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guns, a prize of the greatest value in his opinion, because she was one of the only two Ships of the Line that had escaped at the Nile; and, to his infinite satisfaction, the other, "Le Guillaume Tell," was also taken by the Foudroyant and a small Squadron, in the following month; when the whole of the French Fleet present in that Battle, were thus either captured or destroyed.
Lord Nelson was left by Lord Keith in command of the blockade of Malta in February 1800, but his health obliged him to return to Palermo, where he remained until June; and then, having the Queen of Naples and her children, and Sir William and Lady Hamilton on board, he proceeded in the Foudroyant to Leghorn. He struck his Flag on the 13th of July, and set out for England, by way of Ancona, Trieste, Vienna, and Hamburgh, being everywhere received on his journey with marks of veneration and respect. He arrived in England on the 6th of November, and instantly reported himself to the Admiralty as ready to serve. The offer was accepted; and having, on the 1st of January 1801, been promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral Of The Blue, he was directed to hoist his Flag in the San Josef, under the Earl of St. Vincent, in the Channel Fleet.
A formidable Coalition having been formed against this Country, by Russia, Denmark, and Sweden, it became expedient, in March 1801, to send an Armament to the Baltic, when a large Fleet was placed under Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, of which Lord Nelson was appointed Second in Command, with his Flag in the Saint George. Hence ensued, on the 2nd of April 1801, the memorable Battle Of Copenhagen, in which Nelson was the real Chief, and, as the inevitable consequence, another great Naval Victory. A few weeks after that event, he succeeded to the Command of the Baltic Fleet, but he retained it only until the 19th of June, when the state of his health compelled him to return to England.
No part of Nelson's Correspondence is more remarkable or characteristic than his Letters after the Battle of Copenhagen—his well-known Note "To the Brothers of Englishmen, the Danes"—the account of his interview with the Prince Royal of Denmark—his spirited remonstrance against the official report of the Danish Commodore—his indignant complaints that the gallantry of his Captains had not, as after other great Battles, been rewarded with Medals, and that the City of London had withheld its Thanks from those who had fought on that occasion. "I long to have the Medal for Copenhagen," he said, "which I would not give up to be made an English Duke;" and the refusal to bestow that simple distinction, was the more severely felt by him, because there can be no doubt that it had been promised; and still more, because no reward whatever was bestowed on the Captains who had signalized themselves, with whom Nelson always identified himself. "I am," he said, "fixed never to abandon the fair fame of my Companions in dangers. I may offend, and suffer; but I had rather suffer from that, than my own feelings." His Correspondence with the Danish, Swedish, and Russian Authorities, is no less interesting; but few will share Nelson's surprise, that his arrival in the Bay of Eevel, with eleven Sail of the Line, at a most critical state of aifairs, was not deemed a compliment by the Emperor of Russia; or think that, because he had not actually brought the whole of his Squadron, nor a Bomb, nor a Fire-ship, his intentions ought not to have created any uneasiness!
Buonaparte's threat of Invasion, and the appearance of a large Army and Flotilla at Boulogne, in the summer of 1801, rendered it necessary to prepare a Squadron specially for the defence of the English Coast, and to entrust it to an Officer who enjoyed the confidence of the Nation. Public opinion pointed unanimously to Nelson; and lie was, accordingly, on the 24th of July, made Commanderin-Chief, from Orfordness to Beachy Head. From that time to nearly the end of 1801, his Correspondence relates principally to the duties of his Command, and the proceedings of his Squadron. It proves that his zeal, abilities, and energy were unabated; and he had the happiness of knowing that, so long as the defence of the Coast was in his hands, not even a single Boat had been captured by the Enemy. But it was a sense of duty alone which induced him to accept that Service. Its nature and details were new and disagreeable to him; and his health was unequal to the labour it required? To these causes, added to the disappointment about the Medals for Copenhagen, to the neglect of the City of Loudon, and to pecuniary inconvenience, (for having settled half his income upon Lady Nelson, and contributed largely out of the remainder to the support or assistance of his relations, he was scarcely able to maintain his rank,) the irritability and discontent shown in some of his Letters, may fairly be attributed. > His private Letters, and particularly those in which he speaks of his protege^ Captain Parker, while that gallant Officer was lingering from the fatal wound he received in the attack on Boulogne, are additional and affecting evidence of the warmth and goodness of his heart.
The Government had not been altogether unmindful of Nelson's merits. Besides a Viscountcy, he obtained the grant of a new Barony Of Nelson to the descendants of his Father, in case he should die without heirs male of his own body; and he was, doubtless, informed by his friend Mr. Addington, the Prime Minister, of the gracious manner in which the King had signified his consent to that measure.i
After the Preliminaries of Peace were ratified, Lord Nelson obtained leave of absence; and, though he was not actually relieved from his Command until April 1802, he lived mostly at Merton in Surrey, (where he had purchased a small estate,) from November 1801, until he was appointed Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean, in May 1803.
A few words are required respecting the additional Letters with which the Editor has been favoured since
i Vide p. 424, post;
the publication of the last Volume. In the Preface to the Second Volume, it was said that Vice-Admiral Sir William Parker, the possessor of Lord Nelson's Correspondence with the Earl of St. Vincent, had expressed his desire to afford him any assistance, as soon as he had had an opportunity of examining those papers. Sir William Parker has lately been so good as to fulfil that intention, by sending him, through Mr. Jedediah Stephens Tucker, a great number of Letters of Lord Nelson, from the year 1797 to 1804, being the originals of some that have been partly printed in this Work, from Drs. Clarke and M*Arthur's "Life of Nelson," together with others that had never been published. The Editor regrets, however, to find that several important Letters to Earl St. Vincent, which Drs. Clarke and M'Arthur seem to have obtained from his Lordship, are no longer in that collection. Mr. Tucker informs him that "he has forwarded all the Letters in his custody, except some which he had sent to Sir William Parker for his consideration, among which may be part of the Letters in question; but he had heard that many Letters which Lord St. Vincent had himself lent to Authors, were never returned."
One of the most valuable contributions with which the Editor has been favoured, is from Colonel Hugh Percy Davison, consisting of nearly one hundred Original Letters from Lord Nelson to his confidential friend, the late Alexander Davison, Esq., from the year 1797 until within a week of the Battle of Trafalgar, and relating