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Captain looks, in the first instance, for the regulation of the ship, and to him the crew are perpetually looking for instruction in discipline, and in their duty”. Every thing is to be reduced to perfect system, and nothing must be left to accident or chance. The economy of a ship of war most nearly resembles that of a perfect piece of machinery;-the parts must all move in unison, and must operate upon each

other according to the original design. To be sure,

a single ship or a fleet are both liable to be encountered by the elements as well as by enemies; and although they can conquer the latter, they are sometimes compelled to bow to the irresistible power of the former. It would border upon a truism to say, that the utmost exertion of human skill and energy, are feeble when compelled to struggle against the decrees of that Power which “rides upon the wings of mighty winds,” and agitates the bosom of the mighty deep. Even in the perilous hour, when “ rude Boreas blustering railer” seems to hold uncontrolled dominion over the watery element, and to defy the offorts of man, there, order and system is to be observed, and, even when sinking in a wrecked ship, an American seaman chooses to ge down, stationed at his quarters. But when approaching an enemy—clearing ship for action—

. * Commodore Decatur, when he afterwards captured the Macedonian, thus speaks of his first Lieut. W. H. Allen.—“To his unremitting exertions in disciplining the crew, is to be imputed the obvious superiority of our gunnery, exhibited in the result of this contest.”

beating to quarters—and discharging all the minute duties which, separately considered, would seem to a landsman too trifling to detail, but which, in the result, produced such a tremendous effect, the utmost order and most perfect system must be unremittingly observed. Lieutenant Decatur, when he entered the Essex Frigate, brought with him, not only the most undaunted courage, but the practical skill of an accomplished naval disciplinarian. He also brought with him the manners and deportment of a gentlemanofficer. He knew, in the sphere in which he moved, he had a right to command, and to enforce obedience; but he chose rather to have the noble fellows in the ship submit to their duty through voluntary choice, than by powerful coercion. He possessed the admirable faculty of infusing into the minds of seamen, the ardour that inspired his own exalted heart, and of rendering the strict, and sometimes severe duty of his men, their highest pleasure, It might be hazardous, to say that no other young officer in the navy possessed all these qualities; but it is fearlessly asserted, that no one possessed them in a higher degree than Lieut. Decatur. Assiduously employed in preparing the Essex for the first important armed expedition from the new to. the old world, he thus addressed the whole-souled tars of the ship:-" ComRADes—We are now about to embark upon an expedition, which may terminate in our sudden deaths, our perpetual slavery, or our immortal glory. The event is left for futurity to deter

mine. The first quality of a good seaman, is, personal courage, the second, obedience to orders;-the third, fortitude under sufferings ; to these may be added, an ardent love of country. I need say no more—I am confident you possess them all.” Such an address as this, from such a man as Lieut. Decatur, to such men as American seamen, some of whom had recently been led to victory by Truxton, and all panting for fame, must have operated like a shock of electricity. In a very few words, it conveyed the ideas of an officer, ardent in the pursuit of glory —prepared for good or ill fortune—determined to be obeyed—glowing with patriotism toward his country, mingled with cordial affection for his men. Looking to his Captain as his authorized commander, he was uniformly respectful to him, and thus set an example to his crew which corresponded with his previous precepts. He had learned the salutary lessons of obedience, before he aspired to the authority of commanding,

CHAPTER. VI.

Lieut. Decatur sails in the Frigate Essex to the Mediterranean, 1801, in the first American Squadron—Hazard of this enterprise —Captain Sterrett’s victory in the Schooner Enterprise—Impatience of Lieut. Decatur in a blockading ship—He returns to America in the Essex—National glory and National taxes— Lieut. Decatur joins the second Mediterranean Squadron as 1st Lieut. of the frigate New-York—Sails to the Mediterranean– Incessant attention to duty—Returns in the New-York to America,

In 1801, the American squadron, under command of Commodore Dale, weighed anchor, and left the waters that wash the shores of our free Republic, to carry our arms into the renowned MEDITERRANEAN, which laves the shores of the most renowned nations of ancient or modern centuries. Decatur had taken an affectionate leave of his justly venerated father, and the highly refined and literary circles of his numerous friends and connections. It is difficult to conceive of a separation of friends more interesting. The dignified and patriotic father, who had spent some years in the highest station in the navy when contending with civilized men, had now to dismiss a beloved son from his arms, who was destined to contend with merciless barbarians, who are totally regardless of the laws of civilized warfare. His admiring companions of both sexes, who full well knew, and duly appreciated the goodness of his heart, and the urbanity of his manners, could hardly endure the thought that he should expose himself to become a victim to his thirst for fame. But his resolution was taken, and irrevocably fixed; and the sun might as well have been divorced from the ecliptic as to divert him from his purpose. The reader may well pause again and reflect upon the immense importance, and imminent hazard of . this expedition. To those the least acquainted with history, the cruel depredations of the Barbary States upon the whole commercial world for centuries, are known, and the indescribable horrors of slavery amongst these uncivilized and inveterate followers of Mahomet, have always excited ineffable dismay. Nations bordering upon them, for years, and we may say, for centuries, have attempted in vain to reduce them to submission; and only secured themselves from their rapacity by paying them tribute. Since the year 1805, expeditions to the Mediterranean, have become familiar; and, by our officers and seamen, rather considered as pastime and amusement, than as entering into a hazardous and doubtful contest; but let it be remembered, that until 1801, no American armed ship or squadron had ever passed the streights into that sea, which had so long been infested by barbarian corsairs—let it also be remembered that St EPHEN DECATUR, was one of those who led the van in the acquisition of the same which has since -shone so conspicuously upon the American navy in the Mediterranean. This required the most consummate fortitude. It might then,

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