The time is now come—that, profiting of my forbearance, the Spanish ships are fitting for sea. It is not possible, if they persist in their preparations, that I can avoid attacking them, even in the port of Palermo; for they never can, or shall, be suffered to go to sea, and placed in a situation of assisting the French, against not only Great Britain, but also the Two Sicilies.
I have, therefore, to request, that your Excellency will convey my sentiments on this very delicate subject to his Sicilian Majesty’s ministers, that they may take measures to prevent such a truly unpleasant event happening; which would be as much against my wish as it can be against their’s: and I request that your Excellency will, through its proper channel, assure his Sicilian Majesty, that his safety and honour is as dear to me as that of our Royal Master.
I have the honour to be, with the greatest respect, my dear Sir William, your Excellency’s most affectionate, humble servant,
BRONTE NELSON OF
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