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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: November 2011
  • First published in: 1840



That anxiety respecting the proceedings of the detached squadron, under rear-admiral Sir Horatio Nelson, which so long prevailed throughout England during the summer and autumn of 1798, had been painfully increased by the unfortunate capture of the Leander. Lord Spencer unable to bear the dreadful state of uncertainty, and the variety of rumours which depressed and irritated the nation, had retired into the country with the hope of weakening apprehensions he could not subdue. In a letter which his lordship sent on the 30th Sept. 1798, to Sir Horatio Nelson, the indefatigable and upright minister thus described the state of his own, and the public mind. “You may easily, my dear Sir, conceive the anxiety we have been under about you, and your operations; and the distance at which you are placed from us, increased as it is by the present inconvenient situation of Europe for communication, makes it impossible almost to know how and what to write. After the receipt of your two letters, of the 26th of May and 15th of June, the only ones I have received from you since you parted from Lord St. Vincent off Cadiz, I waited for a considerable time in the greatest anxiety, expecting every day to hear some glorious account from you; and until the 16th of this month, when I received a letter from Sir W. Hamilton, enclosing your's to him of the 20th and 22d of July, I did not quite give up all hopes of your having had some very considerable success; notwithstanding the positive assertions of the French papers, that Buonaparte and his whole force were landed in Egypt.