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At a grand publick breakfast, given to lord Nelson and his friends, by baron Breteuil, formerly the French ambassadour at the court of Naples, the celebrated general Dumourier was introduced to his lordship. Lord Nelson, notwithstanding his general aversion to Frenchmen, had a favourable opinion of this able and intelligent officer ; and said to him, that he hoped they should both, in future, fight hand in hand for the good cause; adding, as there was then some prospect of general Dumourier's being employed in the British service, that there was no person, if we were to have joint operations by sea and land, with whom he would sooner act. The general was so overpowered by this generosity and grandeur of soul in our hero, that he could only articulate -“Great Nelson! brave Nelson! I am unable to speak. I cannot make any reply to your goodness!" His lordship, finding the circumstances of general Dumourier very humble, for a man of his merits, kindly sent him a weighty purse, next day, by Mr. Oliver, to whom the general feelingly expressed the utmost thankfulness.
While lord Nelson remained at Hamburgh, he received, one morning, a very extra. ordinary visit. An Englishman, of gentlemanly address, called on his lordship, and requested to speak with him in private. Sir William Hamilton, conceiving the stranger's appearance to be suspicious, particularly as he held one hand under his coat, advised his lordship not to withdraw. Our hero replied that, though he had never before differed with sir William in opinion, he must decidedly do so now. He felt conscious, he said, that he had done no ill; and, therefore, dreaded none. He then, with firmness, bade the stranger follow him into another apartment; who soon gave his lordship to understand, that he was no less a personage, than the famous major Semple, of swindling notoriety. With a considerable degree of feeling, he detailed his miserable situation : an outcast from society; in the deepest distress ; avoided, and despised, by every body. Lord Nelson protested, that he had not expected the ho. nour of such a visit; but, nevertheless, returning to sir William and lady Hamilton, and mentioning who it was, kindly asked—“What shall we do for the poor devil ?" They accordingly gave him, between them, a purse of twenty guineas : his lordship tenderly remarking, that he seemed a man of talents, who had, probably, from some first errour of early life, unchecked by friendly advice or assistance, finally sunk into a state of, perhaps, irrecoverable ignominy.
Lord N's departure on his final cruize is stated to have been preceded by the following circumstances:
Lord Nelson had, at this period (August 1805] no intention of again going speedily to sea. All his stores had been brought up from the Victory; and he was, he said, resolved to enjoy a little leisure, with his family and friends, in the delightful shades of Merton. The honourable captain Blackwood, a few days afterward, brought intelligence, that the combined fleets, reenforced by two more Spanish squadrons, and now amounting to thirty-four sail of the line, had left Ferrol, and got safely into Cadiz. All this, however, was nothing to him : “Let the man trudge it, who has lost bis budget!" gayly repeated his lordship. But, amid all this allegro of the tongue, to his friends at Merton Place, lady Hamilton observed that his countenance, from that moment, wore occasional marks of the penseroso in his bosom. In this state of mind, he was pacing one of the walks of Merton garden, which he always called the quarter. deck, when lady Hamilton told him, that she perceived he was low and uneasy. He smiled, and said-"No! I am as happy as possible.” Adding, that he saw himself surrounded by his family; that he found his health better since he had been at Merton; and, that he would not give a sixpence to call the king his uncle. Her ladyship replied, that she did not believe what he said ; and, that she would tell him what was the matter with him. That he was longing to get at these French and Spanish feets; that he considered them as his own property, and would be miserable if any other man but himself did the business; that he must have them, as the price and reward of his long watching, and two years uncomfortable situation in the Mediterranean: and finished, by saying—"Nelson, however we may lament your absence, and your so speedily leaving us, offer your services, immediately, to go off Cadiz; they will be accepted, and you will gain a quiet heart by it. You will have a glorious victory; and then you may come here, have your otium cum dignitate, and be happy.” He looked at her ladyship for some moments; and, with tears in his eyes, exclaimed _“Brave Emma! good Emma! if there were more Emmas, there would be more Nelsons. You have penetrated my thoughts. I wish all you say; but was afraid to trust even myself with reflecting on the subject. However, I will go to town." He went, accordingly, next morning, accompanied by her ladyship and his sisters. They left him at the admiralty, on the way to lady Hamilton's house in Clarges street ; and,
soon after, received a note, informing them that the Victory was telegraphed not to go into port, and begging they would prepare every thing for his departure. This is the true history of that affecting affair. Her ladyship feels, most severely, that she was the cause of his going ; but, as she loved his glory, she could not resist giving him such advice. It is, however, the general opinion of those who best knew his lordship, that he would, in all probability, have fretted himself to death had he not undertaken this expedition.
Relative to the battle at Copenhagen, we are furnished with some private accounts, and an interesting correspondence between the English viceadmiral and the Danish adjutant general, Lindholm, but they are too long for us to quote. Lord Nelson's disobedience of the commander in chief's signal is unequivocally stated : but it is denied that our feet would have suffered a repulse if the flag of truce had not taken effect; and M. Lindholm admits, that the final result was a defeat on their side, though not an inglorious one. We do not consider it as yet ascertained that the issue would have been similar if the action had been continued.
Another instance of the amiable feelings of Nelson occurs in his conduct towards sir Robert Calder, whom he had orders to send home from the Mediterranean for an inquiry into his conduct in a previous action with the enemy; and it is much to be lamented, for sir Robert's sake, and probably for the publick cause, that lord N's generous and judicious advice was not followed.-Mr. Harrison thus states the circumstance:
On lord Nelson's arrival in the Mediterranean, he had felt it his most difficult task to send home sir Robert Calder. “I had never,” said his lordship, speaking on this subject to his confidential friends,“ but two enemies in the profession, that I know of; 'sir Robert Calder and sir John Orde: nor do I feel conscious of having ever given any of them any just cause of offence. However,” added this excellent and exalted man, “I will, at least, endeavour to make sir Robert love me.” Accordingly, on communicating his orders to this unfortunate commander, he earnestly advised him not to return home immediately; but to serve with himself on the expected glorious occasion, after which there could be nothing to apprehend from any trivial inquiry respecting what might previously have happened. Sir Robert, however, though he could not but feel sensible of his lordship's kindness, was resolved by no means to protract his justification ; and lord Nelson, finding him determined to go home, as a last proof of tenderness and respectful consideration for a broiber officer thus disagreeably situated, insisted that, instead of sir Robert's departing in a frigate, as di. rected, he should, at least, have the honour of returning in his own ninety-gun ship, ill as it could, at this eventful crisis, be spared from that station. Thus did the hero willingly hazard a degree of censure from his country, through excess of feeling for sir Robert Caller ; nor is it altogether an extravagant impossibility that, to this generous action, he owed even his own death, which the addition of a ship of such force might perhaps have prevented. In writing to the honourable captain Blackwood a second letter, dated the 14th, soon after sir Robert Calder's departure, his lordship feelingly says : "Sir Robert is gone. Poor fellow! Uhope he will get well over the inquiry.” What a lesson is here of Christian virtue, left by our incomparable hero for the contemplation and admiration of mankind. It is asserted, on no light authority, that sir Robert Calder had formerly, rather rashly, advised a court-martial on our hero, for his departure from his commander in chief's orders on the memorable 14th of February; when the great earl of St. Vincent, with a glorious, noble, and dignified disdain, instantly replied : “You would, then, try a man for knowing better how to act than yourself.”
Shortly before the commencement of the fatal battle of Trafalgar, the author relates, lord Nelson took leave of the captain of the Euryalus by saying: “My dear Blackwood, I shall never again speak to you ;” and it may be supposed, from all circum stances, that he considered it as probable that his career would be terminated in the approaching combat.
Though we have quarrelled with the profusion and bad taste of the encomiastick expressions employed by this biographer, yet we have always considered lord Nelson as an eminently great character in his profession; and
the more intimately we regard him, in all the various parts of his arduous duties, the more are we disposed to pronounce that he was a wonderful man. His actions and his habits should be the study of every British youth who is destined for the military profession, either on land or at sea ; and the present volumes, as affording a near view of him, through the medium of his own letters, despatches, conversation and actions, form a very interesting and valuable text-book.
FROM THE LITERARY PANORAMA.
Lessons for Young Persons in Humble Life. 12mo. pp. 336. Price 3s. 6d. London, 1808.-In the press of James Humphreys, Philadelphia, 1809.
THIS volume appears to us to contain as pleasing an assemblage of pieces calculated to answer its purpose, as any we have ever inspected. Some are in prose, others are in verse. As several slight variations are made in them from their originals, we do not recommend these to the library of the classical reader; but the library of the cottage will find the volume no unacceptable addition; whether by present or by purchase. We mean nothing invidious, when we add, that English stories, exclusively, should be put into the hands of English youth : for, how should they understand, with proper allowances, stories connected with foreign manners ?
PROM THE BRITISH CRITICK.
Observations on the Brumal Retreat of the Swallow. To which is annexed, a copious
Index to many Passages relating to this Bird in ancient and modern Authors. By Philo-chelidon. Second Edition, with Additions. 8vo. 32 pp. 2s. 1808.
WHY, in a first, and still more in a second edition, this author should conceal himself under a feigned name, when he presents to the publick so very sensible and scholar-like a production as the present, we cannot easily comprehend. No one can take offence at what is written upon swallows, nor can it be uncreditable to any man, however situated, to have inquired diligently, or reasoned carefully, on a subject of so general curiosity, as that of the migration of swallows. There is not, perhaps, any other fact relating to natural history, that has been so frequently the topick of narrative or inquiry in popular publications.
Philo-chelidon is decisive for the migration, and thinks that all the instances related of the birds being found torpid, in the water, or in other situations, so far as they are correct, have been accidental, and partial deviations from the general habits of the bird. The authorities quoted by this author are so important, with respect to the departure of this tribe, its being seen in its passage at sea, with its arrival at Senegal, and the warmer parts of Africa, soon after its disappearance in Europe; and his reflections upon them are so judicious, that we should hope to find the question laid at rest for the future ; and the analogy of nature in this, as well as other migratory birds, finally established. The index of passages, in ancient and modern authors, on the subject of the swallow, is one of the most copious we have seen of such a kind : and, on the whole, the tract is so sensible, that we hope this lover of swallows will be so far a lover of honest fame as to give his real name to the publick.
SPIRIT OF THE MAGAZINES.
ACCOUNT OF LORD STAIR. - GEORGE II. on his return to London, after the battle of Dettingen, could, with difficulty, bear the sight of lord Stair. He could not forgive his lordship's reproaching him for the danger which threatened the English ariny, in case the king had obstinately persisted in leaving it in the camp which it occupied, and where it would have been completely defeated, if the duke de Grammont, by his rashness, had not saved it. Lord Stair, as proud as he was skilful in war, having soon perceived the king's dislike, and being little disposed to bear the shame of a formal disgrace, was on the point of retiring to his estate in Scotland, when he received the following letter.
MY LORD, “ Your bravery is well known : but will you have the courage to go, tomorrow night, to the entrance of Somerset house, where you will meet one who (if you dare follow him) will conduct you to a part of the town, not much frequented, but where you will find one who is impatient to see you, and to discover secrets which are of more importance than you imagine, and which cannot be disclosed in a letter. If you are afraid this should be a plot on your purse, bring nothing valuable about you.”
We may conceive his lordship's surprise at the reading of this note. At first he took it for a trick of some secret enemy; or some affair of gallantry, the heroine of which had probably her reasons for so acting. However, he determined to go. He, therefore, after providing himself with a sword and a brace of good pistols, went to Somerset house, and found there a man, who, without speaking, made him a sign to follow him. After walking for about an hour, they came into a street almost emply, where the conductor knocked at the door of a small, old house. When it was opened, he said : “ Walk in, my lord,” and the door was shut upon them. The intrepid nobleman, holding his sword in one hand and a pistol in the other, went up the staircase and entered a room, the furniture of which seemed very ancient. “Come in, my lord (said a faint voice issuing from a bed) come in, you have nothing to fear. Pray sit down on the chair near my bed, and we will converse together.” “ Very well,” said lord S. “but make haste and tell me the reason of this odd adventure.” “You are hasty, my lord, but have patience. Lay down your arms: take that seat, and come and look at me." His lordship, surprised at such authoritative commands, to which he was little accustomed, got up, took the lamp, went to the bed, and remained stupified at the sight of an old man, pale and thin, with a long white beard, and whose eyes were instantly fixed upon him. “ Look at me, my lord,” said he, “ I am still alive; I owe to you the only true pleasure I have tasted these many, many years. Age and misfortunes, have they entirely effaced the marks of one who is nearly related to you, and who is delighted to find in you features which are most dear to him?” His lordship, still more astonisbed, looked at the old man, and unable to account for the different emotions which agitated him, spoke not a word. “Stoop," said the old man, " and you will find, under my bed, a box which contains papers capable of
amply repairing the losses which your family has suffered by the civil wars." His lordship having placed the box on the bed, sat down again on the chair. “ Here, my lord,” said the old man, “ here are copies of the sales of three of the principal srats belonging to your ancestors, which your great grandfather sold, or ar pretended to sell, during the troubles. Here are also the letters of
“nded buyers, by which you may immediately recover the est
'Trival in Scotland. Precautions have been taken to preven'
What was his lordship's astonishment when he saw the
of estates, which he knew formerly belonged to his ho
ad he, with transport, “ Ah! who are you, respectable
man, to whom I owe more than lo my own father? ST
! favour me with the name of so generous a benefactor i singularly interested, and whose days Heaven seems to that he may find in me, the most tender and respectful of e most grateful of men !” “ Leave me, my dear lord,” said in haste, “I am too weak to bear a longer conversation, leave
take that box and bid adieu to an old man, who thinks himself cunate since he has had the happiness of holding you in his arms." vhoever you are," said lord S. “and whatever reasons you may have iceal the name of so generous a man, can you have the cruelty to e me to obey you? To abandon you in such a situation, without friends, chout help, without—;" Stop, my lord ! it is with pleasure I see in you such generous sentiments; but know that your friend (since you think hiin worthy of that title) however unfortunate he may be in other respects, is still free from want; therefore, if you wish to oblige me, leave me, my lord, instantly ; nay, do more, and believe me I have a right to demand it: swear to me that you will never come here again, nor ever search after me, unless I send for you.” His lordship seeing by his tone of voice that he would not be refused, promised to obey him ; once more embraced him; and then left him with tears in his eyes. On his return home he immediately opened the box, and found a great number of papers which he judged would be of great use to him. Next morning, as he was preparing (notwithstanding his promise) to return to the old man, he was suddenly stopped by the following letter, sealed with his own arms, and to his extreme surprise, signed George Stair.
“Do not return to me, my dear lord, for you will not find me. If it had been only to tell you who I am, that is your great grandfather, who has so long been supposed dead, and who justly deserved to be so; I should not have opposed your just desire of knowing your benefactor; but the consequences which I foresaw of so interesting a scene, too much so for my weak age to bear, made me dread to satisfy your curiosity, upon circumstances, which far from offering to you so dear and respectable a relation as you imagined, would only have shown to you a wretch-a monster less worthy of pity than of horrour!
“My father died a few months after my birth. My mother soon followed him. I was left to the care of an aunt, sister to my father, who brought me up so tenderly that (though she was the cause of my crime) I still retain the most grateful remembrance of her in my heart. I was scarce seventeen, when, struck with indignation, at seeing my countrymen armed against their lawful sovereign, I formed the design of tendering to king Charles I. the offer of my fortune and sword; but what was my astonishment when at disclosing my intention to my good aunt, I saw her, trembling, lift her hands to heaven, and look at me with a kind of horrour. Surprised and afflicted at the state she was in, and turning with impatience to know the reason : “ You VOL. I.