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[202] was there a greater apparent disproportion between cause and effect.

And the lesson which the Merrimac teaches is, that in war no chance should be thrown away, no advantage should be foregone; that counsel never should be taken of distrust and despondency; that the game of war is never wholly lost and never wholly won, and that in desperate straits there is nothing that ingenuity can suggest which is not worth trying. A sudden and unexpected charge by Kellermann, at the head of eight hundred cavalry, turned the adverse tide of battle at Marengo into a victory. The little fort of Bard, in the valley of Aosta, a few weeks earlier, checked, and, had not the garrison been over-confident and under-vigilant, would have turned back, the whole French army.1 And the Merrimac may have saved the city of Richmond from capture.

It is curious to reflect, after all the inventions by which the force and destructiveness of projectiles have been increased, that in the Merrimac we came back to the point from which naval architecture, as applied to war, started. The Merrimac's beak was nothing more nor less than the rostrum of a Roman galley, enlarged and strengthened.

During the march from Yorktown to the banks of the Chickahominy, besides the weighty cares and heavy responsibilities of a commanding general at the bead of a great expedition, the mind of General

1 See the account in Alison's “History of the French Revolution,” chap. XXX.

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