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had enough. The carnage was dreadful on board all their vessels. I saw on shore a Captain Biller, now a Commodore, who commanded a Danish frigate at Naples; he inquired kindly after you and Sir William; he had often been at your house; aye, who had not that happiness? for you ever was, and ever I am sure will be good. You must know you have been in the battle: for your two pictures, one done by Miss Knight, crowning the Rostral Column, the other done at Dresden (I call them my Guardian Angels; and I believe there would be more virtue in the prayers of Santa Emma, than any saint in the whole Calendar of Rome), I carried on board the Elephant with me, and they are safe, and so am I, not a scratch. To-day I have been obliged to write a letter to Lord St. Vincent, which I hope will touch his heart. God knows it has mine; it was recommending to his protecting hand the widows and orphans of those brave men who lost their lives for their King and country under my orders. It positively made my heart run out of my eyes—it brought fresh to my recollection, that only when I spoke to them all, and shook hands with every Captain, wishing them all with laurel crowns, alas! too many are covered with cypress. The Commander-in-chief has just told me that the vessel goes to England this night if possible. May the heavens bless you, &c. &c.
"Nelson And Bronte. "My best regards to Sir William, the Duke, Lord William, and all my friends. Kindest regards to Mrs. Nelson, if she is with you, which T hope she is.''
The statement herein made of the manner in which Lord Nelson was received by the Danish people, is completely at variance with what Colonel Stewart has written. He says, "On the 4th (the 3rd, however, was the day, as seen by Lord Nelson's letter on the 5th to Lady Hamilton) his Lordship left the ship, accompanied by Captains Hardy and Fremantle, and was received with all possible attention from the Prince. The populace shewed a mixture of admiration, curiosity, and displeasure. A strong guard secured his safety, and appeared necessary to keep off the mob, whose rage, although mixed with admiration at his thus trusting himself among them, was necessarily to be expected. The events of the 2nd had plunged the whole town into a state of terror, astonishment, and mourning; the oldest inhabitant had never seen a shot fired in anger at his native country. The battle of that day, and the subsequent return of the wounded to the care of their friends on the 3rd, were certainly not events that could induce the Danish nation to receive their conqueror, on this occasion, with much cordiality. It perhaps savoured of rashness in Lord Nelson thus early to risk himself amongst them; but with him his country's cause was paramount to all personal consideration." But the Hon. Henry Addington, in moving the vote of thanks in the House of Commons, adverts particularly to the reception Lord Nelson received from the populace. He said, " Lord Nelson in consequence went on shore, and was received by a brave and generous people—for brave they had shewn themselves in their defence, and generous in the oblivion of their loss—with the loudest and most general acclamations." And Mr. Sheridan happily remarked:—" On the subject more immediately before the House, only one sentiment could be entertained, that of admiration and gratitude, which words were inadequate to express, particularly towards that noble Lord, who could gain the plaudits and acclamations of a vanquished enemy."
TO LADY HAMILTON.
"My dearest Friend,
u I have just got hold of the verses wrote by Miss Knight; they belong to you; the latter part is a little applicable to my present situation. It is dreadfully cold. I am sure, from our communication with the shore yesterday, that it is only fear of Russia that prevents all our disputes being settled. These people must sooner or later submit, and I long to get to Revel before the Russian fleet can join that of Cronstadt • but my dear friend, we are very lazy. We Mediterranean people are not used to it. Some further propositions are to come off this day, but I fear it blows too hard.
"Nelson And Bronte.
"April 6th. 7 in the morning. I am obliged to stop, as I know not exactly the moment of the vessel's sailing.
"No. of our Lottery Tickets : —2951— 9308—42002— 50416. You can send and inquire our luck."
The following is from Mr. Vansittart to Lord Nelson, who, as we have seen, preceded him to negotiate with Denmark, but was unsuccessful in his mission. At the time of his departure for England, it appears that the mode of attack and conduct of affairs had been discussed with the Commanderin-chief, Lord Nelson, and Mr. Vansittart:—
"London, April 8th, 1801. "My dear Lord,
"The solicitude you expressed that I should undertake the explanation of the reasons which induced you to propose a deviation from the original plan of operation designed for the fleet, would have been a motive with me of the strongest kind to enter into as early and complete a vindication of them as possible, if I had been in no respect personally interested in the question. But as your wish at parting with me, that I should meet with a foul wind, was completely gratified, it was not till last Wednesday that we were able to get ashore at Leith. I got to town on Saturday, and went immediately to the Admiralty, but not finding Lord St. Vincent in town I called on Mr. Addington, to whom I gave a full account of what had passed in Sir Hyde Parker's cabin on the 23rd ulto. I have the pleasure to assure you that he was fully satisfied with the propriety of your advice, and of Sir Hyde Parker's ultimate resolution, and that he considers your readiness to take on yourself the responsibility attaching on a deviation from your instructions, as not the least eminent among the services which you have rendered your country in so many years of glory. Mr. Addington has since communicated the whole affair to Lord St. Vincent, who equally acquiesces in the propriety of the determination, so that whatever may be the event of the plan (which Providence must decide) you will have the satisfaction of meeting with the approbation of those who have the best right to judge of it; and I need not say, may depend on the confidence of the public.
"Had not our attention been necessarily turned to a subject of more immediate importance, I should have been happy in the opportunity of suggesting to your Lordship some ideas more directly connected with the business on which I was sent abroad: I mean the measures which it might be proper to adopt in case Denmark or either of the other Northern Courts should apply to the Commander-in-chief for an armistice, or make any other overtures towards accommodation, either in consequence of those successes which such a fleet under such leaders may be expected to obtain, or of any change of political sentiment. In case the Admiral has received no special instructions on this subject, it appears to me, that he could do no more than receive any proposition which may be made, and transmit them to England; granting at the same time, if he shall think it advisable, a cessation of arms on such conditions as may enforce the observance of good faith, and secure the conclusion of a treaty conformable to the interests of Great Britain. What pledge it might be proper in each instance to require, you will be best able to judge if the case should occur, but it seems to be essential that the fleet of the Power applying should either be directed to take its orders from the British Admiral, or disarmed and laid up in such a situation as to be nearly at your discretion. It might, for instance, be required that the Danish fleet should retire into the harbour at Copenhagen, that the floating batteries and fortified islands at the entrance should be given up, and the battery on Amack Point, and that under the citadel on the beach, together with the guns of the citadel commanding the harbour, should be dismounted. Similar measures with respect to Carlscroon or Cronstadt might be pursued, but as the surrender of those fortresses would not be attended with the disgrace and irritation necessarily consequent on the capitulation of the capital of a kingdom, there would be less objection to insisting on this being absolutely put into your hands. I am the more induced to submit these ideas to your Lordship's consideration, as I think it very probable that some overture may come, either from Denmark or Sweden in case you should be able to give such a blow to the Russian navy, and may deliver them from the fear of their powerful ally, and at the same time add to the terror of the British arms. With respect to an attempt on Cronstadt (judging from such plans as I have), I cannot think the difficulties insuperable, especially if the means taken to choke up the Northern Channel are ineffectual, which, from its breadth, I think they must be. It is true that very shallow water is marked at the eastern end, but from the pains taken by the Russians to destroy the passage, I apprehend they must in reality know it to be practicable for large ships. I was more confirmed in this opinion from finding that Etches, who seems the most active and intelligent adventurer I ever met with, and who served some time in the Russian fleet, thinks an attack there by no means difficult. Of that, however, you will before this time have better means of judging.
"Of domestic affairs I have little to say. The King is getting well; we hope securely, but too slowly for the wishes of the nation. Mr. Addington, who has been very ill, is nearly recovered. Believe me, my Lord, with the sincerest wishes for your success and happy return, faithfully
The following " minute of conversation with his Royal Highness the Prince Royal of Denmark" corrected by Nelson himself cannot but be interesting here:—
"Minute of a Conversation with his Royal Highness, the Prince Royal of Denmarh.
"His Royal Highness began the conversation by saying how happy he was to see me, and thanked me for my humanity to the wounded Danes. I then said, that it was to me, and would be the greatest affliction to every man in England, from the King to the lowest person, to think that Denmark had fired on the British flag, and become leagued with her enemies. His Royal Highness stopped me by saying that Admiral Parker had declared war against Denmark. This I denied, and requested his Royal Highness to send for the papers, and he would find the direct contrary, and that it was the farthest from the thoughts of the British