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[235] fortunate not only than the brave captains who lived before Agamemnon, but than many who had lived and fought in modern times. If many gallant soldiers and sailors in the mythical age died unwept for want of a “reporter,” your modern hero of a hundred escapes and of half an hour's ducking after his first and last fair fight, seems likely to be drowned after all in torrents of sympathetic ink. There was, perhaps, a little difficulty in making any thing very heroic out of the Alabama's career while she lived. Running away from men-of-war and burning unarmed and defenceless merchantmen may be a profitable and useful business, but courage is not precisely the quality one admires in the hawk or the hound when the victory is a partridge or a hare. No doubt there is something romantic and interesting in the mere ubiquity of a sea-rover; no romances are more irresistible than those of “Rovers” and “Waterwitches ;” and even a “Pirate” who combines speed and seamanship with something of the personal charm of a destroying angel, is the favorite ideal of all young boys and girls, and even of maturer women with well-regulated imaginations. It was commonly supposed that paddle-wheels and screws and funnels (not to speak of diplomacy) had put an end to all the romance and picturesqueness of sea life; the celebrity of the Alabama proves the fallacy of that apprehension. For in what has that celebrity consisted, if not in being heard of here, there, and everywhere, and sometimes in half a dozen latitudes at once; in the Channel, in the Mediterranean, in the Atlantic, in the Pacific, in the Indian ocean, in the China seas, at the Cape, in the Channel again? What a wonderful vessel! The Flying Dutchman was a galliot compared with her! What a wonderful captain, to be always pursuing and never caught! And certainly the simple feat of keeping at sea in all weathers for two years without intermission, or breaking down, or repairs, may well strike with admiring wonder a public accustomed to read in their “naval intelligence” of powerful squadrons docking and repairing after six weeks cruise in the Bay of Biscay or the North sea. Let the captain of the Alabama have his due by all means. Without reference to Federals or confederates, let us, as Englishmen, do justice to smart and skilful seamanship wherever we find it. But let not the nation that once owned a Nelson sink to paying equal homage to a sunk Alabama and a surviving victor. To worship success is bad enough; to worship the remains of a runaway smuggler and a nimble-heeled buccaneer because he has come to a legitimate end, is something very different from an honest sympathy with defeat. There are British naval officers performing at the hour splendid but unrecorded services, who will never receive the honors paid to the captain of the Alabama for having accepted the challenge of the captain of the Kearsarge but not its consequences. Probably the Alabama was not a classical school of Roman virtue in which the heart of a Regulus could be trained to self-conquest; if the poet were to write of a Semmes Atqui sciebat, it would not be to celebrate the prisoner of war who disdained to sacrifice his honor to his safety. Atqui sciebat should be interpreted, “though he knew that an English yacht was ready to pick him up and carry him away to a neutral shore, where he could forget the English surgeon who perished with his sinking ship rather than abandon the wounded sailors, but where he could fight the battle over again in safety, and defeat at leisure the fair fame of a brother sailor and an honorable enemy.”

The sceptic who called history a matter-of-fact romance should have lived in our day, when a naval action is fought off Cherbourg on Sunday, and reported in the London and Paris newspapers on the Monday following, no two reports agreeing in any single fact except in the result. Mr. John Lancaster, the owner of the Deerhound yacht, who, in more than the French sense of the words, “assisted at” the engagement, published on the following morning an account which materially differs in the most important points from the official report furnished to Mr. Mason by Captain Semmes, and published yesterday.

“At half-past 12, (we quote Mr. Lancaster's extract from the log of the Deerhound,) observed the Alabama to be disabled, and in a sinking state. We immediately made toward her, and on passing the Kearsarge, were requested to assist in saving the Alabama's crew. At fifty minutes past twelve, when within a distance of two hundred yards, the Alabama sank. We then lowered our two boats, and, with the assistance of the Alabama's whale-boat and dingey, succeeded in saving about forty men, including Captain Semmes and thirteen officers.”

Now what says Captain Semmes?

“ There was no appearance of any boat coming to me from the enemy after my ship went down. Ultimately, however, the steam-yacht Deerhound, owned by a gentleman of Lancashire, England, Mr. John Lancaster, who was himself on board, steamed up in the midst of my drowning men, and rescued a number of both officers and men from the water. About this time the Kearsarge sent one, and then, tardily, another boat. Accompanying you will find lists of the killed and wounded, and of those who were picked up by the Deerhound. The remainder, there is reason to hope, were picked up by the enemy and by a couple of French pilot-boats which were also fortunately near the scene of action.”

The odious imputation of inhumanity contained in this passage is not only altogether wanting in Mr. Lancaster's account, it is implicitly and explicitly contradicted by Mr. Lancaster's assertion that he was requested by the captain of the Kearsarge to assist in “saving” the Alabama's crew. Then, again, as to the relative tonnage and armament of the two ships, Captain Semmes writes to Mr. Mason:

The enemy was heavier than myself, both in ship, battery and crew, but I did not know until the action was over that she was also iron-clad. Her midship section on both sides was

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