The King is very much retired. He would not see the French General, St. Cyr; who came to Naples, to settle the contribution for the payment of the French army.
The Queen was ordered to give him and the French minister a dinner, but the King staid at Belvidere.
I think, he will give it up soon; and retire to Sicily, if the French will allow him.
Acton has never dared give Mr. Elliot, or one Englishman, a dinner.
The fleet are ready to come forth; but, they will not come for the sake of fighting me.
I have this day made George Elliot, post; Lieutenant Pettit, a master and commander; and Mr. Hindmarsh, gunner’s son, of the Bellerophon, who behaved so well this day five year, a Lieutenant.
I reckon to have lost two French seventy-fours, by my not coming out in the Victory; but I hope they will come soon, with interest.
This goes to Gibraltar, by Sutton, in the Amphion.
I shall write the Doctor in a day or two. I see, by the French papers, that he has kissed hands.
With kindest regards to your good mother, and all at Merton, &c. &c. &c. ever your’s, most faithfully and affectionately,
NELSON & BRONTE.
Victory, off Toulon,
August 10th, 1803.
MY DEAREST EMMA,
I take the opportunity of Mr. Acourt’s going through Spain, with Mr. Elliot’s dispatches for England, to send this letter: for I would not, for the world, miss any opportunity of sending you a line.
By Gibraltar, I wrote you, as lately as the 4th; but all our ways of communicating with England, are very uncertain: and, I believe, the Admiralty must have forgot us; for, not a vessel of any kind or sort has joined us, since I left Spithead.
News, I absolutely am ignorant of: except, that a schooner, belonging to me, put her nose into Toulon; and four frigates popped out, and have taken her, and a transport loaded with water for the fleet. However, I hope to have an opportunity, very soon, of paying them the debt, with interest.
Mr. Acourt says, at Naples, they hope that the mediation of Russia will save them: but, I doubt, if Russia will go to war with the French for any kingdom; and they, poor souls! relying on a broken reed, will lose Sicily.
As for getting any thing for Bronte, I cannot expect it; for, the finances of Naples are worse than ever. Patienza, however; I will— * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I see, many Bishops are dead. Is my brother tired of Canterbury? I wish I could make him a Bishop. If you see him, or write, say that I have not ten minutes to send away Mr. Acourt, who cannot be detained.
I hope Lord St. Vincent has sent out Sir William Bolton. As soon as I know who is first Lord, I will write him.