Have the goodness to commend me to the Queen; continue to nurse my excellent friend, Nelson; and, when I have the happiness to see Sir William and your Ladyship here, I will pour the effusions of my heart upon you both. The Governor has added two rooms to the convent, for your accommodation; and Mrs. Grey, late Miss Whitbread, wife to the Captain of the Ville de Paris, will contribute all that this house affords for the entertainment of both.
God bless you, my dear Lady Hamilton; and, be assured, no man respects and esteems you more truly than your Ladyship’s truly affectionate
27th February 1799.
SIR ALEXANDER JOHN BALL
Letters OF SIR ALEXANDER JOHN BALL, _&c_.
My Dear Madam,
I cannot help loving and esteeming you very much, although you have proved such a false gipsey to me. Pray, do you recollect looking into my hand, and telling me a pretty story of carrying home Sir William and Lady Hamilton, &c. &c. However, I forgive you; as you did not take money, and could only have in view giving me much pleasure.
I beg leave to introduce to your Ladyship’s notice the Abbe Savoye; who is a sensible man, and the most polished here. He has great influence with the Maltese. Pray, request Sir William to introduce him particularly to Le Chevalier Acton.
I shall have the pleasure of seeing you and Sir William Hamilton in England, this summer. How very much I wished to be near you, when you were reading the parliamentary effusions of gratitude and joy for the services Lord Nelson has rendered his country! I would rather be Lord Nelson, than any Duke—or, indeed, any man—in England; and you may guess how very proud I am in having such a friend. Indeed, I feel, that I owe more to him than any man in this world. I have written to Sir William; God bless you both!
I remain, with sincere respect and esteem, my dear Madam, your Ladyship’s most devoted and obliged humble servant,
ALEXANDER JOHN BALL.
9th February 1799.
Davidge Gould is sighing for Palermo; alias Miss K——. I wish the Admiral would let him recreate for a fortnight, and send Hardy to me again.
My Dear Madam,
I had the honour of writing to your Ladyship and Sir William, by the Vanguard; since which, I have read the few lines you had the goodness to address to me at the bottom of Lord Nelson’s letter of the 9th inst.
I cannot entertain any hopes of personally paying my respects to you and Sir William, before your departure for England; but, be assured, that I can never forget the very flattering attention you have both been pleased to honour me with.