MY DEAREST EMMA,
What can I send you, buffeting the stormy gulph of Lyons; nothing, but my warmest affection, in return for all your goodness to me and mine!
I have sent to Naples, to try and get some shawls from the King’s manufactory; and have requested Mr. Falconet to ask his wife to choose some for you, and also some fine Venetian chains. I only wish, my dear Emma, that I knew what you would like, and I would order them with real pleasure; therefore, pray tell me.
We have so very little communication with the Mediterranean world, Malta and Toulon are in separate worlds. It takes, on the [average,] six or seven weeks to get an answer to a letter: and, in fifteen to twenty days, by the French papers, which we get from Paris, we have news from London; not the best side of the question, you may be sure, but enough to give us an idea of how matters go on.
I am of opinion, that we shall have a peace much sooner than is generally expected: and that will be, to me, the very highest pleasure in this world; to return to Merton, and your dear beloved society. Then, I agree with you, that “I would not give sixpence to call the King my uncle!”
I have wrote again to Gibbs, about my Bronte affairs; and [the copy of a letter] to Mrs. Graefer I will send you, if I can; but you must preserve it, for I have no other. It may be necessary, situated as I am, to keep her in good humour; for a thousand pounds may be easily sold off the estate, and I never the wiser. However, you will see what I have said.
I have wrote to Mr. Elliot about Sabatello. What a rascal he must be! Gaetano is going to Naples, and I shall tell him; but, of course, he would rather favour Sabatello, his brother-in-law, than Julia.
I send you, my dearest Emma, an hundred pounds, which you will dispose of as follows—a present for yourself; and, if you like, a trifle to the servants: something to the poor of Merton; something for Mrs. Cadogan, Miss Connor, Charlotte, &c. &c. I only send this as a trifling remembrance from me, whose whole soul is at Merton.
The day after I wrote the former part of this letter, Mr. Scott received from Venice, and desired to present to you, two very handsome Venetian chains, received from Venice. This I would not suffer; for I allow no one to make my own Emma presents, but her Nelson. Therefore, he will be paid for them; but, your obligation is not the less to him. He is a very worthy, excellent, modest man, and an excellent secretary.
Dr. Scott is, at times, wrong in the head; absolutely, too much learning has turned him. But we all go on very well.
I had a letter from Gibbs about Bronte, and from Noble, which will begin another letter; only, believe me, at all times, sides, and ends, most faithfully your’s, for ever,
NELSON & BRONTE.