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In this Volume the Collection of LORD NELSON'S Letters is completed, and such a variety of matter has been inserted, that it is the more necessary to give a particular account of the contents.
The Letters extend from the 1st of August 1805, (when LORD NELSON was on his way to Ushant, after his return from the West Indies in pursuit of the French Fleet) until the 21st of October, the day of his glorious death. On the 15th of August he joined the Channel Fleet under Admiral Cornwallis, with whom he left all his own Squadron except the Victory and Superb, and proceeded with these Ships to England. He arrived at Spithead on the 18th of August; the next day he struck his Flag, and then went to Merton.
The most remarkable of his Letters about this time is the one to Captain Fremantle, wherein he speaks, in a truly modest and generous manner, of Sir Robert Calder's Action. "Who," he asks, command all the success which our Country may wish? We have fought together, and therefore well know what it is. I have had the best disposed Fleet of friends, but who can say what will be the event of a Battle? and it most sincerely grieves me that in
any of the Papers it should be insinuated that LOR NELSON could have done better. I should have fough the Enemy, so did my friend Calder; but who ca say that he will be more successful than anothe I only wish to stand upon my own merits, and not l comparison, one way or the other, upon the condu of a brother Officer. You will forgive this dissertatio but I feel upon the occasion;" and nothing cou be more considerate or more magnanimous (remer bering Sir Robert Calder's conduct towards him aft the Battle of St. Vincent), than NELSON's treatme of that Officer on going home for his trial, when diminished his own force and actually disobeyed t orders of the Admiralty, merely to indulge Robert's weakness in wishing, at such a moment, return in his own Ship, instead of a Frigate.
While on shore LORD NELSON again pointed out Mr. Pitt the importance of preventing France fr obtaining possession of Sardinia; and he was f quently consulted by Ministers on the great eve that were then pending, of which conferences he ga an amusing account in a letter to Captain Keats.
On the morning of the 2nd of September, Lo NELSON, who was then at Merton, was informed Captain Blackwood that the Combined Fleet put into Cadiz; whereupon he immediately went the Admiralty, and it was determined that he sho resume the command of the Mediterranean Fl Amidst the bustle of his approaching departure could nevertheless bestow much of his thoughts his family and friends; and the few Letters wh
he had time to write, related almost entirely to their interests. To the Private Secretary of the First Lord of the Admiralty, he wrote on behalf of his protégé, Captain Layman; to Mr. Rose, to ask for an an appointment for his brother-in-law, Mr. Bolton; and the two predominant feelings of his heart-to defeat the Enemy, and to show kindness to all who were dependent upon him,-were strikingly manifested in his Letter to Mr. Davison of the 6th of September, wherein he said he hoped soon to meet the Combined Fleet, that half a victory would but half content him, that he was doubtful whether the Admiralty could give him a sufficient force; and after adding, "but I will do my best, and I hope God Almighty will go with me; I have much to lose, but little to gain, and I go because it's right, and I will serve my Country faithfully," he adverts to the condition of his brother Maurice's widow, "poor blind Mrs. Nelson," and directs that her apothecary's bill, to a large amount, should be paid. He quitted Merton--it proved for ever-on the night of the 13th of September, and his private Diary shows the feelings of piety and patriotism which then animated him: "At half-past ten drove from dear, dear Merton, where I left all which I hold dear in this world, to go and serve my King and Country; may the 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 those so dear to me, that I may leave behind. His will be done."
LORD NELSON arrived at Portsmouth early on the morning of the 14th of September, and, after an absence of only twenty-five days, rehoisted his Flag on board the Victory. In proceeding to the place of embarkation towards the latter part of that day, accompanied by his friends Mr. Rose and Mr. Canning, "a crowd collected in his train, pressing forward to obtain a sight of his face: many were in tears and many knelt down before him and blessed him as he passed:" touched with their enthusiasm, he exclaimed, "I had their huzzas before—I have their hearts now." The Victory sailed from Spithead on the morning of Sunday the 15th of September, in company with the Euryalus, Captain the Honourable Henry Blackwood, and on the 28th joined the Fleet off Cadiz, under Vice-Admiral Collingwood. From this time until the 19th of October, when the Combined Fleet put to sea, LORD NELSON'S correspondence related principally to the details of his Squadron, and to the expectation of meeting the Enemy, nearly all his Letters being addressed to Vice-Admiral Collingwood, or to Captain Blackwood, who had the arduous duty of watching the Enemy's movements in Cadiz. His account of his reception by the Captains of the Squadron is very characteristic: "I believe my arrival was most welcome, not only to the Commander of the Fleet, but also to every individual in it; and, when I came to