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Extract of letter sent by Nelson to Sir William Hamilton, dated 20 July 1798

Page 1 of 3

Catalogue reference: FO 70/11 folios 188-9


Vanguard. Syracuse
20th July 1798

My dear Sir

It is an old saying the Devils Children have the Devil’s luck. I cannot find or to this moment learn beyond vague conjecture where the French Fleet are gone to. All my ill fortune hitherto has proceeded from want of Frigates. Off Cape Passaro on the 22th of June at day light I saw two frigates which were supposed to be French and it has been said since that a line of battle ship was to leeward of them with the riches of Malta on board, but it was the destruction of the enemy, and not of riches for myself that I was seeking. These would have fell to me if I had had frigates, but except the ship of the line I regard not all the riches in this world. From my information off Malta I believed they were gone to Egypt, therefore on the 28th I was communicating with Alexandria in Egypt, where I found the Turks preparing to visit them, but know nothing beyond report. From thence I



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