September 26th, 1803.
MY DEAREST EMMA,
We have had, for these fourteen days past, nothing but gales of wind, and a heavy sea. However, as our ships have suffered no damage, I hope to be able to keep the sea all the winter. Nothing, but dire necessity, shall force me to that out of the way place, Malta. If I had depended upon that island, for supplies for the fleet, we must all have been knocked up, long ago; for, Sir Richard Bickerton sailed from Malta, the same day I left Portsmouth. So that we have been a pretty long cruise; and, if I had only to look to Malta for supplies, our ships companies would have been done for long ago. However, by management, I have got supplies from Spain, and also from France; but it appears, that we are almost shut out from Spain, for they begin to be very uncivil to our ships. However, I suppose, by this time, something is settled; but, I never hear from England. My last letters are July 6th, near three months. But, as I get French newspapers occasionally, we guess how matters are going on.
I have wrote Mr. Gibbs, again, a long history about Bronte; and, I hope, if General Acton will do nothing for me, that he will settle something: but, I know, whatever is settled, I shall be the loser. Till next year, the debt will not be paid off; how—
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Victory, off Toulon,
October 18th, 1803.
MY DEAREST EMMA,
Your truly kind and affectionate letters, from July 17th, to August 24th, all arrived safe in the Childers, the 6th of this month.
Believe me, my beloved Emma, that I am truly sensible of all your love and affection, which is reciprocal. You have, from the variety of incidents passing before you, much to tell me; and, besides, you have that happy knack of making every thing you write interesting. Here I am, one day precisely like the other; except the difference of a gale of wind, or not.
Since September 1st, we have not had four fine days; and, if the French do not come out soon, I fear, some of my ships will cry out.
You are very good, to send me your letters to read.
Mrs. D—— is a damned pimping bitch! What has she to do with your love? She would have pimped for Lord B——, or Lord L——, or Captain M’N——, * * * * of * * * *, or any one else. She is all vanity: fancies herself beautiful; witty; in short, like you. She be damned!
As I wrote you, the consulship at Civita Vecchia will not, in itself, pay their lodgings; and, the bad air will tip her off.
There will be no Lord Bristol’s table. He tore his last will, a few hours before his death. It is said, that it was giving every thing to those devils of Italians about him.
I wish he may have given Mrs. Denis any thing; but, I do not think it: and, as for you, my dear Emma, as long as I can, I don’t want any of their gifts.