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ground, which had neither wall nor fence to protect it, was some years since converted into a timber-yard, and no traces of the graves now remain. Mrs. Hunter wished to have placed a head or footstone, but was refused. She, therefore, placed a piece of wood in the shape, as she describes it to me, of a battledore, handle downwards, on which was inscribed, "Emma Hamilton, England's Friend." This was speedily removed— auother placed, and also removed; and the good lady was at length threatened to be shot by the sentinel if she persisted in those offices of charity. A small tombstone was, however, afterwards placed there, and was existing in 1833. Upon it, according to a little "Guide to Calais," compiled by an Englishman, was inscribed:—
VIA IN GALLICA VOCATA
DIE XV MENSIS JANUARII, A.D. MDCCCXV.
The Register of Burials commences only in 1819. The British Consulate contains no documents relating to Lady Hamilton, but in the office of the Juge de Paix there is an inventory of her effects, which were estimated at the value of two hundred and tweuty-eight francs; besides fifteen francs found in a box with some articles of wearing apparel, and some duplicates of plate that had been pawned.
The Earl Nelson came over to demand Lady Hamilton's property, but found only the duplicates of trinkets, &c. pledged, and which he wished to take away without payment. He declined repaying any expenses that had been incurred.1
During a visit to Calais, upon his return from a residence in Germany in attendance upon his late Majesty William IV. and her Majesty the Queen Dowager, my estimable friend, Dr. William Beattie, visited the grave of poor Emma, and in the "Journal" published by him in 1831, has inserted some elegant and most feeling lines,2 though without mention of the name of her to whom they apply, of which 1 avail myself of the following extracts:—
"And here is one—a nameless grave;—the grass
1 There are various accounts relating to the payment of the funeral expenses. My friend Mr. Rothery tells me that his relative Mr. Cadogan, to whom lloratia was entrusted, and by whom she was taken, after the demise of Lady Hamilton, to Mrs. Matcham, made the payments on this occasion, and also afforded much assistance to Lady Hamilton prior to her decease. Alderman Smith was also generous on this occasion. 'Vol. ii. p. 335.
Of mortal elements, —the wintry sedge
Crush'd in a pauper's shell, the earth scarce heaves
Few bend them at thy bier, unhappy one 1
I've met thy pictured bust in many lands;
In the preceding chapter I have endeavoured, in a brief manner, to sketch the particulars, as far as I have been able to collect them, of the life of Emma Lady Hamilton. Of adventurers it has been pertinently said, "que les evenemens de leur vie peuvent 6tre vrais et paraitre merveilleux," and this is doubtless true of this extraordinary woman. With all her faults, all her weaknesses, and if it must be added, all her vices, she unquestionably rendered very important services to her country in a time of great peril, and exerted herself for the maintenance of social order and European civilization. Young and beautiful, with a knowledge of the world derived under circumstances, and attended by consequences any thing but agreeable to reflect upon, or calculated to excite satisfaction—versed in its most seductive fascinations, and intellectually gifted with taste for the fine arts, and with powers for the most effectual display of grace and beauty—enthusiastic in her devotion to noble and generous acts, and sensibly alive to the honour and glory of her country, it is not surprising that Nelson should have felt the power of her influence. Simple in his manners, and pure in his nature—warm and generous in his feelings—unskilled in the arts of the world— and, by his professional engagements, unaccustomed to any but the most limited society, it is not extraordinary that he should have fallen under the blandishments of a syren. From the documents I have most carefully examined, I am perfectly satisfied that Nelson was long ere he succumbed to the temptation. The religious principles in which he had been educated by his venerable father, served doubtless to operate for a time against the violation of his marriage promises and obligations. It is. however, incumbent upon me, as a faithful biographer, to enter, though not without reluctance, into a consideration of the particulars relating to the birth of a daughter, to whom Nelson's name descended, and who, to the last moment of his existence, was as dear to him as the offspring of a legitimate source.
Sir N. H. Nicolas has endeavoured to shew that the connexion which existed between his Lordship and Lady Hamilton was not " in the usual sense of the word of a criminal nature."1
1 Dispatches and Letters, Vol. vii. p. 389.