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begin to develope their permanent qualities, he had so intently and assiduously pursued the duties of his profession—had passed through so many grades of office—had seen such a diversity of service, and had fought so many battles, that he had become qualified for any station in the navy. As the very respectable force brought into the Mediterranean by Com. Barron so essentially augmented the American squadron, the most efficient operations were probably expected to be immediately commenced. But the Bashaw was already sufficiently humbled. Negotiations were opened upon shore, and the united squadrons had little more to perform than the sluggish and irksome duty of standing off and on, and awaiting the result of the deliberations at the Bashaw's palace. Capt. Decatur, after such a long series of ineessant duty, might well be supposed to need repose. But, ever ready to receive and execute the orders of his new commander, he remitted no portion of his accustomed vigilance in preparing for it. While in command of the Constitution, he enjoyed the society of the accomplished officers who remained in her, and who had participated so largely in the dangers the squadron had encountered, and the victories it had gained. No event of sufficient interest to relate particularly, took place in relation to Capt. Decatur while on board the Constitution. It might be hazardous to say that the crew made great advances in the science of naval tactics while under his command, as they

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had so long served under the accomplished Preble ; but it has ever been acknowledged that Capt. Decatur was amongst the most strict and best qualified disciplinarians in the American Navy. This, if not the very first, is next to the first quality of a naval officer. Discipline has been acquired by all the American officers, and to a degree of perfection unknown even to the oldest veteran Admirals of Britain, who now enjoy the benefits of centuries of previous naval experience, whereas scarce a quarter of a century has passed since the American Navy has had existence. In rapturously contemplating the splendid achievements of Decatur, the reader is exceedingly prone to overlook the causes which have produced such wonderful effects. Even his unequalled personal courage in action might have led him to the fate which almost invariably befalls misdirected rashness, had he not thoroughly acquired that nautical skill which enabled him to practise those masterly manoeuvreings, which so often baffled his most skilful adversaries. And also that military skill, which has given such complete perfection to American gunnery and produced such rapid and tremendous effects upon the enemy. It is believed, that this system may be called THE AMERICAN NAVAL system—and that it is retained as an arcanum with our naval officers. After the most diligent research, no publication could be found, which developed, what, to a landsman, seems as a mystery. This unquestionably is the dictate of the

soundest policy. Superior skill to the enemy, gives an advantage next to that of superior courage; and although Americans cannot pronounce all their enemies inferior in the last, it is perfectly honourable to conquer them by superiority in the first; and to maintain that superiority by concealing the causes of it from them.*.* Gen. Washington, when indecorously interrogated, asked the inquisitive meddler— “Can you keep a secret, Sir?”—Certainly, I can.”—“So can I, Sir,” the profound General replied. The student of military tactics can find treatise piled upon treatise, from the pens of subalterns up to Major-Generals, and from the humble pamphlet to the ponderous octavo. Still it may be asked, have our officers in the army surpassed, or have they equalled those of the navy in an uniform system of discipline 7

After the lapse of some time, Capt. Decatur was removed from the Constitution to the frigate Congress, a ship of inferior rate. Ever respectful to his commander in chief, and ever cheerful in the discharge of any duty assigned him, he pursued the same undeviating course of discipline on board the Congress, as he ever had done from the days of his earliest promotion. Wherever he commanded, he possessed the rare faculty of infusing amongst the crew the spirit that pervaded his own bosom. Under him, rigid discipline became a pleasing pastime, and duty a pleasure. Negotiations in the mean time were lingering and progressing, delaying and advancing in Tripoli. The severe animadversions in the American Journals at that day upon this subject, belong not to this volume. Whether the government ought to have supported and ratified the unofficial treaty made by Gen. Eaton, with the Ex-Bashaw, and to have restored the latter to his throne; or to have rejected that made by Mr. Lear, an accredited agent of the government, are questions not here to be discussed. STEPHEN Decatur, who had so nobly and courageously aided in driving the reigning Bashaw to negotiate at all, had no hand or voice in this diplomatic arrangement. Suffice it to say, that the sum of sixty thousand dollars was paid to the Bashaw—thirty thousand dollars less than the gallant Preble, in the midst of victory, had offered; and five hundred and forty thousand dollars less than the insolent Bashaw, in fancied security, had demanded. The politician who is governed solely by money-logic, would cero

* After a few naval victories in the war of 1812, a distinguished British writer, on the capture of the Bozer, thus expresses himself; “The fact seems to be but too clearly established, that the Americans have some superior mode of firing ; and we cannot be too anxiously employed in discovering to what circumstances that superiority is owing.”—Another British writer after lamenting in the bitterness of grief, the loss of the Macedonian, says: “It affords an additional ground to reflect and to inquire seriously into the strange causes which have rendered our relative circumstances with respect to this new enemy, so different from what they have had hitherto to contend with.” “It is trusted they never will learn the Theory of American naval tactics—and the Practice of them they will not be disposed very soon to try again. A writer of a system of cookery, directing how to dress a dolphin, gravely says—“In the first place. catch a dolphin.”

tainly be satisfied with this stipulation, especially as it was a sum insufficient to support the whole squadron for sixty days. But the dignified and patriotic statesman, who “surveys the whole ground”—who knows that peace was established after a long, hazardous, and, perhaps, (if continued.) a doubtful contest—that ample provision was made for the freedom and security of the American trade—and that the noble and gallant Bainbridge, his gallant officers and seamen, and other American citizens, to the number of near half a thousand, who had been incarcerated in dungeons for some years, and none little less than eighteen months, were immediately discharged without the least ransom, would unhesitatingly give his assent to this treaty. Amongst all the consequences flowing from the peace with Tripoli, no one was so perfectly well calculated to swell with exultation such a heart as Decatur’s, as the restoration of the prisoners; especially the crew of the Philadelphia. It was their bondage which had for months stimulated him to the performance of deeds, which standunrivalled upon the records of chivalrous courage. It was to him, next to a propitious Providence, that they owed their emancipation from a bondage, which as it is unknown to Christian countries, can be but feebly pourtrayed in Christian language. Imagine the noble Bainbridge, the gallant Porter, Jones and Biddle, hurling indignantly the cords that had long bound them, at their humbled oppressors, and throwing themselves into the arms of the enraptured Decatur, Hull, Law

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