Victory, under Majorca,
January 13th, 1804.
My own dear beloved Emma,
I received, on the 9th, your letters of September 29th, October 2, 7, 10, 12, 17th, November 5th, 8th, to the 24th: and I am truly sensible of all your kindness and affectionate regard for me; which, I am sure, is reciprocal, in every respect, from your own Nelson.
If that Lady Bitch knew of that person’s coming to her house, it was a trick; but which, I hope, you will not subject yourself to again. But, I do not like it!
However, it is passed; and, we must have confidence in each other: and, my dearest Emma, judging of you by myself, it is not all the world that could seduce me, in thought, word, or deed, from all my soul holds most dear.
Indeed, if I can help it, I never intend to go out of the ship, but to the shore of Portsmouth; and that will be, if it pleases God, before next Christmas. Indeed, I think, long before, if the French will venture to sea.
I send you a letter from the Queen of Naples. They call out, might and main, for our protection; and, God knows, they are sure of me.
Mr. Elliot complains heavily of the expence; and says, he will retire the moment it is peace. He expected his family, when they would sit down eleven Elliots!
If, my dear Emma, you are to mind all the reports you may hear, you may always be angry with your Nelson.
In the first place, instead of eight days, Mr. Acourt; he came on board one day, just before dinner, and left me next morning, after breakfast.
What pleasure people can have in telling lies! But, I care not what they say; I defy them all.
You may safely rely, that I can for ever repeat, with truth, these words—for ever I love you, and only you, my Emma; and, you may be assured, as long as you are the same to me, that you are never absent a moment from my thoughts.
I am glad you are going to Merton; you will live much more comfortable, and much cheaper, than in London: and this spring, if you like to have the house altered, you can do it. But, I fancy, you will soon tire of so much dirt, and the inconvenience will be very great the whole summer.
All I request, if you fix to have it done, [is] that Mr. Davison’s architect, who drew the plan, may have the inspection; and, he must take care that it does not exceed the estimate.
If it is done by contract, you must not alter; or a bill is run-up, much worse than if we had never contracted. Therefore, I must either buy the materials, and employ respectable workmen, under the architect; or, contract.
I rather believe, it would be better for me to buy the materials, and put out the building to a workman; but, you must get some good advice.
With respect to the new entrance— * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *