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a mind capable of estimating his worth, are equal to the pleasure which such a one would have enjoyed in pointing to his venerated Hero, as a model nothing short of perfection.
“There had been an extraordinary gloom and depression of mind for some time visible in his lordship, which too much corresponded with the present [of his coffin] he had received. Notwithstanding all his honours and all his glory, Nelson was becoming dissatisfied with himself, and the irritability and misery which this gradually occasioned, appears in many of his subsequent letters. “I am not insensible,” says he, “to the honours and riches my king and country have heaped upon me; yet am I ready to quit this world of trouble, and envy none but those of the estate six feet by two.’—171. “This coffin lord Nelson placed upright with the lid on, against the after division or bulk-head of his cabin, behind his chair where he sat at dinner, and he viewed it with the undaunted mind of a great warriour. On his lordship's leaving the Vanguard, it was carried with him into the Foudroyant where it remained, many days, on the gratings of the quarter deck. While his officers were one day looking at this extraordinary present, his lordship came out of the cabin: “You may look at it, gentlemen, said he, but depend on it none of you shall have it.”—p. 171. “Emma lady Hamilton, one of the most extraordinary women of the age, amidst all her faults, was noted for her general attention and hospitality. By the Neapolitans she was in general adored. In the voluptuous court of the Sicilian monarch her fascinating person commanded a very powerful influence; but in a situation of so much delicacy and danger, she never forgot the character that was expected from the wife of the English ambassadour, nor was deficient in any of those courtesies and friendly attentions which mark a liberal and humane disposition. From the arrival of the British squadron at Naples, she had exerted herself to support that good cause for which admiral Nelson had been detached; and having, in this respect, rendered some service, the natural vanity of her mind led her to imagine, and to endeavour to make the noble admiral and others believe, that from her alone proceeded the means of performing those great events, which threw such a splendour on the favourite object of her idolatry. Her leading pas
sion was the love of celebrity; and it was this passion, added to the above delusion, which gradually brought on that fatal and highly wrought attachment which she formed for the hero of Aboukir; for it was the hero and not the individual, which had captivated her glowing imagination. Its ardour, as it increased, overpowered the natural kindness of her disposition, and eventually involved her in an endless succession of private altercation and publick disappointment. “The state of lord Nelson's health at this time certainly required rest; but the rest which he most wanted could not be found at Palermo. Every thing there conspired to poison his mind, and so to prevent its repose. In a letter which he received from admiral Goodall in England, towards the close of 1799, was the following passage. “They say here, my good lord, that you are Rinaldo in the arms of Armida, and that it requires the firmness of a Ubaldo and his brother knight to draw you from the enchantress.” Nor was the warm and open heart of Troubridge inattentive to the situation of his friend.“Pardon me, my lord, it is my sincere esteem for you that makes me mention it. I know you can have no pleasure in sitting up all night at cards; why then sacrifice your health, comfort, purse, ease, every thing to the customs of a country, where your stay cannot belong I would not, my lord, reside in this country, for all Sicily. I trust the war will soon be over, and deliver us from a nest of everything that is infamous, and that we may enjoy the smiles of our country women. Your lordship is a stranger to half that happens, or the talk it occasions; if you knew what your friends feel for you, I am sure you would cut all the nocturnal parties; the gambling of the people at Palermo is publickly talked of every where. I beseech your lordship leave off. I wish my pen could tell you my feelings, I am sure you would oblige me. I trust your lordship will pardon me: it is the sincere esteem I have for you that makes me risk your displeasure. I really feel for the country. How can things go on 2 I see that the poor inhabitants of Malta are to be sacrificed. If the supplies are stopped, I cannot leave my soldiers to be starved, though I shall have the painful task of abandoning the inhabitants to their fate. I beseech your lordship press for a yes or no. The cries of hunger are now too great to admit of the common evasive answers usually given by the Sicilian government. Do not suffer them to throw the odium on us. If they say we shall not
“His lordship arrived in London, with sir William and lady Hamilton, Nov. 9, 1800; and with them, went immediately to his venerable father and lady Nelson. Their joy was, however, mingled with sorrow; and on first meeting after so long an absence, the presence of sir W. and lady Hamilton added to a disquietude, which if they had innocently been the cause of, they should have carefully endeavoured not to aggravate ” p. 255.
“The gloom which had long impended over the private happiness and even pubtick services of lord Nelson, was not dispelled by his return to his native country His mind was affected by a extraordinary power, which almost merited the turn of enchantment and had resisted the entreaties and remonstrances of his nume
rous friends; many of whom lost his con. fidence, by a vain endeavour to restore the natural bias of his affectionate but too susceptible heart
“In taking his final leave of lady Nel. son, Jan. 13, 1801, he acted, however wrong, with that greatness and liberality of mind which nothing could subdue. “I call God to witness,” exclaimed he, “there is nothing in you or your conduct I could wish otherwise.” This formed a most striking epocha in his eventful life, and as such deserves to be noticed. It gradually operated a fatal change, not only in the natural cheerfulness of his disposition, but in the general delicacy and exquisite tenderness of his character. To use the expression of Cicero, as applied by his biographer, Middleton, though in a somewhat different sense, “it was the commencement of a new life to him, which was to be governed by new maxims and a new kind of policy, yet so far as not to forfeit his old character: Alterius vitae quoddam initium ordimus.” The remaining portion of his biography is, therefore, exclusively devoted to his more splendid publick character, to those astonishing and most important services, which he rendered to his country when she most required them; each of which claimed a distinct praise as surpassing what had preceded it by sorte new proof of professional enterprise and ability.” p. 256.
Is it possible to refrain from expressions of indignation against the harpies of Palermo and Sicily, of Naples and Italy, by which the happiness of this great officer was completely dissipated; and he became lost to himself, to his connexions, to his firiends, and almost to his country . How much happier when “the terrour of the Americans, this great captain Nelson, whom all dread, was found playing with Mrs. Nisbet's child of three years old under the table,” on a visit at Nevis.
The filial affection of Nelson, who always paid the utmost attention to his father, was unabated and exemplary. Writing to Dr. Allot, dean of Raphoe, May 14, 1804, he says: “ most probably I shall never see dear, dear Burnham again; but I have a satisfaction in thinking that my bones will probably be laid with my father's in the village that gave me birth. Pardon this digression; but the thought of former days brings all my mother into my heart, which shows itself in my eyes.” He was equally attentive to his brothers and sisters. The glory of the British navy has risen by degrees to its present splendour; and with honest pride we boast that the present age yields to none, in skill, in courage, in promptitude, in zeal, in vigorous service; the history of Nelson proves that it yields to none, in instances of dignified solicitude for the welfare and honour of our country, in the talents necessary to produce great events, in the foresight which correctly anticipates results, whose causes are concealed from the superficial, and in that firmness of mind, which maintains its self-possession and tranquillity amidst the tossings of the tempest, and the still more hazardous fluctuations of the ocean of politicks. To such talents, monuments, not of marble, or of brass alone, should be raised; let the press
convey the image of the man, of his mind, his understanding, his sentiments to the latest generations. And 1f those generations desire acquaintance with the features of the hero whom they venerate, let the graphick art display them with precision and fidelity. Both these means of immortality are associated in these volumes The portrait of Nelson is satisfactory; the plans of his battles are very illustrative and interesting. The portraits of places, ships, &c. are pleasing. As to the historical plates, they are imperiously demanded by fashion, and fashion is a goddess to whose sway men of letters must bow, as well as the world at large. The execution of the work is highly creditable to the diligence of the writers; and it should seem as if all who ever enjoyed the correspondence or confidence of the hero of the Nile, had taken a pleasure in contributing whatever materials they possessed, towards the erection of this monument to the memory of Nelson.
FROM THE LITERARY PANORAMA a
Captain Williamson's East India Vade Mecum. Concluded from Vol. III. page 385.
FROM several hints which occur in captain Williamson’s volumes, we gather that it is now some years since he left India. He speaks of the extent of Calcutta, as it was in his time, not as it is at present; and he describes the theatre in that town as still standing; whereas it has been taken down to make room for additional habitations. If then he can with propriety use the following language, how much stronger expressions would be justified by the actual state of things |
“A person who might have quitted India about thirty years ago, when the generality of articles of almost every description in use among Europeans, were sent from England; and when only one or two European tailors were to be seen in all Vol. Iv. F.
Bengal; when, also, a newspaper was scarcely in existence, would now on land. ing in that country, be astonished at the improvements made in various branches of manufacture. He would contemplate the advances made in the mechanical arts as the certain fore-runner of independence, and he would view the columns of the se. veral newspapers published at Calcutta, in all fourteen (besides magazines, &c.) whose columns teem with advertisements on a large scale. These he would view as the paramount results of great enterprise, founded upon extensive capitals, and backed by an almost unlimited credit. The newspapers are generallypublished once or twice weekly, at about a rupee each; most days of the week bring forth two papers, in which the price of adverti. sing is generally eight annas [i. e. half a rupee, or 15d.] for each line. As the type is rather large the expense of advertisements must, in some great houses, prove a conspicuous item among the disburseinents. “In this particular, the Hindostanee, or rather the Persian, newspapers are miserably deficient; as, indeed, they are in whatever should be the contents of a publication devoted to the important purposes of mercantile, or of political, intelligence. These bulletins, for I can call them nothing better, are penned by persons about the several native courts, according to the whim of a sycophant, or to the mere tattle in the suburbs of a city; nay, they are often manufactured hundreds of miles from the places whence they are supposed to emanate, and contain accounts of battles and sieges, capitulations and defeats, halts and marches, known to the fabricators only; who, in whatever relates to invention, contradiction, and recontradiction, absolutely surpass those industrious wights that supply our British newsmongers with paragraphs of the highest importance, accidents, murders, &c. &c. at the cheap rate of ten shillings per dozen o'
This is a heavy accusation against the historians of the day: if contemporaries are thus deceived, on what may posterity depend, when desiring authentick information respecting past events :
The following is the manner in which our countrymen spend the day in India.
“Morning visits are not, generally speaking, so uncommon as they were. Formerly, few went to pay visits of ceremony during the forenoon; for, the dinner hour being early, there was little time for such unsocial compliments; whereas, now, that it is generally delayed until about sun set, that is to say, to perhaps five, or six, or even to seven o’clock, the forenoon is more applicable to the reception of visiters; who, if on any terms of intimacy, do not lesitate to join the family at a little avant dimer commonly called a tiffing, and known among us by the name of lunch. This kind of refreshment (for it is not considered a repast) usually takes place between one and two o'clock, and consists of grilled fowls, mutton chops, cold meats and sometimes of curry and rice. Being conducted without ceremony, and in a very desultory style, the dropping in of friends never occasions the slightest discontinuance, any more than the accidental arrival among an English party here, of an intimate, while partaking of a slice of cake and a glass of
wine. The various formalities are, how. ever, now transferred from P. M. to A. M. and it is usual to see the town of Calcutta thronged with palanquins during the whole of what is called the forenoon; but which commonly is made to extend to three o'clock; about which time, especially during nine months in the year, most persons are at home, devested of their usual dresses, and reclining, in some cool apartment, on a bed, or a couch for the purpose of repose, and to prepare for that change of linen, and for those ablutions, not forgetting the bath, which are both comfortable, and essential, in so very sultry a climate. “Gentlemen who purpose visiting the ladies, commonly repair to their houses between eight and nine o’clock in the evening; ordinarily under the expectation of being invited to stay and sup; an invitation that is rarely declined. “Among ladies who are intimately acquainted, morning visits are common, but all who wish to preserve etiquette, or merely return the compliment by way of keeping up a distant acquaintance, confine them to the evening; when, attended by one or more gentlemen, they proceed, in their palanguins, on a tour devoted entirely to this cold exchange of what is called civility. “The company rarely sit long at table after dinner, unless among those convivial souls who deem the presence of a petticoat a perfect nuisance. Such were formerly very numerous, but of late, the society of the sex has been more duly appreciated, and we see the gentlemen quitting the bottle to retire to the chaboofah (or terrace) there to enjoy the cool air of the evening, and to take a cup of tea or to smoke their hookahs; after which, those who have business to attend, proceed to their offices, &c., while the larger portion separate to partake of a family supper with some of their female acquaintances. Very little ceremony is used on such occasions; the gentlemen leaving their hats in their palanquins, and ordering their servants to proceed, as a matter of course, to the houses whither their palanguins are to be conveyed. In many instances these evening visits are paid in a very airy manner: coats being often dispensed with; the gentlemen wearing only an upper and an under waistcoat, both of white linen, and the former having sleeves. Such would appear an extraordinary freedom, were it not established by custom; though, it generally happens, that gentlemen newly arrived from Europe, especially the officers of his majesty’s regiments, wear their coats and prefer undergoing a kind of warm bath of
the most distressing description, both to themselves, and to their neighbours; but, in the course of time, they fall in with the local usages, and, though they may enter the room in that cumbrous habit, rarely fail to devest themselves of it, so soon as the first ceremonies are over, in favour of an upper waistcoat, which a servant has in readiness. “Supper, though enumerated among the ordinary meals of a family residing at the presidency, seems rather to be the means of concentrating the party, than partaken of with that keenness we often witness in our colder climate. Few do more than take a glass or two of wine, generally claret, with, perhaps, a crust, and a morsel of cheese: the appetite at this hour, say ten, being by no means keen. After supper, the hookah is again produced, and, after sitting awhile in conversation, the lady of the house retires; few remain long after that has taken place. On the whole, it Haay be said, that at least four in five are in bed before twelve; or, perhaps, before eleven o’clock.”
This orderly routine does not include the card players: but, as to some other irregularities that in Europe consume the night, “it would be difficult to find any city, wherein celibacy among the males is so prevalent, as at Calcutta, that can boast of so few excesses of any description.” “Gambling was formerly one of the mostprominent vices to be seen in Calcutta; but of late years it has considerably diminished. Those who recollect the institution of Selby’s club, and who now contemplate the very small portion of time dissipated, even by the younger classes, at cards, &c. by way of ‘profit and loss,’ cannot but approve the salutary reform introduced by marquis Cornwallis, who, whatever may have been his foibles, his prejudices, and his errours, in other matters, certainly was entitled to the approbation of the company, as well as to the gratitude of their servants, for having checked so effectually a certain licentious spirit, which had, till his arrival, been totally uncontrolled; indeed, unnoticed in any shape, by his predecessors. “Common sense points out the impropriety, of allowing a gambler to occupy any office in which either great trust, or particular application and vigilance, might be requisite; therefore, as the generality of the posts held under the company are
of either one or other of those descriptions, or may,J. blend both, it stands to reason that a man whose brains are ever casting the dice, and whose carriage rolls upon the four aces, never can with safety be trusted.
“Those who are partial to cards, as an amusement, may find abundance of parties during the evenings, where, for the most part, tradrille and whist (the favourite games) are played at such low stakes as not to be productive of regret, or inconveInlence.
“During a great portion of the year, breakfast may be considered rather a substantial meal. The generality of European gentlemen rise about day break, and either proceed to the parade, to their field diversions, or to ride on horseback, or on elephants; thus enjoying the cool air of the morning. From the middle of March to the middle of October, the sun is very powerful, even when the atmosphere is overcast with clouds of great density. This induces all who ride for health, or for pleasure, to avoid violent exercise; they proceeding, generally, in small parties, each being attended by his eyce who carries a whisk made of horsehair, fastened to a short lacquered stick, for the purpose of driving away the flies, which are generally very troublesome both to the horses and to their riders. It is not uncommon to see the backs of the latter covered with these noxious parasites, which, by their buzzing, and their attempts to alight on the face, produce extreme irritation. During some part of the year, when scarce a leaf is in motion, and the clouds hang very low, exercise, even so early in the morning, is often found more injurious than refreshing. At such seasons, nothing but the abundant perspiration which then relaxes the whole frame and absolutely oozes through the light clothing in common use, could prevent the occurrence of diseases highly inflammatory. Many feel so uneasy, in consequence of this unpleasant exudation, as to be induced to change their linen three or four times within the day; but, however, refreshing such a change may prove, it is by no means to be commended; experience proving that considerable prostration of strength is the inseparable consequence of so ill-judged an indulgence. The best plan is, to have might apparel, and to ride out in the limen worn during the preceding evening; changing for a clean suit on returning, so as to sit down to breakfast in comfort.”
Captain W. gives several cautions on the articles of diet. He objects,