Графични страници
PDF файл

tuary of private life, still less to seek to gratify their curiosity by resorting to unworthy means, and strictly confidential communications, which probably only half divulge the facts to which they have reference.

How differently has the great Wellington been treated! His despatches were given to the worldtogether with such letters as he considered the world had a right to be acquainted with. Nothing that had not undergone careful supervision was allowed to appear, and very properly. A public man, equally with one in an humble station, has the privilege of expressing his private feelings to his friends, and to unburthen his heart of its inmost hopes and fears ; and such expressions have a right to be held sacred. Had that course been adopted with Nelson's letters, how differently would he have appeared in some of his private relations !

Simple-hearted, affectionate, and confiding, he knew not what it was to use disguise. Shame, then, be upon those who have availed themselves of his want of art, and who have based upon unguarded expressions, sentiments and effusions of friendship, a foul structure! The author had the good-fortune to be honoured with the acquaintance of Nelson's favourite captain-the late Sir Thomas Hardy, G.C.B. He has also been in correspondence, in personal conference, and in daily intercourse with some of Nelson's oldest followers, as well as with those who have studied his history carefully, and he can with safety declare that he has rarely heard Nelson's name mentioned by them unaccompanied by a feeling on their part bordering on adoration. Sir Thomas Hardy never left his home for a day without taking with him a small picture of his departed friend ; and to the last moment of his existence, cherished for Nelson unaltered affection and veneration. But had Nelson been that which Mr. Pettigrew supposes, nay, asserts him to have been, Sir Thomas Hardy, whose morality was akin to his justice, could never have loved him as he did.

The hero sleeps! and beside him rests the venerated soldier ! What Nelson was to the navy, Wellington was to the army. The salvation of their country was the darling object of both. The one died in the arms of victory, the other lived to reap the honours and grateful rewards of his redeemed country. What Nelson effected at Trafalgar upon the ocean, Wellington achieved on land at Waterloo. The annihilation of the enemy's fleets established our supreme rule on the seas; while Wellington subdued the enemy on shore. As they were equally great in their respective spheres, so let them be alike honoured by the present and future generations ; and when Wellington's namo is the subject of admiration, let not Nelson's be forgotten! ROYAL HOSPITAL, GREENWICH,

December, 1852,


Glowing anticipations-Tour in FranceAppointed to Boreas-

Sails for the West Indies-Kindness to his midshipmen-Commis-

sioner Moutray's broad pendant-Politeness to a French captain-

Supports the navigation laws-Involved in litigation-Exposes frauds

among prize agents-Marries-Returns home-Paid ofi-Rural Oc-

cupations-Fruitless attempts to obtain employment- Page 15–26.


Joins the Agamemnon-Proceeds to the Mediterranean-Toulon-
Sent to Naples-Lady Hamilton-Action with French squadron off
Sardinia—Journal of the siege of Bastia-Surrender of Bastia
Journal of the siege of Calvi-Loses the sight of an eye--Sur-
render of Calvi-Sickly state of the Agamemnon's crew-Re-
duction of Corsica-Capture of Ca Ira and Censeur-Injustice
to Nelson by his biographers—Made a colonel of marines-Co-
operation with the Austrians at Genoa-Action off the Hières
Islands General de Vins-Seizure of an Austrian commissary--
Genoa overrun by the French army--Arrival of Sir John Jervis
--Hoists a broad pendant-Blockade of Vado Bay-Defeat of
the Austrians — Shifts his pendant to the Captain — Takes
possession of Porto Ferraja and Capraja-Evacuation of Corsica
--Withdrawal of the fleet from the Mediterranean - Shifts his
pendant to Minerva--Capture of Sabina--Her recapture-Proceeds
to Porto Ferraja-Rejoins the fleet off Cape St. Vincent--Action
of the 14th of February-Boarding the San Nicolas and San Josef
-Made a K.B.--Page 26–72.


Rear-Admiral Hoists his flag in the Theseus-Bombards Cadiz

Devotion of John Sykes-Attack on Santa Cruz, Teneriffe-Loss

of his arm-Returns to England-Recovery-Hoists his flag in the

Vanguard-Rejoins the fleet off Cadiz-Dispatched to the Mediter-

ranean-Damages to the Vanguard-His squadron re-inforced-

pursuit of the French fleet~Battle of the Nile—Raised to the

peerage-Rewards from foreign powers-Parliamentary commenda-

tions, &c.Page 2772.


Arrival at Naples—Lady Hamilton-Co-operates with the Neapo-

litan forces—Takes possession of Leghorn-Defeat of the Neapo-

litansEmbarks the royal family for Palermo-French at Naples

f the Ponza. Isles-Ischia and Procida-Miss H. M. Wil-

liams-Transactions in the Bay of Naples-Execution of Caraccioli -

French driven from Naples-Reduction of Gaieta, St. Elmo, and

Capua-Disobedience of Lord Keith's orders—Duke of Bronté-

Reduction of the Roman states Blockade of Malta-Capture of

the Généreux, &c. - Page 73-148.


Return to England overland-Reception in Prussia--At Yar-
mouth-In London-At home Separates from his wife_Vice-Ad-
miral Hoists h

George Proceeds to the
North Sea and Baltic-Destruction of the Danish ships and De-
fences at Copenhagen-Negotiates an armistice-Created a viscount
-Appointed commander-in-chief-Proceeds to Revel-His habits-

Resigns the command-Return homePage 149–184.


Appointed to command the invasion squadron-Attack on the

Boulogne flotilla-Retires to Merton-Takes his seat in the House

of Lords—His speeches-Peace of Amiens-Page 185–194.


Declaration of war-Appointed commander-in-chief of the Medi-

teranean-Blockade of Toulon-Escape and fruitless search after

the French fleet-Return of the French fleet to Toulon-Second

escape-Pursuit of Villeneuve to the West Indies and back-Return

to England-Takes command of the fleet off Cadiz-Blockade

Battle of Trafalgar-Death-Page 195-232.


Lying in state-Funeral--Testamentary documents - Lady Hamil.

ton-Horatia Nelson Thomson-Character--Monument in Guild.

hall-Page 233-247.




1758–1783. The little picturesque village of Burnham Thorpe, a few miles removed from the sea-coast and humble port of Wells, in the county of Norfolk, claims the high honour of having been the birth-place of the greatest naval commander this country or the world ever saw. An emaciated man, of small stature, and apparently unendued with physical power to withstand a gust of wind, he proved himself a giant in every essential point, and evinced powers of endurance rarely surpassed by the most athletic. There cannot be a more convincing proof of the superiority of mind over body, than that which Nelson presented in his own person.

On Michaelmas day, 1758, in the unpretending parsonage-house of Burnham, Nelson first beheld the light. His father, the Rev. Edmund Nelson, had held the rectory of Burnham nearly fifty years. The maiden name of his mother was Suckling: her grandmother was an elder sister of Sir Robert Walpole, and Horatio was named after his godfather, the first Lord Walpole. Horatio made the sixth child.

Nine years after the birth of our hero, his mother died, leaving eight children. Captain Maurice Suckling, the maternal uncle of our hero, on the death of Mrs. Nelson, offered to take one of the boys under his care, and Horatio became his uncle's protégé. He was forthwith sent to the High School at Norwich, from which he was removed to a school at North Walsham. On one occasion, during the winter holidays, Horatio and his brother William set off on horseback to return to school; but there having been a fall of snow, William, the elder brother,* thinking the snow too deep, and, perhaps, not very desirous to leave home, refused to proceed. On the return of the boys, their father did not insist upon their venturing at all hazards, but desired them to make another attempt, adding, “I shall leave it to your honour.” Although the snow was sufficiently deep, and the road bad enough to have warranted their turning back a second time, Horatio persisted in advancing. The words “I will leave it to your honour,” rang in his ears, and no inducement on the part of his brother could shake his resolution. On another occasion, the embryo hero is reported to have robbed his schoolmaster's pear-tree, because no one else was bold enough to attempt it.

His educational course, however, was cut short by an unexpected event. In 1770, a conflict with Spain threatened, and Captain Suckling, being one of the most distinguished officers of his standing in the navy, was appointed to command the 64-gun ship Raisonable,t fitting for commission at Chatham. Burning with irrepressible ardour for naval glory, or possibly anxious, like other boys, to be freed from scholastic trammels, Horatio petitioned his father to allow him to go to join his uncle. With the blunt good-nature which characterizes the profession of a sailor, Captain Suckling wrote in reply to his brotherin-law's request to be allowed to send the boy to his ship, " What has poor Horatio done, who is so weak,

* Among the “Nelson Papers” are the following memoranda, apparently in the writing of Nelson's father :-“Edmund Nelson, born at East Bradenham, March 19, 1722-3. Catherine Suckling, born at Barsham, May 9, 1725. Edmund Nelson and Catherine Suckling married at Beccles, May 11, 1749. Their Issue :-Edmund, born April 5, 1750 (died Augrist, (1752). Horatio, born July 28, 1751 (died November 15, 1751). Maurice, born May 24, 1753. Susanna, born June 12, 1755. William, born April 20, 1757. HORATIO, born September 29, 1758. Ann, born September 20, 1760 (died April 15, 1783). Edmund, June 4, 1762 (died December 11, 1790). Suckling, born January 5, 1764. George, born September 13, 1765 (died March 21, 1766). Catherine, born March 19, 1767."-Nicolas's Letters and Despatches, vol. i. p. 18.

+ This ship was captured from the French on the 29th May, 1758, and purchased into the navy, where she was named improperly Raisonable,-neither French "nor English.

« ПредишнаНапред »