I believe that a more unpleasant task, than what is now imposed upon me, can scarcely fall
to the lot of a person, whose feelings are not more immediately connected by the nearer
ties of kindred, but from a sense of duty, (as first Lieutenant of the Mars,) as being
myself the husband of a beloved partner, and the father of children; out of the pure
respect and esteem to the memory of our late gallant Captain, I should consider myself
guilty of a base neglect, should you only be informed of the melancholy circumstances
attending the late glorious, though unfortunate victory to many, by a public gazette. The
consequences of such an event, while it may occasion the rejoicings of the nation, will in
every instance be attended with the deepest regrets of a few.
Alas! Madam, how unfortunate shall I think myself, should this be the first intimation you
may have of the irreparable loss you have met with! what apology can I make for entering
on a subject so tender and so fraught with sorrow, but to recommend an humble reliance on
this great truth, that the ways ef Providence, although sometimes inscrutable, are always
for the best.
By this, Madam, you are in all probability acquainted with the purport of my letter.
Amongst the number of heroes who fell on that ever-memorable 21st inst. in defence of
their King and Country; after g1oriously discharging his duty to both; our meritorious and
much respected Commander, Captain George Duff, is honourably classed; his fate was
instantaneous; and he resigned his soul into the hands of the Almighty without a moment's
Poor Norwich is very well. Capatain Blackwood has taken him on board the Euryalas, with
the other young gentlemen that came with him, and their schoolmaster.
The whole of the Captain's papers and effects are sealed up, and will be kept in a place
of security until proper persons are appointed to examine them. Meanwhile, Madam, 1 beg
leave to assure you of my readiness to give you any information, or render you any service
in my power.
am, Madam, with the greatest respect,
most obedient and most humble servant,