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“ M ANY lives of NELSON have been written: one is
yet wanting clear and concise enough to become a manual for the young sailor, 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 shall write the eulogy of our great naval Hero ; for the best eulogy of NELSON is the faithful history of his actions : the best history that which shall relate them most perspicuously.”
Preface to Southey's Life of Nelson.
“This, which was perhaps upon the whole the most popular of any of my father's works, originated in an article in the fifth number of the Quarterly Review (Feb., 1810), which was enlarged at Murray's request. My father received altogether £300 for it,-£100 for the Review ; £100 when the Life was enlarged ; and £100 when it was published in the Family Library.”
Southey's Life and Correspondence, chap. xviii. “The Life of Nelson was completed this morning. This is a subject which I should never have dreamt of touching, if it had not been thrust upon me. I have Author's Preface. walked among sea- terms as carefully as a cat does among crockery; but if I have succeeded in making the narrative continuous and clear--the very reverse of what it is in the lives before me—the materials are in themselves so full of character, so picturesque and so sublime, that it cannot fail of being a good book.” (Id. Feb. I, 1813.)
“I met a Mr. Brandreth at my brother's a few days ago, who has lately returned from the West Indies. He says the American Government has printed an edition of your Life of Nelson, sufficiently numerous for a distribution on fine paper to every officer, and on coarse paper to every man in their fleet. This is what should have been done here long ago, and would have been done, if our statesmen had been anything better than politicians, or considered the people of the country as anything but mere machines, unendowed with feelings or motives of action. It ought to be in the chest of every seaman, from the admiral to the cabin-boy.”—Grosvenor C. Bedford to R. Southey. (Id. ch. xxxi.)
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