” had not, at this time, been baptized with the ever memorable name she subsequently bore, for she was not then a Confederate vessel; and, after much circumlocution, fell into the hands of the Danish Government
, at the time, be it remembered, while Prussia
were at war with Denmark
How this occurred is not pertinent to this narrative.
We can only conjecture that Prussian spies were not so “wide-a-wake” as had been some other detectives.
She was taken to Copenhagen
under the direction of Danish
naval officers, in order to witness and test her capacity as a “sea-going” vessel.
Her performance in the North
sea some-what dampened the ardor of these hardy seamen of the North
, for they looked upon her as being more of the amphibia kind than of that class of vessels in which they had been accustomed to navigate the ocean.
It is true she had no very great respect for the heavy waves of the sea — she defied them — and if they did not permit her to gracefully ride over
, she would go through them — protruding her long elephantine proboscis as the seas receded; and, rising from her almost submerged condition, would shake the torrent from her deck and again walk the water like a thing of life.
She was not so
She was dangerous only when coming in conflict with one of her own kind; and even in this respect her reputation subsequently grew to vast proportions — far exceeding her capacity to do damage.
Arrived in Copenhagen
, the report as to her sea-worthiness was not favorable.
Her good qualities were ignored, and her disposition to act the part of the leviathan exaggerated.
Moreover, the war in which Denmark
was engaged was speedily brought to a close and the services of such a vessel were no longer required.
In a word, that Government wished to get rid of her; and after much discussion, deliberation, investigation, &c., as to compliance with contract, it was finally determined to return the little craft to the builders.
Their agent received her, and under charge of a Danish merchant captain and crew, she was dispatched to France
Before leaving port a Confederate navy officer, who was curiously interested in all such naval architecture, had been often on board and inspected the vessel throughout — her armament, gun-gear, projectiles, naval stores, &c.--for in her construction, equipment, &c., she was quite unique.
Pleased with the appearance of the vessel and all on board, he accepted the invitation of the builder's agent and took passage in her for France
She had scarcely got fairly