Horatio Nelson
Quotations


Firstly you must always implicitly obey orders, without attempting to form any opinion of your own regarding their propriety. Secondly, you must consider every man your enemy who speaks ill of your king; and thirdly you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil.

Our country will, I believe, sooner forgive an officer for attacking an enemy than for letting it alone.

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

Let me alone: I have yet my legs and one arm. Tell the surgeon to make haste and his instruments. I know I must lose my right arm, so the sooner it's off the better.

First gain the victory and then make the best use of it you can.

Before this time to-morrow I shall have gained a peerage, or Westminister Abbey.

I cannot, if I am in the field of glory, be kept out of sight: wherever there is anything to be done, there Providence is sure to direct my steps. (1797)

The Neapolitan officers did not lose much honour, for God knows they had not much to lose - but they lost all they had.

I am myself a Norfolk man.

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.

If a man consults whether he is to fight, when he has the power in his own hands, it is certain that his opinion is against fighting.

If I had been censured every time I have run my ship, or fleets under my command, into great danger, I should have long ago been out of the Service and never in the House of Peers.

Victory or Westminister Abbey.

Duty is the great business of a sea officer; all private considerations must give way to it, however painful it may be.

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

Something must be left to chance; nothing is sure in a sea fight above all.

When I am without orders and unexpected occurrences arrive I shall always act as I think the honour and glory of my King and Country demand. But in case signals can neither be seen or perfectly understood, no captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy.

England expects that every man will do his duty.

Bonaparte has often made his boast that our fleet would be worn out by keeping the sea and that his was kept in order and increasing by staying in port; but know he finds, I fancy, if Emperors hear the truth, that his fleet suffers more in a night than ours in one year.

Desperate affairs require desperate measures.

Gentlemen, when the enemy is committed to a mistake we must not interrupt him too soon.

I cannot command winds and weather.

I could not tread these perilous paths in safety, if I did not keep a saving sense of humor.

I have always been a quarter of an hour before my time and it has made a man of me.

Never break the neutrality of a port or place, but never consider as neutral any place from whence an attack is allowed to be made.

Now I can do no more. We must trust to the Great Disposer of all events and the justice of our cause. I thank God for this opportunity of doing my duty.

Recollect that you must be a seaman to be an officer and also that you cannot be a good officer without being a gentleman.

The bravest man feels an anxiety 'circa praecordia' as he enters the battle, but he dreads disgrace more.

The business of the English commander-in-chief being first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

Time is everything; five minutes make the difference between victory and defeat.



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