Naples, I fancy, is in a very bad way, in regard to money. They have not, or pretend not to have, enough to pay their officers; and, I verily believe, if Acton was to give up his place, that it would become a province of France. Only think of Buonaparte’s writing to the Queen, to desire her influence to turn out Acton! She answered, properly: at least, so says Mr. Elliot, who knows more of Naples than any of us; God help him!—and General Acton has, I believe, more power than ever.
By Gibbs’s letter, I see, he has sent over about my accounts at Bronte. He can have no interest in being unfriendly to me. Why should he? I want no great matters from him; and he can want nothing from me, that it is not my duty to give his Sovereigns: therefore, why should he be against us! For my part, my conduct will not alter, whether he is or not.
Our friend, Sir Alexander, is a very great diplomatic character; and, even an Admiral must not know what he is negotiating about: although you will scarcely believe, that the Bey of Tunis sent the man at my desire.
You shall judge—viz. “The Tunisian Envoy is still here, negotiating. He is a moderate man; and, apparently, the best disposed of any I ever did business with.” Could even the oldest diplomatic character be drier? I hate such parade of nonsense! But, I will turn from such stuff.
You ask me, Do you do right to give Charlotte things? I shall only say, my dear Emma, whatever you do in that way, I shall always approve. I only wish, I had more power than I have! But, somehow, my mind was not sharp enough for prize-money. Lord Keith would have made twenty thousand pounds, and I have not made six thousand.
Poor Mr. Este, how I pity him! but, what shall I do with him? However, if he comes, I shall shew him all the kindness in my power.
The vessel is just going off. I have not a scrap of news! Only, be assured of my most affectionate regard.
Remember me kindly to Charlotte. Shall always love those that are good to Horatia. I will write her by another opportunity.
Remember me to Mrs. Cadogan.
You may be sure, I do not forget Charles, who has
not been well;
Captain Capel is very good to him.
I am, ever, for ever, my dearest Emma, your most faithful and affectionate
NELSON & BRONTE.
* * * * *
Lord Nelson’s Letters
* * * * *
Letters OF LORD NELSON, &c.
See LETTER X. Page 29.