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Horatio Nelson

Data de nascimento: 29. Setembro 1758
Data de falecimento: 21. Outubro 1805
Outros nomes:Lord Horatio Nelson

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Horatio Nelson, 1.º Visconde Nelson KB , foi um oficial britânico da Marinha Real Britânica, famoso pelas suas intervenções nas Guerras Napoleónicas. Ganhou várias batalhas da qual se destaca a Batalha de Trafalgar, em 1805, durante a qual foi morto.

Nelson nasceu no seio de uma família moderadamente próspera de Norfolk, e ingressou na Marinha pela mão do seu tio, Maurice Suckling. Evoluiu rapidamente na carreira militar, servindo com alguns dos principais comandantes militares, antes de obter o seu próprio comando em 1778. Ganhou uma reputação de firmeza e bravura, e de desenvolver tácticas inovadoras mas, após o final da Guerra da Independência Americana, adoeceu por diversas vezes, e ficou desempregado. A eclosão da Revolução Francesa permitiu a Nelson retornar o serviço, sendo particularmente activo na região do Mediterrâneo. Participou em pequenas batalhas ao largo de Toulon, e teve um papel importante na captura da Córsega, e posteriormente nas funções diplomáticas com os estados italianos.

Em 1797, durante a Batalha do Cabo São Vicente, distinguiu-se ao comando do navio de guerra HMS Captain. Pouco tempo depois desta batalha, Nelson participou na Batalha de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, onde foi ferido gravemente e forçado a regressar a Inglaterra para recuperar. No ano seguinte, obteve uma decisiva vitória sobre os franceses na Batalha do Nilo, permanecendo no Mediterrâneo para apoiar o Reino de Nápoles contra a invasão francesa. Em 1801, foi enviado para o mar Báltico, conquistando outra vitória, desta vez sobre os dinamarqueses na Batalha de Copenhaga. Posteriormente comandou o bloqueio das frotas espanholas e francesas em Toulon e, após a fuga destes, perseguiu-os até às Índias Ocidentais numa tentativa de travar uma batalha, sem no entanto, o ter conseguido. Depois de um breve regresso a Inglaterra, assumiu o comando do bloqueio a Cádis, em 1805. Em 21 de outubro de 1805 a frota franco-espanhola saiu do porto desta cidade tendo pela frente a frota de Nelson; o encontro de ambas as frotas deu origem à Batalha de Trafalgar. Esta batalha foi uma das maiores vitórias navais da Grã-Bretanha; no entanto, Nelson seria mortalmente atingido por um atirador francês. O seu corpo foi trazido de volta à Inglaterra, onde foi sepultado com honras de estado.

Nelson ficou conhecido pela sua capacidade de inspirar e motivar os seus homens: o "Toque de Nelson". A sua forma inovadora de conceber estratégias e táticas não convencionais resultou em várias vitórias decisivas. Alguns aspectos do seu comportamento pessoal foram considerados controversos ainda em vida, e depois da sua morte: teve um caso amoroso com Emma, Lady Hamilton, enquanto ambos eram casados, que durou até sua morte, e do qual resultou uma filha, Horatia. Além disso, as suas acções durante a campanha de Nápoles foram acusadas de brutalidade excessiva. Nelson poderia, por vezes, ser vaidoso, inseguro e ansioso por ser reconhecido, mas também era zeloso, atencioso e patriótico, bem como corajoso. Seria ferido em combate por diversas vezes, perdendo um braço e um olho. A sua morte em Trafalgar garantiu-lhe ficar reconhecido para sempre como uma das grandes personalidades de Inglaterra. Em sua honra, foram erigidos vários monumentos, destacando-se a Coluna de Nelson, na Praça de Trafalgar, em Londres.

Citações Horatio Nelson

„My character and good name are in my own keeping. Life with disgrace is dreadful. A glorious death is to be envied,“

—  Horatio Nelson
Context: The lives of all are in the hands of Him who knows best whether to preserve it or no, and to His will do I resign myself. My character and good name are in my own keeping. Life with disgrace is dreadful. A glorious death is to be envied, and, if anything happens to me recollect death is a debt we must all pay, and whether now or in a few years hence can be but of little consequence. Letter from Agamemnon at sea (10 March 1795), in Nelson's letters to his wife and other documents, 1785-1831 edited by Navy Records Society, p. 199

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„I cannot, if I am in the field for glory, be kept out of sight.“

—  Horatio Nelson
Context: !-- Had all my actions, my dearest Fanny, been gazetted, not one fortnight would have passed during the whole war without a letter from me: one day or other I will have a long Gazette to myself; I feel that such an opportunity will be given me. --> I cannot, if I am in the field for glory, be kept out of sight. Probably my services may be forgotten by the great, by the time I get Home; but my mind will not forget, nor cease to feel, a degree of consolation and of applause superior to undeserved rewards. Wherever there is anything to be done, there Providence is sure to direct my steps. Credit must be given me in spite of envy. <!-- Even the French respect me: their Minister at Genoa, in answering a Note of mine, when returning some wearing apparel that had been taken, said, ‘Your Nation, Sir, and mine, are made to show examples of generosity, as well as of valour, to all the people of the earth. Letter to his wife, Frances Nelson (2 August 1796), as published in The Dispatches and Letters of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson with Notes (1845) edited Nicholas Harris Nicolas, Vol. II : 1795-1797, p. 203

„To leave off action"? Well, damn me if I do! You know, Foley, I have only one eye,— I have a right to be blind sometimes . . . I really do not see the signal!“

—  Horatio Nelson
Context: To leave off action"? Well, damn me if I do! You know, Foley, I have only one eye,— I have a right to be blind sometimes... I really do not see the signal! At the battle of Copenhagen, Ignoring Admiral Parker's signal to retreat, holding his telescope up to his blind eye, and proceeding to victory against the Danish fleet. (2 April 1801); as quoted in Life of Nelson, Ch. 7

„Wherever there is anything to be done, there Providence is sure to direct my steps.“

—  Horatio Nelson
Context: !-- Had all my actions, my dearest Fanny, been gazetted, not one fortnight would have passed during the whole war without a letter from me: one day or other I will have a long Gazette to myself; I feel that such an opportunity will be given me. --> I cannot, if I am in the field for glory, be kept out of sight. Probably my services may be forgotten by the great, by the time I get Home; but my mind will not forget, nor cease to feel, a degree of consolation and of applause superior to undeserved rewards. Wherever there is anything to be done, there Providence is sure to direct my steps. Credit must be given me in spite of envy. <!-- Even the French respect me: their Minister at Genoa, in answering a Note of mine, when returning some wearing apparel that had been taken, said, ‘Your Nation, Sir, and mine, are made to show examples of generosity, as well as of valour, to all the people of the earth. Letter to his wife, Frances Nelson (2 August 1796), as published in The Dispatches and Letters of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson with Notes (1845) edited Nicholas Harris Nicolas, Vol. II : 1795-1797, p. 203

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„I have not shed a tear for years before the 21st of October and since, whenever alone, I am quite like a child.“

—  Horatio Nelson
Context: Let the country mourn their hero; I grieve for the loss of the most fascinating companion I ever conversed with — the greatest and most simple of men — one of the nicest and most innocent — interesting beyond all, on shore, in public and even in private life. Men are not always themselves and put on their behaviour with their clothes, but if you live with a man on board a ship for years; if you are continually with him in his cabin, your mind will soon find out how to appreciate him. I could for ever tell you the qualities of this beloved man. I have not shed a tear for years before the 21st of October and since, whenever alone, I am quite like a child. Alexander Scott, the chaplain who attended to Nelson at his death, as quoted in Trafalgar: An Eyewitness History (2005) edited by Tom Pocock, p. 154; also in Seize, Burn, Or Sink: The Thoughts and Words of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson (2007) edited by Steven E. Maffeo, p. 588

„I had rather suffer death than alarm Mrs. Freemantle, by letting her see me in this state, when I can give her no tidings whatever of her husband.“

—  Horatio Nelson
After being wounded during the attack on Santa Cruz de Tenerife (24 July 1797), as quoted in The Dispatches and Letters of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson with Notes (1845) edited Nicholas Harris Nicolas, Vol. II : 1795-1797, p. 423

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„The measure may be thought bold, but I am of the opinion the boldest are the safest.“

—  Horatio Nelson
Statement to Sir Hyde Parker urging vigorous action against the Russians and Danes (24 March 1801), quoted in "The Book of Military Quotations" by Peter G. Tsouras, p. 54

„My greatest happiness is to serve my gracious King and Country and I am envious only of glory; for if it be a sin to covet glory I am the most offending soul alive.“

—  Horatio Nelson
Letter to his mistress, Lady Hamilton (1800) ; derived from "But if it be a sin to covet honour, I am the most offending soul alive." by William Shakespeare, in Henry V

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„Drink, drink. Fan, fan. Rub, rub.“

—  Horatio Nelson
In his dying hours, Nelson was attended by his chaplain, Alexander Scott; his steward, Chevalier; and the purser, Walter Burke. Their accounts have been available to Nelson's modern biographers. This was a request to alleviate his symptoms of thirst, heat, and the pains of his wounds, as quoted in Horatio Nelson (1987) by Tom Pocock, p. 331

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