In short, except myself, (and your Lordship knows that I have some phlegm) all the company, which was considerable, after dinner—the Duke, Lord William, Mr. Este, &c.—were mad with joy. But, I am sure, that no one really rejoiced more, at heart, than I did. I have lived too long to have extacies! But, with calm reflection, I felt for my friend having got to the very summit of glory!—the “Ne plus ultra!”—that he has had another opportunity of rendering his country the most important service; and manifesting, again, his judgment, his intrepidity, and humanity.
God bless you, my very dear Lord, and send you soon home to your friends. Enemies you have none, but those that are bursting with envy; and such animals infest all parts of the world.
The King, be assured, is (though weak) getting well fast. Lord Loughborough told Livingston, who has just been here, that he was with the King the day before yesterday, before and after delivery of the seals, and that he was perfectly calm and recollected.
Ever your sincerely attached, and truly obliged, humble servant,
Milford, August 12th, 1801.
MY DEAR LORD,
Emma has constantly given me every possible intelligence relative to your Lordship, and the important operations you are about at this most interesting moment.
You have already calmed the minds of every body with respect to the threatened French invasion. In short, all your Lordship does is complete; like yourself, and nobody else. But still, I think, there is no occasion for the Commander in Chief to expose his person as much as you do. Why should you not have a private flag, known to your fleet and not to the enemy, when you shift it and go reconnoitring?
Captain Hopkins, going from hence in the Speedwell cutter to join your Lordship, will be happy to introduce himself to you by presenting this letter himself. They give him a good character in this country, but my acquaintance with him is but of two days.
I was yesterday with Captain Dobbins, in the Diligence cutter. We sailed out of this glorious harbour; and, the day being fine, sailed out some leagues, and examined the Crow Rock, which is reckoned the greatest danger as to entering the harbour. But the two light-houses lately erected take off all danger in the night; and [it] is visible in the day-time, except a short time in spring tides.
I am delighted with the improvements at Milford. It will surely be a great town, if we have peace, in three years; the houses rising up, like mushrooms, even in these difficult times. We allow any one to build—at their own expence—at an easy ground-rent, and to fall in at the expiration of three lives, or sixty years.
You may judge that, having two thousand acres all round the town, these inhabitants will want land for cows and horses, and gardens, &c. and, of course, I must be a gainer in the end.