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TO EVAN NEPEAN, ESQ., ADMIRALTY.
Sir, I beg leave to enclose you a letter I have received from Commodore Troubridge, respecting Mr.Daniel Butler Dawes, Purser of His Majesty's Ship Culloden, whom I appointed to actas Commissary to the English and Portuguese Marines, landed from the Squadron under my command at Naples, for reduction of St, Elmo and Capua. As his appointment did not make mention of any salary or emoluments, his accounts have been made up without his even being reimbursed some necessary expenses he has been at; but as no salary can be adequate to his zeal and services, and the fatigue he has gone through on this occasion, and the great satisfaction he has given to all, I must beg leave to recommend him to the notice of their Lordships, as highly deserving promotion. I have the honour to be, &c.
TO CAPTAIN HARDY, H. M. SHIP FOUDROYANT.
The Samuel and Jane Transport, Palermo, 4th September, 1799.
You are hereby required and directed to proceed in His Majesty's Ship, under your command, to Cagliari in Sardinia, and receive on board their Sardinian Majesties and Family, with such other persons as he may think proper to take with him, and proceed without loss of time to Genoa or Leghorn, as His Majesty may think proper, when, having landed them, you will return and join me at this place. But should His Majesty not be ready to embark when you arrive at Cagliari, you will immediately return here, previously informing yourself of the probable time he may be ready; or request him to appoint some period, when a Ship shall be ready to attend him as near the time he may appoint as possible.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE EARL SPENCER, K.G.
The courier by which I wrote my letter fourteen days since, is still at Palermo, and the time of his departure so uncertain that I am determined to tell you briefly our situation. The Turkish and Russian Squadron, now united with Vice-Admiral Kartzow, are eleven Sail of the Line, Frigates, &c. The object of the Russian Admiral is Malta solely; as to the idea of going to Naples to land troops, in order to go into the Roman State, or to prevent anarchy in the Kingdom, those are to him secondary operations. It is my intention to have six or seven Sail of the Line at Gibraltar, and four at Minorca, but at present I cannot send all this force down, as Commodore Troubridge is at Naples, which he cannot leave, until the Russian Admiral sends Ships to supply the place of these Ships. The Russian Admiral makes no secret that his Ships cannot keep the sea during the winter, and the Turks we know cannot, therefore if the Coast of Naples requires a Naval Force during that season, His Sicilian Majesty .is likely to be in a worse state than before the arrival of this United Squadron. The Portuguese Squadron must return home, and the Alexander, Audacious, and Lion are in a truly wretched state; therefore the Foudroyant will be the only Ship of the present force, this side Minorca, fit for service. I have just heard accounts that the Spaniards have not four Sail of the Line at Carthagena—therefore I shall detain the Minotaur, and send Troubridge to arrange a proper Naval protection for the security of Minorca, which I have never yet considered in the smallest danger, but it has been a misfortune that others have thought differently from me on that point.' I send you a letter from General Acton. It will convey to your Lordship an idea of my situation here. It is indeed an uncomfortable one; for plain common sense points out that the King should return to Naples, but nothing can move him. Believe me I shall do my best in all circumstances, but I am almost blind, and truly very unwell; and, which does not mend matters, I see no King in Europe really assisting these good Monarchs, but our gracious Sovereign. I am, &c, Nelson.
* Vide vol. iii. p. 410,
TO CAPTAIN BALL.
Palermo, September 5th, 1799.
My dear Ball, Mr. Alos is, doubtless, a scoundrel. He had persuaded some here that he had an interview with Vaubois," which I believe is a lie; and as to his conduct with the Maltese, it was probably to show his consequence. I am sure the good Queen never had a thought of any underhand work against us; therefore I would recommend sending him here with a kick in the breech, and let all the matter drop. The Russians are anxious to get to Malta, and care for nothing else—therefore I hope you will get it before their arrival. The Strombolo carries a mortar, and I think from the number of men which can be landed from the Squadron, that we shall very soon call it ours. There is a great scarcity of corn in this Island—therefore I fear the supplies for Malta will be very small. You must not expect any troops from Messina. I thank you, my dear Ball, for all your goodness to me, and be assured I retain the full impression of it. I have letters from Suwarrow,* detailing the glorious battle of Novi, in which the French lost 20,000 men, by their own account. I am, &c,
TO COMMODORE TROUBRIDGE, H. M. SHIP CULLODEN.
Palermo, September 5th, 1799. My dear Troubridge,
I send you the Transfer, that you may employ her till the
Turks and Russians go to Naples; but the thoughts of the
latter is only Malta. I agree in all you say of the state of
Naples, and of the necessity of his Majesty's return to Naples;
but I am afraid our preaching is really spending our breath for
no good purpose. I see the misfortune of our Naval force
being withdrawn at this moment from the Coast of Italy, but
* The French Commandant at Valetta.
'Printed by Clarke and M'Artbur, vol. ii. p. SI6.
wbat can I do? I dare say the account from Cadiz is as erroneous as that from Carthagena; but we bear all this, and more. Foley did not join Hallowell in time to send in the Summons; for the Peterel joined at the same moment, and they properly immediately sailed for this place, and depart for Gibraltar this evening. I am, &c,
TO THE MARQUIS DE NIZA.
I send the Strombolo, and a large mortar; and I hope, from the number of people you will be able to land, that La Valetta will fall to your efforts. The Russians are very anxious to go there—therefore I am doubly interested for your success. May God Almighty crown your efforts with success, is the prayer of your affectionate,
TO REAR-ADMIRAL DUCKWORTH.
Should the force sent down to Gibraltar be more than is necessary for guarding Cadiz, you will send me the Northumberland, or such other Ship as may be able to keep the sea during the winter; for the Russian Admiral has already told me that his Ships cannot. In short, for active operations, none but English Ships arc of use. Marquis de Niza is off Malta, where also the Russian Admiral wishes to go; for he thinks the Port of Malta the most pleasing station. I am, &c.
TO EARL SPENCER, K.G.
My dear Lord, septcmi>er 6th, i?oo.
I send you a copy of the Queen's letter to Lady Hamilton, as a postscript to that of General Acton. The King has prevailed on the Russian Admiral to go to Naples, but the more I see, the more I am satisfied they can do no good for active operations, and that they will be a dead weight on their Sicilian Majesties. The Russian Admiral has a polished outside, but the bear is close to the skin. He is jealous of our influence, and thinks whatever is proposed, that we are at the bottom. The Turk, who is by no means a fool—on the contrary, has more natural sense than the other—is our brother; and I am sure there is not a thing that we could desire him to do that he would not instantly comply with. I make use of the word 'we,' as both Sir William and Lady Hamilton have more merit in gaining the affection and implicit confidence of Cadir Bey and his Officers, than I have. The Austrians are only ten miles from Rome. Ever, my dear Lord, &c,
TO CAPTAIN TROUBRIDGE, HJMt. SHIP CULLODEN.
Most secret .
Palermo, September 7th, 1799. My dear Troubridge, Having secured the free access of the Straits by the force detached to Gibraltar, and, from your account and Hood's, being perfectly at my ease about Minorca, you have my full permission to either immediately send Louis to Civita Vecchia, with what Vessels you can give him, Perseus—or to keep under sail when you think the Russians and Turks arc approaching, and go direct to Civita Vecchia, and try what can be done; and if you can get possession, then to land not only your Marines, but such other force as you can spare, and not to move till further orders from me; for, as I have before said, I am perfectly easy about Minorca. Now you know my sentiments, you will act and arrange accordingly; but this must be kept secret, or we shall give jealousy to the Russians. As for the Turks, we can do anything with them. They are good people, but perfectly useless. I think if you go, you had better keep Captain Dunn, although I believe he has stock on board for Duckworth. Do you manage this; for he