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Friday, October 07, 2005
A willing foe and sea room


TWO WEEKS TO BATTLE
On this day 200 years ago:

George Rose was a close friend and the last man in England to see Lord Nelson alive. It is appropriate that today is Friday and we toast to a willing foe and sea room, as this letter to George Rose clearly shows Nelson girding for battle, even talking about having monuments erected for him at great expense to English taxpayers.


TO THE RIGHT HON. GEORGE ROSE

Victory, 16 leagues West from Cadiz, October 7th, 1805.

My dear Mr. Rose,

Your two letters of September 17th [have arrived], and I feel much obliged by your kind intentions for my dear Mr. Bolton, and I think Mr. Pitt will do what he can to oblige me. I verily believe the Country will soon be put to some expense for my account, either a Monument, or a new Pension and Honours; for I have not the very smallest doubt but that a very few days, almost hours, will put us in Battle; the success no man can ensure, but the fighting them, if they are to be got at, I pledge myself, and if the force arrives which is intended. I am very, very, very anxious for its arrival, for the thing will be clone if a few more days elapse; and I want for the sake of our Country that it should be done so effectually as to have nothing to wish for; and what will signify the force the day after the Battle ? it is, as Mr. Pitt knows, annihilation that the Country wants, and not merely a splendid Victory of twenty-three to thirty-six,—honourable to the parties concerned, but absolutely useless in the extended scale to bring Buonaparte to his marrow-bones: numbers can only annihilate. I think, not for myself, but the Country, therefore I hope the Admiralty will send the fixt force as soon as possible, and Frigates, and Sloops of War, for I am very destitute. I do not mean this as any complaint, quite the contrary; I believe they are doing all they can, if interest does not interfere; therefore, if Mr. Pitt would hint to Lord Barham, that he shall be anxious until I get the force proposed, and plenty of Frigates and Sloops in order to watch them closely, it may be advantageous to the Country: you are at liberty to mention this to Mr. Pitt, but I would not wish it to go farther. I am ever, my dear Mr. Rose,

Your most obliged and faithful friend,

NELSON AND BRONTE.

The Treasury should order me to land the money, 150,000 dollars in Spanish, in the Mediterranean. I mentioned it to Mr. Pitt, but I am ordered to land it in England, and the Ships are here.

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