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



The gloom which had long impended over the private happiness and even public services of Lord Nelson, was not dispersed by his return to his native country. His mind was affected by an unfortunate passion, which had resisted the entreaties and remonstrances of his numerous friends; many of whom, and amongst them his son-in-law, lost his confidence, by a vain endeavour to restore the natural bias of his affectionate but too susceptible heart. In taking his final leave of Lady Nelson on the 13th of January, 1801, he acted in a manner that cannot be defended. “I call God to witness,” exclaimed he, “there is nothing in you or your conduct I wish otherwise.” On the same evening he addressed the following note to her from Southampton, to which place he had been accompanied by his brother, the Rev. Dr. William Nelson. “My dear Fanny: We are arrived, and heartily tired; and with kindest regards to my father and all the family, believe me your affectionate Nelson.”—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 tenderness of his character.