The Life and Services of Horatio Viscount Nelson
From His Lordship’s Manuscripts
By James Stanier Clarke
By John McArthur
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2010
Online Publication Date:September 2011
Original Publication Year:1840
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511695025.002
Subjects: Military history , British history after 1450
The life of Horatio Nelson presents one of those rare examples of that early and ardent passion for true glory, which may induce men to excel in every branch of professional duty, and to preserve, through all the vicissitudes of public service, a steadfast reliance on the gratitude of their country.
The following narrative will show by what exertions the son of a private clergyman obtained the highest rewards to which human nature can aspire—the applause of his contemporaries, and the veneration of posterity. By proving himself entirely devoid of indolence, avarice, and envy, he inspired his countrymen with such confidence in his integrity and abilities, that they almost regarded his existence as essential to their own independence, and to the liberties of the civilized world.
This illustrious Officer sacrificed his life in defending that independence and those liberties. When he spoke of himself in the succeeding Memoir, he had no other motive for communicating that summary of his public services, than a desire to lessen the arduous task of his biographers, and a wish that his life might be recorded with the strictest adherence to truth.
This concise Memoir is subdivided, and placed before sections of his life, to give a greater degree of chronological accuracy to the narrative. In the first part, we trace him from his infancy to the rank of Commander;—in the second, from his obtaining that rank to his becoming a Rear-Admiral;—and in the third, from the hoisting of his flag to his glorious Death.