General Stewart, I am happy to say, is just arrived.
We shall now join, heart and hand, against Calvi. When conquered, I shall hope to pay my respects to your Excellency at Naples; which will give real pleasure to your very faithful, and obliged,
March 11th, 1796.
Mr. Wyndham having communicated to Mr. Udney the conversation of the French minister with the Tuscans, I cannot, being intrusted by the Admiral with the command of the small squadron in the Gulph of Genoa, but think it right for me to beg that your Excellency will apply for such vessels of war belonging to his Sicilian Majesty, as may be judged proper to cruize in the Gulph of Genoa, and particularly off the point of the Gulph of Especia. Xebecs, corvettes, and frigates, are the fittest to cruize; and the first have the great advantage of rowing, as well as sailing, I am told, very fast.
General [Acton] knows, full as well as myself, the vessels proper to prevent the disembarkation of troops on this coast; therefore, I shall not particularly point them out.
Last campaign, the word flotilla was misunderstood. I can only say, that all vessels which can sail and row must be useful; and, for small craft, Port Especia is a secure harbour.
Whatever is to be done, should be done speedily; for, by Mr. Wyndham’s account, we have no time to lose.
If we have the proper vessels, I am confident, the French will not be able to bring their ten thousand men by sea; and; should they attempt to pass through the Genoese territories, I hope the Austrians will prevent them: but, however, should all our precautions not be able to prevent the enemy’s possessing themselves of Leghorn, yet we are not to despair. Fourteen days from their entry, if the allied powers unite heartily, I am confident, we shall take them all prisoners. I am confident, it can—and, therefore, should such an unlucky event take place, as their possessing themselves of Leghorn, I hope, will—be done. I have sent to the Admiral.
I am, very lately, from off Toulon; where thirteen sail of the line, and five frigates, are ready for sea, and others fitting.
With my best respects to Lady Hamilton, believe me, dear Sir, your Excellency’s most obedient servant,
Vanguard, Syracuse, July 20th, 1798.
MY DEAR SIR,
It is an old saying, “The devil’s children have the devil’s luck.” I cannot find—or, to this moment learn, beyond vague conjecture—where the French fleet are gone to. All my ill fortune, hitherto, has proceeded from want of frigates.
Off Cape Passaro, on the twenty-second of June, at day-light, I saw two frigates, which were supposed to be French; and it has been said, since, that a line-of-battle ship was to leeward of them, with the riches of Malta on board. But it was the destruction of the enemy, and not riches for myself, that I was seeking: these would have fell to me, if I had had frigates; but, except the ship of the line, I regard not all the riches in this world.