MY DEAR LADY HAMILTON,
Ten thousand most grateful thanks are due to your Ladyship, for restoring the health of our invaluable friend Nelson, on whose life the fate of the remaining governments in Europe, whose system has not been deranged by these devils, depends. Pray, do not let your fascinating Neapolitan dames approach too near him; for he is made of flesh and blood, and cannot resist their temptations.
Lady St. Vincent will be transported with your attention to her. I have sent the fan mounts for Lady Nelson and her, by Sir James Saumarez; who, after seeing the French prizes safe moored in the Tagus, conveys the Duke d’Hervie. He, poor man! although a Grandee of Spain, having been driven out of that kingdom by the insolent intrigues of Truguet.
I have obeyed your Ladyship’s commands respecting Tom Bowen, who is now Captain of L’Aquilon, and gone to Lisbon to take possession of her; and his brother William, who married a daughter of Sir William Parker, I have appointed to the Caroline, the finest frigate I have, and he is employed on the most advantageous service for filling his pockets. Should your Ladyship have any other protege, I desire you will not spare me.
I am very much penetrated with the condescension their Majesties of the Two Sicilies have graciously shewn to me, through your Ladyship, and I rely on your doing justice to my feelings upon the occasion.
I have taken up my residence here for some months, that I may be ready to afford succour to the detachments of the fleet I have the honour to command, in the Levant and before Cadiz; and, when Sir William and you arrive, I shall be able to give you some English mutton, in a plain way.
Continue to love me; and rest assured of the most unfeigned and affectionate regard of, my dear Lady Hamilton, your faithful and devoted Knight,
Admiral’s House, Rosia, Gibraltar,
28th October 1798.
MY DEAR LADY HAMILTON,
I have to thank you, which I do most kindly, for your obliging letters of the 7th and 10th of November; and for the gracious letter which your Ladyship had received from the charming, delightful Queen of the Two Sicilies, at whose feet I am anxiously desirous to throw myself: and, as I have relinquished my intention of returning to England, (although in possession of leave to go) I hope the period is not far distant. In the meanwhile, have the goodness to keep me alive in the remembrance of her Majesty: assure her of my profound respect and admiration for her as Queen—I dare not give utterance to what I feel for her as one of the first and most lovely of her sex.
Our possession of the island of Minorca will relieve her Majesty, and the government, from one embarrassment, touching their last treaty with France; as Lord Nelson will now be able to refit his squadron, without committing an infraction of the treaty.