Gibbs is still at Palermo: I fancy, he will make a good thing of my estate; however, I wish it was settled. He wrote me, a short time since, that he wished I would give him a hint (but without noticing that it came from him) that I thought Mrs. Graefer and her child had better go to England; on pretence of educating her daughter, &c.
But I would have nothing to do with any such recommendation. It would end in her coming to me, in England; and saying, that she could not live upon what she had, and that I advised her to come to England, or she should not have thought of it.
In short, Gibbs wants to remove her. He is afraid of his pocket, I fancy; and the daughter is, I fancy, now in some seminary at Palermo, at Gibbs’s expence.
I wrote him word, fully, I would advise no such thing; she was to form her own judgment.
What our friends are after at Naples, they best know. The poor King is miserable at the loss of Acton.
The Queen writes me about honest Acton, &c. &c. and I hear, that she has been the cause of ousting him: and they say—her enemies—that her conduct is all French. That, I do not believe; although she is likely to be the dupe of French emigres, who always beset her.
I doubt much, my dear Emma, even her constancy of real friendship to you; although, in my letter to Acton, which Mr. Elliot says he read to her, I mentioned the obligations she was under to you, &c. &c. in very strong terms.
What could the name of the minister signify! It was the letter which was wanted to the Prime-Minister.
But, never mind; with prudence, we shall do very well.
I have wrote to Davison, by land: who, I am very sorry for; but, he never would take a friend’s caution, and he has been severely bit.
Your accounts of Merton delight me; and you will long ago have known, that I have directed the bills for the alterations to be paid. I never could have intended to have taken it from the hundred pounds a month.
You will not hear of my making prize-money. I have not paid my expences these last nine months.
I shall expect to eat my Christmas dinner at Merton; unless those events happen which I can neither foresee nor prevent.
I am not well: and must have rest, for a few months, even should the country [want me;] which, very likely, they will not. News, I can have none. April 9th, Leviathan sailed; so government don’t care much for us.
Kiss my dear Horatia, for me! I hope you will have her at Merton; and, believe me, my dear Emma, that I am, for ever, as ever, your attached, faithful, and affectionate,
NELSON & BRONTE.
Victory, August 12th, 1804.
Although, my Dearest Emma, from the length of time my other letters have been getting to you, I cannot expect that this will share a better fate; yet, as the Childers is going to Rosas, to get us some news from Paris—which is the only way I know of what is passing in England—I take my chance of the post: but, I expect the Kent will be in England before this letter; and by which ship I write to the Admiralty relative to my health.