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

— Horatio Nelson

The most famous Horatio Nelson quotes that are glad to read

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


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


I owe all my success in life to having been always a quarter of an hour before my time.


England expects that every man will do his duty.


Desperate affairs require desperate measures.


Duty is the great business of a sea officer;

all private considerations must give way to it, however painful it may be.


In Sea affairs, nothing is impossible, and nothing is improbable.


I will dine nowhere without your consent although with my present feelings I might be trusted with fifty virgins naked in a dark room.


Hardy, I do believe they have done it at last... my backbone is shot through.


Close with a Frenchman, but out-maneuver a Russian.


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.


In honour I gained them, and in honour I will die with them.


About Horatio Nelson

Quotes 54 sayings
Nationality British
Profession Soldier
Birthday October 16

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.


You must consider every man your enemy who speaks ill of your King, and you must treat every Frenchman as if he were the Devil himself.


My character and good name are in my own keeping.

Life with disgrace is dreadful. A glorious death is to be envied.


The politics of courts are so mean that private people would be ashamed to act in the same way; all is trick and finesse, to which the common cause is sacrificed.


Thank God I have done my duty.


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


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.


I am a Norfolk man and Glory in being so.


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.


Had we taken ten sails, and let the eleventh to escape, being able to get at her, I could never have called it well done.


No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy.


To do nothing was disgraceful; therefore I made use of my understanding.


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.


I cannot command winds and weather.


I have a right to be blind sometimes.


Treat every Frenchman as if he was the devil himself.


Buonaparte 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.


I have only one eye, I have a right to be blind sometimes... I really do not see the signal!


I am ill every time it blows hard, and nothing but my enthusiastic love for the profession keeps me one hour at sea.


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.


England expects every man to do his duty


When I came to explain to them the 'Nelson Touch', it was like an electric shock. Some shed tears, all approved - 'It was new - it was singular - it was simple!'.


Thank God I have done my duty. Drink, drink. Fan, fan. Rub, rub. Kiss me, Hardy.


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.


Whoever gains the palm by merit, let him hold it.


Something must be left to chance; nothing is certain in a sea fight


I am of the opinion that the boldest measures are the safest.


A fleet of British ships at war are the best negotiators.


Frigates are the eyes of a fleet.


A ship's a fool to fight a fort.


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


It is my turn now; and if I come back, it is yours.


Laurels grow in the Bay of Biscay, I hope a bed of them may be found in the Mediterranean.


There can be no place for self entirely


What the country needs is the annihilation of the enemy.


I believe my arrival was most welcome, not only to the Commander of the Fleet but almost to every individual in it.


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.