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appointed, on the 21st of April, Commander-in-chief in the Baltic, and received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament.
Among the Nelson Papers I find the following certificate of the number of prisoners taken on this occasion:
"These are to certify the principal Officers and Commissioners of his Britannic Majesty's Navy, that there were on board of his Danish Majesty's ships, hulks, and praams, which were taken in the action of the 2nd of April with the British squadron, 3500 men. In witness hereof, signed by us,
"Captains in the service of His Danish Majesty. "Copenhagen, May 7th, 1801."
On the evening of the battle Lord Nelson wrote a brief account of it to Lady Hamilton:—
"St. George, April 2nd, 1801. 8 o'clock at Night. "My dearest Friend, that same Deity who has on many occasions protected Nelson, has once more crowned his endeavours with complete success. The difficulty of getting at the Danes from sand-banks was our greatest enemy, for, from that event, it took us between four or five hours to take all their floating batteries—this made the battle severe. The Prince Royal of Denmark was a spectator, and nearly killed. When all the flower of the Danish marine was in the possession of your friend, I sent a flag of truce on shore, with a kind note, which instantly brought off the Adjutant-General of his Royal Highness with a civil message, only wishing to know the precise meaning of my flag of truce, to say that the fire of the State of Denmark was stopped, and that the officer sent would agree to any cessation of hostilities I pleased. This was not very inconvenient to me as the Elephant had run on shore alongside a 74 and two or three floating batteries. All our ships behaved well, and some of them have lost many men. Poor Captain Riou has lost his life. A better officer or better man never existed. In short, of 18 sail, large and
small, some are taken, some sunk, some burnt, in the good old way. I do not know how soon Sir Hyde Parker may send to England, and I must write to several persons, and am not a little tired, for I have scarcely slept one moment from the 24th of last month. May the heavens bless you. Remember me kindly to Sir William, the Duke, Lord William, and all our friends. Ever your affectionate and attached friend,
"nelson And Bronte.''
Although greatly fatigued by his extraordinary exertions for several days preceding this hard fought engagement, his attachment to Lady Hamilton was exhibited in the following lines, which are printed from his own autograph, having alterations of words, and emendations made in the course of composition.1 It has been doubted whether some lines formerly published, as having been written by Lord Nelson, were in reality emanations of his muse, no other effusions of the kind from his pen being known. The following lines, however, so peculiarly marked and attested as to the time at which they were written, place his efforts in this line beyond question:—
"LORD NELSON TO HIS GUARDIAN ANGEL.
"From my best cable tho' I'm forced to part,
"ANSWER OF LORD NELSON'S GUARDIAN ANGEL.
"Go where you list, each thought of Angel's (Emma's) soul
Bright glory's course pursue,
"And when the dreaded hour of battle's nigh,
1 See Facsimile.
By your tuperior danger bolder grown
"St. George, April 2nd, 1801, 9 o'clock at night; very tired after a hard fought battle."
On the 3rd, Lord Nelson wrote an account of the battle formally to Sir Hyde Parker, which was printed in the London Gazette of April 15th, together with Sir H. Parker's Dispatches, in which Nelson's services are properly noticed. To the Hon. Henry Addington1 Lord Nelson wrote a particular detail,2 in accordance with a wish which the Premier had expressed to his Lordship. It is a document displaying great sagacity and tact in diplomacy with the Crown Prince of Denmark; but the principal points are alluded to in the subsequent private letters to Lady Hamilton :—
"April 5th, 1801. "My dearest Friend, "I am really tired out. Would to God it was all over, and I safely landed in England. On the 3rd I was sent on shore to talk to the Prince Royal. I believe I told him such truths as seldom reach the ears of princes. The people received me as they always have done; and even the stairs of the palace were crowded, huzzaing, and saying, God bless Lord Nelson. I rather believe these kind salutations were not very pleasing to the Royal cars, nor Count Bernstorff,3 to whom I gave a very broad hint that his proceedings were very foolish. However, he was very civil. The Prince, upon many points, seemed to quake; for on his question, ' for what is the British fleet come into the Baltic?' my answer was not to be misunderstood:—' To crush the formidable armament, of which Denmark is to contribute her part, preparing against Great Britain.' However, it has brought forward a negotiation; and if they have not enough, we must try and get at their arsenal and city, that will sicken them if they have not
1 Afterwards Lord Sidmouth.
- This will be found in the Dispatches and Letters, Vol. iv. p. 332, printed from an autograph in the Sidmouth Papers. 3 Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs.