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Lot #382
Horatio Nelson

Nelson advises Lady Hamilton, “To our friends say every thing which is kind and to our enemies damn them”

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Nelson advises Lady Hamilton, “To our friends say every thing which is kind and to our enemies damn them”

Highly esteemed British admiral (1758–1805) best known for his participation in the Napoleonic Wars, during which, in the Battle of Trafalgar, he lost his life. ALS signed “Nelson & Bronte,” one page, 7 x 9, Medina, August 7,1801. Letter to Emma, Lady Hamilton. In full: “Pray send good Castelcicala's letter. My mind is not so perfectly at ease as I wish it, but I hope by your next letter that I shall be made better. To our friends say every thing which is kind and to our enemies damn them.” Under his signature, Nelson adds, “Your letter of yesterday not yet arrived.” Letter is mounted and matted and framed, along with its mailing panel, addressed in Nelson’s hand to Hamilton, and signed again in the lower left of the address panel, “Nelson & Bronte.” Address leaf also retains its red wax seal, which is cracked, but intact. Intersecting folds, one through a single letter of signature, mild toning, heavier at the edges, small area of paper loss to address page, as well as some soiling and adhesive remnants, otherwise fine condition.

Beleaguered by battle and hopeful that continued communication from his mistress will improve his state of mind, Nelson requests his beloved to forward correspondence from Castelcicala, a Neopolitan prince. He also uses this opportunity to advise “dear Emma” to be kind to their friends and “to our enemies damn them”—setting the stage for their acquaintances to help look over her and their child in his absence. Just a few days before writing this letter, Nelson hoisted his flag aboard the Medusa at Deal and spent the rest of the summer observing the French coast and the French invasion fleet, occasionally engaging them in battle. A strong message from the revered British admiral to the famed Lady Hamilton. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

Auction Info

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  • Dates: #377 - Ended October 12, 2011

This item is Pre-Certified by PSA/DNA
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