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sought.” But if there be any, whose minds are refined to that degree of tenderness as to object, upon principle, to the right of challenge, let them but consider well the various circumstances under which captain Lawrence was placed in this cruise, and either exempt from censure his challenge to the Bonne Citoyenne, or acknowledge their unwillingness to pardon any thing to “poor human nature.” He had left a country, which he had certainly reason to distrust, as regardless of his claims, at a time when he was in doubt, if not in despair, as to the fate that awaited them. Unless those claims were answered, he must go into retirement, on his return, with a fame, in the minds of some men, perhaps, of doubtful dignity, and with the forfeiture of his only object in life. To this indeed he might have been equal; but “a wounded spirit who can bear?” The recollection of having been outranked haunted him by day, and his nights were pillowed upon the thorn which had been left, as the last act of kindness for the quietude of his slumbers, by a temperate secretary's laconic politeness. His character, the all he had been labouring for fifteen years to establish, was at stake. The Bonne Citoyenne, however, did not come out, although every possible invitation and assurance was given to tempt her. Commodore Bainbridge left the Hornet alone, four days together, off the harbour, from which the Bonne Citoyenne could discover that the Constitution was nowhere within forty miles; and finally, to deprive captain Green's excuse of the least possible verisimilitude, he went himself into port at St. Salvador; where he remained three successive days--in any part of which time he might, by the laws of the place, have been detained twenty-four hours, upon application to the governor. all was in vain; the Bonne Citoyenne was far too prudent to be induced to trust her safety to any thing but her anchor.
Commodore Bainbridge left her in the care of captain Lawrence, and sailed for America.
He kept her in custody, together with the Packet, an armed schooner of twelve guns, till January 24th, so very closely, that the Packet was obliged to send her mail to Rio, in a Portuguese smack. On this day the Montague, seventy-four, arrived from Rio Janeiro, whither she had been sent for, to come to the relief of these distressed blockaded vessels, and compelled the disap
pointed captain reluctantly to retreat; which he did, not without imminent hazard, by going into port, and sailing out the same evening. The Bonne Citoyenne saved her money, at the expense of her credit.
The schooner Heicn, prize to the Hornet, was the first to announce to the United States the second victory of the Constitution frigate.
The conqueror of the Java, on his arrival in America, was eager to bear the amplest testimony to the worth of captain Law
He took the responsibility of the pledge which he made to the captain of a superior vessel, from his confidence in the gal. lant commander, brave officers and crew of the Hornet, all of whom expressed the most ardent desire for the contest. The high state of discipline, and exact order which the Hornet was in, made him confident of a favourable result. The battle declined by the Bonne Citoyenne, he considered, under all the cir. cumstances of the case, as a victory gained by the Hornet. The commodore thus concludes his letter to the secretary of the navy:"Permit me, sir, to take this opportunity of expressing to you the great satisfaction I have received from captain Lawrence's conduct, in every instance, since being under my command; and I respectfully recommend him particularly to your notice, as a most meritorious officer.” Before the publication of this letter, the government had become justly sensible to the captain's merits.
The blockade, for nearly a month, in a neutral port, of two vessels of war of the enemy, by a vessel hardly the equal to one of them, being at length raised by a ship of the line, gallantly sent for to a distance, for the pose, captain Lawrence made the best of his way to Pernambuco.
February 10th, he captured the English brig Resolution, with ten guns and $25,000, but a dull sailer, and, taking out the crew and the money, he burnt her. He afterwards cruised near Maranham and Surinam, till the 23d of the month, when he stood for Demarara. Next morning a brig was discovered to leeward, and chased as near shore as the want of a pilot would admit. In the course of the chase, a vessel was descried at anchor, without the bar of Demarara river, with English colours flying. Captain
Lawrence was in the act of beating round the Corobano bank, to get at her, when another sail, on his weather quarter, was seen to approach him. It was the Peacock, captain William Peake. As she bore down she hoisted English colours. Immediately the Hornet was cleared for action, and kept close to the wind, to get the weather guage of the adversary. At ten minutes past five, captain Lawrence displayed the American flag, tacked, and in about a quarter of an hour exchanged broadsides, in passing, at half pistol shot distance. Finding the enemy in the act of wearing, captain Lawrence bore up, received his starboard broadside, ran him close aboard, on the starboard quarter, and here kept up so well directed and tremendous a fire, that in less than fifteen minutes from the commencement of the action, the signal of distress had taken the place of the British flag. In an instant lieutenant Shubrick was on board_found the Peacock cut to pieces, her captain killed, many of the crew killed and wounded, her mainmast by the board, six feet water in the hold, and the vessel fast going down. The two ships were immediately brought to anchor, the Hornet's boats despatched to bring off the wounded, the guns thrown overboard, the shot-holes that could be got at plugged, every thing done, by pumping and bailing, to keep her afloat; yet she went down, before her seamen could all be removed. But captain Lawrence, on this occasion, to the honour of hu manity, lost more men in saving than in conquering the enemy. Only one man was killed in the fight. Three of his brave fellows, in the struggle to rescue the vanquished, sunk for ever with them and the vessel.
Incidents, similar in spirit to these, have frequently graced our naval achievements. They interest our patriotism, as of the same country, and our sympathies, as of the same species. The character of our ocean heroes is humanely glorious. Such is their humanity, it is difficult to say whether the enemy have more of dread for their valour in the fight, or of admiration for their magnanimity after the conquest. “ Utrum magis virtutem pugnantes, an mansuetudinem victi.”
Lieutenant Connor, with some other officers and men, employed in removing the prisoners, narrowly escaped, by jumping
into the boat; and four of the Hornet's seamen were taken off from the tops, just before the Peacock had entirely disappeared.
One of the finest ships of her class in the British navy, the Peacock, in force, was only not equal to the Hornet--the difference constituting no decided advantage. The loss of the enemy could not be ascertained with exactness. Her slain captain went down with his ship, wrapped in her flag. Four men were found dead on board: the master and thirty-two others wounded; three of them mortally. The Hornet had one killed, and two slightly wounded, her rigging and sails cut, her hull but very little injured.
Celerity was the feature that characterized this engagement, and was such as to give to it the effect of magic. “ A vessel, moored for the purpose of experiment,” say the Halifax papers who first tell the story, “could not have been sunk sooner.” Seizing her at the instant of wearing, and taking a broadside to run close aboard, was a bold design; and the brilliancy of the execution, as has been remarked by a judge upon the subject, was certainly unsurpassed even by the boldness of the design.
The Peacock was of the same rate with the Bonne Citoyenne. If the least shadow of imputation rested before upon captain Lawrence, or his commander, for any presumed temerity, reative to the challenge of the latter vessel, it was effectually dispelled by the victory over the Peacock; since, had the other come out, her fate, in all probability, would have been the same. A reluctance would be felt at suggesting that captain Lawrence could, at the same time, have shown as much service to the Packet, of twelve guns, had she come out in company with the Bonne Citoyenne, the suggestion looks so like boasting, were it not for the singular fact, that the Bonne Citoyenne, with tho Packet in company, did not come out.
The vessel the Hornet was after, when the Peacock bore down, lay at anchor, within about six miles, during the engagement. She afterwards proved to be the Espiegle, of fifteen thirtytwo-pound carronades, and two long nines. Captain Lawrence, from the size, expected at the time an attack, thinking her commander might well calculate on the Hornet being disabled in the combat. Our ship was prepared to receive her. By nine o'clock
her boats were all stowed, a new set of sails bent-cvery thing was again ready for action.
Next morning captain Lawrence found on board 270 souls; and, as his crew had been for some time on short allowance, he determined to steer forthwith for the United States.
No sooner had they arrived at New York than the officers of the Peacock honourably made public their grateful feelings, for the kindness of captain Lawrence, and the officers under him: they said, “ we ceased to consider ourselves firisoners.” The crew most heartily vied with their captain in his generosity, as well as his bravery. The sailors of the Peacock were left destitute of a change of apparel, so suddenly their vessel had sunk. The crew of the Hornet contributed enough to present each of them with a seaman's suit. Such conduct is worthy heroic sailors! They indeed received no thanks; nor did they want them. These hearts of oak, from opposite extremities of the ocean, mingling together on the same deck, beat with but one common pulsation.
Amidst the applause and acclamations that greeted him from every direction, on his return home, the circumstance, not the least agreeable to the feelings of captain Lawrence, was, that his memorial had, in his absence, succeeded, and his rank been settled by the senate of his country, to his entire satisfaction.
On the opening of the first meeting of congress, his battle was thus officially noticed by the president of the nation:-" In continuance of the brilliant achievements of our infant navy, a signal triumph has been gained by captain Lawrence and his companions, in the Hornet sloop of war, which destroyed a British sloop of war, with a celerity so unexampled, and with a slaughter of the enemy so disproportionate to the loss in the Hornet, as to claim for the conqueror the highest praise."
(To be concluded in our next.)
Grandchild and Grandchildren. There is something very absurd in this. Grandfather is properly the great or greater father; but the case seems to be just the contrary with grandchild, who is the little or less child. The French therefore express it much more sensibly than we do, by petit-fils.