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officers of distinction, and men of science, who had been collecting 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 them to promise that they would consider themselves 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 preliminaries 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 disgust of seamen to the navy,
he said, 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, that 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. Lawrence.
Nelson goes to France during the peace—Reappointed to the
Boreas, and stationed the Leeward Islands—His firm coriduct concerning the American interlopers and the contractorsMarries and returns to England-Is on the point of quitting the service in disgust—Manner of life while unemployed Appointed to the Agamemnon on the breaking out of the war
of the French Revolution. “ I HAVE closed the war,” said Nelson, in one of his letters, “ without a fortune; but there is not a speck in my character. True honour, I hope, predominates in my mind far above riches.” He did not apply for a ship, because he was not wealthy enough to live on board in the manner which was then become customary. Finding it, therefore, prudent to economize on his half pay during the peace, he went to France, in company with Capt. Macnamara, of the navy, and took lodgings at St. Omer's. The death of his favourite sister, Anne, who died in consequence of going out of the ball-room, at Bath, when heated with dancing, affected his 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 prevented him from accepting an invitation from the Count of Deux Ponts to visit him at Paris, couched in the handsomest terms of acknowledgment for the treatment which he had received on board the Albemarle.
The self-constraint which Nelson exerted in subduing this attachment made him naturally desire to be at sea: and when, upon visiting Lord Howe at the Admiralty, he was asked if he wished to be employed, he made answer that he did. Accordingly, in March, he was appointed to the Boreas, twenty-eight guns, going to the Leeward Islands, as a cruizer, on the peace establishment. Lady Hughes and her family went out with him to Admiral Sir 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 first going aloft, he would say to him, in a friendly manner. “Well, sir, I am going 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 never noticed in what manner; but, when they met in the top, spoke cheerfully 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
accompanied him : and when he went to dine with the governor at Barbadoes, he took one of them in his hand, and presented him, saying, “ Your Excellency must excuse me for bringing one of my midshipmen. I make 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 command 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 have avoided. He found the Latona in English Harbour, Antigua, with a broad pendant hoisted; and, upon inquiring the reason, was presented with a written order from Sir R. Hughes, requiring and directing him to obey the orders of resident commissioner Moutray, during the time he might have occasion to remain there; the said resident commissioner being, in consequence, authorized to hoist a broad pendant 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 superior officers,” said he, 5 besides the lords commissioners of the Admiralty, and my seniors on the post list." Concluding, therefore, that it was not consistent with the service for a resident commissioner, who held only a civil situation, to hoist a broad pendant, the moment that he had anchored, he sent an order to the captain of the Latona to strike it, and return 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 intelligence that his pendant had been struck. Sir Richard sent an account of this to the Admiralty ; but the case could admit of no doubt, and Capt. Nelson's conduct was approved.
He displayed the same promptitude on another occasion. While the Boreas, after the hurricane months were over, was riding at anchor in Nevis Roads, 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 survey of our sugar islands. This purpose he was determined to prevent them from executing, and therefore he gave orders to follow them. The next day he came up with them at anchor in the roads of St. Eustatia, and anchored at about two cables' length on the frigate's quarter. Being afterwards invited by the Dutch governor to meet the French officers at dinner, he seized that occasion of assuring 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 accompany 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 cruize round the islands, without landing on any. But Nelson, with the utmost politeness, insisted upon paying them this compli