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



Such was the character, and such had been the professional services of Horatio Nelson, when he succeeded in his 39th year to the rank of rear-admiral. His great abilities and approved integrity were known and acknowledged throughout Europe, and had been extolled in the most liberal manner, even by those enemies who had severely felt their ascendancy. As a commander, he not only possessed the most unshaken valour and inexhaustible spirit of enterprise, but he also enjoyed the happy and rare talent of inspiring his followers with an unbounded confidence of success in whatever he undertook. The various and wonderful resources of his mind provided a remedy for every contingency. Patient of toil and hardship, but not of inaction, covetous of honour, but not of gold, he anxiously sought for situations of peril and exertion, where he might surpass the rest of his profession in supporting the dignity of his king, and the independence of his country. The extraordinary, and as it were intuitive capacity of his mind, created for itself opportunities of distinction in the most forlorn and perplexing situations. Steele, when speaking of glory, quotes a passage from Cicero, which shows how amply it had been at this time obtained by Nelson: “The perfection of glory is that the people love us, that they have confidence in us; that being affected with a certain admiration towards us, they think we deserve honour.”

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