Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

been republished without so much as a footnote to show that these accusations have been, now some forty years back, thoroughly refuted. With the Lady Hamilton incidents, from the view which I have felt justified in taking of the relationship between her and Nelson, it has been unnecessary for me to go into detail. Mr. Cordy Jeffreson has dealt so thoroughly with her case and that of the Queen of Naples that, however much one may in some points disagree with his conclusions, it would be mere copying to go more fully into these moot questions.2

Among the smaller biographies of Lord Nelson, published about the time of his death, one of the most interesting is that of Archibald Duncan, the author of the “ British Trident and the Mariners Chronicle," published in 1805, from which I have borrowed some characteristic anecdotes.3

To Earl Nelson, in addition to the two portraits before mentioned, I am indebted for the original copper-plate of the House at Merton—long since pulled down-originally published in a “ Lady's Memorandum Book,” soon after Nelson's death, and also for the clear and able refutation of the scandalous stories told of the life of Nelson and the Hamiltons at Merton, contributed to The Times in 1861 by Nelson's grandnephew.

The “Recollections of the Life of Rev. A. J. Scott, D.D., Lord Nelson's Chaplain,” contain most reliable notices of Nelson's private character ; and the “ Nelsonian Reminiscences” of Lieut. G. S. Parsons, who was present

Southey's “Life of Nelson," Morley's Universal Library, I vol., Routledge, 1886.

2 “ Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton,” by J. Cordy Jeffreson, 2 vols., London, 1888.

3. “Life of Horatio Viscount Nelson,” &c., London, James Cundee, Ivy Lane and J. Nuttal, Liverpool.

[blocks in formation]

at the Battle of St. Vincent and the trial of Carraciolo, furnish facts of value. I

Harrison's “Life of Nelson," written under the influence, if not by the direction, of Lady Hamilton, with the object of supporting her claim to a pension, is so filled with exaggerations, evidently dictated by her, as to be too unreliable to admit of any but the most scanty reference. 2

Dr. Pettigrew's volumes, as Professor Laughton truly says, “are better suited for the School of Scandal' than the student of naval history.”3 With the history of the letter of the King of Spain and the well-known “ Fountain of Arethusa ” letter I have dealt in their places in the Life. Having carefully examined the letters from Lady Hamilton in the volumes of the Private Correspondence at Cricket, I feel convinced that Dr. Pettigrew was imposed upon, in the latter case, by a clever imitation of Nelson's handwriting made by the lady herself. Nelson's left-handed writing is so dangerously like that of Lady Hamilton as to give good ground for this suspicion. With reference to the letter of the King of Spain, I have cited, from Tucker's “Life of Lord St. Vincent,” Sir J. Jervis's letter to the Admiralty on his appointment to the command in the Mediterranean, which appears to me to throw further doubts on Lady Hamilton's story.

Besides these leading authorities there are several of a less pretentious character, to which I have referred in the Notes.

ATHENÆUM Clue,

Trafalgar Day, 188:9.

2

?“ Lise of Dr. Scott," by his son, Saunders and Ottley, London, i vol., 1842. “Nelsonian Reminiscences," Saunders and Ottley, 1843.

“ Life of Lord Nelson," by James Harrison, 2 vols., London, 1806. 3 "Memoirs of the Life of Vice-Admiral Viscount Nelson,” by T. J. Pettigrew, London, 2 vols., 1849.

POSTSCRIPT.

[ocr errors]

Whilst this volume was being printed, I have had the advantage of reading Mr. Clark Russell's “ Nelson," published by Messrs. Putnam's Sons, of New York, with its graphic descriptions of Nelson's great battles. To such attractive descriptions I make no claim, content to tell plainly, and I hope clearly, from the writings of Nelson and his colleagues, the share which he bore in each of his battles. It is very satisfactory to me to find, that Mr. Clark Russell takes the view of the Carraciolo incident so ably shown by my old friend, Mr. John Paget, and agrees with Mr. Cordy Jeffreson in giving little credit to the claims advanced by Lady Hamilton to the stealing and transmission of the letter of the King of Spain, and to her romantic story of the letter of the Queen of Naples respecting the victualling of the fleet at Syracuse. As Mr. Clark Russell appears to believe in the so-called letters of Nelson to Lady Hamilton, published in 1814, by Lovewell and Co., London, we must agree to differ as to the relations between Nelson and her, and as to the parentage of the child Horatia, and leave my readers to judge between us. ,

For some other matters I refer to such notes as I have been able to add to the text of my volume, during its passage through the press.

WOODRIDINGS, PINNER

August, 1890.

PAGI

by the French Fleet-Our little business-Strict blockade of

the Genoese Coast–Letter to Collingwood-Slowness of the

Austrian troops-Offer to be proposed for Parliament-Charge

of conniving with the coasting vessels of the enemy-Defeat

of the Austrians-A dilemma-Letters to his father and his

wife-Arrival of Sir John Jervis .

99.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »