Naples, June 30th, 1798.
I take the opportunity of Captain Hope, to write a few lines to you, and thank you for your kind letter by Captain Bowen.
The Queen was much pleased, as I translated it for her: and charges me to thank you; and say, she prays for your honour and safety—victory, she is sure you will have.
We have still the regicide minister here, Garrat: the most impudent, insolent dog; making the most infamous demands every day; and I see plainly, the court of Naples must declare war, if they mean to save their country.
Her Majesty sees, and feels, all you said in your letter to Sir William, dated off the Faro di Messina, in its true light; so does General Acton.
But, alas! their First Minister, Gallo, is a frivolous, ignorant, self-conceited coxcomb, that thinks of nothing but his fine embroidered coat, ring, and snuff-box; and half Naples thinks him half a Frenchman: and, God knows, if one may judge of what he did in making the peace for the Emperor, he must either be very ignorant, or not attached to his masters or the cause commune.
The Queen and Acton cannot bear him, and consequently [he] cannot have much power: but, still, a First Minister, although he may be a minister of smoke, yet he has always something; enough, at least, to do mischief.
The Jacobins have all been lately declared innocent, after suffering four years imprisonment; and, I know, they all deserved to be hanged long ago: and, since Garrat has been here, and through his insolent letters to Gallo, these pretty gentlemen, that had planned the death of their Majesties, are to be let out on society again.
In short, I am afraid, all is lost here; and I am grieved to the heart for our dear, charming Queen, who deserves a better fate!
I write to you, my dear Sir, in confidence, and in a hurry.
I hope you will not quit the Mediterranean, without taking us. We have our leave, and every thing ready, at a day’s notice, to go: but yet, I trust in God, and you, that we shall destroy those monsters, before we go from hence. Surely, their reign cannot last long!
If you have any opportunity, write to us; pray, do: you do not know how your letters comfort us.
God bless you, my dear, dear Sir! and believe me, ever, your most sincerely obliged and attached friend,
Thursday Evening, June 12th, [1799.]
I have been with the Queen this evening. She is very miserable; and says, that although the people of Naples are for them, in general, YET things will not be brought to that state of quietness and subordination, till the fleet of Lord Nelson appears off Naples. She therefore begs, intreats, and conjures you, my dear Lord, if it is possible, to arrange matters so as to be able to go to Naples.