will see it in its true light. But I have said my say, on this subject, and will finish.
I have received your letter, with Lord William's and Mr. Kemble's, about Mr. Palmer: he is also recommended by the Duke of Clarence; and, he says, by desire of the Prince of Wales. I have, without him, twenty-six to be made Captains, and list every day increasing. It is not one whole French fleet that can get through it.
I shall, probably, offend many more than I can oblige. Such is always the case: like the tickets—those who get them, feel they have a right to them; and those [who] do not get them, feel offended for ever.
But, I cannot help it: I shall endeavour to do what is right, in every situation; and some ball may soon close all my accounts with this world of care and vexation!
But, never mind, my own dear-beloved Emma: if you are true to me, I care not—and approve of all my actions. However, as you say, I approve of them, myself; therefore, probably, I am right.
Poor Reverend Mr. Scott is, I fear, in a very bad way. His head has been turned by too much learning, and the stroke of lightning will never let him be right again. The Secretary Scott is a treasure; and I am very well mounted: Hardy is every thing I could wish or desire.
Our days pass so much alike that, having described one, you have them all. We now breakfast by candlelight; and all retire, at eight o'clock, to bed.
Naples, I fancy, is in a very bad way, in regard to money. They have not, or pretend not to have, enough to pay their officers; and, I verily believe, if Acton was to give up his place, that it would become a province of France. Only think of Buonaparte's writing to the Queen, to desire her influence to turn out Acton! She answered, properly: at least, so says Mr. Elliot, who knows more of Naples than any of us; God help him!—and General Acton has, I believe, more power than ever.
By Gibbs's letter, I see, he has sent over about my accounts at Bronte. He can have no interest in being unfriendly to me. Why should he? I want no great matters from him; and he can want nothing from me, that it is not my duty to give his Sovereigns: therefore, why should he be against us! For my part, my conduct will not alter, whether he is or not.
Our friend, Sir Alexander, is a very great diplomatic character; and, even an Admiral must not know what he is negotiating about: although you will scarcely believe, that the Bey of Tunis sent the man at my desire.
You shall judge—viz. "The Tunisian Envoy is still here, negotiating. He is a moderate man; and, apparently, the best disposed of any I ever did business with." Could even the oldest diplomatic character be drier? I hate such parade of nonsense! But, I will turn from such stuff.
You ask me, Do you do right to give Charlotte things? I shall only say, my dear Emma, whatever you do in that way, I shall always approve. I only wish, I had more power than I have! But, somehow, my mind was not sharp enough for prize-money. Lord Keith would have made twenty thousand pounds, and I have not made six thousand.
Poor Mr. Este, how I pity him! but, what shall I do with him? However, if he comes, I shall shew him all the kindness in my power.
The vessel is just going off. I have not a scrap of news! Only, be assured of my most affectionate regard.
Remember me kindly to Charlotte. Shall always love those that are good to Horatia. I will write her by another opportunity.
Remember me to Mrs. Cadogan.
You may be sure, I do not forget Charles, who has not been well;
Captain Capel is very good to him.
I am, ever, for ever, my dearest Emma, your most faithful and affectionate
NELSON & BRONTE.
* * * * *
Lord Nelson's Letters
* * * * *
Letters OF LORD NELSON, &c.
See LETTER X. Page 29.
I sit down, my Dear Mrs. T. by desire of poor Thomson, to write you a line: not, to assure you of his eternal love and affection for you and his dear child; but only to say, that he is well, and as happy as he can be, separated from all which he holds dear in this world. He has no thoughts separated from your love, and your interest. They are united with his; one fate, one destiny, he assures me, awaits you both. What can I say more? Only, to kiss his child for him: and love him as truly, sincerely, and faithfully, as he does you; which is, from the bottom of his soul. He desires, that you will more and more attach yourself to dear Lady Hamilton.
See LETTER XXXVI. Page 135.
My Dearest Beloved * * * *,
To say, that I think of you by day, night, and all day, and all night, but too faintly express my feelings of love and affection towards you * * * * * * * * * * unbounded affection. Our dear excellent, good * * * * * * * is the only one who knows any thing of the matter; and she has promised me, when you * * * * * * again, to take every possible care of you, as a proof of her never-failing regard for your own dear Nelson. Believe me, that I am incapable of wronging you, in thought, word, or deed. No; not all the wealth of Peru could buy me for one moment: it is all your's, and reserved wholly for you; and * * * certainly * * * * * * * * * from the first moment of our happy, dear, enchanting, blessed meeting. The thoughts of such happiness, my dearest only beloved, makes the blood fly into my head. The call of our country, is a duty which you would, deservedly, in the cool moments of reflection, reprobate, was I to abandon: and I should feel so disgraced, by seeing you ashamed of me! No longer saying—"This is the man who has saved his country! This is he who is the first to go forth to fight our battles, and the last to return!" And, then, all these honours reflect on you. "Ah!" they will think; "what a man! what sacrifices has he not made, to secure our homes and property; even the society and happy union with the finest and most accomplished woman in the world." As you love, how must you feel! My heart is with you, cherish it. I shall, my best beloved, return—if it pleases God—a victor; and it shall be my study to transmit an unsullied name. There is no desire of wealth, no ambition, that could keep me from all my soul holds dear. No; it is to save my country, my wife in the eye of God, and * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * will tell you that it is all right: and, then, only think of our happy meeting.
Ever, for ever, I am your's, only your's, even beyond this world,
NELSON & BRONTE.
For ever, for ever, your own NELSON.
August 26th, [1803.]
Letters OF LADY HAMILTON, &c.
Naples, June 30th, 1798.
I take the opportunity of Captain Hope, to write a few lines to you, and thank you for your kind letter by Captain Bowen.
The Queen was much pleased, as I translated it for her: and charges me to thank you; and say, she prays for your honour and safety—victory, she is sure you will have.
We have still the regicide minister here, Garrat: the most impudent, insolent dog; making the most infamous demands every day; and I see plainly, the court of Naples must declare war, if they mean to save their country.
Her Majesty sees, and feels, all you said in your letter to Sir William, dated off the Faro di Messina, in its true light; so does General Acton.
But, alas! their First Minister, Gallo, is a frivolous, ignorant, self-conceited coxcomb, that thinks of nothing but his fine embroidered coat, ring, and snuff-box; and half Naples thinks him half a Frenchman: and, God knows, if one may judge of what he did in making the peace for the Emperor, he must either be very ignorant, or not attached to his masters or the cause commune.
The Queen and Acton cannot bear him, and consequently [he] cannot have much power: but, still, a First Minister, although he may be a minister of smoke, yet he has always something; enough, at least, to do mischief.
The Jacobins have all been lately declared innocent, after suffering four years imprisonment; and, I know, they all deserved to be hanged long ago: and, since Garrat has been here, and through his insolent letters to Gallo, these pretty gentlemen, that had planned the death of their Majesties, are to be let out on society again.
In short, I am afraid, all is lost here; and I am grieved to the heart for our dear, charming Queen, who deserves a better fate!
I write to you, my dear Sir, in confidence, and in a hurry.
I hope you will not quit the Mediterranean, without taking us. We have our leave, and every thing ready, at a day's notice, to go: but yet, I trust in God, and you, that we shall destroy those monsters, before we go from hence. Surely, their reign cannot last long!
If you have any opportunity, write to us; pray, do: you do not know how your letters comfort us.
God bless you, my dear, dear Sir! and believe me, ever, your most sincerely obliged and attached friend,
Thursday Evening, June 12th, [1799.]
I have been with the Queen this evening. She is very miserable; and says, that although the people of Naples are for them, in general, YET things will not be brought to that state of quietness and subordination, till the fleet of Lord Nelson appears off Naples. She therefore begs, intreats, and conjures you, my dear Lord, if it is possible, to arrange matters so as to be able to go to Naples.
Sir William is writing for General Acton's answer.
For God's sake, consider it, and do! We will go with you, if you will come and fetch us.
Sir William is ill; I am ill: it will do us good.
God bless you! Ever, ever, your's sincerely,
(Lord Nelson's Father)
Letters OF THE REV. EDMUND NELSON, &c.
I am much favoured by your polite letter, and the very friendly regard with which Sir William Hamilton and yourself always mention my dear son; who is, certainly, a worthy, good, brave man, parental partiality apart. But, I myself am by no means satisfied with his present situation; as to its importance, its safety, or its merited rewards. It [is] his to sow, but others reap the yellow harvests. All things, I trust, however, will work together for good.
Captain Parker's misfortune, I see, in every point of view, with a friendly concern. Langford will quickly be upon his legs.
Though the amusements of a dirty sea-port are not the most refined, good health, and domestic cheerfulness, will be a happy substitute.
I beg the whole party to accept this my remembrance; and assurance of my regard, respect, and love: and am, Madam, your most humble servant,
Burnham, August 11th, [1801.]
Your polite congratulation upon the entrance of a new year, I return seven-fold to you, and the whole of the party now under the hospitable roof of Merton Place. Time is a sacred deposit committed to our trust; and, hereafter, we must account for the use we have made of it. To me, a large portion of this treasure has already been granted, even seventy-nine years. The complaint my dear son has felt is, I know, very, very painful: and can be removed, only, with much care and caution; not venturing, without a thick covering, both head and feet, even to admire your parterres of snow-drops, which now appear in all their splendour. The white robe which January wears, bespangled with ice, is handsome to look at; but we must not approach too near her.
I shall be very glad to know the Lord of Merton is recovered.
I am, Madam, your most humble servant,
Bath, January 7th, 1802.
Letters OF EARL NELSON, &c.
Hilborough, near Brandon,
Wednesday, March 4th, 1801.
My Dear Lady,
I have sent you, by this day's coach, a hunted hare; which, I hope, will prove tender and good. It was killed yesterday.
We are very much gratified by your kind and friendly letters: they are very interesting to us, and they give an additional zest to our breakfast; indeed, they are the only things give us any comfort, in our absence. How unfortunate it was, we left town as we did! I had a letter, yesterday morning, from my great and beloved Brother. He tells me, he has sent my letter to the new Lord Chancellor; God grant it may have the desired effect; but, they are all so engaged, that I fear it much. At any rate, our good Friend has done what he can. He tells me, he shall be at Yarmouth to-morrow or next day. A near relation of our's, who has not seen my Lord since his return to England, has offered to take me in his carriage: so, we set out on Sunday afternoon; for we parsons can't go till the Sunday duty is over. We sleep at Norwich, and hope to be at Yarmouth early on Monday.
I have written to my Brother by this post; so that, if he is likely to have sailed before Monday, he has time to stop us. Yarmouth is sixty miles from hence.
I have written you all these particulars; because, I know, you like to know all about us.
Mrs. Nelson does not go with us; so you must be charitable to her, and give her a letter or two. We shall return by the following Sunday.
I see, by the papers, the King was better on Tuesday.
Mrs. Nelson is going out for a day; when she returns, she will write. She will thank you to keep the two guineas my Lord left for Charlotte, till you hear from her; as she has thought of laying it out in a frock for her.
We both join in united regards to Sir William; and believe me, your
Ladyship's faithful and most obliged and affectionate friend,
Hilborough, March 29th, 1801.
My Dear Lady,
As I have duty to-day, both morning and afternoon, and to preach twice, I have only time to scrawl a few lines to you between the services. I will write to my deary to-morrow.
I do not much wonder we have no news from the Baltic, considering the state of the wind; and, unless it changes, it may be some time first. Pray God it may be good, when it does arrive.
I was rather surprised to hear Tom Tit (that bad bird) had taken his flight to town: but, he is a prying little animal, and wishes to know every thing; and, as he is so small and insignificant, his movements are not always observed. But, for God's sake, take care of him; and caution our little jewel to be as much upon her guard as she can. I am terribly afraid, this bird will endeavour to do mischief. He must be watched with a hawk's eye. I almost wish some hawk, or Jove's eagle, would either devour him or frighten him away.
It is not very likely I should hear from Yarmouth before you, because our Yarmouth letters generally go to London first; but if I should, accidentally, your Ladyship shall depend on hearing from me immediately.
I am glad my little Horace looks so well; and that you think him so like his great, his glorious, his immortal Uncle. Why should he not be like him? Is it so very uncommon for such near relations to have some similitude? They who say otherwise, only say it out of envy, malice and hatred, and all uncharitableness; out upon all such miscreants! say I.
My love to deary, Charlotte, and the hereditary Duke of Bronte.
God bless you, my dear Lady; and believe me, your's faithfully,
Tell me, in your next, whether you have seen that little bird, called Tom Tit.
Hilborough, August 23d, 1801.
I have written two long letters to my jewel, but I still seem to have more to say. I can't find out whether a certain Viscountess is expected at Burnham, or no.
I am pleased that you propose bringing Mrs. Nelson to Hilborough. I hope, Sir William will be able to amuse himself with fishing a little. The weather is too hot for me to come to London, and I can't leave my parish at this time.
Tell my Brother, I should have great pleasure in seeing him; and will go with him to Plymouth, or any where else, if he particularly desires it. When you have seen Parker and Langford, you can give me a particular account of the state of their wounds. I feel much for them. I think it is better the Cub did not speak to Mrs. N. It will save some trouble.
I wish you could get a comfortable house near London.
You will find Mr. Nayler, of the Herald's Office, a pleasant young man. I believe, he is my friend, and will readily give every information in his power.
If Jove gets a higher title, perhaps things may be settled more to our minds. Now we are already in the patent, as Barons; it will be no difficult matter, in that case, to have our entails advanced to the highest honour, if my brother wishes.
This I only mention entre nous, without having a desire on the subject. I am perfectly satisfied, that I am in the patent. I don't mean to say more to my Brother.
I am told, there are two or three very old lives, Prebends of Canterbury, in the Minister's gift—near six hundred pounds a year, and good houses.
The Deans of Hereford, Exeter, Litchfield and Coventry, York, and
Winchester, are old men.
Write from Deal, and tell me when you are likely to return to London.
You can't come from thence nearer than London, unless my Brother lands you on the other side of the river Thames, on the Essex or Suffolk coasts. If that plan takes place, Mrs. Nelson had better send Sarah home before you go.
Compliments to Sir William, and all friends. Your's very faithfully,
Sunday Morning, Sept. 6th, [1801.]
My Dear Lady,
To be sure, you did promise to write to me on Thursday last; and I was very much disappointed at not receiving a letter yesterday, and sent to the Post Office twice, to be certain there was no mistake: and, now, this morning, comes your roguish, waggish letter, on a Sunday morning, (amidst all my meditations for the good of my parishioners) about love, courtship, marriage, throwing the stocking, going to bed, &c. &c. &c.—quite shocking to write to a country parson, who can have no idea of such things. It might do well enough for a King's chaplain; or a church dignitary, who is supposed to have more learning, and more knowledge of things in general.
I wish you was here, and you should not laugh at me for nothing. I would give you as good as you brought, at any time.
I'll have no Emmas, at present. Stay till there comes one or two of another sort, to keep the line of the Nelsons in the true name and blood, without being obliged to go to others to assume a name which scarcely belongs to them; and, then, as many Emmas, Elfridas, Evelindas, and Evelinas, as you please.
But, I hope to God, the present young Horatio will go on as we all wish, and transmit a long race to posterity.
I am delighted with Dr. Heath's letter to my Brother, and the character he gives of him. My only fear is, that we shall spoil him among us.
I have not yet heard from him, how he felt himself. I should have liked to have peeped slyly into his room, and seen how he acted on first receiving the joyful intelligence.
I don't know enough how to thank my Brother, for all his goodness to me and mine; my heart overflows, whenever I think of it: but I can't sit down, and write a formal letter of thanks; it would be too absurd for me to write, or him to read. He well knows me; and I leave it to your Ladyship, (my best and truest friend) to say every thing to him, for and from me: it will come best from your lips, and adorned with your eloquence.
I wish my Brother had done with this business. I hope, a peace will soon put an end to his toils and dangers. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hilborough, September 8th, 1801.
I hope you will have received my long letter of Sunday's date, by this time. I wonder you should accuse me of remissness, in not writing to you. I told you then, and I repeat it now, that I would always give you "as good as you brought:" and, upon looking back to the last week's letters, I find I have always answered your's, whenever I had one; and, generally, by the same post.
As I wrote so much on Sunday, and you said—you thought you should leave Deal on Tuesday or Wednesday, I said—I should write no more till you got back to London. Nor should I now, was it not to rebut the charge of remissness and inattention to you.
I am glad Mrs. Nelson is likely to come home soon; but, I hear nothing about your intentions. I shall write to her to-morrow, and direct my letter to Piccadilly; where, I hope, it will find her: and, if this letter travels to Deal, and follows you to London, it is no matter; it is not worth having, when you get it. Only, I could not bear the thoughts of the appearance of neglect, without deserving it.
One or two letters I wrote to Mrs. Nelson last week, I gave public notice, were intended, in a great degree, for the whole party.
Mrs. Bolton is here for a day, to help my solitary life. I find Lady
N. has taken a house in Somerset Street, Portman Square. She, and my
Father, are to spend the winter in London; and, I am informed, he is
to pay half. Whether it is ready-furnished, or not, I can't tell.
Mr. Edwards is this moment gone, and begs his compliments to you all.
Believe me, your's most faithfully,
Compliments to Parker and Langford.
Canterbury, February 9th, 1805.
Dear Lady Hamilton,
I send you a small parcel; which I will thank you to forward to my Brother, if you think there is a chance of his getting it before he leaves the Mediterranean. But, if you have reason to expect him home very soon, you will be kind enough to return it to me again; or, keep it till I see you.
The ceremony of electing the new Archbishop takes place on Tuesday morning. I think it more than probable, we shall make choice of the person his Majesty has recommended to us, in his letter, which the Chapter received yesterday.
Mrs. Nelson begs her love to you, Charlotte, Mrs. Bolton, &c. &c.
Your's, very faithfully,
I received Mrs. Bolton's parcel safe on Friday.
Letters OF THE EARL OF ST. VINCENT, &c.
My Dear Madam,
The prodigies of valour performed by your new Chevalier have, I fear, obliterated the memory of your ancient Knight. Nevertheless, I beg your Ladyship will lay me at the feet of the Queen of the Two Sicilies, and assure her Majesty of my profound respect for her person, and that my life is devoted to the defence of it: and, for yourself, accept every kind wish of your Ladyship's truly affectionate and faithful Knight,
Gibraltar, 18th October 1798.
Ten thousand most grateful thanks are due to your Ladyship, for restoring the health of our invaluable friend Nelson, on whose life the fate of the remaining governments in Europe, whose system has not been deranged by these devils, depends. Pray, do not let your fascinating Neapolitan dames approach too near him; for he is made of flesh and blood, and cannot resist their temptations.
Lady St. Vincent will be transported with your attention to her. I have sent the fan mounts for Lady Nelson and her, by Sir James Saumarez; who, after seeing the French prizes safe moored in the Tagus, conveys the Duke d'Hervie. He, poor man! although a Grandee of Spain, having been driven out of that kingdom by the insolent intrigues of Truguet.
I have obeyed your Ladyship's commands respecting Tom Bowen, who is now Captain of L'Aquilon, and gone to Lisbon to take possession of her; and his brother William, who married a daughter of Sir William Parker, I have appointed to the Caroline, the finest frigate I have, and he is employed on the most advantageous service for filling his pockets. Should your Ladyship have any other protegé, I desire you will not spare me.
I am very much penetrated with the condescension their Majesties of the Two Sicilies have graciously shewn to me, through your Ladyship, and I rely on your doing justice to my feelings upon the occasion.
I have taken up my residence here for some months, that I may be ready to afford succour to the detachments of the fleet I have the honour to command, in the Levant and before Cadiz; and, when Sir William and you arrive, I shall be able to give you some English mutton, in a plain way.
Continue to love me; and rest assured of the most unfeigned and affectionate regard of, my dear Lady Hamilton, your faithful and devoted Knight,
Admiral's House, Rosia, Gibraltar, 28th October 1798.
I have to thank you, which I do most kindly, for your obliging letters of the 7th and 10th of November; and for the gracious letter which your Ladyship had received from the charming, delightful Queen of the Two Sicilies, at whose feet I am anxiously desirous to throw myself: and, as I have relinquished my intention of returning to England, (although in possession of leave to go) I hope the period is not far distant. In the meanwhile, have the goodness to keep me alive in the remembrance of her Majesty: assure her of my profound respect and admiration for her as Queen—I dare not give utterance to what I feel for her as one of the first and most lovely of her sex.
Our possession of the island of Minorca will relieve her Majesty, and the government, from one embarrassment, touching their last treaty with France; as Lord Nelson will now be able to refit his squadron, without committing an infraction of the treaty.
Our excellent friend, General O'Hara, is very busy in erecting two rooms for the accommodation of your Ladyship and Sir William, when you visit this curious rock. He is among the most hospitable and entertaining of men: and we live together as all commanders of his Majesty's land forces and fleets ought to do; and, I hope, will do, from the examples which have been shewn wherever I have acted with the army—as Sir Charles Grey, the Governor of this garrison, and General Stuart, will testify; and, if the immortal Wolfe could be conjured from the grave, he would do so too.
I hope soon to hear, our dear Lord Nelson is quite well, under your fostering care; and, with my warmest wishes for every blessing to be showered down upon you and your's, I have the honour to be, with the truest respect, esteem, and regard, your Ladyship's very affectionate, humble servant,
Rosia House, Gibraltar, 7th Dec. 1798.
Permit me to introduce to your acquaintance and protection another hero of the Nile, in Captain Darby, of the Bellerophon; who you will find a pleasant, queer, and faithful Irishman.
I also beg leave to interest you in favour of Mrs. Lock; a daughter of the Duchess of Leinster, by Mr. Ogilvie. Her husband is appointed Consul at Naples; which may occasion some difficulty in bringing her forward, unless the etiquette is altered touching Consuls.
God bless you, my dear Madam; and, be assured, I always am your
Ladyship's truly affectionate
Rosia House, Gibraltar, 1st January 1799.
I cannot sufficiently thank you, for sending me her Sicilian Majesty's most gracious letter; the contents of which I feel, as becomes a good royalist, and loyal subject: and for your goodness to Mrs. Lock; who, poor thing! merits a more respectable situation than that of Consuless. She is, certainly, a very comely woman, and truly amiable.
The designation Sir William has in contemplation for him, will place them in an honourable stile; and, I have no doubt, from the protection they have at home, will lead to ministerial character.
You are very good to my old friend Darby—who is a good-humoured, blundering Irishman; and will make you laugh, in the midst of the pangs your Ladyship must suffer for the destiny of the delightful city and country to which you have so long contributed a large portion of the gaiety and charming society of Sir William's hospitable mansion: for, although I had not the good fortune to revisit Naples after Sir William's return, all my travelling friends did ample justice to the liberality of the representatives of our Royal Master and Mistress. Mr. Preston was chargé, when I was at Naples with the Duke of Gloucester; and, though a worthy gentleman, and since a pious Bishop, he was certainly a dry comedian.
Have the goodness to commend me to the Queen; continue to nurse my excellent friend, Nelson; and, when I have the happiness to see Sir William and your Ladyship here, I will pour the effusions of my heart upon you both. The Governor has added two rooms to the convent, for your accommodation; and Mrs. Grey, late Miss Whitbread, wife to the Captain of the Ville de Paris, will contribute all that this house affords for the entertainment of both.
God bless you, my dear Lady Hamilton; and, be assured, no man respects and esteems you more truly than your Ladyship's truly affectionate
Rosia House, 27th February 1799.
Letters OF SIR ALEXANDER JOHN BALL, &c.
My Dear Madam,
I cannot help loving and esteeming you very much, although you have proved such a false gipsey to me. Pray, do you recollect looking into my hand, and telling me a pretty story of carrying home Sir William and Lady Hamilton, &c. &c. However, I forgive you; as you did not take money, and could only have in view giving me much pleasure.
I beg leave to introduce to your Ladyship's notice the Abbé Savoye; who is a sensible man, and the most polished here. He has great influence with the Maltese. Pray, request Sir William to introduce him particularly to Le Chevalier Acton.
I shall have the pleasure of seeing you and Sir William Hamilton in England, this summer. How very much I wished to be near you, when you were reading the parliamentary effusions of gratitude and joy for the services Lord Nelson has rendered his country! I would rather be Lord Nelson, than any Duke—or, indeed, any man—in England; and you may guess how very proud I am in having such a friend. Indeed, I feel, that I owe more to him than any man in this world. I have written to Sir William; God bless you both!
I remain, with sincere respect and esteem, my dear Madam, your
Ladyship's most devoted and obliged humble servant,
Alexander, 9th February 1799.
Davidge Gould is sighing for Palermo; alias Miss K——. I wish the Admiral would let him recreate for a fortnight, and send Hardy to me again.
My Dear Madam,
I had the honour of writing to your Ladyship and Sir William, by the Vanguard; since which, I have read the few lines you had the goodness to address to me at the bottom of Lord Nelson's letter of the 9th inst.
I cannot entertain any hopes of personally paying my respects to you and Sir William, before your departure for England; but, be assured, that I can never forget the very flattering attention you have both been pleased to honour me with.
You must wait a month longer, for the warm weather; otherwise, the transition may be too great for Sir William.
We are anxiously waiting for the Maltese deputies to return from Palermo. The inhabitants are critically situated; but, I hope, all will end well. Good news from you will determine it.
I find, that you fascinate all the navy as much at Palermo as you did at Naples. If we had many such advocates, every body would be a candidate for our profession.
God bless, and protect, you and Sir William. May prosperous gales attend you! May you live a thousand years!
Believe me, with sincere respect and esteem, my dear Madam, your
Ladyship's most devoted and obliged servant,
23d February 1799.
Bishop of Derry, in Ireland,
Letters OF THE EARL OF BRISTOL, Bishop of Derry, &c.
Naples, Sunday Morning, [1795.]
I return you the inclosed, my Dearest Emma, which does equal honour to the excellent head and heart of the writer. I shall begin, for the first time of my life, to have a good opinion of myself, after such honourable testimonials.
In the mean time, I send you an extraordinary piece of news, just written me from Ratisbon—a courier from the Elector of Mentz, desiring the Empire to make a separate peace with France.
Couriers have been sent from the Diet to Sweden and Denmark, desiring their mediation: "and it is clear," says my letter, "Somebody is at the bottom of all this; the Elector of Mentz only lends his name."
The suburbs of Warsaw taken; the capitulation of the city daily expected.
The King of Prussia totally retired beyond Potsdam, and supposed to be at the eve of madness.
Oh! Emma, who'd ever be wise,
If madness be loving of thee.
Munich, 14th July 1795.
Here is great news from England. My letters of the 26th June assure me, seven thousand men are embarked for St. Pol de Leon, together with an immense number of emigrés—that, the week before, a bishop, and sixty priests, were most prosperously landed at the same place, and received with the greatest acclamations—that six sail of the line from Russia, were in sight, and the pilots gone to conduct them—that, in Amsterdam, and other towns of Holland, there is the greatest insurrections in favour of that fool the Stadtholder. All this, however, can only tend to facilitate peace, but not at all to restore that despicable, odious family of Bourbons—the head of which is now at Verona, where we left him eating two capons a day; ('tis a pity the whole family are not capons!) and, what is more, dressing them himself in a superb kitchen—the true chapel of a Bourbon Prince.
Emma! if that dear Queen of Naples does not write, herself, to Prince D'Oria, for me, I won't look at your beautiful face these six months—"coute qui coute."
To-morrow, for Pyrmont, near Hanover. Emma—adieu!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * There is no doubt but Don Luizi is implicated: that very circumstance, argues the extent of the mischief; for so cautious a man, and one whose sentiments are so publicly known, would not engage without good support.
I have conversed with one of his intimates—one "who is no stranger to his dearest secret." The evidence will be difficult; perhaps, impracticable: unless his most confidential friends can be gained; and that, I deem, impossible.
But the character of the Garrison at Capua is of the most alarming complexion; and, yet, is what I can best depend on. I think, Wade could tell much, if he would speak out.
Lovel and I were on Vesuvius. He goes, like a true parson, only to eat the better. I foresee, he will once more fall into Nudi's hands. Procyta will be another Duo; for I hate large parties on such, and especially females—unless they be Phoenixes, like yourself.
It is a great discouragement to a Caserta party, to view the whole town buried in a mist; and the Belvidere alone, like a buoy, to point out the shoal.
Every wish of my heart beats for the dear Queen.
Send me word, Dearest Emma! how the invaluable, adorable Queen, finds herself.
The weather changed so unmercifully, yesterday, that Lovel and I both grew ill; and this makes me the more anxious to hear of our too sensible and inestimable Queen. My warmest wishes—physical, political, and moral—ever attend her.
Here is my cousin's answer, Dearest Emma—"Io lo capisco." Her brother assured me, there is not the semblance of an insurrection; and, that our dear, dear Queen, is misled by a set of scoundrels.
Send me word where you will be. Adieu!
Yesterday, we dined on Mount Vesuvius; to-day, we were to have dined on its victim, Pompeii: but, "by the grace of God, which passeth all understanding," since Bartolomeo himself, that weather-soothsayer, did not foresee this British weather, we are prevented.
In the mean time, all this week and the next, is replete with projects to Ischia, Procita, &c. &c. so God only knows when I can worship, again, my Diana of Ephesus.
Write me word, explicitly, how you are, what you are, and where you are; and be sure that, wheresoever I am, still I am your's, my dearest Emma.
The very unexpected intelligence, which Prince Augustus has most delicately communicated to me, of poor Lord Hervey's decease, has quite bouleversée my already shattered frame.
I would not allow your friendly mind to learn an event so interesting to me from any other hand than that of your affectionate and devoted friend,
I should certainly have made this Sunday an holy day to me, and have taken a Sabbath day's journey to Caserta, had not poor Mr. Lovel been confined to his bed above three days with a fever.
To-day, it is departed; to-morrow, Dr. Nudi has secured us from its resurrection; and, after to-morrow, I hope, virtue will be its own reward, and that my friendship for Lovel will be recompensed with the enjoyment.
This moment I receive your billet-doux, and very dulcet it is!
All public and private accounts agree, in the immediate prospect of a general peace. It will make a delicious foreground in the picture of the new year; many of which, I wish, from the top, bottom, and centre of my heart, to the incomparable Emma—quella senza paragona!
Dans ce moment, on m'assure que Mayence est prise. Je ne vous garantis pas cette maudite nouvelle—mais je me flatte que la paix se fait.
I went down to your Opera box two minutes after you left it; and should have seen you on the morning of your departure—but was detained in the arms of Murphy, as Lady Eden expressed it, and was too late.
You say nothing of the adorable Queen; I hope, she has not forgot me: but, as Shakespeare says, "Who doats, must doubt;" and I verily deem her the very best edition of a woman I ever saw—I mean; of such as are not in folio, and are to be had in sheets.
I will come on Friday or Saturday; but our British colony are so numerous, that my duties obstruct my pleasures.
Ever, and invariably, dearest, dear Emma, most affectionately, your
You see, I am but the second letter of your alphabet, though you are the first of mine.
Milan, 24th November 1798.
I know not, Dearest Emma, whether friend Sir William has been able to obtain my passport, or not; but this I know—that, if they have refused it, they are damned fools for their pains: for, never was a Malta orange better worth squeezing or sucking; and if they leave me to die, without a tombstone over me, to tell the contents—"tant pis pour eux!"
In the mean time, I will frankly confess to you, that my health most seriously and urgently requires the balmy air of dear Naples, and the more balmy atmosphere of those I love, and who love me; and that I shall forego my garret with more regret than most people of my silly rank in society forego a palace or a drawing-room.
But I will augur better things from the justice of my neighbour; and that they will not condemn, against all rules of probability, one of their best friends, unheard: especially, one who, if he be heard, can say so much.
My project, then, in case I receive the passport, is to travel on horseback as far as Spalato in Dalmatia; and, from thence, cross over to Manfredonia—a passage of a few hours—and which, in the year 1772, I performed with my horses on board; and, afterwards, had a most delightful jaunt through that unexplored region, Dalmatia; where the very first object that strikes both the eye and the imagination, is a modern city built within the precincts of an ancient palace—for Spalato stands within the innermost walls of Diocletian's palace. For that wise Sovereign quitted the sceptre for the pleasures of an architect's rule; and, when he had completed his mansion in that delightful climate, enjoyed that, and life, to a most advanced old age—
"The world forgetting, by the world forgot."
A-propos to Spalato! Do not fail hinting to Sir William, that a most safe, convenient, and expeditious packet-boat, might be established, in these perilous times, between that and Manfredonia: by which all dispatches, and all travellers, either for business or pleasure, might make a very short and safe cut between Naples and Vienna, and Naples and the rest of Europe, without touching one palm of any ground but Austrian and Neapolitan; and, of course, without the risk of being ever stopped.
The small towns, too, are in quick succession; and, the whole country being a limestone rock, the roads will make themselves, and afterwards pay themselves, by means of good turnpikes.
Nothing can exceed the dreariness, gloominess, and humidity, of a Milanese sky in winter; which, I conclude, under the old regime, led to all the hospitality, and conviviality, practised here, by their voluptuous but social nobility.
Now, we have nothing left to comfort, but another Nudi—a son of Esculapius, born in Italy; but an enthusiast for England, and all that is English—an excellent physician, but a still better friend; and, like Nudi, when he has a pint of Madeira in his belly, and the fumes of it in his brain, a most cheerful and improving companion: for, I protest to you that, during my convalescence, I made greater strides to recovery by his Attic evenings, than by his morning potions, or even his beef broth.
Sweet Emma, adieu! Remember me in the warmest and most enthusiastic stile, to your friend, and my friend, and the friend of human kind.
If Sir William does not contrive to send me my passport, I will—I will—excommunicate him, and send him to the devil before his time.
Nephew of Sir William Hamilton,
Letter OF THE HONOURABLE CHARLES GREVILLE, &c.
August 18th, 1794.
You will, I am sure, be glad to hear, that a favourable change has been announced to me; and that I am reinstated in the King's household, and honoured with a gold key, as his Vice-Chamberlain—and I hope, in a few days, to be in parliament.
You have seen me in prosperity, and in adversity; and know how much I estimate worldly concerns, according to their influencing the opinion of my real friends. Friendship has borne me up in the most difficult times; and the general satisfaction which my friends express, on my promotion, renders me very happy at present: and, to make me more so, I have anticipated to my own mind the sincere satisfaction with which you will receive this news.
I should not flatter myself so far, if I was not very sincerely interested in your happiness; and, ever, affectionately your's,
Nephew of Sir William Hamilton.
Letters OF LADY HAMILTON, &c.
25th of February, [1800.]
I received your letter by Mr. Campbell. He is lodged with us. We find him a pleasant man; and shall write fully by him. He will tell you a little how we go on, as to our domestic happiness. We are more united and comfortable than ever, in spite of the infamous Jacobin papers, jealous of Lord Nelson's glory, and Sir William's and mine. But we do not mind them. Lord N. is a truly virtuous and great man; and, because we have been fagging, and ruining our health, and sacrificing every comfort, in the cause of loyalty, our private characters are to be stabbed in the dark. First, it was said, Sir W. and Lord N. fought; then, that we played, and lost. First, Sir W. and Lord N. live like brothers; next, Lord N. never plays: and this I give you my word of honour. So I beg you will contradict any of these vile reports. Not that Sir W. and Lord N. mind it; and I get scolded by the Queen, and all of them, for having suffered one day's uneasiness.
Our fleet is off Malta: Lord Nelson has taken Le Genereux, and was after the frigates; so the attempt to relieve Malta has failed.
I have had a letter from the Emperor of Russia, with the Cross of Malta. Sir William has sent his Imperial Majesty's letter to Lord Grenville, to get me the permission to wear it. I have rendered some services to the poor Maltese. I got them ten thousand pounds, and sent corn when they were in distress. The deputies have been lodged in my house; I have been their Ambassadress, so his [I.]M. has rewarded me. If the King will give me leave to wear it abroad, it is of use to me. The Q——n is having the order set in diamonds for me; but the one the Emperor sent is gold. I tell you this little history of it, that you may be au fait. Ball has it also, but I am the first Englishwoman that ever had it. Sir W. is pleased, so I am happy. We are coming home; and I am miserable, to leave my dearest friend, the Q——. She cannot be consoled. We have sworn to be back in six months; and I will not quit her, till Sir William binds himself to come back. However, I shall have a comfort in seeing some of my old friends; and you, in particular. We have also many things to settle. I think, I can situate the person you mention about the Court, as a Camerist to some of the R. F——y, if her education is good.
It is a comfortable situation for life; so, I will bring her out.
The Q. has promised me. Let this remain entre nous.
Lady Hamilton will be glad to know how long Mr. Greville can permit her to remain in the house in Piccadilly, as she must instantly look out for a lodging; and, therefore, it is right for her to know the full extent of time she can remain there. She also begs to know, if he will pay her debts, and what she may depend upon; that she may reduce her expences and establishment immediately.
Printed by Macdonald and Son, Cloth Fair, London.