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[437] watching and circling, like scattered sea-gulls, along their prescribed line of coast. When the notorious Nashville was waiting at Beaufort, ready to dart from her refuge and speed once more upon her hazardous voyage, tedious days and anxious nights of sentinel watch, anchored at the mouth of one narrow outlet, formed a part of the duty of the Cambridge. The lively, adventurous temperament of her surgeon chafed under this dreary experience. Gladly would he have sought more stirring scenes of duty, but he would not for a moment contemplate the abandonment of the service.

In consequence of exposure to wet and cold during the wintry season, and the restraint from habitual exercise, Dr. Richardson's health failed. These causes, with the bitter disappointment to his aspirations, induced the development of a disease which had proved fatal to his mother and elder brother. Once, when the Cambridge had put into Baltimore for repairs, he visited his home on a brief furlough. Then his decline was painfully apparent. His figure had become thin, gaunt, and bent, and his system was shaken by a racking cough. Friends and physicians besought him to resign his commission and seek the restoration of his health. But this he steadily refused to do, declaring that while the war lasted he should remain in the service of his country; that he could render the best service in her navy, and there he would stay so long as he had strength to perform his duty.

An incident which occurred at this time illustrates at once the changeless sincerity of his friendship and his uncompromising devotion to his government. Recounting one day the formality and coldness of a recent interview between himself and a Southern classmate, an intimate companion of college days, he said, sadly, regretfully, almost bitterly: ‘We parted, old comrades as we were, with bare civility,—and both knew that all which estranged us was the uniform I wore.’ Then in a moment, as if the refluent surge of his patriotic impulses had swept away all memory of personal considerations, he exclaimed spiritedly: ‘But, friends or no friends, our old flag must wave, and wave it shall so long as there's a halyard to hoist it.’

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