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to a small habitation in the country. From this asylum, however, they returned so precipitately on the retreat of the enemy, that they were surprised by them on their second invasion of Tuscany in 1800; and had more to suffer, it appears, from the importunate civility, than from the outrages of the conquerors. The French general, it seems, was a man of letters, and made several attempts to be introduced to Alfieri. When evasion became impossible, the latter made the following haughty but gual ded reply to his warlike admiter: “If the general in his official capacity, commands his presence, Victor Alfieri, who never resists constituted authority of any kind, will immediately hasten to obey the order; but if, on the contrary, he requests an interview only as a private individual, Alfieri begs leave to observe, that being of a very retired turn of mind, he wishes not to form any new acquaintance, and therefore entreats the Prench general to hold him excused.” II. p. 286, 287. Under these disastrous circumstances, he was suddenly seized with the desire of signalizing himself in
a new field of exertion; and sketched out no fewer than six comedies at once, which were nearly finished before the end of 1802. His health, during this year, was considerably weakened by repeated attacks of irregular gout and inflammatory affections; and the memoir concludes with the description of a collar and medal which he had invented, as the badge of “the order of Homer,” which, in his late-sprung ardour for Greek literature, he had founded and endowed. Annexed to this record is a sort of postscript, addressed, by his friend, the abbé Caluso, to the countess of Albany; from which it appears, that he was carried off by an inflammatory or gouty attack in his bowels, which put a period to his existence after a few days’ illness, in the month of October 1803. We have since learned, that the publication of his posthumous works, which, had been begun by the countess of Albany at Milan, has been stopped by the French government; and that several of the manuscripts have, by the same authority, been committed to the flames.
FROM THE LITERARY PANORAMA.
The Life of Admiral Lord Nelson. Concluded from Vol. III. page 403.
The Panorama in adopting the principle, that morals, publick and private, are the only certain basis of national prosperity, has excited the spleen of more than one halfinformed speculator in politicks, who has taken momentary success for permanent establishment; and has adduced it as a confutation of our maxim. It may require a capacity for further prescience than falls to the lot of some men, or a better acquaintance with the records of history than has been obtained by others, to be able to combine the beginning and the termination of events with their real causes, and to deduce those inferences which facts, distant and distinct from each other, though
correlative, will abundantly warrant. Long before the French revolutionary mania had reached that height of phrensy to which it at length attained, the expectations of very many among our countrymen were turned to the sufferings which they anticipated for Italy. They knew that profligacy was the order of the day in that peninsula. They knew that where holiness was supposed to predominate, and where to have doubted the prevalence of genuine religion as the publick establishment, would have exposed the hesitating to persecution, even there the writings of Voltaire and other atheists, found patrons, and vices were practised, almost openly, at which nature shud
ders, though infidelity triumphs. Such were the sentiments of those who well knew Italy: and as we are now reporting on memoirs of a British admiral, we shall say, that such was the conviction of many officers in the British service. We speak from recollection of opinions given by the late admiral sir Peter Dennis, and his captain, the late Charles Ellys. If the immoralities and scandals of that country were in their time so notorious, as to induce those officers to speak confidently of approaching punishment, how obvious must they have become, ere Nelson and Troubridge had occasion to contemplate the sufferings, that followed in the train of those pollutions which degraded that beautiful but unhappy peninsula | The character of lord Nelson as a politician appears to us to have been inferiour to none of the statesmen his contemporaries. He saw and lamented the evils he could not cure; at the same time, he foretold their consequences. Had his opinion prevailed, the treachery practised at Naples would not have been the precursor of that practised at Ulm, and Mack would not a second time have contributed, by obedience to French intrigue, to the desolation of a monarchy and the irretrievable disorganization of an empire. A picture of the weakness and wickedness of the Italians, as drawn by lord Nelson and the officers under his command, would, at whole length, occupy too much of our pages; yet we cannot refrain from introducing detached parts of it, in order to produce a permanent effect on the minds of our readers, and to justify the terms in which we have stated that opinion, which facts but too sufficiently warrant.
“The king of Naples had, indeed, placed himself at the head of his army;" but
his troops were led on by general Mack. It is also a fact well known to many of the English captains in lord Nelson's squadron, that these troops by whom the king of Naples alone hoped to preserve his do. minions, had, owing to a strange fatality, been raised by a French artillery officer, Lacombe St. Michel, who had acted his allotted part, as ambassadour from the republick. Having received money from the king of Naples, he selected such of his subjects as he knew were favourably inclined towards the French; the event, therefore, corresponded with this deep laid treachery., when the king's army approached the enemy, the flight of the JYeapolitans became general; their cannon, tents, baggage, and even military chest, were ail left behind them. Dejected and overcome by what had happened, the king of Naples retraced his steps, and Dec. 14, 1798, returned home. Vol. II. p. 133.
Such is a French victory ! such are the preparatives of Gallick triumph :
Captain Troubridge writes to lord Nelson:
“If the nobility were men of principle and of respectability, how easy would it be to get the Neapolitan soldiers and militia to declare for their king.” p. 160. “The greatest villains and republicans are the marine and artillery officers.
“The French, in order to man their gunboats and gallies, cajoled the Neapolitan sailors into the arsenal, with a promise that they should receive their pay. when they had got them in, the gate was shut, and the whole of them were driven into the gun-boats without a carline !” p. 162. “In short, my lord, these islands must return under the French yoke, as I see the king's ministers are not to be relied on for slipplies. O how I long to have a dash at the thieves. The work we have to do is nothing; but the villany we must combat is great indeed, and wears us all out.”
Lord Nelson in one of his letters expresses himself very strongly to this purpose: “The nobles are infomous:” and he writes to earl St. Vincent:
“What precious moments the courts of
* Lord Nelson writing of this monarch says: “It must be acknowledged that the king of Naples, throughout the whole of his conduct on this occasion, displayed a spirit which did honour to his character. In personal courage he was by no ineans
Naples and Vienna are losing ! this court is so emervated that the happy moment will be Most " p. 101.
“I am very unwell, and the miserable conduct of this court is not likely to cool my irritable temper. It is a country offiddiers and poets, whores and scoundrels.” p. 10.3.−
Captain Troubridge to lord Nel801).
“Micheroux [the Neapolitan commander in chief] has been a cypher with us, and cannot have the smallest influence; we have suspected him, as Ball will inform you. I think he is off. In short, my lord, the cardinal's secretary is making a for: tune by giving protections to jacobins, and the greatest discontent prevails at the conduct of the villanous lawyers * o rving the culprits at the granary; they a . the . are bribed.” 198. “We are surrounded with villains. I was yesterday busily employed sifting to the bottom, a diabolical good understanding with our Neapolitan officers stationed at the advan: ced posts, and the enemy. Such damned cowards and villains I never saw.” p. 200.
Lord Nelson to earl St. Vincent.
“The conduct of the king's officer sent to orbitello and Longone has been so infa: mous, that Troubridge is almost mad, and I am in a fever. Troubridge writes: ‘ Orbitello is sold, and I fear Longene will be the same. I desired the general and all his cowardly gang, to get out of a British man of war.”
Commodore Donald Campbell, in the Portuguese service, was obliged by the disgracefully equivocal conduct of the Neapolitan Viceroy, Pignatelli, to burn the Neapolitan fleet, under his charge. On which our authors remark:
“Traitors strangely nestled among the higher ranks of the Neopolitans: the mob, as lord Nelson observed in one of his letters, were certainly loyal, the nobility to a man were jacobins.” p. 141:
“The prince of Moliterni, who was appointed commander in chief, had addressed the loyal Lazzaroni, and had begged the wool shoot him if he ever betrayed their confidence; yet was at the very time intrigung with the French, to give up the :astles to them on their approach to Na
“I hope to acquire a little patience; but the Neapolitan government is so deranged that it is impossible for things to go on as we could wish. Of a bad bargain we must make the best. The poor devils of workmen have had no provisions to day. I offered my own cash, but I could not procure bread So we must stand a fast to night. I lent an officer to day sixty ducats, which I could not afford to give him, to buy him a dinner.” p. 201. “The powder is so bad, that the shells hardly breach; many fall short though not above 300 toises. I really suspect, some treachery. If your lordship could spare us 40 casks of our powder it would be very useful for the mortars. If you comply, it will be necessary that some person belonging to us should accompany it, or they will steal one half, and change the other.” p. 202. “I shall remain here to day to stop all the villanies going on. Every man you see, gentle and simple, are such notorious villains, that it is misery to be with them I am endeavouring to get a return of the provisions, powder, guns, &c. but as it is the interest of the thieves here to prevent it, they are trying to do it, and I am trying against them.
“I think they are cheating us about the wine, but that is nothing new here; for between ourselves, for a carline I could buy all the generals in the place, from Pignatelli downwards. God send I may never see this degenerated place again. Every man here is our bitter enemy.”— p. 124.
“Some of the villains are very rich. The distress for bread in Ischia is so great, that it would move even a Frenchman to pity. Cannot a subscription be opened? I beg to put my name down for twenty ducats; I cannot afford more, or I would give it. I feed all I can from a large private stock I had, but that will not last long. Palermo is full of grain, as is the neighbourhood; the French I fear, have more interest there than the king. His majesty will, I hope, the moment he regains Naples, make some great examples of his villamous nobles.”—p. 169.
Lord JWelson. “I have asked this court [in Sicily] to lend 10,000l [to Malta] to supply their wants; but I cannot succeed, as general Acton says they have it not to give. Troubridge has been obliged to give all his flower to keep the inhabitants of the islands from starving.”—p. 157.
Captain Troubridge to lord Nelson.
“Naples, August 15, 1799. We have nothing now but fireworks and nonsense. To day some officers applied for a passage to Palermo, to see the procession of St. Rosalio. I recommended them to exercise their troops and not behave like children. What can the king expect from such things Every thing gives way to their pleasures. The truth is, it is the interest of many here to keep the king away. They constantly send villanous reports to deter him from coming. I know this game has been practised some time. In short, my lord, they all dread reform, I mean the people in office; the villanies are so deep rooted, that if some method is not taken to dig them out, this government cannot hold together. His majesty is surrounded by thieves, and none has honour or honesty enough to tell him the real and true state of things. Out of twenty millions of ducats collected as the revenue, only thirteen millions reach the treasury, and the king pays five ducats where he should pay one.”—p. 212.
We could add many more descriptions of a like kind; but these are sufficient to prove our assertlonS.
What a dreary spectacle do these extracts present of what avail is a king at the head of his army however valiant, when a Mack has the chief command, when the minister at war is among the traitors, and *hen all the generals can be bought
for a carline 2 of what avail is the sense of honour in allies when the principals are thieves, prostitutes, liars, adepts at “the true Neapolitan shuffle!” and callous to every sentiment of humanity and compassion 1 Those who can hear the complaints of the starving, yet amidst their own abundance afford no supply; those who are too greatly enervated to do their duty to their country; those who have abandoned every vigorous sentiment and every manly virtue, may be fiddlers and slaves if they will; but patriots and freemen they cannot be.
Nemo repente fuit turpissimus.
says the adage. Private and personal vices, are the parents of official and publick profligacy. The breach of morals, is like that of a dyke; small at first, but the rushing waters enlarge it, the stream acquires strength, overbears all before it, and spreads ruin and devastation all around. Whenever doubts are started, whether morals are the true support of national energies, we recommend an appeal to the history of Italy, and to the opinions of lord. Nelson, with those of the officers of his squadron. Men themselves, they knew how to make allowance for the frailty of mankind; but Britons, officers, and patriots, they beheld, with disgust, those atrocities which led to the subjugation of that unhappy country. They could not preserve Italy; she was sunk in guilt. The carrion carcase which becomes the prey of vultures and kites, of wolves and wild dogs, is no subject of pity; it has no feeling; it has no sense of dishonour; there is no spirit lin lt.
But Italy is not the only country, which must plead guilty to the accusation of treason and corruption. Captain Wood writes to lord
Nelson, that “ many of the Turks at
Constantinople had been dipping in French gold, and a wonderful deal of villany had been discovered.”Can we otherwise than expect that sufferings of the same kind, as those which have desolated Italy should fall on crimes of the same nature, in Turkey : Lord Nelson's conduct, as a politician, at Copenhagen after, or rather during, the battle off that city, is too well known to need relation or illustration from us. A happy thought, happily executed, at a happy moment, and conducted to its completion, by the personal exertion of the British admiral, distinquished that event. Never was a more sudden or a more acceptable conversion of war and bloodshed into pacification. Never was a more profound exertion of political sagacity, and official presence of mind. Lord Nelson is distinguished, also, in a political point of view, by his conduct at home, by his proposals for the good of the service, and the advantage of his brother officers and sailors. He always spoke his mind freely; his sentiments were the result of his experience; and he advised for his country's welfare, which ever lay near his heart. But on this subject we cannot enlarge. The character of lord Nelson as a man, may be deduced, not unfairly, from what we have stated on his conduct as an officer, from his unabating patriotism, and his prescience in politicks; yet fidelity to truth requires, that we should examine his personal character more closely than we have yet done. We therefore select two particulars; the first, his constantly attributing to the good pleasure of the Sovereign Disposer of all events, whatever successes crowned his exertions; this does him honour as a man. The other does honour to his friends, who never manifested attachment to him more strongly, than when remonstrating with their superiour officer and commander, on his subjugation to those imperfections in his character, which were more dreadful by their seductions, than all the power of
the enemy, ten times augmented,
could have been by its violence. Lord Nelson writes to his lady,
September 28, 1798:
“Miserable accounts of le Guillaume Tell. I trust God Almighty will yet put her into the hands of our king. His all powerful hand bas come with us to the battle, protected us, and still continues destroying the unbelievers. All glory be to God.”
He writes to earl St. Vincent.
“I thank God on your account that your expectations have not been disappointed in me. If the French get thirteen more ships into the Mediterranean, you will take care of me; and I will fight them the moment I can get at them, and I trust to the blessing of God, whom I praise and adore for all his mercies.”
His publick ascription, of his victory at Aboukir, to “Almighty God, who had been pleased to grant a signal triumph to his majesty’s arms,” will never be obliterated from the memory of his countrymen; and this, with other publick expressions of the same sentiment, being already universally known, we shall not here repeat them. But justice to his brother officers requires that they also should partake his praises on this subject. Lord St. Vincent writes: “My dear admiral, God be praised, &c.” Captain Collingwood writes: “My heart overflows with thankfulness to the Divine Providence, for his protection of you through the great dangers which are ever attendant on services of such eminence,” &c. These are laudable instances of piety; these brave men were not the less brave because they saw the hand of God in victory, and acknowledged Divine Providence in their personal safety. For the rest we shall adopt the language of these volumes; where the writers turn away from particulars we shall not endeavour to state them; the pain with which the defects of a Nelson are considered by