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The Life of Nelson II von Mahan, A. T. (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 27.08.2016
  • Verlag: anboco
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The Life of Nelson II

The Life of Nelson has been written so often, that an explanation-almost an apology-seems due for any renewal of the attempt; but, not to mention the attractiveness of the theme in itself, it is essential to the completeness and rounding off of the author's discussion of the Influence of Sea Power, that he present a study, from his own point of view, of the one man who in himself summed up and embodied the greatness of the possibilities which Sea Power comprehends,-the man for whom genius and opportunity worked together, to make him the personification of the Navy of Great Britain, the dominant factor in the periods hitherto treated. In the century and a half embraced in those periods, the tide of influence and of power has swelled higher and higher, floating upward before the eyes of mankind many a distinguished name; but it is not until their close that one arises in whom all the promises of the past find their finished realization, their perfect fulfilment. Thenceforward the name of Nelson is enrolled among those few presented to us by History, the simple mention of which suggests, not merely a personality or a career, but a great force or a great era concrete in a single man, who is its standard-bearer before the nations. Yet, in this process of exaltation, the man himself, even when so very human and so very near our own time as Nelson is, suffers from an association which merges his individuality in the splendor of his surroundings; and it is perhaps pardonable to hope that the subject is not so far exhausted but that a new worker, gleaning after the reapers, may contribute something further towards disengaging the figure of the hero from the glory that cloaks it. The aim of the present writer, while not neglecting other sources of knowledge, has been to make Nelson describe himself, - tell the story of his own inner life as well as of his external actions.

Produktinformationen

    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: watermark
    Seitenzahl: 500
    Erscheinungsdatum: 27.08.2016
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783736412606
    Verlag: anboco
    Größe: 967kBytes
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The Life of Nelson II

CHAPTER XIV.

NELSON TEMPORARILY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF IN THE MEDITERRANEAN.-RELIEVED BY LORD KEITH.-APPLIES TO RETURN TO ENGLAND ON ACCOUNT OF ILL HEALTH.

AUGUST, August 1799-JUNE, 1800. AGE, 41.

Upon Keith's departure, the command in the Mediterranean devolved upon Nelson, who for some time remained in doubt of the fact, but with his usual promptitude acted as if all depended upon himself. "I am venturing certainly out of my line of duty, but as the commander-in-chief may not even be on the station, I must do the best which my judgment points out during his temporary absence." Six sail-of-the-line, under Admiral Duckworth, were sufficient for service at Gibraltar and Cadiz, if the latter port was deserted. Four of the line were about Minorca, constantly, though inefficiently, threatened from the adjacent coasts of Spain. Three were blockading Malta, conjointly with the Portuguese vessels. Sidney Smith with his division remained in the Levant. Troubridge was operating with a few ships on the coast of Italy, against Civita Vecchia, still in the hands of the French. A small squadron was maintained on the Riviera of Genoa, disturbing the communications of the French, and keeping touch with the advance of the Austro-Russians; but it was expected that the Russian fleet, as was natural and proper, would soon assume the duty of co-operating with their general, Suwarrow. The smaller British cruisers were distributed among these various duties. The flagship "Foudroyant" was at Palermo, whither the King returned from Naples on the 8th of August, and there the headquarters of the squadron remained during Nelson's command. Soon after this arrival in Palermo the King conferred upon him the title of Duke of Bronté, with an estate of the same name in Sicily, valued at Pds. 3,000 per annum. After this the admiral for a time signed his papers as Bronté Nelson,[1] changed subsequently to Bronté Nelson of the Nile, and finally settled down to Nelson and Bronté, which was his form of signature for the last four years of his life. He placed upon his new estate an annual charge of Pds. 500 in favor of his father for the term of the latter's life. "Receive this small tribute, my honoured father," he wrote, "as a mark of gratitude to the best of parents from his most dutiful son."

On the 20th of September he received letters from the Admiralty, investing him with the chief command, "till the return of Lord Keith or some other your superior officer." He was not, however, allowed the appointments of a commander-in-chief, and often complained of the inadequacy of his staff to the extent of his duties. Nelson naturally hoped that his long and eminent services in that particular field, and the conspicuous ability he had shown on so many occasions, would lead to the station remaining permanently in his hands, and that Lord Keith, who was now in England, would succeed in due course to the Channel Fleet, whose commander, Lord Bridport, soon after retired. The Mediterranean was naturally attributed to a vice-admiral, and one of some seniority; but Nelson was now a rear-admiral of the Red, the highest color, not far, therefore, from promotion, and it would not be an unreasonable conclusion that the same ministry which had been fortunate enough to choose him for the campaign of the Nile, might now prefer to entrust to such able and enterprising hands the great interests of the Mediterranean at large.

It was not, however, to be so. Whether moved only by routine considerations of rank, as afterwards at Copenhagen, or whether his relations with the Sicilian Court, his conduct of affairs at Naples, and his collisions with Keith, had excited doubt of the normal balance of his mind, the Admiralty decided to send Keith back, and Nelson, greatly to his mortification, was kept in charge only till the end of the year. As St. Vincent had always left him practicall

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