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On the same day he wrote to his brother, Maurice Nelson:—
** April 15th, Copenhagen Roads. "My dear Brother, "I am glad to find you are in possession of Mr. Hartwell's place; but the neglect shewn me in not having placed you at the Navy Board, is what I cannot forget. We shall see whether the new Administration treats me as ill as the old. I think very likely. Lord St. Vincent will either take this late business up with a very high hand, or he will depress it; but how they will manage about Sir Hyde I cannot guess. I am afraid much will be said about him in the public papers; but not a word shall be drawn from me, for God knows they may make him Lord Copenhagen if they please, it will not offend me. I only want justice for myself, which I have never yet had, and leave to go home for the re-establishment of my health. What has been done with Peyton 7l His son is a fine lad, and behaves well; say so if you see him. With my best regards to Mrs. Nelson, believe me ever,
"Your affectionate brother,
"Nelson And Bronte."
He again removed to the Elephant. To Lady Hamilton he writes:—
"Elephant, Baltic, April 17th, 1801. "My dearest friend, "Once more I am shifted to the Elephant, and Captain Foley is so good as to be plagued with me. St. George cannot yet be got over the shallows; and as the Swedish fleet was at sea the 14th, Sir Hyde desired me to shift my flag. For my part, I do not expect to fire another gun; the Swedes cannot be such fools as to wait for us. My mind is fixed to be in England the latter end of May; I hope much sooner. Nothing shall keep me here. I cannot write politics, therefore can only assure you that I am ever yours,
"nelson And Bronte."
1 This officer died at Priesland, near Lymington, August 2, 1809, a Rear-Admiral of the Red.
"Elephant, April 20th, off Carlscrona.
"Yesterday, my dearest Friend, we saw the Swedish squadron, not at sea, but shut up very snug in their harbour, inside of their batteries ; and what is worse for us, their numerous rocks. Thus all our hopes of getting alongside them is at an end; they will not trust themselves out again this summer. We are, at least I am, anxiously waiting for news from England, and expect that we shall be ordered to abstain from hostilities against Russia. In that case, if a ship cannot be given me to go to England, I shall land at Lubeck, only one day's journey to Hamburgh, and take a packet to convey me over. Should the worst happen, and that we have no cessation with Russia, all must be finished by the middle of May, and then I will not stay half an hour. Why should I? No real friend would advise me to it, and for what others say I care not a farthing. My health, and other circumstances, imperiously demand it. I have given up in reason every thing to my country, but the late Ministers have done less for me than any other man in my situation. The Commanders-in-chief made fortunes by their victories, for which Ministers gave them .ClOOO. a year more than poor Nelson, higher title in the Peerage, and promoted their followers, whilst mine were all neglected, and now, what even the custom of the service and common justice gives me, is attempted to be withheld from me by force of money and influence. The 25 th of May is fixed for the day of trial,1 and it is seriously my interest to be in England on that day. I have this day wrote more pressingly, if possible, to Troubridge, about my leave of absence for home. I will go, that is certain.
"Kindest regards and affections administered to those of our friends and acquaintances as the case requires.
"Yours, &c. &c."
Mr. Brierly, the Master of the Bellona says, " Lord Nelson received advice, per letter, from Sir Hyde Parker, of a Swedish squadron being seen by one of our look-out frigates. The moment he received the account, he ordered a boat to be manned; and without even waiting for a boat cloak (though you must suppose the weather pretty sharp here at this season of the year), and having to row about twenty-four miles with the wind and current against him, jumped into her, and ordered me to go with him, I having been on board that ship, to remain till she had got over the grounds. All I had ever seen or heard of him could not half so clearly prove to me the singular and unbounded zeal of this truly great man. His anxiety in the boat, for near six hours (lest the fleet should have sailed before he got on board one of them, and lest we should not catch the Swedish squadron) is beyond all conception. I will quote some expressions in his own words. It was extremely cold, and I wished him to put on a great coat of mine which was in the boat:—' No, I am not cold; my anxiety for my country will keep me warm. Do you not think the fleet has sailed?' 'I should suppose not, my Lord.' 'If they are, we shall follow them to Carlscrona in the boat, by God!' I merely state this to shew how his thoughts must have been employed. The idea of going in a small boat, rowing six oars, without a single morsel of any thing to eat or drink, the distance of about fifty leagues, must convince the world, that every other earthly consideration than that of serving his country was totally banished from his thoughts. We reached our fleet by midnight, and went on board the Elephant, Captain Foley, where I left his Lordship in the morning, and returned to my ship. In our late action, nothing but his superior abilities, as well as bravery, could have given us so decided a victory, when four of our ships ran aground, and in the heat of battle."1
1 The Question of Prize Money with Earl St. Vincent.
Among many letters of congratulation addressed to* Lord Nelson on his success at Copenhagen that from his Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence, was not the least acceptable :—
"Bushy House, Monday Night, April 20th, 1801. "Dear Nelson, "I am to acknowledge yours of the 4th instant, which business and different engagements prevented me from answering by Captain Otway,1 and this evening I have received your letter of the 10th, and with your leave will answer them both. The first gave me the most heartfelt pleasure both for public reasons as well as private. I must ever rejoice at the success of my country, and am fully convinced that this is the most decisive and the most brilliant victory that the navy of Great Britain ever gained: believe me it is to me more acceptable because you my best and oldest friend was the hero that did the act. I cannot help laughing when I hear the d—d fools of our metropolis exclaiming, 'Why is Lord Nelson so much attached to the Duke of Clarence?' When the thanks were moved in the House of Lords, I endeavoured to impress the public mind with the very great services you have so repeatedly rendered the King and Country. I am truly happy my old shipmate Tom Foley was your Captain, and I rejoice to find my eleve Brisbane1 has merited your approbation.
1 This gallant officer, a native of Tipperary, evinced strong predilection for the Naval service at an early age, rejected his father's offer to purchase for him a Cornetcy in the Dragoons, and entered the Navy in 1784, at the age of 13, on board the Elizabeth of 74 guns, commanded by Sir Richard Kingsmill, Bart. He served in the West Indies and on the coast of Guinea, and was in 1794 a Lieutenant in the Impregnable in Lord Howe's memorable action, where he so distinguished himself by his intrepidity that he was offered by his Commander, Rear-Admiral Caldwell, the position of First Lieutenant. This, however, he had the modesty and good sense to decline, as it might excite jealous feelings among his deserving messmates with whom he lived on good terms. Rear-Admiral Caldwell being moved into the Majestic, Lieutenant Robert Waller Otway accompanied him. He soon after attained the rank of Commander, took La Belle Creole, a large French schooner, carrying a banditti to be employed against the inhabitants of St. Pierre, and for this capture the French Royalists of Martinique presented him with a sword of the value of 200 guineas. He made other prizes, performed important services, and received the thanks of the House of Assembly. These services are detailed in Marshall's Naval Biography (Vol. i. p. 694, et seq.). In 1798 he served in the Gulf of Mexico with Sir Hyde Parker, and was afterwards on the Jamaica station. Accompanying the expedition to the Baltic he was Captain of the Royal George, and afterwards of the London. He was active in the Copenhagen attack, took home the Dispatches, and afterwards commanded the Edgar of 74 guns, in the Channel fleet. He was employed upon the renewal of the war in 1803, distinguishing himself by his ardour in various ships until his health gave way, and was obliged for a time to retire from active service. In 1813, however, he was in the Channel fleet commanding the Ajax, and employed in covering the siege of St. Sebastian. He was made a Rear-Admiral, June 4, 1814, and succeeded Sir William Johnstone Hope as Commander-inchief on the coast of Scotland in 1818. He received the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh. In 1830 he was made a Vice-Admiral, and an Admiral in 1841. Sir Robert Waller Otway was made a Baronet in 1831, and G.C.B. in 1845; one of the Grooms in Waiting to Her Majesty in 1837, and died suddenly, May 12, 1846, an Admiral of the White, aged 74 years. See Annual Register for 1846, p. 255. 1 Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Brisbane, K.C.B. who died in 1829.
"In answer to your second letter, it is a matter of satisfaction to me to find we think alike upon the Northern Expedition. I was from the beginning convinced, beyond Copenhagen, without a truce, the fleet could not proceed to Revel. I think there will now be no necessity, as Paul, thank God, is no more. To the principle of searching neutrals I am a friend, but cannot help lamenting that the arrogance and ignorance of our former Ministers should have brought that matter to issue which ought to have been left at rest.
"I am sorry you complain in both your letters of your health* and hope matters will permit your speedy return home, indeed I sincerely wish on every account for peace, but on no one more than that you may have time to recover, and be ready to head the fleets of this country in a future war. Adieu, and take care of yourself. God bless you, and ever believe me in every situation, my dear Nelson,
"Your best and sincerest friend,