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« Bookt AaS you may carry to the Jbrtt and hold readily m your JUmd, 
are tkt moat useful <^Ur all. A man will ofUn look at tkem. and kt 
tempted to go an, wkin he would have beenfinghUned at booka tffa larger 
oiMO, and qfa more erudite appearance,"-^ va.. JoHiraolU 

Tm yrop i i e to ri of the Family Libraiy fed iImiiimItm tcimnlatod tt 
Inereaaed exertiooa by tlie distinguisbed fiiToor with which it ha* alrcadj 
been reeeiTed. 

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but with nermanent subjects, may, years hence as well as now, be eon- 
•alted tot lively amusement as well as solid instruction. 

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ton propose incorp(»rating in it such works of interest and valve m 
may appear in the various Libraries and Miscellanies now preparing In 
Europe, particularly '* Constable's Miscellany,*' the ** Edinburgh CabineiP 
Library, 4lc. All these productions, as they emanate flrom the pre«i| 
will be submitted to literary gentlemen for inspection ; end none will be 
nprinted but such as shall be found calculated u sustain the exalted 
ehanirier which this Library has already acquired. 

fievenl well-known' authors have been engaged to prepare flir it original 
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Every distinct^ubject will in general be compfenended in one volanN^ 
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■eries or a complete woilc by itself; and each volume will be embelUahed 
with appropriate engravings. 

The entire eeries will be tbe production of authors of eminenoe, ^flfes 
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tar the satisftctory manner in which the subjects will be treated. 

Bnch is the plan by which it is intended to fbrm an American FamUy 
iArary, eompfistng all that is valuable in those branches of knowledge 
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With thess srrangements and ftciUties, the pnbllriierB flatter then* 
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of unparalleled merit and che^H^ess, embracing subjects adapted to oil 

^serving the 

of readers, and forminc a body of literature ^serving the praiao 

of having inatmeted many, and amused all ; and above every ochm' qw 
iles of eulogy, of being flt to be introdneed, without reserve or ezceptioa, 
by the fhther of a flunily to the domestre circle. Meanwhile, the very loiw 
pme at whioh it ia eharged renders more extensive patronage neneaaaiy 
nr ita anpiort and proeecotlon. The tmmeduUe encoursgement, ttier^ 
tee,ofihar who approve its plan and ezeeution ia rsspeetrally oolteiiad^ 
llM wwk OMf bo abcainad in oomnlela aeta, or ta separate wiaibMn^ 
iwlkspite^tfteolDNllanthion^uMittlMlhktedSai^ ^ 


f te ' ii ' ffioy eompoiitloii to now ■drntttwil to Item on atoiMNo mwHb 
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It may be added, the aUbctiona of cTory elaaa of raadera ; Ibr no( o|hr to 
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tkeir pagea, but he who reada them attentlTely may often obcam, wttboal 
tbe bitterneaa and danger of experienea, that knowledge of hto MlOfW- 
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•aqaixed at a p«iod of lift too late to tots It to account. 

Tbto ** Library of 8al*et Noveto** will embraea noae bat aoeh m iMiftt 
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ancouragemeot ttom the piiblie patronage aa will enable them la tba 
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isduding moat of the really valuable noTeia and romancea that have ban 
•r ahali be iaaued from the modem Engliah and 4meriean praaa. 

There ia acarcely any qocaUon connected with the mtereato of UleratlBia 
Which haa been mora thoroughly diacnaaed and inveatigated than that of 
tfte utility or evil of novel reading. In ita (hvour mud. nun be and haa 
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ttan to tba worka themaeivea ; and that the erils which can b« jQatly 
•wribed to them ariae almoat excluaively, not from any paealiar nnttoaa 
qvaliciea that ran be fkirly attributed to noTela m a speciaa, bttt from tboaa 
iMdiTidiaal woika which in their daaa muat be pronounced to ba ladil^ 

But aren were It otharwlae— were novela of arery kfaid, tba food ia 
well aa the bad, the acriking and animated not leaa than ttta pawila, bl 
4Bed liable to the charge of eafeeblii^ or perrerting the miod ; tad waw 
llnre no qualitiea in any which might render them matmetire aa wdl ■• 
•mnaing— the univeraal acceptation which they have ever reeeivodt WtA 
mm eoutinvo to receive, from all agea and daaae* of man, woald ptova 
ao irreaiatible incentive to their production. The remonstranceaof iiMr#> 
lata and tba reaaoninga of philosophy have ever been, and will atftt ba 
Ibund, anavaiiing againiit the deaire to partnkc of an voymaiu ao aitiaa 
Urm. Men will read novela ; and therefore the utmoav thai wiadaoa lai 
ahilantliropy can do ia to cater prndeptly for the poblic appetite, and, aa l| 
U hopeleaa to attempt the excluaion of nctitlona writings from the T 
•r the library, to aee thai tbey are encumbered with tbe laaat 
of ovch aa ha^a no other merit than that of novelty. 

1X7 SUctun werkM, 6y emmmti mdkon, jUm dinmdy bmn 
IfaAad m tht " Ubrani of StUct Ntna^,"* wkkh mn 9old 9eftrit»lm 






And ftr fliie I17 the principal BookMUen in tbe Unitad BtHMk 


H. H. MiLHAN. In 3 Tols. 18mo. Illostrated with origi- 
nal Maps and Woodcuts. 

*'Tbe narratlTe of tbe Tarioas and bighly interesting erents in that 
period llowa on in a ehasle style: and a tnoroogb knowledge of bis sub- 
ject is evident in evenr page. Ilie work is spirited, well arranged, and 
All of inflmnation, and of a wiae and well-cultiTated t^riV—Athmantm. 

** Professor H. H. Milman is one of tbe most ebaste and classical 
writers of tbe age. Tbe History of the Jews embraced in tbe Tolnmes 
belbre ns, has already passed tbrongfa three editions in England, and is 
highly and justly commended by many of the most respectable period- 
lous."— iV. Yi Joumai of Oommeree. 

"It is written in a Tory interesting manner— 4n a more philosophies! 
spirit, and with more d^h of reflection, than is generally found in his- 
tories of this nature. It is not wanting in historical condensation, and the 
eotooring of the style is lively and picturesque.**— iVl F. Evening Post, 


By J. G. LocKHART, Esq. With copperplate EngraT* 
ings. In 2 vols. 18mo. 

** We anticipate a prodigious circulation for this sttraetiTe woric. It 
If drawn up with consummate ability. Indeed, we hare seldom perussd 
a work more uniformly interesting in its details."— iStin. 

** It is, unquestionably, in a brief and tangible form, the most popular 
BQstory of Napoleon that has been yet produced."— ^tZa«. 

** TwB is a much better book than any other in En^iSh on the aams 
■abject.**— ittAentfiim. 

LIFE OF NELSON. By Robt. Southey, 

Esq. With a Portrait. I8mo. 

** This is the best work that ever came fhrni the pen of the laureate^ 
and it is an excellent specimen of biography."— iVhir-£n^. Palladium. 

" The merits of this work are so well known that it is altonther on- ' 
— cessary to recommend it to our readers."- iV; Y. Evm,ing Post. 

** aouthey*s fine and popular biography of Nelson was vMry miMli 
wanted, and is now to be had very cheap, in a rtrj seat and ooniMniaBt 
- u»— i<f. F. Oommtnial A*miutr 




7 Rev. J. Williams. With a Map. 18mo. 

** Tbe*8tyle is good, and the Danratiye well conducted. A modem 
btetory of this flunous warrior cannot ftU to be interesting.*'— i^. Y, 
DoUy Advertiser. 

** The work is instructing, and inberits a greater sbare of interest from 
the fact, that the history of this ancient Napoleon is disintegrated ftom 
the mass of general history, and presented by itself. The style is lacid 
and well studied."— iV. Y. Journal of Commerce. 

**It is ably and eloquently written."— A Journal. 


Illostrated by numerous Engravings. 18mo. 

**Of all studies, perhaps, there is none more captivating than that of 
animated nature. . . .The present volume is peculiarly useful and agroe> 
able."— iV. Y. Mirror. 

**The subject is full of interest and satisfkction, and is adapted to all 
dasses of readers."— ^^/my Evening Journal 

'*The information is minute, «rell arranged, and clearly imparted, and 
cannot but recommend the wock to general perusal in families."— iVL Y. 

** It seems to us that it will prove at once agreeable and instructive to 

Crsons of all classes, and occupy an appropriate place in the FansOy 
brary."— i^T. Y. Daily Advertiser. 


Esq. 18mo. 

** This volume has great merit, and is a valuable acquisition to litera- 
tuw."— iV. Y. Spectator. 

** The sprightly pen of the author has communicated uncommon inter- 
est to this work, and he appears to have done perfect justice to its in- 
spired subject."— il/6any Daily Advertiser. 

** Mr. Gait is one of the most fascinating writers of the age."— Joumal 
€f Commerce. 

LIFE OF MOHAMMED, Founder of the 

Reliffion of Islam and of the Empire of the Saracens. 
By the Rev. George Bush, M.A. With a plate. ISmo* 

** It seems to us to be a good narrative of the life of the great Arabian 
Impostor, written in a fine style — We are not aware that any other 
work of the same size contains the same quantity of information rebttive 
to the matters treated of, in ss agreeable a form."— Com. Advertiser. 

** Mr. Bash is a scholar of extensive acquirements, and well fitted A>r 
the task which he has undertaken in this volume."- i7. Y. Observer. 

** In' the collection of materials, the author appears to have neglected 
no source fh>m which valuable aid was to be expected."— PAi2aaeif&ta 

** The history of the eminent impostor caunot hot be a work afliUcniiH, 
la «s«ry enli^ ttcmed nkai,*^Pemn. Inquire 



By Walter Scott, Bart. With a Plate. 18mo. 

The work is carioaii, Interesting, and instructive.*'— /itfiorcr. 

*Thi8 volume is most interesting, and will be read wilb greet plMi- 
uan by almost every class of rpaders."— U. S. Gazette. 

** It would be difficult to select a more interesting subject fbr ttae pen 
oPa man of genius than that or popular superstitions. To say that Scott 
kas made more of it than any other man could have done, is only to add 
mother tribute to his acknowledged pre-eminence."— Boston Statetman. 

** The subject is most alluring, and the manner in which it is handled 
is magical."-~J./Ac7ueum. 


R. Glbio. With a Map. In 2 vols. 18mo. 

** tlie style of it is surpassed by no work with which we are ao- 
qoainted Historical and biographical facts are well stated; the promi- 
nent difficulties that present themselves to the mind of an intelligent or 
•kepcical reader of the Bible are boldly exhibited and ably explain^ ; the 
most plausible objections advanced by modern infidels are answered in 
a very philosophical, learned, and conclasive manner. The author has 
Imbodied in it a vast deal of learning and research ; has discowred supe 
rior ingenuity and force of intellect, and ftirnished, withal, a specimen 
of flee writing, which must secure a most favourable reception, as well 
among pwsons of taste as those who are fond of Biblical studies."- 
Albany TUtgrapk and Register. 


feasors Leslie and Jameson, and HaoH Murray, Esq 
With Maps and Engravings. 18mo. 

"A work flrom such hands on snch a subject cannot Ail to be both 
Interesting and valuable.'**— iV. Y. Evening Pott. 

** Tlie three eminent men who have produced this compilation hava 
rendered a great service to the cause of philosophy and knowledge.**- 
jy. Y. Commercial Advertiser. 

<* The writers are gentlemen of flrst-rate standing in the scientifle 
world, and the subject is one to which every curious mind is attached 
by a sort of involuntary impulse."— Jf. Y. JourneU of Commerce. 


With Anecdotes of Distinguished Persons. By the Rev 
George Crolt. With a Portrait. 18mo. 

<*Mr. Croly has acquitted himself very handsomely. His subject i» 
one of much Interest, and he has treated it with unusual in|)artiality. 
Hie author's style is chast^ classical, and beautiflil, and it may be tidcen 
as a model of fine writing. It is worthy of his genius and his ednea- 
tton.**— Jtfercon/iZe Advertiser. 

** Mr. Croly is not merely a fine writer, but a very power Ail one. His 
Mtttne is as bold and broad at his colours are glowing. He wrifss liki» 
# mma wan acquainted with his subieot."— fclectte , 



AFRICA. By Professor Jameson, James WilsoMi 
Esq., and Hugh Mubrat, E-sq. With a Map and En- 
* gravings. 18mo. 

''Tbe names of the distinguished indiTiduals by whom the volume has 
been jHrepared, offer a sufficient pledge for the faith^l and accomplished 
aceeotion of the work ; and the field of their labours is one of almost un- 
rivalled attraction for whatever is new, strange, or mysterious in histo- 
rical narrative, or bold and perilous in adventurous exploit."— 7^ Atlas. 

** This work we believe will be interesting to every class of readers, 
cspedally to the philanthropist and Christian.''— i\r. Y. EvangdUt. 


SCULPTORS. By Allan Cunningham, Esq. With 
Portraits. In 3 vols. ISmo. 

** We advise all those of our readers who have any respect fbr oar 
neommendation, to read these three volumes fhrni beginning to end ; and 
are confident of the thanks of such as shall be induced by our advice to 
proems for themselves so great an enjoyment."— iV. Y. Mirror. 

** This is one of the best written and most instructive books of tbs 
series to which it belongs."— iV. Y. Artierican. 

" The whole narrative is of a lively and alluring kind, flowing in Hs 
language, and enriched with ceaseless anecdote."— i>r. Y. Atlas. 


CRUSADES. By G. P. R. James, Esq. With an 

Engraving. 18mo. 

The "present volume may safbly be pronounced an ornament to the 
IHeratnre of the day, and Mr. James be esteemed a writer of great clear- 
ness and stn^ngth.**— iV. y. Standard. 

** The author of this work has done the public a service, whleh we think 
will be diHy appreciated."— CAruhon Herald. 

** Mr. James is well known as an agreeable writer ; and the snbjeets 
of this volume are such as can scarcely fail to prove both amnsinc and 
Interesting.'* ^/T. Y. Daily Advertiser. 


By H. G. Bell, Esq. With a Portrait. In 2 vols. ISmo. 

^^ It is decidedly the most Interesting account we have ever seen of that- 
loively and unfortunate being. We have al ways/«/f that Mary was inno* 
eent of the great crimes charged against her by her fYirious and deadly 
enemies ; but our understanding was never befbre convinced. It was 
with a (beling of eager Joy, that we, for the first time in our lives, admit- 
ted the (lill conviction of her innocence. The book is written with much 
candour." — Slasaactnuetts Journal. 

"The reader wUl be pleased lo learn that the lifb of Mary has^ssn 
Written anew, by one who appears, both in temper and talenti *~ 

wall qaaUyOed Ibr Iheiask."— iY. Y. Atlas, 



the Rev. M. Russell, LL.D. WUh a Map and En- 
gravings. 18mo. 

** All that is known of Egyyi is condensed into this history : and tlis 
readers of it will find themsdives well reinid for their labour and mooef.* 
—Neuf-Haven Adi>ertiser. 

" The information respecting the present state of this interesting com 
try will be found peculiarly valuable.'*— iVictP-ybr*: Mirror. 

" The work is written in a very happy ^tyle, and presents a mass o( 
knowledge of the most useAil and instructive character, collected togetliei 
by great industry and research.'*— Sattmore RepuUiean, 

HISTORY OF POLAND, from the earli- 

«st Period to the present Time. By Jamks FLSTCHBBy 
Esq. With a Portrait of Kosciusko. ISmo. 

^ This work recommends itself to public notice by Ks clear, omeiML 
and impartial history of a country and a people for whom the feelinga of 
evenr lover of fixedom are deeply interested."— iV. Y. AUtu. 

" Of the writer's fairness and research we have a very good opinkm ; 
and his book is just the thing that is wanted at the present m<»nent."'— 
N. Y. American. 

*' No work has for a long period been published here so deserving of 
praise and so replete with interest.'*«^Ameriean Traveller, 


^ENTS, Ancient and Modem. By Horatio Smith, 
Esq. With Additions. By Samuel Woodworth, Esqiy 
/)f New-York. With Engravings. 18mo. 

*' The book contains a mine of information on the subjects embraeed 
In its title, and should be placed in every fiunily."— 2V. Y. Standard. 

** We can commend the boek as both attractive and useftil."— JV. Y. 

** The book is highly amusing and interesting, as well as instructive.* 
'•^Peruitylvania Inquirer. 

** The present work is characterized by great research and learning 
employed in illustrating a subject of much general interest."— fattimorv 


David Brbwstsr, LL.D. F.R.S. With a Portrait and 

Woodcuts. 18mo, 

*' The present publication cannot 1^1 to prove acceptable and ossAiL* 
— iV. Y. Standard. 

*' The biography of the greatest astronomer that ever lived cannoc be 
Aaught with else than interest."— iV. Y. Mercantile Advertiser. 

" This is the most complete and authentic biography of this iUostriioni 
loan that has yei appeared."— iV. Y. Evening JoumaL 

** An excellent biography, beautiAillv written, and eoiii;*ilaing % Ings 
iOIDimt of tisenu inSomaHoa/'-^ifpui'aaven Cknmide, 



From the earliest Period to the present Time. By the 
Rev. Michael RussklL) LL.D. With a Map and nine 
Engravings. 18mo. 

*^ An tnterasting hoA/'—New-Haiyen Advertiser. 

**Tbe wbole work is Imbued wiih a sacred engrossiog interest."-* 
Conneetieut Mirror. 

** It is writsen in a Tery popnlar and attractive style.**— i^. Y. Evening 

** The whole volnme will amply repay perusal."— iV. Y. Ameriaan. 

*^ This work is the most desirable record of Palestine we have ever 
."—American Traveller. 

PHINE. By John S. Mbmbs, LL.D. With Portraits. 

"The language of the author is beautiful, and his powers of descrip* 
tton exceedingly flno."— JV. Y. Evening Journal. 

"A very entertaining book."— ^. Y. Commercial Advertiser. 

** This is the first complete biography which has ever appeared of that 
mneh admired woman."— j^T. V. Conaiellation. 

** This work will be found to possess a beauty of language, a ftscination 
of style, and a depth of interest which feW works ta thi'i kind can 
claim."— Aojton Traveller. 

PARTE. With a Portrait of Talleyrand. 

•*Thls work is highly interesting."— IT. S. Gazette. 

"The volume will be read with iaierest and iastmction."— Cmm. 

"The sketches are entertaining and well written, and constitute a 
TSLoable eompend fbr reference on all the naore important subjects con- 
nected with the career of this extraordinary dynasty."— WtuAin^tois 
(D. C.) aiobe. 


CAVENDISH, AND DAMPIER ; including an intio- 
ductory View of the earlier Discoveries in the South Sea, 
and the History of the Bucaniers. With Portraits. 

** This is certainly one of the most interesting compilations which the 
ficss has sent forth for some years."— i\^. Y. Evening Journal. 

<' While in the present work the young will And delicht, the aged and 
mature will discover matter of deep interest and useful reflection."— 
Baltimore Minerva. 

** These volumes will beget a love for appropriate and nseftil reading, 
ud eannot but be widely hsneiMal to in<0tkhials and eoounanittea.'*-* 



Am) ITS INHABITANT.S. With an authentic Ac- 
count of the Mutiny of the Ship Bounty, and of the sub- 
sequent Fortunes of the Mutineers. With EngraTingv. 

The reader may here find in fkithfkil history events of thrillinf intw* 
flst in the varied fortunes of seaiQen."— iSou2A«m Rdigious TeUgrapk. 

" There is hardly any reading more interesting than voyages, and tbs 
accounts in this hook are among the most interesting we bave aver . 
perused."— fiofton Statesman. 

** A subject having more pointsof interest can scarcely be Imagined, 
and the abilities and opportunities of the author give an aaauranoe that 
they have not been overlooked." — Atlas. 

** The story is exceedingly well told— it is vme— and is embelllahed 
with particulars of which the public have not before been put in poase»- 
sion." — Connecticut Mirror. 


as displayed in the Creation and subsequent events to the 
Deluge. , By Sharon Turner. 

"The volume contains a vast mass of interesting Acts toillostrate tb* 
different departments of the natural world. It bears marks of great r^ 
search, and is worthy of a oarefUl pervma].*'— Connecticut Obaener. 

** We csa most heartily recommend this work as eminently worthy of 
a place in every library."— CAwrcAman. 

" It is a book calculated to be of great gtoeral utility ; and will ba 
<band particularly convenient for bible-classes, who are studying U10 
Mosaic History of the Creation." — Commerr'.U Advertiser. 


SOVEREIGNS. By Mrs. Jameson, .v .* ww. 

" A readable book, in which good use is made of a ^abject not the 
promising — The authoress telis a plain RUiry wi*** facility, and makes 
neat and appropriate comments with a happy fnedam."~Ckurckman. 

*'Many a more ambitious history has been executed with less taleoC 
and happy candour than these moral and picturesque sketches." — Boston 
Daily Advocate. 


By RicHARn and John Lander. In 2 vols. Maps, 6tc* 

*' They (the Landers) tell a story of no small interest, and no few vlds- 
sitndes, with mifnly honesty and vmplicity, and considerable lifb andi 
vigour. In description of local scenery they are often eminently happy ; 
in narrative never tiresome : in sketches of character and manners, inter* 
esting and successful, because artless and faithAil." — Churclunan. 

'*The incidents were many and interesting: while their discoveries 
have brought to our knowledgro scores of savage tribes and nations. We 
know of few works of this descripiipn which bave added as much to ow 
geographical knowledge, cr depicted in such painAiily interesting colours. 
|f|s ijpiaranee and wild barbarism of finbaptised 4Mca."— i^. Y. O^MTMr 



GATION OF TRUTH. By John Abebcrombib, M.D. 

" It will not only feed, but fimn the pablic intellect. It caniDot be dis- 
■eminated too widely in a nation eager foi knowledge, keen in inquiry 
to a proverb, and accustomed to thirric no matters too bigb fbr scrutiny, 
no autbority too venerable Tor question." — Churchman. 

** It will be read, or nitber studied with deligbt and prcf ^ Cboee wto 
wisb to cultivate an acquaintance with the phenomena of tneintellectMl 
^orld. The author's illustrations are clear, and his reasoning sound.*— 
Southern Religious Telegraph. 


ELLERS. By James A. St. John. In 3 vols. 

**The work is well edited, and will unquestionably be perused witli 
•alisftction and profit, especUQly by the younger class of the conuno- 
nlty."— £ap£»< Repository. 

**Bixt few works have ever been published which comprise more gens- 
rsl iBfomiatiAn in a brief form . ... It is a publication whicb will eommend 
Itself to M.^'—Albany DaUy Advertiser. 

** The whole is an interesting publication, and may be properly ooo- 
■olted both by the adult and youthi\i) student.**— ^Zftion. 


KING OF PRUSSIA. By Lord Dover. In 2 vob. 
With a Portrait. 

*' Jjori Dover has in these volumes, by rejecting all that is exceptlonabls 
or of slight interest, while he retained every thing essential, mads up a 
compfebensLvs and very attractive book.**— iVL Y. ^tnericam. 

** An agreeably written and highly interesting piece of biography. .. . 
The biographer^ own morality is of the soundest kio<' ; and his redee- 
ttons, in handling the infidel principles and correqiondcnce of the royal 
skeptic, are such as they should be. The pQiM>n is not allowed to work 
by being passed overwlthont commeot.''-^iv. Y. Commercial Advertiser, 


TORy. In 2 vols. With Maps and Engravifigs on 
Steel and Wood. 

** A history of the Venetian republle, iccessible to all classes and ages, 
prepoTwI fbr papular use, has been much wsnted for a long tope, and this 
production is admirably calculated to supply it."— Baltimore ATneriean, 

" The work is written in a style of brilliant narrative fh>m anthentio 
BHterials, and deserves a place in every library.'*— -Afofrife Oazette. 

** The able manner in which the author has accomplished his task te 
above all pntiae.'"— Boston Statesman. 

*' These ' Sketches' are sleaned from several very rare worics, sntf 
tNt>nght vdtbin the reach of cjvery person who is dbsirous of acquainting 
himself with the history of this ancient people ; and nbone, after reading 
these little voliimes^ wUl ngret his szp«n^tQre of time aiul money.'*-* 
M A JUvths. 


INDIAH LIVES; or, an Historical Account 

of those Individuals who have been distinsnished among 
tne North American Natives as Or&ton, Warriors, States- 
men, dec. By B^ B. Thatcher, Esq. In 2 vols. 

"The antbor has spared no pains In making himself aoqnainted wHh 
the protwr materials Tor a work of this character: and their arraDgenmat 
leflects much credit on him."— iV. E. Christian Herald. 

** We like these Volumes well. They are written with a perspienlty 
snd liveliness that recommend them to all. Mr. Tbalcher has ably lllled 
np a chasm in American literature. These two volumes blend the authsa- 
ticity of history with the thrilling excitements of forest narratives, ds- 
scriptive of the nstive energy sno grandeur of the old free kiaga, wte 
ruled the new-lbund America."— Badger's Weekly Messenger. 


COONT OF BRITISH INDIA. From the moat remote 
period to the present time. By several popular Authors. 
In 8 vols. With a Map, and many Engravings on Wood. 

*'The history of British India is uncommonly lnteTeatinf....Tlis 
whole work bears the impress of impartiality, fidelity, resewch, and 
accuracy."— Bap<i«t Repository. 

** Such suthentie and exiensiye information relstlng to this iittsnstinf 
portion of the globe has never before been so happily Imbodisd."— iV. r. 


dressed to Sir Walter Scott, Bait. By Sn Datd 
Bbkwstse, K.H. LL.D. 

** The present work may be regsidsd as one of those rssolts of modvi 
resesreh and study, by whisi} society st large will be benefited ; and tlis 
perusal <tf it would very profitably and pleasantly employ the hoars now 
wssted upon books which leave not a single sslatary impressioa apsa 
the m\nd.'^— Presbyterian. 

'* We know of no other work or teestiss wheh hss o&npresssd, wlthia 
the same compass, so much uaefhl snd various, matter upon the maay 
snbjecu foiling within the nmge of the investlgatidn."— Com. .tfdofrtiissr. 


1- ATLOR, Esq. With Additiona, by Willuh Sammoii^ 
Esq. In 2 vols. Plates. 

** This is a calm, clear, and a candid hook. • . .A sober snd disnaarioir* 
ats book on this tender subject wss much wanted • . . Mr. Taylor has per- 
formed his melancholy task with no ungentle spirit, and written the most 
sonsisisnt asnrstive of thoss events that we have yei seen- • . .Tba work 
abounds w|th pictures of war and desolatioi>— of happiness and prosperity 
•—of suddsn elevations snd sad overthrow ; If there is ^aeh vlolsaos 

and wrong, ilisrs is slso much noblsaess of inind,tnwM^^ 
aad rnilsness ijthmMt,^^Tk§ A t k m mu m » 


NwnUrt ain4tdy PMished. — Each Work can h9 had 


. TTRS or THI CHURCH. 18mo. [No. L of the Boy'i 
And Girl's Library. Deoignod for Sunday Raading.] 

Tbit, a» well ae some of the ftibiequent numberB of the Boy^ 
ftiid Girl's Library, is especially designed for Sanday reading, 
ind the object of the writer has been to direct the minds of 
youthfiil readers to the Bible, by exciting an interest m the li^es 
and actions of the eminent apostles and martyrs who bore testi- 
•lony to the troth of their ni ssions and of the Redeemer by 
ibaa preaching and their righteous death. The style is besiitt- 
.ftiUy simple, and the nairative is intersperMd with eommeale 
iUid reflections lemarkaUe for their derout apint, and for the 
cleaneee with which they elucidate whatever miglit appear tm 
the tender mind either oontrsdictory or ummtelligibie. It is 
impossible for any child to read these affecting histories without 
becoming mterested ; and the interest is so directed and in- 
prored as to implant and foster the purest principles of religion 
and morality. The most esteemed leligious publicatioM 
throughout the Union have united in cordisl expressions of 
praise to this as well as the other Scriptural numbers of the 
Ubnry, and the publishers have had the gratification of re* 
Viiwtalg ftom ilidifiduals emiiMnt for piety, the warmest coo^ 
WMwrtatione aot only of the plan, bat alao of th» mannir te 
vitfoh it hae Itai » Ar flseoiited. 

nnrBlflLB WOftKl 

SONS ON 1 DESERT ISLAND. In 2 Tolf. Itma. 
|Nos. II. & III. of the Bo^*f and Girl's Libruj.] 

The pUTpoee'of this pleasmgr >tory is to coomj instifUction in 
the arts and Natural History, and, at the same time, to incnkate 
by example principles which tend to the promotion of social 
happiness. Every one has read or heard of Robinson Cra8oe» 
and the unriTalled and long-continued popularity of that admi^ 
Table narrative, proves that the tastes and feelinfs to which it 
addresses itself a» among the strongest and most universal 
which belong to human nature. The adventures of the Swiss 
ftfflily are somewhat similar in character, snd, of course, hi in 
tete^t; ^jd they illustrate, hi the most forcible and pleasing 
manner, the efficacy of piety, industry, ingenuity, and good- 
temper, in smoothing difficulties and procuring, enjoyments 
under the most adverse circumstances. The story abounds 
with instruction and entertainment, and well deserves the liigh 
encomium that has been passed upon it, of being one of th* 
best children's books ever written. 

** This little work is so much of a stoij, that it will Mem a 
nelaxation rather than a school-task, and at the same time It 
will give the juvenile reader more practical instraetion in 
■Btural history, economy, and ths fneam of amtriimig and ktlpii^ 
mu^9 9elft than many boolcs of the very best pretensions in tlia 
department of instruction."— J9o«foii DaSy AAiscwif. 

** We do not think a parent could select a more acoeptabla or 
Judicious gi^.**— New-Haven Rdigioiu IntdUgeneer, 

**The story has ail that wild charm of adventure and dia> 
covery which has made Robiiison Crusoe such a wonder to 
every generation since it was written."— Artful Repatittry, 

** This work is interesting and truly valuable.**^- IT. 8. Oaamt. 

^Well calculated to claun the attention of tha intiinlti^ 
part of the community to which it is addnasad."— iC Y 

THE SON or a GENIUS. Bt Mm. HorcAim 

[No. T. of tho Bo7*fl and Gtrl'i Libniy.] 

Hut adminblB iUny boo been too long familiar to tho pab* 
He— at leaft to tbat pottioB of it wbich baa advanetd beyond 
tie period of cbildbood— to requite either eulogy or deauiptien. 
It bti for many yeara maintaioed ita place anumg the beat and 
BMMt eateemed juTenile worka in the Engliah language ; and iie 
popularity ia easily accounted for by the touching intereat of the 
incidenta, and the purity of the principlea it incolcatea both 
of wiadom and religion. The pttbUahera were induced to f»> 
print it aa one of the numbert of the Boy'a and Oirl'a Library, 
partly by the advice and aolicitationa of many of their frienda, 
and their own knowledge of ita merita, and partly by the coft- 
■deration that it has long been oat of print, and that it waaTeiy 
difficult to procure a copy. 

" *The Son of a Oeniua' will afford a profitable itudy to 
parenta, aa well as an exquisite treat to youths. It ia an admt- 
lable tale : (ascinating in its delineations, admirable in its morel, 
jnat aa a picture of the mind, a faitlifiil arid true piirtraiture 
nf the remlta of geniui vaccilating, unapplied, and turning to 
luin, and the aame geniua supported by sound- moral principle, 
ftrengthened by judicious exercise and continuous effort, useful 
Mad triumphant It is a striking ilhistration of the importance 
€( method, persererance, and industry to produce the perfect 
frvita of genius ; and the utter uselassness of delicate taste, 
tirid conception, rapid performance, aided by generous affee- 
tiona and engaging manner, to the attainment of excellence, 
without that tteady appUcaUmt, which nothing but jnat moni 
principle can ensure. The story is not, howcTer, a refined, met- 
aphysical disquisition on genius ; but a simple, engaging tale, 
trfaich leta in upon Uke reader a sort experience worth a hon- 
drad easaya.^— Gonfudieitf JoumaL 

** To youth of both sexes this work fonna an excellent piaoe 
«f tnading."— 3^ Pmntjfiitcmkm, 

**To onr yoang fiieiida it will aflbri mitdi entMtafattnest'^^ . 
jf—iaa ARrrar. 

linrXMLS WOAKt. f 

IV. ond XIV. of the Boy'» and Girl'i Library.] 
The title of thk excellent little work eufficicntly. ezplaiM 
He object Ab an introduction to the knowledge of Scriptwe 
Hiitory* and an incentive to the etudy of the Sacred Volume^ 
It ia calculated to produce the moat happy effect* upon the 
tninda of children; and the timplicity o the language pre- 
■ervea to the ttory aU those charms which are inherent in the 
oarratiTe, but are aometimea lost to very youthful reader* by 
their want of a perfect understanding of the wor Js they read. 
Besides a developed and connected view, m easy language, 
of the Scripture story itself, the author has endeavoured to Wr 
terspeiae m the narrative such notices of the countries apokeu 
of, together with such references to the New Testament an4 
practical remarks, as would tend to make the book either more 
Interesting, more uitellcctually improving, or more valuable in 
a moral and religious light: and it cannot fail of obtaining the 
approbation of all judicious and pious parents, and of proving, 
by the blessing o\ God, an assistance to the Christian mother, 
in giving to her children an early knowledge and love of Wt 
Sacred Word. 

»*The style is simple, the sentiments expressed Scriptural, 
and the book every way calculated as an assistant in the in- 
itroction of children.— TA« Pretbyterim. 
"To be commended cordially."— TAe Churchman. 
"We recommend it particularly to mothers and guardiana 
of the young, confident that it will obtain their approbation, and 
prove an assistance to them in giving those under their care an 
early knowledge and love of the Sacred Word.'*— Am. TravelUr 
" The work is well worthy the attention of parenU and ia- 
itructers, to whom we most cheerfully xecommend it**— Bastas 

*< It will be ibund, we think, a uaeiiil anzOiary in the lutnda 
of parents^ and Auiost winning book to children.'*— ComMdisMi 


X. and XI. of Um Boy*! and Giri*a libraiy.] 

Tbe writer of theao Talot hu had in view two diiaf pwr^ 
poeea,— the one to conrey to the juvenile reader a gvaeral idea 
of Uw incjdenta connected with the 'liacorery ind eubeeqaent 
tiialory of the American continent ; the other to excite an in- 
tareet to the subject which shall create a desire for more minute 
and exteuMfe information. These purposes have been effected 
with much sQCcesSi and the volumes will be found instructive 
and entertaining. In the majority of instances, the Tales have 
been selected with reference to the illustration of some morau 
principle : and the frequent opportunities affohled for the intro 
ductum of reflections leading to the cultivation of piety and re- 
ligion have been ably and zealously improved. As a school 
book this collection of Historical Tales is calculated to be emv* 
aeiitly serviceable ; and there can be no doubt that their intro- 
duction into seminaries will be attended with both pleasure and 
advantage to the scholars. 

** It IB sufficient praise for this work to say that it is by tho 
.iothor of * American Popular Lessons,* of whose powers of pre- 
senting knowledge to the young mind in a graceful and attract* 
Ive garb the public are not now to be in£Drmed."-~iV. F. Evening 

** A collection which is really deserving of its title. We haw 
looked over these Tales with great pleasure, and find them full 
«f interest^and instroctiAn.''— iV. F. Advocate. 

** One of the best works that can be put mto the hands of our 
yoi'th. ... It presents aO the cireumstances respecting the dis- 
covery rif this country, in a condensed form, clothed m language 
calculated to interest the young. It ought to be in the hands 
<if every youth ; and it cannot be too early or too extensively in- 
troduced into our schools.**— TA« CMrut of Beligkm. 

** Tfte stories are highly interesting, and abound with pleasinf 

iUnstrations and noticas of the history, original inhahitanta, pi»- 

.4MtiGM,aBdfiiats«tt]en«f our ovmpmtioaof tba ^obc"*-* 

wmLM WOfiXt. 


ANIMALS. [No VI. of the Boy'i and Giri'i Libnij.) 

The wonders of God*s providence, as they are maniflBtt«d 

in the figures, habits, and performances of the Tarioas creatnret 

which fill the earth, the air, and the waters, — the endless ▼arietiet 

of form, the accuracy and ingenuity of their contrivaucet^ 

whether for security or subtenance, and the admirable adapta> 

tion of their instruments to the works their instinct piompte 

them to construct, supply an exhaustless theme for obeenratioii 

and astonishmenl, and call forth in the mind the most Bxalted 

ideas of the Supreme wisdom and beneficence. In the capti- 

Tating volume which forms the sixth number of the Boy's and 

Girl's Library, a portion of this department of science is treated 

oi "ith consummate ability, and the work has deservedly n^ 

ceived the highest encomiums, not only for the extent, utility, 

and interesting nature of the information it conveys, but also ftir 

the skill with which the ideas and language are adapted to the 

tastes as weU as the capacities of youthful readers. But theee 

are not its only or its greatest merits: its highest clainn to 

praise are the tone of sincere and earnest piety which pervades 

the conversations, and the excellence of the precepts drawn 

from the wonders they disclose. 

** It is written with a thorough knowVedge of the sabject, and 
with that delightful freshness of impression from natural sights 
Which revives the days of our childhood. Here, then, is a 
bnautifvl and appropriate pres en t for the Christian paxent.**-<- 
Thi Pretbyterian. 

"This work deserves high praise. It displays much taut 
and ingenuity, guided by sound judgment, and controlled by 
fervent piety. Such books for the young are scarce, and likely 
to be so ; for tew are able to produce them. Childran wiU do- 
tiUfai in it, and pnofit by it."*-7A« Ckurdaum. 

*^ We look upon this as one among tfao bmft jQ 
«nib«Te net with." 


Tbatchib, Esq. [Nm. VIL and VIII. of the Boy's 
And GirPs Libnry.] 

The appearance, character, and habits of the North American 
Indians have long been a favourite and fertile theme for writers 
«s well as readera,and accurate descriptions of them are equslly 
isstructive and agreeable. These torm the subject of the 
seventh and eighth numben of the Library, and the? are ad- 
jniited to contain much correct and interesting infonnttion. A 
^aiger work (in the Family Library), by the same suthor, en- 
titled " Indian Biography,** treats of the history of those le- 
narfcable membera of the human £unily : the work now under 
^consideration makes no pretensions to that character, but is eB- 
<ireiy descriptive ; and it is entitled to high praise, not only as 
t)eing the firet attempt to render the subject attractive to 
youthful readen, but also for the ability with which the object 
is accomplislied. 

" These two little volumes furnish the leading traits of Indian 
character in a style adapted to instruct while it interests the 
youthful reader.*' — N. Y, American. 

'* Most enteitaining and excellent volumesi**-- JV. F. Weddjf 

** The author has produced a work which will not only be 
valuable to the young, but to all who wish for a concise and 
Just delineation of what is most desirable to be known respect 
sng the character and customs of the natives of North America." 
— 3o9ton TVavelUr, 

*'The language is easy and familiar, and the descriptions 
^oite interesting.** — Jbkinton^t Evening Poet 

** Two volumes more interesting or mete useful were ntfver 
placed in the hands of American youth.**— BMion Mirror. 

" Tbsae little volume^ equal in interest all that havB gont 
Mbn them in the lamB family.**— 7Vi»y Ai4l« 

AhercrtnnHe <m the InttUectudl P&w€r$» 

** Now thia \n \Fnc\wAy the good ofBce which, in oar estimation, Dr. 
A. haa actually rendered loihe diaciploa of that science of which be If 
hlmaeir ao diatinguiahed i^ornament. In the verv moderate eomims<i 
of one volume, he haa placed within the reach of the atudent as muck 
sound metaphyalcal lore an any human being need cive a rush to pos 
Sean, unlesa he aspires to Tory high distinction In that perulisr line of 
investigation. He has divested his researches of all the frivoloua tnim- 
perv in which the philosophers of former days were often in the habit 
of disguising their ambitious poverty. He baa shown that, In this, m 
in other sciences, the grand object is to establish the universality of 
flurtn, and that science la successful and triumphant in proportion as she 
approximates to the accomplishment of this object. And, lastly, what 
is above all praise, he has.exhibited phRusophy aa the handmaid of re- 
ligion ; and has made it manifest that all the rays of knowledge natu- 
rally converge towards that one point in which iasiinated tbethnme of 
fltemal and heavenly triitu. All this he has done with a degree of maa- 
tery which shows the amplitude of his resources ; and, at the same 
time, with that simplicity and modesty which are among the most en* 
gaging attributes of every superior mind. He profesnes not to oflbr 
any thing which has a claim to novelty or originality. His avowed ob- 
ject la merely to direct the inquiries of the student **on a subject of 
great and generiU interest,** and of peculiar importance to the inquirer, 
namely, the philosophy of mind ; and, without fbrmallv assuming the 
eharacter of a moral or religioua lecturer, he has made hia work auxil- 
iary to the moat sacred and maje^itic of all sciences. He haa made it 
clear that aound metaphysical philosophy is not a knowledge which 
pnffath up: that, on the contrary, ita legitimate tendency ia to chastiso 
the arrogance of human wisdom, and to conduct us to that wladbm 
which ia (h>m above, and which is pure, and peaceable, and rich in all 
the fruits which can strengthen up the soul into eternal Ilfb. But our 
limita admonish us that we muat break off our converse with this can- 
did, aairacious, and benevolent inquirer. We cannot, however, take 
leave of his work witho it expressing our reverence fbr the motive* 
which prompted him to undertake it, and our admiration for the powers 
which have so nobly redeemed flnnm loss and waste the fragments of 
time spared him lYom most extensive practice.**— Ari<i>A Critic. 

" Dr. Abkkcko^ibik is already known to the public as a gentleman 
of the first eminence in his profession. The work befiire us proves him 
to p osses M an independent, vigorous, and practical mind, thoroufhly 
conversant with the subjects it discusses, that enters ex ammo Into the 
spirit of Inductive philosophy, and withal is deeply hnbued with Chris- 
tian piety. It is a volume calculated to render essential service to uitel- 
lectu'il, medical, and theological acience, and we have risen ft-om tha 
perusal of it with an earnest wish that it may And its way into the hands 
of erery thinking man in the empire, be he a believer or an infidel. It 
abornds with interesting statement and powerAi! reasoning; and w« 
confidently recommend it to our renders as a publication of uo ordinary 
▼aloe — Dublin Chrittian Examiner. 

**.... It cannot be disseminated too widely in a nation esfsr Ibr know* 
ledfs, keen in inquiry to a provsrb, and accustomsd to tbina no matter* 
100 Ufh f» Mmtiny, «io antbodty too v«o«riM«fbr quwtiMr*>C»icftA 

••• • 


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Bold by CollinB fc Haimay, Cnllinii k, ro.. 0. k, C. k H. Carvill, White, 
GallHher, k. Wlilie, O. A. Ri»orbiM-h, E. BIIh*, nnd C. S. Franrit;— 
l^BiL-DEi.PHiA, Carey At, Joliii Grig(r,.TowNr St J. k D. Mm 
liogan, U. Hunt, £. L. Carey k A. Hart, atid M'Carty k Davia. 




KetaoQ'i Birth iind '6ayhood—tte is entered on Board the BaiaonnabM 
— Goes to the West Indies in a Merchant-ship ; then serves in thfl 
Trlum|rfi~fie sails in Capi. Ptaippo^s Voyage of Discovery— Ones to 

. the East Indies in the Seahonw, and returns in ill Health— Serves as 
oeting Lieutenaat in the Worcester, and is made Lieutenant into the 
liowestoffe^ Commander into the Badger Brig, and Po»t into the 
Hinchinbrook— Expedition against the Spanish Main^-Sent te tlie 
Unrth Seas in tlie All>emarle— Services duriitg tiie Ameriean 
IVai Pag)Bl5 


Melaon goea toi France during the Peace— Reappointed to the Boraaa, 
and stationed at the Leeward Islands— His firm Conduct concerning 
tiM American Interlopers and the Contractors— Marries and returns 
lo England — ^b on the Point of quitting the Service in Disgust^ 
Maiufcerof Lift wbUe uoenployed— Appointed to tlie Agajnemnon on 
liMbfealriiigoiitoftbaWaroftbaFieaehBevoltttioii ^.•«.. 41 



Tbe Againenuion sent to the Mediterranean— Commencement of Nei* 
•on*a Acquaintance with Sir William Hamilton- He is sent to Cor- 
■lea, to oo-operate with Paoli— Stnte of Aithirs in that Island — Nelson 
undertakes the Siege of Bastia, and reduces It— Takes a^iistinguished 

' Fan in ttie Siege of Calvi, where he Insas an Eye— Admiral Hotban^s 
Action— The Agamemnon ordered to Oenna, to eo-opwate with the 
AmriM and Bardkiian Forces— Orosa Misaonduct of the Auairlaa 
Gfloenl «" 90 

*.99863 • 



Sir J. Jerv is takes the Coinraand— Genoa Jains the French— BuonaparW 
begins his Career— Evacuation of Corsica— Nelran htiisis his broad 
Pennant in tlie Minerve— Action witli the Sabina— Battle off Cape 
St. Vincent- Nelson commands ti)«> inner Squadron at the Blockade 
of Cadiz— Boat Action in the Bay of Cadiz— Expedition against 
TenerifTe— Nelson loses an Arm— His Sufferings in England, and 
Becovery OS 


Nelson rejoins Earl St. Vincent iu the Vanguard — Sails in Pureuit of 
the French to Egypt— Returns to Sicily, and sails again to Egypt-" 
Battle of the Nile ]S3 


Nelson returns to Naples— State of that Court and Kingdom— General 
Mack— The French approach Naples— Flight of the Royal Family— 
Sttccesaes of the Allies In Italy— Transactions In the Bay of Naples 
—Expulsion of the French from the Neapolitan Lnd Roman Statea— 
Nelflon is made Duke of Bronte — He leaves the Mediterranean, and 
returns to England U3 


Nelson separates himsflf from his Wife— Northern Confederacy— He 
goes to the Baltic, under Sir Hyde Parker— Battle of Copenhagen^ 
and subsequent Negotiation— Nelson is made a Viscount SOST 


Sir Hyde Parker is recalled, and Nelson appointed Oommander— 4ftf 
goes to Bevel— Settlement of Aflhirs in the Biillii TTnsmiiififnT 
Attempt upon the Flotilla at Boulogne— Peace of Amien»— Nelson 
takes the Command in Ule Mediterranean on the Renewal of the 
War— Escape of the Toulon fleet— Nelson chases them to the Weat 
Indies, and back— Delivers up bis Squadron to Admiral Cornwallia^ 
and lands in England.. 93ft 


8ir Robert Calder fjifla In with the combined Fleeta-^They fbnn s 
Junction with the Ferrol Squadron, and get Into Cadift~N«lana la 
reappoinied to the Command— Battia of Tftfalgai^Vkiofjr and 
Death of NalaoD SBI 


tUktiit lilrei of f^EttiON have bd^ii writteft ; dno Is fd 
wanting, clear and concise enougrh to beciime a manual 
for the young Bailor, which he may carry about with 
him till he has treasured up the example in his memory 
and in his heart. In attempting such a work, I sh^ 
write the eulogy of our great naval hero ; for the best 
eulofl^ of Nblson is the faithful history of his actions : 
and the best history must bd that which shall ttkM 
them most perspicuously. 


^elson*» Birtk and Boyhood— He to entered on Board the RaUotuuihtt 
f-Ghteo to the fVeot Indies in « MerehonUokip ; then sonoo m tko 
Trinmph — He saiU tit Copt. Pkipp*o Voyage of Diecoverf—Cfoef 
pi the Eaet hdieo tn the Seakoret, and rt turns inill HeaUhServea 
as acting Lieutenant m the Worcester^ and is wade Lieutenant into 
tho Lewestoffr^ Commander into ike Badger Brig, and Past into tJU 
flinekiukrook — Expedition against the Spanish Jlfatu — Sent to the 
jjforth Seas in the Jilbemarle— Services during the American War, 

Horatio, son of Edmund and Catherine Nelson, 
was bom Sept. 39, 1758, in the parsonage house of 
Bumham Thorpe, a village in the county of Nor- 
folk, of which his father was rector. The maiden 
name of his mother was Suckling: her grand* 
mother was an elder sister of Sir Robert Walpole, 
And this child was named after his godfather, the 
first Lprd Walpc^e. Mrs. Nelson died in 1767, leav« 
ing eight, out of eleven, children. Her brother, 
Capt. Maurice Suckling of the navy, visited the 
widower upon this event, and promised to take care 
ol one of the boy^. Three years afterward, when 
Horatio was only twelve years of age, being at 
home di|ring the Christmas nolydays, he read in the 
county newspaper that his uncle was appointed to 
the RaisonnaMe, of sixty-four guns. ** Do, Wil-» 
liam," said he to a brother whp was a year and a 
half older than himself, '* write to my father, and 
tell him that I should like to go to sea wi^ unolQ 

16 UVB OF HRLfOk. [1771. 

Msnirice.*' Mr. Nelson was then at Bath, whither 
he had gfone for the recovery of his health : his cir- 
cumstances were straitened, and he had no prospect 
of ever seeing them bettered : he knew that it was 
the wish of providing for himself by which Horatio 
was chiefly actuated ; and did not oppose his reso- 
lution : he understood also the boy^s character, and 
had always said, that in whatever station h^ might 
be placed, he would climb, if possible, to the very 
top of the tree. Accordingly, Capt. Suckling was 
written to, ** What," said he in his answer, " has 
poor Horatio done, who is so weak, that he, above 
all the rest, should be sent to rough it out at sea! — 
But let him come, and the first time we so into ac- 
tion, a cannon-ball may knock off his head, and pro- 
vide for him at once." 

It is manifest from these words, that Horatio was 
not the boy whom his uncle would have chosen to 
bring up in his own profession. He was never of a 
strong Dody ; and the ague, which at that time was 
jone of the most common diseases in England, had 
greatly reduced his strength ; yet he had already 
given proofs of that resolute heart and nobleness of 
mind, which, during his whole career of labour and 
of glory, so eminently distinguished him. When a 
mere child, he strayed a bird's-nesting from his 

ridmother's house in company with a cow-boy : 
dinner hour elapsed ; he was absent, and could 
not be found ; and the alarm of the family became 
very great, for they apprehended that he might have 
been carried off by gipsies. At length, after search 
had been made for him in various directions, he was 
discovered alone, sitting composedly by the side of 
a brook which he could not get over. '^ I wonder, 
child," said the old lady, when she saw him, '* that 
hunger and fear did not drive you home." — ^^ Fear ! 
grandmamma^" replied the future herb, ^l never 
saw fear: — ^What is it?" Once, after the winter 
bolydaysy when he and his brother William had sfit 

1771.] I.IFE OF KEUKNT. 17 

off on horseback to return to school, they came 
back, because there had been a fall of snow ; and 
William, who did not much like the journey, said it 
was too deep for them to venture on. " If that be 
the case," said the father, " you certainly shall not 
go ; but make another attempt, and I will leave it to 
your^ honour^ If the road is dangerous, you may 
returiy: but remember, boys, I leave it to your ho- 
nour." The snow was deep enough to have afforded 
ihem a reasonable excuse : but Horatio was not to 
be prevailed upon to turn back. ** We must go on," 
«aid he j " remember, brother, it was left to our ho^ 
nour !" — There were some fine pears growing in the 
schoolmaster's garden, which the boys regarded as 
lawful booty, and in the highest degree tempting; 
but the boldest among them were afraid to venture 
for the prize. Horatio volunteered upon this ser- 
▼kte ; he was lowered down at night from the bed* 
room window by some sheets, plundered the tree, 
was drawn up with the pears, and then distributed 
them among his schoolfellows without reserving 
any for himself.— ^'^ He only took them," he said, 
** because every other boy w^is afraid." 

Early on a cold and dark spring morning Mr. Nel- 
son's servant arrived at this school, at North Wals- 
ham, with the expected summons for Horatio to 
join his ship. The parting from his brother Wil- 
liam, who had been for so many years his playmate 
and bedfellow, was a painful effort, and was the be- 
ginning of those privations which are the sailor's 
lot through life. He accompanied his father to 
Ijondon. The Raisonnable was lying in the Med- 
way. He was put into the Ohatlmra stage, and on 
its arrival was set down with the rest of the passen- 
gers, and left to find his way on board as he could. 
After wandering about in the cold, without being 
able to reach the shio, an officer observing the forlorn 
appearance of the boy, questioned him ; and hap^ 
paning to be acquainted with his uncle, took hiod 

M isn OF msuKm. [1771. 

•faome, and g^re bim some refre«hmeiit«. — ^Wben he 
foi en board, Gapt. Suekling was not in 'the shipi 
nor had any person been apprized of the boy's 
«omingf. He paced the deck the whole remainder 
of the day, without being noticed by any one ; and 
it was not till the second day that somebody, as 
he expressed it, ^ took compassion on him.'* The 
pain whiL*h is felt when we are first transplanted fr6m 
our native soil, — when the living branch is cut from 
the parent tree, — is one of the most poignant which 
ve have to endure through life. There are after- 
ffriefs which wound more deeply, which leave be- 
hind them sears never to be effaced, which bruise 
the spirit, and sometimes break the heart : but never 
do we feel so keenl v the want of love, the necessity 
of being loved, and the sense of utter desertion, as 
when we firstieave the haven of home, and are, as 
it were, pushed off. upon the stream of life. Added 
to these feeflngs, the seafooy has to endure phy- 
sical hardships, and the privation of every comfort, 
even of sleep. Nelson had a feeble body and an 
affectionate heart, and he remembered through life 
his first days of wretchedness in the service. 

The Raisonnable, having been commissioned on 
account of the disputes respecting the Falkland 
Islands, was paid oft as soon as the difference with 
the court of Spain was accommodated, and Capt. 
Suckling was removed to the Triumph, seventy 'four, 
then stationed as a guardship in the Thames. This 
was considered as too inactive a life for a boy, and 
Nelson was therefore sent a voyage to the West 
Indies in a merchant-ship, commanded by Mr. John 
Rathbone, an excellent seaman, who had served 
as master's mate under Capt. Suckling, in the 
Dreadnought. He returned a practical seaman, but 
with a hatred Of the king's service, and a saying 
then common among the sailors — ^aft the most 
honour : forward the better man.'* Rathbone had 
piobably been disappointed and disgusted in th# 

i779.] uvx OP imutm. 19 

^Tv; ^d, with no unfriendly intentions, warned 
Nelson ag^ainst a profession which he himself had 
Iband hopeless*. His uncle received him on board 
the Triumph on his return, and discovering his dis- 
like to the navy, took the best means of reconciling 
mm to it. He held it out as a reward, that if he 
attended well to his navigation, he should go in the 
cutter and decked long-boat, which was attached to 
the commanding ofiicer'e ship at Chatham. Thus 
he became a good pilot for vessels of thai descrip- 
tion, from Chatham to the Tower, and down the 
Swin Channel to the North Foreland, and acquired 
a confidence among rocks and sands, of which he 
often felt the value. 

Nelson had not been many months on board the 
Triumph, when his love of enterprise was ezeited 
by hearing that two ships were fitting out for a 
voyage of discover jr towards the North Pole. In 
consequence of the difficulties which were expected 
.on such a service, these vessels were to take out 
^effective men instead of the usual number of boy?. 
This, however, did not deter him from soliciting to 
be received, and, by his uncie^s interest, he was ad* 
jxiitted as coxswain under Capt Lutwidge, second 
in command. .The voyage was undertaken in com- 
^iance with an application from the Royal Society* 
The Hon. Capt. Constantine John Phipps, eldest 
eon of Lord Mulgrave, volunteered his services* 
The Racehorse and Carcass bombs were selected, 
as the strongest ships, and, therefore, best adapted 
for such a voyage ; and they were taken into oock 
and strengtliened, to render them as secure as pos- 
sible against the ice. Two masters of Greenland- 
men were, employed as pilots for each ship. No 
^expedition was ever more carefully fitted out ; and 
the first Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Sandwich, 
with a laudable solicitude, went on board himself^ 
iiefore their departure, to see that every thing had 
beeaOk completed to the wi%h of the officers. The 

fO xjTb of veison. [177S, 

nhips were provided with a flimple and excelleot 
fipparatus for distilling fresh from snlt water, the 
invention of Dr. Irving, who accompanied the ex-* 
pedition. It consisted merely in fitting a tube to 
the ship's kettle, and applying a wet mop to the 
surface as the vapour was passing. By these means 
from thirty-^four to forty gallons were produced 
every rfay. 

They sailed from the Nore on the 4th of June 5 
on the eth of the following month they were in lat, 
79^ 66' 89" ; long. 9*^ 43' 30" E. The next day, 
about the place where most of the old discoverers 
had been stopped, the Racehorse was beset with 
ice ; but they hove her through with ice anchors. 
Capt. Phipps continued ranging along the ice, north* 
ward and westward, till the 24th ; he then tried to 
\he eastward. On the 30^ he was in lat. 80^ 13', 
long. 18^ 48' E*, among the islands and in the ibe, 
with no appearance of an opening !br ihe ships. 
The weather was excedjngly fine, mild, and unusu- 
ally clear. Here they were becalmed in a large 
bay, with three apparent openings between the 
islands which formed it ; but every where, as far aa 
they could see, surrounded with ice. There waa 
no^ a breath of air, the water was perfectly smooth^ 
the ice covered with snowi low and even, except a 
few broken pieces, near the edge ; and the pools of 
water in the middle of the ice-fields just crusted 
over with young ice. On the next day the ice 
closed upon them, and no opening was to be seen 
any where, except a hole or lake, as it might be 
called, about a mile and half in circumference, 
where the ships lay ftist to the ioe with their ice an^ 
chors, They filled their casks with water from 
these ice«fields, which, was very pure and soft. The 
men were playing on the ice all day ; but the Green^ 
land pilots, who were farther than they had evef 
been before, and considered that the season wa4 
JTar 9:dvancinga were alarmed at being thus be<iet« 


The next day there was not the smallest openaag 
the ships were within less than two len^hs of each 
other, separated by ice, and neither having room to 
turn. The ice, which the day before had been flat, 
and almost level with the water's edge, was now, in 
many places forced higher than the mainyard, by 
ihe pieces squeezing together. A day of thick fog 
followed: it was succeeded by clear weather; but 
the passage by which the , ships had entered from 
the westward was closed, and no open water was 
in sight, either in that or any other quafter. By the 
pilots^ advice the men were set to cut a passage and 
warp through the small openings to the westward. 
They sawed through pieces of ice twelve feet thick i 
and this labour continued the whole day, during 
which their utipost efforts (jiid not move the ship 
above three hundred yards ; while they were driven, 
together with the ice, far to the N. £. and £• by 
the current. Sometimes a field of several acres 
fiqrare would be lifted up between two larger islands, 
«nd incorporated with them ; and thus these larger 
pieces continued to grow by aggregation. Another 
day passedy.and there seemed no probability of get* 
ting the ships put, without a strong E. or N. E. wiud# 
The season was far advanced, and every hbur les* 
aened the chande of extricating themselves* Young 
as he was. Nelson was appointed to command ona 
of the boats which were sent out to explore a pas* 
sage into the open water. It was the means of 
saving a boat belonging to the Racehorse from a 
singular but imminent danger. Some of the officers 
had fired at and wounded a walrus. As no other 
animal has so human-like an expression in its conn* 
ienance, so also is there none that seems to possess 
more of the passions of humanity. The wounded 
animal dived immediately, and thought up a nuniF 
iber of its companion^ ; ajid they all joined in an 
attack upon the boat. Th^y wrested an oar from 
lone of the men; and it was with the utmost diffir 

tt ZiIFB OF KELSON. [1773 

011117 that the crew eonld prevent them from staying 
or upsetting her, till the Carcasses boat came up; 
and the w^nises, finding their enemies thus rein"* 
forced, dispersed. Young Nelson exposed himself 
in a more daring manner. One night, during the 
mid-watch» lie stole from the ship with one of his 
comrs^des, tailing advantage of a rising fog, and set 
off over the ice in pursuit of a bear. It was not 
long before they were missed, The fog thickened* 
and Capt. Lutwidge and his ofllcers became exceed- 
ingly alarmed for their safety. Between three alld 
four in the morning the weather cleared, and the 
two adventurers were seen, at a considerable dis- 
tance from the ship, attacking 'a huge hear. The 
signal for them to return was immediately made 1 
Nelson's comrade called upon him to obey it, but in 
vain ; his musket had flashed in the pan; their am<« 
munition was expended ; and a' chasm in the ice^ 
which divided him from the bear, probably preserved 
his life, ♦* Never mind," he cried ; ** do but let me 
get a blow at this devil with the butt-end of my 
musket, and we shall have him." Capt. Lutwidge, 
however, seeing his danger, fired a gun, which had 
the, desired effect of frightening the beast 1 and the 
boy then returned, soniewhat afraid of the conse- 
quences of his trespass. The captain rep^'imanded* 
hini sternly for conduct so unworthy of the office 
which he filled, and desired to know what motive he 
could have for hunting a bear. ** Sir," said he, 
pouting his lip, as he Was do when agitated, 
'* I wished to kill the bear, that I might carry the 
pkin to my father.** 

^ A party were now sent to an island, about twelve 
miles off (named Walden's Island in the charts, 
from the midshipman who was intrusted with this 
pervice), to see where the open water lay. They 
pame back with information, that the ice, though 
closed all about them, was open to the westward, 
f Q^d the point by which they can^e ii|« They 8^4 

17Y9,] I01B or mstsoH^ H 

also, that upon the island they had had a fresh 
wind. This intelligence considerably abated the 
hopes of the crew ; for where they lay it had been 
almost calm, and their main dependence had been 
upon the effect of an easterly wind in clearing the 
bay* There was but one alternative ; either to wait 
the event of the weather upon the shipsf Or to he* 
take themselves to the boats. , The likelihood thai 
it miffht be necessaiy to sacrifice the ships had 
been foreseen ; the boats, accordingly, were adapted^ 
both in number and size, to transport, in case of 
emergency, the whole crew i and there were Dutch 
whalers upon the coast) in which they could all bd 
conveyed to Europe^. As for wintering where they 
were, that dread/ol . experiment had been already 
tried too often. No time was to be lost ; the ships 
had driven into shoal water, having but fourteen 
fathoms. Should they, or the ice to which they 
were fast, take the groundf they must inevitably be 
lost: and at this time they were driving fast to* 
wards some rocks on the N<JE!I^ Captain Phipps 
sent for the officers of both ships^ and told them his 
intention of preparing the boats for going away. 
They were immediately hoisted out$ ^nd the fitting;' 
begun^ Canvass bread-bags were made, in case it 
should b^ necessary suddenly to desert the vessels } 
and men were sent with the lead^and-line to th0 
northward and eastward^ to sound wherever they 
found cracks in the ice, that they might have notice^ 
before the ice took the ground ; for, in that cascrthe 
ships must uistantly have been crushed or overset. 
On the 7th of August they began to haul this boats ^ 
over the icCf Nelson having command of the four- > 
oared cutter. The men bihaved excellently well, 
like true Briti^ seamen: they seemed fe^onciled^ 
to t'le thought of leaving the ships^ and bad full con*' 
fidence in their officers. About noon, the ice ap« 
pea*ed rather more open near the vessels ; and as 
the wind was easterly, though there was but littl^a 

S4 UFS o' NX1.80N. [1775^ 

of lt» the pails were set, and thev got about a mile 
to the westward. Thgr moved very slowly, and 
were not now nearly so Jar to the westward as when 
they were-first beset. Howe vet, all sail was kept 
xmon them, to fprce them through whenever the ice 
slacked the least* Whatever exertions were made, 
it could not be possible to g^t the boats to the water 
edge before the 14th ; and if the situation of the 
chips should not alter by that time, it would not be 
justifiable to stay longer by them. The commander 
therefore resolved to carry on both attempts to- 
gether, moving the boats constantly, and takii^ 
every opportunity of gettmg the ships through. A 
party was sent out next day to the westward, to 
examine the stale of the ice : thiey returned with 
tidings that it was very heavy and close, consistiiM 
chiiBfty of large fields. The ships, however, moved 
something, and the ice itself was drifting westwards 
There was a thick fog, so that it was impossible to 
ascertain what advantage had been gained. It con- 
tinued on the 9th; but the ships were moved a little 
thrcmgh some very small openings : the mist cleared 
off in the afternoon ; and it was then perceived that 
they had driven much more than could have bectt 
expected to the westward, and that the ice itself 
liad driven still farther. In tb^course of the day 
they got past the boats, and took them on board 
again. On the mbrrow the wind sprang up to the 
N. N. E. All sail was set, and the ships forced 
their way through a great deal of very heavy lee. 
They frequently struck, and with such force, XhBl 
one stroke broke the shank of the Racehorse's best 
bower anchor: but the vessels made way; and by 
noon they had cleared the ice, and were out;, at sea. 
The next day they anchored in Smeereiibek'g harbon;[^ 
close to that island of which the westernmost point 
is called Hakluyt's Headland, in honour of the greajt 
promoter and compiler of our fingliah voyages of 

1776.^ XJFB OF NBLSON. 911 

Here they remained a few days, that the men 
might rest after their fatigue. No insect was to be 
seen in this dreary country, nor any species of rep- 
tile—not even the common earth-worm. Large 
bodies of ice, called icebergs, filled up the valleys 
between high mountains, so dark, as, when contrasted 
with the snow, to appear black. The colour of the 
ice was of a lively light green. Opposite to the place 
where they fixed their observatory was one of these 
icebergs, above three hundred feet high : its sides 
towards the sea was nearly perpendicular, and a 
stream of water issued from it. Large pieces fre« 
qiiently broke off, and rolled down into the sea* 
There was no thunder nor lightning during the 
whole time they were in these latitudes. The sky 
was generally loaded with hard white clouds, from 
which it was never entirely free even in the clearest 
weather. They always knew when they were ap« 
proaehing the ice, long before they saw it, by a 
bright appearance near the horizon, which the 
Greenlandmen called the blink of the ice. The 
season was now so far advanced, that nothing more 
eould have been attempted, if indeed any thing had 
been left untried: but the summer had been lin* 
usually favourable, and they had carefully surveyed 
the wall of ice extending n>r more than twenty de« 
grees between the latitudes of 80^ and 81°, without 
Qie smallest appearance of any opening. 

The ships were paid off shortly after their return 
to England; and Nelson was then placed by his 
uncle with Captain Farmer, in the Seahorse, of 
twenty guns, then going out to the East Indies in 
the squadron under Sir Edward Hughes. He waa 
stationed in the foretop at watch and watch. His 
good conduct attracted the attention of the master 
(afterward Captain Surridge) in whose watch he 
was; and, upon his recommendation, the ca(>tain 
rated him as midshipman. At this time his conn* 
tenance was florid, and his appearanoe rather Hoiit 


S6 LIPfi OF NElSOlf. [1776« 

and athletic ; but when he had been about ei^teen 
months in India, he felt the effects of that climate^ 
80 perilous to European constitutions. The disease 
baffled all power of medicine ; he was reduced al- 
most to a skeleton ; the use of his limbs was for 
some time entirely lost ; and the only hope that re- 
mained was from a voyage home. Accordingly, he 
was brought home by Captain Pigot,in the Dolphin; 
and had it not been for the attentive and careful 
kindness of that officer on the way, Nelson would 
never have lived to reach his native shores. He 
had formed an acquaintance with Sir Charles Pole, 
Sir Thomas Troubridge, and other distinguished 
officers, then, like himself, beginning their careet r 
he had left them pursuing that career in full enjoy- 
ment of health and hope, and was returning from a 
country, in which all things were to him new and 
interesting, with a body broken down by sickness, 
and spirits which had sunk with his strength. Long 
afterward, when the name of Nelson was known as 
widely as that of England itself, he spoke of the 
feelings which he at this time endured. '* I felt im- 
pressed,*^ said he, *'with a feeling that I should 
never rise in my profession. My mind was stag- 
gered with a view of the difficulties I had to sur- 
mount, and the little interest 1 possessed. I could 
discover no means of reaching the object of my 
ambition. After a long and gloomy reverie, in 
which r almost wished myself overboard, a sudden 
glow of patriotism was kindled within me, and pre- 
sented my king and country as my patron. * Well, 
then,' I exclaimed, *I will be a hero! and, con- 
fiding in Providence, I will brave every danger !' '* 
Long afterward. Nelson loved to speak of the 
feeling of that moment: and from that time, he 
often said, a radiant orb was suspended in bis 
mind's eye, which urged him onward to renown* 
The state of mind in which these feelings began, is 
what the mystics mean by their season of darkness 

1777.] UFB OF KBLflON. 27 

and desertion. If the animal spirits fail, they repre* 
sent it as an actual temptation. The enthusiasm of 
Nelson's nature had taken a different direction, but 
its essence was the same. He knew to what the 
previous state of dejection was to be attributed; 
that ah enfeebled body, and a mind depressed, had 
cast this shade over his soul : but he always seemed 
willing to believe, that the sunshine which suc- 
ceeded, bore with it a prophetic glory, and that the 
light which led him on, was ** lijp^ht from heaven.** 
His interest, however, was far better tha^ he 
imagined. During his absence. Captain Suckling 
had been made comptroller of the navy ; his healtn 
had materially improved upon the voyage; and, as 
soon as the Dolphin was paid off", he was appointed 
acting-liexiteuant in the Worcester, sixty-four. Cap- 
tain Mark Robinson, then going out with convoy to 
Gibraltar. Soon after his return, on the 8th of 
April, 1777, he passed his examination for a lieu- 
tenancy. Captain Suckling sat at the head of the 
board ; and when the examination had ended, in a 
manner highly honourable to Nelson, rose from his 
seat, and introduced him to the examining captains 
as his nephew. They expressed their wonder that 
he had not informed them of this relationship 
before ; he replied, that he did not wish the younker 
to be favoured ; he knew his Ujephew would pass a 
eood examination, and he had not been deceived. 
The next day Nelson received his commission as 
second lieutenant of the Lowestoffe frigate. Captain 
William Locker, then fitting out for Jamaica. 

American and French privateers under American 
colours were at that time harassing our trade in 
the West Indies : even a frigate was not sufficiently 
active for Nelson, and he repeatedly got appointed 
to the command of one of the Lowestoffe's tenders. 
During one of their cruises the Lowestoffe cap^ 
tured an American letter-of-marque : it was blowing 
,ft gale, and a heavy sea running. The first lieute- 

M UFB or ymiMM. [1778. 

nant heing ordered to board the prize, went below to 
put on his hanger. It happened to be mislaid ; and, 
while he was seekingr it, Captain Locker came on 
deck. Perceiving the boat still alongside, and in 
danger every moment of being swamped, and bein^ 
extremely anxious that the privateer should be in- 
stantly taken in charge, because he feared that it 
would otherwise founder, he exclaimed, ** Have I 
no officer in the ship who can board the prize V* 
Nelson did not offer himself immediately, waiting, 
with, his usual sense of propriety, for the first lieu- 
tenant's return ; but hearing the master volunteer, 
he jumped into the boat, saying, " It is my turn 
now ; and if I come back, it is yours.'* The Ameri- 
can, who had carried a heavy press of sail, in hope 
of escaping, was so completely water-logged, that 
the Lowestoffe's boat went in on deck, and out 
again with the sea. 

About this time he lost his uncle. Captain 
Locker, however, who had perceived the excellent 
qualities of Nelson, and formed a friendship for 
him, which continued during his life, recommended 
him warmly to Sir Peter Parker, then commander- 
in-chief upon that station. In consequence of this 
recommendation he was removed into the Bristol 
flag-ship, and Lieutenant Cuthbert CoUingwood, 
who had long been in habits of great friendship 
with him, succeeded him in the Lowestoffe. Sir 
Peter Parker was the friend of both ; and thus it 
happened, that whenever Nelson got a step in rank, 
Collingwood succeeded him. The former soon be- 
came first lieutenant ; and, on the 8th of December, 
1778, was appointed commander of the Badger 
brig; Collingwood taking his place in the BristoL 
While the Badger was lying m Montego Bay, Ja- 
maica, the Glasgow of twenty guns came in and 
anchored there, and in two hours was in flames, the 
•teward having set fire to her while steading rum out 
of the after-hold. Her crew were leaping into the 

1779.J UFB OF nxLsoii. 29 

water, when Nelson came up in his boatfi, made 
them throw their powder overboard, and point their 
guns upward: and, by his presence of mind and 
personal exertions, prevented the loss of life which 
would otherwise have ensued* On the 11th of 
June, 1779, he was made post into the Hinchin- 
brook, of twenty-eight guns, an enemy's merchant- 
man, sheathed with wood, which had bee^b taken 
into the service. CollingwOod was then made com- 
' mander into the Badger. A short time after he left 
the Lowestoffe, that ship, with a small squadron, 
stormed the fort of St. Fernando de Omoa, on the 
south side of the Bay of Honduras, and captured 
some register ships which were lying under its 
guns. Two hundred and fifty quintals of quick- 
silver and three millions of piastres were the re- 
ward of this enterprise : and it is characteristic of 
Nelson, that the chance by which he missed a shar^ 
in such a prize is never mentioned in any of his let« 
ters ; nor is it likely that it ever excited evea 9 taox 
inentary feeling of vexation. 

Nelson was fortunate in possessing good interest 
at the time when it could be most serviceable to 
him : his promotion had been almost as rapid as it 
could be ; and before he had attained the dge of 
twenty-one he had gained that rank which brought 
all the honours of the service within hip reach. No 
opportunity, indeed, had yet been given him of dis- 
tinguishing himself; but lie was thoroughly master 
of his profession, and his zeal and ability were 
acknowledged wherever he was known* Count 
d'Estaing, with a fleet of one hundred and twenty- 
five sail, men of war and transports, and a reputed 
force of five-and-tw6nty thousand men, threatened 
Jamaica from St. Domingo. Nelson offered his ser- 
vices to the Admiral and to Governor-general Dal- 
ling, and was appointed to command the batteries 
of Fort Charles, at Port Royal. Not more than 
•even |;housaod men could be mastered (br the de« 


30 hOMi tft vlstMOJU. [1780. 

fene($ of ihe island,— ii number wholly inadequate 
to redist the force which threatened them. Of this 
Nelson was so well aware, that when he wrote to 
his friends in Engfland, he told them they must not 
be surprised to hear of his learnings to speak French. 
D*Estaing, however, was either not aware of his 
own superiority, or not equal to the command with 
which h^was intrusted ; he attempted nothing with 
this forbidable armament; and General Dallinff 
was thus left to execute a project which he had 
formed against the Spanish colonies. 

This project was, to take Fort San Juan, on the 
river of that name, which flows from Lake Nicara- 
gua into the Atlantic ; make himself master of the 
lake itsielf, and of the cities of Granada and Leon ; 
and thus cut off the communication of the Spa* 
ni^rds between their northern and southern posses- 
sibns in America. Here it is that a canal between 
the two seas may most easily be formed; — a work 
more important in its consequences than any which 
has ever yet been effected by human power. Lord 
George Germaine, at that.time secretary of state for 
the American department, approved the plan : and 
as discontents at that time were known to prevail 
in the Nuevo Reyno, in Popayan, and in Peru, the 
more i^nguine part of the English began to dream 
of acquirinsf an empire in one part of America more 
extensive than that which they were on the point of 
losing in another. General Balling's plans were 
well formed ; but the history and the nature of the 
country had not been studied as accurately as its 
geography : the difficulties which occurred in fitting 
out the expedition delayed it till the season was too 
far advanced ; and the men were thus sent to adven- 
ture themselves, not so much against an enemy* 
whom they would have beaten, as against a climate, 
which would do the enemy's work. 

Early in the year 1780, five hundred men, des- 
tined ror this 8enrice» were convoyed by Nelson 

1760.] LOfti 6t MvMh 91 

from Port Royal to Cape Gracias n Dioti, in Hon- 
duras. Not a native was to be seen when they 
landed: they had been taught that the English 
came with no other intent than that of enslaving 
them, and sending them to Jamaica, After a while, 
however, one of them ventured down, confiding in 
his knowledge of one of the party; and by his 
means the neighbouring tribes were conciliated 
with presents, and brought in. The troops were en- 
camped on a swampy and unwholesome plain, where 
they were joined by a party of the seventy-ninth 
regiment, from Black River, who were already in a 
deplorable state of sickness. Having remained 
here a month, they proceeded, anchoring frequently, 
along the Mosquito shore, to collect their Indian 
allies, who were to furnish proper boats for the 
river, and to accompany them. They reached the 
river San Juan, March 24th : and here, according to 
his orders,' Nelson's services were to terminate ; 
but not a man in the expedition had ever been up 
the river, or knew the distance of any fortification 
from its mouths and he, not being one who would 
turn back when ^o much was to be done, resolved 
CO carry the soldiers up. About two hundred, there- 
fore, were embarked in the Mosquito shore craft, 
and in two of the Hinchinbrook's boats, and they 
began their voyage. It was the latter end of the 
dry season, the worst time for such an expedition ; 
the river was consequently low : Indians were sent 
forward through narrow channels between shoals 
and sand banks, and the men were frequently 
obliged to quit the bo^ts, and exert their utmost 
strength to drag or thrust them along. This labour 
continued for several days : when they came into 
deeper water, they had then currents and rapids to 
contend with, which would have been insurmount- 
able, but for the skill of the Indians in such diffi- 
culties. The brunt of the labour was borne by 
ihem and by the sailora-'-iiien never aocastomed to 


stand aloof when any exertion of strength or hardi- 
hood is required. I'he soldiers, less accustomed to 
rely upon themselves, were of little use. But all 
equally endured the violent heat of the sun, ren- 
dered more intense ^)y being reflected from the white 
shoals, while the high woods, on both sides of the 
river, were frequently so close, as to prevent any 
refreshing circulation of air; and during the night 
all were equally exposed to the heavy and unwhole- 
some dews. 

On the 9th of April they reached an island in the 
river, called St. Bartolomeo, which the Spaniards 
had fortified, as an outpost, with a small semicir- 
cular battery, mounting nine or ten swivels, and 
manned with sixteen or eighteen men. It com- 
manded the river in a rapid and difficult part>of the 
navigation. Nelson, at the head of a few of his 
seamen, leaped upon the beach. The ground upon 
which he sprung was so muddy^ that he had some 
difficulty in extricating himself, and lost his shoes : 
barefooted, however, he advanced, and, in his own 
phrase, boarded the battery,. In this resolute at- 
tempt he was bravely supported by Despard, at that 
time a captain in the army, afterward unhappily 
known for his schemes of revolutionary treason. 
The castle of St. Juan is situated about sixteen 
miles higher up: the stores and ammunition, how- 
ever, were landed a few miles below the casile, and 
the men had to march through woods almost im- 
passable. One of the men was bitten under the eye 
oy a snake, which darted upon him from the bough 
of a tree. He was unable to proceed from the vio- 
lence of the pain : and when, after a short while, 
flome of his comrades were sei^t back to asbist hioi, 
he was dead, and the body already putrid. Nelson 
himself narrowly escaped a similar fate. He had 
ordered his hammock to be slung under some trees, 
being excessively fatigued, and was sleeping when 
a monitory lizard passed across his face. The la* 

1781.] urs OP inKLsoir. 53 

dlans happilf observed the reptile, and, knowing 
what it indicated, awoke him. He started ap, and 
found one of the deadliest serpents of the country 
coiled up at his feet. He suffered from poison of 
another kind; for, drinking at a spring in which 
some boughs of the manchineel had been thrown, 
the effects were so severe, as, in the opinion of some 
of his friends, to inflict a lasting injury upon his 

The castle of St. Juan is thirty-two miles below 
the Lake of Nicaragua, from which it issues, and 
sixty-nine from the mouth of the river. Boats 
reach the sea from thence in a day and a half; but 
their navigation back, even when unladen, is the 
labour of nine days. The English appeared before 
it on the llth, two days after they had taken Hi* 
Bartolomeo. Nelson's advice was, that it should 
instantly be carried by assault : but Nelson was not 
the commander; and it was thought proper to ob- 
serve all the formalities of a siege. Ten days 
Were wasted before this could be commenced : it 
was a work more of fat^igue than of danger ; but 
fatigue was more to be dreaded than the enemy ; 
the rains set in : and, could the garrison have held 
out a little longer, disease would have rid them of 
their invaders. Even the Indians sunk under it, 
the victims of unusual exertion, and of their own 
excesses. The place surrendered on the S4th. 
But victory procured to the conquerors none of that 
relief which had been expected; the castle was 
worse than a prison; and it contained nothing 
which could contribute to the recovery of the sicl^ 
or the preservation of those who were yet unaf- 
fected. The huts, which served for hospitals, were 
surrounded with filth, and with the putrefying hides 
of slaughtered cattle — almost sufficient of them- 
selves to have engendered pestilence : and when, at 
last, orders were given to erect a convenient hospi- 
tal* the contagion had become »o general, that there 

34 UFK OF NELSON. [1781. 

were none who could work at it ; for, besides the 
few who were able to perlbrm garrison duty, there 
were not orderly men enough to assist the sick. 
Added to these evils, there was the want of all 
needful remedies; for, though the expedition had 
been amply provided with hospital stores, river 
craft enough had not been procured for transporting 
the requisite baggage ; and when much was to be 
left benind, provision for sickness was, that which 
of all things men in health would be most ready to 
leave. Now, when these medicines were required, 
the river was swollen, and so turbulent, that its up- 
ward navigation was almost impracticable. At 
length, even the task of burying the dead was more 
than the living could perform, and the bodies were 
tossed into the stream, or left for beasts of prey, and 
for the gallinazos — those dreadful carrio;i birds, 
which do not always wait for death before they 
begin their work. Five months the English per- 
sisted in what may be called this war against na- 
ture ; they then left a few men, who seemed proof 
against the climate, to retain the castle till the Spa- 
niards should choose to retake it, and make them 
prisoners. The rest abandoned their baleful con- 
quest. Eighteen hundred men were sent to differ- 
ent posts upon this wretched expedition : not more 
than three hundred and eighty ever returned. The 
Hinchinbrook's complement consisted of two hun- 
dred men ; eighty-seven took to their beds in one 
night; and of the whole crew not more than ten 

The transports* men all died, and some of the 
ships, having none left to take care of them, sunk in 
the harbour: but transport ships were not wanted, 
for the troops which they had brought were no 
more: they had fallen, not by the hand of an enemy, 
but by the deadly influence of the climate. 

Nelson himself was saved by a timely removal. 
In a few days after the commencement of the siega 

1782.] XIFE OF NELSOir. 95 

he was seized with the prevailing dysentery ; mean- 
time, Capt. Glover (son of the author of Leonidas) 
died, and Nelson was appointed to succeed him in 
the Janus, of forty-four guns ; Collingwood being 
then made post into the Hinchlnbrook. He returned 
to the harbour the day before St. Juan surrendered, 
and immediately sailed for Jamaica in the sloop 
which brought the news of his appointment. He 
was, however, so greatly reduced by the disorder, 
that when they reached Port Royal he was carried 
ashore in his cot ; and finding himself, after a partial 
amendment, unable to retain the command of his 
new ship, he was compelled to ask leave to- return 
to England, as the only means of recovery. Capt. 
(afterward Admiral) Cornwallis took him home in 
the Lion ; and to his care and kindness Nelson 
believed himself indebted for his life. He went 
immediately to Bath, in a miserable state ; so help* 
less, that he was carried to and from his bed ; and 
the act of moving him produced the most violent 
pain. . In three months he recovered, and imme- 
diately hastened to London, and applied for em- 
Eloyment. After an interval of about four monthn 
e was appointed to the Albemarle, of tWenty- 
eight guns, a French merchant-man, which had 
been purchased from the captors for the king's 

His health was not yet thoroughly re-established ; 
and while he was employed in getting his ship 
ready, he again became so ill as hardly to ^be able 
to keep out of bed. Yet in this state, still suffering 
from the fatal effect of a West Indian climate, as 
if, it might almost be supposed, he said, to try his 
constitution, he was, sent to the North Seas, and 
kept there the whole winter. The asperity with 
which he mentioned this so many years afterward, 
evinces how deeply he resented a mode of conduct 
equally cruel to Ibe individual and detrimental to 
the service. It was during the armed neutrality; 

9B uwm or hju^oit* [IfW* 

and when tiiey anchored off Elsinore, the DanUli 
Admiral sent on board, desiring to be informed 
what ships had arrived, and to have their force 
written down. ^ The Albemarle," said Nelson to 
the messenger, ^ is one of his Britannic Majesty's 
ships : you are at liberty, sir, to count the gui^ as 
you go down the side: and you may assure the 
Danish Admiral, that, if necessary, they shall all 
be well f^erved.** During this voyage be gained « 
considerable knowledge of the Danish coast, and 
its soundings; greatly to the advantage of his 
country in after-times. The Albemarle was not a 
good ship, and was several tiroes nearly overset, in 
consequence of the masts having been made much 
too long for her. On her return to England they 
were shortened, and some other improvements made 
at Nelson's suggestion. Btill he always insisted 
that her first owners, the French, had taught her 
to run away, as she was never a good sailer, except 
whea^oing directly before the wind. 

On their return to the Downs, while he was 
ashore visiting the senior officer, there came on ao 
heaVy a gale, that almost all the vessels drove, and 
a storeship came athwart-hawse of the Albemaiie. 
Nelson feared she would drive on the Goodwin 
Sands: he ran to the beach; but even the Deal 
boatmen thought it impossible to get on boardf 
jiuch was the violence of the storm. At lengthy 
some of the most intrepid offered to make the 
attempt for fifteen guineas ; and to the astonishment 
end fear of all ^he beholdiers, he embarked during 
the height of the tempest. "With great difficulty 
and imminent danger he succeeded in reaching her. 
She lost her bowsprit and foremast, but escaped 
farther injury. He was now ordered to QucImbc; 
where, his surgeon told him, he would certainly be 
laid up by the climate. Many of his friends urged 
him to represent this to Admiral Keppel: but* 
having received hia ordens ixom Lord Siuidwklit 

178^4] XJFB ogr lasiaon, ST 

there ftf|)eared to him an indelioeey la aifplying to* 
his sueoesBor to have them altered. 

Accordingly, he sailed for Canada. Dman^if her 
first cruise on that station, the Albemade enured 
a fishing achooner, which contained, in her cargo^ 
nearly all the property that her master possesaed* 
and the poor fellow had a large family at home» 
anxiously expecting him. Nelson employed him 
as a pilot in Boston Bay, then restored htm the 
schooner and cargo, and gave him a certificate to 
secure him against being captured by any other 
vessel. The man came ofiT afterward to tiie Albe- 
marle, at the hazard of his life, with a present of 
sheep, poultry, and fresh provisions. A most v»« 
luable supply it proved ; for the scurvy was raging 
on board : this was in the middle of August, and the 
ship*s company had not had a fresh meal since the 
beginning of April. The certificate was preserved 
at Boston in memory of an act of unusual gene* 
rosity ; and now that the fame of Nelson has given 
interest to every thing connected with his name, it 
is regarded as a relic. The Albemarle had a nar* 
row escape upon this cruise. Four French sail of 
the line and a frigate, vhich had come out of fios« 
ton harbour, gave chase to- her; and Nelson, per* 
ceiving t&at they beat him in sailing, boldly ran 
among the numerous shoals of St. George's Bank» 
confiding in his own skill in pilotage. Capt. Salter, 
in the St. Margaretta, had escaped the French fieet, 
by a similar manoeuvre, not long before. The fri- 
gate alone continued warily to pursue him ; but at 
soon as he perceived that his enemy was unsup* 
ported, he shortened sail, and hove to : upon which 
the Frenchman thought it advisable to give over the 
pursuit, and sail in quest of his consorts» ^ ' 

At Quebec Nelson became acquainted with Alex* 
ander Davison ; b^ whose interference he was pre>- 
vented from making what would have been called 
an imprudent marriage. The Albemaile wag lalMMrt 


38 uns Qv* wEjaon. [178S«' 

to leave the station, her captain had taken leave of 
his friends, and was gone down the river to the 
place of anchorage; when, the next morning, as 
D&vison was walking on the beach, to his surf)rise 
he saw Nelson coming back in his boat. Upon 
inquiring the cause of his reappearance. Nelson 
took his arm, to walk towards the town, and told 
him he found it utterly impossible to leave Quebec 
without again seeing the woman whose society had 
contributed so much to this happiness there, and 
offering her his hand. — ^** If you do," said his friend, 
«* your utter ruin must inevitably follow," — " Then 
let it follow," cried Nelson, " for I am resolved to 
do it" — " And I," replied Davison, " am resolved 
you shall not." Nelson, however, upon this occa- 
sion, was less resolute than his friend, and suffered 
himself to be led back to the boat. 

The Albemarie was under orders to convoy a ffeet 
of transports to New- York. — ^** A very pretty job," 
said her captain, *' at this late season of the year" 
(October was far advanced), ** for our safls are at 
this moment frozen to the yards." On his arrival at 
Sandy Hook, he waited oii the commander-in-chief, 
Admiral Digby, who told him he was come on a iSne 
station for msU^ing prize-money. **Yes,^ir," Nel- 
son made answer ; '* but the West Indies is the sta- 
tion for honour." Lord Hood, with a detachment of 
Rodney^ victorious fleet, was at that time at Sandy 
Hook: he had been intimate with Capt. Suckling; 
and Nelson, who was desirous of nothing but ho- 
nour, requested him to ask for the Albemarle, that 
he might go to that station where it was most likely 
to be obtained. Admiral Digby reluctantly parted 
with him. His professional merit was already well 
known: and Lord Hood, on introdwung him to 
Prince William Henry, as the Duke of Clarence was 
then called, told the prince, if he wished to ask any 
questions respecting naval tactics. Captain Nelson 
could give lum as much information as any officer 

ltS3,] urm «v nxuam 80 

ui the fleet. The Duke, who, to his own honeuFy 
became from that time the firm friend of Nelson, de- 
scribes him as appearing the merest boy of a cap- 
tain he had ever seen, dressed in a full laced uni- 
form, an old-fashioned waistcoat with ]ong flaps, and 
his lank unpowdered hair tied in a atiff Hessian tail 
of extraordinary length ; making altogether so re- 
markable a figure, *' that,'' says the Duke, *' I had 
never seen any thing like it before, nor coidd I ima- 
gine who he was, nor what he came abouL But his 
address and conversation were irresistibly pleasing; 
and when he spoke on professional subjects, it was 
with ^n enthusiasm that showed he was no common 

It was expected that the French would attempt 
some of the passages between the Bahamas : and 
Lord Hood, thinking of this, said to Nelson, ^1 
suppose, sir, from the length of time you were cruis- 
ing among the Bahama Keys, you must be a good 
pilot there." He replied, with that constant readi- 
ness to render justice to every man which was so 
conspicuous in all his conduct through life, that he 
w^fi well acquainted with them himself, but that in 
ihat respect his second lieutenant was far his supe- 
rior. The French got into Puerto Cabello on the 
coast of- Venezuela. Nelson was cruising between 
that port and. La Guayra, under French colours, for 
the purpose of obtaining information ; when a king's 
launch, belonging to the Spaniards, passed near, and 
being hailed in French, came alongside without sus- 
picion, and answered all questions that were asked 
concerning the number and force of the enemy's 
ships. The crew, however, were not a little sur- 
prised when they were taken on hoard, and found 
themselves prisoners. One of the party went by 
the name of the Count de Deux Fonts. He was, 
however, a prince of the German empire, and brother 
to the heir of the Electorate of Bavaria : his com- 
panions were French officers of distinction, and men 

4d USB oar hmjkhi, [17^3. 

of floienoe, who had been collectings specimens in 
the various branches of natural history. Nelson 
having entertained them with the best his table could 
afford, told them they were at liberty to depart with 
their boat and all that it contained : he only required 
tbem to promise that they would consider them« 
selves as prisoners, if the commander-in-chief should 
refuse to acquiesce in their being thus liberated :•— 
a circumstance which was not by any means likely 
to happen.. Tidings soon arrived that the prelimin&- 
ries of peace had been signed ; and the Albemarle 
returned to England, and was paid off. Nelson's 
first business, after he got to London, even before 
he went to see his relations, was to attempt to get 
the wages due to his men, for the various ships in 
which they had served during the war. •* The dis- 
gust of seamen to the navy,*' he said, ^ was all 
owing to the infernal plan of turning them over from 
ship to ship ; so that men could not be attached to 
the officers, nor the officers care the least about the 
men." Yet he himself was so beloved by his men, 
tiiat his whole ship's company offered, if he could 
get a ship, to enter for her immediately. He was 
now, for the first time, presented at court. After 
going through this ceremony, he dined with his 
friend Davison^ at Lincoln's Inn. As soon as he 
entered the chambers, he threw off what he. called 
his iron«bound coat ;. and putting himself at ease in 
a dressing-gown, passed the remainder of the day 
in talking over all that had befallen them since they 
parted on the shore of the River St. Iiawrenoe, 

xxvB ov hblioii. 4t 


JVU««» goea t§ FVoties during ike Peace— Rempointed to the Bonue^ 
and stationed at tke Leeward Mnnde—Hie firm Conduct concerning 
the American Interlopere andUue Contraetore—Marriee mad returns t§ 
England'— h on the Point of quitting the Strwee in Dieguet— Manner 
of Life while unemployed— Appointed to the ^gamemnoncn thebreak' 
mg e%t of the War of the French Revoltitien. 

, .**l HAVE closed the war," said Nelson, in one of 
his letters, '* without a fortnne; but there is not a 
speck in my character. True honour, I hope, pre* 
dominates in my mind far above riches.^ ' He did 
not apply for a ship, because be was not wealthy 
enough to live on board in the manner whieh was 
then become customary. Finding it, therefore, pru- 
dent to economize on his half-pay during the peace, 
he went to France, in company with Captaih Mac- 
namara, of the navy, and took lodgings at St. Omer*8. 
The death of his favourite sister Anne, who died in 
consequence of going out of the baJl*room, at Bath, 
^hen heated with dancing, aflected hir father so 
much, that it had nearly occasioned him to return 
in a few weeks. Time, however, and. reason, and 
religion, overcame this grief in the old man ; and 
Nelson continued at St. Omer's long enough to fall 
in love with the daughter of an English clergyman. 
This second attachment appears to have been less 
ardent than the first ; for, upon weighing the evils 
of a straitened income to a married man, he thought 
it better to leave France, assigning to his friends 
something in his accounts as the cause. This pre* 
vented him from accepting an invitation from the 
Count of Deux Fonts to visit him at Paris, couched 
in the handsomest terms of acknowledgment torihm 
treatment whieh he had received on boiid the Albe- 


4f Juis or mtRor. [1784. 

The self-constraint which Nelson exerted in sub- 
duing this attachment made him naturally desire to 
be at sea : and when, upon Yisitin? Lord Howe at 
the Admiralty, he was asked if he wished to be 
employed, he made answer that he did. Accord- 
ingly, in March, he was appointed to the Boreas, 
twenty-eight guns, going to the Leeward Islands, 
as a cruiser on the peace establishment. Lady 
Hughes and her family went out with him to Ad- 
miral Siir Richard Hughes, who commanded on that 
station. His ship was full of young midshipmen, 
of whom there were not less than thirty on board : 
and happy were they whose lot it was to be placed 
with such a captain. If he perceived that a boy was 
afraid at fiost going aloft, he would say to him in a 
friendly manner: ^Well, sir; I am gomg a race to 
the mast head, and beg that I may meet you there.** 
The poor little fellow instantly began to climb, and 
got up how he. could, — Nelson nerer noticed in what 
manner; but when thev met in the top, spoke cheer- 
fully to him ; and would say, how much any person 
was to be pitied who fancied that getting up was 
either dangerous or difficult. Every day he went 
into the school-room, to see that they were- pursuing 
their nautical studies ; and at noon he was always 
the first on deck with his quadrant. Whenever he 
paid a visit of ceremony, some of these youths ac- 
companied him : and when he went to dine with the 
ffovemor at Barbadoes, he took one of them in his 
fiand, and presented him, saying, ** Your Excellency 
must excuse me for bringing one of my midshipmen, 
I ipake it a rule to introduce them to all the good 
company I can, as they have few to look up to, 
besides myself, during the time they are at sea." 

When Nelson arrived in the West Indies he found 
himself senior captain, and consequently second in 
sommand on that station. Satisfactory as this was, 
it soon involved him in a dispute with the admiral, 
which a man less zealous for the service might \wf 

1784.] uvB or MSLt^m 49 

avoided. He found the Latona in English Harhomv 
Anti^ia, with a broad pennant boistM ; and, upon 
inquiring the reason, was presented with a written 
order from Sir R. Hughl«, requiring and directing 
him to obey the orders of resident commissioner 
Moutray, durine the time he might have occasion to 
remain th^re ; the said'resident commissioner being, 
in consequence, authorized to hoist a broad pennant 
on board any of his Majesty's ships in that port that 
he might think proper. Nelson was never at a loss 
how to act in any emergency. ** I know of no su- 
perior officers," said he, ** besides the lords commis- 
sioners of the Admiralty^ and my seniors on the post 
list.'^ Concluding, therefore, that it was not coi^- 
sistent with the service for a resident cojpmissioner, 
who held only a civil situation, to hoist a broad pen- 
nant, the moment that he had anchored, he sent an 
ordcir to the captain of the Latona to strike it, and re- 
turn it to the dock-yard. He went on shore the same 
day, dined with the commissioner, to show him that 
he was actuated by no other motive than a sense of 
duty, and gave him the first iiuelligence that his 
pennant had been struck. Sir Richard sent an ac- 
count of this to the Admiralty; but the case could 
admit of np doubt, and Gapt. Nelson's conduct was 

He displayed the same promptitude on another 
occasion. WhQe the Boreas, after the hurricane 
mcmths were over, was riding at anchor in Nevis 
Rhodes, a French frigate passed to leeward, close 
along shore. Nelson had obtained information that 
this ship was sent from Martinico, with two general 
officers and some engineers on board, to make a sur- 
vey of our sugar islands. This purpose he was de- 
termined to prevent them from executing, and there- 
fore he gave orders to follow them. The next day 
he came up with them at anchor in the roads of St, 
fiustKtia, and anchored about two cables* length on the 
firigatt^ quarter. Being afterward invited by the 

44 UWK OF HXMOH* i^7S4* 

Dutch gOTernoT to meet the French officers at dior 
ner, he seiased that occasion of assurmg the French 
captain, that understanding it was his intention to 
honour the British possessions with a visit, he had 
taken the earliest opportunity in his power to aecom- 
pany him, in his Majesty's ship the Boreas, in order 
that such attention might be paid to the officers of his 
most Christian Majesty, as every Englishman in the 
islands would be proud to show. The French, with 
equal courtesy, protested against giving him this 
trouble; especially, they said, as they intended 
merely to cruise round the inlands, without landing 
on any. But Nelson, wkh the utmost politeness, 
insisted upon paying them this compliment, followed 
them close, in spite of all their attempts to elude his 
vigilance, and never lost sight of them ; till, finding 
it impossible either to deceive or escape him, they 
gave up their treatfherous purpose in despair, and 
beat up for Martinico. 

A business of more serious import soon engaged 
his attention. The Americans were at this time 
trading with our islands, taking advantage of the 
register of their ships, which had been issued, while 
they were British subjects. Nelson knew, that by 
the navigation-act, no foreigner?, directly or indi- 
rectly, are permitted to carry on any trade with these 
possessions : he knew, also, that the Americans had 
made themselves foreigners with regard to England; 
they had disregarded the ties of blood and language, 
when they acquired the independence which they 
had been led on to claim, unhappily for themselves, 
before they were fit for it; and he was resolved that 
they should derive ,no profit from those ties now. 
Foreigners they had made themselves, and as fo- 
reigners they were to be treated. "If once,*' said 
he«'"they are admitted to any kind of intercourse 
with our islands, the views of the loyalists, in set* 
tling at Nova Scotia, are entirely done away ; and 
mhta we wre again embroiled in a Preach war, the 

17841] UFs or iiBLioa. 46 

Amerieans will first become the carriers of these 
colonies, and then have possession of them. Here 
they come, sell their cargoes for ready money, go to 
Martinico, buy moiasses, and so round and round. 
The loyalist cannot do this, and consequently must 
sell a little dearer. The residents here are Ameri- 
cans by connexion and by interest, and are inimical 
to Great Britain. They are as great rebels as ever 
were in America, had they the poiter to show it.** 
In November, when the squadron, having arrived at 
Barbadoes, was to separate, with no other orders 
than those foF examining anchorages, and the usuid 
inquiries concerning wood and water, Nelson asked 
his friend Collingwood, then captain of the Mediator, 
whose opinions he knew upon the subject, to accom- 
■ pan^'him to the commander-in-chief; whom he then 
respectfully asked, whether they were not to attend 
to the commerce of the country, and see that the 
navigation-aet was respected— 'that appearing to him 
to be the intent of keeping men-of-war upon this 
•tation in time of peace 1 Sir Richard Hughes re- 
plied, he had no particular orders, neither had the 
Admiralty sent him any acts of parliament. But 
Nelson made answer, that the navigation-act was 
included in the statutes of the Admiralty, with which 
every captain was furnished, and that act was di- 
rected to admirals, captains, &c., to see it carried 
into execution* Sir Richard said he bad never seen 
the book. Upon this. Nelson produced the statutes, 
read the words of the act, and apparently convinced 
the commander-in-chief, that men-of-war, as he said, 
^were sctnt abroad for some other purpose than to 
be made a show of/* Accordingly, orders were 
given to enforce the navigation-act. 

Ma}or«general Sir Thomas Shirley was at this 
time governor of the Leeward Islands ; and when 
Nelson waited on him to inform him how he intended 
to act, and upon what grounds, he replied, that **old 
genetals were not in the habit of taking advice from 

46 LiVB OF TsmMMcm: [1785. 

yoimg gentleincii.'' — *^ Sir," said the young^ officer, 
with that confidence in himself which i^ever carried 
him too far, and always was equal to the occasion^ 
^ T am TUB old as the prime minister of Engr]and, and 
think myself as capable of commanding one of his 
Majesty's ships as th4t minister is of governing the 
state.*' He was resoived to do his duty, whatever 
might foe the opinion or conduct of others : and when 
he arrived upon his station at St. Kitt's, he sent away 
all the Americans, not choosing to seize them before 
they had been well apprized that the act would be 
carried into effect, lest it might seem^as if a trap had 
been laid for them. The Americans, though they 
prudently decamped from St. Kitt's, were embold- 
ened by the support they met with, and resolved to 
resist his orders, alleging that king's ships had no 
legal power to seize them without having deputations 
from the customs. The planters were ta a^man 
against him ; the governors and the presidents of 
the different islands, with only a single exception^ 
gave him* no support : and the admiral, afraid to 
act on either side, yet wishing to oblige the planters, 
sent him a note, advising him to be guided by the 
wishes of the president of the counoil. There was 
no danger in disregarding this, as it came unofficially, 
and in the form of advice. But scarcely a month 
after he had shown Sir Richard Hughes the law, 
and, as he supposed, satisfied him concerning It, he 
received an order from him, stating that he had now 
obtained good advice upon the point, and the Ame* 
ricans were not to be hindered from coming, and 
having free egress and regress, if the governor choee 
to permit them. An order to the same purport had 
been sent round to the different governors and pre- 
sidents : and General Shirley and others informed 
him, in an authoritative manner, that they chose to 
admit American ships; as the commander-in»chiel 
had left the decision to them. These persons, ii) hi« 
own words, he soon ** trimmed up, and sileneed ;" 

]765i]' £tVE OP raiaoN. 47 

but it was a mete delicate buBiness to deal whh the 
admiral. "I must either,'' said he, "disobey my 
orders, or disobey acts of parliament. I determined 
itpon the former, trusting to the uprig-htness of my 
intentions, and belienngf that my country would not 
let me be ruined for protecting her commerce.** 
With this determination he wrote to Sir Richard, 
appealed again to the plain, literal, unequivocal 
sense of the navigation-act ; and in respectful lan- 
guage told him, he felt it iiis duty to decline obeying 
these orders till he had an opportunity of seeing and 
converging with him. Sir Ricliard's first feeling 
was that of anger, and he was about to supersede 
Nelson ; but having mentioned the affair to his cap- 
tain, that officer told him, he believed all the squad- 
jon thought the orders illegal, and therefore did hot 
know how far they were bound to obey them. It 
was impossible, therefore, to bring Nelson to a court- 
martial, composed of men who agreed with him in 
opinion upon the point in dispute; and luckily, 
though the admiral wanted vigour of mind to decide 
upon what was right, he was not obstinate in wrong, 
and had even generosity enough in his niiture to 
thank Nelson afterward for havihg shown him his 

' CoUingwood, in the Mediator, and his brother, 
Wilfred CoUingwood, in the Rattler, actively co-ope- 
rated with Nelson. The custom-houses were in- 
formed, that after a certain day all foreign vessels 
found in the ports would be seized ; and many were, 
in consequence, seized, and condemned in the Admi" 
ralty court. When the Boreas arrived at Nevis, she 
found four American vessels deeply laden, and what 
are called the island-colours flying — white, with a 
red cross. They were ordered to hoist their proper 
flag, and depart within eight-and-forty hours ; but 
they refused to obey, denyirjg that they were Ame- 
ricans. Some of their crews were then examined 
is Nelson's cabin, where the judge of Admiralty 

4S IJVB 09 lfl940N.: [17991 

happei^ed'to be present* The case wm plsin; Uu9]f 
confessed that they were Americans^ and that.W: 
ships, hull and carj^o, were wholly Anieriican pto<» 
perty ; upon which he seized them. This raised a 
storm: the planters, the custom-house, ^nd the gor 
vernor were all against hhn. Subscriptions were 
opened, and presently filled, for the purpose of car<» 
rying on the cause in behalf of the American cap* 
tains : and the admiral, whose flag was at that time 
in the roads, stood neutral. But Uie Americans and 
their abettors were not content with defensive law. 
The marines, whom he had sent to secure the ships, 
had prevented some of the piasters from going 
ashore ; and those persons, by whose depositions it 
af^eared that the vessels and cargoes were Ameri- 
call property, declared, that they had given their 
testimony under bodily fear, for that a man with a 
drawn sword in his hand had stood over them the 
whole time. A rascally lawyer, whom the party 
employed^ suggested this story ; and as the sentrv 
at the cabin door was a man with a drawn swon]» 
the Americans made no scruple of swearing to this 
ridiculous falsehood, and commencing prosecutions 
against him accordingly. They laid their damages, 
at the enormous amount of £40,000 ; and NeLsoa 
was obliged to keep close on board his own ship, 
lest he should be anested for a sum for which, it 
would have been impossible to find bail. The mar- 
shal frequently came on board to arrest him, but was 
always prevented by the address of the Orst lieu- 
tenant, Mr. Wallis. Had he been taken, such was 
the temper of the people* that it was certain he wQuld 
have been cast for the whole sum. One of his offi- 
cers, one day, in speaking of the restraint which he 
was thus compelled to suffer, happened to use the 
Vfordpity I " Pity !" exclaimed Nelson ; •« Pity ! did 
you say ) I shall live, sir, to be envied ! and to that 

eoint I shall always direct my course." Eight weeks 
e remained under this state of duresse. Diidog 

178tl.] JSPM od^ ifEiisoN. 49 

th^ time the fri^l respecting th^se detained ships 
came oa in the court of Admiralty. He went on 
shore under a protection for the day from the judge ; 
hat, notwithstanding this, the marshal was called 
upon to take that opportunity of arresting him, and 
the merchants promised to inden^nify him for so 
doing. The judge, however, did his duty, and 
threatened to send the marshal to prison, if he 
attempted to violate the protection of the court. 
Mr. Herbert, the president of Nevis, behaved with 
singular generosity upon this occasion. ' Though no 
man ivas a greater siiiibrer by the measures which 
Nelson had pursued, he offered in (;onrt to become 
his bail for £10,000, if he chose to suffer the arrest. 
The lawyer whom he had chosen proved to be an 
able as well as an honest man ; and, notwithstand- 
ing the opinions and pleadings of most of the coim« 
sel of the different islands; who maintained that ships 
of yrox were not justified in seizing American ves« 
sels without a deputation from the customs, the law 
was so explicit, the case so clear, and Nelson 
pleaded his own cause so well, that the four Fhips 
were condemned. During the progress of this bu« 
siness he sent a memorial home to the king : in con-* 
sequence of which, orders were issued that he 
should .be defended at the expense of the crown.—* 
And upon the representations which he made at the 
same tim& to the secretary of state, and ' the sug* 
gestions with which he accompanied it, the register- 
aet was framed. The sanction of government, and 
the approbation of his conduct which' it implied, 
were nighly gratifying to him : but he was offended, 
and not without just cause, tha^t the treasury should 
have transmitted thanks to the commander-in-chief, 
for his activity and zeal in protecting the commerce 
of Great Britain. '* Had they known all," said he, 
•• I do not think they would have bestowed thanks 
in that quarter, and neglected me. I feel much 
hurt, that, after th6 loss of health and risk of (Or* 


50 ImTfb op iAblsoh. [1787* 

tune, another should be thanked for what 1 did 
against his orders. I either deserved to be sent oat 
of the service, or at least to have had some little 
notice taken of what I had done. They have 
thought it worthy of notice, and yet have neglected 
me. If this is the reward for a faithful discharge 
of hiy duty, I shall be careful, and never stand for- 
ward again. But I have done my duty, and have 
nothing to accuse myself of.*' 

The anxiety which he had suffered from the 
harassing uncertainties of law is apparent from 
these expressions. He had, however, something 
to console him, for he was at this time wooing the 
niece of his friend the president, th(^n in her eight- 
eenth year, the widow of Dr. Nisbct, a physician. 
She had one child, a son, by name Josiah, who 
was ,three years old. One day, Mr. Herbert, who 
had hastened, half-dressed, to receive Nelson, ex- 
claimed, on returning to his dressing-room, " Good 
God ! if I did not find that great little man, of 
whom every body is so afraid, playins: in the next 
room, under the dining-table, with Mrs. Nisbet's 
child !" A few days afterward Mrs. Nisbet her- 
self was first introduced to bim, and thanked him 
for the partiality which he had shown to her little 
boy. Her manners were mild and nvnning: and 
the captain, whose heart was easily susceptible of 
attachment, found no su<;h imperious necessity for 
subduing his inclinations ^s had twice, before with- 
held him from marrying. They were married on 
March 11th, 1787: Prince William Henry, who 
had come out to the West Indies the preceding 
winter, being present, by his own desire, to give 
aviay the bride. Mr. Herbert, her uncle, was at 
this time so much displeased with his only daugh- 
ter, that he had resolved to disinherit her, und 
leave his whole fortune, which was very -great, to 
his niece. But Nelson, whose nature was too 
noble to let him profit by an act of injustice, inter- 

1787.] UJPE OF iriiLaoN. 61 

feredy and Bucceeded in reconciling the president 
to his child* • 

•* Yesterday," said one of his naval friends the 
day after the wedding, ** the navy lost one of its 
greatest ornaments, by Nelson's marriage. It is a 
national loss that such an officer should marry: 
had it not been for this, Nelson would* have become 
the greatest man in the service." The man was 
rightly estimated : but he who delivered this opinion 
did not understand the effect of domestic love and 
duty upon a mind of the true heroic stamp. 

** We are often separate," said Nelson, in a letter 
to Mrs. Nisbet, a few months before their marriage ; 
** but our affections are not by any means on that 
aecount diminished. Our country has th<* first 
demand for our services ; and private convent mce 
or happiness must ever give way to the public good. 
Duty is the great business of a sea officer : all pri- 
vate considerations must give way to it, however 
painful." " Have you not often heard," says he, in 
another letter, ** that salt water and absence always 
wash away love 1 Now I am such a heretic as not 
to believe that article : for behold, every morning I 
have had six pails of salt water poured upon my 
head, and instead of finding what seamen say to be 
true, it goes on so contrary to the prescription, that 
you must, perhaps, see me before the fixed time." 
More . frequently his correspondence breathed a 
deeper strain. " To write letters to you," says he, 
** is the next greatest pleasure I feel to receiving them 
from you. What I experience when I read such as 
I am sure are the piire sentiments of your heart, 
my poor pen cannot express : — nor, indeed, would I 
give much for any pen or head which could express 
feelings of that kind. Absent fronr you, I feel no 
pleasure: it is you who are every thing to me. — 
Without you, T care not for this world ; for I have 
found, lately, nothing in it but vexation and trouble. 
These are my present sentiments. God Almighty 

6t UFK ov nsuov. [1787. 

grant they may never change ! Nor do I think they 
will. Indeed there is, a& far as human Knowledge 
can judge, a moral certainty that they cannot: for 
it must be real aflfection that brings ns together; 
not interest or compulsion.'* Such were the feel- 
ings, and such the senst^ of duty, with which Nelson 
became a husband. 

During his stay upon this station he had ample 
opportunity of observing the scandalous, practices 
of the contractors, prize-agents, and other persons 
in the West Indies connected with ther naval ser* 
vice. When he was first left with the command, 
and bills were brought him to^sign for money which 
was owing for goods purchased for the navy, he 
required the original voncher, that he might examine 
whether those goods had been really purchased at 
the market price : but t6 produce vouchers would 
not have been convenient, and therefore was ndt 
the custom. Upon this. Nelson wrote to Sir Charles 
Middleton, then comptroller of the navy, represent- 
ing the abuses which were likely to be practised in 
this manner. The answer which he received seemed 
to imply that the old forms were thought sufficient: 
and thus having no alternative, he was compelled, 
with his . eyes open, to submit to a practice origin- 
ating in fraudulent intentions. Soon afterward two 
Antigua men^h^nts infprmed him, that they were 
privy to great frauds, which had been committed 
upon government in various departments: at An- 
tigua, to the amount of nearly £500,000 ; at Lucie, 
jS300,000; at Barbadoes, £250,000; at Jamaica^ 
upwarda of a million. The informers were both 
shrewd, sensible men of business; they did not 
affect to be actuated by a sens^ of justice, bat re- 
quired a per qentage upon so much as government 
shpuld actual! V recover through their meann. Mel- 
son examined the books and papers which they 
produced, and was convinced that government had 
Deen most infamously plundered. Yoochdis, !ie 

1787.] UFE OF 1TBI80V. 59 

found, in that country, were no check whatever : 
the principle was, that ^a thing was always worth 
what it would bring ;'* and the merchants were in 
the habit of signing vouchers for each other, without 
even the appearance of looking at the articles: — 
These accounts he sent home to the different de- 
partments which had been defrauded : but the pe- 
culators were too powerful ; and they succeeaed 
not merely^ in impeding inquiry, but even in raising 
prejudices against N^on at the board of Admiralty, 
which it was many years before he could subdue. 

Owing, probably, to these pn^judices, and the 
influence of the peculators^ he was treated, on his 
return to England, in a manner which had nearly 
driven him from the service. During the three 
years that the Boreas had remained upon a station 
.which is usually so fatal, not a single officer or man 
of her whole complement had died. This almost 
unexampled instance of good health, though mostly, 
no doubt, imputable to a healthy season, must, m 
«ome measure^ also, be ascribed to the wise con- 
duct of the captain. He never suffered the ships to 
remain more than three or four weeks at a time at 
anyof the islands; and when the hurricane months 
confined him to English Harbour, he encouraged 
«U kinds of useful amusements: music, dancing, 
And cudgelling ambh^ the men ; theatricals among 
ihe officers : any thing which coul<l employ their 
attention, and keep their Spirits cheerful. The Bo- 
reas arrived in England in June. Nelson, who had 
many times been supposed to be consumptive when 
in the West Indies, and perhaps was saved from 
•consumption by that climate, was still in a preca- 
rious state of heirith ; and the raw wet weather of 
one of our ungcnial summers brought on cold, and 
«ore throat, and fever: yet his vessel was kept at 
ihe Nore from the end of June till the end of No- 
vember, serving as a slb0 and receiving ship. This 
tu worthytxeatmentf which more piohablyprDceeded 


54 UFB OF KEUKOr. [1781. 

from intention than from neg^lect, excited in Nelsoy 
the strong^est indignation. Duringfthe whole ^vt 
months he seldom or neter quitted the ship, hm 
carried on the duty with strict and sullen atlentioa' 
On the morning when orders were received to pre 
pare the Boreas for being paid off, he expressed hii 
joy to the senior officer in the Medway, saying 
**It will release me for ever from an ungrateful 
service, for it is my firm and unalterable determi- 
nation never again to set my foot on board a king's 
ship. Immediately after my arrival in town I shall 
wait on the first lord of the Admiralty, and resign 
my commission.'* The officer to whom he thus 
communicated his int^entions behaved in the wisest 
and most friendly manner ; for finding it in vain to 
dissuade him in his present state of fueling, he 
secretly interfered with the first lord to save him 
from a step so injurious to himself, little foreseeing 
how deeply the welfare and honour of EJngland were 
at that moment at stake. This interference pro- 
duced a letter from Lord HoWe, the day before the 
ship ^SLS paid off, intimating a wish to see Capt. 
Nelson as soon as he arrived in town: when, being 
pleased with his conversation, and perfectly con- 
vinced, by what was then explained to him, of the 
propriety of his conduct, he desired that he might 
present him to the king on the first levee day : and 
the gracious manner in which Nelson was then 
received effectually removed his resentment. 

Prejudices had been, in like manner, excited 
against his friend, Prince William Henry. ** No- 
thing is wanting, sir," said Nelson, in one of his 
letters, ** to make you the darling of the English 
nation, but truth. Sorry I am to say, much to the 
contrary has been dispersed." This was not flat- 
tery ; ioT Nelson was no flatterer. The letter in 
which this passage occurs shows in how wise uid 
noble a manner he dealt with the prince. One of 
his royal highness's officers had applied for a conrt* 

.17(17.] XXVS OF KXIAOK. 55 

nutial upon a point in which he was unquestion^ 
ably wrong. His royal highness, however, while 
he supported his own character and authority, pre- 
vented the trial, which must have been injurious to 
a brave and deserving maui ** Now that you are 

rirted,^' said Nelson, '' pardon me, my prince, when 
presume to recommend that he may stand in yonr 
royal favour as if he had never sailed with you, and 
that at some future day you will serve him. There 
only wants thi« to place your conduct in the highest 
poin^ of view. None of us are withotit failings ; 
fiis was being rather too hasty: but that, put in 
competition with his beings good officer, will not, I 
4im bold to say, be taken in the scale against- him. 
More able friends than myself your royal highness 
may easily find, and of more consequence in the 
«tate ; but one more attached and affectionate is not 
«o easily met with. Princes seldom, very seldom, 
find a disinterested person to communicate their 
thoughts to : I do not pretend to be that person : but 
of this be assured, by a man who, I trust, never did 
a dishonourable act, that I am interested only that 
your royal highness should be the greatest and best 
man this cotintry ever produced." 

Encourage^ by the conduct of Lord Howe, and 
by his reception at court, Nelson renewed his at- 
tack upon the peculators with fresh spirit. He had 
interviews with Mr. Rose, Mr. Pitt, and Sir Charles 
Middleton ; to all of whom he satisfactorily proved 
his charges. In consequence, it is said, these very 
extensive public frauds were at length- put in a pro- 
per train to be provided agfainst in future : his re- 
presentations were attended to; and every step 
which he recommended was adopted : the investi- 
gation was put into a proper course^ which ended in 
the detection and punishment of some of the cuU 
prits ; an immense saving was made to government, 
and thus its attention was directed to similar pecu- 
lation in other parts of the colonies. But it is said 

66 une of ksuoh. [1788. 

also, that no mark of commendation seems to hare 
been bestowed upon Nelson for bis exertion* And 
it is justly remarked,* that the spirit of the navy 
cannot be preserved so efiectnally by the liberal ho- 
nours bestowed on officers, when they are vom otit 
in the service, as by an attention to those who, like 
Nelson at this part of his life, have only thcHr inte- 
grity and zeal to bring them into notice. A junior 
officer, who had been left with the command at Ja- 
maica, received an additional allowance, for wbidi 
Nelson had applied in vain. Double pay wa& al«- 
lowed io every artificer and seaman employed in the 
naval yard: Nelson had superintended the whole 
business of that yard with the most rigid exactness, 
and he complained that he was neglected. ^ It was 
most true,*' he said, *' that the trouble which he took 
to detect the fraudulent practices then carried on, 
was no ntore than his duty ; but he little thought 
that the expenses attending his frequent journeys to 
St. John's upon that duty (a distance of twelve 
miles), would have fallen upon his pay as captain of 
,the Boreas.'*. Nevertheless, the sense of what he 
thought unworthy usage did not, diminish his zeal. 
** I," said he, " must still buffiet the waves in search 
of — whati Alas! that thev called honour is now 
thought of no more. My fortune, God knows, has 
grown worse for. the service : so much for serving 
my country. But the Devil, ever willing to tempt 
the virtuous, has made me offer, if any ships should 
be sent to destroy his majesty of Morocco's ports, 
to be there; and I have some reason to think, that 
.should any more come of it, my humble services 
will be accepted. I have invariably laid down, and 
followed close, a plan of what ought to be upper- 
most in the breast of an officer, — that it is much 
better to serve an ungrateful country, than to give 
up his own fame. Posterity will do him justice. 

• Clukraodi M^Anburi vol. i. p. 107. 

1788.] UPE OF ifExaoK. 37 

A uniform course of honour and integrity seldom 
fails of bringing a man to the goal of fame at last.^ 
The design against the Barbary pirates, like all 
other designs against them, was laid aside; and 
Nelson took his wife to his father's parsonage, 
meaning only to pay him a visit before they went 
•to France ; a project which he had formed for the 
flake of acquiring a competent knowledge of the 
French language. But his father could not bear to 
lose him thus unnecessarily. Mr. Nelson had long 
been an invalid, suffering under paralytic and asth- 
matic affections, which, for several hours after 
he rose in the morning, scarcely permitted him to 
speak. He had been given over by his physi- 
cians, for this complaint, nearly forty years before 
his death ; and was, for many of his last years, 
obliged to spend all his winters at Bath. The 
flijffht of his son, he declared, had given him new 
life. " But, Horatio,'* said he, ** it would have been 
better that 1 had not been thus cheered, if I am 
so soon to be bereaved of you again. Let me, 
my good son, see you while I can. My age and in- 
firmities increase, and I shall not last long." To 
flueh an appeal there could be no reply. Nelson 
took up his abode at the parsonage, and amused 
himself with the sports and occupations of the 
country. Sometimes he busied himself with farm- 
ing the glebe ; sometimes spent the greater part of 
the day in the garden, where he would dig as if for 
the mere pleasure of wearying himself. Sometimes 
he went a bird's-nesting, like aboy r and in these ex- 
peditions Mrs. Nelson always, by his express desire, 
accompanied him. Coursing was his favoarite 
amusement. Shooting, as he practised it, was far 
too dangerous for his companions: for he carried 
his gun upon the full cock, as if he were going to 
board an enemy ; and the moment a bird rose, he 
let fly, without ever putting the fowling-piece to his 
sliottlder. It is not, therefore, extraordinary, that 

58 UFB OF MSZdBON. [1788* 

hifl having^ once shot a partridge should be remenl- 
bered by his family among the remarkable events of 
his life. 

But his time did not pass away thus without some 
vexatious cares to ruffle it. The affair of the Ame- 
rican s)iip8 was not yet over, and he waa again >pe8- 
tered with threats of prosecution. *' I- have written 
them word,'* said he, ** that I will have<nothiilg to do 
with them, and they must act' as they think proper. 
Government, I suppose, will do what is right, and 
not leave me in the lurch. ' We have heard enough 
lately of the consequences of the navigation-act to 
this country, "^hey may take ray person ; but if 
sixpence would save me from a prosecution, I would 
not give it.** It was his great ambition at this tiihe 
to possess a pony ; and having resolved to pui*cha8e 
one, he went to a fair for that purpose. During his 
absence two men abruptly entered the parsonage, 
and inquired for him: they then asked for Mrs. 
Nelson ; and after they had made her repeatedly de- 
clare that she was really and truly the captain's 
wife, presented her with a writ, or notification, on 
the part of the American captains, who now laid 
their damages at £20,000, and they charged her to 
pve it to her husband on his return. Nelson, hav- 
mg bought his pony,>came home wi^ it in high 
Spirits. He called out his wife to admire the pur- 
chase, and listen to all its excellences : nor was it 
till his glee had in some measure subsided that the 
paper could be presented to him. His indignation 
was excessive: and, in the apprehension that he 
should be exposed to the anxieties of the suit, and 
the ruinous consequences which might ensue^ he 
exclaimed, **This affront I did not deserve! But 
I'll be trifled with no longer. I will write imme- 
diately to the treasury ; and, if government will not 
support me, I am resolved to leave the country.'* 
Accordingly, he informed the treasury, that if h. sa- 
tisfactory answer were not sent him by return of 


1793.] UFS OF HSLION. 99 

p6st« he should take refuffe in France. To this he 
expected he should be driven, and for this he ar- 
ranged every thing with his characteristic rapidity of 
decision. It was settled that he should depart imme- 
diately, and Mrs. Nelson follow under the care of his 
elder brother, Maurice, ten days after him. But the 
answer which ^e received from government quieted 
bis fears ; it stated, that Captain Nelson was a very 
good officer, and needed to be under no apprehen- 
sion, for he would assuredly be suppotted. 

Here his disquietude upon this subject seems to 
have ended. Still he was not at ease ; he wanted 
employment, and was mortified that his applications 
fgr it produced no effect. "Not being a man of 
fortune,'' he said, " was a crime which he was un- 
aUe to get over, and therefore none of the great 
cared about him." . Repeatedly he requested the 
Admiralty that they would not leave him to rust in 
indolence. During the armament which was made 
i]]Xin occasion of the dispute concerning Nootka 
Sound, he renewed his application : and his steady 
friend, Prince William, who had then been created 
Duke of Clarence, recommended him to Lord Chat- 
ham. The failure of this recommendation wounded 
him so keenly, that he again thought of retiring from 
ihe service in disgust: a resolution from which 
nothing but the urgent remonstrances of Lord Hood 
induced him to desist. Hearing that the Raison- 
nable, in which he had commenced his career, was 
lo^he commissioned, he asked for her. This also 
was in vain : and a coolness ensued, on his part, 
towards Lord Hood, because that excellent officer 
did not use his influence with Lord Chatham upon 
this occasion. Lord Hood, however, had certainly 
sdfiicient reasons for not interfering; for he ever 
continued his steady friend. In the winter of 1792, 
when we were on the eve of the revolutionary war. 
Nelson once more offered, his services, earnestly 
requested a ship, and added, that if their lordships 

60 UFB OF mSLSOBI [I709«i 

tihotHi be pledged to i^point him to a eoekle«bo«tf 
he should feel satisfied. He was answered in the 
usual official form : " Sir, I have received your letter 
of the 5th instant, expressing your readiness to 
serve, and have read the same to my lords commis* 
sioners of the Admiralty." On the 12th of December, 
he received this dry acknowledgment. The fresh 
mortification did not, however, affect him Iqng ; for, 
by the joint interest of the Duke and Lord Hood, he 
was appointed, on the dOth of January following,, 
to the Agamemnon, of sixty-four guns^ 


ir%9 JlgamemMH ant to CA0 MediUrraneaw—ComMencemmt tf M^ 
$mC« Jlequamtancewith Sir W. Hamillim-^He U tent to Corti^a^ (# 
eo-oporate ioitii Paoli^State of Affairs in t^at Island— nSVlion under' 
take* the Siege of Bastia^ and reduces it — Takea « diotinruUkei 
Part in the Siege of Caloi, where he loses an Eg&— Admiral Hotham^i 
Action — The Agnmemnojn ordered to Oekoa^ to eo-operate loUk fA# 
Austrian and Sardinian Forcee—Oroes Misconduct of the Austria 

** There are three things, young gentleman,'' said 
Nelson to one of his midshipmen, " which you are 
constantly to bear in mind. First, you mui^t alwaya 
implicitly obey prdiers, without attempting to forai 
any opinion of your own, respecting their propriety/ 
Secondly, you must consider every man your enemy 
who speaks ill of your king: and, thirdly, you must 
hate a Frenchman as you do the Devil." With 
these feelings he engaged in the war. Josiah, bin 
son-in-law, went with him as a midshipman. 

The Agamemnon was ordered to the Mediterra- 
nean, under Lord Hood. The fleet arrived in thoise 
seas at a time when the south of France would 
willingly have formed itself into a separate republic^ 

under live pn>teetion of Sngland. But good prin- 
ciples had oeen at that time perilously abided by 
igfiiorant and profligate men ; and, in its fear an^ 
hatred of democracy, the English government ab-» 
horred whatever was republican. £ord Hood could 
not take advantage of' the fair occasion which pre- 
sented itself; and which, if it had been seized with 
vigour, might have ended in dividing France : — ^bul 
he negotiated with th^ people of Toulon, to take pos- 
session, provisionally, of their port and city ; which, 
fatally for themselves, was done. Before the British 
^et entered, Nelson was sent with despatches to Sir 
William Hamilton, our envoy at the court of Naples. 
Sir William, after his first interview with him, told 
Lady Hamilton he was about to introduce a little 
man to her, who coidd not boast of being very 
handsome ; btit such a man, as he believed, would 
one day astoni^ the world. ** I have never before," 
he continued, **ientertained an officer at my house ; 
bat I am determined to bring him here. Let him be 
put in the room prepared for Prince Augustus." 
Thus that acquaintance began which ended in the 
destruction of Nelson's domestic happiness. II 
seemed to threaten no such consequences at its 
commencement. He spoke of Lady Hamilton, in 
a letter to his wife^ as a young woman of amiable 
manners, who did honour to the station to which 
she had been raised : and he remarked, that she had 
been exceedingly kind to Josiah. The activity witfa 
which the envoy exerted himself in procuring troops 
from Naples, to assist in garrisoning Toulon, so 
delighted him, that he is said to have exclaimed: 
** Sir William, you are a man after my own heart I 
-—you do business in my own way :" and then to 
kave added, ^ I am now only a captain ; but I will, 
ft I live, be at the top of the tree." Here, also, 
that acquaintance With the Neapolitan court com* 
menced, which led to the only blot upon Nelson** 
public eh»rao#ey. The king, who was sineeve at 


6t xoB or vziJOH. [1795« 

that time in his enmity to the French^ called the 
English the saviours of Italy, and of his dominions 
in particular. He paid the most flattering attentions 
to Nelson, made him dine with him, and seated him 
at his right hand. 

Having accomplished this mission. Nelson re* 
ceived onders to join Commodore Linzee, at Tunis. 
On the way, five sail of the enemy were discovered 
off the coast of Sardinia, and he chased them. 
They proved to he three forty-four gun frigates, 
with a corvette of twenty-four and a brig of twelve. 
The Agamemnon had only three hundred and forty- 
five men at quarters, having landed part of her crew 
at Toulon, and others beiujp; absent in prizes. He 
came near enough to one of the frigates to engage 
her, but at great disadvantage, the Frenchman 
manoeuvring well, and sailing greatly better. A 
running fight of three hours ensued ; during which 
the other ships, which were at some^ distance, made 
all speed to come up. By this time the enemy was 
almost silenced, when a favourable change of wind 
enabled her to get out of reach of the Agamemuon^s 
^^s ; and that ship had received so much damage 
m the rigging, that she could not follow her. Nel- 
son conceiving that this was but the forerunner of 
a far more seiious engagement, called his officers 
together, and asked . them if the shii> was fit to go 
into action against such a superior force, without 
some small refit and refreshment for the men! 
Their answer was, that she certainly was not. He 
then gave these orders : ** Veer the ship, and lay her 
head to the westward : let some of the best nten be 
employed in refitting the rig§ring, and the carpenter 
getting crows and capstan- bars to prevent our 
wounded spars from coming down : and get the wine 
up for the' people* with some bread, for it may be 
half an hour good before we are again in action." 
But when the French came up, their comrade made 
aigiials of distress, and they all hoisted out theii 

1794.] LIFE OF VVUCfSf 6B 

boats to go to her assistance, leaving the Agamem- 
non unmolested. 

Nelson found Commodore Linzee at TuaiSf where 
he had been sent to expostulate with the dey upon 
the impolicy of his supporting the revolutionary 
government of France. Nelson represented to him 
the atrocity of that government. Such arguments 
were of little avail in Barbary : and when the dey 
was told that the French had put their sovereign to 
death, he dryly replied, that ** Nothing eould he more 
heinous; and yet, if historians told the truth, the 
Eniflish had once done the same.*' This answer 
had doubtless been auggested by the French about 
him : |hey had completely gained the ascendency^ 
and all negotiation on our part proved ' fruitless. 
shortly afterward Nelson was detached with a small 
squadron, to co-operate with General Paoli and the 
Anti-Gallican party in Corsica. 

Some thirty years before this time, the heroic 
patriotism of tne Corsicans^ and of their leader, 
Paolt, had been the admiration of England. The 
history of these brave^ people is but a melancholy 
tale. The Island which they inhabit has been' abun- 
dantly blessed by nature: it has many excellent 
harbodrs; and though the maiaria, or pestilential 
atmosphere, which is so deadly in jnan^ parts of 
Italy, and of the Italian islands, prevails on the 
eastern coast, the greater part of the country is 
mountainous and healthy. It is about one hundred 
and fifty miles long, and from forty to fifty broad ; 
in circumference, some three hundred and twenty : 
—a country large enough, and sufficiently distant 
from the nearest shores, to have subsisted' as an 
independent state, if the welfare and happiness of 
the numan race had ever been considered as the 
end and aim of policy. The Moors, the Pisans, the 
kings of Arragon, and the Genoese, successively 
attempted, and each for a time eifTected, its conquest. 
The yoke of the Genoese continued longest, and 

64 uvx or ifsuov. [1794. 

waa ihe heaTiest. These petty tyrants ruled with 
an iron rod : and when at any time a patriot rose to 
resist Uieir oppressions, if they failed to subdue him 
by force, they resorted to assassination. At the 
ooismeacement of the last century they quelled one 
revolt by the aid of German auxiliaries, whom the 
Emperor Charles Y I. sent against a people who had 
never offended him, and who were fighting for what- 
ever is most dear to man. In 1734 the war was 
renewed ; and Theodore, a W^stphalian baron, then 
appeared upon the stage. In that age men were not 
accustomed to see adventurers play for kingdoms, 
and Theodore became the cofnmon talk of Europe. 
He had served in the French armies; and having 
afterward been noticed both by Ripperda and Albe- 
roni, their example, perhaps, inflamed a spirit as 
ambitious and as unprincipled as their own. He 
employed the whole of his means in raising money 
and procuring arms : then wrote to the leaders of 
the Corsican patriots, to o0er them considerable 
assistance, if they would erect Corsica into an in- 
dependent kingdom, and elect hiim king. ' When he 
landed among them, they were struck with his 
stately person^ his dignified manners, and imposing 
talents: they believed the magnificent pronuses ol 
foreign assistance which he held out, and elected 
him king accordingly. Had his means been as he 
fepresented. them, they eould not have acted more 
wisely, than in thus at once ^xing the government 
of their country, and putting an end to those rival- 
ries among the leading families, which had so often 
proved pernicious to the publks weal. He struck 
money, conferred titles, blocked up the fortified 
towns which were held by the Grenoese, and amused 
the people with promises of assistance for about 
eight months : then, perceiving that they cooled in 
their affections towards him, in proportion as their 
expectations were disappointed, he left the island, 
under the {dea of expediting himself the succams 

1794.] UFB Of MBUOM. 69 

which he had so long awaited. Such was his ad- 
dress, that he prevailed epon several rich merchants 
in Holland, particularly the Jews, to trust him with 
cannon and warlike stores to a great amount. 
They shipped these under the charge of a super- 
eargo. Theodore retnrned with this supercargo to 
Corsica, and put him to death on his arrival, as the 
shortest way of settling the account. The remain- 
der of his life was a series of deserved afflictions. 
He threw in the stores which he had thus fraudu- 
lently ohtained: hut he did not dare to iand; for 
Genoa had now called in the French to their assist- 
ance, and a price had been set upon his head. His 
dreams of royalty -were now at an end: he took 
refuge in London, contracted debts, and was thrown 
into the King's Bench. After lingering there many 
years, he was released under an act of insolvency : 
in consequence of which, he niade over the kingdom 
of Corsica for the use of his creditors, and died 
flhortly after his deliverance. 

The French, who have never acted a generous 
part in the history of the world, readily entered into 
the viewis of the Genoese, which accorded with 
their own policy : for such was th^ir ascendency at 
Genoa, that in subduing Corsica for these allies, 
Uiey were in fact subduing it for themselves. They 
entered into the contest, therefore, with their usual 
vigour, and their usuai cruelty. It was in vain that 
the Corsicans addressed a most affecting memorial 
to the court of Versailles; that.remorseless govern- 
ment persisted in its flagitious project. They poured 
in troops ; dressed a part of them like the people of 
the country, by which means they deceived and 
destroyed many of the patriots ; cut down the stand- 
ing corn, the vines, and the olives; set fire to the 
villages, and hung all the most able and active men 
who fell into their hands. A war of this kind may 
be carried on with success against a country so 
smalls and so thinly peopled as Coraica. Hftving 

66 juvfi or jtBiMH. [1764. 

reduced the iiAand to perfect sertitudb, which they 
ealled peace, the French withdrew their force's. Ai 
0o6a aft they were gone, men, women, and hoys 
roee at once against their oppressors. The circuoi" 
stances of the times were now favonrable to them ; 
and some British ships, acting as allies of Sardinia, 
bombarded Bastia and San Fiorenzq, and delivered 
them into the hands of the patriots. This service 
was- long remembered with gratitude : the impres- 
aioA made upon our own countrymen was less 
favourable. They had witnessed the heart-burning 
of rival chiefs, and the .dissensions among the pi^ 
triots; and perceiving the state of barbarism to 
which continual oppression, and habits of lawless 
turbulence, had reduced the nation, did ndt recollect 
that the vices of the people were o'wing to their un- 
happy circamstances; but that the virtues which 
they displayed arose from their own nature. This 
feeling, perhaps, influenced the British court, when, 
in 1746, Corsica offered to put herself under the pn>- 
tection of Great Britain : an answer was returned, 
expressing satisfaction at such a communication, 
hoping that the Oorsicans would preserve the same 
ftentiments, but signifying also that the present was 
not the time for such a measure. 

These brave islanders then formed a government 
for themselves, under two leaders, Gaffori and 
Matra, who had the title of protectors. The latter 
is represented as a partisan of Genoa, favouring the 
views of the oppressors of his country by the most 
treasonable means. Gaffbii was a hero worthy of 
old times. His eloquence was long remembered 
with admiration. A band of assassins was once 
advancing against him ; he heard of their approach, 
went out to meet them ; and, with a serene dig^nity, 
which overawed them, requested. them to hear him : 
he then 8)3oke to them so forcibly of the distresses 
of their country, her intolerable wrongs, and the 
%Qpea and views of their brethren jb anzwy 4hat the 

I7M.] SiVB W KSLVOlf, &7 

very men who iMd been hired to murder him» fell at 

hie feet, implored his forgiveness, and Joined hit 

banner. While he was besieging the Genoese in 

Oorte, a part of the garrison perceiving the nurse 

wilh his eldest son, then an infant in arms, straying 

at a little distance from the camp, suddenly sallied 

out and seized them. The use they made of their 

persons was in conforqiity to their usual execrable 

conduct. When Oaffbri advanced to batter the walls, 

tk^ held, up the child directly over that j>art of the 

wall at which the guns were pointed. Tlie Corsi- 

cans stopped: but Gaffori stood at their head, and 

ordered them to continue the fire. Providentially, 

the child escaped, and lived to relate, with becoming 

feeling, a fact so honourable to his father. That 

futher conducted the af&irs of the island till 1753, 

'When be was assassinated by some wretches, set 

«n, it is believed, by Genoa ; but certainly pensioned 

try that abominable government after the aeed. He 

left the country in such a state, that it was enabled 

to continue the war two years after his death with- 

<Nit a leader: then they found one worthy of thebr 

<eau8e in PaMuale de Paoli. 

' Paolfs fatW was one of the patriots who 
ejected their escape from Corsica when th^ French 
Tednced it to obedience. He retii:ed to Naples, and 
broogbt up this his youngest son in the Neapolitan 
service. The Corsicans heard of young Paoli*s 
-abilities, and solicited him to come over to his 
native country, and take the conunand. He did not 
betitate long : his father, who was too far advanced 
In years to take an active* part himself, encouraged 
tiim to go^ and when they separated, the old man 
fell on ms neck, and kissed him, and gave him his 
blessing. ^ My -son,'' said he, ^* perhaps I may never 
«ee you more-; but in my mind 1 shaU ever ue pre- 
sent with you. Your design is great and pooler 
and I doubt not hut God will bless you in it. I shaH 
deiQole to your ^eause the little o'emainder of my life 


08 tUFE OF IVXI40M. [17M« 

in offering up my prayers for yonr iticcess." When 
Paoli assumed th^ command, he found all things in 
confusion: he formed a democratical government, 
of which he was chosen chief; restored the autho- 
rity of the laws; established a university ; and U^ok 
such measures, both for repressing abuses and 
moulding the rising generation, that, if France had 
not interfered, upon its wicked and detestable prin- 
ciple of usurpation, Corsica might, at this day, have 
been as free, and flourishing, and happy a common- 
wealth as any of the Grecian states in the days of 
their prospenty. The Genoese were at this time 
driven out of their fortified towns, and must, in a 
short time have been expelled. Frante was indebted 
some millions of livres to Genoa: it was not con- 
venient to pay this money; so the French minister 
proposed to the Genoese, that she should discbarge 
the debt by sending six battalions to serve in Corsica 
for four years. The indignation which this conduct 
excited in all generous hearts was forcibly ex- 
pressed by Rousseau, who, with all his errors, was 
seldom deficient in feeling for the wrongs of hur 
inanity. "You Frenchmen," said he, writing to 
one of that people " are athoroughly servile nation, 
thoroughly sold to tyranny, thoroughly cruel and 
relentless in persecuting the unhappy. If they 
knew of a freeman at the other end of the world, I 
believe they would go thither for the mere pleasure 
of extirpating him." 

The immediate object of the French happened to 
be purely mercenary : tl\(By wanted to clear off their 
debt to Genoa; and as the presence of their troops 
in the island effected this, they aimed at doing the 
people no farther mischief. Would that the conduct 
of England had been at this time free from re^ach ! 
but a proclamation was issued by the English go- 
vernment, after the peace of Paris, prohibiting any 
intercourse with the rebels of Corsica. Paoli said« 
he did not expect this from Great J^htatn. This 

1184.] ars of keuoh. W 

great man was desenredly proud of his country : — 
** I defy Rome, Sparta, or Thebes,*' he would say, 
** to show me thirty years of such patriotism as Cor« 
sica can boast \^ Availing himself of the respite 
which the inactivity of the French, and the weak- 
ness of the Genoese allowed, he prosecuted his 
plans of civilizing the people. He used to say, that 
tliough he had an unspeakable pride in the prospect 
of the fame' to which he aspired ; yet, if he could 
but render his countrymen happy, he could be con- 
tent to be forgotten. His own importance he never 
affected to undervalue. *' We are now to our coun- 
try," said he, **• like the .prophet Elisha, stretched 
over the dead child of the Snunamite,— eye to eye, 
nose to nose, mouth to mouth, It begins to recover 
warmth, and to revive : I hope it will yet regain fuU 
health and vigour." - - . 

But when the four years were expired, France 
purchased the sovereignty of Corsica from the Ge- 
noese for forty millions of livres ; as if the Genoese 
had been entitled, to sell it ; as if any bargain and 
«ale could justify one country in taking possession 
of another against the will of the inhabitants, and 
butchering all who oppose the usurpation ! Among 
Che enormities which France has committed, this 
action «eems but as a speck ; yet the foulest mur- 
derer that ever suffered by the hand of the execu- 
tioner, has infinitely less guilt upon his soul than the 
statesman who concluded this treaty, and the mo- 
narch who sanctioned and confirmed it. A des- 
perate and glorious resistapce was made ; bat it was 
m vain; no power interposed in behalf of these 
injured islanders, and the French poured in as many 
troops as were required. They offered to confirm 
Paoli in the supreme authority, only on condition 
that he would hold it under their government. His 
answer was, that **the rocks which surrounded him 
should melt away before he would betray a cause 
whieh he held in common with the poorest Cor- 

^0 UFB or msLBON. [1794 

Bican.** This people then set a price upon his head. 
During two campaigns he kept them at bay : they 
overpowered him at length : he was driven to the 
shore, and, having escaped on ship-board, took re- 
fuge in England. It is said that Lord Shelbume 
resigned his seat in the cabinet, because the ministry 
looked on, without attempting to prevent France 
from succeeding in this abominable and important 
act of aggrandizement. In one respect, however, 
our country acted as became her. Paoli was wel- 
comed with the honours which he deserved, a pen- 
sion of 1200/. was immediately granted him; an^ 
provision was liberally made for his elder brothei 
and his nephew. 

Above twenty years Paoli retnained in England, 
enjoying the friendship of the wise, and the admira- 
tion of the good. But when the French revolution 
began, it seemed as if the restoration of Corsica 
was at hand. The whole country, as if animated 
by one spirit, rose and demanded liberty ; and the 
national assembly passed a decree, recognising the 
island as a department of France,. and therefore en- 
titled to all the privileges of the new French consti- 
tution. T^his satisfied the Corsicans, which it ought 
not to have done ; and Paoli, in whom the ardour 
of youth was past, seeing that his countrymen 
were contented, and believing that they were about 
to enjoy a state of freedom, naturally wished to re- 
turn to his native country. He resigned his pen- 
sion in the year 1790, and appeared at the bar of 
the assembly with the Corsican deputies, when they 
took the oath of fidelity to France. But the course 
of events in France soon dispelled those hopes of a 
new and better order of things, which Paoli, in 
common with so many of the friends of humankind, 
had indulged ; and perceiving, after the execution 
of the king, that a civil war was about to ensue, of 
which no man could foresee the issue, he prepared 
to break the connexion between Corsica and the 

1794.] livx ov^KiaoN. 71 

French rejmblic. The convention, sutpectini^ snch 
a desigfn, and perhaps occasioning^ it oy their sns* 
picions, ordered him to their bar. That way, he 
well knew, led to the guillotine ; and returning a 
respectful answer, he declared that he would never 
be found wanting in his duty, but pleaded age and 
infirmity as a reason for disobeying the summons* 
Their second order was more summary i and the 
French troops, who were in Corsica, aided by those 
of the natives, who were either influenced by here* 
ditary party feelings, or who were sincere in ja** 
cobinism, took the neld against hi m. But the people 
were with him. He repaired to Oorte, the capital 
of the island, and was again invested with the au« 
thority which he had held in the noonday of his 
ikme. The convention upon this denounced him as 
a rebel, and set a price npon his head. It was not 
the first time that France had proscribed Paoli. 
• Paoli now opened a correspondence with Lord 
Hood, promising, if the English would make an 
attack upon St. Fiorenzo from the sea, he would, at 
the same time, attack it by land. This promise he 
was unable to performs and Commodore Linzee, 
who, in reliance upon it, was sent upon this service, 
was repulsed with some loss. Lord Hpud, who had 
now been compelled to evacuate Toulon, suspected 
Paoli of intentionally deceiving him. This was an 
injurious suspicion. Shortly afterward he des« 

S itched Lieutenant-Colonel (afterward Sir John) 
oore and Major Koehler to confer with him upon 
a plan of operations. Sir Gilbert Elliot acconipa- 
nied them : and it was agreed upon, that in coniiider* 
ation of the succours, both military and nav2|l, which 
his Britannic majesty should afford for the purpose 
of expelling the French, the island of Corsica should 
be delivered into the immediate possession of his 
majesty and bind itself to acquiesce in any settle-i 
ment he might approve of concerning its govern- 
nent and its future relation with Great Britain* 

7t UVB 09 IVBUOlf [I7M. 

While this negotiation was goinfr on. Nelson cruised 

off the island with a small sqiiadron, to prevent the 
enemy from throwing in supplies. Close to St. 
Fiorenzo the French had a storehouse, of flour, near 
their only mill: he watched an opportunity, and 
landed one hundred and twenty men, who threw the 
flour into the sea, burnt the mill, and re-embarkedt 
before one thousand men, who were sent against 
him, could occiasion them the loss of a single roan. 
While he exerted himself thus, keeping out all sup* 
plies, intercepting despatches, attacking their out- 
posts and forts, and cutting out vessels from the bay^. 
— a species of warfare which depresses the spirit of 
an enemy even more than it injures them, because 
of the sense of individual superiority which it indi- 
cates in the assailants^—troops were landed, and St. 
Fiorenzo was besieged. The French, finding them* 
selves unable to maintain that post, sunk one of 
their frigate^, burnt another, and retreated to Bastia* 
Lord Hood submitted to General Dundas, who com- 
manded the land-forces, a plan for the reduction of 
this place : the general declined co-operating, think- 
ing the attempt impracticable, without a reinforce** 
ment of two thousand men, which he expected from 
Gibraltar. Upon this Lord Hood determined to re- 
duce it with the naVal force under his command; 
and leaving part of his fleet off Toulon, he came with 
the i*est to Bastia. 

He showed a proper sense of respect for Nelson's 
services, and of confidence in his talents, by taking 
care not to bring with him any older captain. A 
few days before their arrival. Nelson had had what 
he called a brush with the enemy. ^ If I had had 
with me five hundred troops," he said, " to a cer- 
tainty I should have stormed the town ; and I h^ 
lieve it might have been carried. Annies go so 
slow, that seamen think they never mean to get fo9* 
ward : but I dare say they aot on a surer prtnoiplet 
although we seldom fail.'' Dumg thk panial aoT 

17^4.] «ZFB QV HELSOir. 7S 

tion our army appeared upon the heights ; and hay- 
ing reconnoitred the pLace, returned to St. Fiorenzo. 
'^ What the general could have seen to make a ve* 
treat necessary,!' said Nelspn, ^ I cannot compre* 
hend. A thousand men woidd certainly take Bastia ; 
with five hundred and Agamc^mnon I would attempt 
it. My seamen are now what British seamen ought 
to be-»-almost invincible. They really mind shot no 
more than peas.'' General Dundas had not the same 
confidence. " After mature consideration," he said 
in a letter to Lord Hood, '* and a personal inspec- 
tion for several days of all circumstances, local aa 
well as others, I consider the siege of Bastia, with 
our present means and forc^, to be a most visionary 
and rash attempt : such as no officer would be jus- 
tified in undertaking." Lord Hood replied, that 
nothing would be more gratifying to nis feelings 
than to have the whole responsibility u^n himself; 
and that he was ready and willing to undertake the 
reduction of the place at his own risk, with the force 
and means at present there. General d'AubanC, who 
succeeded at this time to the command of the army, 
coincided in opinion with his predecessor, and did 
not think it right to furnish his lordship with a single 
soldier, cannon, or any stores. Lord Hood could 
only obtain a few artillery-men; and ordering on 
board that part of the troops who, having been em- 
barked as marines, were borne on the ships' books 
as part of their respective complements, he began 
the siege with eleven hundred and eighty-three sol- 
diers, artillery'-men, and marines, and two hundred 
and fifty sailors. " We are but few," said Nelson, 
'* but of the right sort ; our general at St. Fiorenzo 
not giving us one of the five regiments he has there 
lying idle." 

These men were landed on the 4th of April, under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Villettes and Nelson, who had 
now acquired from the army the title of brigadier. 
Guns were dragged by the sailor;* up heights where 


74 LtFl! OP KEL60B. [1794 

it appeared almost hnpotssible to convey them ;— a 
work of the greatest difficulty; and which, Nelson 
said, could never, in his opinion, have been accom- 
plished by any but British seamen. The soldiers, 
though less dexterous in such service, because no^ 
accustomed, lilce sailors, to habitual dexterity, be - 
haved with equal spirit. •* Their zesd," said the briga- 
dier, *^ is almost unexampled. ' There is not a man 
but considers himself as personally interested in the 
event, and deserted by the. general. It has, I am 
persuaded, made them equal to double their num- 
bers.^ This is one proof, of many, that for our sol« 
diers to equal our seamen, it is only necessary fw 
them to be equally well commanded. They have 
the same heart and soul, as well ^ the same flesh 
and blood. Too much may, indeed, be exacted 
from them- in a retreat ; but set their face towards a 
foe, and there is nothing within the reach of human 
achievement which they cannot perform. The 
French had improved the leisure which our mili- 
tary commander had allowed them ; and before Lonl 
Hood commenced his operations,' he had the morti- 
fication of seeing that .the enemy were every day 
erecting new works, strengthening old ones, and 
rendering the attempt more difficult. La Combe St 
Michel, the commissioner from the national conven- 
tion, who was in the city, replied in these . terms to 
the summons of the British admiral : ^* I have hot 
shot for your ships, and bayonets for your troops. 
When two-thirds of our men are killed, I will ihen 
trust to the generosity of the English." The siege, 
however, was not sustained with the firmness which 
such a reply seemed to augur. On the 19th of May, 
a treaty of capitulation was begun : that same eve- 
ning the troops from St. Fiorenzo made their ap- 
pearance on the hills ; and, on the following mom- 
mg. General D'Aubant arrived with the who'e army 
to take possession of Bastia. 
The evei^t of the siege had justified the confideor* 

1794.^ UFB OF NELSON. 7S 

of the sailors ; but they themselves excused the opU 
nion of the generals, when they ss^w what they had 
tione. "lam all astonishment," said Nelson, " when 
I reflect on what we have achieved ; one thousand 
regnlars, fifteen hundred national guards, and a large 
party of Corsican troops; four thousand iu all, laying 
down their arms to twetve hundred soldiers, marines, 
and seamen! I always was of opinion, have ever 
acted up to it, and never had any reason to repent 
it, that one Englishman was equal to three French- 
men. Had this been an English town, I am sure it 
■would not have been taken by them. When it had 
been reserved to attack the place, the enem^ were 
supposed to be far inferior in number ; and it was 
not till the whole had beexi arranged,, and the siege 
publicly undertaken, that Nelson, received certain 
information of the great superiority of the garrison. 
This intelligence he kept secret, fearing lest, if so 
fair a pretext were afforded, the, attempt would be 
abandoned. " My own honour," said he to his wife, 
*♦ Lord Hood's honour, and the honour of our country, 
must havo been sacrificed, had I mentioned what I 
knew : therefore, you will believe what must have 
been my feelings during the whole siege, when I had 
often proposals made to me to write to Lord Hood 
to raise it." Those veiy persons who thus advised 
him were rewarded for their conduct at the siege 
of Bastia: Nelson, by whom it may truly be aflrmed 
that Bastia was taken, received no reward. Lord 
Hood's thankd to him, both public and private, were, 
as he himself said, the handsomest which man could 
give : but his signal merits were not so mentioned 
in the despatches as to make thein sufficiently 
known to the nation, Qor to obtain for him from 
government those honouiw to which they so amply 
entitled him. This couid only have arisen from 
the haste in which the despatches were written ; 
certainly not from any deliberate purpose, txjT Lord 
Hood was uniformly his steady and sincere friend* 

n LIFE OP NELSOIf. [1794. 

One of the cartePs ships, which carried the gar- 
Wson of Bastia to Toulon, brought back intelligence 
that the French were about to sail from that port ^— 
such exertions had they made to repair the damage 
done at the evacuation, and to fit out a fieet. The 
intelligence was speedily verified. Lord Hood 
sailed in quest of them towards the islands of 
Hieres. The Agamemnon was with him, " I pray 
God," said Nelson, writing to his wife, ** that we 
may meet their fleet. If any accident should happen 
to me, I am sure my conduct will be such as will 
entitle you to the royal favour;— not that 1 have 
the least idea but I shall ^turn to you, and full of 
honour :-^if not, the Lord's will be done. My name 
shall never be a disgrace to those who may belong 
to me. The little I have,- 1 have given to you, 
except a small annuity ; I wish it was more ; but 
I have never got a farthing dishonestly ; it descends 
from clean hands. Whatever fate awaits me, I 
pray God to bless you, and preserve you, for your 
son's sake." With a mind thus prepared, and thus 
confident, his hopes and wishes seemed on the point 
of being gratified, when the enemy were discovered 
close under the land, near St* Tropez. The wind 
fell, andf»revented Lord Hood from ^^tting'between 
them and the shore, as he designed: boats came 
out from Antibes and other places, to their assist- 
ance, and towed them within the shoals in Gouijean 
roads, where they were protected by the batteries 
on isles St. Honore and St. Marguerite, and 'on Cape 
Garousse. Here the English admiral planned a 
new mode of attack, meaning to double on five of 
the nearest ships; but the wind again died away, 
and it was found that they had anchored in compact 
order, guarding the only passage for lai^ ships. 
There waci no way of effecting this passage, except 
by towing or warping the vessels ; and this rendered 
the attempt impracticable. For this time the enemy 
escaped: but Nelsoii bore in mind the admirablfi 

J 794.] ^ UFS OF liBLSON. 77 

plan of attack which Lord Hood had devised, and 
there came a day when they felt its tremendous 

The Agamemnon was now despatched to co- 
operate at the siege of Calvi with General Sir 
Charles Stuart; an officer who, unfortunately for 
his country, never had an adequate field allotted 
him for the display of those eminent talents, which 
were, to all who knew him, so conspicuous.* Nel- 
son had less responsibility here than at Bastia ; and 
was acting with a man after his own heart, who 
was never. sparing of himself, and slept every night 
ifi the advanced battery. But the service was not 
less hard than that of the former siege* " We will 
fag ourselves to death," said he to Lord Hood, 
** before any blame shall lie at our doors. I trust it 
will not be forgotten, that twenty-five pieces of 
keavy ordnance have been dragged to the different 
batteries, mounted, and, all but three, fought by 
seamen, except one artillery-man to point the guns." 
The climate proved more destructive than the 
service ; for this was during the lion sun, as they 
there c^ our season of the Jog-days. Of two 
thousand men, abov^ half were sick, and the rest 
like so many phantoms. Nelson described himself 
as the reed among the oaks,) bowing before the 
storm when they were laid low by it. *' All the pre- 
vailing disorders have attacked me," said he, ^ but 
I have not strength enough for them to fasten on." 
The loss from the enemy was not great: but Nelson 
receiyed a serious injury ; a shot struck the ground 
near him, afid drove the sand and small gravel into 
one of his eyes. He spoke of \ slightly at the 
time : writing the same day to Lord Hood, he only 
said, that he got a little hurt that morning, not much; 
and the next day, he said, he should be able to 
attend his duty m the evening. In fact, he suf- 

• Lord Melville was ftilly sensible of these talents, and bore testi- 
moay toUiem inUjeJuuMliomett manner after Sir Cbarles'f deitli. 


7S Lira ov 2Vsi4M)K. [1794. 

fered it (o confine him only one day ; but the sigfal 
was lost. 

After the fall of Calvi, his services were, by a 
strange omission, altogether overlooked; and his 
name was not even mentioned in the list of wounded. 
This was no ways imputable to the admiral, for he 
sent home to government Nelson's journal of the 
siege, that they might fully understand the nature 
of his indefatigable and unequalled exertions. If 
those exertions were not rewarded in the c6nspi« 
cuous manner which they deserved, the fault was in 
the administration of the day, not in Lord Hood. 
Nelson felt himself negiected. **One hundred, and 
ten days," said he, ** I have been actually engaged, 
at sea and on shore, against the enemy; three 
actions against ships, two against Bastia in my 
ship, four boat actions, and two villages ti^en, and 
twelve sail of vessels burned. I do not know that 
any one has done' more. I have had the comfort 
to be always applauded by my commander-in-chief, 
but never to be rewarded : and, what is more morti- 
fying, for services in which 1 have been wounded, 
others have been praised, who, at the same time, 
were actually in bed, far from the scene of action. 
Theyliafe not done me justice. But, never mind, 
I *llhave a gazette of my own." How amply was 
this second sight of glory realized ! 

The health of his ship's company had now, in 
his own words, b^en miserably torn to pieces by as 
hard service as a ship's crew ever pterformed : one 
hundred and fifty were in their beds when he left 
Calvi ; of them ne lost fifty ; and believed that the 
constitutions of the rest Were entirely destroyed. 
He was now sent with despatches to Mr. Drake, 
at Genoa, and had his first interview with the doge. 
The French had, at this time, taken possession of 
Vado Bay, in the Genoese territory; and Nelson 
foresaw, that if their thoughts were bent on the 
invasion of Italyv they- would accomplL^h it the 

1794.] XXFB OF KELSOlff. 79 

ensuing' spring* *<The allied powers,^ he said,, 
*'were Jealous of each other; and none bnt Eng- 
land was hearty in the cause." His wish was for 
peace, on fair terms, because England, he thought, 
was draining herself, to maintain allies who would 
not fight for themselves. Lord Hood had now re- 
turned to England, and the command devolred on 
Admiral Hotham. The affairs of the Mediterranean 
wore at this time a gloomy aspect. The arts as 
well as the arms of the enemy were gaining the 
ascendency there. Tuscany concluded peace, rely- 
ing upon the faith of France, which was, in fact, 
placing itself at her mercy. Corsica was in danger. 
We had taken that island for ourselves, annexed it 
formally to the crown of Great Britain, and given it 
a constitution as free as pur own. This ws^s done 
with the consent of the majority of the inhabitants : 
and no transaction between two countries was ever 
more fairly or legitimately conducted : yet our con- 
duct was unwise; — the islapd is large enough to 
form an independent state, and such we should have 
made it, under our protection, as long as protection 
might be needed ; the Corsipans would tnen have 
feli as a nation ; but, when one party had given up 
the country to England, the natural consequence 
was, that the other looked to France. The question 
proposed to the people^ was, to which would they 
belong ? Our language and our religion were 
against us ; our unaccoinmodating manners, it is to 
be feared, still more so. The French were better 
politicians. In intrigue they have ever been un- 
rivalled ; and it now became apparent, that, in spite 
of old 'wrongs, which ought never to have been 
forgotten or forgiven, their partisans were daily 
acquiring strength. It is part of the policy of 
France, and a wise policy it is, to impress upon other 
powers the opinion of its strength, by lofty language, 
and by threatening before it strikes; a system 
whichy while it keeps up^ the spirit of its allies, and 

60 UFE OF irSLBON* [1794. 

porpetuft^ly stimulates their hopes, tends also to 
dismay its enemies. Corsica was now loudly 
threatened. The French, who had not yet been 
taught to feel their own inferiority upon the seas, 
braved us, in contempt, upon that element. They 
had a superior fleet in the Mediterranean, and they 
sent it out with express orders to seek the Englis^h 
and: engage them. Accordingly, the Toulon Beet, 
consisting of seventeen ships of the line, and five 
IBmaller vessels, put to. sea. Admiral Hotham re- 
ceived this information at Leghorn, and sailed im- 
mediately in search of them. He had with him 
fourteen sail of the line, and one Neapolitan seventy- 
four; but his ships were only half-manned, contain- 
ing but seven thousand six hundred and fifty men, 
whereas the enemy had sixteen thousand nine hun- 
dred. He soon came in sight of them : a general 
action was expected ; and Nelson, as was his custom 
on isuch occasions, wrote a hasty letter to his wife, 
as that which might possibly contain his last farcr 
well. " The lives of all," said he, " are in the hand 
of Him who knows best whether to preserve mine 
or not ; my character and good name are in my own 

But however confident the French government 
might be of their naval superiority,' the officers had 
no such feeling ; and after manoeuvring for a day, 
in sight of the English fleet, they suffered themselves 
to be chased* One of their ships, the Ca« Ira, of 
eighty-four guns, 'carried away her main and fore- 
topmasts. The Inconstant frigate fired at the dis- 
abled ship, but received so many shot, that she was 
obliged to leave her. Soon afterward a French 
frigate took the Oa Ira in tow ; and the Sans-Oulottes, 
one hundred and twenty, and the Jean Barras, se- 
venty-four, kept about gun-shot distance on her 
weather bow. The Agamemnon stood towards her, 
having no ship of the line to support her within 
«evetal miles.' As she drew .near the Ca Ira fixed 

1795.] LIFE OF |nS£805« 61 

her stern ^ns so truly, that not a shot misdedf some 

Cart of the ship, and, latterly, the masts were struck 
y every shot. It had been Nelson's intention not 
to fire before he touched her stem; but seeing how 
impossible it was that he should be supported, and 
how certainly theAgamemnohmustbe severely cut 
up, if' her masts were disabled, he altered his plan 
accordiiig to the occasion. As soon, therefore* 
as he was within a hundred yards of her stem, 
he ordered the helm to be put a-starboard, and 
the driver and after-sails to be brailed up and shi* 
vered; and, as the ship fell off, gave the enemy 
her whole broadside. They instantly braced up tibe 
after-yards, put the helm a-port, and stood after her 
again. This manoeuvre he practised for two hours 
and a quarter, never allowing the Oa Ira to get a 
singly gun from either side to bear on him ; and when 
the French fired their after-guns now, it was no 
longer with coolness and precision, for every shot 
went far ahead. By this time her sails were hang- 
ing in tatters, her mizen-topmast, mizen-topsaS, 
and eross-jack-yards, shot away. 'But the fjngate 
which had her in tow hove in stays, and got her 
round. Both these French ships now brought their 
guns to bear, and opened their fire* The Agamem- 
non passed them within half pistol-shot; almost 
eveiy shot passed over her, for the French had ele- 
vated their guns for the rigging, and for distant firing, 
and did not think of altering the elevation. As soon 
as the Agamemnon's after-guns ceased to bear, she 
hove in st.ays, keeping a constant fire as she came 
round ; and being worked, said Nelson, with as much 
exactness as if she had been turning into Spithead. 
On getting round, he saw that the Sahs-Culottes, 
which had wore, with many of the enemy's ships, 
was under his lee-bow, and standing to leeward. 
The admiral, at the same time, made the signal for 
the van-ships to join him. Upon this Nelson bore 
away, and prepared to set all sail; and the enemy* 

SH UFB OF mismu [1T95 

having saved their ship, hauled close to the windy 
and opened upon him a distant and ineffectual fire. 
Only seven of the Agamemnon*s men were hurt— a 
thing which Nelson himself remarked as wondeiful: 
her sails and rigging were very much cut, and she 
had many shots in her hull, and some between wind 
and water. The Ca Ira lost one hundred and ten 
men that* day, tmd was so cut up, that she could not 
get a topmast aloft during the night/ 

At daylight, on the following morning, the English 
ships were taken aback with a fine breeze at N« W. 
while the enemy^s fleet kept the southerly wind. 
The bendy of their fleet was about five niiles distant ; 
the Ca Ira, and the Censeur, seventy-four, which 
had her in tow, about three and a half. All sail was 
made to <3ut these ships off; and, as the French at- 
tempted to save them, a partial action was bpught 
on. The Agamemnon was again engaged with her 
yesterday's antagonist ; but she ha<l to fight on both 
sides Uie ship at the same time. The Ca Ira and the 
Censeur fought most gallantly : the first lost nearly 
three hundred men in additioh to her former loss ; the 
last three hundred and fifty. Poth at last struck : and 
Lieutenant Andrews, of the Agamemnon, brother to 
the lady to whom Nelson had become attached in 
France, and, in Nelson^s own words, *' as gallant an 
officer as ever stepped a quarter-deck,'' hoisted 
English colours on board them both. The rest of 
the enemy's ships behaved very ill. As soon as 
these vessels ^had struck. Nelson went to Admiral 
Hotham, and proposed that the two prizes should be 
left with the Ulustrious and Courageux, which had 
been crippled in the action, and with four frigates, 
and that the rest of the fleet should pursue the enemy, 
and follow up the advantage to the utmost. But his 
reply was — " We must be contented : we have done 
very well." — " Now," said Nelson, ** had we taken 
ten sail, and allowed the eleventh to escape, when it 
luid been possible to have got at her, I could never 

1795.] LIFE Of ITELSON. 89 

have called it well done.* Goodall backed rae: I 
got him to write to the admiral ; but it would not do. 
We should have had such a day as, I believe, the 
annals of England never producpd." In this letter, 
the character of Nelson fully manifests itself. " 1 
wish," said he, *Uo be an admiral, and in the com- 
mand of the English fleet ; I shbuld very, soon either 
do much, or be ruined : ray disposition cannot bear 
tame and slow ^measures. Sure I am, had I com- 
manded on the 14th, that either the whole French 
fleet would have graced my triumph, or I should have 
been in a confounded scrape." What the event would 
have been, he knew from his prophetic feelings and 
his own consciousness of power: and we also know 
it now, for Aboukir and Trafalgar have told it us. 

The Ca Ira and Censeur probably defended them- 
selves with more obstinacy in this action, from a 
persuasion, that, if they struck, no quarter would be 
given ; because they had fired red-hot shot, and had 
also a preparation sent, as they said, by the conven- 
tion from Paris, which seems to have been of the na- 
ture of the Greek fire ; for it' became liquid when it 
was discharged, and wat^r would not extinguish its 
flames. This combustible was concealed with great 
care in the captured ships ; like the red-hot shot, it 
had been found useless in battle. Admiral Hotham's 
action saved Corsica for the time; but the victory 
had been incomplete, and the arrival at Toulon of six 
sail of the line, two frigates, and two cutters from 
Brest, gave the French a superiority, which,' had 
they known how to use it, would materially have en- 
dangered the British Mediterranean fleet. That 
fleet had been greatly neglected during Lord Chat- 
ham's administration at the Admiralty ; and it did 
not, for some time, feel the beneficial effect of his 

• " I can', entre woim," says Sir William Hamilton, in a letter to Nelson, 
** perceive that my old friend, Hotham, is not quite awalce enough for 
such a command as that <^ the King's fleet in the Mediterranean, at 
though he appears the best creature imaginable/' 

84 I2FB OF SfiLSOH, [1795* 

Temoval. Lord Hood had gone home to represenC 

the real state of affairs, and solicit reinforcements 
adequate to the exigencies of the times, and the im- 
portance of the scene of action. But that fatal 
error of under-proportioning the force to the service; 
tha^ ruinous economy, which, by sparing a little, 
renders all that is spent useless, infected the British 
councils ; and Lord Hood, not being able to obtain 
such reinforcements as he knew were necessary, 
resigned the command. *^ Sorely," said Nelson, the 
people at home have forgotten us." Another Nea- 
politan seventy-four joined Admiral Hotham,.and 
Nelson observed with sorrow, that this was matter 
of exultation to an English fleet. When the store* 
ships and victuallers from Gibraltar arrived, their es- 
cape from the enemy was thought wonderful ; and 
yet, had they not escaped, '* the game," said Nelson, 
''was. up here ! At this moment our operations are 
at a stand for want of ships to support the Austrians 
in getting possession of the seacoast of the king.<^ 
Sardinia; and behold our admiral does not feel 
himself equal to show him^lf, much lesrto give 
assistance in their 9perations," It was reported 
that the French were again put with eighteen or 
twenty sail. The combined British and Neapolitan 
were but sixteen ; should the enemy be on^y eigh- 
teen. Nelson made no doubt of a complete victory; 
but if they were twenty, he said, it was not to be 
expected; and a battle, without complete victory, 
would have been destruction, because another mast 
Ivas not to be got on that side Gibraltar; At length, 
Admiral Man arrived with a squadron from England. 
** What they can mean by sending him with, only 
five sail of the line," said Nelson, " is truly as-tonish* 
ing : but all men are alike, and we in this country 
do not find any amendment or alteration from tfa^ 
old board of, Admiralty. They should know that 
half the ships in the fleet require to go to England; 
and that long ago they ought to have reinforced us.** 

179BJI IiIF£ OF lf£Z«>lf. 85 

j^bout this time Nelsoo was made colonel of ma- 
rines : — a mVrk of approbation which he had Uing 
wished-for rather than expected. It came in good 
season, for his spirits were oppv j«sf d by the thought 
that his services had not been r.cknowledged as they 
deserved ; and it abated th^ zijsentful feeling whicn 
would else have been excited by the answer to an 
application to the war-i>ffiee. During his four 
months' land service in Corsica, he had lost aU his 
ship furniture, owing to the movements of a camp. 
Upon this he wrote .to the secretary at war, brie^ 
stating what his services on ushbre had been, and 
saying, he trusted it was not asking an improper 
thing to request that the same allowance might be 
made to him which would be made to a land officer 
of his rank, which, situated as he was, would be that 
of a brigadier-ffeneral : if thisjcould not be accorded, 
Le hoped that his additional ei^penses would be paid 
Aim. The answer which he received was, that ''no 
pay had ever been issued under the direction of the 
war-office to officers of the navy, serving with the 
arniyon fihore." 

.H!e now entered upon a new line of service. The 
Austrian and Sardinian armies, under General de 
Yins, required, a British squadron to co-operate with 
Uiem in driving the French from the Riviera di Ge- 
noa, and as Nelson had been so much in the habit 
of soldiering, it was immediately fixed that the bri- 
gadier should go. He sailed from St. Fiorenzo on 
this destination; but fell m,o£f Cape del Mele, with 
the enemy's fleet, who immediately gave his squad- 
ron chase. The chase lasted four-and-twenty hours ; 
and, owing to the fickleness of the wind, the British 
ships were sometimes hard pressed; but the want 
of skill on the part of the French, gave them many 
advantages. Nelson bent his way back to St. 
Fiorenzo, where the fleet, which was in the midst 
of watering and refitting, had, fj\ seven hours, the 
mortification of seevf g him almost, in possessitr of 


86 UVB OF KEUOM. [1795. 

Ilie enemy* before the wind would allow them to 
put out to his assistance. The French, however, 
at evening, went off, not choosing to approach 
nearer the shore. During the night. Admiral 
Hotham, by great exertions, got under way: and, 
having sought the enemy four days, came in sight 
of them on the fifth. Bafflinr winds, and vexatious 
calms, so common in the Meaiterranean, rendered it 
impossible to close with them ; only a partial action 
could be brought on; and then the firing made a 
perfect calm. The French being to windward, 
drew in shore ; and the English fleet was becalmed 
six or seven miles to the westward* L^Alcide, of 
seventy-four guns, struck ; but before she could be 
taken possession of, a box of combustibles in her 
foretop took.iire, and the unhappy crew experienced 
how far more perilous their mventions were to 
themselves than to their enemies. So rapid was 
the conflagration, that the French in their official 
account say, the hull, the masts and sails, all 
seemed to take fire at the same moment; and 
though the English boats were put out to the as- 
sistance of the poor wretches on board, not more 
than two hundred could be saved. The Agamem- 
non, and Captain Rowley, in the Cumberland, were 
just getting into close action a second time, when 
the admiral called them off, the wind now being di- 
rectly into the gulf of Frejus, where the enemy 
anchored after the evening closed. 

Nelson now proceeded to his station with eight 
sail of frigates under his command. Arriving at 
Geno^, he h^d a conference with Mr. Drake, the 
British envoy to that state ; the result of which was, 
that the object of the British must be, to pUt an 
entire stop to all trade between Genoa, Prance, and 
. the places-occupied by the French troops : for, un- 
less this trade were stopped, it would be scarcely 
possible for the allied armies to hold their situation, 
and impossible for them to make any progress in 

1795.] I.U1S o9 sxEJJsan. 87 

driving the enemjr out of the Riviera di Genoa. Mn 
Drake was, of opinion, that even Nice might fall for 
want of supplies, if the trade with Genoa were cut 
off. This sort of blockade Nelson could not carry 
on without great risk to himself. A captain in the 
navy, as he represented to the, envoy, is liable to 
prosecution for detention and damages. Thisf dan- 
ger was increased by an order which had then 
lately been issued ; by which, when a neutral ship 
was detained, a complete specification of Jier cargo 
was directed to be sent to .the secretary of the Ad- 
miralty, and no legal process instituted against her 
till the. pleasure of that board should be communi- 
cated. This was re(]|uiring an impossibility. .The 
cargoes of sliips detained upon thfs station, consist- 
ing chiefly of com, would be spoiled long before 
the orders of the Admiralty could be known ; and 
theU) if .they should happen to release the vessel, 
the owners would look to the captain for damages. 
Even the only precaution which could be t^en 
against this d^ger, involved another danger not 
less to be apprehended : for, if the captain should 
direct the cargo to be taken out, the freight paid for, 
and the vessel released, the agient employed might 
prove fraudulent, and become bankrupt ; and in that 
case the captain became- responsible. Such thing;? 
had happened: Nelson therefore required, as the 
only means for carrying on that service, which was 
judged essential to the common cause, without ex- 
posing the officers tq ruin, that the British envoy 
should appoint agents to pay the freight, release the 
vessels, sell the cargo, and. hold the amount till pro- 
cess was had upon it: government thus securing its 
ofllcers. ** I am acting," said Nelson, ** not only 
without the orders of my commander-in-chief, but, 
in some measure, contrary to him. However, I 
have not only the support of his majesty's ministers, 
both at Turin and Genoa, but a consciousness that 
I am douig what is right and proper for the service 

68 LIFE OF NSLflOir. [1795. 

of our king and cotintiy. Political courage, in an 
officer abroad, iB as highly necessary as militaiy 

This quality, which is as much rarer than military 
courage, as it is more valuable, and without whica 
the soldier's bravery is often of little avail, Nelson 
possessed in an eminent degree. His representa- 
tions were attended to as tiiey deserved. Admiral 
Hotham commended him for what he had done; 
and the attention of government was awakened to 
the injury which the cause of the allies continpally 
suffered from the fraudfe of neutral vessels. <*. What 
changes in my life of activity !" said this indefati- 
gable man. '^Here I am; having commenced a 
co-operation with an old Austrian general, almost 
fancying myself charging at the* head of a troop of 
horse ! I do not write less than from ten to twenty 
letters every day ; which, with the Austrian genend 
and aids-de-camp, and my own little squadron, 
fully employ my time.- This I like ; — ^active service, 
or none.** It wa^ Nelson's mind, which supported 
his feeble body through these exertions. He was 
at this time almost blind, and wrote with very great 
pain. '*Poor Agamemnon,*' he sometimes said, 
'^ was as nearly worn out as her captain : and both 
must soon be laid up to repair." 

When Nelson first ' saw General de Tins, he 
thought him an able man, who was willing ^o act 
with vigour. The generad charged his inactivity 
upon the Piedmontese and Neapolitans, whom, he 
said, nothing could induce to act ; and he concerted 
a plan with Nelson, for embarking a part of the 
Austrian army, and landing it in me rear of the 
French. But the English commodore soon began 
to suspect that the Austrian general was little dis* 
posed to any active operations. In the hope of 
spurring him on, he wrote to him, telling him that 
he had surveyed the coast to the westward as far 
w Nice, and would undertake to embark four or 

1795.] Jjom OF vmjsQS. 89 

ive thousand men, with theii- arms and a few days' 
provisions^ on board the squadron, and land them 
within two miles of St. Remo, with theiir field-pieces. 
Respecting farther provisic ns for the Austrian army, 
he would provide convoys, that they should arrive 
In safety ; and, if a re-embarkation should be found 
necessary, he would eover it with the squadron. 
The possession of St. Remo, as head-quarters for 
magazines of every kind, would enable the Austrian 
general to turn his army to the eastward or west- 
ward. . The enemy at , Oneglia would be ciit off 
from provisions, and men .could be landed to attack 
that place whenever it was judged necessary. St. 
Remo was the only place between Vado and Ville 
Franche,. where the squadron could lie in safety, 
and anchor ia almost all winds. The bay was not 
as good as Vado for large ships ; but it had a mole, 
which Vado had not, where aJl small vessels coidd 
lie, and load and unload their cargoes. This bay 
being in possession of the allies, Nice could be coni- 
pletely blockaded by sea. General de Yins, affect- 
mg, in his. reply, to consider that Nelson's proposal 
had no other end than that of obtaining the bay oi 
St. Remo as a station for the ships, told him 
what he well knew, and had expressed before, that 
Vado bay was a •better anchorage; nevertheless, it 
Monsieur le CofnmandatU Nelson was well assured 
that part of the fleet could winter there, there was 
no risk to which he would not expose himself with 
pleasure, for the sake of procuring a. safe station for 
the vessels of his Britannic majesty. Nelson soon 
assured the Austrian commander, that this was not 
the object of his memorials • He now began to sus- 
pect that both the Auistrian court and their general 
nad other ends in view than the cause of the allies. 
** This army," said he, " is slow beyond all descrip- 
tion; uid I begin to think that the emperor is 
anxious to touch another four millions of English 
money. As for the German generals, war is. thei? 

90 un OF ffsiMR. [tt95. 

trade, and peace is tuin to them; therefore, we 
cannot expect that they should have any wish 
to finish the war* The politics of courts are so 
'mean, that private people would be ashamed to act 
in the same way ; all is trick and finesse, to which 
the^ common cause is sacrificed. The general wants 
a loophole.; it has for some time appeared to me, 
that he meahs to go no farther than his present 
position, and to lajr the miscarriage of the enterprise 
against Nice,^ which has always been held out as 
the great object of his army, to the non-co-operation 
of the British fleet, and of the Sardinians." 

To prevent this plea. Nelson again addressed de 
Vins, requesting only to -know the time, and tlw 
number of troops ready to embark ; then he would, 
he said, despatch a ship to Admiral Hotham, re- 
questing transports, having no doubt of obtatkiing 
them, and trusting that the plan would be successfid 
to its fullest extent. Nelson thought at the time, 
that if the whole fleet were offered himfor trans- 

g>rts, he would find some other excuse ; and Mr. 
rake, who was now appointed to reside at the 
Austrian head-quarters, entertained the same idea 
of the generaPs sincerity. It was not; however, 
put so clearly to the proof as it ought to have been. 
He replied, that as soon as Nelson could declare 
himself ready with the vessels necessary for con- 
veying ten thousand men, with their artillery and 
baggage, he would put the army in motion. But 
Nelson was not enabled to do this : Admiral Ho- 
tham, who was highly meritorious in leaving such a 
man so much at his own discretion, pursued a can: 
tipus systein, ill according with the Wd and com- 
prehensive views of Nelson, who continually regretted 
Lord Hood, saying, that the nation had suffered 
much by his resignation of the Mediterranean com- 
mand. The plan which had been concerted, he 
said, would af tonish the French, and perhaps the 
English.' * . 

1796.] wm Of KEtsoN. 91 

There was bo unity in the views of the allied powers, 
no cordiality in their co-operation, no energy in their 
councils. The neutral powers assisted France more 
efTectually than the allies assisted each other. The 
Cfenoese ports were- at' this time filled with French 
privateers, which swarmed out every night, and 
covered the gulf; and French vessels were allowed 
to tow out of the port of Genoa itself, hoard vessels 
which were coming in, and then return into the 
mole. T%is was allowed without a remonstrance ; 
while, though Nelson abstained most carefully from 
offering any offence to the Genoese territory or fla|f, 
•<fomplaint8 were so repeatedly made aeainst his 
«quadron, that, he says, it seemed a trial who should 
be tired first ; they of complaining, or he of an- 
«wering their complaints. But the question of 
neutrality was soon at an end. An Austrian com- 
missary was travelling from Genoa towards Vado ; 
it was known that he was to sleep at YOltri, and 
that he had £10,000 with him ; a booty which the 
French minister in that city, and the captain of a 
F^nch frigate in that port considered as far more 
important man the word of honour of the one, the 
duties of the other, and the laws of neutrality. The 
boats of the frigate went out with some privateers, 
landed, robbed the commissary, and brought back 
the money to Genoa. The next day men were pub- 
Ucly enlisted in that city for the French army : 
seven hundred men were embarked, with seven 
thousand stand of arms, on board the frigates and 
other vessels, who were to land between Voltri and 
Savona : — ^there a detachment from the French army 
was to join them, and the Genoese peasantry were 
to be invited to insurrection^ — a measure for which 
every thing had been prepared. The night of the 
13th was fixed for the sailing of this expedition : 
the Austrians called loudly for Nelson lo prevent jt ; 
Cind he, on the evening of the 13th, arrived at 
Genoa. His presence cheeked the plant thefrigate. 

92 . xiFS or VEXioK. [1796 

knowing her deserts, got within the merchant-shitMs, 
iu the inner mole ; and the Genoese government 
did not now even demand of Nelson respect to the 
neutral port, knowing that they had allowed, if not 
connived at, a flagrant hreach of ^eurality, and 
expecting the answer which he was prepared to re- 
turn, that it was useless and impossible for him to 
respect it longer. 

But though this movement produced the imme- 
diate effect which was designed, it led to iU conse- 
quences, which Nelson foresaw, but, for want of 
sufficient force, was unable to prevent. His squad- 
ron was too small for the service which it had to 
perform. He required two seventy-fours, and eight 
or ten frijprates and sloops ; but when he demanded 
this reinforcement. Admiral Hotham had left the 
command ; Sir Hyde Parker succeeded till the new 
commander should arrive ; and he immediately re- 
duced it almost' to nothing, leaving him onlyone 
frigate> and a brig. This was a faxSi error. While 
the Austrian and Sardinian troops,' whether from the 
imbecility or the treachery of their leaders, remained 
inactive, the French were preparing for the invasion 
of Italy. Not many days before Nelson was thus 
summoned to Genoa, he chased a large convoy into 
Alassio. Twelve vessels he had formerly destroyed 
in that port, though two thousand French troops 
occupied the town: this former attack had madetiieni 
take new measures of defence ; and there were now 
above one. hundred sail of victuallers, gun-boats, 
imd ships of war. Nelson represented to the admi- 
ral how important it was^ to destroy these vessels ; 
and offered, with his squadron of frigates, and tiie 
Culloden and Courageaux, to lead himself in the 
Agamenmon, and take or destroy the whole.' The 
attempt was not permitted : but it was Nelson's be- 
lief, that, if it had been made, it would have pre- 
venjted the attack upon the Austrian army which 
^k place almost immediately afterward. 

1795.] hOfS OF IfXLSON. 93 

General de Tins demanded satisfaction of the 
Genoese government for the seizuie of his commis- 
sary; and then, without waiting for their reply^ 
took possession of some' empty magazines of the 
French, and pushed his sentinels to the very ffatei^ 
of Genoa. Had he done so at first, he would nave 
found the magazines full ; but, timed as the mea- 
sure was, and useless as it was to the cause of thei 
allies, it was in character with the whole of the 
Austrian general's conduct: and it is no small 
proof of the dexterity with which he served the 
enemy, that in such circumstances he could so act 
with Genoa, as to contrive to put himself in the 
wrongs • N^son was at this time, according to his 
own expression, placed in a cleft stick. Mr. Drake, 
the Austrian minister, and the Austrian general, all 
joined in requiring him not to leave Genoa: if he 
left that port unguarded, they said, not only the im- 
perial troops at St. Pier d^ Arena and Yoltri would 
be lost, but the French plan for taking post between 
Yoltri and Sayona would certainly succeed : if the 
Austrians should be worsted in the advanced posts, 
the retreat by the'Bocchetta would be cut off; and, 
if this happened, the loss of the army. would be 
imputed to him, for having left Genoa. On the 
other hand, he knew, that 41 he were not at Pietra, 
the enemy's gunboats would harass the left flank 
of the Austrians, who, if they were defeated, as 
was to be expected, fiom the, spirit of all their ope- 
rations, would, very probably, lay their defeat to 
the want of assistance from the Agamemnon. Had 
the force for which Nelson applied been given him, 
he could have attended to both objects r and had he 
been permitted to attack the convoy in Alassio, he 
would have disconcerted the plan's of ihe French, 
in spite of the Austrian general. He had foreseen 
tiie danger, and pointed out how it. might be pre- 
vented ; but the means of preventing it were with- 
held* The attack was made, as he foresaw ; and 

94 LIFE OF mBLSON. [179d 

the gunboats brought their fire to bear upon the 
Austrians. It so happened, however, that the left 
flaiik, which was exposed to them, was the only part 
of the army that behaved well ; this division stood 
its ground till the centre and right wing fled, and 
then retreated in a soldier-like manner. General de 
Vins gave up the command in the middle of the bat- 
tle, pleading ill health. *' From that moment,'' says 
Nelson, '* not a soldier staid at his post {-^-it was tne 
devil take the hindmost. Many thousands ran 
away who had never seen the enemy; some of them 
thirty miles from the advanced posts. Had I not« 
though, I own, against my inclination, been kept at 
Genoa, from eight to ten thousand men would have 
been taken prisoners, and among thi number Gene- 
ral de Vins himself : but, by tlus means, the pass 
of the Bocchetta was kept open. The purser of the 
ship, who was at Vado, ran with the Austrians 
eighteen miles without stopi^ing ; the men without 
arms, officers without soldiers, women without as- 
sistance. The oldest officer, say they, never heard 
of so complete a defeat, and certainly without any 
reason. Thus has ended my campaign. — ^We have 
established the French republic; which, but for us, 
I verily believe, would never have been settled by 
such a volatile, changeable people. I hate a French- 
man : they are equally objects of my detestation, 
whether royalists or republicans : in some points, I 
believe, the latter are the best." Nelson had a lieu- 
tenant and two. midshipmen taken at Vado.: they 
told him, m their letter, that few of the French sol- 
diers were more than three or four-and-twenty years 
old, a great many not more than fourteen, and all 
were nearly naked : they were sure, they said, his 
barge's crew could have beat a hundred of them ; 
and that, had he himself seen ^hem, he would not 
have thoueht, if the world had been covered with 
such people, that they could have beaten the Aua* 
trian army. 

1796,]. una op hslbon. 95 

The defeat of General de Vins grave the enemy 
possesfiion of the Genoese coast from Savona to 
Voltri ; and it deprived the Austrians of their direct 
communication with the EngUah fleet. The Aga- 
memnon, therefore, could no longer be useful x>n 
this station, and Nelson sailed for Leghorn to refit. 
When his ship went into dock, there was not a mast, 
yard, sail, or any part of the rigging, but what stood 
in need of repair, having been cut to pieces with 
shot. The> hull was so damaged, that it had for 
some time been secured by cables, which were 
served Or thrapped round it. 


Sir J. Jervis'takeg the Command— Genoa j«fyu the Fh'eitek—Buonfiparte 
begins hie Career— Evacuation of Coreiea—M'eleoh hoiets hie bread 
Pennani in the Minero&—Jlction toith the Sabina — Battle off Cape 
St. VincenU — Xdeon eommande the inner Squadron atr the Bloekade 
of Cadiz — Boat Action in the Bay. of Oadii — ETCfedition against 
Teneriffe—Jfelson Uses an Arm— His Sufferings %n England^ and 
Recovery t 

Sir JoHir Jerv» had now arrived to take the com- 
mand of the Mediterranean fleet. The Agamen^non 
having, as her captain said^ been made as fit for sea 
as a rotten ship could be. Nelson sailed from Leg- 
horn, and joined the admiral in Fiorenzo Bay. ''I 
found him," said he, '* anxious to know many things, 
which I was a good deal, si^rprised to find had not 
been, communicated to him by others in the fleet ; 
and it would appear that he was so well satisfied 
with my opinion of what is likely to happen, and 
the means of {n^vention to be taken, that he had 
no reserve with mc respecting his information and 
ideas of what is likely to be done." The manner 
in which Nelson was received is said to have excited 


some envy< One captain observed to him : ^ You 
did just as you pleased in Lord Hood's time, the 
same in Admiral Hotham's, and now again with Sir 
John Jervis : it makes no diffl^rence to you who is 
commander-iiKchief." A higher compliment could 
not have been paid to any commander-in-chief, than 
to say of him, that he understood ^he merits of 
Nelson, and left him, as far as possible, to act upon 
his own judgment. 

Sir John Jervis 4)frered him the St. George, ninety, 
or the Zealous, seventy-four, and asked if he should 
have any objection to serve under him with his flag. 
He replied, that if the Agamemnon were ordered 
home, and his flag were not arrived, he should, on 
many accounts, wish to return to England : still, if 
the war continued, he should be very proud of 
hoisting his flag under Sir John's command. ** We 
cannot spare you," said Sir John, ^ either as captam 
Or admiral." Accordingly, he resumed his station 
in the Gulf of Genoa. The French had not fol- 
lowed up their successes in that quarter with their 
usual celerity. Scherer, who commanded there, 
owed his advancement to any other cause than his 
merit: he was a favourite of the directory; but, for 
the present, through the influence of ISarras, he 
was removed from a command for which his inca- 
pacity was afterward clearly proved, and Buona- 
parte was appointed to succeed him. Buonaparte 
had given indications of his military talents at Tou- 
lon, and of his remorseless nature at Paris : but 
the extent, either of his ability or his wickedness, 
was at this time known to none ; and, perhaps, not 
even suspected by himself. 

Nelson isupposed, from the information which lie 
had obtained, that one column of the French army 
would take possession of Port Especia; eithei 
penetrating through the Genoese territory, or t)ro- 
ceeding coastwise in light vessels; our ships of 
war not l)eing able to approach the coast, because 

f796.] i.iF£ OF Txmjsor(. 97 

of the shallowness of the water* To prevent this, 
he said, two things were necessary ; the possession 
of Vado Bay, and the taking of Port Especia; if 
either of these points were secured, Italy would 
be safe from any attack of the French by sea. 
Greneral Beaulieu, who had now superseded de Vina 
in the command of the allied Austrian and'Sitrdiniaa 
army, sent his nephew and aid-de-camp to com- 
municate with Nelson, and inquire whether he could 
anchor in any other place than Vado Bay. Nelson 
replied, that Vado was the only place wherci the 
British fleet could lie in safety : but all places would 
suit his squadron ; and wherever the general came 
down to the seacoast, there he should find it. The 
Austrian repeatedly asked, if there was not a risk 
of losing the squadron? and was constantly an« 
swered, that if these ships should be lost, the admi« 
ral would find others. But all plans of co-operation 
with the Austrians were soon frustrated by the battle 
of Montenotte. Beaulieu ordered an attack to be 
made upon the post of Voltri ; — ^it was made twelve 
hours before the time which he had fixed, and before 
he arrived to direct it. In ponsequence, the French 
were enabled to effect their retreat, and fall back to 
Montenotte ; thus giving the troops there a decisive 
superiority in number oyer the division which at- 
tacked them. This drew on the defeat of the Aus- 
trians. Buonaparte, with a celerity which had 
never before been witnessed in modern wai, pur- 
sued his advantages; and, in the course of a mrt- 
night, dictated to ^e court of Turin terms of peace, 
or rather of submission ; by which all the strongest 
placses of Piedmont were put into his hands. 

On one occasion, and only on one. Nelson was 
able to impede the progress of this new conqueror. 
Six vessels, laden with cannon and ordnance-stores 
for the siege of Mantua, sailed from Toulon fo| 
St. Pier d* Arena. Assisted by Capt. Cockbum, in 
Uie Meleager,he drove them imder a battery, pur- 

98 UFE* OF nxucnr. [1796* 

sued them, silenced the batteries, and captured the 
whole. Military books, plans, and niap» of Italy, 
with the different points marked upon them where 
former battles had been fought, sent by the directory 
for Buonaparte's use, were found in the convoy. 
The loss of this artillery was one of the chief 
causes 'which compelled the French to raise the 
siege of Mantua : but there was too much treachery, 
and too much imbecility, both in the councils and 
armies of the allied powers, for Austria to improve 
this momentary success. Buonaparte perceived 
that the conquest of all Italy was within his Teach : 
treaties, and the rights of neutral or of friendly 
powers, were as little regarded by him as by the* 
government for which he acted : in open contempt 
of both he entered Tuscany, and took possession of 
Leghorn. In consequence of this movement, Nel* 
son blockaded that port, and landed a British force 
in the Isle of Elba, to secure Porto Ferrajo. Soon 
afterward he took the island of Capraja, which had 
formerly belonged to Corsica, being less than forty 
miles distant from it ; a distance, however, short as. 
it was, which enabled the Genoese to retain it, after 
their infamous s^e of Corsica to France. Genoa 
had now taken part with France : its government 
had long covertly assisted the French, and now wil- 
lingly yielded to the first compulsory menace which 
required them to exclude the English from their 
ports. Capraja was seized, in consequence : but 
this act of vigour was not followed up as it ought 
to have been. England at that time depended too 
much upon the feeble governments of the continent, 
and too little upon itself. It was determined by the 
British cabinet to evacuate Corsica^ as soon as 
Spain should form an offensive alliance with France. 
This event, which, from the moment that Spiain- 
had been compelled to make peace, was clearly 
foreseen, had now taken place ; and orders for the 
^aeuation of the island were immediately sent ouU 

1796.] MFC OF ^cELsoar. 99 

It was impolitic to annex this island to the British 
dominions ; but having done so, it was disgraceful 
thus to abandon it. The disgrace would have been 
spared, and every advantage which could have been 
derived from the possession of the island secured, 
if the people had at first been left to form a govern- 
ment for themselves, and protected by us in the en- 
joyment of their independence. 

The viceroy, Sir Gilbert Elliott, deeply felt the 
impolicy and ignominy of this evacuation. The 
fleet also was ordered to leave the Mediterranean. 
This resolution was so contrary to the last instruc- 
tions which had been received, that Nelson ex- 
claimed : — ^^ Do his majesty's ministers know their 
own minds ? They at home," said he, " do not know 
what this fleet is capable of performing*-any thing 
and every thing. Much as I shall rejoice to see 
England, I lament our present orders in sackcloth 
and ashes, so dishonourable to the dignity of Eng- 
land, whose fleets are equad to meet the world in 
arms : and of all the fleets I ever saw, I never be- 
held one, in point of officers and men, ecjual to Sii 
John Jervis's, who is a commander-in-chief able to 
lead them to glory." Sir Gilbert Elliott believed 
that the great body of the Corsicans were perfectly 
satisfied, as they had good reason, to be^with the 
British government, sensible of its advantages, and 
attached to it. However this may have been, when 
they found that the English intended to evacuate 
the island, they naturally and necessarily sent to 
make their peace with the French. The partisans 
of France found none to oppose them. A commit- 
tee of thirty took upon them the |[overnment of 
Bastia, and sequestered all the British property: 
armed Corsicans mounted guard at every place, and 
a plan was laid for- seizing the viceroy. Nelsoti, 
who was appointed to superintend the evacuation, 
frustrated these projects. At a time when ever^ 
cme else despaired of saving stores, cannon, pion^ 

100 LIFE OF TXTEwam, [1796. 

sions, or i»*opertr of any kind, and a privateer was 
moored across tne mole-head to prevent all boats 
from passing, he sent word to the committee, that' 
if the slightest opposition were made to the em* 
barkment and removsd of British property, he would 
batter the town down* The privateer pointed her 
guns at the officer who carried this message, and 
muskets were levelled against his boats from the 
mole-head. Upon this, Captain Sutton, of the Eg- 
mont, puUin? out his watch, gave them a quarter of 
an hour to deliberate upon their answer. In five 
minutes after the expiration of that time, the ships, 
he said, would open their fire. Upon this the very 
sentinels scampered off, and every vessel came out 
of the mole. A ship-owner complained to the com- 
modore, that the municipality refused to let him take 
his goods out of the custom-house. Ndson di- 
rected him to say, that unless they were instantly 
delivered, he would open his fire. The committee 
turned pale ; and, without answering a word, gave 
him the keys. Their last atteifopt was to levy a 
duty upon the things that were re-embarked. He 
sent tnem word, that he would pay them a * dis- 
agreeable visit, if there were any more complaints. 
The committee then finding that they had to deal 
with a man who knew bis own power, and was de- 
termined to make the British name respected, 
desisted from the insolent conduct which they had 
assumed: and it was acknowledged, that Bastia 
never had been so quiet and orderly sinee the En? 
lish were in possesjsion of it. This was on the 14th 
of October : during the five •following days the 
work of embarkation was anmed on, the private 
proi!>erty was saved, and public stores to the amount 
Of £200,000. The French, favoured by the Spa- 
nish fleet, which was at that time within twelve 
leagues of Bastia, pushed over troops from Leg- 
horn, who landed near Cape Corse on the 18th ; and, 
on the SOthi at one in the morning, entered the 

1796.] IIFB OfF RKLSOlf. 101 

eitadel, an hour only after the British had spiked 
iVie guns, and evacuated it. Nelson embarked at 
daybreak, being the last person who left the shore ; 
having thus, as he said, seen the first and the last 
of Corsica. Provoked at the conduct of the muni- 
cipality, and the disposition which the populace had 
shown to profit by the confusion, he turned towards 
the shore, as he stepped into his boat, and ex- 
claimed: *'Now, John Corse, follow the natural 
bent of your detestable character — ^plunder and 
revenge." This, however, was not Nelson's deli- 
berate opinio]) of the people of Corsica; he knew 
that their vices were the natural consequences of 
internal anarchy and foreign oppression, such as the 
same causes would produce in any people: and 
when he saw, that of all those who took leave of 
the viceroy, there was not one who parted from him 
without tears, he acknowledged, that they manifestly 
acted not from dislike of the English, but from fear 
of the French. England then might, with more 
reason, reproach her own rulers for pusillanimity, 
tiian the Corsicans for ingratitude* 

Having thus ably efiected this humiliating ser- 
vice. Nelson was ordered to hoist his broad pennant 
on board the M inerve frigate, Captabi George Cock- 
bum, and, with the Blanche under his command, 
proceed to Porto Ferrajo, and superintend the eva- 
cuation of that place also. On his way, he fell in 
with two Spanish frigates, the Sabina and the Ceres. 
The Minerve engaged the former, which was com- 
manded by D. Jacobo Stuart, a descendant of the 
Duke of Berwick. After an action of thrqe hours, 
during which the Spaniards lost one hundred and 
sixty-four men, the Sabina struck. The Spanish 
captain, who was the only surviving officer, had 
hardly been conveyed on board the Minerve, when 
another enemy's frigate came up, compelled her to 
cast off the prize, and brought her a second time to 
•ction. After half an hour's trial of strengtfay this 


102 UFB OF ITELSON. (1796. 

new antagonist wore and hanled off: bnt a Spanish 
squadron of two ships of the line and two frieates 
came in sig^ht. The Blanche, from which the Ceres 
had got off, was far to windward, and the Minerve 
escaped only by the anxiety of the enemy to recover 
their own ship. As soon as Nelson reached Porto 
Ferrajo, he sent his prisoner in a flag of triice to 
Cartha^ena, having returned him his sword ; this 
he did m honour of the gallantry which D. Jacobo 
had displa^^ed, and not without some feeling of re- 
spect Yor his ancestry. "I felt it," said he, "con- 
sonant to the dignity of my country, and. I always 
act as I feel right, without regard to custom: he 
was reputed the best officer in Spain, and his men 
were worthy of such a commander." By the same 
flag of truce he sent back all the Spanish prisoners 
at Porto Ferrajo; m exchange for whom he re- 
ceived his own men who had been taken in the 

General de Burgh, who commanded at the Isle 
. of Elba, did not think himself authorized to aban- 
don the place, till he had received specific instruo- 
tions from England to that effect; professing that 
he was unable to decide between the contradictory 
orders of government, or to guess at what their pre- 
sent intentions might be: but he said, his only mo- 
tive for urging delay in this measure arose from a 
desire that his own conduct might be properly 
sanctioned, not from any opinion that Porto Ferrajo 
ought to be retained. But Naples having made 
peace, Sir J. Jervis^ considered his business with 
Italy as concluded; and the protection of Portugal 
was the point to which he was now instructed to 
attend. Nelson, therefor^, whose orders were per- 
fectly clear and exf^icit, withdrew the whole naval 
establishment front) that station, leaving the trans- 
ports victualled, and so arranged, that all the troops 
and stores could be embarked in three days. He 
was now about to leave the Mediterranean. Mr« 

1797.] tlFE OP N££801ff. 10$ 

Drake, who had been our miniiter at Genoa, ex- 
pressed to him, on this occasion, the very high opi. 
nion which the allies entertained of his conspicuous 
merit; adding, that it was impossible for ally one, 
who had the honour of co-operating with him, not 
to admire the activity, talents, and zeal which he had 
80 eminently and constantly displayed. In fact, 
during this long course of services in the Mediter- 
ranean, the whole of his conduct had exhibited th^ 
same zeal, the same indefatigable energy, the same 
intuitive judgment, the same prompt and unerring 
decision, which characterized his after-career of 
glory. His name was as yet hardly known to the 
English public; but it was feared and respected 
throughout Italy. A letter came to him, directed 
"Horatio Nelson, Genoa:" and the writer, when he 
was as)ced how he could direct it so vaguely, re- 
plied, «* Sir, there is but one Horatio Nelson in the 
world." At Genoa, in particular, where he had so 
long been stationed, and where the nature of his 
duty first led him to continual disputes with the go- 
vernment, and afterward compelled him to stop the 
trade of the port, he was equally respected by the 
doge and by the people: for, while he maintained 
the rights and interests of Great Britain with be* 
coming firmness, he tempered the exercise of power 
with courtesy and humanity, wherever duty would 
permit. " Had all my actions," said he, writing at 
this time to his wife, ^been gazetted, not one fort- 
night would have passed, during the whole war, 
without a letter from me. One day or other I will 
have a long gazette to myself. I feel that such an 
opportunity will be given me. I cannot, if I am in 
the field of glory, be kept out of sight : wherever 
there is any thing to be done, there Providence is 
sure to direct my steps." 

lliese hopes and anticipations were soon to be 
fulfilled. Nelson's mind had long been irritated 
and depressed by the fear that a general action 

104 LIFE OP NEMOW. [1797. 

would take place before he could join the fleet. At 
length he sailed from Porto Ferrajo with a convoy 
for Gibraltar; and having reached that place, pro- 
ceeded to the westward in search of the admiral. 
Oif the mouth of the Straits he fell in with the Spa- 
nish fleet; and, on the 13th of February, reaching 
the station off Cape St. Vincent's, communicated this 
intelligence to Sir John Jervis. He was now di- 
rected to shift his broad pennant on board the Cap- 
tain, seventy-four. Captain R. W. Miller ; and, be- 
fore sunset, the signal was made to prepare for ac- 
tion, and to keep, during the night, in close order 
At daybreak the enemy were in sight. The British 
force consisted of two ships of one hundred guns, 
two of ninety-eight, two of ninety, eight of seventy- 
four, and one sixty-four : fifteen of the line in all ; 
with four frigates, a sloop, and a cutter. The Spa- 
niards had one four-decker, of one hundred and 
thirty-six guns ; six three-deckers, of one hundred 
and twelve; two eighty-fours; eighteen seventy- 
fours; in all, twenty-seven ships of the line, with 
ten frigates and a brig. Their admiral, D. Joseph 
de Cordova, had learned from an American, on the 
6th, that the English had only nine ships, which was 
indeed the case when his informer had seen them ; 
for a reinforcement of five ships from England, 
under Admiral Parker, had not then joined, and the 
Otilioden had parted company. Upon this informal 
tion, the Spanish commander, instead of going into 
Cadiz, as was his intention when he sailed from 
Carthagenaj determined to seek an enemy so infe- 
rior in force; and relying, with fatal confidence, 
upon the American account, he suffered his ships to 
remain too far dispersed, and in some disorder. 
When the morning of the 14th broke, and discovered 
the English fleet, a fog for some time concealed 
tiieir nuitiber. That fleet had heard their signal guns 
during the night, the weather being fine, though, 
thick and hazy ; soon after daylight they were seen 

I79f.] llFE OF NELSON. l06 

very much scattered, while the British ships were 
in a compact little body. The look-out ship of the 
Spaniards fancying that her signal was disregarded, 
because so little notice seemed to be taken of it, 
made another signal, that the English force con- 
sisted of forty sail of the line. The captain after- 
ward said, he did this to rouse the admiral : it had 
the effect of perplexing him, and alarming the whole 
fleet. The absurdity of such an act shows what 
was the state of the Spanish navy under that mise- 
rable government, by which Spain was so long 
oppressed and degraded, and finally betrayed. In 
reality, the general^ incapacity of the naval officer^ 
was* so well known, that in a pasquinade, which 
about this time appeared at Madrid, wherein the dif- 
ferent orders of the state were advertised for sale, 
the greater part of the sea«-officers, with all their 
equipments, were offered as a gift ; and it was added, 
that any person who would please to take them, 
should receive a handsome gratuity. When the 
probability ^hat Spain would take part in the war, 
as an ally of France, was first contemplated, Nel- 
son said that their fleet, if it were no better than 
when it acted in alliance with us, would '< soon be 
done for." 

Before the enemy could form a regular order of 
battle. Sir J. Jervis, by carrying a press of sail, 
came up with them, passed through their fleet, then 
tacked, and tiius cut off nine of their ships from the 
main body. These ships attempted to form on 
the larboard tack, either with a design of passing 
through the British line, or to leeward of it, and 
thus rejoining their friends. Only one of them 
succeeded in this attempt ; and that only because 
she was so covered with smoke that her intention 
was not discovered till she had reached the rear : 
the others were so warmly received, that they put 
about, took to flight, and did not appear again in the 
action till its close. The admiral was liow able to 

106 UPB OF N£LSON. [1797. 

ilirect his attention to the enemy's main body, which 
was still superior in number to his whole fleet, and 
more «o in weight of metal. ^ He made signal to 
tack in succession. Nelson, whose station was in 
the rear of the British line, perceived that the Spa- 
niards! were bearing up before the wind, with an in- 
tention of forming their line, going large, and join- 
ing their separated ships; or else, of getting off 
without an engagement. To prevent either of these 
9chemes, he disobeyed the signal withoat a mo- 
ment's hesitation, and ordered his ship to be wore, 
^his at once brought him into action with the San- 
tissima Trinidad, one hundred and thirty-six, the 
San Joseph, one hundred and twelve, the Salvador 
del Mundo, one huadred and twelve, the St. Nicolas, 
eighty, the San Isidro, seventy-four, another seven- 
ty-four, and another first-rate. Trowbridge, in the 
Culloden, immediately joined, and most nobly sup- 
ported him ; and for nearly an hour did the CuUoden 
and Captain maintain what Nelson called ^ this ap- 
parently, but not really, unequal contest f* — such 
^was the advantage of skill and discipline, and the 

^confidence which brave men derive from them. 

The Blenheim then, passing between them and the 

enemy, gave them a respite, and poured in her fire 

upon the Spaniards. The Salvador del Mundo and 

S. Isidro dropped astern, and were fired into, in a 

xnasterly style, by the Excellent, Capt. Colling wood. 

The S. Isidjro struck ; and Nelson thought that the 

/Salvador struck also ; " but CoUingwood," says he, 

** disdaining the parade of taking possession of 

l>eaten enemies, most gallantly pushed up, with 

^ very sail set, to save his old friend and messmate 

-i?trho was, to appearance, in a criticsd situation**' 

f'ar the Captain was at this time actually fired uDon 

l,y three first-rates, by the S. Nicolas, and bv a 

seventy-four within about pistol-shot of that vesspl 

Tl»e Blenheini was ahead, the CuUoden criDDled 

^nd aatem, Coljingwood ranged up, and handing 

1797.] LIFE OF KBL80K. 107 

up his mainsail just astern, passed within ten feet 
of the S. Nicolas, giving her a most tremendous 
fire, then passed on for the Santissima Trinidad.^^ 
The S. Nicolas luffing up, the S. Joseph fell on 
board her, and Nelson resumed his station abreast 
of them, and close along-side. The Captain was 
now incapable of farther serrice, either in the line or 
in chase : she had lost her fore-topmast ; not a sail, 
shroud, or rope was left, and her wheel was shot 
away. Nelson, therefore, directed Capt. Miller to 
pat the helm a-starboard, and, calling for the board* 
ers, ordered them to board. 

Capt. Berry, who had lately been Nelson's first 
lieutenant, was the first man who leaped into the 
enemy's mizen-chains. Miller, when in the yery 
act of going, was ordered by Nelson to remain.-— 
Berry was supported from the spritsail-yard, which 
locked in the S. Nicolas's main rigging. A soldier 
of the sixty-ninth broke the upper quarter-gallery 
window, and jumped in, followed by the commodore 
himself, and by others as fas^ as possible. The 
cabin doors were fastened, and the Spanish officers 
fired their pistols at them through the window : the 
doors were soon forced, and the Spanish brigadier 
fell while retreating to the quarter-deck. Nelson 
pushed on, and found Berry in possession of the 
poop, and the Spanish ensign hauling down. He 
passed on to the forecastle, where he met two or 
three Spanish officers, and received their swords.— 
The English were now in full possession of every 
part of the ship ; and a fire of pistols and musketry 
opened upon them from the admiral?s stem gallery 
of the San Joseph. Nelson, having placed sentinels 
at the dijQferent ladders, and ordered Capt. Miller to 
send more men into the prize, gave orders for 
boarding that ship from the San Nicolas. It was 
done in an instant, he himself leading the way, and 
exclaiming— ^" Westminster Abbey or victory!"— 
Berry assisted him into the main-chains; and at 

108 UFE OF KBLBOir. [1797. 

that moment a Spanish officer looked orerlHie quarter- 
dedL-rail, and said they surrendered, tt was not 
long before he was on the quarter-deck, where the 
Spanish captain presented to him his sword, and 
told him the admiral was below, dying of his wounds. 
There, on the quarterrdeck of an enemy's first-rate, 
he received the swords of the officers ; giving them, 
as they were delivered, one by one, to William 
Feamey, one of his old Agamemnon's, who, with 
tile utmost coolness, put them under his arm ; ^* bun- 
dling them up," in the lively expression of Colling- 
wood^ ** with as much composure as he would have 
made a fagot, though twenty-two sail of their line 
were still within gunshot." One of his sailors came 
tip, and, with an Englishman's feeling, took him by 
tne hand, saying, he might not soon have such an- 
other place to do it in, and he was heartily glad to 
see him there: Twenty-four of the Captain's men 
were killed, and fifty-six wounded ; a fourth part of 
the loss sustained by dhe whole squadron falling 
upon this ship. ^ Nelson received only a few 

The Spaniards had still eighteen or nineteen 
ships, which hatd suffered little or no injury : that 
part of the fleet which had been separated from the 
main body in the tnocnkig was now coming up, and 
Sir John Jervis made signal to bring to. His ships 
could not have formed without abandoning Ifiose 
which they had captured, and running to leeward : 
the Captain was lying a perfect wreck on board her 
two prizes ; and many of the other vessels were so 
shattered in their masts and rigging, as to be wholly 
unmanageable. The Spanish admiral, meantime, 
according to his official account, being altogether 
undecided in his own. opinion respecting the state 
of the fleet, inquired of his captains whether it was 
proper to renew the action : nine of them answered 
explicitly, that it was not ; others replied that it was 
expedient to delay the business. The Pelayo and 


UFJC.op JSKiamf, 1Q9 

the Pnnqjpe Conquistador wer^ the only ships that 
"were for nghting. 

As soon as the action was discontinued, N&lson 
went on board the admiral's ship. Sir John Jcrvis 
received him on the quarter-deck, took him in his 
arms, and said he could not sufficiently tHank him. 
For this victory the commander-in-chief vf^s re- 
warjcled with the title of Earl St. Vincent.* Nelson, 
wlio, before the action was known in England, had 
been advanced to the rank of rear-admirai, had the 
Order of the Bath given him. The sword of the Spa- 

* In th9 official l^ter of Sir John itervis, Nelson wu uot mentioned. 
It is said, tbiit tlie admiral iiad ttenn an instance of the ill-consequence 
of such selections, afler T^ord Howe's victory ; and, therernre, would 
nctt name any individnid thinking it proper to fpeak to the public only 
In terms of gehural approbation. His private tetter to tlie first lord of 
the AdiiiirnUy, was, with his consent, publi^jihed, for the first time, in a 
Lifb of Nelsna, by Mr. Harrison. Here it is said, that *^ Commodore 
Nelson, who was in the rear, on the starboard tack, took the lead on the 
l^boardi and contributed very much to the fortune of the day.*' It is 
tfliX) said, that he boarded the two Spanish ships successively ; but tike 
fthct, that Nelson wore without orders, and thus planned as well as ao- 
comfilished the victory, is not explicitly stated. Perhaps it was thought 
proper tn pass over this part ^ of his conduct in silence, as a splendid 
fault : but sucli an example is not dangerous. The author of the work 
In which this letter was first made public, protests a^inst chose over- 
.tealoan friends, '' who would make the action rather apiiear as Nel- 
son's battle, th^n that of the Ittttstrious commiinder- in-chief, i;i^o 
dAives fVom It so deservedly his thte. No man," he says, *' ever lesa 
needrd, or less deairnl, to strip a single ktif from t^e honoured wreath 
of any other hero, with the vain hope 'n augmenting his own, than the 
'tmoiortal Nelson : no man ever more merited the whole of that which 
ft fC}ien)u» nation unanimously presented to Sir J. Jervis, than the 
Ear! of St. Vincem."— Certainly, Earl St Vincent well deserved the 
reward which he received ; but it is not detracting from his merit to 
lay, that Nelson is Ailly entitled to as much fame from this action as 
ttie commander-iiHchief ; not because the brunt of the action fell upon 
him ; not because he was enjiasfed with ail the four slUps which were 
taken, and took two of them, it may almost besaid, vt^ith his own hand ; 
Jottt because the decisive movement, which enabled him to perform all 
this, and bv which the action became a victory, was executed in ne- 
glect (iff orders, upon his own judgment, and at his peril. Earl St. Vlu- 
«^t deserved his earldom ; .but it is not to the honoyr of those by 
.wtwua titles were distributed in those days, that Nelson never obtained 
the rUnk of earl for either of those victories winch he lived to enjoy, 
tbongh the one was the most complete and glorious in the annals of 
, ^aval hhtioryv and tlie other the most important in its c(Misequepc«i of 
uy yyhich was achieved during the whqle war. 


110 MFE OP NEMON. [1 79 'TV 

nish rear-admiral, which Sir John Jer^s insistea 
upon his keeping, he presented to the mayor and cor- 
poratibn of Norwich, saying, that he knew no place 
where it could g'ive him or his family more pleasnire 
to^have it kept, than in the capital city of the county 
where, he was born. The freedom of that city wa» 
voted him on tliis occasion. But of all the nume- 
J'ous cong-ratulations which he received, none could 
have affected ii i m w ith deeper delight than that whicli 
came from his venerable father. " 1 thank my God,» 
said this excellent fnan, " with all the power of a 
grateful soul for the mercies he has most gra- 
ciously besto'wed on me in preserving you. Not 
only my fg j^eQuaintance here, but the people m 
general, met me eit every comer with siieh handsonae 
^ords, that T was obliged to retire from the publKs 
«ye. The hpi o-ht of Rlory to which your prdfessional 
judgment, imi ted with a proper degree of bravery, 
Swarded bv l^rovidence, has raised you, few soiis, 
^y dearchilHT attsiin to, and few fathers live to see- 
Tears of iov ^kve involuntarily trickled down my 
furrowed (•}/ t s A?Vho could stand the force of such 
B-enprai J^ r.\is^tion ? The name and services oi 

Knha°7,^unded through this^cityofBath-from 

'he common b^U^d-«'"?r»'*. l^*^.P,t>"*= theatre." 
rhe good 014 m^n *'*l'^''l"^^'l ''J **'V'"S J»m, that 
hf> fiSiH ^f , S^r in which he had so long been con- 

* S^r"ffA,=« «rlao tiad now hoisted his flag as rear- 
idmira" ofthe tol«e, ^'?* ^r**^ """.^ away the 
roonle^L DJf^*.<> Kf^rrajo: having performed this, 
nSff5SK-^S«^ to t*^^ Theseus. That ship had 

Aen n«^^''»S^^"*i"y '",^"^'*"*^' and being ju.t 
wen part in thef" some danger -was aoDrehended 

Si2"o'aTe^^^^- *-'"^^^' was dro^^SiS 

i'7^'7'] UFE OF NEIiSOIf. ||| 

quarter-deck, containing these worda: "Success 
attend Admiral Nelson! God bless Capt. Miller' 
We thank them for the oflicers they have placed 
over us. We are happy and comfortable ; and will 
shed every drop of blood in our veins to support 
them ; and the name of the Theseus shall be immor- 
tahzed as high as her captain's." Wherever Nelson 
commanded, the men soon becaine attached to him- 
— m ten days' time he would have restored the most 
mutinous ship in the navy to order. Whenever an 
officer fails to win the affections of those who are 
under his command, he may be assured that the fault 
IS chiefly in himself. 

While Sir Horatio was in the Theseus, he was 
employed in the command of the inner squadron at 
the blockade of Cadiz. During this service, the most 
perilous action occurred in which he was ever en- 
gaged. Making a night-attack upon the Spanish 
gunboatSj his barge was attacked by an armed 
launch, under their commander, D. Miguel Tregoyen 
carrying twenty-six men. Nelson had with him' 
only his ten bargemen, Capt. Freemantle, and his 
coxswain, John Sykes, an old and faithful follower, 
who twice saved the life of his admiral, by parrying 
the blows that were aimed at him, and, at last, actu- 
ally interposed his own head to receive the blow of 
a Spanish sabre, which he could not by any other 
means avert;— thus dearly was Nelson beloved. 
This was a desperate service— hand to hand with 
srwords: — and Nelson always considered that his 
personal courage was more conspicuous on this oc- 
casion than on any other during his whole life. 
Notwithstanding the great dispioportion of num- 
bers, eighteen of the enemy were killed, all the rest 
wounded, and their launch taken. Nelson would 
have asked for a lieutenancy for Sykes, if he had 
served long enough : his manner and conduct, he 
observed, were so entirely above his situation, that 
Nature certainly intended him for a gentleinan: but 

112 lilPte OF K£I.S0Tr. {1797, 

though he recovered from the dangeroud wound which 
he received in this act of heroic attachment, he did 
not live to profit by the gratitude and friendship of 
his commander. 

Twelve days after this rencounter, Nelson ssiiled at 
the head of an expedition against Teneriffe. A re- 
port had prevailed a few months before, that the 
viceroy of Mexico, with the treasure-ships had put 
into that island. This had led Nelson to meditate 
the plan of an attack upon it, vvhich he communi- 
cated to Earl S,t. Vincent, He was perfectly aware 
of the difficulties of the attempt. " 1 do nqt,*' said 
he, " reckon myself equal to Blake : but, if I recol- 
lect right, he was more obliged to the wind coming 
off the land than to any exertions of his own. The 
approach by sea to the anchoring-place is'under'very 
high land, passing three valleys ; therefore the wind 
is either in from the sea, or squally with calms from 
the mountains ;" and Jie perceived,, that if the Spa^ 
nish ships were won, the object would still be frus- 
trated, if th§ wind did not come off shore. *rhe land 
force, he thought, would render success certain ; and 
there were the troops from Elba, with all necessary 
' stores and artillery, already embarked. " But here,^ 
said he " soldiers must be consulted ; and 1 know, 
from experience, they have not the same boldness 
in undertaking a political measure that we have : 
we look to the benefit of our country, and risk our 
own fame every day to serve her ; — a soldier obeys 
his orders, and no more.*' Nelson's experience at 
Corsica justified him in this harsh opinion : — ^he did 
not live to see the glorious days of the British array 
under Wellington. . The army from Elba, consisting 
of three thousand seven hundred men, would do the 
business, he said, in three 'days, probably in much 
less time ; and he would undertake, with a very small 
squadron, to perfprm thie naval part; for, though the 
Bhore was not easy of access, the transports might 
run in and land the troops in. one day, • 

1797.] MJP* o^ KELSON. 113 

The report conceraiiig the viceroy was unfounded ; 
out a homeward-bound Manilla ship put into Santa 
Cruz at this time, and the expedition was determined 
upon- It was not fitted out upon the scale which 

. Nelson, had proposed. Four ships of the line, three 
frigates, and the Fox cutter formed the squadron; 
and he was allowed to choose such ships and offi- 
cers as he thoug^ht proper. No troops, were em- 
barked ; the seamen and marines of the squadron 
being thought sufficient. His orders were, to make 
a vigorous attack; but onlio account to land in per- 
son, unless his presence should be absolutely neces- 
sary. The plan was, that the boats should land in 
the night, between the fort on the north-east side of 
Santa ('r^z bay and the town, make themselves mas- 
ters of that fort, and then send a summons to the 
governor.! By ^midnight, the three frigates, having 
the force on board which was intended for this de- 
barkation, approached within three miles of the 
place ; but, owing to a strong gale of -wind in the 
offing, and a strong current against them in shore, 
they were not able to get within a mile of the land- 
ing place before daybreak ; and then they were seen, 
and their intentio^i discovered. Trowbridge and 

. Bovven, with Capt. Oldfield, of the ipaarines, went 
upon this to consult with the admiral what was to 
be done ; and it was'resolved that they should attempt 
to get possession of the heights above the fort. The 
frigates accordingly landed their men ; and Nelson 
stood in with the line-of-battle ships> meaning to 
batter the fort, for the purpose of distracting the 
attention of the garrison. A calm and contrary 
current hindered him from getting within a league 
of the shore ; and the heights were by this time so 
secured, and manned with suph a force, as to be 
iudged iippracticable. Thus foiled in his plans by 
circumstances of wind and tide, he fetill consid^r^ 
it a point of iiopouV that some attempt should be 
made. This was ou the twenty-second of July : he 
^ K 3 

114 UFE OF ȣLSON. [17^7* 

re-embarked his men that night, got the ships, on 
the twenty-fourth, to anchor about two miles north 
of the town, and made show as if he intended to 
attack the heights. At six in the evening, signsd 
was made for the boats to prepare to proceed oii the 
service as previously ordered. 

When this was done,^ Nelson addressed a letter 
to the commander-in-chief— the last which was ever 
written with his right hand. " I shall not," said he, 
" enter on the subject, why we are not in poissession 
of Santa Cruz. Your partiality will give credit, that 
all has hitherto been done which was possible; but 
without effect. This night I, humble as I,amj com- 
mand the whole, destined to land under the batteries 
of the town ; and to-morrow, my head will probably 
be crowned either with laurel or cypress. I -have 
only to recommend Josiah Nisbet to you and my 
country. The duke of Clarence, should 1 fall, will, 
I am confident, take a lively interest for my son-hi- 
law, on his name being mentioned." Perfectly 
aware how desperate a service thite was likely to 
prove, before he left the Theseus, he called lieute- 
nant Nisbet, who had the watch on deck, into the 
cabin, that he might assist in arranging and burning 
his mother's letters. Perceiving that the young 
man was armed, he earnestly begged him to remain 
behind. "Should we both fall, Josiah," said he, 
♦* what would become of your poor mother ! The 
care of the Theseus falls to you : stay, therefore, 
and take charge of her." Nisbet replied ; " Sir, the 
ship must take care of herself; I will go with you 
to-night, if I never go again." 

Jie met his captains at l^upper on board the Sea- 
horse, Capt. Freejnantle; whose wife, whQm he had 
lately ipafried in the Mediterranean, presided at 
table. At e^sven o'clock, the boats, containing be- 
tweeiv six and seven, hundred men, with one hun- 
dred and eighty on board the Fbx cutter, and from 
seventy to eighty in a boat which had been taken 

i797«] UPB OF VELBOTH. 115 

ihe day before, proceeded in six divisions towards 
the to>^rn, conducted by all the captains of the squa-. 
dron, except Freemantle and Bowen, who attended 
with Nelson to regulate and lead the way to the at- 
tack. They were to land on the mole, and thence 
hasten, as fast as possible, into the great square ; 
then form, and proceed, as should be found expe- 
dient. They were not discovered till about half 
past one o*clock, when, being within half gun-shot of 
the landing place, Nelson directed the boats to cast 
off from each other, give a huzza, and push for the 
shore. But the Spaniards were excellently well 
prepared : the alarm-bells answered the huzza, and 
a fire of thirty or forty pieces of cannon, with mus- 
ketry from one end of the town to the other, 
opened upon the invaders. Nothing, however, 
could check .the intrepidity with whit;h they ad- 
vanced.' The night was exceedingly dark: most 
of the boats missed the mole, and went on shore 
through a raging surf, which stove all to the left of 
it. The admiral, Freemantle, Thompson, Bowen, 
and four or five other boats, found the mole : they 
stormed it instantly, and carried it, though it was 
defended,.'as they imagined, by four or five hundred 
men. Its guris, which were six-and-twenty pound- 
ers, were spiked ; but such a heavy fire of musketry 
and grape was kept up from the citadel and the 
houses at the head of the mole, that the assailants 
could not advance, and nearly all of them were 
killed or wounded. 

In the act of stepping out of the boat, Nelson re- 
ceived a shot through the right elbow, and fell ; but 
as he fell. He caught the sword, which he had just 
drawn, in his left hand, determined never to part 
with it while he lived, for it had belonged to his 
uncle, Capt. Sucklifig, and he valued it like a relic. 
Nisbet, who was close to him, pla^d him at the 
bottom of the boat, and laid his hat over the shat- 
tered ann, lest the sight of the blood, which gushed 

M6 LIFE OF NEUON. [1797. 

out in great abundance, should increase his faint- 
ness. He then examined the wound, and taking 
some silk handkerchiefs from his neck, bound them 
round tight above* the lacerated vessels. Had it not 
been for this presence of mind in his son-in-law, 
Nelson must have perished. One of his bargemen, 
by name Lovel, tore his shirt into shreds, and made 
a sling with them for the broken limb. They then 
collected five other seamen, by whose assistance 
they succeeded, at length, in getting the boat afloat ; 
for it had grounded with the falling tide. . Nisbet 
took one of the oars, and ordered the steersman ^o 
go close under the guns of the battery, that they 
might be safe from its tremendous fire.^ Hearing 
his voice. Nelson roused himself, and desired to be 
lifted up in the boat, that he mi?ht look about him. 
Nisbet raised him up ; but iibtning could be seen, 
except the firing of the guns on shore, and what 
could be discerned by their flashes upon the storniy 
sea. In a fow minutes, a general shriek was heard 
from the crew of the l^ox, which had received a 
shot under water, and went down. Ninety-seven 
men were lost in her; eighty-three were saved, 
many by Nelson himself, whose exertions on this 
occasion greatly increased the pain and danger of 
his wound. The first ship which the boat could 
reach happened to be the Seahorse : but nothing could 
induce him to go on board, though he was assured 
that if they attempted to row to another ship, it 
might be at the risk of his life. " I had rather 
suffer death," he replied, "than alarm Mrs. Free- 
mantle, by letting her see me in this state, when I 
can give her 1)0 tidings whatever of her husband." 
They pushed on for tne Theseus. When they came 
along-side, he peremptorily refused all assistance in 
getting on board, so impatfent was he that the boat 
should return, in hopes that it might save a few 
more from the Fox. He desh-ed to have only a 
single rope thrown over the side which he twisted 

1797.] ftira OF KSLSON. 117 

YDTind his left hand, saying, ** Let me alone : I have 
yet my legs left and one arm* Tell the surgeon to 
make haste and get his instruments. I know I 
must lose my right arm ; so the sooner it is off the 
better/'* The spirit which he displayed in jumping 
up the ship's side astonished every body. 

Freemantle had been severely wounded in the 
right arm, soon after the admiral. He was fortu- 
nate enongh to find a boat at the beach, and got 
instantly to. his ship. Thompson was wounded: 
Bowenf killed, to the great regret of Nelson ; as 
was also one of his own officers, Lieutenant Wea- 
therhead, who had followed him from the Agamem- 
non, and whom he greatly and deservedly esteemed. 
Trowbridge, meantime, fortunately for his party, 
missed the mole in the darkness, but pushed on 
shore under the batteries, close to the south end of 
the citadel. Capt. Waller, of the Emerald, and two 
or three other boats landed at the same time. The 
surf was so high that many others put back. The 
boats were . instantly filled With water, and stove 
against the rocks ; and most of the ammunition in 
. the men's pouches was wetted. Having collected 
a few men, they pushed on to the great square, 
hoping there to find the admiral and the rest of the 

* During the peace of Amiens, when Nelsnn was passing throuffh 
Salisbury, and received there with those acclamations wliich foliowed 
him every where, he recognised, amid the crowd, a man who had as- 
sisted at the ainpiitation, and attended him afterward. He beclconed 
Mm up the stairs of the Council House, shook hands with him, ami 
made him a* prssent, in remembrance of his services at that time- 
The man took fi^m hb bosom a piece of lace, which iie had torn from 
tbe sleeve of the amputated limb, sayihg, he had preserved, and wouM 
preserve it totlie last mmnent, in memory of bis old commander. 

t Captain Bowen^s gold snaN, a^id chain, and sword were preserved 
fn the town bouse at Teneriffe ; his watch and other valuables had 
been made booty of by the populace. Tn 1810, the majristrates of the 
island sent these metnnriala of the dead to hU brother, Commisslonai 
Bowen^ saying that they conceited It would be gratifying to hin filings 
to receive them, and that as the two nations were now united In a 
cause which did equal honour to both, they did not wish to- retain a 
trophy 'whicli could remind them that they had ever bsen oppoaed to 
' \ othsr. — J^aoal Okmticlit vol. 34, p. 303. 

U8 ZJFE OF KBtSON. ;[i797. 

lorce. The ladders were all lost, so that they could 
make no immediate attempt on the citadel ; but they 
sent a sergeant with two of the town^s-people to 
summon it : this messenger never returned ; and 
Trowbridge, having waited abo^t an hour, in paihful 
expectation of his friends, marched jto join Oaptains 

>, Hood and Miller, who had effected their lauding to 
the south-west. They then endeavoured to procure 

\ some intelligence of the admiral and the rest of tlie 
officers, but without success. By daybreak they 
had gathered together about eighty marines-, eighty 
pikemen, and one hundred and eighty small-arm 
seamen ; all the survivors of those who had made 
good their landing. They obtained some amniuni- 
tion from the prisoners whom they had taken, and 
marched on, to try what could be done at the citaidel 
without ladders. - They found all the streets com- 
manded by field-pieces, and several thousand Spa- 
niards, with about a hundred French, under arms, 
approaching by every avenue. Finding himself 
without provisions, the povvder wet, and no possi- 
bility of obtaining either stores or reinforcements 
from the ships, the boats being lost, Trowbridge, 
with great presence of mind, sent Capt. Sampel 
Hood with a flag of truce to the governor, to say 
he was prepared to burn the town, and would in- 
stantly set fire to it, if the Spaniards approached 
one inch nearer: — this, however, if he were com- 
pelled to do it, he should do with regret, for he had 
no wish to injure the inhabitants : and he was ready 
to treat upon these terms, — that Ihe British troops 
should re-embark, with all their arms, of every 
kind, and take their own boats, if they were saved, 
or be provided with such others as might be want- 
ing : they, on their part, engaging that the squadron 
should not molest the town, nor any of the Canary 
Islands : all prisoners on both sides to be given i^. 
When these terms were proposed, the governor 
made answer, that the English ought to fiunrendar 

1797.] hmt OF HxisoN. 1 19 

as lA-isoners of war: but Capt. Hood replied, he 
was instructed to say, that if the terms were not ac- 
cepted in five minutes, Capt. Trowbridge would set 
the town on fire, add attack the Spaniards at the 
point of the bayonet. Satisfied with his success, 
which was indeed sufficiently complete, and respect- 
ing, like a brave and honourable man, the gallantry 
of his enemy, the Spaniard acceded to the proposal, 
found boats to re-embark them, their own having all 
been dashed to pieces in landing, ^nd before they • 
parted gave every mlm a loaf and a pint of wine. 
** Ana here," says Nelson in his journal, ** it is 
right we should notice the noble and generous con- 
duct of Don Juan Antonio Gutierrez, the Spanii^ 
fevemor. The moment the terms were agreed to, 
e directed our wounded men to be received into the 
hospitals, and all our people to be supplied with the 
best provisions that could be procured ; and made it 
known; that the ships were at liberty to send on 
shore, and purchase whatever refreshments they 
were in want of during the time they might be off 
the island." A youth, by name Don Bernardo Col- 
lagon, stripped himself of his shirt, to make band- 
ages for one of those Epglishmen against whom 
not an hour before he had been engaged in battle. 
Nelson wrote to thank the governor for the humani- 
ty which he had displayed. Presents were inter- 
cnanged between them. Sir Horatio offered to tako 
charge of his despatches for the Spanish govern 
ment ; and thus actually became the first messenger 
to^pain of his own defeat. 

The total loss of the English, in killed, wounded, 
and drowned, amounted to two hundred and fifty. 
Nelson made no mention of his own wound in his 
ofiScial despatches : but in a private letter to Lord St. 
Vincent, — the first which he wrote with his left 
hand, — ^he shows himself to have been deeply af- 
fected by the failure of this enterprise. " 1 am 
become," he said, ^ a burden to my friends, and 

1^ UVS OF f««I#9N. i^W. 

uctelew) to my country: but by my laa^ letter yon 
will perceive my anxiety for the promotion of my 
Bon-in-law, Josiah Nisbet* When I leave your 
command, I become dead to the world : — ' I go 
hence, and am no more seen.' If from poor Bowen's 
loss you think it proper to oblige me, 1 rest eohfideot 
you will do it. The boy is under obligations to m^ ; 
but he repaid me* by bringing me from the niole pf 
Santa Cruz. I hope you will be able to give me a 
frigate^ to pom^ey the remains, of my carcass to 
England.'' — ^* A left-handed admiral," he said, in a 
subsequent letter, ** will never again he considered 
as useful ; therefore, the sooner I get to a very hum- 
ble cottage the better ; and make room for a sounder 
man to serve the state.'^ His first letter to Lady 
Nelson was written under the same opinion, but in 
a more cheerful strain. . " Jt was the chance of war," 
said he, "^aud I have great reason to be thankful: 
and I know it/will add much to your pleasure to find 
that Josiah, under God's- providence, was principsUly 
instrumental iii saving my life. I shall not be sui*- 
prised if I am neglected and forgotten.; probably I 
shall no longer be considered as useful ; however, I 
shall feel rich if I continue to enjoy your afi^ction. 
I beg neither you nor my father will think much of 
this mishap : — my mind has long been made up to 
such an event." , 

Hrs son-i|i-Iaw, according to his wish, waa imme- 
diately promoted ; and honours enough to heal his 
wounded spirit awaited him^ in England. Letters 
were addressed to him by the first lord of the Admi- 
radty, and by his steady friend, the Duk^ of Cla- 
rence, to congratulate him on his return, covered as 
he was with glory. He assured the duke,! in his le- 
ply,' that not a scrap of that ardour,, with which he 
had hitherto served his king, had been shot away. 
The freedom of the cities of Bristol andX-Qodpn 
were transmitted to him : he was invested with^ti^e 
Older of Hie Bath ; a»d neceiyed a pension of ^ioOO 

1797.] UFs OF TSEuaonf. 121 

a year. The memorial which, as a matter of form* 
he was called upon to present on this occasion, ex- 
hibited an extraordinary catalogue of services per- 
formed during the war. It stated, that he had been 
in four actions with the fleets of the enemy, and in 
three actions with boats employed in cutting out of 
harbour, in destroying vessels, and in taking three 
towns : he had served on shore with the a^my four 
monthft, and connmanded the batteries at the sieges 
of Bastia and Calvi : he had assisted at the capture 
of seven sail of the line, six frigates, four corvettes, 
and eleven privateers: taken and destroyed near 
fifty sail of merchant vessels ; and actually been en- 
gaged against the enemy upwards of a hundred and 
twenty times ; in which service he had lost his right 
eye and right arm, and been severely wounded and 
bruised in his body. 

His sufferings from the lost limb were long and 
painful. A nerve had been taken up in one of the 
ligatures at the time of the operation ; and the liga- 
ture, according to the practice of the French sur- 
geons, was of silk, instead of Mraxed thread : this 
produced a constant irritation and discharge; and 
the ends of the ligature being pulled every day, in 
hopes of bringing it away, occasioned fresh agony. 
He had scarcely any intermission of pain, day or 
night, for three months after his return to England. 
Lady Nelson, at his earnest request, attended the 
dressing his arm, till she had acquired sufficient re- 
solution and skill to dress it herself. One night, 
during this state of suffering, after a day of constant 
pain. Nelson retired early to bed, in hope of enjoy- 
ing some respite by means of laudanum. He was 
at that time lodging in Bond-street ; and the family 
were soon disturbed by a mob knocking loudly and 
violently at the door. The news of Duncan's vic- 
tgfy had been made public, and the house was not 
illuminated. But when the mob were told that 
Admiral Nelson lay there in bed, badly wounded, 


1^2 JtlFE OF NELSON. []7d7« 

the foremost of them made answer; "You shall 
hear no more from us to-night:" and, in fact, tlie 
feeling of respect and sympathy was communicated 
from one to another wiUi such e£fect, that, under 
the confusion of such a night, the house was not 
molested again. 

About the end of November, after a night of 
sound sleep, he found the arm nearly jfree from 
pain: the surgeon was immediately sent for to 
examine it ; and the ligature came away with the 
slightest touch. From that time it began to heal. 
As soon as he thought his health estabiished, he 
sent the following form of thanksgiving to the 
minister of Sfi George's, Hanover Square : — "An 
officer desires to return thanks to Almighty God 
for his perfect recovery from a severe wound, and 
also for the many mercies bestowed on him." 

Not having been in England till now, since, her 
lost his eye, he went to receive a year's pay, a» 
smart money ; but could not obtain payment, be- 
cause he had neglected to bring a certificate from 
a surgeon, that the sight was actually destroyed. 
A little irritated that this form should be insisted 
upon, because, though the fact was not apparent, he 
thought it was sufficiently notorious, he procured a 
certificate, at the same time for the loss of his arm ; 
saying, they might just as well doubt one as the 
other. This put him in good-humour with himself, 
and with the clerk who had oflfended him. On his 
return to the office, the clerk finding it was only the, 
annual pay of a captain, observed, he thought it had 
been more. " Oh !" replied Nelson, "this is only 
for an eyfe. In a few days I shall come for aa arm ; 
and in a little time longer, God knows,' most pro- 
bably for a leg." Accordingly, he soon afterward 
went ; and with perfect good-humour exhibited the 
certificate of the loss of his arm. 

1798.] LIFE OF NELSON 1*^ 


MUen rnoint Earl St. Vtneent in the Vatiguardr^SaiU in Vurtuit 
of Uu Frewdi to Rsfypt—Retwmt U Sieiljfj and taiU again *st E^fft 
—BattU of the Jfile. 

. Eablt in the year 1798, Sir Horatio Nelson 
hoisted his flag in the Vanguard, and was ordered 
to rejoin Earl St. Vincent. Upon his departure, his 
father addressed him with that affectionate solemnity 
by which all hiis letters were distinguished. "I 
trust in the Lord," said he, " that he will prosper 
your going out and your coming in. I earnestly 
desired once more to see you, and that wish has 
been heard. If I should presume to say, 1 hope to 
see you again, the question would be readily asked, 
How old art thou 1 Fale ! vale! Damine, vale /" It 
is siaid, that a gloomy foreboding hung on the spirits 
of Lady Nelson at their parting. This could have 
arisen only from the dread of losing him by the 
chance of war. Any apprehension of losing his 
affections could hardly have existed; for all his 
correspondence to this time shows that he thought 
himself happy in his marriage; and his private cha- 
racter had hitherto been as spotless as his public 
condnot. One of the last things he said to her was, 
that his own ambition was satisfied, but that he 
went to raise her to that rank in which he had long 
wished to see her. 

Immediately on his rejoining the fleet, he was 
despatched to the Mediterranean, with a small 
squadron, in order to ascertain, if possible, the ob- 
ject of the great expedition which at that time was 
fitting out, under Buonaparte, at Toulon. The de- 
feat of this armament, whatever might be its des- 

124 UFB OF NELSOir. [1798* 

tination, was deemed by the British g-oremment an 
object paramount to every other; and Earl St, Vin* 
cent was directed, if he thougrht it necessary, to 
take his whole force into the Mediterranean, to re- 
linquish, for thjat purpose, the blockade of the 
Spanish fleet, as a thing of inferior moment : but if 
he should deem a detachment sufficient, '' I think it 
almost unnecessary ,'* said the first lord of the Ad- 
miralty, in his secret instructions, " to sugjo^st to 
you the propriety of putting it under Sir Horatio 
Nelson." It is to the honour of Earl St, Vincent, 
that he had already made the same choice. This 
appointment to a service in which so .much honour 
might be acquired, gave great ofTenc^ to the senior 
^admirals of the fleet. Sir William Parker, who was 
a very excellent officer, and as gallant a man as.anjr 
in the navy, and Sir John Orde, who on all occa- 
sions of service had acquitted himself with great 
honour, each wrote to Lord Spencer, complaining 
that so marked a preference should have been given 
to a junior of the same fleet. This resentment is 
w^hat mast men in a like case would feel ; and if the 
preference thus given to Nelson had not originated 
in a clear perception that (as his friend Collingwood 
said of him a little while before) his spirit was equal 
to all undertakings, and his resources fitted to all 
occasions, an injustice would have been done to 
them by his appointment. But if the services were 
conducted with undeviating respect to seniority, the 
naval and military character would soon be brought 
<iown to the dead level of mediocrity. 

The armament at Toulon consisted of thirteen 
fiihips of the line, seven forty-gun frigates, with 
t^iventy-four smaller vessels of war, and nearlv two 
liundred transports. Mr. Udney, our consul at Leg* 
liorn, was the first person who procured certainia. 
celligence of the enemy's design agrainst Malta ; and 
from his own sagacity foresaw that Egypt must be 
tlxeir after-object. Nelson sailed from Gibraitsff on 

1798.] ZilTE OF NSL80N IM6 

the 9th of May, with the Vanguard, Orion, and Alex- 
ander, seventy #four8 ; the Caroline, Flora, Emerald, 
and Terpsichore, frigates ; and the Bonne Citoyenne 
sloop of war ; to watch this formidable armament. 
On the 19th, when they were in the Gulf of Lyons, a 
gale came on from the N. W. It moderated so 
miich on the 20th, as to enable* them to get their top- 
gallant-masts and yards aloft. After dark, it again 
began to blow strodg: but the ships had been pre- 
pared for a gale, and therefore Nelson's mind was 
easy. Shortly after midnight, however, his main-top- 
mast went over the side, and the mizen-topmast soon 
iiterward. The night was so tempestuous, that it 
was impossible for any signal either to be seen or 
heard ; and Nelson determined as soon as it should 
be daybreak,' to wear, and scud before the gale : but 
at half-past three the foremast went in three pieces, 
and the bowsprit was found to be sprung in three 
places'. When day broke, they succeeded in wear- 
mgthe ship with a remnant of the spritsail: this 
was hardly to have been expected : the ; Vanguard 
was at that time twenty-five leagiies south of the 
islands of Hieres, with her head lying to the N. E., 
and if she had ^not wofe, the ship must have drifted 
to Corsica. Capt* Ball,, in the Alexander, took her 
in tow, to carry her into the Sardinian harbour of 
St. Pietro. Nelson, apprehensive that this attempt 
might endanger both vessels, ordered him to cast 
ofi*: but that excellent officer,'with a spirit like his 
commander's, replied, he was confident he could 
aave the Vanguard, and by. God's help he would do 
it. There bad been a previous coolness between 
these great men ; but from this time Nelson became 
i'uUy sensible of the extraordinary talents of Captain 
Ball, and a sincere friendship subsisted between 
ihem during the refoainder of their lives. " I ought 
not," said the admiral, writings to his wife, — ^**I 
•ought not to call what has happened to the Van- 
f^ard by the cold name of accident: I believe 

L 2. 

126 mm of msLioK. [1798. 

firmly it was the Almighty's ^odness, to check my 
consummate vanity. 1 hope it has made roe a better 
officer, as I feel confident it has made me a better 
man. Figure to yourself, on Sunday evening, at 
sunset, a vain mfan walking in his cabin, with a 
squadron around him, who looked up to their chief to 
lead them to glory, and in whon; their chief placed 
the firmest reliance that the proudest ships of equal 
numbers belonging to France would have -lowered 
their flags ; — figure to yourself, on Monday morning, 
whea the sun rose, this proud man, his ship dis- 
masted, his fleet dispersed, and himself in such dis- 
tress, that the meanest frigate out of France would 
have been an tinwelcome guest." • Nelson had, in- 
deed, more reason to refuse the cold name of 
dent to this tempest, than he was then aware of; 
for on that very day, tfhe French fliset sailed from 
Toulon, and must have passed within a few leagues 
of his little squadron, which was thus preserved by 
the thick weather that came on. 

The British government at this time, with a be* 
coming spirit, gave orders, that any port in the Me- 
diterranean should be considered as hostile, where 
the governor, or chief magistrate, should refuse to 
let our ships of war procure supnlies of provisions, 
or -of any article Which they mignt require. 

In these orders the ports of Sardinia were ex» 
cepted. The continental possessions of the king of 
Sardinia were at this time completely at the mercy 
of the French, and that prince wag now discovering^ 
when too late, that the terms to which he had con* 
sented, for the purpose of escaping immediate dan* 
ger, necessarily involved the loss of the dominions 
which they were intended fo preserve. . The citadel 
of Turin was now occupied by French troops ; and 
his wretched court feared to aflbrd the common 
rights of Immanity to British ships, lest it should 
give the French occasion to seize on the remainder 
of his dominions : — a measure for which, it was ceiw 

n9S.| jural OW KELSOH. 1127 

tain they would soon n»ake a pretext, if they did 
not&idone. Nelson was informed that he could 
Bot be permitted to enter the port of St. Pietro. 
Regardless of this interdict, which, under his cir- 
cumstances, it would have been an act of suicidal 
folly to have reg^arded, he anchored in the harbour ; 
and by the exertions of Sir James Saumarez, Capt. 
Ball, and Capt. B^rry, the Vanguard was refitted in 
four days; months woiild have been empl03'ed in 
refitting her in England. Nelson, with that proper 
sense of merit, wherever it was found, which pro,ved 
atf once the goodness and the greatness of his cha^ 
racter, especially recommended to Earl St. Vincent 
the carpenter of the Alexander^ under whose direc- 
tions the ship had been repaired ; stating, that he 
was an ojd and faithful servant of the crown, who 
had been nearly thirty years a warrant carpenter; 
and begging most earnestly that the commander-in- 
chief would .recommehd him to the particular no- 
tice of the board, of Admiralty. He did not leave 
the harbour without expressing his sense of the 
treatment which he had received there, in a letter to 
the Viceroy of Sardinia, — "Sir," it said,, "having, 
by a gale of wind, sustained some trifiing damages, 
I anchored a small part of his majesty's fleet under 
my orders off this island, and was surprised to hear, 
by an offioer sent by the governor, that admittance 
wajs to be refused to; the fiag. of his Britannic ma- 
^sty into this port. When I reflect that ray most 
gracious sovereign is the oldest, I believe, and cer- 
tainly the most faithful ally which the king of 
Sardinia ever had, I could feel the sorrpw which it 
must have been to his majesty to have given such 
an order ; and also for your excellency, who had to 
direct its- execution. I cannot but look at the Afri- 
can shore, wherQ the followers of Mahomet are per* 
forming the part of the good Samaritan, which 1 
look for in vain at St. Peter's, where it is said the 
Christian religion is professed." 

128 LIFE OF NSUOK. [1798 

The delay which was thus occasioned was useful 
to him in many respects : it enabled him to complete 
his supply of water, and to receive a reinforcement, 
which Earl St. Vincent, being himself reinforced 
from England, was enabled to send him. It con- 
sisted of the best ships of his fleet; the Cnlloden, 
seventy-four, Captain T. Trowbridge ; Goliath, se- 
venty-four, Capt. T. Foley ; .Minotaur, seventy-four, 
Capt. T. Louis ; Defence, seventy-four, Capt. John 
Peyton ; Bellerophon, seventy-four, Capt. H. D. E* 
Darby.; Majestic, seventy-four,* Capt. G. B. West- 
cott; Zealous, seventy-four, Capt. S. Hood; Swift- 
sure, seventy-four, Capt. B. Hallowell; Theseus, 
seyenty-four, Capt. R. W. Miller; Audacious, se- 
venty-four, Capt. Davidge Gould. The Leander, 
fifty, Capt.T. B. Thonipson, was afterward added 
These ships were made ready for the 'service as 
soon as Earl St. Vincent received advice from Eng- 
land that he was to be reinforced. As soon as the 
reinforcement was seen from the- mast-head of the 
admiral's Ship, off Cadiz Bay, signal was immediately 
made to Capt. Trowbridge to put to sea ; and he 
was out of sight before the ships from home oast 
anchor in the British station. Trowbridge took 
with him no instructions to Nelson as to the course 
hjd was to steer, nor any certain account of the, ene- 
my's destination : every thing was left to his own 
judgment.' Unfortunately, the frigates had been 
separated from him in the tempest, and had not been 
able to rejoin : ^hey sought him unsuccessfully in 
the Bay of Naples, where they obtained no tidings 
of his course ; and he sailed without them. 

The first news of the enemy's armament was, that 
it had surprised Malta. Nelson formed a plan for 
attacking it while at anchor at Gozo ; but on the 1^ 
of June, intelligence reached him that the French 
had left that island on the 16th, the day after their 
arrival. It was clear that their destination was 
eastward — ^h^ thought for Egypt — and for Egypt, 

1798.] I.IFB OF HEISOIT. J^ 

therefore, he made all sail. Had the frigfates been 
with him he could scarcely have failed to gain ib- 
formation of the enemy : for want of them he only 
spoke three vessels on the way; two came from 
Alexandria, one from the Archipelago ; and neither 
of them had seen any thing of the French. He ar- 
rived off Aleximdria on the 28th, and the. enemy 
were not there, neither was there any account of 
them ; but the governor was endeavouring to put the 
city in a state of defence, having, received advice 
from Leghorn, that the French expedition was in* 
tended against ^gypt, after it had taken Malta. 
Nelson then shaped his course to the northward, for 
Caramania, and steered from thence along the 
southern side of Candia, carrying a priess of sail, 
both night and day, with a contrary wind. It would 
have been his delight, he said, to have tried Buona- 
narte on a wind.. It would have been the delight of 
Europe, too, and the blessing, of the world, if that 
fleet had been overtaken with its general on board. 
But of the myriads and millions of human beings 
who would have been preserved by that day's vic- 
tory, there is not one to whom such essential benefit 
would have resulted, as to Buonaparte himself. It 
would have spared him his defeat at Acre— his only 
disgrace; for to have been defeated by Nelson upon 
the sead would not have been disgraceful : it would 
have spared him all his after-enormities. Hitherto 
iiis career had been glorious ; the baneful principles 
of his heart had never yet passed his lips : history 
would have represented him as a soldier of fortune, 
who had faithfully served the cause in which he en- 
gaged ; and whose career had been distinguished 
by a series of successes, unexampled in modem 
times. A romantic obscurity would have hung over 
the expedition to Egypt, and he would have es- 
caped the perpetration of those crimes which have 
incarnadined his soul with a deeper die than that of 
the purple for which he committed tbem ; — ^those 

130 LIFE OF KlSLSON. [tT98. 


acts of perfidy, midnight murder, u8arpation« and 
remorselesjs tyranny, which have consigned his 
name to universal execration, now and for ever. 

Conceiving that when an officer is not successfiil 
in his plans it is absolutely necessary that he should 
explain the motives upon which they were founded^ 
Nelson wrote at this time an account and vindica- 
tion of his conduct for having carried the fleet to 
Egypt. The objection which he anticipated was, 
that he ought not to hhve made so long a voyage 
without more certain information. " My answer," 
said he, *Ms ready^ — Who was I to get it fromt 
The- governments of Naples and Sicily either knew 
not, or chose to keep me in ignorance. Was I to 
wait patiently until I heard certain accounts 1 If 
Egypt were their object, before I could hear of them 
they would have been in India. To do nothing was 
disgraceful; therefore I made use of my under- 
standing. I am before your lordships* judefment; 
and if, under all circumstances, it is decided that I 
am wrong, I ought, for the sake of Dur country, to 
be superseded ; for at this moment, when I know 
the French are not in Alexandria, I hold the same 
opinion as off Cape Passaro, — that, under all cir- 
cumstances, I was right in steering for Alexandria : 
and by that opinion I must stand or fall." Captam 
Ball, to whom he showed this paper, told him, he 
should recommend a friend never to begin a defence 
of his conduct before he was accused of error: he 
might give the fullest reasons for what he had done, 
expressed in such terms as would evince that he 
had acted fVom the strongest conviction of being 
right ; and of course he mi;st expect that the publte 
would view it in the same light. Capt. Ball judged 
rightly of the public, whose first impulses, though 
from want of sufficient information they must fre- 
quently be erroneous, £^re generally founded upon 
just feelings. But the public are easily misled, and 
aere are always persons ready to mislead them. 

1796.] I.1FE OP KELSON. 131 

Nelson had not yet attained that fame which com* 
pels enyy to be silent; and when it was known in 
jSngland that he had returned after an unsuccessful 
pursuit, it was said that he deserved impeachment ; 
and Eari St. Vincent was severely censured for 
having sent so young* an officer upon so important a 

Baffled in his pursuit, he returned to Sicily. The 
Neapolitan ministry had determined to give his 
squadron no assistance, being resolved to do nothing 
which could possibly endanger their peace with the 
French directory: by means, however, of Lady 
Hamilton's influence at court, he procured secret 
orders to the Sicilian governors ; and, under those 
orders, obtained every thing which he wanted at 
Syracuse; — a timely supply; without which, he 
always said, he could . not have recommenced his 
pursuit with any hope of success. ** It is an old 
saying,*' said he, in his letter, '^ that the Devil's chil- 
dren have the Devil's luck. I cannot to this moment 
learn, beyond vague conjuncture, where the French 
fleet are gone to : and having gone a round of six 
hundred leagues, at this season of the year, with an 
expedition incredible, here I am, as ignorant of the 
situation of the enemy as I was twenty-seven days 
ago. Every moment I have to regret the frigates' 
having left me ; had one-half of them been with 
me, I could not' have wanted information. Should 
the French be so strongly secured in port that I can- 
not get at them, I shall immediately shift my flag 
into some other ship, and send the Vanguard to 
Naples to be refitted; for hardly any person but 
myself would have continued on service so long in 
such a wretched state." Vexed, however, and dis- 
aroointed as he was. Nelson, with the true spirit of 
a hero, was still full of hope. " Thanks to your 
exertions," said he, writing to Sir W. and Lady 
Hamilton, " we Have victualled and watered ; and 
surely watering at the fountain of Arethusa, we must 

132 UVE OF ZfJBLBON. [1798* 

have victory. We shall sail with the first breeze; 

ieind be assured 1 will return either crowned with 
laurel, or covered with cypress." Earl St. Vincent 
he aseured, that if the French were above water, he 
would find them out ; — he still held his opinion that 
they were bound' for Eg^ypt : " but,*' said he, to the 
first lord of the Admiralty, " be they bound to the 
antipodes, your lordship may rely that I will not 
lose a moment in bringing them to action/' * 

On the 25th of July, he sailed frOm Syracuse for 
the Morea. Anxious beyond measure, and irritated 
that the enemy should so long have eluded him, 
the tediousness of the nights made him impatient; 
and the officer of the watch was repeatedly called 
on to let him know the hour, and convince him, 
who measured time by his own eagerness, that it 
was not yet daybreak. Th.e squadron made the 
Gulf of Coron on* the 28th. Trowbridge entered the 
port, and returned with intelligence th^t the French 
had been seen about four weeks befot'e, steering to 
the S. E. from Candia. Nelson. then determined 
immediately to return to Alexandria: and the British 
fleet accordingly, with every sail -set, stood once 
more for the coast of Egypt. On the 1st of August, 
about ten in the morning, they came in sight of- 
Alexandria; the port had been vacant. and solitarv 
when they saw it last : it was now crowded with 
sihips ; and they perceived, with exultation, that the 
tricolour flag was flying upon the walls. At four 
m the afternoon, Capt. Hood, in the Zealous, made 
the signal for the enemy's fleet. For many pre- 
ceding days- Nelson had hardly taken either sleep 
or food : he now ordered his dinner to be served, 
while preparations were making for battle; and 
when his ofiicers rose from table, and went to their 
separrte stations, he said to them, ** Before this time 
to-morrow, I shall have gained a peerage, or West- 
minster Abbey." 

The French, steering direct for Candia, had made 

.t79S.l um flp usimir. 138 

an angulsr psraage for Alexandria ; Trfacreas Nelson* 
in {mrntttt of them, made straif bfe for 4iat place, and 
thus materially shortened the distance. The conw 
parattve smallness of his force made it necessary 
to sail in close order, and it covered a less space 
than it wonld have done if the frigates had been 
\rith him: the weather also was, constantly hazy. 
These oircumstances prevented the English from 
discovering^he enemy on the way to Egypt, though 
it appeared, upon examining the journals of the 
« French officers taken in the action, that the two 
fliBets must actually have crossed on the night of 
the tweniy-second of Juno. During the return to 
Byraeuse, the ebanceij of falling in with them were 

Why Buonaparte,) having effected his landing, 
■hocda not have suffered 'the fleet to return, has 
nevef yet been explained. Thus much is certain, 
that It \^'«s detained by bis -command ; though, with 
his accustomed falsehood, he abcused Admiral 
BrueySf after that officer's death, of having lingered 
on the coast, contrary to orders. The French fleet 
urived at Alexandria on th& Ist of July; and 
Brueysy not being able to enter the port, which time 
and neglec;t had ruined, moored his ships in Aboukir 
.Bay, in a strong and , compact line of battle ; the 
.headmost vessel, according to his own account, 
heiug as close as possible to a shoal on the N. W., 
and the rest of the fleet forming a kind of curve 
aloog the line of deep wa^r, so as not to be turned 
/by any means in the S.W. By Buonaparte^s desire, 
-:he had ottered a reward of 10,000* livres to any 
.pilot of the QOKinlry who would carry^tbe squadron 
ui; bait none conldbe found who would veuture to 
take cbafge of a single ^-vessel drawing more than 
twenty feet. He had therefore made the beet of 
hie sitnsUion, and chosen' tile strongest piosition 
which he coald po«sibly take in an open road. The 
cflsamiseary of the fleet said, they were mooied 


134 im ev HBunir. .[179S. 

in 8ueh a manner as to bid defianee to a fene 
more than double their own. This presumption 
could not then be thought unreasonable. Admiral 
Barrington, when moored in a similar manner off 
St. Lucia, in the year 1778, beat off the Gomte 
d'Estaign in three several attacks, though his force 
was inferior by almost one-thiid to that which 
assailed it. Here, the advantage of numbers, both 
in ships, guns, and men, was in fayour of the 
French. They had thirteen ships o( &ie line and 
four frigates, carrying eleven hundred and ninety* 
six guns, and eleven thousand two hundred and 
thirty men. The English had the same number of 
ships of the line, ana one fifty^gun ship, earr3rin| 
ten hundred and twelve guns, and eight thousand 
and sixty-eight men. The English ships were all 
seventy-fours: the French had three eighty-gun 
ships, and one three-decker of one hundred and 
During the whole pursuit, it had been N^son's 

Eractice, whenever circumstances would perroLt, to 
ave his captains on board the Van^ard^ and 
explain to them his Own ideas of the d Efferent and 
best modes of attack, and such plans a« he proposed 
to execute, on falling in with the enemy, whatever 
their situation might be. There is no poseiUe por- 
tion, it is said, which he did not take into cstlculaition. 
His officers were thus fully acquaiirted with fais 
principles of tactics : and such was his coofideiiee 
m their abililiesj that the only thing deteroaned 
upon, in case they should find the Freirch at anchor, 
was for the ships to form as most convenient for 
their mutual support, and to anehor by the stem. 
*• First gain the victory," he said, *« and then make 
ttie best use of it you can." The moment he per- 
ceived the position > of the Freneh, that ininitive 
genius, with which Nelson was endowed, displayed 
itself; and it instantly struck hiibfi, that ^bore 
there was room for an enemT's 9hip4o swings ^m 

1798.] UVB OF NSLSOH. 136 

was room for one of oura to anchor. The plan 
which he intended to pursue, therefore, was to keep 
entirely on the outer side of the French line, and 
station his ships, as far as he was able, one on the 
outer bow, and another on the outer quarter, of 
each of the enemy's. This plan of doublings on 
the enemy's ships was projected by Lor(l Hood, 
when he designed to attack the French fleet at 
their anchorage in Grouijean Road. Lord Hood 
found it impossible to make the attempt ; but the 
thought was not lost upon Nelson, who acknow- 
ledged himself,. on this occasion, indebted for it to. 
his old and excellent commander. Capt. Berry, 
when he comprehended the scope of the design, 
exclaimed with transport, ** If we succeed, what 
will the world say 1" — **• There is no if in the case," 
replied the admiral: **that we shall succeed is 
certain : who may live to tell the story, is a very 
different question^" 

As the squadron advanced, they were assailed by 
a shower of shot and shells from the batteries on 
the island, and the enemy opened a steady fire from 
the starboard side of their whole line^ within half 
gun-shot distance^ full into the bows of our van- 
ships.. It was received in silence : the men on 
board every ship were employed aloft in furling 
sails, and below in tending the braces, and making 
ready for anchoring: A miserable sight for the 
French ; who, with all their skill, and all their 
courage, and all their advantages of numbers and 
situation, were upon that element, on which, when 
the hour of trial comes, a Frenchman has no hope* 
Admiral Brueys was a brave and able man^ yet the 
indelible character of his country broke out in one 
of his letters, wherein he delivered it as his private 
opinion that the English had missed him, because, 
not being superior in force, they did not think it pru- 
dent to try their strength w^h him. — The moment 
now eome in which he was to be undeceived* 

136 UFS OF HSIMll. [17M. 

A French brig was instrncted to decoy the English, 
by manoeuvring so as to tempt them towards ^ shoal 
lying off the island of Bekier; but Nelson either 
knew the danger, or suspected some deceit; 3tnd 
the lure was unsuccessful. Capt. Foley kd the 
way in the Goliath, out-sailing the Zealous, which 
for some minutes -disputed this post of honour with 
him, He had long conceived that if the enemy 
- were moored in line of battle in with the land, the 
; best plan of attack would be, to lead between them 
* and the shore, because the French guns on that side 
were not likely to be manned, nor even ready for 
action. Intending, therefore, to fix himself on the 
inner bow of the Guerrier, he kept as near the edge 
of the bank as the depth of water would admit ; 
but his anchor hung, and having opened his fire, he 
drifted to the second ship, the ConquerarU, before it 
was clear ; then anchored by the stern, inside of 
her, and in ten minutes shot away her mast. Hood^ 
in the .Zealous, perceiving this, took the station 
which the Goliath intended to ha Vie occupied, and 
totally disabled the Guerrier in twelve minutes* 
The third ship which doubled the enemy's van was 
the Orion, Sir J. Saumarez ; she passed to windward 
of the Zealous, and opened her larboard guns as 
long as they bore on the Guerrier ; then passing 
inside the Goliath, sunk a frigate which annoyed 
her, hauled round towards the French line, and 
anchoring inside, between the fifth and biJcth 
ships from the Gtiemer, took her station on 
the larboard bow of the Franklin^ and the quarter 
of the Peuph Sou/veraint receiving and retaming the 
fire of both. The sun was now nearly down« The 
Audacious, Capt. Gould, pouring a heavy fire into 
the Guerrier and the Conquerant^ fixed herself on 
the larboard bow of the latter; and when that 
ship struck, passed on to the Peuple Sowoeram. 
The Theseus, Capt. Mtjller, followed,-brought down 
the Guerrier'i remaming main and BUBen^maMt 

1798.] LIFE OF MELSON. 137 

then an^ored Inside of the Spartiate, the third in 
the French line. 

While these aavanced ships doubled the French 
line, the Vanguard was the first that anchored on 
the outer side of the enemy, within half-pistol-shot 
of their third ship, the Spartiate, Nelson had six 
colours flying in different parts of his rigging, lest 
they shoidd be shot away; — ^that they should be 
struck, no British admiral considers as a possibility. 
He veered half a cable, and instantly opened a 
tremendous fire; under cover of which the other 
foQr ships of his division, the Minotaur, Bellero- 
phonv Defence, and Majestic, sailed on ahead of the 
admiral. In a few minutes, every man stationed at 
the first six guns in the fore part of the Vanguard's 
deck wa» killed or wounded: — these guns were 
three times cleared. Capt. Louis, in the Minotaur, 
anchored next ahead, and took off the fire of the 
jd^tft/on, the fourth in the enemy's line. The 
Bellerophon, Capt. Darby, passed ahead,- and dropped 
her stem anchor on the starboard bow of the Orient^ 
seventh in the line, Brueya.'s own ship, of one hundred 
and twenty guns, whose difference of force was in 
proportion of more than seven to three, and whose 
weight of bidl, from the lower deck alone, exceeded 
that from the whole broadside of the Bellerophon. 
Capt. Pe3rton, in the Defence, took his station 
ahead of the Minotaur, and engaged the Franklin^ 
the sixth in the line ; by which judicious movement 
the British line remained unbroken. The Majestic, 
Capt. Westcot, got entangled with the main rigging 
of one of the French ships astern of the OrienL, 
and suffered dreadfully from that three-decker's 
fire: but she swung clear, and closely engaging the 
Hturtux, the ninth ship on the starboard bow, 
received also the fire of the Tonnant, which was the 
eighth in the line. The other four ships of the 
British squadron, having be||i detached previous to 
Oe diaeoTery of the French^ were at a considerable 


138 UB» OP jmuon. [i^M 

distance when the action began. It eomttenced at 
half after six ; about seven, night closed, and theie 
was no other light than that from the fire of the 
contending fleets. 

Trowbridge, iq the Oulloden^ Ihen foreoiost of 
the remaining ships, was two leagues astera. He 
came on sounding, as the others had done; as he 
advanced, the increasing darkness increased the 
difficulty of the navigation ; and suddenly^ after 
having found eleven fathoms water, before the lead 
could be hove again,'' he was fast agitnnid ; nor 
could all his own exertions, joined to those of the 
Leander and the Mutine brig, which came to ijm 
assistance, get him off in tinjie. to bear a part in the 
action. His ship, however, served, as a beacon to 
the Alexander and Swiftsure, which . would elee, 
from the course which they were holding, havB gone 
considerably farther on the reef, and must ineriiafoly 
have been lost. These ships entered the bay^ Mid 
took their stations, in the daricness, in a naanner 
still spoken of with admiration by all who remom* 
bered it. Capt. Hallowell, in the Swiftsufe, as he 
was bearing down, fell ip'with what eeetned to be a 
strange sail : Nelson had directed his ships 4)0-faot8t 
four lights horizontally at the mizen-petk, as soon 
as it became dark ; ana this vessel had mi such dis- 
tinction. Hallowel, however, with great judguieni, 
ordered his men not to fire : if she was an enemy, 
he said, she was in too disabled a state to escape; 
but, from her sails being loose, and the way in 
which her head was, it was probable she niight be 
an English ship. It was the Bellerophon, over- 
powered by the hugeOrfeit/: her lights had gone 
overboard, nearly two hundred of her crew were 
killed or wounde^, all her masts and cables had 
been shot away ; and she was drifting out of the 
line, towards the lee side of the bay. Her statioB, 
at this important timCj was occupied by the $wift« 
sure, whicn opened a steady fire on the quarter •£ 

1798.] uwm OP hblson. 13d 

tile FroMiMin and the bows of the French admiral. 
At the same instant, Capt. Ball, with the Alexander, 
passed under his stern, and anchored within-side 
on his larboard quarter, raking him, and keeping i^ 
a severe fire of musketry upon his decks. The 
kist ship which arrived to complete the destruction 
of the enemy ;«^as the Leander. Capt. Thompson4 
finding that nothing could be done that night to get 
off the CuUoden, advanced with the intention of an- 
ehoring athwart-hawse of the Orient The Franklin 
was so near her ahead, that there was not room fqx 
him to pass clear of the two ; he therefore took his 
station athwart-hawse of the latter, in such a posi- 
tion as to rake both. 

The first two ships of the French line had been 
dismasted within a quarter of an hour .after the 
eommencement of the action ; and the others had 
in that time suffered so severely, that victory was 
alr^idy certain* The third, fourth, and fifth were 
taken possession oif at half past eight. Meantime^ 
Nelison received a severe wound on the head from a 
piece of langridge shot, Capt. Berry caught him 
in his arms as he was falling. The great effusion 
of blood, occasioned an apprehension that the wound 
was mortal: Nelson himself thought so: a large 
flap of the skin of the forehead, cut from the bone» 
had iallen over one eye: and the other being blind. 
lie was in total darkness. When he was carried 
down, the surgeon, — in the midst of a scene 
scarcely .to be conceived by those who have never 
seen a cockpit in time of action, and the heroism 
which is displayed amid its horrors, — with a natural 
-and pardonal^e eagerness, quitted the poor fellow 
then under his hands, that he might instantly attend 
the admiral. " No T said Nelson, *' I will take my 
turn with my brave fellows."^ Nor would he suffer 
his <own wound-to be examined till every man who 
nad been previously wouncted was properly attended 
40. foully belkving &at me wound was mortal^ 

140 LXFB OF NSL0QN« [1798r 

and that he was ahout to die, as he had ever desiredy 
in battle and in victory, he ealled the chaplain, and 
desired him to deliver what he supposed to be his 
dyings remembrance to Lady Nelson ; he then sent 
for Capt. Louis ^n board from the Minotaur, that 
he migfht thank him personally for the great assist- 
ance which he had rendered to the Vanguard ; and 
ever mindful of those who deserved to be his 
friends, appointed Capt. Hardy from the brig to the 
command of his own ship, Capt. Berry having to go 
home with the newa of the victory. When the 
surgeon came in due time to examine his wound 
(for it was in vain to entreat him to let it be ex- 
amined sooner), the most anxious silence prevailed ; 
and the joy of the wounded men, and of the whole 
crew, when they heard that the hurt was merely 
superficial, gave Nelson deeper pleasure, than the 
unexpected assurance that his life was in no danger* 
The surgeon requested, and as far as he could, 
ordered him to remain quiet : but Nelson could not 
rest. He called for his secretary, Mr. Campbell, to 
write the despatches, Campbell had himself been 
wounded ; and was so affected at the blind and suf- 
fering state of the admiral, that he was unable to 
write. The chaplain was then sent for ; but, before 
he came. Nelson, with his characteristic eagerness, 
took the pen, and contrived to trace a few words, 
marking his devout sense of the success which had 
already been obtained. He was now left alone; 
when suddenly a cry was heard on the deck, that 
the Orient was on fire. In the confusion, he found 
his way up, unassisted and unnoticed ; and, to the 
astonishment of every one, appeared on the quarter^ 
deck, where he immediately gave order that boats 
should be sent to the relief of the enemy. 

It was soon after nine that the fire on board the 
Orient broke out. Brueys was dead : he had re- 
ceived three wounds, yet would not leave iiis post- 
a fourth cut hun almost in two He desired not to 

1798.] UFB OF MEI0OK. 141 

be carried below, but to be left to die upcm deck. 
The fl»mes soon' mastered his ship. Her sides had 
just been painted ; and the oil-jars, and paint-bucket, 
were l3rin9 on the poop. By the prodigious light 
of this conflagration, the situation of the two fleets 
could now be perceived, the colours of both being 
dearly distinguishable. About ten o'clock the ship 
blew up, with a shock which was felt to the very 
bottom of every vessel. Many of her oflicers and 
men jumped overboard, some clinging to the spars 
and pieces of wreck with which the sea was strewn, 
others swimming to escape, from the destruction 
which they momently dreaded. Some were picked 
up by our boats; and some even in the heat and 
fury of the action were dragged into the lower 
ports of the nearest British ships by the British 
sailors. The greater part of her crew, however, 
stood the danger till the last, and continued to Are 
from the lower deck. This tremendous explosion 
was followed by a silence not less awful : the firing 
immediately ceased on both sides; and the flrst 
sound which broke the silence, was the dash of her 
shattered masts and yards, falling into the water 
from the vast height to which they had been ex- 
ploded. It is upon record, that a battle between 
two armies was once broken off by an earthquake : 
-HBUch an event would be felt like a miracle ; but 
no incident in war, produced by human means, has 
ever equalled the sublimity of this co-instantaneous 
pause, and all its circumstances. 

About seventy of the Orient $ crew were saved by 
the English boats. Among the many hundreds who 
perished, were the commodore, Casa-Bianca, and 
nis son, a brave boy, only ten years old. They 
were seen floating on a shattered mast when the 
ship blew up. She had money on board (the 
plunder of Malta) to the amount of £600,000 
sterling. The masses of burning wreck, which 
wei« scattered by the explosion, excited for some 

142 LIFE OF KELSON. [1798. 

moments apprehensions in the English which they 
had never felt from any other danger. Two largf» 
pieces fell into the main and fore- tops of the Swift- 
sure without injuring any person^ A port fire also 
fell into the main-royal of the Alexander : the Are 
which it occasioned was speedily extinguished. 
Capt. Ball had provided, as far as hun>an foresight 
could provide, against any such danger. All the 
shrouds and sails of his siiip, not absolutely neces- 
sary for its immediate management, were thoroughly 
wetted, and-so rolled up, that they were as hard and 
as little inflammable as so many solid cylinders. / 

The firing recommenced with the ships to leeward 

of the centre, and continued till about three. At 

daybreak, the GuUla/ume TeU, and the G&nireux the 

two rear ships of the enemy, were the only French 

ships of the line which had their colours flying: 

they cut their cables in the forenoon, not having 

been engaged, and stood out to sea, and two frigates 

with them. The Zealous pursued ; but as thei« was 

no other ship in a condition to support Capt. Hood, 

he was recalled. It was generally believed by the 

ofiicers, that if Nelson had not been wounded, not 

one of these ships could have escaped: the four 

certainly could not, if the Culloden had got into 

action : and if the frigates belonging to the aqua^- 

dron had been present, not one of the enemy's fleet 

-would have left Aboukir Biy. These ^our vessels, 

however, were all that escaped; and the victory 

^as the most complete and glorious in the annals 

of naval history. ". Victoiy,'* said Nelson, " is not 

a name strong enough for such a scene ;" he called 

it a conquest. Of thirteen sail of the line nine were 

taken and two burned : of the four frigates, one was 

0unk, another, the Artemise, was burned in a vU- 

lanous manher by her captain, M. Estandlet, who. 

liaving fired a broadside at the Theseus, strucik his 

colours, thp set fire to the ship, and escaped with 

^oflt oi his crew to shore. The British loss, in 

1798.] UFB OF KELSON. 143 

killed and woanded, amounted to eight hundred and 
uinety«five. Westeott was the only captain who 
fell ; three thousand one hundred and five of the 
French, including the wounded, were sent oh shore 
by carte), and Aye thousand two hundred and twenty- 
five perished. 

As soon as the conquest was completed, Nelson 
sent orders through the fleet, to return thanksgiving 
in every ship for the victory with which Almighty 
God had blessed his majesty's arms. The French 
at Rosetta, who with miserable fear beheld the 
engagement, were at a loss to understand the still- 
ness of the fleet during the performance of this 
solemn duty ; but it seemed to affect many of the 
prisoners, officers as well as men : and graceless 
and godless as the officers were, some of them 
remarked, that it was no wonder such order was 
preserved in the British navy, when the minds of 
our men could be impressed with such sentiments 
after so great a victory, and at a moment of such 
confusion. — The French at Rosetta, seeing their 
four ships' sail oat of the bay unmolested, endea- 
Toured to persuade themselves that they were in 
possession of. the piece of battle. But it was in 
vain thus to attempt, against their own secret and 
certain conviction, to deceive themselves : and even 
if they could have succeeded in this, the bonfires 
which the Arabs kindled along the whole coast, and 
aver the country, for three following nights, would 
90on have undeceived them. Thousands of Arabs 
and Egyptians lined the shore, and covered the 
faon8e*-tops during the action, rejoicing in the destruc- 
tion which bad overtaken their invaders. Long 
^er the battle,, innumerable bodies were seen 
floating about the bay, in spite of all the exertions 
which were made to sink them, as well from fear 
of pestilence, as from the loathing and horror which 
the si^t occasioned. Great numbers were cast up 
upon the Isle of Bekier (Nelson's Island, as it haa 

144 mv or hslmb. , [^^99. 

since been called), and onr satton raised moimds 
of sand over them. Even after an interval of nearly 
three years Dr. Clarke saw them, and assisted in 
interring heaps of human bodies, which, having been 
thrown up by the sea, where there were no jackals 
to devour them, presented a sight loathsome to 
humanity. The shore, for an iextent of four leagues, 
was covered with wreck; and the Arabs found 
employment for many days in burning on the beach 
the fragments which were cast up; for the sake of 
the iron.* Part of the OrtefU'« mainmast was 
picked up by the Swiilsur^. Capt. Hallowell 
ordered his carpenter to make a coffin of it; the 
iron, as well as wood, was taken from the wreck of 
the same ship: it was finished as well and hand- 
somely as the workman's skill and malerials would 
permit ; and Hallowell then sent it to the admiral 
with the following letter. — ^* Sir, I have taken the 
liberty of presenting you a coffin made from the 
mainmast of POrient, that when you have finished 
your military career in this world, y<m BE»y be 
buried in one of your trophies. But that that period 
may be far distant, is the earnest wish of yowr 
sincere friend, Benjamin Ha!lowell."— An oflfermg 
so strange, and yet so suited to the occasion, was 
received by Nelson in the spirit with which it was 
sent. As if he felt it good for him, noW that he was 
at the summit of his wishes, to have death before 
his eyes, he ordered the coffin to be placed ninigbt 
in his cabin. Such a piece of Aimitvre, howevar, 
was more suitable to his own feelings than to tiMte 
of his guests and attendants; and an old-faTomrite 
servant entreated him so eamesUy to left it be 
removed, that at length he consented to have the 

* During hia long Bubeequent cruise off Alexandria, Capt'fYanoirdl 
kept hii crew emplofjred and amused in fishing up ifce aniiS ancbaifl in 
Hm road, wMeh, with the iron found on the oiaota, wm «n«rwiird wM 
m abodes, itnd the produce apjiUed to poreliaae Vegetables and umt» 
toi the ship's ecTmpany. 

(^9>8»]| UFE OF I9£IiS(»V* i4S 

coffin carried ^low; but he g'ave strict orders that 
it should be safely stowed, and reserved for the 
purpose for which its brave and worthy donor had 
desigfned it. 

The victory was complete ; but Nelson could not 
pursue it as he would have done, for want of means. 
Had he been provided with small craft, nothing 
could have prevented the destruction of tlie store- 
ships arid transpolVts in the port of Alexandria : four 
bomb- vessels would at that time have burned the 
whole' in a few hours. "Were I to die this 
moment," sa^d he, in his despatches to the Admiralty, 
** want of Jhgdtes' would be found stamped on my 
heart ! No words of mine can express what I have 
QUffered, and am suffering, for want of them." He 
had also to bear up against grfeat bodily suffering : 
the blow had so shaken his head, that from its con- 
stant and violent aching, and the perpetuial sicknc^ss 
which ac'companied the pain, he C(oul I scarcely per- 
suade himself that the skull was not fractured. Had 
it not been for Trowbridge^ Ball, Hood, and Hallo- 
Well, he declared that he should have sunk under 
the. fatigue of refitting the squadron. *^ All," he said, 
** bad done well; but these officers were his sup- 
porters." But, ^amid his sufferings and exertions. 
Nelson could yet think of all the consequences of 
his victory; ^nd that no advantage from it might be 
lost, he despatched ' an officer over land to India, 
Ivith letters to the governor of Bombay, informing 
hrm of the arrival of the French in Egypt, the totiit 
destruction of their fleet, and jthe consequent pre- 
feervatioh'of India from any attempt against it on the 
part of this forrflidable armament. "He knew th'4t 
Bombay," he said, ** was their first oBject, if they 
fcould get there; but he trusted that' Almighty God 
would overthrow in Egi/pt these pests of the human 
race. Buonaparte had never yet had to contend 
yirith an English officer, and he would endeavour to 
tnake him respect us." This despatch he sent upon 


146 LIFE OF NELSON* [1798*' 

his own responsibilityt with letters of credit upoa 
the East India Company, addressed to the British 
consuls, vice-consuls, and merchants on his route; 
Nelson saying, '* that if he had done wrong, he 
hoped the bills would be paid, and he would repay 
the Company : for, as an Englishman, he should be 
proud that it had been in his power to put our settle* 
ments on their guard.^ The information which by 
this means reached India was of great importance. 
Orders had just been received for defensive prepare* 
tions, upon a scale proportionate to the apprehended 
danger; and the .extraordinary expenses Which 
would otherwise Jiave been incurred, Were vthus 

.Nelson was now at the summit of glory: con 
gratulations, rewards, and honours were showered 
upon him by aU the states, and princes, and powers 
to whom his victory gave a respite. The first com- 
munication of this nature which he received was 
from the Turkish sultan ; who, as soon as the inva- 
sion of Egypt was known^ had called upon " all true 
believers to take arms against those swinishr infi- 
dels the French, that they might deliver these blessed 
habitations from their accursed hands;" and who 
had ordered his " pachas to turn night into day in 
their efforts to take vengeance." The present of 
"his imperial majesty, the powerful, formidable^ 
and most magnificent Grand Seignior," was a pelisse 
of sables, with broad sleeves, valued at five thou- 
sand dollars; and a diamond aigrette, valued at 
eighteen thousand': the most honourable badge 
among the Turks ^ and in this instance more espe^ 
ciaUy honourable, because it was ta^en from one of 
the royal turbans. " If it were worth a miUion," 
said Nelson to his wife, " my pleasure would be to 
see it in your possession." The sultan also sent, in 
a spirit worthy of imitation, a purse of two thou- 
sand sequins, to be distributed among the wounded. 
The mother of the sultan sent him a boj^ , set 


1798.] UPE OF NEMOW. 147 


with diamonds, valued at one thousand pounds. 
The czar Paul, in whom the better part of his 
atranffely compounded nature at this time predomi- 
nated, presented him with his portrait, set in dia- 
monds, in a gold box, accompanied with a letter of 
congratulation, written by his own hand. The king 
of Sardinia also wrote to him, and sent a gold box, 
set with diamonds. Honours in profusion were 
awaiting him at Naples. In his own country the 
king granted these honourabte augmentations to his 
armorial ensign ) a chief undulated, argent ; thereon 
waves of the sea; from which a palm tree issuant, 
between a disabled ship on the dexter, and a ruinous 
battery on the sinister, all proper: and for his crest, on 
a naval crown, or,the chelengk, or plume, presented to 
him by the Turk, with the motto, Palmam qui meruit 
Jerat.* And to hjs supporters, being a sailor on the 
dexter, and a lion on the sinister, were given these 
honourable augmentations : a paJm branch in the 
sailor's hand, and another in the paw of the lion, 
both proper; i^ith a tricol0m*ed flag and staff in 
the lion*s mouth. He we^s created Baron Nelson of 
the Nile, and of Buriiham Thorpe, with a pension 
of £2000 for his own life, ind those of his two im- 
mediate successors. ' When the grant was moved in 
the house of commons. General Walpole expressed 
an opinion, that ^ higher degree of rank ou'glu to be 
conferred: Mr. Pitt made answer, that he thought 
it needless to enter into that question. " Admiral 
Nelson's fame," he said, " would be co-equal with 
the British name ;» and it would be remembered that 
he had obtained the greatest naval victory on record, 
when no man would think of .askmg, whether be 

* It has been erroneously said, that the motto was selected by the king : 
—It wa« fixed on by Lord Orenvllle, and taken from an ode of Jortln's. 
The application vfw ningularly fortunate ; and the ode itself breathes a 
f^rit, In which no man ever more truly iiympathized than Nelson : 
Coneturrant paribus cum ratibut rfUet^ 
^ Speclent numina pontic et 

- PaliMm fui m$ruitferaL 

146^ LVfB OF^ IVElSOlf. [179S/ 

had been created a baron, a viscount, or an earl?" ' 
It was strange, that in the very act of conferring a 
title, the minister should have excused himself for 
not having conferred a higher one, by representing 
all titles, on such an occasion, as nugatory and su- 
perfluous. True, indeed, whatc^ver title had been, 
bestowed, whether Viscount, earl, marquis, duke, or 
' prince, if our laws had so permitted, he who re- 
ceived it would have been Nelson still.- That name 
he had ennobled beyond all addition of nobility : it 
was the name by which England loved him, France 
feared him, Italy, Egypt, and Turkey celebrated 
him ; and by which l^ will continue , to be known 
while the present kingdoms and languages of the 
world endure, and as long as their history after them 
shall be held in remembrance. It depended, upoii 
the degree of rank what should be the fashion of 
his coronet, in what page of the red book his name 
was to be inserted, and what precedency should be 
allowed his lady in the drawing-room and atihe 
ball. That Nelson's honours were affected thus (ar. 
and no farther, might be conceded to Mr* Pitt and 
his colleagues in administration : but the degree of 
rank wlfich they thought proper to allot, was, the 
measure of their gratitude,* though not of his ser- 
vices. This Nelson felt; and this he expressed* 
wi|^ indignation, among his friendsv 
Whatever may have been the motives ojf the mi-. 

♦ Mr. VJrindh^m must be (Excepted from Urta well-deserved censure 
He, whose fate it seems to have been almost always to think and feel 
more generously than those with whom he acted, declared, when he 
contended against his, own party foe Lord Wellington's peerage, that 
he always thought Lord Nelran had been inadequately rewarded. 
The case was the more flagrant, because an earldom had bo lately been 
gramed for the battle of Si. Vincent's ; an action which could never be 
compared with the battle of the Nile, if the very diffWreui manner to 
which it was rewarded did not ntoessarily force a compi^rison ; eapeci-^ 
ijlly when the part which Nelson b^re In it was considered. — laordf 
Duncan and St. Vii'cent had each a pension of jClOOO from the Iris^ 
governuient. This was not granted to Nelson, in consequence of the 
Union ; though, surely, it would be more becojiiing to increase the Bii- 
tteh grant, tban to save a tbousand a year by the .Uoion in such cases. 

1798.] tTFE OF iVBLSOir* 14^1 

nistry, and whatever the fonnalitieft with which they 
excused their conduct to themselves, the importance 
and magnitude of the victory were universally ac- 
knowledged. A grant of £10,000 was voted to 
Nelson by the East India Company ; the Turkish 
Company presented him with a piece of plate ; the 
city of London presented a sword to him and to 
each of his captains ; gold medals were distributed 
to the captains, and the first lieutenants of all the 
ships were prompted, as had been done after Lord 
Howe's victory. Nelson was exceedingly anxious 
that the captain and first lieutenant of the Culloden 
should not be passed over because of their misfor- 
tune. To Trowbridge himself he said, *' Let us 
rejoice that the ship which got on shore was com- 
manded by an officer whose character is so tho- 
Toughly established."! ^To the Admiralty he stated, 
that Capt. Trowbridge's conduct was as fully enti- 
tled to praise as that of any one officer in the squa- 
dron, and as highly deserving of reward. ** It was 
Trowbridge," said he, " who equipped the squadron 
so soon at Syracuse: it was Trowbridge who ex- 
erted himself for me after the action : it was Trow- 
bridge who saved the Culloden, when none that I 
know in the servi(ie would have attempted it." The 
gold medal, therefore* by the king's express desire, 
was given to Capt.. Trowbridge "for his services 
both before and since, and for the gre?it and won- 
derful exertion which he made at the time of the 
action, in saving and getting off his ship." The 
private letter from the Adniiraity to Nelson informed 
him, that the first lieutenants of all the ships en- 
igq,ged were to be ^promoted. Nelson instantly 
.wroie to the c<wBfflfi^nder-iii-chief.— " I sincerely 
hope,", said he; ** this is not intended to exclude the 
iftrst lieutenant of the CuUoden.— For heaven's sake, 
for my sake,— if it be so, eet it altered. Our dew 
friend Trowbridge has endured enough. His suf- 
ferings were, in every respect, more thanany.of us." 


150 JiXBB OF nelson; [179S. 

To the Admiralty he wrote in terms equally wsnn. 
*' I hope, and believe, the word etiffoged is not in- 
tended to exclude the Culloden. The merit of that 
ship, and her o^allant captain^ ane too well known to 
benefit by any thing I could say. Her misfortune 
was great in getting aground, while her more for- 
tunate companions were in the full tide of happiness. 
No ; I am confident that my good Lord Spencer will 
never add misery to misfortune. Oapt. Trowhridge, 
on shore is superior to captains afloat : in the miast 
of his great misfortunes he made those signals 
which prevented certainly the Alexander and Swift- 
9ure from running on the shoals. I beg your pardon 
for writing on a subject which, I verily believe, has 
never entered your lordship's head ; but my heart, 
as it ought to be, is warm to my gallant friends." 
Thus feelingly alive was Nelson to the claims, and 
interests, and, feelings of others. The Admiralty 
replied, that the exception was necessary, as the 
ship had not been in action :' but they desired the 
commander-in-chief to promote the lieutenant upon 
the first vacancy which should occur. 

Nelson, in remembrance of an old and uninter- 
rupted friendship, appointed Alexander Davison sole 
prize agent for the captured ships : upon which Da- 
vison ordered medals to be struck in gold, for the 
captains ; in silver for the lieutenants and warrant 
officers ; in ettt metal for the petty officers ; and in 
copper, for the seamen and marines. The cost of 
this act of liberality amounted nearly to £9000. It 
is worthy of record on another account ; — for some 
of the gallant men, who leceived no other honorary 
badge of their conduct on that memorable day, than 
this copper medal, from t private individual, years 
afterward, when they died upon a foreign station, 
made it their last request, that the medals misrht care- 
fully be sent home to their respective friends.— So 
sensible are brave men of honour, in whatever rank 
they may be placed. 

1799.] JOFB OF JXSXSUUtf, 1*51 

Three of the frigates, whose presence would have 
been so essential a few weeks sooner, joined the 
squadron on the twelfth day after the action. The 
fourth joined a few days after them. Nelson thus 
received despatches which rendered i* necessary 
for him to return to Naples. Before he left Egypt 
he burned three of the prizes : they could not liave 
been fitted for a passage to Gibraltar in less than a 
month, and that at a great expense, and with the 
loss to the service of at least two sail of the Ime. 
** I rest assured," he said to the Admiralty, " that 
they will be paid for, and have held out that assu- 
rance to the squadron. For If an admiral, after a 
victory, is to look after the captured ships, and not 
to the distressing of the -enemy, very dearly, indeed, 
must the nation pay for the prizes. I trust that 
£60^000 pounds will be deemed a very moderate 
sum for them : and when the services, time, and 
men, with ,the expense of fitting three ships for 
a voyage to England, aire considered, government 
will save nearly as much as they are valued at. — 
Paying for prizes,** he continued *^ is no new idea 
of mine, and would often prove an amazing sav- 
ing to the state, even without taking into calcu- 
lation what the natio^ loses by the attention of 
admirals to the property of the captors; an at- 
tentic^n absolutely necessary, as a recompense for 
the exertions of the officers and men. An admiral 
may be amply rewarded by his own feelings, and by 
the approbation of his superiors ; but what reward 
have the inferior officers and men, but the value of 
the prizes ? If an admiral takes that from them, on 
any consideration, he cannot expect to be well sup- 
ported." To Earl St. Vincent he said, " If he could 
nave been sure that government would have paid a 
reasonable value for them, he would have ordered 
two of the other prizes to be bunied : for they would 
cost more in refitting, and by the loss of ships at- 
tending them than they were worth." 

162 uvB OF mujoir, [1798. 

Having sent the six remaining prizes forwardy 
under Sir James Saumarez, Nelson left Capt. Hood, 
in the Zealous, off Alexandria, with the Swiftsure, 
Goliath, Alcmene, Zealous, and Emerald, and stood 
out to sea himself on the seventeenth day after the 

* "^ Some French officers, daring the blockade of Alexandria, were 
vent off to CapL Hallowell to otkr a supply of vegetabies, and obaerre. 
of course, the state of the blockading squadron. They were received 
with all possible civility ;~in the course of conversation, after dinner, 
one of them remarked, that we had made use of unfair weapons during 
the action, by which, probably, the Orient was burht ; and that General 
Buonaparte had expressed great indlcnation at it. In proof of this as- 
sertion, he stated that in tlie late gunboat attacks, their caoip had twke 
- been set on lire by balls of unexUnguishable matter which were fired 
from one of the Englirii boats. CapL Hallowell instantly ordered tbe 
gunner to bring up some of those balls, and asked hira from whence he 
had them. To the confusion of the accusers, he related that they weve 
found on board of the Spartiate, one of the ships captured on the ist 
of August; as these ballaweredistinguished by panicular marks, though 
in other respects alilte, the captain ordered an experiment to be made, 
In order to aac'ertain the nature of them. The next morning, says Mr 
Willyams, I accompanied -Mr. Pbrr, tbe gunner, to the Islaiul ; tlic ffret 
we tried proved to be a fireball, but of what materials composed we 
could not ascertain. As it did not explode (which at first we appre 
bended), we rolled it into the sea, where it continued to burn under 
water ; a black, pitchy substance exuding from it till only an iron skele- 
ton of a shell remained. The whole had been carefully crusted over 
with a substance that gave it the appearance of a perfect shell. On 
settint fire to the fusse of the other, whicli was diflerentfy marked, It 
burst Into many pieces: though somewhat alarmed, forcnaately- none 
of ua were hurt. People account differently for tbe tire that happened 
^n board of the French admiral t but why may it not have arisen from 
aojne of these fireballs left, perhaps, carelessly on the poop, or cabin, 
when it first broke out ; and what confirms my opinion on this licaid Is! 
that Kveral pieces of such shells were found sticking in tbe BellerophonI 
which she tuostprobablv received ftoni tlie first fire of TOrient.*' * 

^i*t9^'*f^oifaff9 in the MedUtrraneum^p, 145. 

". t 

ITdS^] iAWm «F NBfil9If. 153 


^tlgon returns to Naples — State of that Court and Kingdom — Oene- 
vol Mack — The French approach^ M'^lee'^^ Flight of the Royal Fa- 
mily — Successes of the MLies in Italy — lyansaction* in the Bay <yf 
Naples — Expulsion of the J^renchfrom the Neapolitan and Roman 
States — J^dson is made Duke of Bronte-^ He leave* the Mediterr0r 
neon aaid returns to England, 

Nelson^s health had suffered gn^'^atly while he was 
in the Agamemnon. " My complaint," he sard, " is 
as if a g^irth were buckled taut over ray breast ; 
and my endeavour in the night is to get it loose." 
After the battle of Cape St. Vincent he felt a little 
rest to be so essential to his recovery, that he de- 
clared he would not, continue to serve longer than 
the ensuing summer, unless it should be absolutely 
necessary : for, in his own strong language, he had 
then been four years and nine months without one 
moment^s repose for body or mind. A few months' 
intermission of labour he. had obtained — not of rest, 
for it was purchased with the loss of a limb ; and 
the greater part of the time had been a season of 
constant pain. As soon as his shattered frame had 
sufficiently recovered for him to resume his duties, 
he was palled to services of greater importance than 
any on which he had hitherto been emplpyed, and 
they brought with them commensurate fatigue and 
care. The anxiety which he endured during his 
long pursuit of the enemy was rather changed in 
its direction, than abated by their defeat : and this 
constant wakefulness of thought, added to the effect 
of his wound, and the exertions from which it was 
not possible for one of so ardent and wide-reaching 
a mind to spare himself, nearly proved fatal. On 
his way back i6 Italy he was seized with fever. 
For eighteen hours his life was despaired of; ai(4 

154 tl^S 09 KfilSON. [179^. 

even when the disorder took a favourahle turn, and 
he was so far recovered as again to appear on deck, 
he himself thought that his end was approaching, 
— such was the weakness to which the fever and 
cough had reduced him. Writing to Earl St. Vin- 
cent on his passage, he said to him, ** I never expect, 
my dear lord, to see yeur face again. It may please 
God that this will be the finish to that fever or anx- 
iety which I have endured from the middle of June : 
but be that as it pleases tLis goodness. I am re- 
signed to His will." 

The kindest attentions of the warmest friendship 
were awaiting him at Naples. " Come here," said 
Sir William Hamilton, "for God's sake, my dear 
friend, as soon as the service will permit you. A 
pleasant apartment is ready for you in my house, 
and Emma is looking out for th6 softest pillows to 
repose the few wearied limbs you have left." Happy 
would it have been for Nelson if warm and careful 
fiiendship had been all that awaited him there! 
He himself saw at that time the character of the 
Neapolitan court, as it first struck an Englishman, 
in its true light : and when he was on the way, he 
declared that he detested' the voyage to Naples, and 
that nothing but necessity could have forced him to 
it. But never was any hero, on his return from vic- 
tory, welcomed with more heartfelt joy. Before the 
battle of Aboukir the court of Naples had been 
trembling for its existence. The language which 
the directory held towards it was well described by 
{Sir William Hamilton, as being exactly the language 
of a highwayman. The Neapolitans were told, 
that Benevento might be added to their dominions, 
provided they would p?iy a large sum, sufficient to 
satisfy the directory; and they were warned, that if 
the proposal were refused, or even if there were any 
delay in accepting it, the French would revolutionize 
all Italy. The joy, therefore, of the court, at Nel- 
•on's success, was in proportion to the dismay from 

1798.] LIVE OF ivELsoir. 155 

which that success relieved them. The queen wa» 
a daughter of Maria Theresa, and sister of Marie 
Antoinette. Had she been the wisest and gentlest 
of her sex, it would not have been possib^ for her 
to have regarded the French without hatred and 
horror : and the progress of revolutionary opinions, 
while it perpetually reminded her of her sifter's fate, 
excited no unreasonable apprehensions for her own/ 
Her feelings, naturally ardent, and little accustomed 
to restraint, were t excited to the highest pitch when 
the news of the victory arrived* Lady Hamilton, 
her constant friend and favourite, who was present, 
says, ** It is not possible to describe her transports: 
she wept, she kissed her husband, her children, 
walked franticly about the room, burst into tears 
again, and again kissed and embraced every person 
near her ; exclaiming, • O brave Nelson ! O God i 
bless and protect our brave deliverer ! O Nelson I 
Nelson ! what do we not owe you ! O conqueror — 
saviour of Italy ! that my swollen heart could now 
tell him personally what we owe to him.'" She 
herself wrote, to the Neapolitan ambassador at 
London upon the occasion, in terms which show the 
fulness of her joy, and the height of the hopes 
which it had excited. ^' I wish I could give wing^,'* 
said she, " to the bearer of the news, and, at the 
same time, to our mOst^ sincere gratitude. The 
whole of the seacoast of -Italy is saved; and this is 
owing alone to the generous English. This battle, 
or, to speak more correctly, this total defeat of the 
regicide squadron, was obtained by the valour of this 
brave admiral, seconded by a navy which is the 
terror of its enemies. The victory is so complete, 
that I can still scarcely believe it : and if it were nk>t 
the brave English nation, which is accustomed to 
perform prodigies by sea, 1 could not persuade myselt 
that it had happened. It would have moved you to 
have seen all my children, boys and girls, hanging 
^n my neck, and crying for joy at the happy news. 

f Sa IIFB OF N»l8ttK. [1798 

-^Recommeiid the hero to his master : he has filled 
the whole of Italy with admiration of the English. 
Qreat hopes were entertained of some advantages 
being ga&ied by his bravery, but no one could look 
for so total a destruction. All here are drunk 
with joy." 

Such being the feelings of the royal family, it 
may well be supposed with what delight, and with 
what honours, Nelson ifrould be welcomed. Early 
on the 33d of September, the poor wretched Van- 
g-uard, as he called hts shattered vessel, appeared in 
sight of Naples. The CuUoden and Alexander had 
preceded her by some days, and given notice of her 
approach. Maiiy hundred boats and barges were 
ready to go forth and meet him, with music and 
streamers, and every demonstration of joy and 
triumph. Sir William and Lady Hamilton led the 
-way in their state-barge. They had seen Nelson 
only for a few days, four years ago, but' they then 
perceived in him that heroic spirit which was- now 
so fully and gloriously manifested to the world. 
£nima Lady Hamilton, who from this time so greatly 
influenced'his future life^ was a womarl whose per- 
sonal accomplishnients have seldom been equalled, 
a.iid whose powers of mind were not less fascinating 
than her person. She was passionately attached to 
fhe queen : and by her influence the British fleet had 
obtained those supplies at Syracuse, without which, 
ig-elson always asserted, the battie of Aboukir could 
not have been fought. During the long interval 
"^^fiiill?^ K^®^""";? ^y ^^^i"gs were received, her 
S?^L«i^ihii ''®'' ^'^""^^y 1««» ^*»an that of Nelson 
^^1n in wJ^'*'"^*"'''^ ^ ^^^"*y of whom he could 
^^^h^VrhJT''''T\ ^^^ ^^en the tidings wei« 

^^ecfwa^'s^cS, Va7she f^IfJl ^^^^'r^ it'^ 
-»*ot. She and Sir WUliam h»H iw""^ n ^ k*"*^ ^f. 
by their hopes and f€^1^^«^ }'^^''^^^y ^^'^ "^^^ 
^^exceedirg aaT^J^-tHa^^ Z'^tr. 

I*79().] LIFB OF NBL80K. .I6t 

Their admiration for the hero necessarily produced a 
degree of proportionate gratitude and affection ) and 
when their barge came alongside the Vanguard, at 
the sight of Nelson, Lady Hamilton sprang up the 
ship's side, and exclaiming, " O God T is it pos-^ 
•ible!" fell mto his arms, more, he says, like one 
dead than alive. He described the meeting as ** ter- 
ribly affecting." These friends had scarcely reco^ 
Yered from their tears, when the king, who went out 
to meet him three leagues in the royal barge, came 
on board and took him by the hand, calling him his 
deliverer and preserver ; fi-ora all the boats around 
he was saluted with the same appellations ; the mul- 
titude who surrounded him when he landed, repeated 
the same enthusiastic cries ,* and the lazzaroni dis- 
played their joy by holding up birds in cages, and 
^ving them their liberty as he passed. 

His birth-day, which occurred a week after his 
arrival, was celebrated with one of the most splen- 
did flutes ever beheld at Naples. But, notwithstand- 
hig the splendour with which he was encircled, and 
the flattering honours with which all ranks welcomed 
him, Nelson was fully sensible of the depravity, as 
well as weakness, of those by whom he was sur- 
rounded. ** What precious moments," said he, " the 
courts of Naples and Vienna are losing! Three 
months would liberate Italy ! but this court is so en- 
ervated, that the happy moment will be lost. I am 
very unwell; and their miserable conduct is not 
likely to cool my irritable temper. It is a country 
of fiddlers and poets, whores and scoundrels." This 
sense of their ruinous weakness he always re- 
tained ; nor was he ever blind to the mingled folly 
and treachery of the Neapolitan ministers, and the 
complication of iniquities under which the country 
groaned : but he insensibly, under the influence of 
Lady Hamilton, formed an affection for the court, 
to whose misgovemment the miserable condition of 
the country was so greatly to be imputed. By the 


158 UFs or HBUojer. [1798. 

kindness of her nature, as well as by her attractionst 
she had won his heart. , Earl St. Vincent, writing 
to her at this time, says, ''Ten thousand most 
grateful thapks 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 fasci- 
nating Neapolitan dames approach too near him, for 
he is made of flesh and blood, and cannot resist 
their temptations.'* But this was addressed to the 
rery person from whom he was in danger. 

The state of Naples may be described in few 
words. The king was one of the Spanish Bour* 
bons. As the Cesars have shown us to what wick- 
edness the moral nature of princes may be per- 
verted, 80 in this family the degradation to which 
their intellectual nature can be reduced has been 
not less conspicuously evinced. Ferdinand, like the 
rest q( his race, was passionately fond of field 
sports,^ and cared for nothing else. His queen had 

* Sir William HamUton's letters give the history of one of this sove* 
reign*8 campaigns a^nst the wolves and boara. " Ottr first ekase har 
not succeeded ; the king would direct how we should beat the wood, 
and began at the wrong end, by which ttie wolves and boars Mcaped. 
The king's (hce is very long at this morhsnt, bat, I dare say, to-mor- 
row's good sport will shorten it again." — " No sport again ! He has no 
other comfort to-day, than liaving killed a wild cat, and his fhce is a 
yard long. However, his majesty has vowed vengeance on the boara 
to-morrow, and will go according to hia own fancy and I dare say there 
will be a terrible slaughter."—** To-day has been so thoroughly bad that 
we have not been able to stir out, and the king, of coarse^ in bad fau« 
mour."— " The king has killed twenty-one boars to-day, and is quite 
happy."—" We have had a miserable cold day, but good sport. I killed 
two boars and a doe ; the king nineteen boars two stags, two does, mod 
a porcupine. He is happy beyond expression." — " Only think of his 
not being satisfied with killing more than thirty yesterday ♦ He said. If 
the wind had fhvoured him, he should have killed sixty at least.''-*^" Tha 
king has killed eighty-one animals of one sort or other to-day, and 
among them a wolf and some stag?. Ha fell asleep in the coach : and 
waking, told me he had be?n dreaming of shooting. One would haw 
thought he had abed blood enough.'^ — " It is a long-fhcsd day with th^ 
king. We went far^ the wea{h:^r was bil; and, after alJ, mat with 
little or no game. Ye^iterday, when we brought homo all we killed, it 
flUsd tba house emiyiletely, and to-day they are obliged to wUteowasli 

1798.] tIFfi OF NELSOlf. 166 

all the vices of the house of Austria, with little to 
mitigate, and nothing to ennoble them ; — ^provided 
she could have her pleasures, and the king his 
sports, they cared not in what manner the revenue 
was raised or administered. Of course, a system of, 
favouritism existed at court, and the vilest and most 
impudent corruption prevailed in every department 
of state, and in every branch of administration, from 
the highest to the lowest. It is only the institutions 
of Cltfistianity, and the vicinity of better-regulated 
states, which prevent kingdoms, under such circum- 
stances of misrule, from sinking into a barbarism 
like that of Turkey. A sense of better things was 
kept alive m some of the Neapolitans by literature, 
and by their intercourse with happier countries. 
These persons naturally looked to France, at the 
commencement of the revolution ; and, during all 
the horrors of that revolution, still cherished a hope, 
that, by the aid of France, they might be enabled 
to establish a new order of things in Naples. They 
were ffrievously mistaken in supposing that the 
principles of liberty would ever be supported by 
t^ntnce, but they were not mistaken in believing that 
■9 government could be worse than their own ; and, 
therefore, they considered any change as desirable. 
In this opinion men of the most different characters 
agreed. Many of the nobles, who were not in 
favour, wished for a revolution that they might 
obtain the ascendency to which they thought them- 
selves entitled : men of desperate fortunes desired 
it, in the hope of enriching themselves ; knaves and 
intriguers sold themselves to the French, to promote 
it ; and a few enlightened men, and true lovers of 
their country, joined iii the same cause, from the 

tiie 'walls to talce away the blood. There werts more Oian flmr handrad 
IwttB, deer, stags, and all. To-morrow we are to have another slaughter ; 
and Bot a wora of reason or oommon sonse do I meet with the whola 
dagr, till I retire to my volmnes of the old Gentleman's Magazine, whleli 
jvsC keeps ny mind flnom starring." 

1t^ UFB OF NEUOn. ll79Qw 

norest and noblest motivee. All these were con- 
founded under the common name of jacobins ; and 
the jacobins of the continental kingdoms were re* 
rarded by the English with more hatred than, they 
deserved. They were classed with Philippe Ega- 
Ut^, Marat, and Hebert ; — whereas, they aeserred 
rather to be ranked, if not with Locke, and Sidney) 
and Russel, at least with Argyle and Monmouth, 
and those who, having the same object as the prime 
movers of our own revolution, failed in their prema- 
ture, but not unworthy attempt 
No circumstances could be more unfavourable to 


the best interests of Europe, than those which 
placed England in strict alliance with the superan- 
Dualed and abominable governments of the conti- 
nent. The subjects of those goveniments who 
wished for freedom thus became enemies to Eng- 
land, and dupes and agents of France. They looked 
to their own grinding grievances, and did not see 
the danger with which the liberties of the world 
were threatened : En^and, on the other hand, saw 
the danger in its true magnitude, but was blind to 
these grievances, and found herself compelled to 
support systems which had formerly been equally 
the object of her abhorrence and her contempt. 
This was the state of Nelson's mind : he knew that 
there could be no peace for Europe till the pride of 
France was humbled, and her strength broken ; and 
he regarded aU those who were the friends of France, 
as traitors to the common cause, as well as to Uieir 
own individual sovereigns. There are situations in 
which the most opposite and hostile parties may 
mean equally . well, and yet act equally wrong. 
The court of Naples, unconscious of committing 
any crime by continuing the system of misrule to 
which they had succeeded, conceived that, in main 
taining things as they were, they were maintaining 
their own rights, and preserving the people from 
such horrors as had been perpetrated in France^ 

t798«] LIFE OF IfHtSOK. Ml 

The Neapolitan revolutioDists thought, that without 
a total chang-e of system, any relief from the present 
evils was impossible, and they believed themselves 
justiHed in bringing about that change by any mean». 
Both parties knew that it was the fixed intention of 
the French to revolutionize Naples. The revolu- 
tionists supposed that it was for the purpose of esta- 
blishing a free government : the court, and all disin- 
terested persons, were perfectly aware that tfie enemy 
had no other object than conquest and plunder. 

The battle of the Nile shook the power of France. 
Her most successful general, and her finest army, 
were blocked up in Egjrpt, — hopeless, as it ap- 
peared, of return ; and the government was in the 
hands of men without talents, without character, 
and divided among themselves. Austria, whom 
Buonaparte had terrified into a peace, at a time 
when constancy on her part would probably have 
led to his destruction, took advantage of the crisis 
to renew the war. , Russia, also, was preparing to 
enter the field with unbroken forces ; led by a gene- 
ral, whose extraordinary military genius would have 
entitled him to a high and honourable rank in his- 
tory, if it had not been sullied by all the ferocity of 
a barbarian* Naples, seeing its destruction at hand, 
and thinking that the only means of averting it was 
by meeting the danger, after long vaeillations, which 
were produced by the fears and weakness and 
treachery of its council, agreed at last to join this 
new coalition with a numerical force of eighty 
thousand men. Nelson told the king, in plain terms, 
that he had his choice, either to advance, trusting to 
God for his blessing on a just cause, and prepared 
to die, sword in hand,*~or to remain quiet and be 
kicked out of his kingdom :-^-one of these things 
must happen. The king made answer, he would go 
on, and trust in God and Nelson; and Nelson, who 
would else have returned to Egypt, for the purpose 
of destroying the French shipping in Alexandria^ 


162 UFE OF yvXJBOK. [179ftk 

• ■ 

gave up his intention at the desire of the Neapolitan 
court, and resolved to remain on that station, in the 
hope that he might be useful to the movements of 
the army. He suspected also, with reason, that the 
continuance of his fleet was so earnestly requested, 
because the royal family thought their persons 
i^ould be safer, in case of any mishap, under the 
British flag, than under their own. 

His first object was the recovery of Malta, an 
island which the king of Naples pretended to claim. 
The Maltese, whom the villanous knights of their 
order had betrayed to France, had taken np arms 
against their rapacious invaders, with a spirit and 
unanimity worthy the highest praise. They block- 
aded the French garrison by land, and a small squa- 
dron, under Captain Ball, began to blockade them by 
sea, on the 13th of . October. Twelve days after- 
ward. Nelson arrived ; '* It is as I suspected," he 
says : ** 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 us, they want arms, victuals, 
and support. He does not know that any Neapo- 
litan 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 and 
Messina.'* The little island of Gozo, dependent 
upon Malta, which had also been seized and gar- 
risoned by the French, capitulated soon after his 
arrival, and was taken possession of by the British, 
in the name of his Sicilian majesty, — a power who 
had no better claim to it than France. Having seen 
this efiected, and reinforced Captain Ball, he left 
that able officer to perform a most arduous and im- 
portant part, and returned himself to co-operate 
with the intended movements of the Neapolitans. 

Oeneral Mack was at the head of the Neapoliiian 
tro(^s:— ^ that is now doubtful concerning this 

1796i] U(hR 6F iTEUosff. liz 

man is, whether he was a coward or a traitor : — at 
that time he was assiduously extolled as a most 
consummate commander, to whom Europe might 
look for deliverance : and when he was introduced 
by the king and queen to the British admiral, the 
queen said to him, " Be to us by land, general, what 
my hero Nelson has been by sea." Mack, on his 
part, did not fail to praise the force which he was 
appointed to command: "It was," he said^ "the 
finest army in Europe." Nelson agreed with him, 
that there could not be finer men : but when the 
general, at a review, so directed the operations of a 
mock-fight, that, by an unhappy blunder, his o^vn 
troops were surrounded instead of those of the ene- 
my, he turned to his friends, and exclaimed, with 
bitterness, that the fellow did not understand his 
business. Another circumstance, not less cha- 
racteristic, confirmed Nelson in his judgment. 
** General Mack," said he, in one of his letters, 
** cannot move without five carriages ! I have 
formed my opinion. I heartily pray I may be mis- 

While Mack, at the head of thirty-two thousand 
men, marched into the Roman state, five thousand 
Neapolitans were embarked on board the British 
and Portuguese squadron, to take possession of Leg- 
horn. This was efl^ected without opposition ; and 
the grand duke of Tuscany, whose neutrality had 
been so outrageously violated by the French, was 
better satisfied with the measure than some of the 
Neapolitans themselves. Naselli, their general, 
refused ,to seize the French vessels at Leghorn, 
because 'he, and the Duke di Sangro, who was am- 
bassador at the Tuscan court, maintained, that the 
king of Naples was not at war with France. 
.** What !" said Nelson, " has "not the king received, 
as a conquest made by him, the republican flat 
taken* at Gozol Is not his own flag flying thcr^ 
^d at Malta, not only by his permission, but by hig 

164 tawm of KSLiOir. - [1798/ 

order I Is not his flag shot at every day by the 
French, and their shot returned from batteries which 
bear that flag 1 Are not two frigates and a corvette 
placed under my orders i-eady to fight the French, 
meet them where they may? Has not the king 
sent publicly from Naples, guns, mortars, &c.y wi£ 
officers and artillery against tlie French in Malta 1 
If these acts are not tantamount to any written 
paper, I give up all knowledge of what is war.^ 
This reasoning was of less avail than argument ad- 
dressed to the general's fears. — Nelson told him, 
that if he permitted the many hundred French who 
were then in the mole to remain neutral, till they 
had a fail opportunity of being active, they had one 
sure resource, if all other schemes failed, which 
was to set one vei^el on fire ; the moJe would be 
destroyed, probably the town also; and the port 
ruined for twenty years. This representation made 
Naselli agree to the half measure of laying an em* 
bargo on the vessels ;-^among them were a great 
number of French privateers, some of which were 
of such force as to threaten the greatest mischief to 
our commerce ; and about seventy sail of vessels 
belonging to the Ligurian republic, as Genoa was 
now called, laden with corn, and ready to sail for 
Genoa and France $ where their arrival would have 
expedited the entrance of more French troops into 
Italy. " The general," said Nelson, " saw, I believe, 
the consequence of permitting these vessels to de* 
part, in the same light as myself; but there is this 
difl^rence between us : he prudently, and certainly 
safely, waits the orders of his court, taking no re- 
sponsibility upon himself^ I act from the circum- 
stances of the moment, as I feel may be most ad- 
vantageous for the cause which I serve, taking all 
responsibility oil myself." It was in vain to hope 
ipr any thing vigorous or manly from such men as 
Nelson was compelled to act with. The crQws of 
the French ships ^md their allies were ordered to 

I7d8.] UFE OF NELSON* 16$ 

depart in two days. Four days elapsed, and nobody 
obeyed the order ; nor, in spite of the representa- 
tions of the British minister, Mr. Wyndham, were 
any means taken to. enforce it: — the true Neapoli- 
tan shuffle, as Nelson called it, took place on all 
occasions. After an absence of ten days, he re- 
turned to Naples : and receiving intelligence there, 
from Mr. Wyndham, that the privateers were at 
last to be disarmed, the com landed, and the crews 
sent away, he expressed his satisfaction at the news 
in characteristic language, saying, '*So far I am 
ocmtent. The enemy will be distressed ; and, thank 
Ood, I shall get no money. The world, I know 
think that money is our god ; and now they will be 
vndeceived as iar as relates to us. Down, down 
with the French I is my constant prayer.'* 

Odes, sonnets, and congratulatory poems of every 
description were poured in upon Nelson, on m» 
arrival at Na^des. An Irish Franciscan, who was 
one of the poets, not being content with panegyric 
upon this occasion, ventured upon a flight of pro- 
phecy, and predicted that Lord Nelson would take 
Rome with his ships. His Lordship reminded Fa- 
ther M^Cormick, tnat ships could not ascend the 
Tiber ; but the father, who had probably forgotten 
this circumstance, met the objection with a bold 
front, and declared he saw that it would come to 
pass notwithstanding. Rejoicings of this kind were 
9f short duration. The king of Naples was with 
the anny which had entered Rome ; but the castle 
of St. Angelo was held by the French, and thirteen 
thousand French were strongly posted in the Roman 
states at Castellana. Mack had marched against 
them with twenty thousand men. • Nelson saw that 
the event was doubtful ; or rather, that there could 
be very little hope of the result. But the immedi- 
ate fate of Naples, as he well knew, hung upon the 
mBWi '< If Mack is .defeated,'' said he, '' iu fourteen, 
days this country is lost ; (ox the emperor has no4 

186 LtFB OF NELsoafr. [i7Q|^' 

y^t moved his army, and Naples has not the power 
of resisting the enemy. It was not a case for 
choice, but of necessity, which inducedthe king to 
march out of his kingdom, and not wait till the 
French had collected a force sufficient to drive him 
out of it in a week." He had no reliance upon the 
Neapolitan officers; who, as he described them, 
seemed frightened at a drawn sword or a loaded 
gun; and he was perfectly aware of the conse- 
quences which the sluggish movements and deceit- 
ful policy of the Austrians were likely to bring down 
upon themselves and ^11 their continental allies. 
" A delayed war on the part of the emperor," said 
he, writing to the British minister at Vienna, " will 
be destructive to this monarchy of Naples ; and, of 
course, to the newly-acquired dominions of the 
emperor of Italy. Had tl^CNWar commenced in Sep- 
tember or October, all Italy would, at this moment, 
have been liberated. This month Is^worse than the 
last: the next will render the contest doubtful; 
and, in six months, when the Neapolitan republic 
will be organized, armed, and with its numerouf 
resources caUed forth, the emperor will not only be 
defeated in Italy, but will totter on his throne at 
Vienna. Down, dtywn with the French ! ought to be 
written in the council-room of every country in the 
world : and may Almighty God give right thoughts 
to every sovereign, is my constant prayer !'* His 
perfect foresight of the immediate event was clearly 
shown in this -letter, when he desired the ambassa* 
dor to assure the empress (who was a daughter of 
the house of Naples), that, notwithstanding the 
councils which had shaken the throne of her fathet 
and mother, he would remain there, ready to save 
their persons, and her brothers and sisters ; and 
that he had also left ships at Leghorn, to save the 
lives of the grand duke and her sister : " For all,** 
said he, ^ must be a republic, if the emperor does 
not act. with expedition and vig<nir." 

Iil98.] X2FB OF NBLSOir. 167 

Hi* feaif were soon verified. ^ The Neapolitan 
officers^ mM Nelson, ^ did not lose much honour, 
for, Geo knows, they had not much to lose : but they 
lost all they had." General St. Philip commanded 
(he right wing, of nineteen thousand men. He fell 
in wi9i threer thousand of the enemy; and, as soon 
as he came near enough, deserted to them. One of 
his men had virtue enough to level a musket at him, 
and shot him through the arm ; but the wound was 
not sufficient to prevent him from joining with the 
French in pursuit of his own countrymen. Cannon, 
tents, baggage, and military chest were all forsaken 
^ by the runaways, though they lost only forty men : 
for the French, having put them to flight, and got 
^ possession of every thing, did not pursue an army 
of more than three times their own number. The 
main body of the Neapolitans, under Mack, did not 
behave better. The king returned to Naples, where 
every day brought with it the tidings of some new 
disgrace from the army, and the discovery of some 
)i Bew treachery at home; till, four days after his 
Hetam, the general sent him advice, that there was 
no prospect of stopping the progress of the enemy, 
and that the royal family must look to their own 
personal safety. The state of the pulflic mind at 
Naples was such, at this time, that neither the 
British minister nor the British admiral thought it 
j prudent to appear at court. Their motions were 
L watched ; and the revolutionists had even formed a 
L ^n for seizing and detaining them as hostages, prevent anv attack on the city after the French 
I sliould have taken possession of it. A letter, which 
L IVelson addressed at this time to the first lord of 
the Admiralty, shows in what manner he contem* 
plated the possible issue of the storm. It was in 
these words : — ^*' My dear lord, there is an old say- 
ing, that when things are at the worst, they must 
mend :«— now, the mind of man cannot fl^ncy things 
wprse than they are here. But, thank God! my 

168 UFE OF KCUNlir. [l*Ttt* 

health is better, my mind never firmer, and my 
heart in. the right trim to comfort, relieve, ajid pro- 
tect those whom it is my duty to afford assistance 
to. Pray, my lord, assure our gracious sovereign, 
that, while I live, I will support his glory ; and that» 
if I fall, it shall be iu a manner wonhy of your 
lordship's faithful and obliged Nelson. I must not 
uvrite more. Every word may be a text for a long 
letter." ^ 

Meantime, Lady Hamilton arranged every thing 
for the removal of the royal family. This was con- 
ducted, on her part, with the greatest ^address, and 
without suspicion, because she had been in habits 
of constant correspondence with the queen. It was 
known, that the removal could not be effected with- 
out danger; for the mob, and especially the lazza- 
Toni, were attached to the king, and^s, at this time, 
they felt a natural presumption in their own numbeni 
and strength, they insisted that he should net leave 
Naples. Several persons fell victims to their fury: 
among others was a messenger from Vienna, whose 
body was dragged under the windows of the palace 
\Tk the king's sight. The king and queen spoke to 
the mcki^ and pacified them ; but it would not have 
been safe, while they were in this agitated state, to 
liave embarked the effects of the royal family openly. 
Xady Hamilton, like a heroine of modem romance, 
explored, with no little danger, a subterraneous 
passage, leading from the palace to the seaside: 
tYirongti thi« passage, the royal treasurea, the 
c^hoicest pieces of painting and sculpture, and other 
property, to the amount of two millions and a half, 
were conveyed to the shore, and stowed safely on 
board the Kn^hsh ships. On the night of the 21st, 
at half-pas^ eight, Nelson landed^ brought out the 
whole royal My, embarked them in three barges, 

Sve, to the^BriUsh r^rZ^X^.^^^^^"^^ 

1799.] LiPB OF HEiJoir. 169 

received on board any ship in the sqnadron. Their 
property had previously been embarked in transports. 
Two days were passed in the bay, for the purpose 
of taking such persons on board as required an 
asylum; and, on the night of the 23d, the fleet 
sailed. The next day a more violent storm arose 
than Nelson had ever before encountered. On the 
35th, the youngest of the princes was taken ill, and 
died in Lady Hamilton's arms. During this whole 
trying season, Lady Hamilton waited upon the royal 
family with the zeal of the most devoted servant, at 
a time when, except one man, no person belonging 
to the court assisted them. 

On the morning of the 26th, the royal family were 
landed at Palermo. It was soon seen that their 
flight had not been premature. Prince Pignatelli, 
who had been left as vicar-general and viceroy, with 
orders to defend the kingdom to the last rock in 
Calabria, sent plenipotentiaries to the French camp 
before Capua ; and they, for the sake of saving the 
capita], signed an armistice, by which the greater 
part of the kingdom was given up to the enemy : a 
cession that necessarily led to the loss of the whole. 
This was on the 10th of Janaary. The French 
advanced towards Naples. Mack, under pretext of 
taking shelter from the fury of the lazzaroni, fled to 
the French general Championet, who sent him under 
an escort to Milan : but, as France hoped for farther 
services from this wretched traitor, it was thought 

?rudent to treat him apparently as a prisoner of war. 
'he Neapolitan army disappeared m a few days : 
of the men, some, following their oflicers, deserted 
to the enemy : the greater part took the opportunity 
of disbanding themselves. The lazzaroni proved 
true to their country : they atta(*.ked the enemy's 
advanced posts, drove them in, and were not dispi- 
rited by the murderous defeat which they suffered 
from the main body. Flying into the city, they con- 
tinued to defend it, even after the French had planted 



170 UVS OF HEUON. [I7dd« 

their artilLeiy in the principal streete. Had there 
been a roan of genius to have directed their entho- 
fliasm, or had there been any correspondent feelings 
in the higher ranks* Naples might have set a glorious 
example to Europe, and have proved the grave of 
every Frenchman who entered it. But the vices of 
the government had extinguished all other patriot- 
ism than that of a rabble, who had no other virtue 
than that sort of loyalty which was like the fidelity 
of a dog to its master. This fidelity the French 
and their adherents counteracted by another kind of 
devotion : the priests sinned, that St. JTanuarius 
had declared in favour of the revolution. The 
miracle of his blood was performed with the usual 
success, and more than usual effect, on the very 
evening when, after two days of desperate fighting, 
the French obtained possession of Naples. A 
French guard of honour was stationed at his church. 
Championet gave ^' Respect for St. Januarius T' as 
the word for the army ; and the next day Te Deum 
was sung by the archbishop in the cathedral; and 
the inhabitants were invited to attend theceremony, 
and join in thanksgiving for the glorious entry of 
the French ; who, it was said, being under the pecu- 
liar protection of Providence, had regenerated the 
Neapolitans, and were come to establish and con- 
floliaate their happiness. 

It seems to have been Nelson's opinion, that the 
Austrian cabinet regarded the conquest of Naples 
with complacency, and that its measures were di- 
rected 80 as designedly not to prevent th6 French 
from overrunning it. That cabinet was assuredly 
capable of any folly and of any baseness : and it is 
not improbable that, at this time, calculating upon 
the success of the new coalition, it indulged a dream 
of adding extensively to its former Italian posses- 
sions ; and, therefore, left the few remaining powers 
of Italy to be overthrown, as a means which would 
/acilitate i%$ own ambitious views. The king of 

1T99.J LUTE o^ THEiaCm. 171 

Sardinia, finding it impossible longer to endure the 
exactions of France, and the insults of the French 
commissaiy, went to Leghorn, embarked on board 
a Danish frigate, and sailed under British protection, 
to Sardinia — ^that part of his dominions, which the 
maritime supremacy of England rendered h secure 
asylum. On his arrival, he published a protest 
against the conduct of France ; declaring, upon the 
faith and word of a king, that he had never infringed, 
even in the slightest degree, the treaties which he 
had made with the French republic. Tuscany was 
soon occupied by French troops : a fate which bolder 
policy might, perhaps, have failed to avert, but which 
its weak and timid neutrality rendered inevitable. 
Nelson began to fear even for Sicily. "Oh, my 
dear sir," said hey writing to Commodore Duck- 
worth, "one thousand English troops would save 
Messina, — and I fear General Stuart cannot give me 
men to save this most important island !" But his 
representations were not lost upon Sir Charlels 
StusQTt:, this c^cer hastened immediately from 
Minorca, with a thousand men, assisted in the 
measures of defence which were taken, and did not 
return before he had satisfied himself, that if the 
Neapolitans were excluded from the management 
of afiairs, and the spirit of the peasantry property 
directed, Sicily was safe. Before his coming. Nel- 
son had ofiered the king, if no resources should 
arrive, to defend Messina with the ship's company 
of an English man.of-war. 

Russia had now entered into the war. • Corfu sup- 
rendered to a Russian and Turkish fieet, aeting 
now, for th^ first time, in strange confederacy ; yet 
against a power which was certainly the common 
and worst enemy of both. Trowbridge having given 
up the blockade of Alexandria to Sir Sidney Smith, 
joined Nelson, bringing with him a considerable 
addition of strength ; and in himself, what Nelson 
valued more, a man, upon whose sagacity, ind^ft* 

n% uwm OF KBtaoM, [17M 

tigMe zeal, and inexhaustible resources, he coiild 
place full reliance. Trowbridge was intrusted to 
commence the operations against the French in the 
bay of Naples :•— ttjeantime. Cardinal Ruffo, a roan 
of questionable character, but of a temper fitted for 
such times, havijig landed in Calabria, raised what 
he called a Christian army, composed of the best 
and the vilest materials ; loyal peasants, enthusiastic 
priests and friars, galley slaves, the emptying of the 
jails, and banditti- The islands in^he bay of Na- 
ples were joyfully delivered by the inhabitants, who 
were in a state of famine already, from the effect 
of this baleful revolution. Trowbridge distributed 
among them all his flour ; and Nelson pressed the 
Sicilian court incessantly for supplies ; telling them 
that £10,000 given away in provisions, would, at 
this time, purchase a kingdom. Money, he was 
told, they had not to give ; and the wisdom and 
integrity which might have supplied its want, were 
not to be found. "There is nothing,^' said he, 
" which I propose, that is not, as far as orders go, 
implicitly complied with; but the execution is 
dreadful, and jdmost makes mo mad. My desire 
to serve their majesties faithfully, as is my duty, 
has been such, that I am almost blind and worn 
out; and cannot, in my present state, hold much 

Before any government can be overthrown by the 
consent of the people, the government must bif* in- 
tolerably oppressive* or the people thoroughly cor- 
rupted. Bad as the misrule at Naples had been, 
its consequences had been, felt far less there than in 
Sicily; and the peasantry had that attachment to 
the soil, which gives birth to so many of the noblest 
as well as of the happiest feelings. In all the 
islands the people were perfectly frantic with joy, 
when they saw the Neapolitan colours hoisted. At 
Procida, Trowbridge could not procure even a ne 
Of the tricoloured flag to lay at the king's feet:-- 

1799.] ttns 01" Kst^oif. 175 

It was rent into ten thousand pieces by the inhabit- 
tots, and Entirely destroyed^ "The horrid treat- 
ment of the French," he said, **had made them 
toad." It exasperated the ferocity of a character, 
which neither the laws nor the religion under Which 
they lived tended to mitigate. Their hatred was 
especially directed against the Neapolitan revolu- 
tionists ; and the fishermen, in concert among them- 
selves;, chose each his own victim, whom he would 
stiletto when the day of vengeance should* arrive. 
The head of one was sent off one morning to Trow- 
bridge, with his basket of grapes for breakfast ?— 
and a note from the Italian, who had, what he called, 
the glory of presenting it; saying, he had killed the 
man as he was running away, and begging his ex- 
cellency to accept the head, and consider it as a 
proof of the writer*s attachment to the crown. 
With the fttst successes of the court the work of 
punishmeht began; The judge at Ischia said it 
was necessary to have a bishop to degrade the trai- 
torous priests before he could execute them : upon 
which Trowbridge advised him to hang them first, 
and send them to him afterward, if he did not think 
that degradation sufficient. This was said with the 
straight^forward feeling of a sailor, who cared as 
little for* canon law as he knew about it: but when 
he discovered that the judge's orders were to go 
through the business in a summary manner, under 
his sanction, he told him at once that could not be, 
for the prisoners were not British subjects ; and he 
declinea having any things to do with it. There 
were manifestly persons about the court, who, while 
they thirsted for the pleasure of vengeance, were 
devising how to throw the odium of it upon the 
English. They wanted to emplqy an English man* 
of-war to carry the priests to Palermo for degrada- 
tion, and then bring them back for execution ; — and 
they applied to Trowbridge for a hangman, which 
he indignantly refused. He, meantime, was almost 


1 74 IrlFB OF NBMON . [ * '^^' 

• heart-broken by the situation in which he foimd liim- 
«elf. He had promised relief to the «^**^^™»|f®: 
lying upon the queen's promise to him. '^® "**^ 
distributed the whole of his private stocK,— tnere 
was plenty of grain at Palermo, and in its neigh- 
bourhood, and yet none was senthina: the enenay, 
he complained, had more interest there than tiw 
king : and the distress for bread, which he witneased, 
was such, he said, that it would move even a FrencH- 
man to pity? tt t* 

Nelson's heart too was at this time ashore. l o 
tell you," he says, writing to Lady Hamilton, " how 
dreary and uncomfortable the Vanguard appears, is 
only telling you what it is to go from the pleasantest 
fiociety to a solitary cell ; or from the dearest friends 
to no friends. I am now perfepay.the greoi man^ 
—not a creature near me. From my heart I wwn 
myself the little man again. You and good Sir 
William have spoiled me for any place> but wiui 
you." r ■, 

His mind was not in a happier atate respecting 

public affairs. "As to politics," said he, " at this 

' time thev are my abomination : the ministers of 

Ic^ings and princes are as great ecoundrels as ever 

lived. The brother of the emperor is just going to 

marry the great Somethingof Russia, and it is more 

than expected that a kingdom is to be found for him 

Xi\ Italy, and that the king of Naples will be sacri* 

fi&ed." . Had there been a wise and manly spirit in 

the Italian states, or had the conduct of Aastria 

been directed bv any thing like a principle of honour, 

^jL more favourable opportunity could not have been 

4ie6ired for restoring order and prosperity in Europe 

Chan the misconduct of the -French directory at thi« 

tijrxie afforded. But Nelson saw selfishness and 

JKnavery wherever he looked; and even the pleasure 

^f seeing a cause prosper, in which he was BO 

jasealously engaged, was poisoned by his sense of 

elie rascality of those with whom he was compelled 

1 799. J UFB OF insusoiv. 175 

to act. At this juncture intelligence arrived that the 
French fleet had escaped from Brest, under cover of 
a fog, passed Cadiz unseen by Lord Keith's squftf 
dron, in hazy weather, and entered the Mediterranean. 
It was said to consist of twenty-four sail of the 
)ine, six frigates, and three sloops. The object of 
the French was tp liberate the Spanish fleet, form a 
junction with them, act against Minorca and Sicily, 
. and ovprpower our naval force in the Mediterranean, 
by falling: in with detached squadrons, and thus 
destroying it in detail. When they arrived oflf Car- 
thagena, they requested the Spanish ships to make 
-sail and join; but the Spaniards replied, they had 
not men to man them. To this it was answered, 
that the French had men enough on board for thai 
purpose. But the Spaniards seem to have been ap^ 
prenensive of delivering up their ships thus entirely 
into the power of such allies, and refused to come 
out« The fleet from Cadiz, however, consisting of 
from seventeen to twenty sail of the line, got out, 
under Miuaredo, a man who then bore an honourable 
name, which he has since rendered infamous by be- 
traying his country. They met with a violent stonn 
off the coast of Oran^ which dismasted many of 
their ships, and so effectually disabled them, as to 
prevent the junction, and frustrate a well-planned 

Before this occurred, and while the junction was 
as probable, as it would have been formidable. Nel- 
son was in a state of the greatest anxiety. *' What 
a state am I in !^' ^aid he to Earl St. Vincent. *^ If 
I go, I risk, and more than risk, Sicily : for we know, 
from experience, that more depends upon opinion 
than upon acts themselves : and as I stay, my heart 
is breaking.'' His first business was tp summon 
Trowbridge to join him, with all the ships of the 
iine under his command, and a frigate, if possible. 
Then hearing that the French had entered the Medir 
larr;anean, and eji^pecting them at^ Palermo* whew 

176 U<« OF HEUOW. •• 

he had only his own ship ;-with that single "^^P^^^ 
prepared to make all the resistance P^^PJ^iTj -poote, 
bndge having joined him, he left Captain b^-* '^^^^^^^ 
of the Seahorse, to command *"**";,_>,: oss' one 
m the Bay of Naples; and sailed with six sn^y telling 
a Portuguese, ahd a Portuguese cor',??!,^ver faS 
Earl St. Vincent that the squadron sjo"'" ' ^e are 
into the hands of the enemy: " And o«wr 

destroyed," said he, « I have l'"l! ,^^X^d. that 
Will have their wings so conapletely cUppe ^ , ^^ 

they may be easily overtaken. " T^°y » the pre- 
time that he received from Capt. HalloweU in ^^^ 

sent of the coffin. Such a P'^^^"*,^? one of his 
bv the men with natural astomshment^oiw ^^^ 

old shipmates to the Agamenttnon saio ^^ral 

have hot work of it indeed ! ^o" »ti-L he isTo be 
intends to fight till he is killed; ""^St the bulk- 
buried." Nelson placed it upnghtagains^tne ^^ 

head of his cabin, behind hia chair, where «« ^^^ 
dfamer. The gift suited him at this time. M w^ 
that he was disappointed in the son-m-law, ^^ 
he had loved so dearly fromhis childhood, and w 
had saved his life at feneriffe : and »*}« certain im 
he had now formed an infatuated a^^^^'SI^JjoM 
Lady Hamilton, which totally weaned his affections 
from his wife. Farther than this, there is no rewon 
to believe that this most unfortunate attachmem 
?^a8 criminal : but this was criminality enough, ana 
»t brought with it its punishment. Nelson >»a8 a» 
satisfied with himself; and, therefore, weary of tne 
World. This feeling he now frequently expressed. 
"There is no true happiness in this life," said he. 
"and in mv present state I could quit it witn a 
■mile." And in a letter to his old friend Davison, 
he said : " Believe me, my only wish is to sink wita 
bonoar into the grave ; and when that shall pleasa 
**o<l» I shall meet death with a smile. Not that I 
an» insensible to the honours and riches my king 
wul country have heaped' upon tne, — so mucn nm* 

1799.] UFE OF jxzuniK. 177 

than any officer could deserve ; yet am I ready to 
quit this world of trouble, aqd envy none but those 
of the estate six feet by two." / 

"Well had it been for Nelson if he had made no 
other sacrifices to this unhappy attachment than 
his peace of mind ; but it led to the only blot upon 
his public character. While he sailed from Palermo, 
with the intention of collecting his whole force, and 
keeping off Maretimo, either to receive reinforce- 
ments there, if the French were bound upwards, or 
to hasten to Minorca, if that should be their desti- 
nation ; Capt. Foote, in the Seahorse^ with the Nea- 
oolitan frigates, and some small vessels, under his 
command, was left to act with a land force consist- 
ing of a few regular troops, of four different nations, 
and with the armed rabble which Cardinal Ruffo 
csQled the Christian army. His directions were td 
co-operate to the utmost of his power with the roy 
alistSy at whose head Ruffo had been placed, and he 
had no other instructions whatever. Ruffo ad- 
vancing, without any plan, but relying upon the 
enemy's want ot numbers, which prevented them 
from attempting to act upon the offensive, and ready 
to take advantage of any accident which might oc- 
cur, approached Naples. Fort St. Elmo, which 
commands the town, was wholly garrisoned by the 
French troops; the castles of Uovo and Nuovo, 
which commanded the anchorage, were chiefly de- 
fended by Neapolitan revolutionists, the powerful 
men among them having taken shelter there. If 
these castles were taken, the reduction of Fort St. 
Elmo would be greatly expedited. They were strong 
places, and there was reason to apprehend that the 
French fleet might arrii^e to relieve them. Ruffo 
proposed to the garrison to capitulate, on condition 
that their persons and property should be guaran- 
teed, and that they should, at their own option, either 
be sent to Toulon, or remain at Naples, without 
l>eiDg molested either in their persons or families. 

It8 LtFS OP :n±iMoif. [\199* 

This capitulation was accepted : it was si^ed by 
the Cardinal, and the Russian and Turkish com-* 
manders; and, lastly, by Capt. Foote, as com- 
mander of the British force. About six-and-thirty 
hours afterward, Nelson arrived in the bay, with a 
force, which had joined him during his cruise, con- 
sisting of seventeen sail of the line, with seventeen 
hundred troops on board, and the Prince Royal of 
Naples in the admiral's ship. A flag of truce was 
flying on the castles, and on board the Seahorse- 
Nelson made-a signal to annul the treaty; declaring 
that he would grant rebels no other terms than those 
of unconditional submission. 'iThe Cardinal ob- 
jected to this : nor could all the arguments of Nel- 
son, Sir W. Hamilton, and Lady Hamilton, who 
took an active part in the conference, convince'him, 
that a treaty of such a nature, solemnly concluded^ 
could honourably be set aside. He retired at last, 
silenced by Nelson's authority, but not convinced. 
Capt. Foote was sent out of the bay ; and the gar- 
risons, taken out of the castles, under pretence of 
carrying the treaty into effect, were delivered ovct 
as rebels to the vengeance of the Sicilian court. — A 
deplorable transaction ! a stain upon the memory of 
Nelson, and the honour of England!' To p^alliate 
it would be in vain ; to justify it would be wicked 3 
there is no alternative, for one who will not make 
himself a participator in guilt, but to record the dis- 
graceful story* with sorrow and with shame. 

Prince Francesco Caraccipli, a younger branch 
of one of the noblest Neapolitan families, escaped 
from one of these castles before it capitulated. He 
was at the head of the marine, and was nearly 
seventy years of age, bearing a high character, 
both for professional "and personal merit. He had 
accompanied the court to Sicily ; but when the re- 

• In oneof hit letters to Lady Hamilton, written a few roontht beflm 
this fttal transaction, Netooa sayi, speaking of the queen, " I d«cia«9 
to CM, mj whole itudy is how |o best meet her approbation.'* 

1799.] UFJ^ OF NEL80V. 179 

yolutionaiy government, or Parthenopaean republic, 
as it was called, issued ah edict, ordering all absent 
Neapolitans to return on pain of confiscation of 
their property, he solicited and obtained permission 
of the king to return, his estates being very great. 
It is said that the kijig, when he granted him thid 
permission, warned him not to take any part in poli- 
tics ; expressing, at the same time, his own persua-* 
fiion that he should recover his kingdom. But nei- 
ther the king, nor he himself, ought to have ima- 
gined that, in such times, a man of such reputation 
would be permitted to remain inactive ; and it soon 
appeared that Caraccioli was again in command of 
the navy, and serving under the republic against 
his late sovereign. The sailors reported that he 
was forced to act thus : and this was believed, till 
it was seen that he directed ably the offensive ope* 
rations of the revolutionists and did not avail him* 
self of opportunities for escaping, when they offered. 
When the recovery of Naples was evidently near, 
he applied to Cardinal Ruffo, and to the Duke of 
Calvirrano for protection ; expressing His hope, that 
the few days 4nring which he had been forced to 
obey the French, would not outweigh forty years 
X)f faithful services : — ^but, perhaps not receiving 
3uch assurances as he wished, and knowing too 
well the temper of the Sicilian court, he endea* 
Toured to secrete himself, and a price was set upon 
his head. More unfortunat^y for others than for 
himself, he was brought in alive, having been dis* 
covered in the disguise of a peasant, and carried 
one morning on board Lord Nelson's ship^ with 
his hands tied. behind him. 

Caraccioli was well known to the British officert, 
vnd had been ever highly esteemed by all who 
knew him. Capt. Hardy ordered him imme'diately 
to be unbound, and to be treated with all those' at- 
tentions which he felt due to a man who, when last 
Qti board the Foudroyant, had been received as 9jk 

180 LITE OP TW180W. "" • ^ 

admiral and a prince. SirWiUiamandl^dy Ham^ ] 
ton were in the ship; but Nelson, it is affin^^^ ^ 
saw no one, except his own officers, <i^F"'e ' 

gedy which ensued. His own d^^^^^S^f^^iiHatt ' 
teade; and he issued an order to the NeapoWaa ^ 

commodore, Count Thum, to assemble a counj- a 
martial of Neapolitan officers, on ^^rd the Bi^Mn ^ 
flag-ship, proce^ immediately to try ^»^ P^«^^5 
an3 repbrt to him, if the charges were PJ^^^fl^T™ 
punishment he ought to suffer. These P^^?^^;;^^* 
were as rapid as possible ; Cataccioli was brought 
on board at nine m the forenoon, and tbe trial ^ 
ffan at ten. It lasted two hours : he avprred in ms 
defence, that he had acted under compulsion, bavmg 
been compelled to serve as a common soldier mi 
he consented to take command of the fleet, i nis, 
the apoloffists of Lord Nelson say, be fa^ea ip 
proving. They forget that the possibility of Pjoyipff 
It was not allowed him ; for he was brought to tnai 
within an hour after he was legally m arrest; ana 
how, in that time, was he to collect his witnesses . 
He was found guilty, and sentenced to d6ath ; ana 
Nelson gave orders that the sentence should oe 
carried into effect that evening, at five o'clock, on 
board the Sicilian frigate. La Minerva, by hanging 
him at the fore yard-arm till sunset ; when the body 
was to be cut down, and thrown into the sea. Ca- 
raccioli requested Lieutenant Parkinson, undCT 
whose custody he was placed, to intercede with 
Lord Nelson for a second trial,— for this^ among 
other reasons, that Count Thum^whp presided at 
the court-martial, was notoriously his personal 
enemy. Nelson made answer, that the prisoner 
had been fairly tried by the officers of his own 

1799.] UTB OF ITSLSOlff. 181 

shot,— *< I am an old man, sir," said he : "I leave no 
family to lament me, and therefore cannot be sup- 
posed to be very anxious about prolonging my life; 
but the disgrace of being hanged is dreadful to me." 
^Hien this was iepeated to Nelson, he only told the 
lieutenant, with much agitation, to go and attend 
his duty* As a last hope, Caraccioii asked the lieu- 
tenant, if he thought an application to Lady Hamil- 
ton would be beneficial 1 Parkinson went to seek 
her : she was not to be seen on this occasion, — ^but 
she was present at the execution. She had the most 
devoted attachment to the Neapolitan court; and 
the hatred which she felt against those whom she 
regarded as its enemies made her, at this time, for- 
get what was due to the character of her sex, as 
well as of her country. Here, also, a faithful his- 
torian is called upon to pronounce a severe and 
unqualified condemnation of Nelson's conduct. 
Had he the authority of his Sicilian majesty for 
proceeding as he did t If so, why was not that au- 
thority produced? If not, why were the proceed- 
ings nurried on without it? Why was the trial 
precipitated, so that it was impossible for the pri- 
soner, if he had been innocent, to provide the wit- 
nesses, who might have proved him so ? Why was 
a second trial refused, when the known animosity 
of the president of the court against the prisoner 
was considered ? Why was the execution hastened 
60 as to preclude any appeal for mercy, and render 
the prerogative for mercy useless ?T~Doubtless, the 
British admiral seemed to himself to be acting 
under a rigid sense of justice ; but, to all other per- 
sons, it was obvious, th^t he was influenced bv an 
infatuated attachment— a baneful passion, which 
destroyed his domestic happiness, and now, in a 
second instance, stained ineffaceably his public cha- 

The body was carried out to a considerable dis- 
ilaioe, and sunk in the bay, with three double- 

182 UFB OF NEL601f. (1799. 

headed shot, weighing two hundred and fifiy poundi, 
tied to its legs. Between two and three weeks af- 
terward, when the king was on board the Foudroy- 
ant, a Neapolitan fisherman came to the ship^ and 
solemnly declared, that Caraccioli had risen from 
the bottom of the sea, and was coming, as fast as 
he could, to Naples, swimming half out of the wa- 
ter. Such an account was listened to like a tale of 
idle credulity. The day being fair, Nelson, to please 
the king, stood out to sea ; but the ship had not 
proceeded far before a body was distinctly seen, up- 
right in the water, and approaching them. It was 
soon recognised to be, indeed, the corpse of Carac- 
cioli, which had risen, and floated, while the great 
weights attached to the legs kept the body in a posi- 
tion like that of a living man. A. fact so extraor- 
dinary astonished the king, and perhaps excited 
some feelings of superstitious fear, akin to regret. 
He gave permission for the body to be taken on 
shore, and receive Christian burial. It produced no 
better effect. Naples exhibited more dreadful scenes 
than it had witnessed in the days of MassanieUo. 
After the mob had had their fill of blood and plunder, 
the reins were given to justice — if that can be called 
justice which annuls its own stipulations, looks to the 
naked facts, alone disregarding all motives and adl 
circumstances ; and without considering character, 
or science, or sex, or youth, sacrifices its victims, 
not for the public weal, but for the gratification of 
greedy vengeance. 

The castles of St. Elmo, Gaieta, and Capua, re- 
mained to be subdued. On the land i|ide, there 
was no danger that the French in these garrisons 
should be relieved, for Suverof was now beginning 
to drive the enemy before him ; but Nelson thought 
his presence necessary in the bay of Naples : and 
when Lord Keith having received intelligence that 
the French and Spanish fleets had formed a Junction, 
and sailed for Carthagena, ordered him to repair to 

1799.] I.IFE OF NEiJSON.' 183 

Minorca, with the whole or the greater part of his 
force, he sent Admiral Duckworth witn a small 
part only. This was a dilemma which he had fore- 
seen. " Should such an order come at this mo- 
ment,*' he said, in a letter previously written to the 
Admiralty, ^ it would be a case for some considera- 
tion, whether Minorca is to be risked, or the two 
kingdoms of Naples and Sicily : I rather thii^ my 
decision would be to risk the former." And, after 
he had acted upon this opinion, he wrote in these 
terms to the Duke of Clarence, with whose high 
notions of obedience he was well acquainted : " I 
am well aware of the consequences of disobeying 
my orders : but as I have often before risked my 
Ute for the good cause, so I with cheerfulness did 
my commission; for, although a military tribunal 
may think me criminal, the world will approve of 
my conduct : and I regard not my own safety, when 
the honour of my king is at stake." 

Nelson was right in his judgment : no attempt 
was made upon Minorca ; and the expulsion of the 
French from Naples may rather be said to have 
been effected, than accelerated, by the English and 
Portuguese of the allied fleet, acting upon shore, 
under Trowbridge. The French commandant at 
St. Elmo, relying iipon the strength of the place, 
and the nature of the force which attacked it, had 
insulted Capt. Foote, in the grossest terms ; but ci- 
toyen Mejan was soon taught better manners, when .^ 
Trowbridge, in spite of every obstacle, opened five 
batteries upon the fort. He was informed, that 
none of his letters with the insolent printed words 
at the top, UherU^ Egalit^, Guerre aux Tyrans, &c. 
would be received ; but that, if he wrote like a sol- 
dier and a gentleman, he should be answered in the 
same style. The Frenchman then began to flatter 
his antagonist upon the bienfaisance and humanitS, 
which, he said, were the least of the many virtues 
wbieh distini^uished Monsieur Trowbridge. Mon* 

184 LiFfi OF ivELSoir. [1799. 

sieur Trowbridge*s bienfaisance was, at this time, 
thinking of mining the fort. — " If we can accomphsh 
that," said he, ''I am a strong advocate to send 
them, hostages and all, to Old Nick, and surprise 
him with a group of nobility and republicans. 
Meantime," he added, " it was some satisfaction to 
perceive that the shells fell well, and broke some 
of their shins." Finally, to complete his character, 
Mejan offered to surrender for 150,000 ducats. Great 
Britain, perhaps, has made but too little use of this 
]und of artUlerv, which France has found so effect- 
ual towards subjugating the continent: but Trow- 
bridge had the prey within his reach ; and in the 
course of a few days, his last battery, '* after much 
trouble and palaver," as he said, ^ brought the vaga- 
bonds to their senses." 

Trowbridge had more difficulties to overcome in 
this siege, from the character of the Neapolitans 
who pretended to assist him, and whom he made 
useful, than even from the strength of the place and 
the skill of the French. ** Such damned cowards 
and villains,'' he declared, ** he had never seen be- 
fore." The men at the advanced posts carried on, 
what he called, " a diabolical good understanding" 
with the enemy, and the workmen would sometimes 
take fright and run away. *' I make the best I can,** 
said he, *'of the degenerate race I have to deal 
with ; the whole means of guns, ammunition, pio- 
neers, &c. with all materials, reist with them. With 
fair promises to the men, and threats of instant 
death if I find any one erring, a little spur has been 
given." Nelson said of him, with truth, upon this 
occasion, that hb was a first-rate general. *• I find, 
sir," said he afterward, in a letter to the Duke of 
Clarence, " that GAieral Koehler does not approve 
of such irregular proceedings as naval oflSicers at- 
tacking and defending fortifications. We have but 
one idea, — ^to get close alongside. None but a 
sailor would have placed a battery only one htm* 

1799.] LIVE OF KELSON. 185 

dred and eighty yards from the castle of St. Elmo: 
a soldier viusi have gone adcording to art, and the 
^^^^>^ way. My brave Trowbridge went straight 
on, for we had no time to spare." 

Trowbridge then proceeded to Capua, and tpok 
the command of the motley besieging force. One 
thousand of the best men in the fleet were sent to 
assist in the siege. Just at this time Nelson re- 
ceived a peremptory order from Lord Keith, to sail 
with the whole of ^his force for the protection of 
Minorca ; or, at least, to retain no more than was 
absolutely necessary at Sicily. " You will easily 
conceive my feelings,*' said he, in communicating 
this to earl St. Vincent : " but my mind, as your 
lordship knows, was perfectly prepared for this 
order; and it is now, more than eVer, made up. 
At this moment I will not part with a single ship; 
as I cannot do that without drawing a hundred and 
twenty men from each ship, now at the siege of 
Capua. I am fully aware of the act I have com- 
mitted ; but I am prepared for any fate which may 
await my disobedience. Capua and Gaieta will soon 
fall ; and the moment the scoundrels of French are 
out of this kingdom I shall send eight or nine ships 
of the line to Minorca. I have done what I thought 
tight : others may think differently : but it will be 
my consolation that I have gained a kingdom, 
seated a faithful ally of his majesty firmly on his 
throne, and restored happiness to millions.'' 

At Capua, Trowbridge had the same difficulties 
as at St. Elmo ; and be*ng farther from Naples, and 
from the fleet, was less able to overcome them. 
The powder was so bad that he isuspected treachery : 
and when he asked Nelson to spare him forty casks 
from the ships, he told him it would be necessary 
that some Englishmen should accompany it, or 
they would steal one-half, and change the other. 
** Every man you B^e" said he, ** gentle and simple, 
•are such notohous villains, that it is misery to be 


186 UFE OF msjJBOTf. [t799m 

with them." Capua, however, soon fell: Gaieta 
immediately afterward surrendered to Capt. Louis 
of the Minotaur. Here the commandihgr officer 
aeted more unlike a Frenchman, Capt. Louis said, 
than any one he had ever met; meaning thai he 
acted like a man of honour. He required, however, 
that the garrrson should carry away their horses, 
and other pillaged property : to which Nelson re- 
plied, " That no property which they did not bring 
with them into the country could be theirs; and 
that the greatest care should be taken to prevent 
them Trom carrying it away.** — " I am sorry,** said 
he to Capt. Louis, *' that ypu have entered into any 
altercation. There is no way of dealing with a 
Frenchman but to knock hun down : to be civil to 
them is only to be laughed at, when they are 

The whole kingdom of Naples was thus delivered 
by Nelson from the French. The Admiralty, how- 
ever, thought it expedient to censure him for dis- 
obeying hord Keith's orders, and thus hazarding 
Minorca, without, as it appeared to them, any su£ 
ficient reason ; and also frooi having landed seamen 
for the siege of Capua, to form part of an army em- 
ployed in operations at a aistamse frpm the coast : 
where, in case of defeat, they might have been pre- 
vented from returning to their ships ; and they en- 
joined him not to employ the seamen in like manner 
in future." This reprimand was issued before the 
event '>vas knqwn ; though,' indeed, the event could 
tiot affect the principle upon which it proceeded. 
When Nelson communicated the tidings of his com- 
plete success, he said, in his public letter, '* that it 
would not be the less acceptable for having been 
principall3r1>rought about by British sailors." His 
judgment in thus employing them had been justified 
by tne result ; and his joy was evidently heightened 
by the gratification of a professional and becoming 
pride. To the firsi lord he saldf at the same timet 

ITdd.] LitE OF msXiSON. 187 

*• I certainly, from having only a left hand, cannot 
enter into details which may explain the motives 
that actuated niy conduct. My principle is, to assist 
in driving the French to the devil, and in restoring 
peace and happiness to mankind. I feel that I am 
fitter to do the action than to describe it.** . He then 
added, that he would take care of Minorca. 

In expelling the French from Naples, Nelson had, 
with characteristic zeal and ability, discharged his 
duty ; but he deceived himself when he imagined 
that he had seated Ferdinand firmly on his throne, 
and that he had restored happiness to mlUions. 
These objects might have been accomplished if it 
had been possible to inspire virtue and wisdom into 
a vicious and infatuated court ; and if Nelson ^s eyes 
had not been, as it were, spell-bound, by that unJiappy 
attachment which had now completely mastered 
him, he would have seen things as they were ; and 
might, perhaps, have awakened the Sicilian court 
to a sense of their interest, if not of their duty. 
That court employed itself in a miserable round of 
folly and festivity, while the prisons of Naples were 
filled with groans, and the scaffolds streamed with 
blood. St. Januarius was solemnly removed from 
his rank as patron saint of the kingdom, having been 
convicted of jacobinism; and St. Antonio as so- 
lemnly installed in his place. The king, instead of 
re-establishing order at Naples by his presence, 
speedily returned to Palermo, to indulge in his 
favourite amusements. Nelson, and the ambassa- 
dor's family, accompanied the court; and Trow- 
bridge remained, groaning over the villany and fri- 
volity of those with whom he was compelled to 
deal. A party ^of officers applied to him for a pas- 
sage to Palermo, to see the procession of St. Ro- 
salia: — ^he recommended them to exercise their 
troops, and not behave like children. It was grief 
enough for him that the court should be busied in 
these follies, and Nelson involved in theoL **I 

188 LIFE OF NELSOH. [1799. 

dread* my lord,'* said he, **all the feasting, &c. at 
Palermo. I am sure your health will be hurt. If 
so, all their saints will be damned by the navy. The 
king would be better employed digesting a good 
government ; every thing gives way to their plea- 
sures. The money spent at Palermo gives discon- 
tent here: fifty thousand people are unemployed, 
trade discouraged, manufactures at a stand. It is 
the interest of many here to keep the king away ; — 
they all dread reform :— their villanies are so deeply 
rooted, that, if some method is not taken to dig them 
out, this government cannot hold together. Out of 
twenty millions of ducats, collected as the revenue, 
only thirteen millions reach the treasury ; and the 
king pays four ducats where he should pay one. 
He is surrounded by thieves; and none of them 
have honour or honesty enough to tell him the real 
and true state of things.'* In another letter he ex- 
pressed his sense of the miserable state of Naples. 
"There are upwards of forty thousand families," 
said he, " who have relations confined. If some 
act of oblivion is not passed, there will be no end of 
persecution; for the people of this country have 
no idea of any thing bat revenge ; and, to gain a 
point, would swear ten thousand fals^ oaths. Con- 
stant efforts are made to get a man taken up in order 
to rob him. The confiscated property does not 
reach the king's treasury. — All thieves ! It is sell- 
ing for nothing. His own people, whom he em- 
ploys, are buying it up, and the vagabonds pocket 
the whole. I should not be surprised to hear that 
they brought a bill of expenses against him for the 

The Sicilian court, however, were at this time 
duly sensible of the services which had been ren- 
dered them by the British fleet, and their gratitude 
to Nelson was shown with proper and princely 
munificence. They gave him the dukedom and 
domain of Bronte, worth about £3000 a year. U 

1799.] UFB OF nxLSoir, 189 

was some days before he could be persuaded to 
accept it : the argument which finally prevailed, is 
said to have been suggested by the queen, and urged, 
at her re<)uest, by Lady Hamilton upon her knees. 
*' He considered his own honour too much," she said, 
^if he persisted in refusing what the king and 
queen felt to be absolutely necessary for the pre- 
servation of theirs." The king himself, also, is 
said to have addressed him in words which show 
that the sense of rank will sometimes confer a'virtue 
upon those who seem to be most unworthy of the 
lot to which they have been born : " Lord Nelson^ 
do you wish that your name alone should pass with 
honour to posterity, and that I, Ferdinand Bourbon, 
should appear ungrateful?" He gave him also, 
when the dukedom was accepted, a diamond-hilted 
sword, which his father, Charles IH. of Spain, had 
given him, on his accession to the throne of the Two 
Sicilies. Nelson said, "The reward was miagnifi- 
cent, and worthy of a king, and he was determinea 
that the inhabitants on the domain should be the 
happiest in all his Sicilian majesty's dominions. — 
Yet," said he, speaking of these and the other remu- 
nerations whicn were made him for his services, 
** these presents, rich as they are, do not elevate me. 
My pride is, that, at Constantinople, from the grand 
seignior to the lowest Turk, the name of Nelson is 
familiar in their mouths ; and in this country 1 am 
every thing which a grateful monarch and people 
can« call me." Nelson, however, had a pardonable 
pride in the outward and visible signs of honour, 
which he had so fairly won. He was fond of his 
Sicilian title; the significatipn, perhaps, pleased 
him ; — Duke of Thunder was what in Dahomy would 
be called a strong name; it was to a sailor^s taste; 
and, certainly, to no man could it ever be more ap- 
plicable. But a simple offering, which he received, 
not long afterward, from the island of Zante, af- 
fected mm with a deeper and finer feeling. The 

190 UFE OF HBLSOH. [1799. 

Greeks of that little community eent him a golden- 
headed sword and a truncheon, set round with all 
the diamonds that the island could furnish, in a 
single row. They thanked him " for having, by his 
victory, preserved that part of Greece from the hor- 
rors of anarchy ; and prayed that his exploits might 
accelerate the day, in which, amid the glory and 
peace of thrones, the miseries of the human race 
would cease.'' This unexpected tribute touched 
Nelson to the heart. '^No officer," he said, ^^had 
ever received from any country a higher acknow- 
ledgment of his services." 

The French still occupied the Roman states ; from 
which, according to their own admission, they had 
extorted in jewels, plate, specie, and requisitions of 
every kind, to the enormous amount of eight mil- 
lions sterling : yet they affected to appear- as de- 
liverers among 4he people whom they were thus 
cruelly plundering; and they distributed portraits 
of Buonaparte, with the blasphemous inscription— 
*' This is the true likeness of the holy saviour of the 
world !" The people, detesting the impiety, and 
groaning beneath the exactions, of these perfidious 
robbers, were ready to join any regular force that 
should come to their assistance ; but they dreaded 
Cardinal Ruffo's rabble, and declared they would re- 
sist him as a banditti, who came only for the pur- 
pose of pillage. Nelson perceived that no object 
was now so essential for the tranquillity of Naples 
as the recovery of Rome; which, in the present 
state of things, when Suvarof was driving the French 
before him* would comi^ete the deliverance of Italy. 
He applied, therefore, to Sir James St. Clair £rs- 
kine, who, in the absence of General Fox, com- 
manded at Minorca, to assist in this great object 
with twelve hundred men. "The field of glory," 
said he, " is a large one, and was never more open 
to any one, than at this moment to you.. Rome 
would throw opea her gates and receive you as her 

179.9.] LiF£ oy NBLson « 10} 

deliverer; and tbt pope would owe his restoration 
to a heretic." But Sir James Erskine looked only 
at the difficulties of the undertaking. "Twelve 
hundred men, he thought, would be too small a 
force to be committed in such an enterprise ; for 
Civita Vecchia was a regular fortress ; — the local 
situation and climate also were such, that, even if 
this force were adequate, it would be proper to de- 
lay the expedition till October. General Fox, too, 
Wjas soon expected; and during his absence, and 
under existing circumstances, he did not feel justi* 
fied in sending away such a detachment. 

What this general thought it imprudent to at- 
tempt. Nelson and Trowbridge effected without his 
assistance, by a small detachment from the fleet. 
Trowbridge first sent Capt. Hallowell to Civita 
Vecchia, to offer the garrison there, and at Castle 
St. Angelo, the same terms which had been granted 
to Gaieta. Hallowell perceived, by the overstrained 
civility of the officers who came off to him, and the 
compliments which they paid to the English nation, 
that they were sensible of their own weakness, and 
their inability to offer any effectual resistance ; but 
the French know, that while they are in a condition 
to serve theiir govern laent, they can rely upon it for 
every possible exertion in their support; and this 
reliance gives them hope and confidence to the last.. 
Upon Hallowell's report, Trowbridge, who had now 
been made Sir Thomas for his services, sent Capt. 
Louis with a squadron, to enforce the terms which 
he had offered ; and as soon as he could leave Na- 
ples, he himself followed. The French, who had 
no longer any hope frona the fate of arms, re- 
lied upon their skill in negotiatipn, and proposed 
terms to Trowbridge with that effrotitery which cha* 
racterizes their public proceedings ; but which is 
Sis often successful as it is impudent. They had a 
man of the right stamp to deal with. Their am- 
bassador at Rome began by^ayin^ that the Bomaa 

192 UVB OF HsiaoN. [1799. 

territory was the property of the French by right 
of conquest. The British commodore settled that 
point, by replying, •* It is mine by re-conquest." A 
capitulation was soon concluded for all tne Roman 
states, and Capt. Louis rowed up Tiber in his barge, 
hoisted English colours on the Capitol, and acted, 
for the time, as governor of Rome. The prophecy 
of the Irish poet was thus accomplished, and the 
friar reaped trie fruits ; for Nelson, who was struck 
with the oddity of the circumstance, and not a little 
pleased with it, obtained preferment for him from 
the king of Sicily, and recommended him to the 
pope. , 

Hayinjr thus completed his work upon the conti- 
nent of Italy, Nelson's whole attention waa directed 
towards Malta ; where Capt. Bail, with most inade- 
quate means, was besieging the French garrison. 
Never was any officer engaged in a more anxious 
and painful service: the smallest reinforcement 
from France would, at any moment, have turned 
the scale against him : and had it not been for his 
consummate ability, and the love and veneration 
with which the Maltese regarded him, Malta must 
have remained in the hands of the enemy. Men, 
money, food ; all things were wanting. The garri- 
son consisted of five thousand troops; — ^the be- 
sieging force of five hundred English and Portu- 
guese marines, and about fifteen hundred armed 
peasants. Long and repeatedly did Nelson solicit 
troops to effect the reduction of this important 
|dace. ^ It has been no fault of the navy," said he, 
'* that Malta has not been attacked by land: but we 
have neither the means ourselves, nor influence 
with those who have." The same causes of de- 
murrer existed which prevented British troops from 
assisting in the expulsion of the French from Rome. 
Sir James Erskme was expecting General Fox ; he 
oould not act without orders ; and not having, like 
Nelson, that lively spring of hope within him, which 

1799.] LIFB OF NXLSOK. 193 

partakes enough of the nature of faith to work mi- 
racles in war, -he thought it " evident, that unless a 
respectable land force, in numbers sufficient to un- 
deitake the siege of such a garrison, in one of the 
strongest places of Europe, and supplied with pro- 
portionate artillery and stores, were sent against it, 
no reasonable hope could be entertained of its stir- 
render."— Nelson groaned 'over the spirit of over- 
reasoning caution and unreasoning obedience. 
"My heart," said he, "is almost broken. If the 
enemy gets supplies in, we may bid adieii to Malta: 
— all the force we can collect would then be of little 
use against thedBtrongest place in Europe. — To say 
that an officer is never, for any object, to alter his 
orders, is what I cannot contprehend. The circum- 
stances of this war so often vary, that an officer has 
almost every moment to consider, what i«rould my 
superiors direct, did they know What is passing 
under my nose. But, sir,'* said he, writing to the 
Duke of Clarence, " I find few think as I do. To 
obey orders is all perfection. To serve my king, 
and to destroy the French, I cctosider as the great 
order of all, from' which little ones spring : and if 
one of these militate against it (for who can tell ex- 
actly at, a distance), I go back, and obey the great 
order and object, to down, down With the damned 
French villains ! — My blood boils at the name of 
Frenchman !"' 

At length. Gen. Fox arrived at Minorca, — arid, at 
length, permitted OoL Graham to go to Malta, but 
with means miserably limited. In fact, the expedi- 
tkKi was at a stand for want of money ; when Tfow- 
bndge, arriving at Messina, to co-operate in it, and 
finding this fresh delay, immediately offered all that 
he could command of his own. "I procured him, 
my lord," said he to Nelson, " fifteen thousand of 
my cobs : — every farthing and every atom of me 
shall be devoted to the cause.''— " What can this 
mean^" said Nelson, when he learned that Col. Gra- 


194 ura or nkisoit. [1800. 

ham was ordered hot to incur any expense for 
stores, or any articles except provisions! — ^"the 
' cause cannot stand still for want of a little money. 
If nobody will pay it, I will sell Bronte, and the Em- 
peror of Russia's box/' And he actually pledged 
Bronte for £6600, if there should be any difficulty 
about paying the bills. The long-delayed expedi- 
tion was thus, at last, sent forth : but Trowbridgt 
little imagined in what scenes of misery he was to 
bear his part. He looked to Sicily foi^ supplies : it 
was fhe interest, as well as the duty, of the Sicilian 
government to use every exertion for furnishing 
them: and Nelson and the British ambassador 
were on the spot to press upon them the necessity 
of exertion. But , though Nelson saw with what a 
knavish crew the Sicilian court was surrounded, he 
was blind to. the vices of the court itself; and re- 
signing himself wholly to Lady Han^ilton's influence^ 
never even suspected the crooked policy which it 
was remorselessly pursuing. The Maltese and the 
British in Malta severely felt it. Trowbridge, 
who had the truest affection for Nelson, knew his 
infatuation, and feared that it might prove injurious 
to his character, as well as fatal to an enterprise 
which had begun so well, and been carried on so pa- 

'* My lord," said he, writing to him from Ihe siege, 
" we are dyin^ off fast for want. I learn that Sir 
William Hamilton says Prince Luzzi refused com 
some time ago, and Sir William does not think it 
worth while making another application. If that 
be the case, I wish he commanded this distressing 
scene instead of me. Puglia had an immense har- 
vest ; near thirty sail left Messina, before I did, to 
load com. Will they let us have any? if not, a 
short time will decide the business. The German 
Interest prevails. I wish I was at your lordship'9 
elbow for an hour. — Ml, all will be thrown on you I 
— ^I will parry the bk>w as much as in my power : i 

ISOO.] Lira 0p heuok. 195 

foresee mach misehief brewing.— God Wess your 
lordship ; I am miserable, I cannot assist your ope- 
rations more. Many happy. returns of the day to 
yoU'— (it was the first of the new year) — ^I never 
spent so niiserable a one. I am not very tender 
hearted; but really the distress here would even 
move a Neapolitan." Soon afterward he wrote: 
** I have this day saved thirty thousand people from 
starving ; but with this day my ability ceases. As 
the government- are bent on starving us, I see no al" 
temative, but tq leave these poor unhappy people to 

rirish, without our being witnesses of their distress 
curse the day I ever served the Neapolitan go- 
remment. — ^We have characters, my lord, to lose 
these people have none. Do not suffer their infa> 
mous conduct to fall on us. Our country is just« 
but severe. S>uch is the* fever of my brain this 
minute, that J assure you, on myhonpur, if the Pa- 
lermo traitors were here, I would shoot them first, 
and then myself. Girgenti is full of corn; the 
money is ready to pay for it ; we do not ask it as a 
gift. . Oh ! could you see the horrid distress I daily 
experience, something would be done. — Some en- 
gine is at work against us at Naples ; and I believe 
I hit on the proper person.' If you (complain, he 
wUl be immediately promoted, agreeably to the 
Neapolitan custom. All I write to you is known at 
the queen's.— For my own partj I look upon the 
Neapolitans as Uie worst of intriguing enemies • 
eveiy hour shows me their infamy and duplicity 
1 pray your lordship be cautious : your honest, open 
manner of acting will be made a handle of. When 
I see you, and tell of their infamous tricks, you 
will be >as much surprised as I am. The whole will 
fall oh you." 

Nelson was not, and could not be, insensible to 
the distress which his friend so earnestly repre- 
sented. He begged, almost on liis knees, he said, 
f mall supplies of money and corny to keep the MaU 


tese from fttarring. And when the eourt granted a 
small supply, protesting their poverty, he believed 
their protestations, and was satisfied with their pro- 
fessions, instead of insisting that the restrictions 
upon the exportation Of com should be withdrawn* 
The anxiety, however, which he endured, affected 
him so deeply, that he said it had broken his spirit 
for ever. . Happily, all that . Trowbridge, with so 
much reason, ibreboded, did not come to pass. For 
Oapt. Ball, with more decision than Nelson himself 
would have shown at that time, and upon that ocea* 
sion, ventured upon a resolute measure, for which 
his name woul(l deserve always to be held in vene- 
ration bv the Maltese, even' if it had no other claims 
to the love and reverence of a grateful people. 
Finding it hopeless longer to ' look for succour or 
common humanity from the deceitful and infatuated 
court of Sicily, which persisted in prohibiting, by 
sanguinary edicts, the exportation of (supplies, at 
his own risk he sent his first lieutenant to the port 
of Girgenti, with orders to seize^and bring with him 
to MaUa, the ships which were there lying laden 
with com ; of the number of which he had received 
accurate information. These orders- were executed, 
to the great delight and advantage of the ship-owners 
and proprietors ; the necessity of raising the siege 
was removed, and Capt. Ball waited, in calmness, 
for the consequences to himself. The' Neapolitan 
government complained to the English ambassador, 
and the complaint was communicatad to Nelson, 
who, in return, requested Sir William Hamilton 
would fully and plainly state that the act ought not 
to be considered as any intended disrespect to his 
Sicilian majesty, but as of the most' absolute and im- 
perious necessity; the alternation being either of 
abandoning Malta to the French, or of anticipating 
the king's orders for carrying the corn in those ves- 
sels to Malta. " I trast," he added, " that the go- 
vernment of the country will neve^ again foice any 

1800.] UfFB OF NBXAOir. 197 

of our royal master's servants to so unpleasant an 
aJtematLve.'* Thus ended the complaint of the Nea- 
politan court. "The sole result was," says Mr. 
Coleridge, " that the governor of Malta became an 
especial object of its hatred, its fear, and its re- 

Nelson himself, at the beginning of February, 
sailed for that island. On the way, he fell in with a 
French 8quadron,'bound for its relief, and consisting 
of the G6n^reux seventy-four, three frigates, and a 
corvette. One of these frigates, and the line*of- 
battle-ship, were tuken; the others escaped, but 
failed in their purpose of reaching La Valette. This 
-success was peculiarly gratifying to Nelson for 
* many reasons. Duringsome months he had acted 
as commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean, while 
- Lord Keith was in England. Lord Keith was now 
returned; and Nelson had, upon his own plan, and 
Bt his own risk, left him, to sail for Malta, — ^" for 
•which," said he, ***if I had not succeeded, I might 
iiave been broke ; — and, if I had not acted thus, the 
"G^n^reux never would have been taken." This 
ship was one of those which had escaped from 
Aboukir. Two fVigates, and the Guillaume Tell, 
•eightv-sii:, were all that now. remained of the fleet 
which Buonaparte, had conducted to Eg3rpt. The 
Ouillanme Tell was at this time closely watehed in 
the harbour of La Valette : and shortly afterward, at- 
tempting to make, her escape from thence, was taken* 
after an action in which greater skill was never dis- 
played by British ships, nor greater gallantry b3r an 
enemy. She was taken by the Foudroyant, Lion, 
and Penelope frigate. Nelson, rejoicing at what he 
•called this glorious finish to the whole French Me- 
<literninean fieet, rejoiced also that he was not pre- 
sent to have taken a sprig of these brave men's lau- 
rels. " They are," said he, " and I glory in them, 
-iny children i they served in my school ; and all of 
«ui caught our professional zeal and fire from the 


' 198 Lint ov vmsjsont^ [ 1809. 

great and good Eail St. Vincent. What a plaa8ine» 
what happiness, to have the Nile fleet aUtaken^ 
under my orders and regulations !"— The two fri- 
gates still remained in La Valette: before its sur- 
render they stole out : one was taken in the attempt; 
the other was the only ship of the whole fleet which 
escaped capture or destruction. 

Letters were found on board the Guillaume Tell, 
showing that the French were now become hopeless 
of preserving the conquest which they had so foully 
acquired. Trowbridge and his brother-oflficers were 
anxious that Nel6on should have the honomr of 
signing the capitulation. They told him, that they 
absolutely, as far as they dared, insisted on his stay- 
ing to do this X- but their earnest and afiectionate en- 
treaties were vain. Sir William Hamilton had just 
been superseded: Nelson had no feeling of eor- 
diality towards Lord Keith; and thinkii^ that, after 
Earl St; Vincent, no man had so good a claim to the 
command in the Mediterranean as himself, he ap- 
plied for permission to return^ to England, telling 
the first lord of the Admiralty^ that his spirit coukt 
not submit patiently^ and that he was a broken- 
hearted man. From the time of his return from 
Egypt, amid all the honours- which were showered 
upon him, he had suffered many mortifications. 
Sir Sidney Smith had been sent to Egypt, with or- 
ders to tdke under his command the squadrofi which 
Nelson had left there. Sir Sidney appears to have 
thought that this command was to be independent 
of Nelson : and Nelson himself « thinking so, deter- 
mined to return, saying to Earl St. Vincent, " I do 
feel, for I am a man, that it is impossible for me to 
serve in these seas with a squadron under a junior 
officer.^' Earl St. Vincent seems to have dissuaded 
him from this resolution: some heart-burnings, 
however, still remained, and some incautious ex* 
pressions of Sir Sidney's were noticed by him in 
tomw of evident displeasure. But this did not con- 

1600.] IXFB OP vmiM&Sf. 199 

tinue long, as no naan bore more wilHng testinMiiy 
than Nelson to the admirable defence of Acre. 

He differed from Sir Sidney as to the policy 
which ought to be pursued towards the t^neh in 
tigypt ; and strictly commanded him, in the strong- 
est language, not, on any pretence, to permit a single 
Frenchman to leave the countiy, saying, that he 
considered it nothing short of madness to permit that 
band of thieves to return to Europe. *' No,'* said 
he, ^'tofiffypt they went with their own consent, 
and there* they shall remain, while Nelson command 
this squadron : for never^ never will he consent to 
the return of one ship or Frenchman. — ^I wish them 
to perish in Ep^^pt, and give an awful lesson^to the 
world of the justice of the Almighty." If Nelson 
had not thoroughly understood the character of the 
enemy against whom he was engaged^ their oonduet 
in Egypt wpuld have disclosed it. After the battle 
of the Nile he had landed all his prisoners, upon a 
solemn engagement made between TrowMdge on 
one side, and Capt. Barr6 on the other; that none of 
them should serve till regularly exchanged* They 
were no sooner on shore, than part of them were 
drafted into the different regiments, and the re- 
mainder formed into a corps, csdled the nautic legion. 
This occasioned Capt. Hallowell to say, that the 
French had forfeited all claim to respect from ns. 
*** The army of Buonaparte,'^ said he, " are entirely 
destitute qf every principle of honour : they have 
always acted like licentious thieves." Bnonaparte's 
escape was the more regretted by Nelson, because, 
if he had had sufficient force, 'he thought it would 
certainly have been prevented. He wished to keep 
«hips upon the watch, to intercept any thing coming 
ffom Egypt : but thr Admiralty calculated upon the 
assistance of the Russian fleet, which failed when it 
was most wanted. The ships which should have 
been thus employed were then required for more 
^Nresfling services; and the bloody Goroicaii waf 

fiOO ura or toomov. [)800« 

thus enabled to reach Europe in safety ; there to be* 
come the guilty instrument of a wider-spreading de- 
struction than any with which the wond 'had ever 
before been visited. 

Nelson had other causea of chagrin. Earl St 
Vincent, for whom he felt such high respect, and 
whom Sir John Orde had challenged, for having 
nominated Nelson instead of himself to the com- 
mand of the Nile squadron, laid claim to prize mo- 
ney, as commander-in-chief, after he had quitted the 
station. The point was contested, .and decided 
against hun. Nelson, perhaps, felt this the more, 
because his own feeUngs, with regard to money, 
were so different. An opinion had been given by 
Dr. Lawrence, which would have excluded the junior 
flag officers from prize money. When this was 
made known to him, his reply was in these words : 
^ Notwithstanding Dr. Lawrence^s opinion, I do not 
believe I have any right to exclude the junior flag 
officers : and if I have, I desire that no such claim 
may be made :— no, not if it were, sixty times the 
sum, — and^ poor as I am, I were never to. see prize 

• A snip could not be spared to convey him to Eng- 
land ; ne therefore travelled through Germany to 
Hamburgh, in company with his inseparable Jriends, 
Bir William and Lady Hamilton. The queen of 
Naples went with then; to Vienna. While they 
were at Leghorn, upon a report that ^ the Frenca 
were. approaching (for, through the folly of weak 
courts, and the treachery of venal cabinets, they 
had now recovered their ascendency in Italy), the 
people rose tumultuously, and wouTd.fain have per- 
suaded Nelson to lead them against tlie enemy. 
Public honours, aud yet more gratifying testimonials 
of public admiration, awaited Nelson wherever 
he went. The prince of Esterhazy entertained him 
in a style of Hungarian magniflcenqe — a hundied 
grenadiersv each six feet in height, constantly wait- 

1000.] UVE OF vwiiMmi 201 

ing at table. At Magdeburgh, the master of the hotel 
where he was entertained, contrived to show him 
for money ; admitting the curious to mount a ladder, 
and peep at him through a small window. A wine 
merchant at Hamburgh, who was above seventy years 
of a:ge, requested to speak with Lady Hamilton, 
and told her be had some Rhenish wine, of the vin- 
tage of 1625, which, had been in his own possession 
more than half a eentury : he bad preserved it for 
some e!;araordinary occasion ; and that which had 
now arrived was far beyond any that he could evei? 
have expected. His request was, that her ladyship 
would pireyail upon Lord Nelson to accept six dozen 
of this incomparable wine ; part of it would, then 
have the honour to flow into the heart's blood of that 
immortal hero ; and this thought would make him 
happy during the remainder of his life. Nelso^, 
when this singular request was reported to him, 
went into the room, and taking the worthy old gen- 
tleman kindly by the hand, consented to receive six 
bottles, provided the donor would dine with him 
next day. Twelve were sent ; and Nelson, saying, 
that he hoped yet to win half a dozen more great 
victories,' promised to layby six bottles of his Ham- 
burgh friend's wine, for the piiirpose of drinking one 
aft^f eft^h. — A German pastor, between seventy and 
eighty years of age^ travelled forty miles, with the 
Bible of his parish church, to request that Nelson 
would write his name on the first leaf of it. He 
called him the saviour of the Christian world. The 
old man's hope deceived him. There was na Nelson 
upon shore, or Europe would) have been saved ; but, 
in his foresight of the horrors with which all Ger- 
many and all Christendom were threatened by 
France, the pastor could not possibly have appre- 
liended more than has actually taken place* 

20S ura OF HBUOH. [1800. 



MI#M«9arcte« kiwutlf from hi9 Wif9—If«rthnrn Confedtraep^m 
goet to UU Baltic^ under Sir Hydt Parker^Baitle of CopenMagoa^ 

and suboequent Jfegotiation — J^elson ii. made a P'iaeounL. 

NtLsoN was welcomed in England with every 
mark of popular honour. At Yarmouth, where he 
landed, every ship in the harbour hoisted her. co- 
lours. The mayor and corporation waited upon him 
with the freedom ef the town, and accompanied hiin 
in procession to church, with all the naval officers 
on shore, and the principal inhabitants. Bonfires 
and illuminations concluded the day; and, on the 
morrow, the volunteer cavalry drew^up and saluted 
him as he departed, and followed the carriage to the 
borders 6f the county. At Ipswich, the people 
came out to meet him, drew him a mile into the 
town, and three miles out. When he was in the 
Agamemnon, he wished to represent thi^ place in 
parhament, and some of his friends had consulted 
the leading men of tMe corporation ; the result was 
not successful, and Nelson, observing that he would 
endeavour to find 6ut a preferable path into parlia- 
ment, said there might coftie a time when the peo- 
ple of Ipswich would think it an honour to have 
had him for their representative. In London, he 
was feasted by the city^ drawn by the -populace 
from Ludgate-hill to Guildhall, and received the 
thanks of the common council for his great victory, 
and a golden-hilted sword, studded with diamonds. 
Nelson had every earthly blessing, except domestic 
happiness : he had forfeited that for ever. Before 
he had been three months in England he separated 
from Lady Nelson. Some of his last words to 
bar were: ''I call God to witness, there is notbiiig 

IBOO.] UFB or nsMov. 909 

in you or your conduct, that I wish otherwise." 
This was the consequence of his infatuated attach- 
ment to Lady Hamilton. It had before caused a 
quarrel with his son-in-law, and occasioned remon- 
strances from his truest friends, whieh produced no 
other effect than, that of making him displeased 
with them, and more dissatisfied with himself. 

The Addington administration was just at this 
time formed; and Nelson, who had solicited em- 
plo3'ment, and been made vice-admiral of the blue, 
was sent to the Baltic, as second, in command^ under 
Sir Hyde Parker, by Earl St, Vincent, the new first 
lord of the Admiralty. The three northern courts 
bad formed a confederacy for making England re- 
siipi her naval rights. Of these courts, Russia was 
guided by the passions of its emperor, Paul, a man nol 
without fits of generosity, and some natural good- 
ness, but subject to the wildest humours of caprice* 
and crazed by the possesion of greater power than 
can ever be safely, or perhaps innocently, possessed 
by weak humanity. Denmark was French at heart : 
ready to co-operate in all the views of France, to 
recognise all her usurpations, and obey all her in- 
junctions. Sweden, under a king whose princij^es 
were right, and who^e feelings were generous, but 
who had a taint of hereditary insanity, acted in ac- 
quiescence with the dictates of two powers whom 
it feared to offend. The Danish u navy, at this time, 
consisted of twenty-three ships of the line, with 
about thirty-one frigates and smaller vessels, exclu- 
sive of guard-ships. The Swedes had eighteen 
ships of the line, fourteen frigates and sloops, se- 
venty-four galleys and smaller vessels, besides gun- 
boats ; and this force was in a far better state' of 
equipment than the Danish. The Russians had 
eighty-two sail of the line and forty frigates. Of 
these there were forty-seven sail of the line at Cron- 
stadt. Revel, Petersburg, and Archangel: but the 
Russian fleet was ill-manned, ill-officered, and ill- 

.1801.] XETB OP* jtbimm; 90B 

The teet sailed on the 13th of Marcfti. Mr. Van* 
•ittart sailed in it ; the British cabinet still hoping 
to obtain its end by negotiation. It was well for 
England that Sir. Hyde Parker placed a fcdler confi- 
dence in Nelson than the govemment seems to have 
done at this most important crisis. Her enemies 
might well tiave been astonished at learning, that 
any other man should for a moment have been 
ihonght of for the command. Bnt so little defe- 
Tence was paid, even at this time, to his intuitive 
and all-oommanding genius, that when the fleet had 
reached its first rendezvous, at the entrance of the 
Cattegat, he had received no ofiSieial communication 
whatever of the intended operations. His own 
mind had been made up upon them with its accus* 
tomed decision. " All I have gathered of our first 
plans,'' said he, ^'I disapprove most exceedingly. 
Honour may arise from them ; good cannot. 1 hear 
we are likely to anchor outside of Oronenburg 
Castle, instead of Copenhagen, which woiild give 
weight to our negotiation. A Danish minister 
wotdd think twice before he would put his name to 
war with England, when the next moment he would 
probably see his master's fleet in flames, and his ca« 
pital in ruins. The Dane should see our flag every 
moment he lifted up his head." 

Mr. Yansittart left the fleet at the Scaw, ahd pre- 
ceded it in a frigate with a flag of truce. Precioua 
time was lost by this delay, which was to be pur* 
chased by the dearest blood of Britain and Den- 
mark: according to the Danes. themsielves,* th'e in- 
telligence that a British fleet was seen off the Sound 
produced a much more general alarm m Copenhagen 
than its actual arrival in the Roads ; for their means 
of defence were at that time in such a state, that 
they could hardly hope to resist, still less to repel, 
an enemy. On the 21st Nelson had a lone confer- 
ence with Sir Hyde ; and the next day adoressed a 
letter to him, worthy of himself and of the ooca- 



-. had then been »-^ 
•km. Mr. VMWtttarfs wp^„^t govetnmcnt ^ 
ceived. It represeated the ^^l%^% state of V^ 
in the highew'degree hostile; ^, cabtoet^^ad 9«^ 
paiaUon a« exceeding **>«' had profited, witV»^ 

poUd possible: for D«n™"^Id so impoWw^^ ^V- 

ictiWtyVof the leisure whichhad so v^„ ««'l^t<f 

giren fer. « The more I h*'" T!^ 1 am <=°^y^ft 

ton to his commander, " t^« "^^ould be \o»i » «! 

in opinion, that not a moment snom ^^ ^T^^ 

tacking thi enemy. Theyw»Ueve^^ ^^ ,^»^^ 

hour L stronger: ^e "ha^^^^ The only /^ 

match for them as at this «>««^;,ith the l«»f*fS^. 

sideration is, how to get »l.**'*^v, almost the s^e^^ 

to our 8hip8.-Hereyou are. ^J England, ^more m 

certainly with the honour, of E^i^B^ ^^^ Vot <!^^ 

trusted to you, than ever r* if '^ depend8/wl>«^ 

British ofl^er. On vour decision P ^^ of Europe, 

our country shall be degraded «^5\i|fcet tha» ^J^J^ 

or whether she shall rear her b^«« "^tty depends^ 

Again I do repeat, nerer did <»t c ^g on thw- 

much upon the suciJesB *^ ^^g the pride of hw 

How best to honour her, and abate ^ ^^ ^n«- 

enemies, must be the subject ot you 

deration." i , ♦i,^ oassage of the Soi»a« 

^ Supposing him to force «>« ^'^t be done amo^ 

Nelso^Tthought some damagem^w ^^^ ^^^ 

the maats aid yards; *OUgH pernap „j{thev™»» 

them but would be serviceable again- ^ ^^^^^s.«a 

bef^ir,^ slwhe, " and you determine to ^^ 

fhips aiid Crown Islands, youW»te»v ^^^ 

turaj issue of such a b^^^^rX^^nd which ctf- 

Perhaps, one or. two lost ; ft^r *«« l^™ o^ a cnp- 

nea you^in. will most probably not brmg ^ 

pled ship. This mode I. °*"„f ^^t the Verj 
horns. it, however, will »*»*.P^!^ Danes : «>* 
ihipa or tte Swedes from JOl™"*S.*f« "^^easnW 
o prevent this is, in my humWf ^P^J^Vcopeflfe*- 
l>8oIutelv- necessary ; and atOl to attacK "^^„, 
«!»•'* :F*br this he proposed two mode*. "•" 

1801.] MPE OP NELSON. 20r 

to pass Cronenbtirg, taking the risk of danger ^ 
taking* thie deepest and straightest channel along: 
the Middle Grounds ; and then coming down the 
Garbar or King's Channel, attack the Danish line 
of floating batteries and ships, as might be found 
convenient. This would prevent a junction, and 
might give an opportunity of bombarding Copen- 
hagen. Or to take the passage of the Belt, which 
might be accomplished in four or five days ; and 
then the attack by Draco might be made, and the 
junction of the Russians prevented. Supposing 
item through the Belt, he proposed that a detach- 
ment of the fleet should be sent to destroy the Rus- 
sian squadron at Revel ; and that the business at 
Copenhagen should be attempted with the remainder. 
** The measure," he said, " might be thought bold : 
but the boldest measures are the safest." 

The pilots, as men who had nothing but safety to 
think of, were terrified by the formidable report of 
the batteries of Elsinofe, and the tremendous pre- 
parations which our negotiators, who? were now re- 
turned from their fruitless mission, had witnessed. 
They therefore persuaded Sir Hyde to prefer the 
passage of the Belt. ** Let it be by the Sound, by 
the Belt, or any how^" cried Nelson, " only lose hot 
an hour!" On the 26th they sailed for the Belt: 
fiuch was the habitual reserve of Sir Hyde, that hii 
own captain, the captain of the fleet, did not know 
Dirhieh course he had resolved to take till the fleet 
were getting under way. . When Capt. Domett was 
thus apprized of it, hie felt it his duty tp represent to 
% the admiral his belief that if that course were per- 
severed in, th'e ultimate object would be totally de- 
feated : it was liable to long delays, and to acciaents 
of ships' grounding ; in the whole fleet there were 
. only one captain and one pilot who knew anything 
of this formidable passage (as it was then deemed), 
and their knowledge was very slight : their instruc- 
tiOQS did not authorize them to attempt it $ — supposing 

t08 UFB or HEUOlf. [tdOt. 

them safe through the Belts, the heavy ships eould 
not come over the Grounds to attack Copenhagen; 
and light vessels would have no effect on such a line 
of defence as hajd been prepared against them. 
Domett urged these reasons so forcibly that Sir 
Hyde's opinion was shaken, and he consented to 
bring the fleet to, and send for Nelson on board. 
There can be little doubt but that the expedition 
would have failed, if Capt* Domett, had not thus 
timely and earnestly given his advice. — Nelson en- 
tirely agreed with him ; and it was finally determined 
to take the passage of the Sound, — and, the deet re- 
turned to its former anchorage. 

The next day was more idly expended in des- 
patching a flag of truce to the governor of Cronen- 
Durg Castle, to ask whether he had received orders 
to fire at the JBritish fleet ; as the admiral must con- 
sider the first gun to be a declaration of war on the 
part of Denmark. A soldier-like and becoming an- 
swer was returned to this formality. The governor 
said, that the British minister had not been sent away 
from Copenhagen, but had obtained a passport at his 
own deniand. He himself, as a soldier, could not 
meddle with politics ; but he was not at liberty to 
suffer a fleet, of which the intention was not yet 
known, to approach the gims of the castle which he 
had the honour to command : and he requested, if 
.the British admiral should think proper to make any 
proposals to the king of IXenmark, that he might 
be apprized of it before the fleet approached nearer. 
During this intercourse, a Dane, who came onboard 
the commander's ship, having occasion to express 
his business in writing, found the pen blunt ; and, 
holding It up, sarcastically said, « If your guns are 
not better pomted than your pens, you will make 
little impression on Copenhagen »" 

On that day intelligence reached the admiral of 
the loss of one of his fleet, the Invincible, seventy- 
four, wrecked on a sand-bank, as she wi C9S 

tSOK] X.IFB OF KELflOK. 209 

out of Yannouth; four hundred of her men pe- 
Tished in her. Nelson, who was now appomted to 
lead the van, shifted his flaff to the Elephant, Capt. 
Foley— 'a lighter ship than the St. George, and there- 
fore fitter for the expected operations. Tlie two 
following days Avere calm. Orders had been ^iven 
to pass the Sound as soon as the wind would per- 
mit ; and on the afternoon of the 29th,. the ships 
•were cleared for action, with an alacrity characteris- 
tic of British seamen. At daybreak on the 30th, it 
blew a topsail breeze from the north-west. The 
signal was made, and the fleet moved on in order of 
l)attle ; Nelson's division in the van. Sir Hyde's in 
the centre, and Admiral Graves's in the rear. 

Great actions, whether -military or naval, have 
^nerally given celebrity to the scenes from whence 
they are denominated ; and thus petty villages, and 
capes, and bays, known only to tiie coasting trader, 
become associated with migiity deeds, and their 
names are made conspicuous in the history of the 
world. Here, however, the scene was every way 
"worthy of the drama. The political importance of 
the Sound is such, that grand objects are not needed 
there to impress the imagination ; yet la the channel 
full of gt'and and interesting objects, both of art and 
^nature. This passage, which Denmark had so long 
considered as the key of the Baltic, is^ in its narrow- 
est part, about three miles wide ; and here the citj' 
of ElsinOre is situated; except Copenhagen, the 
most flourishing of the Danish towns. Every vessel 
which passes lowers her top-galhint-sails, and pays 
toll at Elslnore : a toll which is believed to have had 
its origin in the c*)nsent of the traders to that sea, 
Denmark taking upon itself the charge of construct- 
ing lighthouses, and erecting sign^s, to mark the 
flhoals and rocks from the Cattegat to the Baltic : 
and they, on their part, agreeing that all ships should 
pass this way, in order that all might pay their 
•haree : none from that time asing tl^e pus^ge of tbe 


f 10 im OP sisiaov. [1801 

Belt ; because it was not fitting that they who ev^ 
J03redthe benefit of the beacons in dark and stormy 
weather, should evade coDtributiofir to them in fair 
seasons and summer nig^hts. Of late years, about 
ten thousand vessels had annually paid this contri- 
bution in time of peace. Adjoining Elsinore, and 
at the edge of the peninsular promontory, upon the 
nearest point of land to the Swedish coast, stands 
Cronenburg Castle, built after Tycho, Brahe's de- 
sign ; a magnificent pile* — ^at once a palace, and for- ' 
tress, and state-prison, with, its spires and towers, 
and batUemeuts and batteries. On the left of the 
•trait is the old Swedish city of Helsinburg ; at the 
foot, and on the side of a hiU. To the north of Hel- 
sinburg the chores are steep and rocky ; they lower 
to the south, ^uid the distant spires of Landscrona, 
Lund, and Malmoe are seen in the fiat country. The 
Banish shores consist partly of ridges of sand ; but 
more frequently they are diversified with corn-fields, 
meadows, slopes, and are covered with rich wood 
and villages and villas, and sum;ner palaces be- 
longing to the king and the nobility, and denoting U^ 
vicinity of a great capital. The isles of Huen, 
Statholm, and Amak, appear in the widening chan- 
nel ; and at the distance of twenty miles from Elsi- 
nore, stands Copenhagen, in full view ; the best city 
of the north, aiid one of the finest capitals of Eu- 
rope ; visible, with its stately spires, far off. Amid 
these magnificent objects, there are some which pos- 
sess a peculiar interest for the recollections which 
they cadi forthi The Isle of Huen, a lovely domain, 
about six. miles in circumference, had been the mu- 
nificent gift of Frederick the Second to Tycho Brahe. 
It has higher shores than the near coast of Zealand, 
or than the Swedish coast in that part. Here most 
of his discoveries were made ; and here the ruins 
are to be seen of his observatory, and of the man- 
sion where he was visited by princes ; and where, 
«rith ft princely spiiit, he received and Mxtertained 

1801.] UFB OF KSL80N.- 211, 

all coiners from all partg, and promoted science by 
his liberality, as well as by his labours. Elsinore is 
a name familiar to English ears, being inseparably 
associated with Hamlet, and one of the noblest worka 
of human geniys. Cronenburg had been the scene 
of deeper tragedy: here Queen Matilda was con- 
fined, the victim of a foul and murderous . court 
intrigue. Here, amid heart-breaking griefs, she found 
consolation in nursing her infant. > Here she took 
her everlasting leave of that infant, when, by the 
interference of England, her own deliverance was 
obtained ; and, as the ship bore her away from a 
country, where the venial indiscretions of youth 
and unsuspicious gayety had been so cruelly pu- 
nished, upon these towers she fixed her eyes, and 
stood upon the deck, obstinately . gazing towards 
them till the last speck had disappeared. 

The Sound being the only frequented entrance to 
the Baltic, the great Mediterranean of the North, few 

fiarts of the sea display so frequent a navigation, 
n the height of the season not fewer than a hun- 
dred vessels pass every four-and-twenty hours, for 
many weeks in succession : but never had so busy 
or 80 splendid a scene b^en exhibited there as on 
this day, when the British fieet prepared to force 
that passage, where, till now, all ships had veiled 
their topsails to the fiag of Deiims^rk, The 
whole force consisted of fifty-one sail of various 
descriptions; of which sixteen were of the line. 
The greater part of the bomb and 'gun vessels took 
their stations off Oronenburg Castle^ to cover the 
fleet ; while others on the larboard were ready to 
engage the Swedish shore. The Banes, having im- 
proved every moment which ill-timed negotiation 
and baffling weather gave them, had lined their shore 
with batteries ; and as soon as the Monarch, which 
was the leading ship, came abreast of them, a fire 
was opened from about a hundred pieces of cannon 
andmortan: our light vesftelsiinmediatdyiinretunii 

212 I.IFS Ot IVBTAOlf. [180 • 

opened their fire upon the castle. Here was all the 
pompous circumstance, and exciting reality of war, 
without its effects ; for thi^ ostentatious display was 
but a bloodless prelude to the wide and sweeping' 
destruction which was soon to follow. The ene- 
mies^ shot fell near enough to splash the water on 
board our ships : not relying upon a:ny forbearance 
of the Syredes, they meant to have kept the mid- 
channel ; but, when they perceived that not a shot 
was fired from Helsingburg, and that no .batteries 
were to be seen, on the Swedig(h shore, they inclined 
to that side, so as completely to get out of reach of 
the Danish guns. The uninterrupted blaze which 
was kept up from them till the fleet had passed, 
served only to exhilarate our sailors, and afford them 
matter for jest, a? the shot fell in showers a full ca- 
ble's length short of its destined aim. A few rounds 
were returned from some of X)ur leading ships till 
they perceived its inutility ;-^this, however, occa* 
flioned the only bloodshed of the day, some of our 
men being killed and wounded by the bursting of a 
gun. As soon as the main body had passed, the gun 
vessels followed, desisting from thisir bombardment, 
which had been as innocent as that of the. enemy ; 
and, aboiit midday, the whole fleet anchored 
between the island of Hiien and Copenhagen. Sir 
Hyde, with. Nelson, Admiral Graves, some of the 
senior captains, and the commanding officers of the 
artillery and the troops, then proceeded in a lugger, 
to reconnoitre the enemy*s means of defence ; a 
formidable line of ships, nideaus, pontoons, galleys, 
fireships, and gun-boats, flanked and supported by 
extensive batteries, and occupying, from one ex- 
treme point to the other, an extent of nearly four 

A council of war was held in the afternoon. It 
was apparent that the Danes could not be attacked 
without great difficulty and risk ; and some of the 
uaembers of the council spoke oif the number of the 

1801,] Un OF MBL80N. 915 

Swedes and the Russians whom they should after- 
ward have io engage, as a consideration which ought 
to be borne in mind. Nelson, who kept pacing the 
cabin, impatient as he ever was of any thing which 
savoured of inresolution, repeatedly said, "The 
more numerous the better ; I wish they were twicQ 
as many, — the easier the victory, depend on it." 
The plan upon which he had determined, if ever it 
should be his fortune to bring. a Baltic fleet to ac- 
tion, was, to attack the head of their line, and con- 
fuse their movements. — " Close with a Frenchnaan," 
he used to say, " but out-manoeuvre a Russian." He 
offered his services for the attack, requiring ten sail 
of the line, and the whole of the smaller craft. Sir 
Hyde gave him two more line-of-battle ships than 
he asked, and left every thing to his judgment. 

The enemy's force was not ^the only, nor the 
greatest, obstacle with which the British fleet had 
contend: there was another to be overcome b&> 
fore they could come in contact with it. The chan- 
nel was little known, and extremely intricate ; all 
the buoys had been removed, and the Danes con- 
sidered this difficulty as almost insuperable, think- 
ing the channel impracticable for so large a fleet. 
Nelson himself saw the soundings made, and the 
buoys laid down, boating it upon this exhausting 
service, day and night, till it was effected. When 
this was done, he thanked God for having enabled 
him to get through this difficult part of his duty* 
^'Ithad worn him down," he said, '^and was infi- 
nitely more grievous to him than any resistance 
which he could experience from the enemy." 

At the first council of war, opinions inclined to 
an attack from the eastward: but ^he next day, the 
wind being southerly, after a second examination 
of the Danish position, it was determined to attack 
from the south, approaching in the manner which 
Nelson had suggested in his first thoughts. On the 
jDonung of the 1st of Aprils the whole fleet removal 

f 14 UVB OF HEUdN [1801. 

to an anchorage within two leagnea of the town, 
and off the N. W. end of the Middle Ground : a 
shoal l3dng exactly before the town, at about three- 
quarters of a mile distance, and extending along its 
whole sea front. The King's Channel, where there 
is deep water, is between this shoal and the town ; 
and here the Danes had arranged their line of de- 
fence, as near the vhore as possible ; nineteen ships 
and floating batteries, flanked at the end nearest 
the town by the Crown Batteries, which were two 
artificial islands, at the mouth of the harbour — most 
formidable works; the larger one having, by the 
Danish account, sixty-six guns ; but, as Nelson be- 
lieved, eighty-eight. The fleet having anchored, 
Nelson, with Riou, in the Amazon, made his last 
examination of the ground ; and about one o^clock, 
returning to his own ship, threw out the signal to 
weigh. It was received with a shout throughout 
the whole division ; they weighed with a light and 
favourable wind : the narrow channel between the 
island of Saltholm and the Middle Ground had been 
accurately buoyed ; the small craft pointed out the 
course distinctly ; Rioii led the wav ; the whole dL> 
vision coasted along the outer edge of the shoal, 
doubled its farther extremity, and anchored there 
off Draco Point, just^ as the darkneiss closed — ^tht 
headmost of the enemy> line not being more than 
two miles distant. The signal to prepare for aetion 
had been made early in the evening; and, as his own 
anchor dropped, Nelson called out, •*! will fight 
them the moment I have a fair wind." It had been 
apeed that Sir Hyde, with the remaining ships, 
should weigh on the following momihgj at the same 
time as Nelson, to menace the Crown Batteries on 
his side, and the four ships of the line which lay at 
the entrance of the arsenal ; and to cover oar own 
disabled ships as they came out of action. 

The Danes, meantime, had not been idle : no 
•ooner did theguns of Cronenburg make it known 

1801 <] UFS OF IfELSONtf 215 

to the whole city that all negotiation was at an end, 
that the British fleet was passing the Sound, and 
that the dispute between the two crowns must now 
be decided by arms, than a spirit displayed itself 
most honourable to the Danish character. All 
ranks offered themselves to the service^ of their 
country ; the university furnished a corps of twelve 
hundred youths, the flower of Denmark: — it was 
one of those emergencies in which little drilling or . 
discipline iff necessary to render courage available ; 
they had nothing to learn but how to manage the 
guns, and day and night were employed in prac- 
tising them. When the movements of Nelson^s 
squadron were perceived, it was known when and 
where the attack was to be expected, and the line 
of defence was manned indiscriminately by soldiers, 
sailors, and citizens. Had not the whole attention 
of the Danes been directed to strengthen their own 
means of defence, they might most materially have 
annoyed the iavading squadron, and, perhaps, frus- 
trated the impending attack; for the British ships 
were crowded in an anchoring ground of little ex- 
tent :— it was calm, so that mortar-boats might have 
acted against them to the utmost advantage ; and they 
.were within range of shells from Amak Island. A 
few fell among them ; but the enemy soon ceased 
to Are. It was learned afterward, that, fortunately 
for the fleet, the bed of the mortar had given way ; 
and the Danes either could not get it replaced, (Ht, 
in the darkness, lost the direction. 

This was an awful night for Copenhagen,— far 
more so than for the British fleet, where the men 
were accustomed to battle and victory, and had 
none of those objects before their eyes which ren- 
der death terrible. Nelson sat down to table with 
a large party of his ofiicers : he was, as he was ever 
wont to be when on the eve of action, in high spi- 
rits, and drank to a leading wind, and to the sue* 
cess of the morrow. After supper they returned to 

216 LIFB OF iTELSOlf. [1801. 

their reepectiTe ships, except Riou, who remained 
to an»nge theiforder of battle with Nelson and 
Foley, and to draw up instractions : Hardy, mean- 
time, went in a small boat to examine the channel 
between them and the enemy; approaching so 
near, that he sounded round their leading ship with 
a pole, lest the noise of throwing the lead should 
discover him. The incessant fatigue of body, as 
well as mind, which Nelson had undergone during 
the last three days, had so exhausted him, that he 
was earnestly urged to go to his cot ; and his old 
servant, Allen, using that kind of authority, which 
long and affectionate services entitled and enabled 
him to assume on such occasions, insisted upon his 
complying. The cot was placed on the floor, and 
he continued to dictate from it. About eleven. 
Hardy returned, and reported the practicability of 
the channel, and the depth of water up to the 
enemy's line. About one, the orders were com- 
pleted; and half a dozen clerks, in the foremost 
cabin, proceeded to transcribe them: Nelson fre- 
quently calling out to them from his cot to hasten 
tneir work, for the wind was becoming fair. In- 
stead of attempting to get a few hours' sleep, he 
was constantly receiving reports on this important 
point. At daybreak, it was announced ^s becoming 
perfectly fair. The clerks finished their work ^bout 
six. Nelson, who was already up, breakfasted, and 
made signal for all captains. The land forces, and 
five hundred seamen, under Captain Freemantle and 
the Hon. Col. Stewart, were to storm the Crown 
Battery as soon as its fire should^ be silenced : and 
Riou — whom Nelson had never seen till this expe- 
dition, but whose worth he had instantly perceived, 
and appreciated as it deserved — had the filanche and 
Alcmene frigates, the Dart and Arrow sloops, and 
the Zeph3n: and Otter fireships, given him, with a 
apecial command to act as circumstances might 

1801.] LI^ OF 19BL0OIf. 817 

require :«*^Tery other ship had its statiop ap^ 

Between eight and niae* the pUots and masteEf 
were ordered on board the admiral's ^p8. Th« 
pilots were nuwiiy men who hi^d been mates in Bal- 
tic traders ; and their hesitation about the beanng 
of the east end of the shoal» and the c^xact line o? 
deep water, gave ominous warning of how little 
their knowledge was to be treated- The signal for 
action had been made, the wind waa lisuiwu^t i^ 
moment to be lost Nelson unged theiti to be 
steady,— to be resolute^ aad to decide : but they 
wanted the only ground for eteadiness and decision 
m such cases; and Nelson had reason .to regre$ 
that he had not trusted to Hardy's single repost* 
This was one of the most painful moments oi hii 
life ; and he always spoke of it with bitterness* 
^ I experienced in the Sound," said he, *^ the misery 
of having ^e honour of our country intrusted to a 
set of pilots, who have no o^er thought than to 
keep the ships clear of danger, and their own silly 
heads clear of shot. £veiy body knows what I 
must have suffered : and if any merit attaches it* 
self to me, it was for combating the dangers of the 
shallows in defiance of them.'* At lenrth, Mr. Bry- 
erly, the master of the Bellona, declared that he was 
prepared to lead the fleets his judgment was «c- 
oeded to by the rest; they returned to their ships; 
and, at half-past nine, the signal was ipade to wedgh 
in succession. 

Captain Murray, in the ^dgar, led the way; the 
Agamemnon was next in order; but, on the first at** 
tempt to leave her anchorage, she coold not weather 
the edge of the shoal; and Nelson had the grief to 
see his old ship, in which he had performed so many 
jrears' gallant services, immoveably aground, at a 
moment when her help was so greatly required. 
SignaJ was then made for the Poljqphemus: and 
this change in the order of sailing was executed 



218 lira or helsoji* [180I. 

with the utmost promptitude : yet so much delay 
had thus been unavoidably occasioned, that the Ed- 
gar was for some time unsupported : and the Poly- 
phemus, whose place should have been at the end 
of the enemy's une, where their sttength was the 
greatest, coidd get no farther than the ttegioning, 
owing to the difficulty of the channel: tMre bS& 
occupied^ indeed, an efficient station, but one where 
her presence was less required. The Isis followed, 
with better fortune, and took her own birth. The 
Bellona, Sir Thomas Boulde Thompson, kept too 
close on the staibosrd shoal, and grounded abreast 
q( the outer ship of the enemy: this was the more 
▼ezatious, inasmuch as the wind was fair, the room 
ample, and three ships had led the wB.y. The Rus- 
sell, following the Bellona, grounded in like man-' 
ner: both were within reach of shot; but their ab- 
sence from their intended stations was severely 
felt. Each ship had been ordered to pass her leader 
on the starboaitl side, because the water was sup- 
posed to shoal on the larboard shore. Nelson, who 
came next after these two ships, thought they had 
kept too far on the starboard direction, and made 
signal for them to close with the enemy, not know- 
ing that they were aground : but when he perceived 
that they did not obey the signal, he ordered the 
Elephant's helm to starboard, and went within these 
ships : thus quitting the appointed order of sailing, 
ana guiding those which were to follow. The 
greater part of the fleet were probably, by this act 
of promptitude on' his part, saved from going on 
shore. Each ship, as she arrived nearly opposite 
to her appointed station, let her anchor go by the 
stem, and presented her broadside to the Danes* 
The distapce between each was about half a cable. 
The action was foi^ht nearly at the distance of a 
cable's length from the enemy. This, which ren- 
dered its continuance so long, was owing to the 
ignorance sad consequent indecision of ihe pilots. 

ISOl.] tlFB OF IfELSON. itt9 

In pursuance of the same error which had led the 
fiellotra and the Russell aground^ they» when the 
lead was at a quarter less five, refused to i^mroach 
neisirer, in dread of shoaling their water on we lar- 
board shore: a fear altogether erroneooa, for the 
water deepened up to the very side of the enemy's 

At five minutes after ten the action began. The 
^rst half of our fleet was engaged in about half an 
hour; and, by half^-past eleven, the battle became 
general. The plan of the attack had be^n complete : 
but seldom has any plan been more disconcerted 
by untoward accidents. Of twelve ships of the line, 
one was entirely useless, and two others in a situa- 
tion where they could not render half the service 
which was required of thetn. Of the squadron of 
gun-brigs, only one' could get into action ; the rest 
were prevented by baffling currents from weather- 
ing the eastern end of the shoal ; and only two of 
the bomb-vessels could reach their station on the 
Middle Ground, and open their mortars on the arse- 
nal, firing over both fleets. Riou took the vacant 
station against the Crown Battery, with his frigates; 
attempting, with that unequal force, a service in 
which three sail of the line had been directed to 

Nelson^s agitation had been ettreme when he 
saw himself, before the action begun, deprived of a 
fourth part of his ships of the line ; but no sooner 
was he in battle, where his squadron was received 
with the fire of more than a thousand guns, than» 
as if that artillery, like music, had driven away aU 
care and painful thoughts, his countenance bright* 
ened ; and, as a bystander describes him, his con«> 
versation became joyous, animated, elevated, and 
delightful. The commander-in-chief, meantime^ 
near enough to the scene of action to know the un- 
favourable accidents which had so materially weak- 
ened Nelson, and yet too distant to know the real 

fdO ura OF vEismsu [1001. 

0tate of the contendingr parties, sttffered the most 
^adful anxiety. To get to his assistaxice was im- 
possible ; both wind and current were against him. 
Fear for the event, in such circumstances, would 
naturally preponderate in the bravest mind ; and, at 
one o'clock, perceiving that, after three hours' en- 
durance, the enemy's fire was unslackened, he began 
to despair of success. *^ I will make the ^gnal of 
recall,'' said he to his captain, '* for Nelson's sake. 
If he is in a condition to continue the action suc- 
cessfully, he will disregard it; if he is not, it ^ ill 
be an excuse for his retreat, and no blame can be 
imputed to him." Captain Domett urged him at 
least to delay the signal, till he could communicate 
with NelfK>n ; but, in Sir Hyde's m)inion, the danger 
was too pressinjpr for delay r-f^-** The fire," he saud, 
'^was too hot for Nelson to oppose; a retreat he 
thought must be made, — he was aware of the cou- 
flequences to his own personal reputation, but it 
would be cowardly in him to leave Nelson to beiur 
the whole shame of the faili»re, if shame it should 
be deemed." Under a mistaken judgment,* there- 
fore,,but with this disinterested and generous feelings 
he miade the signal for retreat. 

Nelson was at tbis time, in all the excitement of 
action, pacing the quarter-deck. A shot through 
the mainmast knocked the splinters about; and he 
l^bserved to one of his officers with a smile, ^It is 
warm work ; and this day naay be the last to a»y of 
Qs at a moment *." — and then, stopping short at the 
gangway, added, with emotion—^ But mark you ! I 
womd not be elsewhere for thousands*" About this 
time the signal lieutenant called out, that pumber 
thirty*nine (the signal for discontinuing the action), 
was thrown out by the commander-in-chief. He 
continued to walk the deck, and appeared to take 

•' I Iwv« mnBt pieMore In rendering tills Juetlee to Sir Hyde Parkerii 
VMMMiing. Tbe flMt ii bere tuiad apon ihe blgbert and moet unauA* 
llQiugbie Bittbority. .r ■• ^ . 

1801.] ' LIFB 09 Nx&soir. 221 

no notice of it. l*he signal officer met him at the 
next turn, and asked if he should repeat it. ** No," 
he replied ; ** acknowledge it." Fluently he caUed 
after him to know if the Signal for close action waf 
still hoisted ; and being answered in the affirmative, 
said, ^ Mind you keep it so." He now paced, the 
deck, moving ^e stump of fiis lost arm in a manner 
which always indicated p^reat emotion. * ** Do you 
kno\e," said he to Mr. Ferguson, *' what is shown on 
board the commander-in-chief ! Number thirty- 
nine!" Mr. Ferguson asked what that meant.^- 
** Why^ to leave o'ff action !" Then, shrugging iro 
his shoulders, he repeated the words — " Lettve off 
action? Now, damn me if I do! You know, 
Foley," turning to the Captain, ** I have on]y one 
eye, — ^I have a right to'be blind sometimes :" — ^and 
then, putting the glass to hi« blind eye, in that mood 
of mind which sports with bitterness, he exclaimed* 
** I resdly do not see the signal !" Presently he ex- 
claimed, ^*Damn the signal.- Keep mine for closer 
battle flyingl That ^s the way I answer such signals ! 
Nail mine to the mast T Admiral Graves', who wa« 
so situated that he could not discern what was done 
on board the Elephant, disobeyed Sir Hyde's signal 
in like manner : whether by fortunate mistake, or 
by a like ht&ye^ intention, has not been! made 
known. The other ships of the line, looking only 
to Nelson, continued the action. The signal, how- 
ever, saved Riou's little squadron, but did not save 
its heroic leader. This squadron, which was nearest 
the commander-in-chief, obeyed, and hauled off. 
It had suffered severely in its most unequal contest* 
For a long time the Amazon had been firing, 
enveloped in smoke, when Riou desired his men to 
stand last, and let the' smoke clear off, that they 
might see what they were about. A fatal order; 
for the panes then got clear sight of her from the . 
batteries, and pointed their guns with such tremen<- 
dous effect, that nothing bu( the sigM for retreal 


.»«! thi< HjiM from ''"•"S;" „o»mful ei-ote- 
iDlion iluDl of ««:" )'" "V „? He had •>«" 
ution, when be unwiUingly ««« o""- ^ ^^ sitting 
.oiu.d.dintoheiidl.y.Wl.o-^^^^j'J.t „ «>« 
B.p.ii,«ncoungmsi»' ™°' ^J "i„ier buttery. 
tnuon diowed liei .tem '? ."» J/, . md another 
i> deik w» killed by •"". ''*Jm ,e«e hail; 
lot .w,pl .way »«nl ■"?""•' ,S my boy" ^ 
Ski Hiou, "ltf™di..llloge;te'-^'^„g .hot 
«1. «»pcdy been ottei^ K^SeaSioS'^him- 
it hin ia two. Except ''■'"'.'"S,, Offered a 
If, the BtBI* nayy poali "»' """ 
vererloef. , .v„ iinn with unabated 

iolnlio. on the p^ of tb. D.™., ^bjj '" J!j„ 
ffre«t adrantage, beoauee most of "^e ve» 
S- lliK of defenoo were wKboM "»■'•■ '»f„ei, 
ioh h.d my .ending h.d tbeit "?!»»",, TM 
I the taOl. xould not be .ee» at "»""?J-„i,iii 
. >ii«t ha.e been drnttroyed by the •"Pn^'J^Jto 
.«r enemy-, lire, if Capt. Inman. "■ '"".^"gcb 
■ate. h«l ml Judioioa.iy taken a •>"S""^„S» 
»l«d him 10 rake the Dime, imd it tbo ™yj™'25 
not al>o relieved lier. Uolh to tbe »»»»?,??? 
fsia many men were lost by the butaluig oi i"p, 
«- The former aliip wan about forty years oio, 
thene iranB were believed to be the eame wmj-" 
l^aad flrat taken to aeai they were. prebabj£ 
naUy fauliy, for the fragments were full of bw 
cales. The Bellona lost seventy-live ineni i"" 
one huadred and ten ; the Monarch, t** 
r0<i and ten. Sho was. more than any olhC' 
.*^i>aiil« Hhip. exposed to the great batlery- 
Eujaporting at the same time the united fire ot 
Eolstein and the Zealand. l»er loss this toy 
«l«id that of any single ship during the whola 
' .A.mid the tremendous carnage in thia veMd" 

f 861.1 

ZJFB Of foajamsi - $t9 

fiome of the men displayed a siiignlar instance of 
coolness ; the pork and pease happened to be in the 
kettle; a shot knocked its contents about ^—4hey 
picked up the pieces, and ate and fought at the saine 
time. ,' ' , 

The prince to^ad had taken his station upon one 
of the bakeries,' from whence he beheld the action* 
and issued his orders, Denmark h^d never been 
engaged in so arduous a contest, and never did the 
Danes more nobly display their national courage: 
<^a courage not more unhappily, than impoliticly 
exerted in subserviency to the interest of France* 
€apt. Thura, of -the Indfoedsretten, fell early in the 
action ; and all his officers, excqit one lieutenant 
and one marine officer, were either killed or 
wounded. In the confusion, the colours were 
ieither struck, or shot away ; but she was moored 
athwart one of the batteries, in such a situation 
^hat the British made no attempt to board her ; and 
a boat was despatched to the prince, 46 inform him 
of her situation* He turned to those about him« 
and saidi '* Gentlemen, Thura is killed; which. ol 
you will take the command 1" Schroeders^, a 
eaptain who had lately resided, on account of 
extreme ill-health, answered, m a f^ble voice, '^ I 
will !** and hastened oh board.- The crew, perceiving 
a new commander coming alongside, hoisted their 
colours again, and fired » broadside. Sahroedersee* 
when he came on dedL, found himself sur^unded 
by the^dead and wounded, and called to those in the 
boat to get quickly on boArd : a ball struck him at that 
moment. A lieutenant, who had accompanied him, 
then took the command, and continued to fight the 
#hip. A youth of seventeen, by name Yillemoes, 
particularly distinguished himself on this memora- 
ble day. He had volunteered to take the.<M>mmand 
of a floating battery ; which was b rait, consisting 
merely of a number of beams nailed together, witfi 
a flooiing to support the guns: it was square, with 

tt4 UFB 09 HSUfMI. [IBOl* 

a brmstwoik full of port-holes, and without masts, 
-"-canryindr twen^-four guns, and one hundred and 
twenty men. With this he got under the stem of 
the Elephant, helow the reach of the stem-chasers ; 
and, under a heavy fire of small arms from the 
marines, fought his raft, till the trace was announced, 
with sudr skill, as well as courage, as to excite 
Nelson's warmest admiration. 

Between one and two the fire of the Danet 
slackened; about two it ceased from the greater 
part of their line, and some of their lighter ships 
were adrift. It was, however, difBlcidt to take 
possession of those who strack, because the bat- 
teries on Amak Island protected them ; and because 
an irregular fire waDskept uf^from the ships them- 
selves as the boats approached. This arose from 
the nature of the action ; the crews were continu- 
ally reinforoed .from the shore; and fresh men 
coming on board, did not inquire whether the flag 
had been strack, or, perhaps, did not heed it;— 
many, or most of them,7iever having ^en engaged 
in war before,— knowing nothing, therefore, of its 
laws, and tiiinkin|^ only of defending their country 
to the last extremity. The Danbrog fired upon im 
Elephant's boats in this manner,. though her cora- 
moGore had removed her pennant and deserted bet, 
though she Imd strack, and 'though she was in 
fiames. After she had been abandoned by the com- 
modore, Braun fought her tifl he lost his right hand, 
and then Oaptaih Lemming took the command* 
This unexpected renewal at her fire, made the Ele 
phant and Glatton reirew theirs, till she was not 
only silenced, but nearly every man iki the prames, 
ahead and astern of her, were killed. When the 
smoke of their guns died away, she was seen drift- 
ing in flames l»efere the wind: those of her crew 
who remained alive, and able to. exert themselves* 
throwing themselves out at her port-hole«. Captain 

ISat.] UFB oF*sxuotr« tSSS 

Bertie of the Ardent sent his launch to their awist- 
ance, and savfed three-and-twentj of them. 

Captain Rothe commanded tiie Nyeborg prame ; 
and, perceiving that she coMd not much longer be 
kept afloat, made for the inner road. As he passed 
the line, he found the Aggershuus prame in a more 
miserable condition than his own ; her masts had 
all gone by the board, and she was on the point of 
sinking. Rothe made fast a cable to her stem, and 
towed her off: but he covdd ifet her no farter than ' 
a shoal called Stubben, when she sunk : and soon 
after he had worked the Nyeborg up to the landing 
I^ace, that vessel also sunk to the gunwale. Never 
did any vessel come out of action in a more dread* 
Ail plight. The stump of her foremast was the only 
stick standing ; her cabin had been stove in ; every 
ffun, except a single one, was dismounted ; and her 
deck was coven^ with shattered limbs and dead 

By half-past two the action had ceased along that 
part of the line which was astern of the EleMiant, 
but not with the ships ahead and the Crown Batte* 
ries. Nelson, seeing the manner in which his boats 
were fired upon, when they went to take possession 
of the prizes, became angry, and said, he must 
either send on shore to have this irregular proceed* 
ing stopped, or send a fireship and bum them. Half 
the shot from the Trekroner, and from the batteries 
at Amak, at this time strack the surrendered ships, 
four of which had got dose together: and the fire 
of the English, in return, waseonudly, or even 
more, destructive to these poor oevoted Danes. 
Nelson, who was as humane as he was brave, was 
shocked at this massacre, — ^for such he called it : 
and, with a presence of mind peculiar to himself, 
and never more signally displayed than now, he 
retired into the stem-gallery, and wrote thus to the 
Crovm Prince: ^'Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson has 
b^en commanded to spore Denmark, when she no 

tS6 UFB OF KCXldK. [iSOt. 

longer resistfl. The line of defericc which covered 
her shoreB has strack to the British flag; but if the 
Uring is continued on the part of Denmark, he must 
-set on fire all the prizes that he has taken, without 
having the power of saving the men who have so 
nobly defended them, the brave Danes are the 
brothers, and shocdd never be the enemies, of the 
English.'* A wafer was given him ; but he ordered 
a candle to be brought from the cockpit, and sealed 
the letter with wax, affixing a larger seal than he 
ordinarily used. *♦ This," said he, " is no time to 
appesur hurried and informal." Capt. Sir Frederic 
Thesiger, who acted as his aid-de-camp, carried 
ihis letter with a flag of truce. Meantime, the fire 
of the ships ahead, and the approach of the Ramil- 
lies and Defence, from Sir Hyde's division, which 
had now worked near enough to- alarm the enemy, 
though not to injure them, silenced the remainder 
of the Danish line to the eastward of the Trekroner. 
That battery, however, continued its fire. This for- 
midable work, owing to the want of the ships which 
had been destined to attack it, and the inadequate 
force of Riou*8 little squadron, was comparatively 
uninjured : towards the elose of the Action it had 
been manned with nearly fifteen hundred men ; and 
the intention of storming it, for which every prepa- 
ration had been made, waa abandoned as imprac- 

During Thewger's absence. Nelson sent for Free- 
mantle, from the Oanges, and consulted with him 
and Foley, whether it was advisaUe to advance, 
with those ships which had sustained least damage, 
ag^mst the yet uninjured part of the Danish line. 
They were decidedly of opinion, that the best thing 
whi«* could be done was, while the wind continued 
J**'''^wTTf ^^^^^ ^'^^^^ ^e intricate channel, 
fi;^« h^if ««hl^''^ *^ ^^*'«^^- In somewhat mon^ 

1801.] uafE or kslsoh. If 7 

lag a flag of truce; upon which the l^rekroner 
ceased to fire, and the action closed, after four 
hours' continuance. He brongtit an inquiry from 
the prince, What was the object of Nelson's note f 
The British admiral wrote in reply: "Lord Nel- 
son's object in sending the flag of truce was hu- 
manity : he therefore consents that hostilities shall 
cease, and that the wounded Danes may be taken 
on shore. And Lord Nelson will take his prisoners' 
out of the Tessels, and burn or carry off his prizes 
as he shall think fit. Lord Nelson, with humble 
duty to his royal highness the prince, will consider 
this the greatest victory he has ever gained, if it 
may be the cause of a happy reconciliation and 
union between his own most gracious sovereign and 
his majesty the king of Denmark."^— Sir Frederic 
Thesiger was despatched a second tinie with the 
reply ; and the Danish adjutant-general was referred 
to the commander-in-chief for a conference upon 
this overture. Xindholm assenting to this, pro- 
ceeded to the London, which was riding at anchor 
full four miles ofl"; and Nelson, losing not one of 
the critical moments which he had thus gained, 
made signal for his leading ships to weigh in suc- 
cession: they had the shoal to clear, they were 
much crippled, and their course was immediately 
under the guns of the Trekroner. 

The Monarch led the way. This ship had re- 
ceived six-and-twenty shot between wind and water. 
She had not a shroud standing ; there was a double- 
headed shot in the heaH of her foremast, and the 
slightest wind would have sent every mast,* over 

*lt would have been wfell if the fleet, before they went under the 
batteries, had left their spare spars moored out of reach of shot. Many 
would have been saved which were destroyed lying on the booms, and 
the hurt done by their-epiintere would have been saved also. Small 
craft could have towed them up when they were reguired: and, after 
euch an action, so many must necessarily be wanted, that, if those 
which were not in use were wounded, it might thus have rendered it 
ivpossilUe to refit tbe ships. 

herflide. The immliient danger from wbieh Ncison 
had exiricated himself soon became a^iparent : the 
Monarch touched immediately npon a shoal, over 
which she was pushed by the Ganges taking her 
amid ships ; the Glatton went clear ; but the other 
two, the Defiance and the Elej^ant, growided alnnit 
a xnile from the Trekioner, and tixere remained 
fixed for many hours, in spite of all the exertions 
of their wearied crews. . The Desir^e frigate also, 
at the other end of the- line, having gone, towards 
the close <^ the action, to assist the Bellona, became 
fast on the same shoaL Nelson left the Elephant, 
soon after she took the ground, to follow lindholm. 
The heat of, action was over; and that kind of feel- 
ing which tlie surrounding «cene of havoc was so 
well fitted to produce, pressed heavily upon his ex- 
hausted spirits. The sky. had suddenly bieoome 
overcast ; white flafs were wavjdag from the mast- 
heads of so many shattered ships : — the slaughter 
had ceased, but the grief was to come; for the ac- 
count of the dead was not yet made up* and no man 
oould tell for what friends he might have to mourn. 
The very silence which foUows the cessation of 
such a battle becomes a weight upon the heart at 
first, rather than a relief; and though the work of 
mutual destruction was at an end, the Danbrog was, 
at this time, drifting about in flames < presentl;^ She 
blew up ; while our boats^ ^wYkich had put off m all 
directions to assist her, were endeavouiing to pick 
m) her devoted crew, few of. whom could be saved. 
The fate of these men, after the gallantry which 
they had displayed, particularly affected Nelson : 
for there was nothing in this action of that indigna- 
tion against the enemy, and that ihipression of 
retributive justice, which at the Nile had given a 
sterner temper' to his mind, and a sense of austere 
delight, in beholding the vengeance of which he 
was the appointed minister. The Danes were an 
honourable foe; they were of .English mould 

1801.] uwB OF nsLsoir. H9 

well as Engiith blood ; and now that the battle had 
ceased* he regarded them rather as brethren than 
as enemies. There was another reflection, also« 
which mingled with these melancholy thooghtSy 
and. predisposed him to receive them. He was 
not h^re master of his own movements, as at Egypt; 
he had won the day by disobeying his orders; and 
in so far as' he had been sdccessuil, had convicted 
the commander-in-chief of sin error in judgment 
**WelV said he, as he lefl the Elephant,^! have 
fought contrary to orders, and I shall perhaps be 
hanged. Nevermind: let them!" • 

l^is was the language of a man who, while he is 
ffivinjs: utterance to an uneasy thought, clothes it 
half in jest, becanse he half repents that it has been 
disclosed. His services had been too eminent on 
that day;->his judgment too conspicuous, his suc^ 
cess too signal, for any eommander, however jealous 
of his own authority, or envious of another's merits* 
to express any thinf hut satisfaction, and gratitude : 
which Sir Hyde heartily felt, and sincerely ex- 
pressed. It was speedily a^greed that there should 
be a suspension of hostilities for fourtand-twenty 
hours ; that all the prizes should be surrendered, and 
the wounded! l)anes carried on^ shore. There was a 
pressing necessity for this; for the Danes, either 
from too much confidence in the^ strength of their 
position* and the difficulty of the channel ; or,* sup- 

attack excited/ had provided no surgeons : so that 
when odr men boarded the captured ships, they 
found many of the mangled and mutilated Danes 
bleeding, to death* for want of proper assistance r a 
scene, of all othei«, the inost shocking to a brave 
man^s feelings.. 

' The boats of Sir Hyde's division were actively 
employed all night in bringing out the prizes* and in 

£90 lOFK tXP KKUmUL [1801. 

ffeUinif afloat the ships T^ich were on shore. At 
daybreak. Nelson who had slept in his own ship, the 
St. George, rowed to the Elephant ; and his deligfht 
at finding her afloat seemed to give him new life. 
There he took a hasty breakfast, praised the men for 
their exertiotis, and then poshed ofl* to the prizes, 
which had not yet been removed. The Zealand, 
9eventy<four, the last which struck, had drifted on 
the irtioal under the Trekroner; and relying, as it 
seems, upon the protection which that battery might 
have aflbrded, refused to acknowledge herself cap- 
tured; sayjng,-that though it was true her flag' was 
not to be seen, her pennant was still flying. Nelson 
ordered one of our brigs and three long-boats to 
approach her, and rowed up hijnself to one of the 
enemy's ships, to communicate with the commodore. 
This officer proved to be an old acquaintance, whom 
he had -known in the West Inilies : so he invited 
himself on board; and with that urbanity,- as well 
as decisionf which always characterized him, urged 
his claim to the Zealand so well, that it was admitted. 
The men from the boats lashed a cable round her 
bowsprit, and the gun-vessel towed her away. It is 
affirmed^ arid probably with truth, that the Danes 
felt more pain at beholding this, than at all their mis- 
fortunes on the preceding day: and one of the ofll- 
cers, Commodore Steen Bille, went to the Tre- 
kroner battery, and aisked the commander why he 
had not sunk the Zealand, rather than sufler her tbos 
to be carried off by the enemy 1 

This was, indeed,' a mournful day for Copen- 
hagen ! It was- Good Friday ; but the general agfi- 
tation, and the mourning which was in every house, 
made all distinction of days be forgotten. There 
were, at that hour, thousands in that eity who felt, 
and more, perhaps; who needed^ the conisolations of 
Christianity; but few or none who could 'be calm 
enough to think of its observances. The Englisli 
were actively employed in refitting their own ships. 

1801.] UFB OF NELSOK. 231 

securing' the prizes^ and distributing the prisoners; 
the Danes, in carrying on shore and- disposing of 
the wounded and the dead. — ^It had been a mur- 
derous potion. Our loss, in killed and wounded, 
was nine hundred and fifty-three. Part 6i this 
slaughter might have been spared. The command- 
ing officer of the troops on board one of our ships 
asked where his men should be stationed ? He was 
told that they could be of no use ; that they were not 
near enough for.miisketry, and were not ^wanted at 
the gu^s; they had, therefore, better go below. 
This, he said, was impossibIe,-^it would be^ a dis- 
grace that could never be wiped aWay. They Were, 
therefore, drawn up upon the gangway, to satisfy 
this cruel point of honour ; and there, without the 
possibility of annoying the enemy, they were mowed 
down ! The loss of the Danes, including prisoners, 
an^ounted to about six thousand. I'he negotiations, 
meantime, went on ; and it was agreed that Nelson 
shoijd have an interview with the prince the follow- 
ing day. ^ Hardy and Freemantle landed with him 
This was a thin? as unexampled as the other cir- 
cumstances of the battle. A strong ^ard was ap- 
piOinted to eiscort him to 'the palace, as much for the 
purpose of security as of honotfr. The populace, 
according to the British account, showed a mixture 
of admiration^ curiosity, and displeasure, at behold- 
ing that man in the midst of them who had inflicted 
Buch wounds upon Denmark. But there were 
neither aoclamatiohs nor murmurs. ^ The people,** 
Bays a Dane, **didiiot degrade themselves with the 
form^F) nor disgrace themselvei^ with the tatter : the 
admiral was teceived aB one brave enemy ever ought 
to receive another :— he was received with respect" 
The preliminaries of the negotiation were adjusted 
at this interview. During the Tepast which fol- 
lowed, Nelson, with aH the sincerity of his character, 
bore willing testimony to the valour of his foes. 
He told U:ie prince that he hsrd been in & hundred and 

1232 LIFIS OF KE10QN; [1801 

five engagements, but that this was the most tre- 
mendous of all. ♦' The French," he said, " fought 
bravely ; but they could not have stood for one hour 
the fight which the Danes had supported forfdur.*' 
He Requested that Yillemoes might be introduced to I 
him; and, shaking hands with the youth, told the 
prince that he ought to be made an admiral. The 

Erince replied; *'If, my lord, I. am to make all my 
rave, officers admirals, 1 should have no captains or 
lieutenants in my service." 

The sympathy of the Danes for their countrymen \ 
who had bled in their defence was not weakened by ^ 
distance of time or place in this instance. Things 
needCul for the service, o^. the comfort of the 
wounded, were sent in profusions icy the hospitals, 
tiJl the superintebdents g-aVe public notice that they 
could receive no more. Onihe third day after the 
action the dead were buried iii the naval churchyard : i 
the ceremonjf was made as public and as solemn as 
the occasion xequired ;-^-«uch a procession had never 
before been seen in that, or, perhaps, in any other 
city. • A public monument was ei^ected upon the 
8fk)t where the slain were gatheried together, r A 
•ubscriptioa was opened on the day of the funeral 
for the relief of the sufferers, and collections in aid 
of it mi^de throughout all the>churches in the king- 
dom. This appeal to the feelings of the people was 
made with circiimstances which gave it full effect. 
A monument was raised in the miost'of the charoh, 
surmounted by the Danish colours : young maidens, 
dressed in white, stood round it, with either one who 
had been wounded in the battle, or the widow and 
orphans of some one' who had fallen : a suitable 
oration was 4elive^d from the pulpit, and patriotic 
hymns and songs were afterward performed. Me- 
dals were distributed to all the officers, and to the 
men who had distinguished themselves. Poets and 
painters vied with each other in celebrating a battle. 
whieh« disastrous as it wa«t had ye^ been honourable 

1801.] UFB OF IfSLSOn* ^ tJ^S 

to their country : some, with pardonable sophistry, 
represented the advantage of the day as on their 
own side. One writer discovered a more curious, 
but less disputable ground of satisfaction, in the re- 
flection, that Nelson, as may be inferred, from his 
name, .was of Danish descent, and his actions, 
therefore, the Dane argued, were attributable to 
I)anish valour. 

The negotiation was continued during the five fol- 
lowing days; and, in that interval, the prizes were 
disposed of, in a manner which was tittle approved 
by Nelson. Six iine-of-battle ships and eight 
frames had been taken. Of these the Holstein, 
sixty-four, was the only one which was sent home. 
The Zealand was a finer ship: but the Zealand^ and 
all the others, were burned, and their brass battering 
cannon sunk with the hulls in such shoal water, • 
that, when the fleet returned from Revel, they found 
the Danes, with craft over the wrecks, employed in 
getting the guns up again. Nelson, though he for- 
bore from any public expression of displeasure at 
seeing the proofs and trophies of his victorjr de- 
stroyed, did not forget to repiresent to the Admiralt)r 
the case of those who were thus deprived of their 
prize money. " Whether," said he to Earl St. Vin- 
cent, " Sir Hyde Parker may mention the subject to 
^u, I know not ; for he is rich and does' not want 
It : nor is it, you will believe me, any desire- to get 
a few hundred pounds that actuates me to address 
this letter to you ; but jhstice to the brave officers 
and men who foiiffht on that day. It is true, our op- 
ponents were in nulks and floats, oidy adapted for 
th6 position they were in ; but that made our battle 
so much the hai'der, and victory so much the more 
difficult to obtain. Believe me, I have weighed all 
circumstances ; and, in my consdience, I think that 
the king should send a gracious message io the 
house of commons for a gift to this fleet : for what 
must be the natural feelings of the officers and men 


S54 ^ LI9B 09 WMOHf. [1801« 

belonging' to it, to see their rich commander-in-chief 
burn all the fruits of their victory,— which, if fitted 
up and sent to England (as many of them might 
haye been by dismantling part of oui^ fleet), would 
baye sold for a good round siim.^ 

On the 9th Nelson landed again, to 'conclude 
the terms of the armistice. During its continuance 
the armed ships and vessels of Denmark were to 
remain in their then actual situation, as to arma- 
ment, equii^mentt and hostile position; and the 
treaty of armed neutrality, as far «9 related to the 
co-operation of Denmieu-k, was. suspended. The 
prisoners were to be sent on shored an acknow- 
ledgment being given.ibr them, and for the wounded 
also, that they might be carried to Great Britain^s 
credit in the account of war in case hostilities 
should be renewed. The British fleet. Was allowed 
to provide itself with all things requisite for the 
health and comfort of its men. A difficulty arose 
respecting the duration of the arihisticcr The 
Danish commissioners fairly stated their fears of 
Russia; and Kelsdn, widi that frankness which 
sound policy and the sense ^f power seem often to 
require as .Veil as Justify in diplomacy, told them, 
his reason for demanding a long term was, that he 
might have time to act a^nst the Russian fleet, and 
then return to Copenhagen. Neither party would 
yield upon tius point ; aiid one of the Dapes hinted 
at the renewal of hostilities. " Renew hostilities !** 
' cried Nelson to one of his friends,^— for he Under- 
stood French enough to comprehend what was 
said, though not to answer it in the same language ; 
— **j tell him wfe are ready at a moment ! — Ready to 
boml>ard this very night T— The coiiferettce,* how- 
ever, proceeded amicably on both sides ; and as the 
commissioners cocdd not agree upon this head, they 
broke up, leaving Nelson to settle it with the prince. 
A levee was held forthwith in oneof the state jrooms , 
a jieene vreU suited for such a consultation : for all 

IBOl.] UFE OF nXXJBQUt. t35 

these rooms ha4 been strippedof their furniture, in 
fear of a bombardment. To a bombardment also 
Nelson was looking at this time: fatigue and 
anxiety, and vexation at the dilatory measures of 
the commander-in-chief, combined to voBke him 
irritable : and as he was on the way to the prince's 
dining-room, he whispered to the officer on whose 
arm he was leaning, ,*' Though I have only one 
eye, I can see . th^t all this will bum well.*" After 
dinner he was closeted with the prince ; and they 
agreed that the armistice should continue fourteen 
weeks ; and that, at its termination, fourteen days' 
notice should be given before the recommencement 
of hostilities. 

An official account of the battle was published 
by Olfert Fischer, the Danish cominander-in-chie^ 
in which it was asserted that our force was gteztly 
superior; nevertheless, that iwo ojf .our ships of 
the line ha^ struck, that^ the others were ao weak- 
ened, and especially Lord Nelson's own ship, as to 
fire only single shots for an hour before the end of 
the action ; and that this hero himself, in the middle 
and very heat of the conflict, sent a flag of truce on 
shore, to propose a cessation of hostilities. For 
the truth of this account the Dane appealed to the 
prince, and all those who, like him, had been eye- 
witnesses of the scene. Nelson was exceedingly 
indignant at such a statement, and addressed iai 
letter, in confutation of it,, to the adjutant-general 
Jiindholm ; thinking this incumbent upon him, for 
the information of the prince, since his toynl high- 
ness had been appealed to as a witness : ^ Other- 
wise," said he, ^ had Commodore Fischer confined 
himself to his own veracity,. I should have treated 
his official letter with the contempt it deserved, and 
allowed the world to appreciate the merits of the 
two contending officers." After pointing out and 
detecting some of the misstateiiients in the account, 
he proceeds: '^As to his nonsense about victory# 

"236 IIFB (MP NSLSOIff. [180t. 

his royal highness vnH not much credit him. I 
sunk, bamed, oaptared, or drove into the harbour, 
the whole hne of defence to the southward of the 
Crown Islands. He says he is told that two British 
ships struck. Why did he not take possession of 
them 1 I took possession of his as fast as they 
struck. The reason is clear, that he did not believe 
it ; he must have known the falsity of the report. — 
He states, that the ship in. which I had the honour 
to hoist my flag, fired latterly only single guns. It 
is true: for steady and cool were my brave fellows, 
and did not wish to throw away a single shot. 
He seems to exult that I sent on shore a flag of 
truce.— You know, and his royal highness knows, 
that the guns fired from the shore could oiily fire 
tfarouffh the .Danish ships wluch had surrendered ; 
and that, if 1 fired at. the shore, it could only be in 
the same manner. God forbid that I should destroy 
an unresisting Dane ! When they became my 
prisoners I became their protector."' 

This letter was written in terms of great asperity 
against the Danish commander. Lindholm replied 
in a manner every way honourable to himself. Re 
vindicated the commodore in some ^points, and ex- 
cused him in others ; reminding Nelson, that every 
commander-in-chief was liable to receive incorrect 
reports. With a natural desire to represent the 
action in a most favourable light to Denmark, he 
took into the comparative strength of ^the two par- 
ties the ships which were aground, and which could 
not get into action ; and omitted the Trekroner and 
the batteries upon Amak Island. He disclaimed aR 
idea of claiming as a victory ** what to every intent 
and purpose^" said he,^ '* was a defeat,— but not an 
inglorious one. As to your lordship?s motive for 
sending a flag of truce, it never can be miscon- 
strued; and your subsequent conduct has suffi- 
ciently shown that humanity is always the com- 
panion of true valour. You have done more ; you 

1801.] UFX or KKL801I. 837 

have shown yoarself a friend to the re-establish- 
ment of peace and good harmony between this 
country and Qreat Britain^ It is, therefore, with 
the sincerest esteem I shall always feel myself 
attached to your lordship.** Thus handsomely 
winding up his reply he soothed and contented 
Nelson ; who, drawing^ up a memorandum of the 
comparative force of the two parties, for his own 
satisfaction, assured Lindholm, that if the com- 
modore^s statement had been in the same manly 
and honourable strain, he would have been the last 
man to have noticed any little inaccuracies which 
might get into a commander-in*chief*s public letter. 
For the battle of Copenhagen, Nelson was raised 
to the rank of viscount z-^an inadequate- mark of 
reward for services- so splendid and of such parti- 
mount importance to the dearest interests of Eng- 
land. There was, however, some prudence in 
dealing out honours to him step by step:, had he 
lived long enough, he would have fought his way up 
to a dukedom* 


Bit Hfd» Park0r U reeoiftd, and JTehpn Ofpointai Cmmmiar^Bf 
got$ to R§vd,—ISettlfnt»nt of Afair$_ in tie Baltic— Unsneeeooful 
JSttempt upon the Flotitta at Bologne— Peace of Amiene^Jfehon 
tak^ the Command in Ike Mediterranean on thi Renewal af the fVar 
—Eeeape of the TolUon Fieet—Mlsen chaeee them to the Weei 
Indiegj and back — Delipere vp hie Squadron to Jidmirdl OomwaUiet 
and lande in Mingland. 

Whik Nelson informed Earl St. Vincent that the 
armistice had been concluded, he told him also, 
without reserve, his own discontent at the dilatofi- 
ness and indecision which he witnessed^ and could 
not remedy. " No* man," said he, *• but those who 


uteamibe spot, can tdl what I hsre gonie tfaroogfa, 
and do sidfer. I make do scruple in saying, that I 
would have been mt Revd fourteen days ago ! that, 
wii h a ut this aimistice, the fleet would never have 
|one, bnt by order of the Admiralty ; and with it, 
I dare say, we shall not go this week. I wanted 
Sir Hyde to let me, at least, go and cruise off 
Cailserona, to prevent the Revel ships from getting 
in. I said 1 wonld not go to Revel to take anjr of 
those lanrels, which I was sore he would reap there. 
Think for me, my dear lord;— and if I have deserved 
well, let me return: if ill, for heaven^s sake saper- 
aede me,— for I cannot exist in this state." 

Fatigue, incessant imxiety, and a climate little 
sailed to ' one of a tender constitution, which had 
now for many years been accustomed to more 
genial latitudes, made him at this time serious^ 
determine upon returning home. '* If the northern 
business were not settted," he said, *' they must 
send mdre admirals ; for the keen air of the north 
had cut him to the heart.** He felt the want of 
activity and decision in the commander-in-chief 
more keenly ; and this affected his spirits, and, con- 
sequently his health, more than the inclemency of 
the Baltic. Soon after the armistice was signed. 
Sir Hyde proceeded to the eastward, with such ships 
as were fit for service, leaving -Nelson to follow 
with the rest, as- soon as those which had received 
flight damages shoald be repaired, and the rest 
sent to England. In passing between the isles of 
^mak and Saltholm, most of the ships touched the 
ground, and some of thenfi btuck fast for awhile : 
00 serious injury, however, was sustained.. It was 
mtended to act ajp^ainst the Russians fireit, before 
the breaking up of the frost sl^ould enable them to 
leave ReveM out learning on the way, that the 
Swedes had put to sea to effeet a junction with 
them, Sir Hyae altered his course^ in hopes of in-* 
teraepting this part of the enemy's force. Nelson 

J 801.] LIFE OF, NEL80N. 239 

had, at this time, provided for the more pressisf 
emergencies of the service, and prepared,, on the 
18th, to follow the fleet. The St. George drew too 
much water to pass the channel between ihe isles 
\irithout being lightened: the guns were therefore 
taken out, and put on board an American vessel : 
a contrary wind, however, prevented Nelson from 
moving ; and on that saipe evening while he was 
thus delayed, information reached him of the rela* 
tive situation c^f the Swedish and British fleets, and 
the probability of an action. The fleet was nearly 
ten .league^ distant; and both wind and current 
contrary ; but it was not possible that Nelson could 
wait for a favourable season under such an expect- 
ation. He ordered his boat immediately, and 
stepped into it. Night "was setting in, — one of the 
cold spring nights of the north, and it was dis- 
covered soon at'ter they had Jeft the ship, th^t in 
their haste, they had forgotten to provide him with 
a boat-cloak. He, however, forbade them to return 
for one : and when one of his companions offered 
his. own great coat, and urged him to make use of 
it, he replied, <* I thank you very much, — ^but, to tell 
yoa the truth, my aip^iety keeps me sufllciently 
wann at present." 

** Do you think," 4said he, presently, '* that our 
fleet has quitted Bornholm I If it has, we must fol- 
low it to Carlscrona." About midnight he reached 
it, and once more got on board the Elephant. On 
the following morning the Swedes were discovered ; 
as soon« however, as they perceived the English 
approaching, they retired^ and took shelter in Carl- 
scrona,'behmd the batteries on the island, at the en- 
trance of that |k)rt. Sir Hyde sent in a flag of truce, 
stating,^ that Denmark had concluded an sirmistice, 
and requiring sin explicit declaration from the court 
of Sweden, whether it would adhere to or abandoQ 
the hostile measures which it had taken against the 
rights and interests of Great Britain t The com* 

S40 ttFR OV KEL809. [1801. 

nutnder, Vice* Admiral Cronstadt, replied, **That 
he could not answer a question whieh did not come 
within the particular circle of his duty; but that the 
king was then at Maloe, aind would soon be at Carl* 
scrona." Gustayus shortly afterward arrived, and 
an answer was then returned to this effect : '* T%at 
his Swedish majesty would not; for a moment, fail 
to fulfil, with fidelity and sincerity, the eng^agements 
he had etitered into with his allies; but he would 
not refuse to listen to equitable proposals made by 
deputies furnished with proper authority by the 
kiUff of Great Britain to the united northern pow- 
ers.** Satisfied with this answer, and with the 
known disposition of the. Swedish court, Sir Hyde 
sailed for the Gulf of Finland; but he had not pro- 
ceeded far, before a despatch boat, from the Russian 
ambassador at Copenhagen, arrived, bringing intel- 
lip^ence of the death of the emperor Paul: and that 
his successor, Ale:fi:ander, had accepted the offer 
made by England to his father, of terminating the 
dispute by ^ convention; the British admiral was 
tlherefore required to desi«t from, all farther hos- 

. It was Nelson^s maxim, that, to negotiate with 
effect, fbrce should be at hand, and in a situation to 
act. The Heet,, having been rehiforced from Eng- 
land, ahiounted to eighteen saU of the line ;' and the 
wind was fair for Revel, There he would have 
sailed imihediately to place himself between that 
division of the Russian fleet and the squadron at 
Cronstadt, in case thia offer should prove insincere. 
Sir Hyde, on the other hand, believed that the death 
of Paul had' effected all which was* necessary. The 
manner of that death, indeed^ rendered it apparent, 
that a change of policy would take place in the ca- 
binet of Petersburg :— hut Nelson never trusted 
any thing to the uncertain events of time, which 
, could possibly be secured by promptitude or reso- 
lution. H was not, therefore, without severe mor- 

1001.] I2PB OF HBLSOll. t41 

iification» that he saw the commandeNui'chief 
return to the coast of Zealand, and anchor in Kioge 
Bay ; there to wait patiently for what might happen. 

There the fleet remained, till despatches amved 
from home, on the 5th of May, recalling Sir Hyde, 
and appointing Nelson comniander-in-chief. 

Nelson wrote to Earl St. Vincent that he was 
nnable to hold this honoaraUe station. Admiral 
Graves also was so ill, as to be copfined to his bed; 
and he entreated that some person might come out 
and take the command. '* I will endeavour," said 
he, ^ to do^ my best while I remain : but, my dear 
lord, I shall either soon. go to heaven I hope, or 
mustiest iquiet for a* time. If Sir Hyde were gone, 
I would now be under sail." On the day when 
this was written he received news of his appoint- 
ment. Not a moment was now lost. His fir^ 
signal, as commander-in-chief, was to hoist in all 
launches, and prepare to weigh : fund on the 7th he 
sailed from Kioge. Part of his. fleet was left at 
fiornholm, to watch the Swedes: from whom he 
required and obtamed an assurance, that the British 
trade in the Cattegat, and m the Baltic, should not 
be molested ; and saying how unpleasant it would 
be to him if any thine should happen which might, 
for a moment, disturb -the returning harmony be» 
tween Sweden- an]d Great Britain, he apprized them 
that he was not directed to abstain from hostilities 
should he meet with! the Swedish fleet at sea. — 
Meantime, he himself^ with ten sail of the line, two 
frigates, a brig, and a schooner, made for the Gulf 
of Finland. Paul, in one of the freaks of his ty- 
ranny, had seized upon all the British effects in . 
Russia, and even considered British subjects as his 
prisoners. " I will have all the English shipping 
and property restored," said Nelson, *^ but I will do 
nothing violently, — ^neither commit, the afiairs of my 
country, nor suffer Russia to mix the affairs of Den- 
mark or Sweden with the detention of our ships^*^ 


249 un ov nsLBOK. [1801. 

The wind was fair* and canied him in four days to 
Revel Roads. But the bay had .been clear of inn 
ice ou the Xhh of AfHil, while the Enfflish were 
Irin^ idly at Kioge. The Russians had cut 
Corough the ice in the mole six feet thick, and their 
whole squadron had sailed for Cronstadt on the 
third, fiefore that time it had laid at the mercy 
of the English. «' Nothing,** Nelson said, «« if it 
had been right to make the attack, could have saved 
one ship of them in two hours after our entering the 

U so happened that there was no cause to. regret 
the opportunity Which had been lost, and Nelson 
immediately put the v intentions of Russia to the 
proof. He sent on shore, to say, that he came with 
friendly views, and was- ready to return a salute* — 
On their part the salute was delayed, till a message 
was sent to them, to inquire ibr what re^ison i and 
the officer, whose neglect had occasioned the delay^ 
was put under arrest. Nelson wrote to the ein- 
peror, proposing to wait on him personally, and con< 
gratulate nim on his accession, and urged the imme-' 
diate release of British subjects^ and restoration of 
British property. 

The answer arrived on the 16th : Nelson, mean* 
time, had exchanged visits with the ^vembr, and 
the most friendly mtercoorse had subsisted between 
the ships and the shore. Alexander's ministers, in 
their reply, expressed their aurprise at the arrival 
of a British fleet in a Russian port, and their wish 
that it should return : they professed, on the part of 
Russia, the most friendly disposition towards Great 
Britain; but. declined tne personal visit of Lord 
Nelson, unless hie came in a single ship. There 
was a suspicion implied in this, which stung Nel- 
son : and he said, the Russianoninisters would never 
have written thus if their fleet had been at Revel« — 
He wrote an iminediajte reply, expressing what he 
felt : he told the court of Petersburg, ** that the 

1801.] XilFE OF NELSON. i4i 

Word of a British admiral, when given in explana- 
tion of any part of his conduct, was as sacred as that 
of any sovereign's in Europe." . And he repeated, 
''that, under other circumstances, it would have 
been his anxious wish to have paid his personal 
respects to the' emperor, and signed with his own 
hand the act of amity between the two. countries." 
Having despatched this, h^ stood out to sea irnme* 
diately, leaving a brig to bring off the provisions 
which had been contracted for, and to settle the 
accounts. *^ I hope all is right," said he, writing 
to our ambassador at Berlin ; but seamen are but 
bad negotiators; for 'we put to issue in iite mi- 
nutes what diplomatic forms would be five months 

. On his way down the Baltic, however, he met the 
Russian add:iiral Tchitchagof, whom the emperor, 
in reply to Sir Hyde^s overtures, had sent to com- 
Biuiiicate personally with the British, commander- 
in-chief. The reply was such ^^ bad been wished 
and expected: and these negotiators going, sea- 
men-like, straight to their object, satisfied each 
other of the frien41y intentions of their respective 
governments. Nelson then anchored off Rostock : 
and there he received an answer to his last desr 
patch from Revel, in which the Russian court ex- 
pressed their regret that there should have b^en 
any misconception between them ; informed him, 
that the British vessels which Paul had detained 
were ordered to be liberated, and invited him to 
Petersburg in whatever . mode might be most 
agreeskble to himself. Other honours awaited him : 
— the Duke of Mecklenburgh StreUtz, the queen's 
brother, came to visit him on board his ship ; and 
towns of the inland parts of Mecklenburgn sent 
depiltations, with their public hooka of record, that 
they might have the name of Nelson in them written 
hf his own hand. 
From Rostock the fleet returned .to Kioge Bay. 

244 UFSOP iisuoK< (t801; 

Nelson saw that the temper of the Danes towards 
England was such aft naturally arose from the ehafl« 
tisement which they had so recently received. " In 
this nation," said he, " we shall not be forgiven for 
having the upp^r hand of them .^-^I only thank God 
we have, or they woold try to hamble us to the 
dust" He saw also that the Danish cabinet wail 
completely subservient to France : a French officer 
was at this time the companion and counsellor of 
the crown prince ; and things were done in such 
open violation of the armistice, that N^on thought 
a second infliction of Vengeance would soon be no* 
cessary. He wrote to the Admiralty, requesting a 
dear and eitplicit reply to his inquiry, whether 
the commander-in-chief was at liberty to hold the 
language becoming a British admiradi — '* Which, 
very probably^'' said he, ^ if I aim here, will break 
the armistice, and set Copenhagen in a blaze.^ I 
see every thing' which is d&rty and mean going on* 
and the prince royal at the head of it. Ships have 
been masted, guns taken on board, floating batteries 
prepared, and, except hauling out and completing 
their rigging, every thing is done in defiance of the 
treaty. My heart bums at seeing the word of a 
prince^ nearly allied to our good king, so falsified: 
but hicT ccmduct is such^ that he will lose his king-* 
dom if he^ goes on ; for jacobins rule in Denmark* 
I have niade no representations yet, as it would be 
useless to do so until I have the power of correct 
tion. All I beg, in the nami^ of the future com« 
mander-in-chief, is, that the orders inay be clear; 
for enough is done to break twenty treaties, if it 
should be wished, or to make the prince royal 
humble himself before British generosity." 

Nelson was not deceived in his judgment of the 
Danish cabinet, but the battle of Copenhagen "had 
cnppled Its power. The death of the czar Paul 
bad broken the confederacy.- and that cabinet, there- 
tow, was compeUed to defer, tUl a more conventot 

1801.] XJVB or HSL80K. 245 

season, the indulgence of its enmity towards Great 
Britain. Soon afterward, Admiral Sir Charles Mau- 
rice Pole arrived to take the command. The 
business, military and political, had by that time 
been so far completed, that the presence of the Bri- 
tish fleet soon beclime no longer necessary. Sir 
Charles, however, made the short time of his com- 
mand memorable, by passing the Great Belt, for the 
first time, with line-of-battle ships ; working through 
the channel against adverse winds. When Nelson 
left the fleet, this ispeedy termination of the expe- 
diticHi, though confidently expected, was not certain; 
and he, in his unwillingness to weaken the British 
force, thought at one time of traversing Jutland in 
his boat, by the canal, to Tonningen on the Eyder, 
and finding his way home from thence. This in- 
tention was not executed : but he returned in a brig, 
declining to accept a frigate ; which few admirala 
would have done ; especially if, like him, they suf- 
fered from sea-sickness in a small vessel. On his 
arrival at Yarmouth, the first thing he did was to visit 
the hospital, and see the men who had been wounded 
in the late battle ; — ^that victory, which had added 
new glory to the name of Nelson, and which was of 
more importance even than the battle of the Nile, to 
the honour, the strength, and security of England* 

The feelings of Nelson's friends, upon the news 
of his ffreat victory at Copenhagen, were highly de- 
scribed by Sir William Hamilton, in a letter to him* 
•«We can only expect," he says, "what we know 
well, and often said before, that Nelson wc», t«, and 
to the hut wili ever he the first, Emma did not know 
whether she was on her head or heels, — in such a 
hurry to tell your great news, that she could utter 
nothing but tears of joy and tenderness. 1 went to 
Davison, and found him still in bed, having had a 
severe fit of the gout, and with your letter, which he 
bad just received; and he cried like a child: but 
vbat was very extraordinary, assured me that, from 


246 ura (XT vsxMor. [1801 

ttie instant he had read your letter, all pain had left 
him, and that he felt himself able to get up and wsiSk 
about. Your brother, Mrs. Nelson, and Horace 
dined with us. Your brother was more extraordi- 
nary than ever. He would get up suddenly and cut 
a caper; rubbing his hands every time that the 
thought of your fresh laurels came into his head. 
Li short, except myself (and your lordship knows 
that 1 have some phlegm), all the company, which 
was considerable after dinner, were mad with joy. 
But I am sure that no one really rejoiced more at 
heart than I did. I have lived too long to have 
ecstasies ! But with calm reflection, I fSt for my 
friend having got to the very summit of glory ! the 
nepluiuHra! that he has had another opportunity 
of rendering his country the most important service ; 
and manifesting again his judgment, his intrepidity, 
and humanity.^ 

He had not been many weeks on shore before he 
was called upon to undertake a service, for which 
no Nelson was required. Buonaparte, who was 
now first consul, and in reality sole ruler of France, 
was making preparations, upon a great scale, for 
invading' England ; but his schemes in the Baltic 
had been baffled ; fleets could not be created as th^ 
were wanted; and his armies, therefore, were to 
come over in gun-boats, and such small craft, as 
could be rapidly built or collected for the occasion. 
From the former governments of France such threats 
have only been matter of insult and policy : in Buo- 
naparte they were sincere : for this adventurer, in- 
toxicated with success, already began to imagine 
that all things were to be submitted to his fortune. 
We had not at that time proved the superiority of 
our soldiers over the French ; and the unreflecting 
multitude were not to be persuaded that an invasion 
could only be effected by numerous and powerful 
fleets. A general alarm was excited ; and, in con- 
descension to this unworthy feeling, Nel8<m waf 

1801.] tOFE 0P nszMH. 24t 

appointed to vl command, extending from Orford- 
nesa to Beachy Head, on both shores : — ^a sort of 
service, he said, for which he felt no other ability 
than what might be fomid in his zeal. 

To this service, however, such as it was, he ap* 
{died with his wonted alacrity ; thott|fh in no cheer- 
ful frame of mind. To Lady Hamilton, his only 
female correspondent, he says, at this time, — ** I am 
not in very good spirits ; and except that our coun- 
try 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 frieiid, I know you are so true and loyal an 
Englishwoman, that you would hate those who 
would not stand forth m defence of our king, laws, 
religion, and all that is dear to us.^-It is your sex 
that make ns eo 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. It is your 
sex that reward us, it is your sex who cherish our 
memories ; and you, my dear, honoured friend, are, 
believe me, the Jirst, 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 who 
could be put in comparison with you. You know 
hew to reward virtue, honour, and courage, and 
never to ask if it is placed in a prince, duke, lord, or 
peasant Having hoisted his flag in the Medusa 
frigate, he went to reconnoitre Boulogne ; the point 
from which it was supposed the great attempt would 
be made, and which the French, in fear of an attack 
themselves, were fortifying with all care. He ap- 

Eroached near enough to sink two of their floating 
atteries, and destroy a few gun-boats, which were 
without the pier: what damage was done within 
could not be ascertained. "Boulogne," he said, 
** was certainly not a very pleasant place that morn- 
ing:— -but," he added, " it is not my wish to injure 
the poor ihhalntants ; and the town is spared as 

248 UF8 or miAnf. (ISOt 

much as the nature of the semce win adnuf 
Enough was done to show the enemy that they 
could not, with impunity, come outside their own 
ports. Nelson was satisfied, by what he saw, that 
they meant to make an attempt from this {dace, but 
that it was impracticable; for the least wind at 
W. N. W., and they were lost. The ports of Flush- 
ing and Flanders were better points : there we could 
not tell by our eyes what means of transport were 
provided. From thence, therefore, if it caone fordi 
at all, the expedition would come : — ^ And what a 
forlorn undertaking r said he: "consider cross 
tides, &;e. As for rowing, that is impossible. It is 
periectly right to be prepared for a mad gpyem« 
ment; out with the active force which has. been 
given me, I may pronounce it almost impracticable.** 
That force had been got together with an alacrity 
which has seldom been equalled. On the twenty- 
eighth of July, we were, m Nelson's own words, 
literally at the foundation of our fabric of defence: 
mid twelve days afterward we were so prepared on 
the enemy's coast, that he did not believe they 
could get three miles from their ports. The Medusa, 
returning to our own shores, anchored in the rolling 
ground oi[ Harwich; and when Nelson wished to 
get to the Nore in her, the wind rendered it impos- 
sible to proceed there by the usual channel. In 
haste to be at the Nore, remembering that he had 
heef^ a tolerable pilot for the mouth of we Thames in 
his younger davs, and thinking it necessary that he 
should know all that should be known of the navi- 
gation, he requested the maritime surveyor of the 
coast, Mr* ^pence, to get him into the Swin, by any. 
channel; for neither the pilots which he liad on 
board, nor the Harwich ones, would take charge of 
the shia No vessel drawing more than fourteen 
ftet had ever before ventured over the Naze. Mr. 
Spence, however, who had surveyed the channel^ 
cArri^d her safely through^. The channel ha« sinco 

1801.] 2,IFB OF iqSLBON; 246 

been ealled Nelson^s, though he himself wished H 
to be named after the Medusa : his name needed no 
new memorial. 

Nelson's eye was upon Flushing. — ^** To take pos- 
session of that place,''- he said, *' would be a week's 
expedition for four or five thousand troops." This, 
however, required a consultation with the Admi- 
ralty ; and that something might be done, meantime, 
he resolved upon attacking, the flotilla in the mouth 
of Boulogne harbour. This resolution was made 
in deference to the opiuion of oihersy and to the 
public feeling, which was so preposterously excited. 
He himself scrupled not to assert, that the French 
army would never embark at Boulogne for the inva* 
sion of £ngland; and he owned, that this boat- 
warfare was not exactly congenial to his feelings. 
Into HeWoet or Flushing, he should be happy to 
lead, if government turned their thoughts that way. 
" While 1 serve," said he, ** I will do it actively, and 
to the veiy best of my abilities. — I require nursing 
like a child," he added; *'my mind carries me be- 
yond my strength, and will do me up : — ^but such is 
my nature." 

The attack was made by, the boats of the squa^ 
dron in five divisions^ under Captains Somervdle, 
Parker, Cotgrave, Jones, and Conn. The previous 
essay had taught tl^e French the weak parts of theur 
position; and they omitted no means of strengthen- 
mg it,. and of guarding against the expected attempt. 
The boats put- olf aboiit half an hour before mid- 
night; but,t>wing tO'the darkness»and tide and half 
tide, which must always make night attacks so un- 
certain on the coasts of the channel, thtf divisions 
separated. On^ could not arrive at all ; another not 
till near daybreak. The others made their attack 
gallantly; but the enemy were fully prepared: every 
vessel was defended by long poles, headed with iron 
spikes, projecting from their sides ; strong nettings 
were braeed up to their lower yards; they were 

990 LIFE OF TTXL90N. [1801. 

moored by the bottom to the shore:* they were 
ctrong^ly manned with soldiers, and protected by 
land batteries, and the shore was lined with troops. 
Many were taken possession of ; and, though they 
could not have been brought out, would have been 
burned, had not the French resorted to a mode of 
offence, which they have often used, but which no 
oth^r people have ever been wicked enough to em- 
ploy. The moment the firing ceased on board one 
of their own vessels they fired upon it from the 
«hore, perfectly regardless of their own men- 

The commander of one of the French divisions 
Acted like a generous enemy. He hailed the boats 
as they approached, and cried out in Ekiglish : ^ Let 
me advise you, my brave Englishmen, to keep your 
distance : you can do nothing here ; and it is only 
uselessly shedding the blood of brave men to make 
the attempt.'* . The French official account boasted 
of the victory. •• The combat,** it said, ** took place 
ia sight of both countries ; it was the first of the 
kind, and the historian woidd have cause to make 
this remark.'* They guessed our loss at four or 
five hundred : — it amounted to one hundred and 
Beventy-two. In his private letters to the Admiralty 
Nelson affirmed, that had our force arrived as he in- 
tended, it was not all the eitiains in^ Prance which 
could have prevented our men from bringing off the 
whole of the vessels. There had been no ei^r 
committed, and never did Ensi^lishmen display more 
courage. Upon this point Nelson was fully satis- 
fied ; but he said he should never bring himself 

* In the fornwr editions I had M^ted, ap6B vrhtx ippeared autiientle 
InforfnaUoii, that the boats lyere chained one to another. Nelson bim- 
Mlf believed this. But 1 have been assured that it waf not the can, 
by M. de Beroet, who, when I had the pleasure of seeing him in 1835, 
was (and I hope still is) con^nandant or Boulogne. The word of this 
hrave and loyal soldier is as little to be doubted as his worth. He is 
the lastaurvivorof Charette's baud ; and hit own memoirs, could he be 
penuaded to write tbem (a duty which he owes to his country as w(A 
as to hisnselO, would fbrm a redeeming episode in the hittocy of tbs 
rsench revcriation. 

1801.] UFB or KEIAOn. 251 

again to allow any attack, whezein he was not per- 
sonally concerned; and tliat his mind suffered more 
than if he had had a leg shot off in the affair* He 
grieved particularly for Captain Parker, — an excel-* 
lent officer, to whom he was greatly attached, and 
who had an aged father looking to him for assist- 
ance. His thigh was shattered in the action ; and 
the wound proved mortal, after some weekiB of suf- 
fering and manly resignation. During this interval. 
Nelson's anxiety was very great. — •* Dear Parker is 
my child," said he ; " for I found him in distress.** 
And when be received the tidings of his deatl^ he 
relied:— *' You will judge of my feelings: God's 
^ill be done. I beg that his hair may be cut off and 

S'vdn me; — ^it shall be buried in my grave. Poor 
r. Parker ! What a son has he lost ! If I were to 
say I was content, I should lie ; but I shall endea- 
TOur to submit with all the fortitude in mypower.—r 
His loss has made a wound in my heart, which time 
will hardly heal." 

*' You ask me, my dear friend," he says, to Lady 
Hamilton, "if I am going on more expeditions I 
and even if I was to forfeit your friendship), which is 
dearer to me than all the world. Lean tell you no- 
thing, tor, I go out.; I see the enemy and can get 
at them, it is my duty ; and fon would natundly 
hate me, if I kept back one moment.— I Ion? to pay 
them, for their tricks t' other day, the debt of a drub^ 
bing, which surely I'll pay: but r»henj Tvherty or. 
bow, it is impossible, your own good sense must tell 
you, for me or mortal man. to say.** — ^Yet he now 
wished to be relieved from this service. The coun- 
try, he said, had attached a confidence to his name, 
which he had submitted to, and therefore had cheer- 
fully repaired to the .station ;r— but this boat busi- 
ness, though it might be part of a^reat plan of in- 
vasion, could never be the cmly one, and he did not 
think it was a command for a vice-admiral. It was 
not that he wanted a more lucrative situation »— lor. 

S52 xiVB ov HEUOir. []8a]« 

•eriOQsly indispoflod m he was, tiid low-spinted 
from private considerations, he did not know, if the 
Mediterranean were vacant, that he should be eqaal 
to undertadie it. He was offended with the Admi- 
ralty for refusing him leave to ffo to town when he 
had solicited; in reply to a friendly letter from 
Trowbridge he says, ''I am at 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 eveiy one knows I left it 
without a thought for myself.^ His letters at this 
time breathe an angry feeling towards Trowbridge, 
who was now become^ h6 said, one of his lords and 
masters.—" I have a ktter from him," he says, " re- 
eommending me to wear flannel shirts. Does he 
care for me? no: but never mind. They shall 
work hard to get me affain.— The cold has setiled 
m my bowels. I wish the Admiralty had my com- 

Slaint : but they have no bowels, at least for me.-rl 
are say Master Trowbridge is ffrown fat. I know 
I am grown lean with my complaint,, which, but for 
their mdifference about my health, could never have 
happened ; or, at least, I should have got well long 
ago in a warm room, with a gpod fire anH sincere 
friend." In the same tone of bitterness, he com- 

Elained that he was not able to promote those whom 
e thought deserving: " Trowbridge,^ he says, 
"has so completely prevented my ever mentioning 
•any body's service, that I am become a cipher, and 
he has gained a victory over Nelson's spirit. I am 
kept here, for what 1-%e may be able to tell, I can- 
not. But long it cannot, shall not be." An end was 
put to this uncomfortable state of miiid when, fortu- 
nately (on that account) for him, as well as happily 
for the nation, the peace of Amiens was, just at this 
tnne, signed. Ncflson rejoiced that the experiment 
was made, but was well aware that it was an expe- 

Sl?r« l^^ ^^"^ '!*'** ^^ ^»1^^^ *e misery of pea^, 
unless the utmost vigilance and pmdenci were ex' 

IBOi.] XtFE OF 1YJE180K. K9 

erted: and he ex^ss^d, in bitter tenns, hit pvoper 
indig^Mtion ^t the manner in which the mob of hem* 
don welcomed the French generalf who brought the 
ratification ; saying, ^ that they made him ashamed 
of his country." 

He had purchased a house and estate at Merton^ 
m Surry; meaning to pass his days there in the 
society of Sir William and Lady Hamilton. He had 
indulged in pleasant dreams when looking on to thia 
as his place of residence and rest. *^ To be suie^** 
he says, ** we shall employ the tradespeople of our 
village in preference to anyothers»in.what we wani 
for comqion use^and give them every encourage* 
noent to be kind and attentive to us.'^--^ Have we 
a nice eburch at Merton j We will set an ezamj^ 
of goodness to the under^parishioners. I admire 
the pigs and poultry. Sheep are certainly most be* 
neficial to eat off the grass. Do you get paid for 
them* and take care that they are kept on the pte* 
miaes all night,, for that is the tioie they do good to 
the land. They should be folded. Is your head 
man a good person, and true to our interest | I iiH 
tend have a farming-book. I expect that ail 
animals will increase where you. are, for 1 never ez« 
pect that you will suffer any to be killed.— No per* 
son 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 Jknow Sir William thinks they ars 
the best." This place he had never seen, till he 
was now welcomed there by the friends to whcmi 
he had so passionately devoted himself, and who 
were not less sincerely attached to him. The place* 
and every thing which Lady Hamilton had done to 
it, delighted him; and he declared that the longest 
liver should possess it all. Here he amused him* 
self with angling in the Wandle, having been a good 
flr*fisher in former days, and learning now to prac* 



tiae with his left hand,* what he could no longer 

EUTHue as a solitaiy diversion. His peiunxms f<HP 
is victories, ahd for the loss of his eye and arm, 
amounted with hi» half-pay to about i^,400 a year. 
From this he ^ve JSI98OO to Lady Nelson, £300 to 
a brother^s widow, and £150 for the education of 
his children; and he paid £500 interest for bor- 
fowed money ; so that Nelson w^s comparatively a 

Cr man ; and thoupfh much of the pecuniary em- 
rassment which he endured wa« occasioned by 
the separation from his wife-^-even if that cause had 
Hot existed, his income w^uld not have been suffi- 
cient for the rank which he held, and the claims 
which would necessarily be made upon his bounty. 
The depression of spirits under which he had Ion; 
laboured, arose parthrfrom this state of his circum- 
stances, and partly from the other disquietudes in 
which his connexion with Lady Hamilton liad in- 
volved him: a connexion which it was not possible 
his father could behold without sorrow and displea^ 
sure. Mn Nelson, however, was soo^ persuaded 
that the attachment, which Lady Nelson regarded 
with natural jealousy and i^sentment, did not, in 
reality, pass the bounds of ardent and romantic ad- 
miration : a passion which the nmnners and accom- 
plishments of Lady Hamilton^ fascinating- as they 
were, would not have been able to excite, if they 
had not been accompanied by more uncommon in- 
tellectual endowments, and by a character which, 
both in its strenffttt and in its weakness, resembled 
his'0wn» It did not, therefore, requite much ex^ 
planation to reconcile him to his son;— -an event 
the more essential to Nelson's happiness, because, a 

* TMi !■ HMnttonetf on C&e wnhortiy, and by tlie detire oT Sir Hon- 
^rey Davy^t whose name I write wkli th^ respect to whicli it ie n 
jaedy entitled; andcalUng to mind the time when >re wei« iitliabiti 
•r 4$»f anftlBtiaMtt intercoone with aflbbtionate legrab 

t BataMMla^l^S^ 

1801.] XIFB OF 19EL0Cm. S55 

few months afterward, the good old man died, at the 
age of seventy-nine. 

Soon after the oonclnfton of peace, tidings arriyed 
of our final tind decisive successes in Egypt : in 
consequence of which the common council.voted 
their thanks to the aimy and navy for bringing the 
campaign to so glorious a conclusion. When Nel- 
son, after the action off Cape St. Vincent, had been 
entertained at a city feast, he had observed to the 
lord-mayor, ^' that, if the city continued its gene- 
rosity, the navy would ruin them in gifts." To 
which the lord-mayor replied, putting his hand upon 
the admiral's shoulder, ** Do you find victories, and 
we wilL find rewardip.^' Nelson, as he said, had kept 
his word,--had doubly fulfilled his part of the con- 
tract,-^but no thanks had been voted for the battle 
of Copenhagen ; and, feeling that he and his com- 
panions in that day*s glory had a fair and honour- 
able claim to this reward, he took the present oppor- 
tunity of addrtesing^ a letter to the lord-mayor, com- 
plaining of the omission and the injustice. *' The 
«mall^t fiervices,** said he, " rendered by^ the array 
or navy to the country,' have always been noticed 
by the great city of London, whh one exception-^ 
the glorious 3d of April: — a day, when ^e greatest 
dangers of navigation were overcome; and the 
Danish force, which they thought impregnable, to- 
tally taken or destroyed, by the consummate skijl of 
our commanders, and tiy the undaunted bravenr of 
as gallant a band as ever defended the ri^ts of this 
country. For myself, if I were only persoi^ally 
concerned, I should bear the stigma, attempted to 
be now first placed upon my brow^ with humility. 
But, my lord, 1 am the natural guardian of the fame 
of all the officers of the navy, army, and marines, 
who fought, and so profusely bled, undier my com- 
mand on that day. Again, I disclaim for myself 
more merit than naturally falls to a succesiful com- 
mander ; but when I am called upon to speak of the 

f56 UFB OF KEL0Oir. [184IS. 

aieriti of the captains of hia majesty's ships, and ai 
the officers and men, whether seamen, marines^ or 
soldiers, whom I that day had the happiness to com- 
mand, I then say, that never was the glory of this 
country upheld with more determined bravery than 
on that occasion : and, if I may be allowed to give an 
opinion as a Briton, then I say, that more important 
service was never rendered to our king and^country. 
It is my duty, my lord, to prove to the brave feUows, 
my companions in danger, that I have not failed, at 
every proper place, to represent, as well as I am 
able, their bravery and. meritorious conduct." 

Another honour, of greater import, was withheld 
from the conquerors. The king had given medals 
to those captains who were engaged in the battles 
of the 1st of June, of Cape St. Vincent, of Cam- 
perdown, and of the Nile. Then came the victory 
at Copenhagen ; which Nelson trulv called the most 
difficult acluevement, the hardest fought battle, the 
most glorious result^ that ever graced the annals of 
our country. He< of- eourse, expected the medal : 
and, in writing to Earl St. Vincent, said, '^He 
longed to have it, and would not give it up to be 
made an English duke." The medal, however, was 
not given : — ^^ For what reason," said Nelson, **Lord 
Bt, Vincent best knows."— Words plainly implyioff 
A suspicion, that it was withheld by some feeling of 
Jealousy: and that suspicion estranged him,, during 
the remaining part of his life« from ope who had at 
one time been essentially, as well as sincerely^ his 
friend ; and of whose professional abilities he ever 
entertained the highest opinion. , 

The happiness which Nelson enjoyed in the so- 
ciety of his chosen friends, was of no long conti- 
nuance. Sir William Hamilton, who was far ad- 
vanced in years, died early in 1803 ; a mild, amiable, 
accomplished man, who has thus, in a letter, de« 
scribed his own philosophy: — ^^'My study of anti* 
quities/' ^e says, *^has kept me, in constant thought 

ItOS.] 14FE OF imuov. t&l 

of title perpetual fluctuation of every thing. The 
whole art is really to live all the day$ of our life ; 
and not with anxious care disturb the sweetest hour 
that life affords, — ^which is the present. Admire the 
Creator^t and all his works, to us incomprehensible ; 
and do all the good you can upon earth : and take 
theohanceof eternity without dismay.*' He expired 
in his wife'4si arms, holding Nelson by the hand ; and 
almost in his last words left her to his {protection ; 
xequesting him that he would see justice done her 
by the government, as he knew what she had done 
for her countr^% He left him her portrait in enamel, 
calling him his dearest friend; the most virtuous* 
lojjrel, and truly brave character he had ever known.* 
The oodicil, containing this bequest, concluded wi^ 
these words : " God blesa him, and shame fall oa 
those who do not say amen.'* Sir William's pensioB, 
of £1300 a year, ceased with his death. Nelson 
^I^ed to, Mr. Addington in Lady Hamilton's behalf, 
atating the important service . which she had ren- 
dered to the fleet at Syracuse : and Mr. Aadington, 
it is said, acknowledged that she had a just claim 
upon the gratitude of the country. This barren ac- 
knowledgment wacf all that was obtained: but a 
sum, equfil to the pension which her husband had 
enjoyed, was settled on her by Nelson, and paid in 
monthly p^ments during his life. A few weeks 
after this event, the war was renewed ; and, the day 
after his majesty's message to parliament. Nelson d&- 
parted to take the command of tneMediterranean fleet 
The war, he thought, could not be long; just enougk 
to. make him independent in pecuniary matters. 

He took his station immediately off Toulon; and 
-there, with incessant vigilance, waited for the 
coming out of the enemy. The expectation of ac- 
quiring a competent fortune did not last long. 
^Somehow," he says, *^my mind is not sharp 
■enough for prize-money. Lord Keith would have 
jnade £90,000^ and I hare not made £6000." Moi« 

ftB6 LIFE OP l^tflOK. { f d09. 

than (»cehe says that the prices taken in the MedU 
terranean: had not paid his expenses: sfcnd onee he 
^xpresseis himself as if it were a consolation to 
tiiink that some hall mi|fht soon close ail his ae- 
<)ounts with this world of care and vexation. At 
this time the widow <!^ his hrother, being then blind 
ftnd advanced in years, was distrei^sed fpr money, 
and about to sell her plate ; he wrote to- Lady Ha- 
milton, requesting of her to find out what her debts 
were, and saying, that if the amount was within his 
power he would certainly pay it, and rather pinch 
«imself than that she should want. Before he had 
finished the letter, an account arrived that a sum 
was payable to him for some neutral taken four 

2 ears before, which enabled him to do this without 
eing the poorer : and he seems to have felt at the 
moment tnat what is thus disposed of by a cheeifiil 

fiver, shall be paid to him again.-*One from whom 
• had looked for a very different conduct, had com- 
-fiaved his own wealth in no be<soi»ing manner with 
Nelson's limited means. '*! know," said he to 
Lady Hamilton, ** the full extent of the oi^^tion I 
owe him» and he n^&y be useful to me agam ; hnt 
I can never forget his uiikin^ess to you. But I 
guess many reasons influenced his conduct in breg'- 
0ing of his riches and my honourable poverty i but, 
«s i have often said, and with honest pride, what I 
bave is my own : it never cost the widow a tear, or 
the Bation a farthing. I got what I have with my 
vue blood, from the enemias^ of my countiy. Our 
iipuse, my own Emma, is built upon a solid founda- 
tioa; a^ will last to us,^ when his house and lands 
may belong t^othere than his children.^ 

nit hope was that peace might soon be made, or 
that he shoiidd be relieved from his command^ tihd 
letice to Meiton, where at that (Stance he was 
piaaaing and directing improvemejits. On his birth- 
day ha writes, "This day, my dearest Emma, i coo^ 
amr as hioml foctymate than common di^s^ as by 

ItOS.] UFB OF NEUOir, £58 

tny^ooaung: into this world it has brought meiso Inti^ 
ioaiely acquainted with you. I well know that you 
will keep it, and have my dear Horatio to drink my 
liealth. Forty*six years of toil and trouUe ! How 
few more the common lot of mankind leads os to 
expect! and therefore it is almost time to think of 
spending the last few years in peace and quietness." 
It is painful to think that this language was not ad- 
dressed to his wife, but to one with whom he pro^ 
Btiaed himself *^ many, many happy years, when that 
impediment,*' as he calls her, *' shall be remored, if 
God pleased f and they might be surrounded by 
tlieir children's children. 

When he had been fourteen months off Toulon, ha 
received a vote of thanks from the city of LcHidon, 
for his skill and perseverance in blockading that 
port, so as to prevent the French from putting to sea. 
Nelson had not forgotten the wrong which the city 
had done to the Baltic fleet by their omission, and 
did not lose the opportunity which this vote afforded 
of recarring to that point. *' I do assure your lord- 
ship,*' said he, in his answer to the lord-mayor, 
*' that there is not that man breathing who sets a 
higher value upon the thanks of bis fellow-citizens 
of London than myself; but I sliould feel as much 
ashamed to receive them for a particular service, 
marked in the resolution, if I felt that I did. not 
come within that line of service, as I should feel 
hurt at having a ^at victory passed over without 
notice. I beg to mform your lordship, that the port 
of Toulon hiui never been blockaded by me: quite 
the reverse. Every opportunity has bieen offered 
ihe enemy to put to sea : for it is there that we hope 
to lealize the hopes and expectations of our 
country." Nelson then remarked, that the junior 
flag officers of his fleet had been omitted in this vote 
of thanks ; and his surprise at the omission was ex- 
pressed with more asperity, perhaps, than an 
<iliBaeC| so entirely and manifestly unintentionali de* 

260 ura OF HBUOK. 1180S. 

aerved : but it arose from that generous regard for 
the feelings as weU as interests of all who were 
under his oommand, which made him as much be- 
loved in the fleets of Britain as he was dreaded in 
those of the enemy. 

Never was any commander more beloved. He 
governed men by their reason and their affections : 
Siey knew that he was incapable of caprice or ty- 
ranny ; and they obeyed him with alacrity and joy, 
because he possessed their confidenee as well as 
their love. " Our Nel/' they used to say, ** is as brave 
as a lion, and as gentle as a lamb.^' Severe dis- 
cipline he detested, though he. had been bred in a 
severe school : he never inflicted corporal punish- 
ment, if it were possible to avoid it, and when com- 
pelled to, he, who was familiar with 
wounds and death, suffered like a woman. In his 
whole life Nelson was never known to act unkindly 
towards an officer. If he was asked to prosecute 
one for Ul-behaviour, he used to answer, ^ That 
there was no > occasion for him to ruin a poor devil, 
who was sufficiently his own enemy to ruin hiin- 
self." But in Nelson there was more Uian the easi- 
ness and humanity of a happy nature : he did not 
merely abstain from injury ; his was an active and 
watchful benevolence, ever desirous not only to ren- 
der justice, but to do good. . During the peace, he 
had spoken in parliament upon the abuses respect- 
ing prize-money;, and haul submitted plans to 
government for more easily manning the navy, and 
preventing desertion from it, by bettering the condi- 
tion of the seamen; He proposed that their certifi- 
cates should be registered^ and that every man who 
had served, with»a good character, five years in 
war, should receive a bounty of two guineas annu- 
ally, after that time, and of four guineas after eight 
yeaiB. '* This," he said, ** might, at first sight, ap- 
pear an enormous sum for the state to pay ; but the 
airerage life of seamen is, from hard service, finished 

1803.1 txrm or vxlb»v, 261 

at foity-five : he cannot, therefore, enjoy the an- 
nuity many years ; and the interest of the money 
saved by their not deserting, would go far to pay the 
whole expense,'' 

To his midshipmen he ever showed the most win- 
ning kindness, encouraging, the difSdent, tempering 
the hasty, counselling and befriending both. " Re- 
collect," he used to say, '* that you must be a sea- 
man to be ah officer^ and also^ that you cannot be 
a good officer without^ being a gentleman.'' — ^A 
lieutenant wrote to him to say, that he was dissa- 
tisfied with his captain. Nelson's answer was in 
that spirit of perfect wisdom and perfect goodness, 
which regulated hi^ whole- conduct towards those 
who were under his command. ** I have just re- 
ceived your letter ; and 1 am truly sorry that any 
difference should arise between your captain, who 
has the reputation of being one of the bright officers 
of the service, and yourself, a very young man, and 
a very young officer, who must naturally have much 
to learn: therefore, the chance is, that you are per- 
fectly wrong in the disagreement. However, as 
your present situation must be very disagreeable; I 
will certainly take an early opportunity of removing 
you, provided your conduct to your present captain 
be such, that another may not refuse to receive 
you." The gentleness and benignity of his disposi- 
tion never made him forget what was due to disci- 
jfline. Being dn one occasion applied to, to save a 
young officer from a court-martial, which he had 
provoked by his misconduct, his reply was, ** That 
he would do every thing in his power to oblige so 
gallant and good an officer as Sir John Warren," 
in whose name the intercession Md been made :— 
"But what," he added, ** would he do if he were 
here 1— Exactly what I have done, and am still will- 
ing to do. The young man must write such a let- 
ter of contrition as woilld be an acknowledgment 
of his great fault; and, with a sincere promise, if 



^^ X,e ^^ rfV^^^ 


1803.} LiFB OF RKUon. 963 

and I are on the eve of quitting the theatre of onr 
exploits; but we hold it due to our successoraf 
never, while we have a tongue to speak, or a hand 
to write, to allow the nav^ to be, in the smallest 
degree, injured in its discipline by our conduct.'^ 
To Trowbridge he wrote in the same spirit. — ^" It 
is the old history, trying to do away the act of 
parliament; but I trust they will never succeed; 
xor, when they do, farewell to our naval superiority. 
We should be prettily commanded! Let them once 
gain the step of being independent of the navy on 
board a ship, and. they will soon have the other^ 
and command us. — But, thank <aod ! my dear 
Trowbridge, the kiug himself cannot do away the 
act of parliament. Although my career is nearly 
run, yet it would imbitter my future days and ex« 
piring moments, to hear of our navy being sacrificed 
to the army.*^ As the surest way of preventing such 
disputes, he suggested' that the navy should have 
its own corps of artillery ; and a corps of marine 
artillery was accordingly established. 

Instead of lessening the power of the commander, 
Nelson iirould have wished to se^ it increased : it 
was absolutely necessary, he thought, that merit 
should be rewarded at the moment, and that the 
officers of the fleet should look up to the com- 
mander-in-chief for their-reward. He himself was 
never more happy than when he could promote 
those who we're deserving of promotion. Many 
were the. servicer which he thus rendered unsoli- 
cited: and frequently the officer, in whose behalf 
he had interested himself with the Admiralty, did 
not know to whose friendly interference he was in- 
debted for hir good fortune — He used to say, '*^ I 
wish it to appear as a God-send.'' The love which 
he bore the navy made him promote the interests, 
and honour the memory, of all who had added to 
its glories. "The near relations of brother-offi- 
cers," he said* '^he considered as legacies to the 

264 xjons or nbmqn. [Id03. 

service.'' Upon mention being made to him of 
a son of Rodney, by the Duke of Clarence, hitf 
reply was: "I ag^e with your royal highness 
roost entirely, that the son of a Rodney ought to 
be iheproi^^^o{ every person in the kingdom, and 
particularly of the sea-officers. Had I known that 
there had been this claimant, somer. of my own 
lieutenants must have given way to such a name^ 
and he should have -been placed in the Victory : she 
is full, and I have twenty on my list ; but, what- 
ever numbers I have, the name of Rodney must 
cut many of them out." Such was the proper 
sense which Nelson felt of what was due to splen- 
did services and illustrious names. His feelings 
towards the brave men who had served with him, are 
shown by a note in his diary, which was probably 
not inten^^d for any other eye than his own.-^ 
"Nov. 7. I had thd comfort of making an old 
Agamemnon, George Jones, a gunner inKo the 
Chameleon brig." 

When Nelson took the command^ it was ex^ 
pected that the Mediterranean would be^ an active 
scene. Nelson well understood the ^character of 
the perfidious Corsican, who was now sole tyrant 
of France ; and knowing that he was as ready to 
attack his friends as his enemies, knew, thereforct 
that nothing could be more uncertain than the 4i* 
rection of the fleet from Toulon, whenever it should 
put to sea: — "It had as many destinations," 'he 
said, ** as there were countries." The momentous 
revolutions of the last ten years had given him 
ample matter for reflection, as well as opportunities* 
for observation : the film was cleared from his eyes $ 
and now, when the French no longer went abroad 
with the cry of liberty and equality, he saw that 
the oppression and. misrule of the powers which had 
been opposed to them had been the main causes of 
their success, and that those causes would still pre* 
pare the way before them. Even in Sicily, where. 

1803.] LIFE OF NBLBON. 266 

If it had been possible longer to blind himself, 
Nelson would willingly have seen no evil, he per- 
ceived that the people wished for a change, and 
acknowledged that they had reason to wish for it. 
In Sardinia the same burden of misgovemment was 
felt ; and the people, like the Sicilians, were im- 
poverished by a government so utterly incompetent 
to perform its first and most essential duties, that 
it did not protect its own coasts from the Barbary 
iMrates. He would fain have had us purchase this 
island (the finest in the Mediterranean) from its 
sovereign, who did not receive £5000 A year from 
it, aftorits wretched establishment was paid. There 
was reason to think that France was preparing to 
possess herself of this important point, which af- 
forded our fleet facilities for watchmg Toulon, not 
to be obtained elsewhere. An expedition was pre- 

gmng at Corsica for the purpose; and all the 
ardes lvho had taken part with revolutionary 
France were ordered to assemble there. I4 was 
certain that, if the attack were made, it would suc- 
ceed. Ndson thought that the only mean» to pre- 
vent Sardinia from becoming French, was to make 
it English, and that half a million would give the 
king a rich price, and England a cheap purchase. 
A better, and therefore a wiser, policy would have 
been to exert our influence in removing the abuses 
of the government : for foreign dominion is always, 
in some degred, an evil ; and allegiance neither can 
nor ought to be made a thing of bargain and sale. 
Sardinia, like Sicily and Corsica, is large enough 
to form a separate state. Let ^s hope that these 
islands may one day 'be made free and independent. 
Freedom, and independence will bring with them 
industry and prosperity ; <aud wherever these are 
found, arts and letters will flourish, and the im- 
provement of the human race proceed.* 

The proposed attaek was postponed. Views of 
wider amhiticm were opting upon Buonaparte, who 


£66 LIFE OP Nsisov. [1803^ 

now almost andisguisedly a8)[)TFed to make huxraelf 
master of the contment of Europe ; and Austria 
was preparing for another struggle, to be conducted 
as weakly and terminated as miserably as the for- 
mer. Spain, too, was once more ^o be involved in 
war, by the policy of France: that perfidious 
government having in view thes double object of 
employing the Spanish resources against England, 
and exhausting tnem, in order to render Spain her- 
self finally its prey. Nelson, who knew that Eng- 
land and the Peninsula ought to be in' alliance, for 
the common interest of both, frequently expressed 
his hopes that Spain might resume her natural rank 
among the nations. *'We ought,*' he said, ''by 
mutuS consent, to be the very best friends, and 
both to be ever hostile to France." But he saw that 
Quonaparte was noeditating the destruction of 
Spain ; and that, while the wretched court of Ma- 
drid professed to remain neutral, the appearances of 
neutrality were scarcely preserved. An order of the 
year 1771, excluding British ships of war ft'om the 
Spanish ports, was revived, and put in force ; while 
French privateers, from these very ports, annoyed 
the British trade, carried their prizes in, and sold 
them even at Barcelona. Nelson complained of 
this to the captain-general of Catalonia, informing 
him, that he claimed, for every British ship or squa- 
dron the right of lying, as long as it pleased;, in the 
ports of Spain, while that right was allowed to 
other powers. To the British ambassador he said, 
*' I am ready to make large allowances for the mise* 
rable situation Spayj has placed hersielf in ; but there 
is a certain line, beyond which I cannot submit to be 
treated with disr^spect. We have given up French 
vessels taken within gunshot of the Spanish shore, 
and yet French vessels are permitted to attack our 
ships from the Spanish shore, Your excellency 
may assure the Spanish government, that in what- 
ever plaoe the Spaniards allow the French to attack 

1803.] LIFE OF NELSOK. 297 

US, in that place I shall order the French to be at- 

DurinjBf this state of things, to which the weak- 
ness of Spain, and not her will, consented, the ene- 
my's fleet did not venture to put to sea. Nelson 
watched it with unremitting and almost unexampled 

Eerseverance. The station off Toulon he called 
is home. " We are in the right fighting trim," said 
he: "let them come as^ soon as they please. I 
never saw a fleet, altogether, so well office^d and 
manned : would to God the ships were half as good ! 
—The finest ones in the service would 50on be de- 
stroyed by such terrible weather. I know well 
enough, that if I were to go into Malta I should save 
the ships during this bad season: but if I am 
to watch the French, I must \>e at sea ; and, if at 
sea, must have bad weather : and if the ships are 
not fit to- stand bad weather, they are useless." 
Then only he was satisfied, and at ease, when he 
had the enemy in view. Mr. Elliot, our minister at* 
Naples, seems, at this time, to have proposed to 
send a confidential Frenchman to him with informa- 
tion. " I should be very happy," he replied, " to re- 
ceive authentic intelligence of the destination of the 
French squadron, their route,^ and time of sailing. — 
Any thing short of this is useless; and I assure 
your excellency, that I would not, upon any consi- 
deration, have a Frenchman in the fleet, except as a 
prisoner. I put no confidence in them. You think 
yours good, the queen thinks the same : I believe 
they are all alike.- Whatever information you can 
get me I shall be very thankful for ; but not a French- 
man comes here. Forgive me, but my mother hated 
the French." 

M. Latouche Treville, who had commanded at 
Boulogne, commanded now at Toulon. "He was 
«ent for on purpose," said Nelson, " as he beat me at 
Boulogne, to beat rne again : but he seems very 
loath to try." One day, while the main body oif 

268 tlFS OF NEUOK. [180S. 

our fleet was out of sight of land, Bear-Adminl 
Campbell, reconnoitring with the Canopus, Donne- 
Kal, and Amazon, stood in close to the port ; and M. 
Latouche, taking advantage of a breeze which 
sprung up, pushed out, with four ships of the line 
and three heavy frigates, and chased him about four 
leagues. The Frenchman, delighted ai having 
found himself in so novel a situation, published a 
boastful account ; affirming that he hadgiven chase 
to the whole British fleet, and that Nelson had fled 
before him ! Nelson thought it due to the AdmL- 
raltj to send home a copy of the Victory's log upon 
this occasion. ^ As for himself,'' he said, *' if his 
character was not established by that time for not 
being apt to run away, it was not worth his while 
to put the world right."-^'^If this fleet gets fairly 
up with M« iiatoucli^,'* said he to one of his corresr 
pondents, ^ his letter, with all his ingenuity, must be 
different from his ^last. We had fancied that we 
chased him into To.ulon ; for, blind as I am, I could 
see his water line, when he clewed his topsails up, 
shuttingin Sepet. But, from the time of his meet- 
ing Capt. Hawker, in the Isis, I never heard of his 
acting otherwise than as a poltroon and a liar. Con- 
tempt is the best mode of treating such a miscreant." 
In spite, however, of contempt, the impudence of 
this Frenchman half a\igered nim. He said to his 
brother: ''You will have seen Latouchc's letter; 
how he chased me, and how I ran. I keep it : and 
if I take him, by God he. shall eat IL" 

Nelson, who used to say, that in sea-affairs no- 
thing is impossible, and nothing improbable, feared 
the more that this Frenchman might get out and 
elude his vigilance ; because he was so especially 
desirous of catching him, of administering to him 
his own lying letter in a sandwich. M. Latouche, 
however, escaped him > in another way. He died, 
according to the French papers, in consequence of 
walking so often up to the signal post upon Sepet. 

10O3,] hum OF NSL801V* S69 

to watch the British fleet. ** I always pronounced 
that would be his death," said Nelson. *' If he had 
come out and fought me, it would, at least, have 
added ten years to my life.'' The patience with 
which he had watched^ Toulon he spoke of, truly, 
ss a perseverence at sea which had never been sur- 
passed. From May, 1803, to August, 1805, he him* 
self went out of his ship but three times ; each of 
those times was upon the king's service, and nei- 
ther time of absence exceeded an hour. In 1804, 
the Swift cutter going out with despatches was 
t^ken, and all the despatches and letters fell into 
the hands of the enemy. " A very pretty piece of 
work!" says Nelson, '* I am not surprised at the 
capture, but am very much so that any despatches 
should be sent in a vessel with twenty-three men, 
not equal to cope with any row-boat privateer. The 
loss of the Hindostan was great enougl^ ; but for 
importance, it is lost, in comparison to me probable 
knowledge the enemy will obtain of our connexions 
with foreign countmes. Foreigners for ever say, 
and it is true, we dare not trust England : one way 
or other we are sure to be committed." In a sub- 
sequent letter, he says, speaking of the same cap* 
ture : " I find, my dearest Emma, that your picture 
is very much admired by the French Consul at Bar- 
celona ; and that he has not sent it to be admired, 
which I am sure it would be, by Buonaparte. They 
pretend that there were three pictures taken. I wish 
I had them : but they are all gone as irretrievably 
SL» the despatches ; unless we may read them in a 
book, as we printed their correspondance from 
Egypt. But from us what can they find out ? That 
I love you most dearly, and hate the French moeit 
damnably. Dr. Scott went to Barcelona to try to 
get the private letters; but I fancy they are all gone 
to Paris. The Swedish and American Consuls told 
hini, that the French Consul had your pictures and 
-read your letters: and the ^ Doctor thinks one o£ 


910 LiFS 69 KSUdiv. (t80l 

them, probably, vead the lettcm. By the master's 
account of the cutter, I would not have trusted an 
old pair of shoes in her. He tells me should not 
sail, but was a g^ood sea^boat. I hope Mr. Mak'sden 
will not trust any more of my private letters in 
such a conveyance : if they choose to trust the 
affairs of the public in such a thing, I cannot help it.^ 
While he was on this station, the weather had 
been so unusually severe, that he said, the Medi- 
terranean seemed altered. It was bis rule never 
to contend with the gales; but either run to the 
southward, to escape their violence, or furl all the 
sails, and make the ships as easy as possible. The 
men, though he said flesh and blood could hardly 
stand it, continued in excellent healthy which he 
ascribed, in great measure, to a plentiful supply -of 
lemons ahd onions. For himself, iie thought he 
could only last till the battle was over. One battie 
mord it was his hope that he might fight.— «*' How- 
ever,*' said he, *' whatever happens, I have run a 
glorious race." — ^*A few months' rest," he says, 
"I must have very soon. If I am in my grave, 
what are the mines of Peru to me 1 B'lt to say the 
truth, I have no idea of killing m3rse]f. I may, 
with care, live yet to do good service to the state. 
My cough is very bad, and my side, where I was 
struck on the 14th of February, is very much 
swelled; at times, a lump as large as my fist, 
brought on occasionally by violent coughing. But 
I hope and believe my lunffs are yet safe." Re 
was afraid of blindness; and this was the only evil 
which he could not contemplate without unhappi- 
ness. More alarming symptoms he regarded with 
less apprehension ; describing his own ** shattered 
carcass," as in the worst plight of any in the fleet : 
and be says, **l have felt the blood gushing up 
the left side of my head; and, the moment it 
covers the brain, I am fast asleep." The fleet was 
in woise trim than the men : but when he, com* 

1803.] UPS OF nsuoir. 271 

pared it with the enemy's, it was with a right 
Eagliah feeling. "The French fleet yesterday," 
said he, in one of his letters, ^ was to appearance 
in high feather, and as fine as paint could make 
Ahem: — bat when they may saU, or where they 
*nay^p, I am very sorry to say is a secret I am not 
acquainted with. Our weather-beaten ships, I have 
no fear, will make their sides like a plum-rpud- 
ding." " Yesterday," he says, on another occasion, 
'* a rear-admiral and seven sail of ships put their 
nose outside the harbour. If they go on playing this 
game, some day we shall lay salt upon their tails." 
Hostilities at length commenced between Great 
Britain and Spain. That country, whose miserable 
goyemment made her subservient to France, was 
once more destined to lavish her resources and her 
blood in furtherance of the designs of a perfidious 
ally. The immediate occasion of the war was the 
seizure of four treasure-ships by the English. — The 
act was perfectly justifiable; for those treasures 
were intended to furnish means for France ; but the 
circumstances which attended it were as unhappy 
as they were unforeseen. Four frigates had been 
despatched to intercept them. They met with an 
equal force. Resistance, therefore, became a point 
of honour on the part of the Spaniards, and one of 
their ships soon blew up, with all on board. Had 
a stronger squadron been sept, this deplorable catas- 
trophe might have been spared : a catastrophe which 
excited not more indignation in Spain, than it did 
p*ief in those who were its .unwilling instruments, 
in the English government, and in the English 
people. On the 5th of October this unhappy affair 
occurred, and Nelson was not apprized of it till 
the 13th of the ensuing month. He had, indeed, 
sufficient mortification at the breaking out of this 
Spanish war ; an event which, it might reasonably 
have been supposed, would amply nnrich the officers 
of the Mediterranean fleet, and repay them for the 

tn UWE QP ItBKBOH. [1804. 

severe and anremittiiig duty on which they had 
been so long employed. But of this harvest they 
were deprived ; for Sir John Orde was sent with a 
small squadron, and a separate command, to Cadiz. 
Nelson's feelings were never wounded so deeply as 
now. *'I had thought," said be, writing in the 
first flow and freshness of indignation ; ^ I fancied, 
-«l>ut, nay; it must have been a dream, an idle 
dream ; — ^yet, I confess it, I did 4ancy that I had 
done my country service ; and thus they use me ! 
— ^A.nd under what circumstances, and with what 
pointed aggravation !-^Yet, if 1 know my own 
thoughts, it is not for myself, or on my own account 
chiefly, that I feel the sting and the disappointment. 
No! it is for my brave officers; for my noble-minded 
friends and comrades. Such a gallant set of fellows ! 
Such a band of brothers ! My heart swells at the 
thought of them.** 

War between Spain and England was now de- 
clared; and, on the eighteenm of January, the 
Toulon fleet, having the Spaniards to co-operate 
with them, put to sea. Nelson was at anchor ofi^ 
the coast of Sardinia, where the Madalena islands 
form one of the finest harbours in the world, when, 
at three in the afternoon on the nineteenth, the 
Active and Seahorse frigates brought this long-hoped- 
for intelligence. They had been close to the enemy 
at ten on the preceding night, but lost sight of them 
in about four hours. The fleet immediately un- 
moored and weighed, and at six in the evening ran 
through the strait between Biche and Sardinia : a 
passage so narrow, that the ships could only pass 
one at a time, each following the stern lights of its 
leader. From the position of the enemy, when they 
were last seert, it was inferred that they must be 
bound round the southern end of Sardinia. Signal 
was made the next morning to prepare for battle. 
Bad weather ca^ie on, baffling the one fleet in its 
object, and the other in its pursuit. Nelson beat 

1805.] LIFE OF KELSOlff. 273 

about the Sicilian seas for ten dayit, without obtain- 
ing any other information of the enemy, than that 
one of their ships had put into Ajaccio, dismasted; 
and having seen that Sardinia, Naples, and Sicily 
were safe, believing Egypt to be their destination, 
for £gypt he ran. The disappointment and distress 
which he had experienced in his former pursuits of 
the French through the same seas were novr re- 
newed : but Nelson, while he endured these anxious 
and unhappy feelings, was still coiisoled by the 
same confidence as on the former occasion — that, 
though his judgment might be erroneous, under all 
circumstances he was right in having formed it. 
** I have consulted no man,*' said he, to the Admi- 
ralty; "therefore, the whole blame of ignorance in 
fonqing my judgment must rest with me. I would 
allow no man to take from me an atom of my glory 
had I fallen in with the French fleet ; nor do 1 desire 
any man to partake any of the responsibility. All 
is mine, right or wrong/' Then stating the grounds 
upon which he had proceeded, he added, "At this 
moment of sorrow, I still feel that I have acted 
right." In the same spirit he said to Sir Alexander 
Ball, "When I caU to remembrance all the circum- 
Mances, I approve, if nobody else does, of my own 

Baffled thus, he bore up for Malta, and met intel- 
ligence from Naples that the French, having been 
dispersed in a gale, had put back to Toulon. From 
the same quarter he learned, that a great number of 
saddles and muskets had beeii embarked ; and this 
confirmed him in his opinion that ^gypi was their 
destination. That they should have put back in 
consequence of storms, which he had weathered, 
gave him a consoling sense of British superiority.— 
" These gentlemen," said he, " are not accustomed 
to a Gulf of Lyons gale: we have buffeted them 
for one-and- twenty months, and not carried away a 
spar." He, however, who had so often braved 

774 . LIFB OF NELSON. [ 1 805. 

these gales, was now, though not mastered by them, 
vexatiously thwarted and impeded: and, on Feb- 
ruary 27th, he was compelled to anchor in PuUa 
Bay, in the Gulf of Cagliari. From the 21st of 
January the fleet had remained ready for battle, 
without a bulk-head up, night or day. He anchored 
here, that he might not be driven to leeward. As 
soon as the weather moderated he put to sea again ; 
and, after again beating about against contrary 
winds, another gale drove him to anchor in the 
Gulf of Palmai on the 8th of March. This he 
made his rendezvous; he knew that the French 
troops still remained embarked, and, wishing to 
lead them into a belief that he was stationed upon 
the Spanish coast, he made his appearance off Bar- 
celona with that ihtent. About the end of the 
month, he began to fear that the plan of the expe- 
dition was abandoned ; and, sailing once more to- 
wards his old station off Toulon, on the 4th of 
April, he met the Phebe, with news that Villeneuve 
had put to sea on the last of March with eleven 
ships of the line, seven frigates, and two brigs. 
When last seen, they were steering towards the 
coast of. Africa* Nelson first covered the channel 
between Sardinia and Barbary, so as to satisfy hini- 
self that Villeneuve was not taking the same route 
for Egypt which Gantheaume had taken before him, 
when he attempted to carry reinforcements there* 
Certain of thfs, he bore up on the 7th for Palermo, 
lest the French should pass to the north of Corsica, 
and he despatched cruisers in all directions. On 
the 11th, he felt assured that they were not gone 
down the Mediterranean ; and sending off frigates 
to Gibraltar, lo Lisbon, and to Admiral Comwallis, 
who commanded the squadron off Brest, he endea- 
voured to get to the westward^ heating against 
westerly winds. After five days, a neutral gave 
intellij^ence that the French had been seen off 
Cape de Gatte on the 7th. It was soon after ascee 

1B05.J UFB OF NEUSOH. £75 

tallied, that they had passed the Straitsof pibral«* 
tar on the day following; and Nelson, knowinjf 
that they might already be half way to Ireland, 
or to Jamaica, exclaimed, t^hat he was .miserable. 
One gleam of comfort only came across him in the 
reflection, that his vigilance had rendered it impos- 
sible*^ for them to undertake- any expedition in the 

Eight days after this certain intelligence had been 
obtained, he described his state of mind thus forci- 
bly, in writmg to the governor of Malta : " My gootf 
forti^ne, my dear Ball, seems flown away. I cannot 
get a fair wind, or even a side wind. Dead foul ! — 
dead foul !— -But my mind is fully made up what to 
do when I leave the Straits, supposing there is no 
certain account of the enemy's destination.— 'I 
believe this iU luck will go near to kill me ; but, 
as these are ^mes for exertion, I must not be cast 
down, whatever 1 miay feel.'' In spite of every 
exertion which could be made by all the zeal and 
all the skill of British seamen, he . did not get in 
sight' of Gibraltar till the 30th of April; and the 
wind was then so adverse, that it was impossible to 
pass the Gut. He anchored in M^zari Bay, on 
the Barbary shore ; obtained supplies from Tetuan ; 
and when, on the 5th, a breeze from the eastward 
sprang up at last, sailed once more, hoping to hear 
of the enemy from Sir John Orde, who com- 
manded off Cadiz, or from Lisbon. ** If nothing 
is heard of them,"' said he, to the Admiralty, **-! 
shall probably think the rumours which have been 
spread ste true, that their object is the West Indies: 
and, in that case, I think it my duty to follQXr 
them, — or to the antipodes, should I believe that 
to be their destination." At the time when this 
resolution was taken, the physician of the fleet had 
ordered him to return to England before the hot 

Nelson had formed his judgment of their desti- 

276 UFB OF ITKUON. [18Q6. 

lifttion, and made up his mind accordingly, when 
Donsdd Campbell, at that time an admirsd in the 
Portuguese service, the same person ivho had given 
important tidings to Earl St. Yincent of the move- 
ments of that fleet from which he won his title, a 
second time gave timely and momentous, intelli* 
gence to the fla^ of his country. He went on board 
the Victory, and communicated to Nelson Ms 
certain knowledge that the combined Spanish and 
Friench fleets were bomid for the West Indies.— 
Hitherto all things had favoured the enemy. While 
the British conmiander was beating up against 
strong southerly and westerly ;gales, th^y had wind 
to their wish from the N. E.; and had done in nine 
days what he was a whole month in accomplishing. 
Villeneuve, finding the Spaniards at Carthagena 
were not in a state, of equipment to join, him, dared 
not wait, but hastened on to Cadiz. Sir John Orde 
necessarily retired at his approach^ Admiral Gra- 
Vina, with six- Spanish ' ships of the line and two 
Frenchy came out to him, and they sailed without a 
moment's loss of time. They had about three 
thousand French troops on board, and fifteen hun- 
dred Spanish ^-^six hundred' were* under orders, ex- 
pecting them at Martinique, and one thousand at 
Guadaloupe. General Lauriston commanded the 
troops. The combined fleet tiow consisted of eigh- 
teen sail of the line, six forty-four gun frigates, one 
of twenty-six guns, three corvettes, and a brig. 
They were joined afterward by two new French 
line-of-iiattle ships, and one forty-four. Nelson 
pursued them with ten sail of the line and three 
irigates; ^^ Take you a Frenchman apiece," said he 
to his captains^ ''and leave me the Spaniards: — 
when I haul down my colours, I expect yon to do 
the same. — and not till then." 

The dnemy had five-and-thirty days' start ; but he 
calculated that he should gain eight or ten days upon 
them by his exertions. May 15th he made Madeira, 

IMfc] un OF HEXdoir, ' 277 

and on June 4th reached Barfoadoes, whither he had 
•ent despatches before him ; and where he found 
Admiral Cochrane, with two ships, part of our 
squadron in those seas being at Jamaica. He found 
here also accounts that the combined fleets had been 
seen from St. Lucia on the 28th, standing to the 
southward, and that Tobago and Trinidad were 
their objects. This Nelson doubted ; but he was 
alone in his opinion, and yielded it with these fore- 
boding wordd — ** If your intelligence proves false, 
you lose me the French fleet.** SirWilliam Myers 
offered to embark here with two thousand troops : — 
they were taken on board, and the next morning he 
sailed for Tobago. Here accident confirmed the 
false intelligence which had, whether from intention 
or error, misled him. A merchant at Tobago, in the 
general alarm, not knowing whether this fleet was 
mend or foe, sent out a schooner to reconnoitre, and 
acquaint him by signal. The signal which he had 
chosen happened to be the very one which had been 
appointed by Colonel Shi[dy of the engineers, to 
signify that the enemy were at Trinidad ; and as this 
was at the close of day, there was no opportunity of 
discovering the mistake. An American brig was 
met with about the same time; the master of 
which, with that propensity to deceive the English 
and assist the French in any manner which has 
been but too common among his countrymen, 
aflirmed, that he had been boarded off Granada, a 
few days before by the French, who were standing 
towards the Bocas of Trinidad. This fresh intelli- 
gence removed all doubts. The ships were cleared 
for action before daylight, and' Nelson entered the 
Bay of Paria on the 7th, hoping and expecting to 
make the mouths of the Orinoco as famous in the 
annals of the British navy as those of the Nile. 
Not an enemy was there ; and it was discovered 
that accident and artifice had combined to lead him 
80 far to leeward, that there could have been little 



hope of fetching^ to windward of Granada for any 
other fleet. Nelson, however, with skill and exer- 
tions never exceeded, and almost ilknexampled, bore 
for that island. 

Advices met him onr the way, that the combined 
fleets, having captured the Diamond Rock, were 
then at Martinique, on the 4th, and were expected 
to sail thatliight for the attack of Granada. On the 
9th Nelson arrived off that island ; and theiB learned 
that they had passed to leeward of Antigfua the pre^ 
ceding day, and taken a homeward*bound convoy. 
Had it not. been for false information, upon whifch 
Nelson had acted reluqtantly, and in opposition to 
his own judgment, he would have been off Port 
Royal just as they were leaving it, and the battle 
would have been fought on the spot where Rodney 
defeated de Grasse. I'his he remembered in his 
vexation : but he had saved the colonies, aiid above 
two hundred ships laden for Europe, which wouldf 
else have fallen into the enemy's hands ; and he had 
the satisfaction of knowing that the mere terror of 
his name had. effected this, and had put to flight the 
allied enenwes, whose force nearly doubled that 
before which they fled. That they were flying back 
to Europe he believed, and for Europe he steered in 
pursuit on the 13th, having disembarked the trooper 
at Antigua and taking with him the Spartiate^ 
seventy-four; the only additionto the squadron with? i 
which he was pursuing so superior a force. Five I 
days afterwaird the Amazon brought intelligence, ' 
that she had spoke a schooner who had seen them, 
on the evening of the I5th, steering to N. ; and, by 
computation, eighty-seven leagues off. Nelson's 
diary at this time denotes his great anxiety, and hi» ' 
perpetual and all-observing vigilance.—** June 31^ 
Midnight, nearly calm, saw three planks, which I 
think came from the French fleet. Very miserable, 
which is very foolish." On the 17th of July he 
came in sight of Cape St. Vincent, and steered for 

1805.] JJFE OF riELsoir. S7I 

Ciibraltar. — "June ISth," bis diary says, "Cap6 
Spartel in sight, but no French fleet, nor any inform 
ation about them. How sorrowful this makes me j 
but I cannot help myself." The next day he an 
chored at Gibraltar; and on the 20th, says he, *H 
went on shore for the first time since June 16, 1808 
and from havitig my foot out of the Victory, two 
years, wanting ten days." ' 

Here he communicated with his. old friend Col- 
ling wood ; who, having been detached witl^ a squa- 
-dron, when the disappearance of the combined 
fieei^i and of Nelson in their pig-suit, was known in 
•England, had taken his station off- Cadiz. He 
thought that Ireland was the enemy's ultimate 
object, — that they wo'uld now liberate the Ferrol 
squadron, which was blocked up by Sir Robert 
C alder, — call for the Rochefort ships, and then 
.appear off Uahant with three or four-and-thirty sail ; 
there to be joined by the Brest fleet. With this 
great force he supposed they would make for Ire- 
land,^— the real mark and bent of all their opera- 
tions : and their flight to the West Indies, he thought, 
had been merely undiertaken to take ofl* Nelson's 
force, which was the great impediment to their un- 

Collingwood was gifted with great political pene- 
tration. As yet, however, all was conjecture con- 
cerning the enemy ; and Nelson, having victualled 
and watered at T€tuan,^tood for Ceuta on the 24th, 
«till without information of uieir course. Next day 
intelligence arrived that the Curieux brig had seen 
them on the 19th, standing to the northward. He 
poceeded off Cape. St. Vincent, r^her cruising for 
mtelligence than knowing whither to betake himself « 
and here a case occurred, that more thap any other 
event in real history resembles those whimsical 
proofs of sagacity which Vol^taire, in his Zadig, has 
borrowed from thp Orientals.- One of our frigates 
ispoke ^n American, who, a little to the westward of 

280 LIFE OF KELsorr. [laOftr 

the Azores, had fallen in with an anned vessel, ap- 
pearingf to be a dismasted privateer, deserted by her 
crew, which bad been run on board by another ship^ 
and had been set fire to ; but the fire had gone out* 
A log-book and a few seamen^s jackets were found in 
the cabin ; and these were brought to Nelson. The 
logobook closed with these words ; *' Two . large 
vessels in the W« N. W. :*' and this led him to con- 
clude that the vessel had been an English privateer, 
cruising off the Western Islands. But there was ia 
this book a scrap of dirty paper, filled with figures. 
Nelson iminediately, upon seeing it, observedt thai 
the figures Were written by a Frenchman ; and, after 
studying this for a while, said, ** I can explain the 
whole. The jackets are of French manufacture, 
and prove that the privateer was in possession of the 
enemy. She had been chased and taken by the two 
ships that were seen in ' the W. N. Wi. The prize- 
master, going on board in a hurry, forgot to take 
with him his reckoning: there is none in the log- 
book; and the dirty paper contains her work for the 
number of days since the privateer last left Corvo ; 
with an Unaccounted-for run, which I take to have 
been the chase, in his endeavour to find out her situ- 
ation by back reckonings. By some mismanage- 
ment, I conclude, she Was ruh on board of by one of 
the enemy's ships, and dismasted. Not liking delay 
(for I am satisfied that those two ships were me ad- 
vanced ones of the French squadron), and fancying 
we were close at their heels, they set fire to the 
vessel, and abandoned her in a hurry. If Ihis expla^ 
nation be correct, I infer from it, that they are gone 
more' to the northward ; and more to the northward 
I wiJl look for them." This course accordingly he 
held, but still without success. Still persevering, 
and still disappointed, he returned near enough to 
Cadiz to ascertain that they were not there; tra- 
versed the Bay of Biscay ; and then, as a last hope, 
stood over for the north-west coast of Ireland, 

1-80S.] UFE,OF IVXLSON. 281 

against adverse winds, till on the evening of the 19th 
of August, he learned that they had not been heard of 
there. Frustrated thus in all his hopes, after a 
pursuit, to which, for its extent, rapidity, and perse- 
verance^ no parallel can be produced, he judged it 
best to reinforce the channel fleet with his squadron, 
lest the enemy, as Colling wood apprehended, should 
bear down upon Brest with their whole collected 
force, dfn the 16th he joined Admiral Comwallis 
off Ushant. No news had yet been obtained of the 
enemy ; and on the same evening he received orders 
to proceed, with the Victory and Superb, to Ports- 


Sfr Robert Odder falls in toith the combined Fleet* — 7ft«|r form a Juno^ 
Hon with the Ferrol Sqwutrony and get into Cadit—Jfelson ia reap- 
pointed to the CommaM^Battle of Trafalgar— Victory^ andDea^h 
of kelson. 

At Portsmouth, Nelson, at length, found news of 
the combined fleet. Sir Robert Calder, who had 
been sent out to intercept their return, had fallen in 
with them on the 22d of July, sixty leagues west 
orf Cape Finisterre. Their force consisted of twenty 
sail of the line, three fifty-gun ships, five frigates, 
and two brigs: his, of fifteen line-of-oattle ships, 
two frigates, a cutter, and a lugger. After an 
action of four hours he had captured an eighty-four 
and a seventy-four, and then thought it necessary 
to bring-to the squadron, for the purpose of securing 
their prizes. The hostile fleets remained in sight 
of each other till the 26th, when the enemy bore 
away. The capture of two ships from so superior 
a force would have been considered as no incon- 
Mderable victory a few years earlier ; but Nelson 


882 UFE or 17SIA0N. [1809J 

had introduced a new era in our naval hiatcMry; and 
the nation felt, reepecting thi« action, as he had felt 
on a somewhat similar occasion. They regretted 
that Nelson, with his eleven ships, had not been in 
Sir Robert Calder's place ; and their disaf^intment 
was generally and kmdly expressed* 

Frustrated as his own hopes had been, Nelson 
had yet the high satisfaction of knowing that his 
judgment had never be^n more conspicuously ap- 
proved, and that he had rendered essential service 
to his country, by driving the enemy from those 
islands, where they expected there could be no 
force capable of opposing them. The West India 
merchants in London, aa men whose interests were 
more immediately benefited, appointed a deputation 
to exprws their thanks for his great and judicious 
exertions. It was now his intention to rest awhile 
from his labours, and recruit himself, after all his 
fatigues and cares, in the society of those whom he 
loved. AU his stores were brought up from the 
Victory ; and he found in his house at Merton the 
enjoyment which he had anticipated. Many days 
ha4 not elapsed before Captain Blackwood, on his 
way to London with despatches, called on him at 
five in the morning. Nelson, who was already 
dressed, exclaimed, the moment he saw him: ''I 
am sure you bring me news of the French and 
Spanish fleets! I think I shall yet have to beai 
them !" They had refitted at Vigo, after the inde- 
cisive action with Sir Robert Calder; then pro- 
ceeded to Ferrol, brought out the squadron from 
thence, and with it entered Cadiz in safety. *' De- 
pend on it, Blackwood,** he repeatedly said, '* I shall 
yet give M.Villeneuve a drubbing." But when 
Blackwood had left him, he wanted resolution to 
declare his wishes to Lady Haimilton and his sisters, 
and endeavoured to drive away the thought.-— He 
had done enough he efaid,—'* Let the man trudge it 
who has lost his budget !'* His countenance belied 

180&] UFB OF KBXAON. 2ftS 

his lips; and as he was pacing one of the walks in 
the gaiden, which he used to call the quarter-deck. 
Lady Hamilton came up to him, and told him she 
saw he was uneasy. He smiled, and said: ''No, 
he was as happy as possible ; he was surrounded by 
his family, his health was better since he had been 
on shore, and he would not give sixpence to call the 
king his uncle." She replied, that she did not be- 
lieve him, — ^that she knew he was longing to get at 
the combined fleets — that he considered them as his 
own property, — that he would be miserable if any 
man but himself did the business ; and that he ought 
to have them, as the price and reward of his two 
years' long watching, and his hard ch'ase. ^ Nel- 
son," said she, " however we may lament 3rour ab- 
sence, offer vour services ; — they will be accented, 
and you will gain a quiet heart by it: you will nave 
a glorious victory, and then you may return here 
and be happy." He looked at her with tears in his 
eyes; — ^** Brave Emma !^ — Grood Emma! — ^If there 
were more Emmas there would be more Nelsons." 
His services were as willingly acdepted as they 
were offered ; and Lord Barham, giving him the Hat 
of the navy, desired him to choose his own officers. 
^'Choose yourself, my lord," was his reply: "the 
same spirit actuates the whole profession: you can^ 
not choose wrong." Lord Barham then desired 
him to say what ships, and how many he would 
wish, in addition to the ^eet which he was going to 
command, and said they should follow him as soon 
as each was ready. No i^pointment was ever 
more in unison with the feelings and judgment of 
the whole nation. They, like Lady Hamilton, 
thought that the destruction of the combined fleets 
ought properly to be Nelson^s work; that he, who 
had been 

" Hair tronnd Uie lea-flrt ball. 
The buuter of the recreant Gaul/** 

• Ooaft oi Tf«falgar. 

£S4 UPE OF NELSON. [1805. 

Ottghf to reap the spoils of the chase, which he had 
watched so long^, and so perseyeringly parsued. 

Unremitting exertions were made to equip the 
ships which he had chosen, and especially to refit 
the Victory, which was once more to bear his flagf. 
Before he left London he called at his upholsterer's, 
where the coffin, which Oapt. Hallowell had given 
him, was deposited; and aesired that its history 
ini^ht be engraven upon the hd, saying, that it was 
hi^ly probable he might want it on his return.* He 
neeoied, indeed, to have been impressed with an 
•expectation that he should fall in the battle. In a 
letter to his brother, written immediately after his 
return, he had said, ^<We must not talk of Sir 
Robert Calder's battle — I might not have done so 
much with my small force. If I had fallen in with 
them, you might probably have been a lord before I 
wished: for I know they meant to make a dead set 
«t the Victory.** Nelson had once regarded the 
prospect of death with gloomy satisfaction : it was 
when he anticipated the upbraidings of his wife, 
and the displeasure of his venerable father. The 
«tate of his feelings now was expressed, in his pri- 
vate journal, in these words :•— '* Friday night (Sept. 
13), at half-past ten, I drove from dear, dear Mer- 
ion; where 1 left all which I hold dear in this 
-woiid, to go to serve ray king and country. May 
ihe great God, whom I adore, enable me to fulfil the 
expectations of my country! and, if it is His good 
pleasure that I should return, my thanks will never 
cease being offered up to the throne of His mercy. 
if it is His good providence to cut short my days 
upon earth, I bow with the greatest submission; 
relying that He will protect Siose so^ dear to me, 
whom I may leave behuid! His will be done. 
Amen! Amen! Amen!" 

Eaily on the following morning he reached Ports* 
Tnouth ; and, having despatched his business on 
shore, endeivoiired to elude the populace by taking 

1805.] UFB OF NBLSON. 285 

a by-way to the beach; but a crowd collected ift 
his train, pressing forward to obtain sight of his 
face; many were in tears, and many Imelt down 
before him, and blessed him as he passed. England 
has had manv heroes ; bat nerer one who so entirely 
possessed the love of his fellow-countrymen as 
Nelson. All men knew that his heart was as hu- 
mane as it was fearless ; that there was not in his 
nature the slightest alloy of selfishness or cupidity; 
but that, with perfect and entire devotion, he served 
his country with all his heart, and with all his soul, 
and with all his strength ; and, therefore, they loved 
htm as truly and ar fervently as he loved England. 
They pressed upon the parapet, to gaze after him 
when his barge pushed off, and he was returning 
their cheers by waving his hat. The sentinels, who 
endeavoi^red to prevent them from trespassing upon 
this gfround, were wedjfed among the crowd; and 
an (^cer, who, not very prudenth* upon such an 
occasion, ordered them to drive the people down 
withr their bayonets, was compelled speedily to re* 
treat ; for the people would not tj^ debarred from 
gazing, till the last moment, upon the hero— the 
darling'hero of England ! 

He arrived off Cadiz on the d9th of September— 
his birthday. Fearing that, if the enemy knew his 
force, they might be deterred from venturing to sea, 
he kept out of sight of land, desired Collingwood 
to fire no salute, and hoist no colours ; and wrote 
to Gibraltar, to request that the force of the fleet 
might not be inserted th^re in the Gazette. His re- 
ception in the Mediterranean fleet was as gratifying 
as the farewell of his countrymen at Portsmouth: 
the officersT, who came on board to welcome him, 
forgot his rank as commander, in their joy at seeing 
him again. On the day of his arrival, Villeneuve 
received orders to put to sea the first opportunity, 
Villeneuve, however, hesitated, when he heard that 
Nelson had resumed the tsommand^ He called t 

286 UFA OF NELSON. [1805. 

-council of war ^ and their determination was, that 
it would not be expedient to leave Cadiz, unless 
they had reason to believe themselves stronger Igr 
one-third than th^ British force. In. the publie 
measures of this country secrecy is seldom prac- 
ticable, and seldomer attempted: here, however, 
by the precautions of Nelson, and the wise mea- 
sures of the Admiralty, thB enemy were for onte 
kept in ig^norance; for, as the ships appointed to 
reinforce the Mediterranean fleet were despatched 
isingly, — eachias soon as it was ready, — their col- 
lected number was not stated in the newspapers, 
And their arrival was not known to the enemy. 
But the enemy knew that Admiral Louis, with six 
flail, had been detached for stores and water to Gib- 
raltar. Accident also contributed to make the 
French admiral doubt whether Nelson himself had 
actually taken the command. An American, lately 
arrived from England, maintained that it was im- 
po88ible,-^for he had seen him only a few days 
oefore in London $ and, at that time, there was no 
rumour of his going again to sea. 

The station which Nelson had chosen was soma 
fifty or sixty miles to the west of Cadiz, near Cape 
St. Mary's. At this distance he hoped to decoy the 
enemy out, while he guarded against the danger of 
being caught with a westerly wind near Cadiz, and 
driven within the Straits. The blockade of the port 
was rigorously enforced, in hopes that the combined 
fleet might be forced to sea by want. Hie Danish 
vessels, therefore, which were cartying provisions 
from the French ports in the Bay, under the n&me 
of Danish property, to all the little ports frora Aya- 
monte to Algeziras, from whence they v^re conveyed 
in coasting boats tp Cadiz, .were seized. Without 
this proper exertion of power, the blockade would 
have been rendered nugatory, by the advantage thus 
taken of the neutral flag. The supplies from France 
were thus effectually cut^oiT. There was now eveiy 

1800. J £ZJP£ OF HELSOX. 287 

indication that the enemy would speedily venture 
out ; officers and men were in the highest spirits ai 
the prospect of giving them a decisive blow : such« 
indeed, as would put an end to all farther contest 
upon the seas. Theatrical amusements were per*! 
formed ev«ry evening in most of the ships : and God 
Save the King was the hymn with which the sports 
concluded. ♦' I verily believe,^' said Nelson (writing 
on the 6th of October)* *' that the country will soon 
be put to some expense on my account ; either a 
monument, or a new pension and honours ; for I 
have not the smallest doubt but that a very few daysy 
almost hours, will put us. in battle. The. success no 
man can ensure $ but for the fighting them^ if they 
can be gok at, I pledge myself.*-*-The sooner the bet" 
ter : I<lo n't like to have (these things upon my mind.'! 
At this time he was not without some cause of 
anxiety ; he was in want of frigates, — ^the eyes of 
the fleet, as he always called them : — to the want of 
which, the eiiemy before were indebted for their es-* 
cape* and Buonaparte for his arrival in Egypt. He 
had only twenty-three 8hips,-H)thers were on the 
way, — but they might come too late ; and, though 
Nelson never doubted of yictory, mere victory wa» 
not what he looked to, he wanted to annihilate the 
enemy's fleet. The Carthagena squadron might 
eifect a junction with thissfleet on the one side ; and, on 
the other, it was to be expected that a similar attempt 
would be made by the French from Brest ; in either 
case a formidable contingency to be apprehended 
by the blockading force* The Rochefort squadroa 
did push out, and had nearly caught the Agamem' 
non and I'Aimable, in their way to reinforce the 
British admiral. Yet Nelson at this time weakened 
his own fleet. He had the unpleasant task to per^ 
form of sending home Sir Robert Calder, whose con* 
duct^was to be made the subject of a court-martial,. 
in consequence of the general dissatisfaction which 
bad been felt and expressed at his imperfect victory* 

f88 UVB OF Ksiaoif. [18011. 

8ir fiobert Calder and Sir John Orde, Nelson be- 
lieved to be the only two enemies whom he had ever 
bad in his profession ;— -and, from that sensitive de- 
licacy which distingfttished him, this made him, the 
Biore scrupulously anxious to show every possibte 
mark of respect and kindness to Sir Rebeit. He 
wished to detain him till after the expected action ; 
when the services which he might perform, and the 
triumphant joy which wotdd be excited, would leave 
nothing to be apprehended from an inquiry into the 
previous engagement. Sir Robert, however, whose 
ntuation was very painful, did not choose to delay 
a trialj from the result of which he confidently ex- 
pected a comple|te justifioation : and Nelson, histesrd 
of sending him home in a frigate, insisted on his re- 
turning in his own ninety-gun ship ; ill as such a 
ship could at that time be spared. Nothing could 
be more honourable than the feeling by which Nelson 
was iBfluei|ced ; but, at such a crisis, it ought not to 
have been mdulged. ' 

On the 9th, Nelson sent Collingwood w;hat he 
called, in his diary, the Nelson-touch. **I send 
you,** said he, ** my plan of attack, as far as a man 
dare venture to guess at the very uncertain posKion 
tiie enemy may be found in: but it id to place you 
perfectly at ease respecting my intention8,and to. give 
Ml scope to your judgment for carrying- tjiem into 
^fecL We 6an, my de^ Coll, have no little jea- 
fettsies« We have only one great object in vie Wf^hat 
df annihilating our enemies, and getting a glorious 
peace for our country. No man has more confi* 
oence in another than I have in you ; and no man 
will renderyour services more justice than your veiy 
old friend Nelson and Bronte:** ^ The order of sail- 
ing was to be the order of bantle : the fleet in two 
bnes, with an advanced squadron of eight of the 
fastest sailing two-deckers* The second in com- 
mand, having the entire direction of his line, was to 
braak through the tnemy^ about the twelfth dnp from 

idOS.] £tV£ OF MELSOlf. ^9 

tlieir rear : he would lead through the centrei and the 
adranced squadron was to cut o^f three or four ahead 
of the centre. This plan was to be adapted to the 
strength of the enemy, so that they should always 
be one*fourth superior to those whom they cut off« 
Nelson said, ^ That his admirals and captains, know- 
ing his precise object to be that of a close and de- 
cisive action, would supply any deficiency of signals^ 
and act accordingly. - In case signals cannot be seen 
or cleariy understood, no captain can do wrong if he 
places ms ship alongside that of an enemy^" One 
of the last orders of this admirable man was, that 
the name and family of every officer, seaman, and 
marine, who might be killed or wounded in action, 
should be as soon as possible returned to him, ift 
order to be transmitted to the chairman of the patri- 
otic fund, that the case might be taken into consider- 
ation, for the benefit of the sufferer or his family. 

About half past nine in the morning of the 19th, 
the Mars, being the nearest to the fleet of the ships 
which formed the line of communication with the 
ffigraies in shore, repeated the signal, that the enemy 
were commg out of port. The wind was at this time 
very light, with partial breezes, mostly from the 
S. S. W. Nelson ordered the signal to be made for 
a chase in the south-east quarter* About two, the 
repeatin| ships announced, that the enemy were at 
oea. AU night the British fleet continued under all 
sail, steering to the south-east. At daybreak they 
were in the entrance of the Straits, but the enemy 
were not in sight. About seven, onoof the frigates 
made sipn^al that the enemy were bearing north. 
Upon this the Victory hove to ^ and shortly after* 
ward Nedson made sail again to the northward. la 
the aftemooB the wind blew fresh from the south- 
west, luid the English began to fear that the foe might 
be forced to return to port. A little before sunset, 
howevi^r, IMaekwood, in the Euryalus, telegrapihed, 
tiuK they appeared determined to go to Ihe wmI* 


^90 UTE OF KELSON. [1805. 

ward, — ^ And that,'' ssiid tbe admiral, in his diary, 
** they shall not do, if it is in tbe power of Nelson 
and Bronte to prevent them.'' Nelson had signified 
to Blackwood, that he depended upon him to keep 
sight of the enemy. They were observed so well, 
that all their motions were made known to him; 
and, as they wore twice, he inferred that they Were 
saming to keep the port of Cadiz open, and would 
ititreat there as soon as they saw the British fleet : 
for this reason he was very careful not to approach 
near enough to be seen by them during the night. 
At daybreak the combined fleets were distinctly seen 
from the Victory's deck, formed in a close line of 
battle ahead, on the starboard tack, about twelve 
miles to leeward, and standing to the south. Our 
fleet consisted of twenty-seven sail of the line, and 
four frigates ; theirs of thirty-three, and seven Ifrge 
frigates. Their superiority was greater in size, and 
weight of metal, than in numbers. They had four 
thousand troops on board; and the best riflemen who 
could be procured, many of them Tjnrolese, were 
dispersed through the ships. Little did the Tyrolese, 
and little did the Spaniards, at that day, imagine what 
horrors the wicked tjnrant whom they served was 
preparing for their country. 

Soon after daylight, Nelson came upon deck. 
The 21^t of October was a festival in his family, 
because on that day his uncle, Capt. Suckling, in the 
Dreadnought, with two other line-of-battle ships, 
had beaten off a French squadron of four sail of the 
line, and three frigates. Nelson, with that sort of 
superstition from which few persons are. entirely 
exempt, had more than once expressed his persua- 
sion that this was to be the day of his battle also; 
and he wfts well pleased at seeing his prediction 
about tQ be verified. The wind Was now from the 
west, light breezes, with a long heavy swell. Sig- 
nal was made to bear down upon the enemy in two 
lines ; and the fleet set all sail. GoUingwood, in the 


1606.] I.IFB OF nSL0OM. 291 

Royal Soverei£[n, led the lee line of thirteen shipi ; 
the Victory led the -weather line of fourteen. 
Having seen that all was as it should be. Nelson re- 
tired to, his cabin, and wrote the following prayer : 

'* May the great God, whom I worship, grant to 
my country, and for the benefit of Europe in ge- 
neral, a great and glorious victory, and may no 
misconduct in any one tarnish it ; and may human- 
ity after victory be the predominant feature in the 
British fleet! For myself, individually, I commit 
my life to Him that made me ; and may His blessing 
alight on my endeavours for serving my country 
faithfully \ To Him I resign myself^ and the just 
cause which is intrusted to me to defend. Amen, 
Amen, Amen." 

Having thus disch^ged his devotional duties, he 
annexed, in the same, diary, the following remark- 
able writing : , 

** October 21, 1805. — Then in sight of the combined 
fleets of France and Spatny distant about ten miles. 

** Whereas the eminent services of Emma Hamil- 
ton, widow of the Right Honourable Sir William Ha- 
milton, have been of the very greatest service to my 
king and country, to my knowledge, without ever re- 
ceiving any reward from either our king or country ; 

** First, tjiat she obtained the King of Spain's let- 
ter, in 1796, to his brother the King of Naples, ac- 
quainting liim of his intention to declare war against 
£ngland ; from which letter the ministry sent out 
orders to the then Sir John Jervis, to strike a stroke, 
if opportunity offered, against either the arsenals of 
Spain or her fleets. That neither of these was done 
is not the fault of Lady Hamilton ; the opportunity 
might have been offered. 

** Secondly, the British fleet under my com" 
mand coidd never have returned the second. time to 

t9t UFB OF ffEL0(m. [1805. 

EgTi't, had not Lady Hamilton's influence with the 
Queen of Naples cansed letters to be written to the 

Sovemor of Syracuse, that he was to encourage the 
eet's bein^ supplied with every thin^, should they 
put into any port in Sicily. We put into Syracuse, 
and received every supply ; went to Egypt, and de- 
stroyed the French fleet. 

** Could I have rewarded these 'services, I would 
not now call upon my country ; but as that has not 
been in my power, I leave Emma Lady Hamilton, 
therefore, a legacy to my king and country, that 
they will give her an ample provision to maintain 
her rank in life. 

^ I also leave to the beneficence of mv country 
my adopted daughter, Horati a Nelson Thompson; 
and I desire she will use in future the name of Nel- 
son only. 

" These are the only favours I ask of my king 
and 'country, at this moment when I am going* to 
fight their battle. May €od bless my king and 
country, and all those I hold dear ! My relations it 
is needless to mjention ; they will, of course, be 
amply provided for. 


« J Henry Blackwood. 
^"°®"» ) T. M. Hardy.'' 

The child of whom this writing speaks, was be- 
lieved to be his daughter, and so, indeed, he called 
her the last time that' he pronounced her name.— 
She was then about five years old, living at Merton, 
under Lady Hamilton's care. The last minutes 
which Nelson passed at Merton were employed in 
praying over this child, as she lay sleeping^. A 
portrait of Lady Hamilton hung in his cabin : and 
no Catholic ever beheld the picture of his patron 
saint with devouter reverence. The undisguised 
and romantic passion with which he fegurded it, 
amounted almost to superstition ; and when the por- 

1805.1 LiFB OF KSLsosr. 293 

trait was now taken down, in clearing for action, 
he desired the men, who removed it, to ^ take care 
of his guardian angel." In this manner he fre- 
quently spoke of it, as if he believed .there were a 
▼irtue in the image. He wore a mini^^ture of her, 
also, next his heart. 

Blackwood went on board the Victory about six. 
He found him in good spirits, but very calm ; not 
in that exhilaration which he had felt upon entering 
into battle at Aboukir and Copenhagen : he knew 
that his own life would be particularly aimed at, 
and seems to have looked for death with almost as 
sure an expectation as for victory. His whole 
attention was fixed upon the enemy. They tacked 
to the northward, and formed their line on the lar« 
board tack ; thus bringing the shoals of Trafalgar 
and St. Pedro under the lee of the British, and keep« 
ing the port of Cadiz open for themselves. This 
was judiciously done : and Nelson, aware of all the 
advantages which it gave them, made signal to pre- 
pare to anchor. 

Villeneuve was a skilAil seaman; worthy of 
serving a better master, and a better cause. His 
plan of defence was as well conceived, and as ori- 
ginal, as the plan of attack. He formed the fleet in 
a double line , eveiy alternate ship being about a 
cable's length to windward of her second ahead and 
astern. Nelson, certain of a triumphant issue to 
the day, asked Blackwood what he should consider 
tas a victory. That officer answered, that, consi- 
dering the handsome way in which battle was of- 
fered by the enemy, their apparent determination 
for a fair trial of strength, and the situation of the 
land, he thought it would be. a glorious result if 
fourteen were captured. He replied, " I shall not 
•be satisfied with less than twenty.'* Soon after- 
ward he asked him, if he did not think there was a 
signal wanting.' Capt. Blackwood made answer, 
ihat he thought the whole fleet seemed very clearl^ 

B b 3 

M4 LZrS OP NSLSOR. [180&. 

to understand what they were about. These words 
were scarcely spoken before that signal was made, 
which will be remembered as long as the language, 
or even the memory of England shall endure ;— 
Nelson's last signal : — Emoland bxpicts bvcrt man 
TO DO HIS DUTY T' It WBs received throughout the 
fleet with a shout of answering acclamation, made 
sublime by the spirit which it breathed, and the feel- 
ing which it expressed. ** Now,." said Lord Nelson, *^ 1 
can do no more. We must trust to the great Dispo- 
ser of all events, and the justice of our cause. I thank 
God for this great opportunity of doing my duty." 
He wore that day, as usual, his adatiraPs frock 
coat, bearing on the left breast four stars, of the 
different orders with which he was invested. Or- 
naments which rendered him so conspicuous a mark 
for the enemy, were beheld with oihinous apprehen» 
sions by his officers. It was known that there wsfe 
riflemen on board the French ships ; and it could 
not be doubted but that his life would be partieu- 
lariy aimed at. They communicated their fears to 
eacn other; and the surgeon, Mr. Beatty,* spoke to 
the chaplain. Dr. Scott^ and to Mr. Scott, the puUie 
secretary,, desiring that some person would entreat 
him to change his dress, or c^ver the stars : but 
they knew that such a request would highly dis- 
please him. " In honour I gained them,'' he had 
said, when such a thing had been hinted to him for* 
merly, «* and in honour I will die with them." Mr. 
9eatty^ however, would not have been deterred by 
any fear of exciting his displeasure, from speaking 
to ihim himself upon a subject, iti which the wesd 
of England, as well as the life Qf Nelson, was con* 
cemed, — ^but he was ordered from the deck before 
he could find an opportunity. This was a point 
upon which Nelson's officers knew tiiat it was hope* 

* In Uifta part of the work T tkwre chiefly been indebted to this fMK 
tiemftn^a Narrative of Lond Ifdfion's JXeaih--B, document as intercmf 

1M5.] im OP maOiSOH. 296 

less to remonstrate or reason with him ; but both 
Blackwood, and his own captain, Hardy, represented 
to hina how advantageous to the fleet it would be for 
him to keep out of action as long^ as possible ; and 
he consented at last to let the Leviathan and the 
Tfem^raire, which were sailing abreast of the Vic- 
tory be ordered to pass ahead. Yet even here the 
last infirmity of this noble mind was indulged, for 
these ships could not pass ahead if the Victory con- 
tinued to carry all her sail ; and so far was Nelson 
trom shortening sail, that it was evident he took 
pleasure in pressing on, and rendering it impossible 
for them to obey his own orders. A long swell 
was setting into the bay of Cadiz : our ships, crowd- 
ing all sail, moved majestically before it, with light 
winds from the south- west. The sun shone on the 
sails of the enemy ; and their well-formed line, with 
their numerous three-deckers, made an appearance 
which any other assailants would have thought for- 
midable ; — ^but the British sailors only admired the 
beauty and the splendour of the spectacle.; and, in 
fuU confidence of winning what they saw, remarked 
to each other, what a fine sight yonder ships woidd 
make at Spithead ! 

The French admiral, fVom the Bucentaure, beheld 
the new manner in which his enemy was*advancing 
— ^Nelson ^nd CoUingwood each leading his line ; 
, and, pointing them out to his officers, he is said to 
have exclaimed, that such conduct could not fail to 
be successful. Yet Villeneuve had made his own 
dispositions with the utmost skill, and the fleets 
under his command waited for the attack with per- 
fect coolness. Ten minutes before twelve they 
opened their fire. Eight or nine of the ships imme- 
diately ahead of the Victory, and across her bows, 
fired single funs at her, to ascertain whether sHe 
was yet within their range. As soon as Nelsoa 
perceived that their shot passed over him, he de- 
sired Blackwood, and Capt. Prowse, of the Sirius, 


296 LIFE OF lVEZ4M>lf,' [1803. 

to repair to their respective frigates ; and, on their 
way, to tell all the captains of the line-of-battle 
ships that he depended on their exertions ; and that, 
if by the prescribed mode of attack they found it 
impracticable to get into action immediately, they 
might adopt whatever they thought best, provided 
it led them quickly and closely alongside an ene- 
my. As they were standing on the front of the 
poop, Blackwood took him by the hand, saying, he 
hoped soon to return and find him in possession of 
twenty prizes. He replied, " God bless you, Black- 
wood : I shall never see you again." ' 

Nelson^s column was steered about two points 
more to the north than ColUngwoo4's, in order to 
cut off the enemy^s escape into Cadiz : the lee line, 
therefore, was first engaged. *' See," cried Nelson, 
pointing to the Roysd Sovereign, as she steered 
right for the centre of the enemy^s line, cut through 
it astern of the Santa Anna, three-decker, and .en- 
gaged her at the muzzle of her gims on the starboard 
side: "s^ how that noble fellow, Collingwood, 
carries his ship into action!" .Collingwood, de- 
lighted at being first in the heat of the fire, and 
knowing the feelings of his commander and old 
friend, turned to his captain, and exclaimed: 
f* Rotherham, what would Nelson give to be here I" 
Both these brave officers, perhaps, at this monaent 
thought of Nelson with gratitude, for a circumstance 
which had occurred on the preceding day. Adnfiiraf 
Collingwood, with some of the captains, having 
gone on. board the Victory, to receive instructions, 
Nelson inquired of him, where his captain wasi 
and was told, in reply, that they were not upon 
good terjns with each other. "Terms!" said 
Nelson ; — ^** good terms with each other !" Inune- 
diately he sent a boat for Captain Rotherham ; led 
him, as soon as he arrived, to Collingwood, and 
saying, — "Look; yonder are the enemy!" fnii^ 
^em shake h^adslil^EnffUs^en. v 

1806.] im OF N£LsoN. 297 

The enemy continued to fire a gun at a time at 
the Victory, till they saw that a shot had passed 
through her mainptop-gallant»saii ; then they opened 
their broadsides, aiming chiefly at her rigging, in 
the hope of disabling her before she could close 
with them. Nelson, as usual, had hoisted several 
flags, lest one should be shot away. The enemy 
Glowed no colours till late in the action, when they 
began to feel the necessity of having them to strike. 
For this reason, the Santissima Trinidad, Nelson^s 
old acauaintance, as he used to call her, was dis- 
tinguishable only by her four diecks ; and to the bow 
of this opponefiit he ordered the Victory to be steered. 
Meantime an incessant raking fire was kept up 
upon the Victory. The admiral's' secretary was 
one of the first who fell ; he was killed by a cannon- 
shot while conversing with Hardy. Capt. Adair Of 
the marines, with the help of a sailor, endeavoured 
to remove the body from Nelson's sight, who had a 
great regard for Mr. Scott : but he anxiously asked : 
" Is that poor Scott that 's gone ?" and being in- 
formed that it was indeed so, exclaimed, ** Poor 
fellow !'* Presently a double-headed shot struck a 
party of marines, who were drawn up on the poop, 
and killed eight of them :, upon which. Nelson im- 
mediately desired Capt. Adair to disperse his men 
round the ship, that they might not suffer so much 
Jxom being together. A few minutes afterward a 
shot struck the fore brace bits on the quarter deck, 
and passed between Nelson and Hardy, a splinter 
from the bit tearing off Hardy's buckle and bruising 
his foot. Both stopped, and Jooked anxiously at 
each other, each supposed the other to be wounded. 
Nelson then smiled, and said, *'This is too warm 
work. Hardy, to last' long." 

The Victory had not yet returned a single gun ; 
fifty of her men had been by this time killed or 
wounded, and her main-topmast, with all her stud- 
ding-sails and her booms, shot away. Nelson de« 


S90 tIFB OF KSLSON. [1805 

clared, that, in all his battles, he had seen nothing 
which surpassed the cool courage of his crew on 
this occasion. At four minutes after twelve, she 
opened her fire from both sides of her deck. It 
was not possible to break, the Enemy's line without 
running on, board one of their ships: Hardy in- 
formed him of this, and asked him which he would 
prefer. Nelson replied, " Take your choiccj Hardy, 
It does not signify much." - The master was ordered 
to put the helm to port, and the Victory ran on 
board the Redoubtable, just as her tiller ropes were 
shot away. The French ship received her with a 
broadside ; then instantly let down her lower-deck 
ports, for fear of being boarded through thera, and 
never afterward fired a great gun during the action. 
Her tops, like those of all the enejny's ships, were 
filled with riflemen. Nelson never placed musketry 
in his tops ; he had a strong dislike to th^ practice ; 
not merely because it etidangers setting fire to the 
sails, but also because it is a murderous sort of 
warfare by which individuals may suffer, arid a 
commander now and then be picked off, but which 
never can decide the fate of a general engage- 

Capt. Harvey, in the T6m6raire, iell on board 
the Redoubtable on the other side. Another enemy 
was in like manner on board the Tera^raire : so 
that these foifr ships formed as compact a tie'r as if 
they had been moored together, their heads lying 
all the same way. The lieutenants of the Victory, 
seeing this, depressed their guns of the middle and 
lower decks, and fired with a dimipished charge, 
lest the shot should pass through, and injure the 
T6ro^raire. And because there was danger that 
the Redoubtable might take fire from the lower-deck 
guns, the muzzles of which touched her side when 
they were run out, the fireman of each gun stood 
ready with a bucket of water; which as soon as 
the gun was discharged, he dashed into (be hole 

1806. J XJFS Of NELson. 299 

made by the shot. An incessant fire was kept up 
from the Victory from both sides ; her larboard guns 
playing upon the Bucentaure and the huge San- 
tissima Trinidad. 

It had been part of Nelson's prayer, that the 
British fleet might be distinguished by humanity in 
the victory which he expected. Setting an example 
himself, he twice gave orders to cease firing upon 
the Redoubtable, supposing that she had struck, 
because her great guns were sil(;nt ; for, as she car- 
ried no flag, there was no means of instantly ascer- 
taining the fact.. From this ship, which he had 
thus ti^ioe spared, he received his death. A ball 
fired from her mizen-top, which, in the then situation 
of the two vessels, was not more than fifteen yards 
from that part of the deck where he was standing, 
struck the epaulette on his left shoulder, about a 
quarter after one, just in the heat of action. He 
lell Upon his face, on the spot which was covered 
with his poor secretary's blood. Hardy, who was 
a few steps from him, turning round, saw three 
men raising him up. — ^" They have done for me at 
last. Hardy," said he. — " I hope not," cried Hardy. 
— ** Yes !" he replied ; " my back-bone is shot 
through." Yet even now, not for a moment losing 
nis presence of mind, he observed, as they were 
carrying him down the ladder, that the tiller ropes, 
which had been shot away, were not yet replaced, 
and ordered that new ones should be rove imme- 
diately: — then, that he might not be seen by the 
crew, he took out his handkerchief, and covered his 
face and his stars. Had he but concealed these 
badges of honour from the enemy, England, per- 
haps, would not have had cause to receive with 
sorrow the news of the battle of Trafalgar. The 
cockpit was crowded with wounded and dying men ; 
over, whose bodies he was with some difilculty con- 
yeyed, and laid upon a pallet in the midshipmen's 
l^irth. ' It. was soon perceived, upon examinaiioiV' 

SOO UFE OF NSL801I. [l805« 

that the wcrand was inovtal. This, hovevvr, was 
concealed from all, except Capt. flainiy, the chap- 
lain, and the medical attendants. He himself being 
certain, from the sensation in his back, atid the 
gush of blood he felt momently within his breasti 
that no hmnan care could avail him, insisted that 
the surgeon should leave him^ and attend to those to 
whoni he might be useful; **for," said he, "yon 
can do pothing for me/' — All that could be done 
was to faii^ him with paper, and frequently to give 
him lemonade to alleviate his intense thirst. He 
was in great pain, and expressed much anxiety for 
the event of the acl^oiv which now began to de^* 
elare itself. As often as a ship struck, the crew of 
ihe Yictoiy huzzaed ; and at every huzza, a visible 
expression of jay gleamed in the eyes, and maiked 
the countenance, of the dyinghero* But he became 
impatient to see . Capt. Hardv ; and as that officer^ 
though often sent for, could not leave the deck^ 
Nelscm feared that some fatal cause prevented hmit 
and repeatedly cried, '* Will no one bring Hardy to 
me ? . He must be killed ! He is surely dead l"-^ 
An hour and ten minutes^ elapsed from the time 
when JN^dson received his wound, before Hardy 
could <;ome to him. They shook bands in silence ; 
Hardy in vain struggling to suppress the feelings of 
that most painfi2 and yet snbllmest moment. 
•* Well, Hardy," said Nelson, •* how goes the ^y 
with us ?"•?—" Very well," replied Hardy ; ** ten sblps 
have struck, but live of the van have tacked, and 
show an intention to bear down upon the Victory. 
I have called two or three of our fiesh ships roundi 
and have no doubt of giving them a drubbing.'*—^ I 
hope," said Nelson, ^ none of our ships have 
struck ?" Hardy answered, ^ There was no feur 
of that." Then, and not till then, Nelson spoke of 
himself. '^lam a dead man, Hapdy," said he: ^I 
am going fast : — it wiU be all over with me soon. 
Gome Bearer to me. Let my dear Lady Hamiltoii 

1B06,] UfX OF KXJLBON* 501 

have niy hair, and all other things belonging to 
me.^ Hardy observed, tliat he hoped Mr. Beatty 
could yet hold out some prospect of life. "Oh, 
no!** he replied: "it is impossible. My back is 
shot through. Beatty will tell you so.** Capt. 
Hardy then, once more, shook hands with him ; and 
with a heart almost bursting, hastened upon deck. 
By this time all feeling below the breast was 
gone ; and Nelson, having made the surgeon ascer- 
tain ^is, said to him, " You know I am gone ; 1 
know it. I feel something rising in my breast,"— 
putting his hand on his leK side, — '* which tells me 
so." And upon Beatty's inquiring whether his 
pain was very great 1 he replied, " So great, that 
he wished he was dead. Yet," said he, in a lower 
voice, " one would like to live a little longer, too !" 
And after a fe^ minutes, in the same under tone, 
be added, "What would become of poor Lad^ 
Hamilton, if she knew my situation !" Next to his 
country, she occupied his thoughts. Capt. Hard^, 
some fifty minutes after he had left the cockpit, 
returned; and, again taking the hand of his dying 
friend and commander, congratulated him on having 
gained a complete victory. How many of the 
enemy were taken be did not know, as it was im- 
possible to perceive them distinctly : but fourteen 
or fifteen at least. " That 's well," cried Nelson, 
"but I bargained for twenty." And then, in 8 
stronger voice, he said, " Anchor, Hardy ; anchor." 
Hardy, upon this, hinted that Admiral CoUingwood 
would take upon himself the direction of affairs. 
" Not while I live, Hardy," said the dying NelsoDy 
/oeffectually endeavouring to raise himself from 
the bed : " do you anchor.'' His previous order 
for preparing to anchor had shown how clearlv he 
foresaw the necessity of this. Presently, calling 
Hardy back, he said to him, in a low voice, "Don't 
threw me overboard :" and he desired that he might 
be buried by his parents, unless it* shoiild pleaM 


dot XJFB^OF TUtLBOV. [1805. 

the king to order otherwise. Then revertine to 

Erivale feelings, "Take care of my dear Lady 
[amilton. Hardy : take care of poor Lady Hamilton. 
—Kiss me, Hardy," said he. Hardy knelt down 
and kissed his cheek : and Nelson said, " Now I 
am satisfied. Thank God, I have done my duty." 
Hardy stood over him in silence for a moment or 
two, then knelt again, and kissed his forehead. 
"Who is that?" said Nelson; and heing informed, 
he replied, " iSod bless you. Hardy." And Hardy 
then left him — for ever. 

Nelson now desired to be turned upon his right 
side, and said, " I wish I had not left the deck ; for 
I shaU soon be gone." Death was, indeed, rapidly 
approaching. He said to the chaplain, "Doctor, 
I have not been AgteoU sinner :" and after a short 
pause, "Itemember that I leave Lady Hamilton 
and my daughter Horatia as a legacy to my 
country." ^is articulation now became difficult ; 
but he was distinctly heard to say, *^ Thank God, I 
have done my duty." These words he repeatedly 

gronounced : and they were the last words which 
e uttered. He expired at thirty minutes after 
four, — ^three hours and a quarter after he had re- 
ceived his wound. 

Within a quarter of an hour after Nelson was 
wounded, above fifty of the Victory's men fell by 
the enemy's musketry.- They, however, on their 
part, were not idle ; and it was not long before there 
were only two Frenchmen left alive in the mizen- 
top of the Redoubtable. One of them was the 
man who had given the fatal ivound : he did not 
live to boast of what he had done. An old quarter- 
master had seen him fire; and easily recognised 
him, because he wore a glazed cocked hat and a 
white frock. This quarter-master and two midship- 
men, Mr. CoUingwood and Mr. Pollard, were the 
only pnersons left in the Victory's poop ; — the two 
midshipmen kept firing at the top, and ne supplied 

1805.] i;iFE OF NELSON. 303 

tliem with cartridges. One of the Frenchmen, at- 
tempting to make his escape down the rigging, was 
shot by Mr. Pollard, and fell on the poop. But the 
old quarter-master, as he cried out, " That 's he— 
that's he," and pointed at the other, who was 
coming forward to fire again, received a shot in his 
mouth, and fell dead. Both the midshipmen then 
fired at the same time, and the fellow dropped in 
the top. When they took possession of the prize, 
they w^nt into the mizen-top, and found him dead ; 
witii one ball through his head, and another through 
his breast. 

The Redoubtable struck within twenty minutes 
after the fatal ishot had been fired from her. During 
that time she had been twice on fire, — ^in her fore- 
chains and in her forecastle. The French, as they 
had done in other battles, made use, in this, of fire- 
balls, and other combustibles; implements of de- 
struction, which other nations, from a sense of ho- 
nour and humanity, have laid aside ; which add to 
the sufferings of the wounded, without determining 
the issue of the combat : which hone but the cruel 
would employ, and which never can be successful 
against the brave. Once they succeeded in setting 
fire, from the Redoubtable, to some ropes and can- 
vass on the Victory's booms. The cry ran through 
the ship an4 reached the cockpit : but even this 
dreadful cry produced no confusion : the men dis- 
played that perfect self-possession in danger by 
which English seamen are characterized ; they ex- 
tinguished the tlames on board their own ship, and 
then hastened to extinguish them in the enemy, by 
throwing buckets of water from tho gangway. 
When the Redoubtable had struck, it was not prac- 
ticable to board her from the Victory ; for, though 
the two ships touched, the upper works of both fell 
in so much, that there was a great space between 
their gangways: and she could not be boarded 
from the lower or middle decks, because her ports 

904 UFB or nsLBOR. [1805. 

\rere down. Some of our men went to lientenant 
Qoilliam, and offered to swim under her bows, and 
get up there ; but it was thought unfit to hazard brave 
fives in this manner. 

What our men would have done from gallantry, 
some of the crew of the Santissima Trinidad did 
to save themselves. Unable to stand the tremen- 
dous fire of the Victory, whose larboard guns played 
against this great four-decker, and not knowing how 
else to escape them, nor where else to betake them- 
selves for protection, many of them leaped overboard, 
and swam to the Victory; and were actually helped up 
her sides by the English during the action. The Spa- 
niards began the battle with less vivacity than their 
unworthy allies, but they continued it with greater 
firmness. The Argonauta and Bahama were de- 
fended till they had each lost about four hundred 
men : the St. Juan Nepomuoeno lost three hundred 
and fifty. Often as the superiority of British cou- 
rage has been proved against France upon the seas, 
it was never more conspicuous than in this decisive 
conflict. Five of our ships were engaged muzzle 
to muzzle with five of the French. In all five, the 
Frenchmen lowered their lower-deck ports, and de- 
serted their guns ; wMle our men continued delibe- 
rately to load and fire, till they had made the victory 

Once, amid his sufferings. Nelson had expressed 
a wish that he were dead; but immediately the 
spirit subdued the pains of death, and he wished to 
live a little longer ;-^oubtless that he might hear 
the completion of the victory which he had seen so 
gloriously begun. That consolation — that joy — ^that 
triumph was afforded him. He lived to know that 
the victory was decisive ; and the last guns which 
were fired at the flying enemy were heard a minute 
or two before he expired. The ships which were 
thus flying were four of the enemy's van, all French, 
under Rear- Admiral Dumanoir. They had borne no 

i805.] hOfM OF MELsoir. 305 

part in the action ; and now, when they were seek 
ing safety in flight, they fired not only into the Vic- 
tory and Royal Sovereign as they passed, but poured 
their broadsides into the Spanish captured ships; 
and they were seen to back their topsails, for the 
purpose of firing with more precision. The indig- 
nation of the Spaniards at this detestable cruelty 
from their allies, for whom they had fought so 
bravely, and so profusely bled, may well be con- 
ceived. It was such, that when, two days after the 
action, seven of the ships t^hich had escaped into 
Cadiz came out, in hopes of retaking some of the 
disabled prizes, the prisoners, in the Argonauta, in 
a body, offered their services to the British prize- 
master, to man the guns against any of the French 
fihips : saying, that if a Spanish ship came along- 
side, they would quietly go below; but they re- 
quested that they might be allowed to fight the 
French, in resentmisnt for the murderous usage 
which they had suffered at their hands. Such was 
their earnestness, and such the implicit confidence 
■which could be placed in Spanish honoiir, that the 
^ffer was accepted, an^ they were actually stationed 
at the lower-deck gifns. Dumanoir and his sqoa- 
-dron were not more fortunate than the fleet from 
whose destruction they fled ; they fell in with Sir 
Richard Strachan, who was cruising for the Roche- 
fort squadron, a.nd were all taken. Iii the better 
days of France, if such a crime could then have 
4)een committed, it would have received an exem- 
plary punishment from the French government: 
Tinder BuonapartCj it was sure Of impunity, and, 
perhaps, might be thought deserving of reward. 
Cut, if the Spanish court had been independent, it 
would have become us to have delivered Dumanoir 
and his captains up to Spain, that they might have 
"been brought to trial, and hanged in sight of the re- 
mains of the Spanish fleet. 
The total British loss in the battle of Trafalgai; 


906 LIFE OF vmsos. [1805. 

kmounted to one thousand five hundred and eighty- 
seren. Twenty of the enemy struck ; but it was 
not possible* to anchor the fleet, as Nelson had en- 
Joined ; — a g^ale came on from the south-west ; some 
of the prizes went down, some went on shore ; one 
effectea its escape into C^iz; others were de- 
stroyed; four only were saved and those by the 
greatest exertions. The wounded Spaniards were 
sent ashore, an assurance being given that tliey 
should not serve till regularly exchanged ; and the 
Spaniards, with a generous feeling, which would 
ikot, perhaps, have been found in any other people, 
offered the use of their hospitals for our wounded, 
pledging the honour of Spain that they should be 
carefully attended there. When the storm, after 
the action, drove some of the prizes upon the coast, 
they declared that the English, who were thus 
thrown into their hands, should not be considered as 
prisoners of war; and the Spanish soldiers gave 
up their own beds to their shipwrecked enemies. 
The Spanish vice-admiral Alava, died of his wounds. 
VUleneuve was sent to England, and permitted to 
return to France. The French government say that 
he destroyed himself on the way to Paris, dreading 
the consequences of a court-martial : but there is 
every reason to believe that the tyrant, who never 
acknowledged the loss of the battle of Trafalgar, 
added Yilleneuve to the numerous victims of his 
murderous policy. 
It is almost superfluous to add, that all the honours 

* In Uie ronner editions it was said j tlial uniiappily tbe fleet did not 
anchor : Implyioff an opinion that Nelson'i; orders ought to have been 
followed by bis auAeessor. From the recently published Memoirs and 
Correspondeoee of Lord CoUingwood, it appears tliat this was not 
practicable, and that if it had, and bad \feen done, the consequencjDS 
ftom the state of tiic weather (which Nelson could not foresee) woald, 
In all likelihood, bhvt been more disastrous tlian they were. 

Having thus referred to Lord Collingwood's Life, I may be allowed 
to say, that the publication of that volume Is indeed a national good: 
—it ought to be in every officer'i caUp, and in every atateainao't ea 

.1805.] UFs OF ivsusox. 307 

which a gnteM country could bestow, wcie heaped 
tipon the memory of Nelson. His brother was 
made an earl, with a grant of j£6,000 a year; £10,000 
were voted to each of his sisters : and £100,000 
for the purchase of an estate. A public funeral was 
decreed, and a public monument. Statues and mo- 
numents also were voted by most of our principal 
cities. The leaden coffin, in which he was brought 
home, was cut in pieces, which were distributed as 
relics of Saint Nelson, — so the gunner of the Vic- 
tory called them ^^and when, at his interment, his 
fag. was about to be lowered into the grave, the 
sailors, who assisted at the ceremony, with one ac- 
cord rent it in pieces, that each might preserve a 
fragment while he lived. 

The death of Nelson was felt in England as 
something more than a public calamity : men started 
at the intelligence, and turned pale ; as if they had 
heard of the loss of a dear friend* An object of 
our admiration and affection, of our pride and of 
our hopes, was suddenly taken from us ; and it 
seemed as if we had never, till then, known how 
deeply we loved and reverenced him. What the 
country had lost in its great naval hero — the greatest 
of our own, and of all former times, was scarcely 
taken into the account of grief. Sd perfectly, in- 
deed, had he performed his part, that the maritime 
war, after the battle of Trafalgar, was considered 
at an end : the fleets of the enemy were not merely 
defeated, but destroyed : new navies must be built, 
and a new race of seamen reared for them, before 
the possibility of their invading our shores could 
again be contemplated. It was not, therefore, from 
any selfish reflection upon the magnitude of oyr 
loss that we mourned for him : the general sorrow 
was of a higher cTiaracter. The people of England 
grieved that funeral ceremonies, and public monu- 
ments, and posthumous rewards* were all which 
they could now bestow upon hhn, whom the kingn 

SOB UFE OF NEXi90N. [1805^ 

the legislature, and the nation would hav6 alike de* 
lighted to honour ; whom every tongue would have 
blessed ; whose presence in every village through 
which he might have passed, would have wakened 
the church bells, have given schoolboys a holyday, 
have drawn children from their sports to gaze upon 
him, and ** old men from the chimney comer," to 
look upon Nelson ere they died. The victory of 
Trafalgar was celebrated, indeed, with the usual 
forms of rejoicing, but they were without joy ; for 
such already was the glory of the British navy, 
through Nelson's surpassing genius, that it scarcely 
seemed to receive any addition from the most signal 
victory that ever was achieved upon the seas : and 
the destruction of this mighty fleet, by which all 
the maritime schemes of France were totally frus- 
trated, hardly appeared to add to our security or 
strength ; for while Nelson was living, to watch 
the combined squadrons of the enemy, we felt our- 
selves as secure as now, when they were no longer 
in existence. 

There was reason to suppose, from the appear- 
ances upon opening the body, that, in the course 
of nature, he might have attained, like his father, 
to a good old age. Yet he cannot be said to have 
fallen prematurely whose work was done ; nor 
ought he to be lamented, who died so full of 
honours, and at the height of human fame. Tlie 
most triumphant death is that of the martyr ; the 
most awful that of the martyred patriot ; the most 
splendid that of the hero in the hour of victory: 
and if the chariot and the horses of fire had been 
vouchsafed for Nelson's translation, he could 
scarcely have departed in a brighter blaze of glory. 
He has left us, not indeed his mantle of inspira- 
tion, but a name and an example, which are at \his 
hour inspiring t)iousands of the youth of England : 
a name which is our pride, and an example which 
will eoQtinue to be our shield and our strength. 

1805.] LUE OF NELSON. 309 

Thus it is that the spirits of the gpreat and the wise 
continue to live and to act after them ; verifying, 
in this sense, the language of the old my thologist ; 

Toe usv Saittȴtf noi, Acof fttyoKti Sia PnXas 


OCT 1 8 111 I.-