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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 at the ball. That Nelson's honours were affected thus far, and no farther, might be conceded to Mr. Pitt and his colleagues in administration : but the degree of rank which they thought proper to allot was the measure of their gratitude,* though not of his services. This Nelson felt; and this he expressed, with indignation, among his friends.
Whatever may have been the motives of the ministry, and whatever the formalities with which they excused their conduct to themselves, the importance and magnitude of the victory were universally acknowledged. 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
Mr. Windham must be excepted from this 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 for Lord Wellington's peerage, that he always thought Lord Nel. son had been inadequately rewarded. The case was the more Aagrant, because an earldom had so lately been granted for the battle of St. Vincent; an action which could never be com, pared with the battle of the Nile, if the very different manner in which it was rewarded did not necessarily force a comparison especially when the part which Nelson bore in it was considered.-Lords Duncan and St. Vincent had each a pension of £1000 from the Irish government. This was not granted to Nelson, in consequence of the Union; though, surely, it would be more becoming to increase the British grant, than to save a thousand a year by the Union in such cases.
of all the ships were promoted, 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 misfortune. To Trowbridge himself he said, “ Let us rejoice that the ship which got on shore was commanded by an officer whose character is so thoroughly established.” To the admiralty he stated, that Capt. Trowbridge's conduct was as fully entitled to praise as that of any one officer in the squadron, and as highly deserving of reward. “It was Trowbridge,” said he, “who equipped the squadron so soon at Syracuse: it was Trowbridge who exerted himself for me after the action : it was Trowbridge who saved the Culloden, when none that I know in the service 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 great and wonderful exertion which he made at the time of the action, in saving and getting off his ship.” The private letter from the admiralty to Nelson informed him, that the first lieutenants of all the ships engaged were to be promoted. Nelson instantly wrote to the commander-in-chief.—“ I sincerely hope," said he, “this is not intended to exclude the first lieutenant of the Culloden. For Heaven's sake,—for my sake,-if it be so, get it altered. Our dear friend Trowbridge has endured enough. His sufferings were, in every respect, more than any of us.'
To the admiralty he wrote in terms equally warm. “ I hope, and believe, the word engaged is not intended to exclude the Culloden. The merit of that ship, and her gallant cap
tain, are too well known to benefit by any thing I could say. Her misfortune was great in getting aground, while her more fortunate companions were in the full tide of happiness. No; I am confident that my good Lord Spencer will never add misery to misfortune. Capt. Trowbridge on shore is superior to captains afloat: in the midst of his great misfortunes he made those signals which prevented certainly the Alexander and Swiftsure 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-inchief to promote the lieutenant upon the first vacancy
which should occur. Nelson, in remembrance of an old and uninterrupted friendship, appointed Alexander Davison sole prize agent for the captured ships: upon which Davison ordered medals to be struck in gold, for the captains; in silver, for the lieutenants and warrant officers; in gilt metal, for the petty officers ; and in copper, for the seamen and marines. The cost of this act of liberality amounted nearly to £2000. It is worthy of record on another account; —for some of the gallant men, who received no other honorary badge of their conduct on that memorable day, than this copper medal, from a private individual, years afterwards, when they died upon a foreign station, made it their last request, that the medals might carefully be sent home to their
respective friends.--So sensible are brave men of honour, in whatever rank they may be placed.
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 it necessary for him to return to Naples. Before he left Egypt he burnt three of the prizes : they could not have been fitted for a passage to Gibraltar in less than a month, and that at a great expense, and with the loss of the service of at least two sail of the line. “ I rest assured,” he said to the admiralty, “ that they will be paid for, and have held out that assurance to the squadron. For if an admiral, after 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 will be deemed a very moderate sum for them : and when the services, time, and men, with the expense of fitting the three ships for a voyage to England, are 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 saving to the state, even without taking into calculation what the nation loses by the attention of admirals to the property of the captors; an attention 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 consi
deration, he cannot expect to be well supported.” To Earl St. Vincent he said, 6. If he could have been sure that government would have paid a reasonable value for them, he would have ordered two of the other prizes to be burnt: for they would cost more in refitting, and by the loss of ships attending them, than they were worth.”
Having sent the six remaining prizes forward, 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 battle. *
*“Some French officers, during the blockade of Alexandria, were sent off to Capt. Hallowell to offer a supply of vegetables, and observe, 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 burnt; and that General Buonaparte had expressed great indignation at it. In proof of this assertion he stated that in the late gun-boat attacks, their camp had twice been set on fire by balls of unextinguishable matter which were fired from one of the English boats. Capt. Hallowell instantly ordered the gunner to bring up some of those balls, and asked him from whence he had them. To the confusion of the accusers he related that they were found on board of the Spartiate, one of the ships captured on the 1st of August; as these balls were distinguished by particular marks, though, in other respects alike, the captain ordered an experiment to be made, in order to ascertain the nature of them. The next morning, says Mr. Willyams, I accompanied Mr. Parr, the gunner, to the island; the first we tried proved to be a fire ball, but of what materials composed we could not ascertain. As it did not explode (which at first we apprehended), we rolled it into the sea, where it continued to burn under water; a black pitchy substance exuding from it till only an iron skeleton of a shell remained. The whole had been carefully crusted over