<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Francis Napier, 8th Lord Napier, to Mary Hamilton. He has offered a captain £2000 for his company; whether he obtains it or not is not yet clear, but he probably will not. His experience of the army has not been positive. Many officers junior to himself, without merit or interest, gain promotion over him, a fact that he finds ‘mortifying’ but at least for the present he needs to put up with it. One day he may have independent means and would be able to follow his own wishes. If this was ever to happen he would show Lord ‘A’ [Lord Amherst?] or one of the other ministers how much he despises them. Napier writes that the fortune of his family and the lives of many of them have been devoted to the support of the House of Hanover. His ‘grandfather and his nine sons have served his Majesty’. Some were killed in their duty and six still remain in service and he makes the seventh. Any promotion would be acceptable to him as long as it did not have to be purchased.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Napier moves on to the subject of the ‘combined fleets’ and asks if Sir Charles ‘still intend to play Bo Peep? The old English spirit seems to be extinct’. He argues that two fleets of such size not meeting in the channel is nonsensical. ‘The M——y have behaved like a flock of terrified geese’ instead of providing arms for the people living by the sea to defend themselves with. He asks why they do nothing.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Edinburgh.</p>
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