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TO EARL SPENCER, K.G.
Palermo, November 1st, 1190.
My dear Lord, My letter to Mr. Nepean will tell you of my arrival here, and also that the Marquis de Niza intended to leave Malta. In my public letter, for 'King, except a few pounds,' read Queen. She has a noble generous disposition. Unfortunately the [King and] her Majesty do not at this moment draw exactly the same way; therefore, His Majesty will not go at this moment to Naples, where his presence is much wanted; but sends Prince Caparo, a Secretary of State, as Lieutenant of the Kingdom. But in a few weeks I yet hope the King will go. I need not tell you, my dear Lord, the Queen's sentiments about you. Not a day passes but she expresses her feelings—not that the King is unmindful of your attention to him, but from the other it flows warm from the heart. In every way and in everything, believe me, I will do my best. You have placed an unbounded confidence in me, and you shall not have reason to repent it. The first act of my command was to name Sidney Smith's First Lieutenant to the deatb-.vacancy of Captain Miller. I have placed two of his young men in Gun-boats, and have authorized him to declare that all services performed by his Squadron should be rewarded by Officers in it . I own I am jealous of being trampled upon,* but my disposition, as a Public man, is to reward merit, find it where I may. In this I only follow your example, and in all points I should be proud to do it, for, believe me, my dear Lord, your attached and faithful
to be the first to convey to a Countryman that decoration (the Chelengk, or I'lwue of Triumph) which Ottoman grandeur had hitherto exclusively reserved for conquerors of their own race, that I should be charged to present the same Hero with a Civic crown—for such may be considered the Emperor's gift, which accompanies this. I hope you will long live to display, with honest pride, these genuine Badges of Merit, and that after the one and the other have successively passed through my hands, I may again see them united upon the person of the first Knight of the Cresci.nl."—Copies in the Nelson Papers.
TO VICE-ADMIRAL OUSCHAKOFF.
Palermo, November 1st, ViOO.
My dear Admiral, My pride and pleasure will ever be to act with you as a brother—to be open and sincere to you, as we should be close to every one else. This is iny duty, this is my inclination; and if any person should attempt to disturb the harmony which ought to subsist between Officers of such faithful Allies as our Sovereigns, he should be exposed. But, thank God, that can never happen to us, who have such a good man as Italinsky between us. Everything which my brave friend Troubridge has done, has been by my orders. You have only to know him; and love, honour, and respect, will follow, united with admiration for the qualities of his head and heart. Nothing which he has done in the Papal State, but what had the approbation of His Sicilian Majesty, perfectly, I believe, known to the Cardinal, and, as I thought, fully explained by me at Sir William Hamilton's, to my friend Italinsky; so much so, that I think I told him that I did not expect you would find Commodore Troubridge at Naples, but that he would be gone to join the Ships off Civita Vecchia—an object of the greatest importance, and on which I conceived the future happiness of Italy depended. Secrecy was everything, and Troubridge, under those orders, would not have been justified in revealing a tittle of them, especially as your Excellency had just left me. Success was beyond my most sanguine expectation. Had two hours been lost, Rome would have been in other hands than those of His Sicilian Majesty. It was an object so dear to me, that I begged Italinsky to urge it to you, as soon after your arrival at Naples as possible; for I did not expect such a happy event, on which I most cordially, and from my heart, rejoice with your Excellency. Let us go together to Malta. Let us unite all our means to place the Grand Master in La Valetta. Russia, England, and Naples, are pledged to do it; let it be our business to redeem that pledge; and ever believe me, with all the openness of heart, your Excellency's most faithful Brother-in-Arms,
TO CHEVALIER ITALINSKY.
Palermo, November 1st, 1799.
From what I have heard, there must have been some mistake relative to the orders of the excellent Commodore Troubridge. I thought, and so did Sir William, that I had fully explained the orders of the Commodore—approved on the 1st of August by His Sicilian Majesty, and perfectly, as I believed, understood by the Cardinal. The troops under Bouchard, marching into the then (but now, thank God, Papal State!) Roman State, was a part of the plan. How fortunate that they did not wait I What a happy combination of circumstances! By less than two hours, and the Roman State would have been in the hands of another Power; and Russia, England, and Naples, would have had nothing to do with it. Nothing but God's Providence ordained it, on which I rejoice with you, with all my soul. I look upon Troubridge's activity as a happy event for Italy. May God continue to prosper us! Assure Admiral Ouschakoff, from your knowledge of me, that I have only in view to finish the war, and to see every Prince in possession of his Government; and the time is now arrived that every nerve must be strained for the speedy restoration of the Grand Master of Malta in La Valetta. Nothing shall be wanting on my part . I long to see you, and have much to say, but I have not one hour given me to write my letters to Naples. Sir William and Lady Hamilton join me in kindest respects and good wishes, and I beg you will believe me ever your attached and obliged friend, Bronte Nelson.
I have mislaid the copy of my last letter; pray send me a copy of it.
TO THE HONOURABLE WILLIAM WYNDHAM.
Palermo, November 1st, 1799. Sir, We have nothing new here from any quarter. Troops are preparing for the siege of Malta, which, by vigorous exertions, I hope will soon fall to the Allies. Should any public event occur, your Excellency may rest assured that I shall inform you of it as expeditiously as possible.
I have the honour to be, &c,
TO COMMISSIONER INGLEFIELD, GIBRALTAR.
Palermo, November 2nd, 1799.
My dear Sir, You will send such stores as may be a fair proportion for the Tigre and Theseus; but we are all stripped to the skin. We are preparing for the siege of Malta, and are anxiously waiting the arrival of General Fox, without whose assistance all our hopes would fail. Sir William and Lady Hamilton are better than they have been, and always speak of you with the most affectionate regard. Make my best respects to the General, and believe me, dear Sir, your obliged and sincere friend,
TO EVAN NEPEAN, ESQ., ADMIRALTY.
[Original, in the Admiralty.]
Palermo, November 3rd, 1799. Sir, Having arranged a proper force for the protection and comfort of Minorca, and given such directions as were necessary for the refitting of the Ships at the Arsenal, &c, I sailed from Mahon on the 17 th, and, in my route falling in with the Minotaur, I arrived here with her on the 21st, where I found letters from Captain Ball, who acts as Governor of the Island of Malta, and from the Marquis de Niza, who commands the blockade, giving me an account of the deplorable state of the inhabitants, particularly of those who have borne arms, having no pay to support themselves, or clothes, &c And fearing that the French should make a sortie in their present state, and from the Marquis saying that his orders were so strong from his Court for the return of the Portuguese Squadron to Lisbon, that he could not much longer justify the disobedience, and of course he must withdraw the 400 men landed at Malta from that Island. If this was to take place, and we consequently obliged to keep afloat, it would take more time and loss of men (if possible to effect it) to regain our present advantageous positions for the attack of La Valetta, than it would at this moment to take the Town. I have been with General Acton to advance some money for the support of the people bearing arms, to my knowledge, because it has been by my application alone that His Sicilian Majesty has granted the money, (taken, for it was nowhere else to be had, from his children,) and it was, and is I hope, to be replaced by the money promised by Lord Grenvillc to the Marquis de Circello. The enormous expenses incurred within the last eight months have drawn the King's chest very low; but His Majesty has never failed giving everything I could ask. I hope General Fox will agree to the arrangement made by General Sir James St. Clair and myself, for a cordial co-operation with the Russian Admiral and General, to effect this important object. Malta has not yet been relieved, and I have sent the Foudroyant and Minotaur to assist in the blockade. I have again requested General Sir James St. Clair to order the garrison of Messina to Malta, in order to hold ourpresent advantageous positions until a proper force can be collected to attack it . I have wrote to the Russian Admiral, urging the measure with all my power, and I hope he will see the force of my reasoning, as he ought to be satisfied I can have no object in view but the speedy restoration of the Grand Master and the Order. Nothing shall be wanting, I can assure you, on my part, to conciliate the affections of the Officers of His Majesty's Allies, and if any difficulties arise, to leave the matter open for the amicable settlement of the Courts. Ever believe me, Sir, &c,