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[The following article is rather an odd one, in several respects, for the Church of England Quarterly Review. It contains much new matter about Lady Hamilton.] Memoirs of the Life of Vice-Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson, K. B., Duke of Bronte, &c., &c. By THOMAS JOSEPH PETTIGREW, F.R.S., F.S.A., Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Göttingen, &c., &c. Two volumes. London: T. and W. Boone.

so unconquerable a champion as he. There was not a democrat abroad who did not hate his name as much as he feared it. For the French democrats his own hatred was in equal measure intense; and, if it be suggested that his contempt was not less intense for French aristocrats, we answer that he lived at a period when the vices, the selfishness, and the tyranny of the aristocracy, justified the insurrection, which annihilated one bad system ON Michaelmas-day, in the year 1758, the wife to give temporary life to a worse. He did not of the rector of Burnham Thorpe was delivered despise the dissolute men and the more dissolute of a sickly boy. At that moment Anson was in women of Naples less than he despised the French; command of the channel fleet, and there were old but, in supporting the one and destroying the men then in England who had seen Prince Rupert. other, he was the great antagonist of anarchy, and Exactly a quarter of a century had elapsed since the great promoter of order at home. Loyalty Admiral Byng had surrendered life. Russell, who | here flourished by the blood of his victories. The beat Tourville at La Hogue, had been asleep in veriest would-be rebel in England was proud of the grave for more than thirty years. Churchill, the pale warrior whose feeble arm upheld a world and Dilkes, the terror of Frenchmen and Spaniards of thrones; a defeat at Aboukir might have made in his day, had been at rest for just half a century. him a republican. But we are hurried from NelThese were great men; but in 1758 a greater than son's cradle to his glories and his grave. Let us all was born in the quiet rectory of Burnham sketch his wondrous career in a more orderly Thorpe. That feeble baby, accepted and tolerated spirit. rather than welcomed and cherished, grew up in the possession of all the virtues of the above heroes, and with but few of their failings; he had the dashing spirit of Rupert without his imprudence; he possessed the wisdom and valor of Byng without his cold-heartedness; he was as persevering as Anson, and in no wise so foolish; as rapid as Russell, but not so rapacious; he was even more enterprising and successful than Dilkes; and, as with the gallant brother of Marlborough, his services claimed high honors long before he obtained them.

This puny, fragile child, born to achieve such greatness-this almost neglected son of a Norfolk parson, and, by his mother, grandson of a Westminster prebendary-designed, as it were, by nature to be a student, "sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought," and to cultivate learned leisure in trim gardens-this feeble instrument was born with a great mission; let the splendor of its fulfilment make us forgetful of his very few errors !

Yes, when he first saw the light there were old men in England who had seen Prince Rupert beneath the beeches at Windsor. It was but the other day that Nelson's sister died. Thus is he connected with two periods when the people were at issue with sovereigns; his figure stands half way between the time when Roundheads were assailing cavaliers and royalty, and the present period, when democracy is again howling at palace gates and the hearths of nobles. In his own days the same struggle was going on; but as now, and not in Rupert's time, the scene of the struggle was not within our boundary of home. He was the great champion of royalty, and never had crowned king CCLXXXVII. LIVING AGE. VOL. XXIII. 19

She who bore the perils of his birth did not survive to be glad at his greatness. At nine Nelson was motherless--at twelve he quitted school-and some of his playfellows were yet launching their | paper galleons on Norfolk ponds when Nelson had gained respect and reputation for his name. A trip of a few brief months' duration with his maternal uncle, Captain Suckling, just introduced him to naval life without affording him instruction. The latter he derived under Captain John Rathborn, a naval officer, engaged for the time in the West India trade, under whom Nelson acquired a thorough acquaintance with practical seamanship, and was ever ready to acknowledge his obligation. The writer of this paper acknowledges his pride, too, in telling his son that his mother is the granddaughter of Nelson's tutor. Horatio began his real service in the royal navy by entering the Triumph, rated as "captain's servant." In a year or so he became midshipman, the duties of which office he efficiently performed during four or five years on board the same vessel, and in the Carcass, the Seahorse, and the Dolphin. During this period he saw active service in every climate, from the North Pole to Bagdad and Bussorah. We next find him as lieutenant on board the Worcester and the Lowestoft. While on board the last-mentioned vessel he made his first prize, gallantly boarding and capturing an American privateer, from an attempt at which the first lieutenant had retired unsuccessful; and this was accomplished when he was only nineteen years of age! So fond was he of this branch of his profession, that he changed to the schooner Lucy, with a sort of roving commis-, sion, of which the American traders soon became

and the West Indies, and also in dragging into light the frauds practised by some English officials of no inconsiderable dignity in the islands. He succeeded in all he undertook, but got small thanks and no profit for any service which, in this respect, he rendered to his country. He was much on shore, too; and it is a fact that his foot no sooner

tremblingly conscious. He subsequently served in|(whom successful rebellion had made foreigners) the Bristol (the flag-ship of Sir Peter Parker) in the three degrees of lieutenancy; and, in 1778, ere he was yet twenty, the boy was captain of the Badger brig, and with men eager to obey him. But his just ambition was not yet satisfied; and when in his twenty-first year he had the delight of finding himself posted, and in command of the Hinchinbrook, his whole course of daring and dan-touched the land than his good genius left him. gerous service in the Gulf of Mexico plainly manifested that he was ever keeping in view that "top of the tree" whose leafy honors first invited him from his father's rectory. The service alluded to seriously affected his own health, and cost the lives of one hundred and ninety out of his crew of two hundred men. On his return home he rested at Bath for a year. He had no long leisure to be ill. The following year saw him in the old French Albermarle, carrying terror along the Spanish main. In 1782 he was employed in convoy service; and, having occasionally some idle time on shore at Quebec, the young commander got into mischief—that is, he fell most imprudently into love. His friends carried him by violence on board; the sea air cured his passion; and his lucky joining with Hood's fleet, and his subsequent busy time in the West Indies, effectually kept his thoughts from any lady then on land. It was at this period that he became known to the Duke of Clarence. The royal sailor thought him the merest boy of a captain that had ever been seen, and could not but laugh at the gigantic and endless queue that hung down his back, and seemed to be pulling all the lank unpowdered hair off his head after it. But this plain-looking and youthful commander was then remarkable for being as well acquainted with all naval matters as the oldest and most experienced captain in the fleet. The piping time of peace put him for a season on half-pay. A portion of 1783, and of the year following it, was passed in France. With idleness came evil; and, having nothing better to do, Nelson fell desperately in love with the dowerless daughter of an English clergyman, who, there is some reason to believe, was little affected by the magic he could offer her of half-pay and love in a cottage. The sea again stood his friend. In 1784 the Boreas carried him to the Leeward Islands, where, at great risk of purse and person, he was actively engaged in supporting those Navigation Laws which our modern whigs have so ruthlessly abolished.


He fell in love with a widow; and, what is much worse, married her. In the island of Nevis he became acquainted with Mrs. Nisbet, the widow of a surgeon who had died insane a year and a half after their marriage, leaving her with one son, Josiah, who subsequently owed so much to Nelson, and thanked him so little for it. At this time the captain of the Boreas was a man at whom Fame held her finger; he never drank wine save to the healths of his sovereign, the royal family, and his admiral, and these were always bumper toasts to him. He was reserved, grave, and silent; and it was only occasional flashes that gave evidence of the brilliancy within. The narrowminded people of Nevis could not make him out; and Mrs. Nisbet was set at him, as she was expected to make something of him, because "she had been in the habit of attending to such odd sort of people." Unfortunately, she made a husband of him. She, perhaps, thought it a condescension to marry a man who was of " puny constitution— who was reduced to a skeleton-and who put his hopes of recovery in asses' milk and doctors." However this may be, she never looked upon him as a hero, nor was she worthy of being a hero's wife. She would have been exemplary as the spouse of a village apothecary; she was highly virtuous, very respectable, and exceedingly illtempered. The ill-assorted pair were united in 1786; they reached England in 1787, in which year Nelson was kept for months on board his ship at Sheerness, merely taking in slops and lodging pressed seamen. And then ensued the quietest six years of his life; they were passed at Burnham Thorpe, and they were got through with tolerably good success. As a quiet country couple, there was nothing to disturb their stagnant felicity. Nelson busied himself in gardening, getting birds'nests, and fretting for employment.

It came in 1793; when, in place of capturing birds'-nests, Nelson, in the Agamemnon, was with the fleet at the capture of Toulon, its forts, and its navy. But other things came in 1793, too. Nelson was sent to Naples with despatches for our minister, Sir William Hamilton. He was much on shore, and mischief came of it, of course. Sir William told his wife, the too famous, too erring, and yet much sinned-against Lady Hamilton, that a little man was coming to dine with him, who was infirm and ill-looking, but who had in him the stuff of a hero, and who was undoubtedly destined to be the man for the difficulties coming. If Emma Hamilton loved a virtue, it was that of courage He was engaged in putting down the illicit and ability in man; she loved heroes, and her ar traffic sought to be carried on by the Americans dent feelings were soon interested in Nelson.

In this matter (says Dr. Pettigrew) he was also opposed by Major General Sir T. Shirly, the ernor of the Leeward Islands, who took in dudgeon the advice of Nelson, and assured him that old generals were not in the habit of taking advice from young gentlemen. Upon which Nelson, with much promptitude and ingenuity, replied "Sir, I am as old as the prime minister of England, and think myself as capable of commanding one of his majesty's ships as that minister is of governing the state."

scoured the Mediterranean, and after a search unparalleled in its nature, and carrying despair to every heart but his own, he came upon the French at Aboukir, and make 1798 forever memorable in England by the well-won victory which he achieved at the Nile. If honors poured on him after the affair at St. Vincent, they descended now in an avalanche. His king made him a peer who among men was peerless. Parliament thanked him; the nation adored him. Russia endowed him with colored ribbands-the sultana stuffed his mouth with sugar-candy-public companies enrolled him among their members. "Nelson-squares," and

From this period we must speak more generally | he could ever hope to employ; but they were all of Nelson's great deeds that we may have fuller outweighed by that which he himself presented to space to treat of matters less known, and in the the corporation of Norwich—the sword that had revealing of which lie the chief merit and the been surrendered to him by his gallant but vanchief recommendation of Dr. Pettigrew's excellent quished foe on board the San Josef. Norwich volumes. Lord Howe appointed him (over five will be proud of her trophy when no memory resenior captains) to blockade Genoa. In 1794 he mains of her crapes and bombazines or of the fair was active against the French in Corsica, and his forms which wore them. The government, too, men so entered into his own spirit that, as he said made him a rear-admiral of the blue. He was himself, they minded shot no more than peas. not an idle one; he went to sea in the Theseus But for him, Bastia would not have been taken, surrounded by men whose hearts beat in unison nor, perhaps, Cabri, where he received the in- with the pulsations of his own; he twice bomjury to his right eye which ultimately deprived barded Cadiz-lost his right arm before Teneriffe it of sight. His labor was incessant, and his reposed a while at Bath to recruit his strength health most wretched; but he was too busy to be received some pecuniary reward for the loss of invalided. "The plan I pursue, (said he,) is it; and, after publicly thanking the Almighty for never to employ a doctor;" and, consequently, all His mercies and acknowledging the lightness though he was ill, he kept himself from the peril of his visitations, he was again entrusted to save of growing worse. In 1795, he had his first his country by destroying the then enemies of all "brush" with the French fleet. He thus modestly mankind. With a squadron of observation he calls a battle, in which he laid the Agamemnon between the Ca Ira and the Censeur, and forced both to yield. The former was large enough to put the Agamemnon in her hold. He was now fully in that vein of conquest which never left him when a French vessel was before him as an antagonist. He now dared to disobey orders when he judged that circumstances authorized him, and he was no bad judge; he had now been engaged one hundred times-he was literally the hero of a hundred fights. His ship when docked, in order to be refitted, had neither mast, yard, sail, or rigging, that did not need repair in consequence of the shot she had received; her hull had long" streets," and "terraces," arose without number; been secured by cables sewed around her. Nel- and curates were weary of christening an endless son exhibited such discretion in disobeying orders, succession of Horatios. As for Naples, which and success so invariably followed action that re- country he had saved from the very jaws of the sulted from judgment of his own, that at length French, the people there when he landed nearly his admirals ceased to give him any close orders killed him with kindness and did all but devour at all. Sir John Jervis left him to act as he him. The king, queen, and the entire court, thought best; the result was that, in two years, kissed his very feet. He turned with something Nelson captured fifty French vessels; and the navy like disgust from all their homage, and his honest itself, under Jervis and his pale captain, became tongue confessed that he despised those whom it perfectly invincible. Up to 1797 victory followed was his duty to save, and that he loathed in his victory; there was abundance of honor and salt- very soul the entire court, if not the universal peobeef; but neither prize-money nor even notice in ple. He designated the men as scoundrels; the the Gazette. He consoled himself by saying that women were what the author of the old ballad of he would one day have a Gazette of his own and " Nancy Dawson' says that well-known lady was, all to himself. He had well-nigh deserved it for and they cared as little to keep it from their the crowning fight at St. Vincent; he was in the neighbors; and he brushed away the imprecation thickest of the struggle where the odds against us on his lips, launched against the Neapolitan ladies, were twenty-seven to fifteen. It made Jervis an to kiss the hand of Emma Hamilton! But there earl and Nelson a knight, and it opened a new era | was a distinction, though we are not going to show in naval strategy; for never from that day has British captain bent upon victory paused to count his enemy, or deferred his triumph in calculating the disparity of power.

where it lay.

From the same year to that which closed the century, 1800, his presence was all but ubiquitous in the Mediterranean, and his name was uttered Honors were both lavished on, and conferred with awe and reverence all over the world. by, the frail conqueror of the San Josef and the San Within this period he became rear-admiral of the Nicholas. Corporations flung their municipal free-red, and Naples made him Duke of Bronté, in redoms at his feet, and gave him endless invitations turn for his having saved the nation from entire to dinner. The only thing that he ever desig-destruction. Within the same period is on record nated as dreadful was meeting a provincial mayor that dark event connected with the name of Carand aldermen! They voted him more swords than racciolo, to which we will hereafter allude; let


it suffice to say here that after sweeping the Med-| them are the gas-pipes constructed which are now iterranean of the enemies of England, and doing a laid down in the Bassa Ville and the suburb of world of good to those who were not worthy of being reckoned her friends after executing all entrusted to him to accomplish, and rendering the name of England as a tower of strength and pride throughout the world-Nelson returned home across Europe. He did not set out without first writing a sensible letter to the Pope, whom he had restored to Rome, in better fashion than Oudinot lately followed in behalf of Pio Nino. According to the prophecy of honest old Father M'Cormick, Nelson may be said to have taken Rome with his ships-a feat of which he reminds the Pope, and remains his " very obedient servant." That his progress from Leghorn to Hamburg was one of such triumph as the world had never seen may be readily believed; for no human being had ever deserved such ovation. When he landed at Yarmouth the earth seemed to heave to salute him. Myriads of men blessed him, wept over him, hailed him with shouts—in the warmth of their welcome they did all but pay him divine honors. And his wife-how did she spring forward in exultation and enduring love, impatient to meet the boat that bore her heroic husband? Alas! Lady Nelson was quietly awaiting his arrival at Nerot's hotel in town, and so cold and unsatisfactory was her greeting when the idol of the nation stepped into her presence that the incense of London adulation must have proved savory by comparison.

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While thus giving peace to innumerable homes in England, he was ever amidst war's loudest thunder, endeavoring to found a home of peace for himself; that home was at Merton, in Surrey, where it was vouchsafed to him for a very brief season. The name of Merton is more closely connected with great men and great acts than many of our readers may be aware, and it was the fitting resting-place for a man who desired to gain breathing time between his heroic deeds. It was the birth-place of that Walter de Merton to whose liberality some of our readers may possibly be indebted for the instruction they may have received at Oxford-not that Merton College has been very famous for turning out good, at least, great scholars. According to a witty master of that college, it ought to have possessed more learning than any other in the University; for, said he, many scholars brought much knowledge there and left it all behind them." Their founder, however, possessed both legal learning and religious wisdom. The law boasts of him as one of the great chancellors, and the church approvingly points to him as an exemplary Bishop of Rochester. For much of his learning, and something of his wisdom, he is indebted to the accomplished Augustine canons who cultivated both in the old convent founded by Gilbert Norman in 1115, and the prior of which sat in Parliament as a mitred abbot. It was at Merton that the early French invasion under Louis the Dauphin, made with the intent of driving Henry III. from his inheritance, was compensated for, in 1217, by the treaty of peace forced upon the French prince. It was at Merton that the able De Burgh found refuge from his insatiable enemies; above all, it was here that were enacted the famous statutes of Merton. The Parliament of Henry III., which enacted those statutes, will be further ever-memorable for the unshakable firmness with which the barons-those reformers before the Reformation-withstood the insidious overtures of the ambitious prelates for the introduction of the imperial and canon laws. It was at Merton that was uttered a cry as famous, as significant, and as important in its result as the battle signal of Trafalgar. It was there that the barons shouted that famous shout-" Nolumus leges Angliæ mutari !"

Ere he had leisure to sun his laurels he was again afloat, and in the first year of the present century he passed the wild and stormy steep of Elsinore. The battle was a Titanic struggle, and giants of the same blood grappled with each other. Equal was the valor, and if our compelled rather than willing foes had the advantage in means of assault, the better wisdom was ours, without which prowess is but a flail apt to wound the skull of him who wields it. The battle of the Baltic, so gigantically fought and so inimitably won, placed on Nelson's brow the coronet of a viscount; but he did not quit the Baltic until he had fluttered the Russian fleet at Revel, and, when he returned to give a report of his mission accomplished, England already needed him for the fulfilment of another. Napoleon was at Boulogne, and, with a French army, threatening invasion. What the feeling of the times was in the parsonages on the Sussex coast is it not written in the letters of Peter Plim- Of all these things which have conferred undyley? What Nelson's feelings were may be divineding celebrity on the banks of the little river Wandle, from that saying of his, that the French might come any way they pleased, but that they should not come by sea! England trusted him, and he kept his word as far as in him lay. If he did not destroy the Boulogne flotilla, he at least demonstrated that it could not issue from harbor without his permission nor put out to sea without being destroyed. Boulogne has, in some degree, benefited by the rough messengers which he flung into the port as visiting cards to intimate that he and his followers were outside. Some hundred weight of good Eng-endeavoring to enslave the world.

Nelson probably knew nothing, and, if possible, cared less. But, notwithstanding this, we repeat that the locality which had been illustrated by humanity, by patriotism, by liberality, and by love of freedom, was a becoming spot whereon to spread the carpet of repose for him whose humanity was as great as his courage-whose patriotism was without a stain-whose liberality was ever extended without selfishness, and whose love of freedom made him the invincible foe of the nation that was

lish iron were projected into the town, and out of Had he been less liberal and more considerate for

Soon after this, Lord Nelson was made a D. C. L. by the University of Oxford. The hero was with the Hamiltons and a party of relatives on a tour to Wales; they took Blenheim in their way. The duke was at home-he declined receiving them; but he sent them out something to eat! The descendant of Marlborough had not been introduced to the man as great as he, from whom alone the duke possessed the only greatness he enjoyed, and, therefore, he would not shake hands with him! His grace, with the spirit of a Frenchman, kept himself as secure from the defender of his country as he well could; he rolled himself up like a hedgehog and kept his prickles erect. Had it not been for Nelson, he might not then have had Blenheim wherein to nurture his absurd shyness or absurder pride. At Blenheim was the only hearth in England at which Nelson was churlishly received, and its master the only man in the kingdom who did not feel on speaking terms with the hero of the Nile. Nelson paid no fee, touched no food, and turned from the dwelling of him who owned none of his great ancestor's characteristics, save his meanness, with calm contempt.

himself than for others, he might have preserved | a prior claim; and the Rev. Mr. Comyn received Merton for his daughter-he would not have been his appointment accordingly to the living asked for compelled to sell his diamonds-and Merton itself that of Bridgham. While treating of the clerneed not have passed to those inheritors of other ical connections of Nelson, we cannot omit noticing men's patrimony-the money-lending Israelites. another trait in the brother who so little resembled For the fearful fight at Copenhagen, in which him. He thus writes to Lady Hamilton :-" The never were greater perils of navigation overcome, election for the university took place yesterday, nor had there ever been in sea-fight more of English | (July 5, 1802) the whole was over in five minblood profusely shed-for this fight and victory utes; Mr. Pitt and Lord Euston are reëlected. I Nelson received a token of honor from the sultan; had a bow this morning from Billy in the senatebut his own government granted no medals to the house-so I made up to him and said a word or two victors. They were permitted to wear the orders to him.” sent them by foreign princes, but no such honors awaited them at the hands of those who interpreted, and, perhaps, influenced the will of King George. The people gave what the ministry denied; and when the father of Nelson calmly closed his eyes on this world, in the year 1802, almost the last sounds that fell upon his ears were sounds of praise for his noble son. Nelson's brother, the Rev. Dr. William Nelson, thought Lord Walpole cared little for his connection with the Nelson family, or he would have conferred Burnham Thorpe on the son of the late incumbent that is to say, on himself. This reverend gentleman certainly does little credit to his profession, even taking him by his own description. When there was a report of his becoming successor to the yet living, but indisposed, Dean of Exeter, he wrote to his brother-" I wish it may be so. If you see Mr. Addington soon, you may offer my vote for the University of Cambridge for members of Parliament, and for the county of Norfolk to any candidate he may wish." The dean (adds Dr. Pettigrew) died on the 15th of July, and Nelson applied to Mr. Addington, but Dr. Nelson was not appointed. Exeter failing, in a short time he directed his views to Durham," and he hinted his wishes in a letter to Lady Hamilton. After reminding her that he is a doctor of divinity of the University of Cambridge, and that such a dignified personage is as much superior to a mere Scottish M. D. " as an arch-angel is to an arch-fiend," this man, who had little in him of the angelic and still less of the arch-angelic, offers the lady a bribe of Norfolk beafins; and having thus impressed her with his dignity, and purchased as he thought her good will for "half-a-dozen apple-trees," thus concludes his very undignified epistle :-"I see by the papers that there is a stall vacant at Durham-I suppose worth a thousand a year-in the gift of the bishop (Barrington). I remember some years ago, when the Duke of Portland was prime minister, he secured one for Dr. Poyntz, at Durham. There is another vacant at York (if not filled up) in the gift of the archbishop; but I don't know the value-no very great sum, I believe." So very illogical a person was as unsuccessful as he deserved to be. Lord Nelson's chaplain on board the Vanguard at the Nile fared better, and merited so to fare. On Nelson's application, Lord Eldon thought himself bound in public duty to pass over his own personal wishes and also the strong claims which individuals had upon him to be attentive to their welfare. Nelson's chaplain at the Nile had


In 1802, hostilities were again renewed, and, as a matter of course, all eyes were turned to the defender of his country. His eyesight was failing; he had actual fears of becoming blind, but all his fears were suppressed in his eagerness to be of use to his native land. It may be noticed that, in this year, Sir William Hamilton died; and the fact that Nelson's continued correspondence with the graceful widow is, from this time, no longer addressed to her as "dear friend," but " dearest Emma," plainly, perhaps too plainly, denotes the nature of the connection by which they were now bound. To judge of him by what he effected and what he endured during this year, we might assert that he never took rest nor thought for anything save the welfare of his country, and the fighting condition of his fleet; but he had leisure devoted to further the welfare of private friends and other deserving individuals, and he could turn from devising plans for crushing the French to the arrangement of a paddock. All that he immediately cared for was lest his sight should entirely leave him before he could fall upon the French, who had a design upon Naples and Egypt. After he had beaten them, he felt almost certain that his eyes would be in total eclipse; he was resigned to the prospective fate, and contemplated it with a grave but manly resignation.

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