Mrs. Nelson had better direct her letters to me, unless I am on the spot. You see, you paid postage, and it lays me open to their Post Office conversation.
Amazon, October 19th, 1801.
MY DEAREST FRIEND,
What a gale we have had! But Admiral Lutwidge’s boat came off; and, as your letter was wrote, it got on shore: at least, I hope so; for the boat seemed absolutely swallowed up in the sea. None of our boats could have kept above water a moment; therefore, I could not answer all the truly friendly things you told me in your letters, for they were not opened before the boat was gone.
I am sure, you did well to send Mrs. Lutwidge a gown, and she loves you very much, but there is no accounting for taste. She admires entirely red coats; you, true blue.
They dine with Billy Pitt, to-day; or, rather, with Mr. Long; for Pitt does not keep house, in appearance, although he asked me to come and see him: and that I shall do, out of respect to a great man, although he never did any thing for me or my relations. I assure you, my dear friend, that I had rather read and hear all your little story of a white hen getting into a tree, an anecdote of Fatima, or hear you call—“Cupidy! Cupidy!” than any speech I shall hear in parliament: because I know, although you can adapt your language and manners to a child, yet that you can also thunder forth such a torrent of eloquence, that corruption and infamy would sink before your voice, in however exalted a situation it might be placed.
Poor Oliver! what can be the matter with him?
I must leave my cot here, till my discharge, when it shall come to the farm, as cots are the best things in the world for our sea friends.
Why not have the pictures from Davison’s, and those from Dodd’s; especially, my father’s, and Davison’s?
A-propos! Sir William has not sat, I fear, to Beechey. I want a half-length, the size of my father’s and Davison’s.
I wonder your pictures are not come from Hamburg! You have not lost the directions for unfolding them; nor the measure, that I may have frames made for them? For, up they shall go, as soon as they arrive. What, have your picture, and not hang it up? No; I will submit, in the farm, to every order but that.
The weather, to-day, is tolerable; but, I do not think I could well get on shore: but Thursday, I hope, will be a fine day.
I shall call on Mr. Pitt, make my visit at the Hospital, and get off very early on Friday morning.
My cold is still very troublesome, I cannot get my bowels in order. In the night I had not a little fever.
But, never mind; the Admiralty will not always be there. Every one has their day.
God bless you, my dear friend; and believe me, ever, your’s most faithfully,
NELSON & BRONTE.