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would have pursued it with no better powers than are indicated in this publication: and, full of rhapsody, and meagre of almost every thing like thinking, as these letters are, we every now and then may descry a trace of vigour, sufficient to show that his talents were only dormant.

It is fit, however, that we should let the reader judge of the nature of these letters, by exhibiting a few specimens. For the passion, and trifling and abuse, we may take any one at random.

Deal, August 18, 1801. MY DEAREST EMMA, Your dear, good, kind, and most affectionate letters, from Saturday to last night, are arrived, and I feel all you say; and may Heaven bless me, very soon, with a sight of your dear angelic face. You are a nonpareil ! No, not one fit to wipe your shoes. I am, ever have been, and always will remain, your most firm, fixed, and unalterable friend.' Vol. I. p. 48. They dine with Billy Pitt to-day; or, rather with Mr Long; for Pitt does not keep house, in appearance, although he asked me to come and see him: and that I shall do, out of respect to a great man, although he never did any thing for me or my relations. I assure you, my dear friend, that I had rather read and hear all your little story of a white hen getting into a tree, an anecdote of Fatima, or hear you call" Cupidy! Cupidy!" than any speech I shall hear in Parliament: because I know, although you can adapt your language and manners to a child, yet that you can also thunder forth such a torrent of eloquence, that corruption and infamy would sink before your voice, in however exalted a situation it might be placed.' I. p. 92, 93.-Again: MY DEAREST EMMA, By the Canopus, Admiral Campbell, I have received all your truly kind and affectionate letters, from May 20th to July 3d; with the exception of one, dated May 31st, sent to Naples. This is the first communication I have had with England since we sailed.-All your letters, my dear letters, are so entertaining! and which paint so clearly what you are after, that they give me either the greatest pleasure or pain. It is the next best thing, to being with you. I only desire, my dearest Emma, that you will always believe that Nelson's your own; Nelson's Alpha and Omega is Emma! I cannot alter; my affection and love is beyond even this world! Nothing can shake it, but yourself; and that, I will not allow myself to think, for a moment, is possible. I feel, that you are the real friend of my bosom, and dearer to me than life; and, that I am the same to you. But I will neither have P.'s nor Q.'s come near you!' I. p. 135, 136.

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But the one which follows, contains, after all the suppressions, still more.

* MY DEAREST BELOVED ****, To say, that I think of you by day, night, and all day, and all night, but too faintly express my feelings of love and affection towards you bounded affection. Our dear, excellent, good

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only one who knows any thing of the matter; and she has promised me, when you * * again, to take every possible care of you, as a proof of her never-failing regard for your own dear Nelson. Believe me, that I am incapable of wronging you, in thought, word, or deed. No; not all the wealth of Peru could buy me for one moment: it is all your's, and reserved wholly for you; and *** certainly * ******* from the first moment of our happy, dear, enchanting, blessed meeting. The thoughts of such happiness, my dearest only beloved, makes the blood fly into my head. The call of our country, is a duty which you would, deservedly, in the cool moments of reflection, reprobate, was I to abandon; and I should feel so disgraced, by seeing you ashamed of me! No longer saying "This is the man who has saved his country! This is he "who is the first to go forth to fight our battles, and the last to re"turn!" And, then, all these honours reflect on you. "Ah!" they will think; "what a man! what sacrifices has he not made, to "secure our homes and property; even the society and happy union "with the finest and most accomplished woman in the world." As you love, how must you feel! My heart is with you; cherish it. I shall, my best beloved, return-if it pleases God-a victor; and it shall be my study to transmit an unsullied name. There is no desire of wealth, no ambitior, that could keep me from all my soul holds dear. No; it is to save my country, my wife in the eye of God; and ** will tell you that it is all right: and, then, only think of our happy meeting.-Ever, for ever, I am your's, only your's, even beyond this world, NELSON & BRONTE. For ever, for ever, your

**

own NELSON.-August 26th, [1803.]' p. 175-178.

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The most offensive part of this rhapsody, is the allusion to his wife. This topic occurs but too often. Thus, in p. 63, Vol. I, he calls it the detestable subject, '--and expresses great pain at the countenance and protection which his venerable father appears to have persisted in affording to that most injured matron. In p. 137, after expressing his hope, that he shall one day be married to Lady Hamilton, he adds-plainly alluding to his wife I wish you would never mention that person's name! It works up your anger, for no useful purpose. Her good or bad character, of me or thee, no one cares about.' In one of the last letters he ever wrote, (for it is dated only a month before his death), we have this passage:- I intreat, my dear Emma, that you will cheer up; and we will look forward to many, many happy years, and be surrounded by our children's children. God Almighty can, when he pleases, remove the impediment. My heart and soul is with you and Horatia. -I got this line ready, in case a boat should get alongside.' II. p. 97.

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Let it not be thought, that we notice these passages, for the sake

of exciting a feeling disrespectful to the memory of this great man. We have a far higher object in view; and nothing but our zeal for that object could make us submit to the real pain which our present occupation inflicts upon us. The notorious fact of Lord Nelson's domestic misconduct to his wife, has too long -held out a kind of sanction to the false reasoning, which seeks to shelter kindred delinquencies under the authority of great examples. The very title of this audacious publication Lord Nelson's Letters to Lady Hamilton,' recalls the bad fame of that unhappy connexion; so that it is in vain to stifle the discussion and the false impressions which it may engender: And all that remains, therefore, is to counteract the bad effects of so fatal an example, by bestowing upon it, even in this exalted instance, the reprobation it so amply deserves. Without stating it formally as a proposition, that all men may do wrong, because a great man did so, (alas! how happy would it be if we were never influenced by doctrines more dangerously sophistical-if all our false principles of action were thus boldly stated in the repulsive form of manifest error !), it is to be feared that the knowledge of his faults sooths many a conscience, and is made the salve to heal over those wholesome wounds, through which remorse might otherwise open an avenue to virtue. The public opinion, too, may be affected imperceptibly, and the last check destroyed for ever upon baser spirits, whom no workings of conscience can reach. The community may cease to despise, with such undivided contempt, as it now does, the vile and degraded wretch, who maltreats her whom he has taken for better and for worse, and vowed to protect for life. The conduct most befitting a coward, an effeminate and besotted tyrant, may no longer call forth the unanimous execration of Englishmen, when they vaguely hear it said, that Nelson did so. If unhappily it be true, that, to a certain degree, though far less than may be alleged, this gallant man's life held out such evil example, we must apply the only remedy within our reach, by freely expressing the indignation which it excites, even in his case; and instead of letting the puny imitators of his faults find a shelter under his authority, we must let it be distinctly seen, that as not all the glories of his illustrious life can save his memory from the reproofs of the virtuous and the wise, when they contemplate his defects, so the public indignation shall fall with overwhelming force upon those who can only ape his imperfections. As well might they cite the example of Julius Cæsar for enormities, at which human nature shudders ;-or of Lord Nelson himself, for the dreadful prostitution of the name and power of England, to purposes of murder and treachery,-under the influence of the

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same woman who has now given his love-letters to the world. -To return to these productions—

We must notice the tone of scurrilous abuse of almost all his friends, especially in the navy. This may sometimes be traced, no doubt, to the ill humour of the moment; but generally it arises from some personal interest, as a quarrel about prize-money; or from the circumstance, which he seems never to have forgiven, of the person in question being either his superior officer, or a Lord of the Admiralty. But the thing never to be pardoned, is when an inferior officer gets into this latter station, and has, or is thonght to have, authority over him. It is painful to see with what pertinacity he pursues Sir T. Troubridge merely for this offence; and no kindness is ever able to disarm him; on the contrary, he takes it all for perfidy. Lord St Vincent (to whom he owed the flect which conquered at the Nile) is habitually attacked in the same way; although his letters never mention Lord Nelson without the warmest expressions of admiration and esteem. Sir Alexander Ball and others fare little better. And then, when he has to deal with ordinary mortals, especially women, there is no coarse or scurrilous epithet that he does not fling around him in profusion. So much so, that although these letters were addressed to his mistress, we dare not so far offend common decency as to transcribe any one of them entire.

The impatience of command which we have noticed, leads to a remark respecting this great man's public life, not unworthy of notice. He seems to have been formed by nature not only for the highest station-but for no other; and to have been alike incapable of occasionally falling into a subordinate part, and of contenting himself with a share of any joint operation. Mr Southey, in his life of him, is perpetually throwing out insinuations against the other officers who refused to concur in all Nelson's projects; as if those distinguished characters were bound to disobey orders from home, in order to gratify the curiosity of this commodore--whose projects on shore would almost always have led to a mere experiment upon the bravery of English soldiers and sailors. Nor does he ever reflect that Lord Nelson, except at Teneriffe, where he failed, was in point of fact wholly confined to his own clement, in the marvellous exploits which made him so famous. If every commanding officer had acted so completely for himself, and with such disregard of orders or combined plans from home; nay, if only a very few officers had acted so, the speedy ruin of our affairs must have ensued; the army and navy would have become one scene of confusion. Possessing such a commander, the government could not de

better than give him it largest station, and an unlimited discretion in the employment of his forces; but nothing short of wielding all the forces, military as well as naval, wherever he went, would satisfy him; and this appears to have been his desire, as much when he was a commodore with a few sail under him, as when he commanded the whole Mediterranean and Atlantic. Nay, we find him very frequently interfering in matters purely civil, in political negotiations, and in affairs connected with the relations of peace or war, and of treaties actually pending, and wholly unknown to him--and sometimes against orders, and on notions of his own. His letters, (for he always appears to have been a great writer, whether in love or war), contained accounts of his motives, which were generally some vague feeling of his own, or some notion of what was fitting the national character, without the least regard to reason, order, or calculation; his contempt of which he pretty freely expresses: And he often talks of throwing himself upon his country for ⚫his defence, '—as if the voice of the multitude, and not the order of the government, were the proper rule of an officer. Of course Mr Southey always admires these flights; and expresses his decided contempt of the other commanders who thwarted his hero, by refusing to disobey the commands of their superiors, and to entrust him with the disposal of their forces. The biographer, indeed, upon these occasions, seems to set himself up as a kind of Nelson also; and assumes the same superiority over Nelson's brother officers, as he himself did. No calculating-no forethought-no prudential considerations for Mr Southey. You must fight away without looking on one side or the other, if you would please him. And as for the inferior questions-of what advantage you are to get by it-how you are to succeed-whether or not you are sure of being wholly destroyed-these are the suggestions of narrow and timid minds, who have never yet learnt the true maxim, so decisive of all such subjects, and embracing the whole art military of that learned author--that by mere volition or determination to conquer, any given force may perform any service required. We mention these things without any wish to detract from the general merits of Mr Southey's work; of which we have formerly said that we think very highly.

It is a more pleasing task to turn from the frailties to the merits of the great man whose heart now lies exposed to view, in its most private, unstudied, and unrestrained effusions. Every. here and there we see traits of some friendship almost as warm as the passion which has dictated the bulk of the correspondence. The pale of his favour seems indeed to have been very

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