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Sermon Illustrations: Morale

'What we have been sent out for, is best known to the Great Folks in London', he [Nelson] wrote wearily. 'To us it appears only to hum the Nation and make fools of us, for where we have been stationed no Enemy was likely to be met with.' In mid-May 1793, beating backwards and forwards between Scilly and Channel Islands, he observed, 'this is not the first squadron sent out to do nothing.' There was not one enemy ship around... Agamemnon was one of a large force - eleven ships of the line and all their attendant vessels - under Lord Hood, 'but what his instructions or orders are, I cannot guess. I have not seen him since he joined us a fortnight tomorrow, nor even had a boat hoisted out. Our weather, although not bad, has been very unpleasant - foggy with drizzling rain.' It was a salutary reminder of how morale could drop if the job in hand was unexplained and seemed pointless.1

1 Howarth, David & Howarth, Stephen Nelson: The Immortal Memory p103