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Few battles recuiuiu ... .
have more redounded to the credit of those engager,
Battle of Copenhagen. It was wisely planned, bravely fought, and success was followed by the exhibition of distinguished humanity. In Clarke and McA.rthur's Life of Lord Nelson, the secret orders issued by the Admiralty to Sir Hyde Parker,
VOL. II. B
LIFE OF LORD NELSON.
The attack made by the British upon a Danish 40-gun frigate, the Freja, to enforce the right of searching neutral ships for contraband of war, led to animosity between England and Denmark. The taking of Malta by the British, incensed Paul, the Emperor of all the Russias, and induced him to lay an embargo upon British shipping in his ports, amounting to not less than 200 sail. A convention being entered into between Russia and Sweden, agreeing to an armed neutrality on the part of these powers, Denmark joined the confederacy. This brought matters to a crisis. The three Northern Powers, under the influence of France, thus directed against the naval supremacy of England, rendered no inconsiderable effort necessary; and Sir Hyde Parker, with a competent force was dispatched to the Baltic with Lord Nelson, as second in command. Negotiations, presently to be noticed, failing to effect a reconciliation, an attack upon Copenhagen was made.
Few battles recorded in the naval annals of Great Britain have more redounded to the credit of those engaged, than the Battle of Copenhagen. It was wisely planned, bravely fought, and success was followed by the exhibition of distinguished humanity. In Clarke and McArthur's Life of Lord Nelson, the secret orders issued by the Admiralty to Sir Hyde Parker,
VOL. II. B
the Commander-in-chief, have been printed. Properly to estimate the following letters, it is necessary to repeat this statement:—
"The Right Honourable Henry Dundas, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, having, in his letter of yesterday's date, signified to us his Majesty's pleasure, that whether the discussion, supposed to be now pending with the Court of Denmark, should be terminated by an amicable arrangement, or by actual hostilities, the Officer commanding the fleet in the Baltic should, in either case (as soon as the fleet can be withdrawn from before Copenhagen consistently with the attainment of one or the other of the objects for which he is now instructed to take that station), proceed to Revel; and if he should find the division of the Russian navy, usually stationed at that port, still there, to make an immediate and vigorous attack upon it, provided the measure should appear to him practicable, and such as in his judgment would afford a reasonable prospect of success in destroying the arsenals, or in capturing or destroying the ships, without exposing to too great a risk the fleet under his command.
"And Mr. Dundas having further signified to us his Majesty's pleasure, that, consistently with this precaution, the said Officer should be authorized, and directed to proceed successively, and as the season and other operations will permit, against Cronstadt, and in general, by every means in his power to attack, and endeavour to capture or destroy any ships of war, or others, belonging to Russia, wherever he can meet with them, and to annoy that Power as far as his means will admit in every manner not incompatible with the fair and acknowledged usages of war. And that with respect to Sweden, should the Court of Stockholm persist in her hostile engagements with that of Petersburgh against this country, the same general line of conduct, as hath been stated with respect to the ships and ports of the latter should govern the said Officer commanding the fleet in his proceedings against those of Sweden; but that, in the contrary supposition (conceived not to be impossible) of this power relinquishing her present hostile plans against the rights and interests of this country, and of her renewing, either singly or in concert with