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Naples is only the Founder-Lord, for which he receives an acknowledgment from the Order, but I believe he has no more power when the Order is restored—which is the moment the French flag is struck. I have wrote to Naples, to Minorca, and Messina, for troops and Ships to relieve Niza. It would grieve me to think of our losing possession for a moment. I will write to Commodore Campbell by El Corso; for the Transfer is on the eve of sailing. Acton I hope will send an answer to the purpose by El Corso. The Court have all the inclination, but to my knowledge they have not cash enough for the common purposes of the Government.
Ever believe me, yours most faithfully,
TO CAPTAIN BALL, CHIEF OF THE MALTESE PEOPLE.
[Autograph, in the possession of Sir William Keith Ball, Bart.]
Palermo, October 28th, 1/99.
My dear Ball, This night a Cutter goes off for Minorca with duplicates of my letters for assistance; I hope the Fleet seen are the Russians. I am sure you will co-operate cordially with both Admiral and General; at the same time, you will take care of the honour of our King and Country, and also of His Sicilian Majesty; and recollect that Russia, England, and Naples, are the Allies of the Great Master, that although one Power may have a few men more in the Island than the other, yet they arc not to have a preponderance. The moment the French flag is struck, the colours of the Order must be hoisted and no other, when it was settled otherwise the orders from England were not so strong. The King of Naples sends 4000 ounces to assist the poor Islanders who bear arms; this will do for the present; the large sum required must come from the three Allied Courts, who now compose the three langucs. I shall come to you on the return of the Foudroyant. The Portuguese are faithful Allies of the Grand Master of Malta, therefore in every situation must be treated with great respect. Ever yours faithfully,
TO CAPTAIN SIR EDWARD BERRY.
[From a Copy, in the Nelson Papers. Tuesday 29th, "Hoisted the Flag on hoard the Perseus bomb; sailed His Majesty's Ships Minotaur, Foudroyant, and F.l Corso Brig for Malta."—Journal.]
October 28th, 1799.
My dear Sir, Make the signal and have the Foudroyant and Minotaur ready to sail; I mean to be at single anchor, for it is possible it may be necessary before noon. Whether I go to sea in the Ship or not you will always consider that my tabic is kept on board, and I desire you will without ceremony use all my stores. Ever yours faithfully,
Send the Steward on shore for stock, &c.
To The Marquis De Niza.
Palermo, October 2Hth, 1799.
My dear Marquis,
In case the Ships seen should be French, I send you the Minotaur and Foudroyant. Louis will tell you my sentiments respecting withdrawing a man from the Island, even should the Fleet seen be the happy arrival of the Russians. We shall soon get more troops from Messina and Minorca; and I am not a litde anxious for the honour of Portugal and your Excellency, that you should be present at the surrender. Do not detain the Foudroyant, even should Admiralpuschakoff be arrived, as I wish very much to meet him, and now only wait here to be ready to expedite the garrison of Messina, the moment the order arrives from the General commanding at Minorca.
Again and again I desire—for which you may be certain I hold myself responsible—that you will not on any consideration withdraw a single man belonging to your Squadron from the Island. Ever, my dear Marquis, believe me your obliged, faithful, and affectionate friend, .
I need not repeat the recommendation of your cordial cooperation with the Russian Admiral and General.
TO SPIRIDION FORESTI, ESQ., CORFU.
Palermo, October 29th, 1791).
My dear Sir,
I thank you sincerely for all your letters, and I can assure you that Lord Elgin is gone to Constantinople with the most favourable opinion of your character. The situation of the Ottoman Squadron was very unpleasant. With the English they would have been happy, but the bigotry of the Sicilians was the first cause of the disturbance at Palermo. I love Cadir Bey, and respect all the other Officers. I wish you could use my name to restore harmony amongst them. Our successes in Holland still continue. The Duke of York has taken the command, and is at the head of a victorious army of 70,000 men. Our successes in the East Indies are great beyond example, and, thank God, all is happiness in old England! The serious attack of Malta will commence in a few days, as troops are collecting for that purpose.
If you think the kind present of the Island of Zante' is ready for me, Captain Compton will, on your telling him so, go for it, and bring it to me. Pray forward the letters for Constantinople. They are not of that great consequence that any very extraordinary means need be used to hasten their arrival, although I wish them to get to their place of destination in reasonable time. A Ship is sailed from Mahon in order to bring the Leander down. You will find Captain Stevens of the Chichester ordered for this service, a very good and valuable man. Believe me, dear Sir, with great regard, your obliged servant,
A Sword ami gold-bended Cfttic. Vide infra.
October 29th, 2 P.m.—Your letter of October 3rd is this moment received. The more I hear of you, the more I am impressed with your extraordinary attention to the business of your office. Never have I seen anything to equal it, and I shall feel an honour to be called upon to bear my testimony of your worth. Captain Compton will receive the acknowledgment of my services, as the inhabitants of Zante, and you, are pleased to call their handsome present; but I consider the honour done me by Zante as equal, and, I believe I may say, superior, to what has been done by any Country for any Officer. The Emperor of Russia only comes near it. I beg you will always say everything for me to those good people. If possible I will one day pay them a visit, with every wish for their prosperity.
TO THE RIGHT HON. THE EARL OF ELGIN, CONSTANTINOPLE.
Palermo, October 29th, 1799. My Lord,
You will recollect I went from Palermo towards Gibraltar, thinking it possible the Enemy's squadron, (who we now know to have been all Spanish, and that they went into Ferrol the 14th September), might have come into the Mediterranean. Off Majorca I met the Bulldog, with letters from RearAdmiral Duckworth, telling me of the happy arrival of the outward-bound Convoy, and that he was just, on the 3rd October, passing the Straits' mouth, with the homeward-bound one. My business downwards being settled, I returned to Minorca, and arranged with General Sir James St. Clair a plan of attack for Malta, which should have a fair prospect of forcing its speedy reduction. This plan is subject to the approval of General Fox, who is daily expected, and to any particular orders he may bring. But the getting the French out of the Island of Malta is now a great object, and particularly interesting to our Levant trade, as well as the trade of His Sicilian Majesty, who does not return to Naples, to my regret, this some time. Prince Caparo, a Secretary of State, is appointed Lieutenant General of the Kingdom, in the room of the Cardinal,5 who is going to Venice, to try, I have no doubt, and be made Pope; and, as lame says, he has laid in a good stock of wealth, and the other Cardinals nothing to give but promises, I think he stands a fair chance. Those at Venice are already squabbling, and protests are made by some of them against holding the Conclave at Venice.
May I venture to tell you news from the Armies? Lord William writes me that Suwarrow would attack the French on St. Gothard as soon after the 19th September as possible, and reports arc got here that they have been attacked and defeated—twenty-six pieces of cannon taken. I will not say more.
The conduct of Admiral Ouschakoff is so very high, that it has given disgust. On every occasion where things do not go to his mind, he says, 'I will go away to Corfu,' holding this language as a kind of threat. Not to trouble your Lordship with uninteresting events, I can only assure you, that in common occurrences I shall write by Vienna; but that in any event of consequence I shall send directly to Mr. Spiridion Foresti, who I can recommend to your Lordship as a most zealous and good Consul.
Sir Sidney Smith having wrote me word that the services of the Theseus 74, were still wanted in Egypt, I have sent up stores, &c. for the Ships. The Squadron is Le Tigre, 80, Theseus, 74, and Cameleon Brig; and you may assure the Porte, that if the service in Egypt required it, from England, I would add a Frigate, but when I consider the whole Turkish Marine as having no employment out of the Levant, it cannot be necessary. With every sentiment of respect, believe me, your Lordship's obliged and obedient servant,
To Admiral Cad1h Bey.
Palermo, October 29th, 1799.
My dear Friend, Sir William, Lady Hamilton, and myself, all love you like our brother; and I sincerely hope that the Sublime Porte, so
* Cardinal Rnflb.