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bow guns to bear again upon the Constitution. Scarcely had the Guerriere shot a-head clear of her opponent, when her fore and main-masts went over the side taking along with them every spar but the bowsprit. Notwithstanding the crippled state of his ship, Captain Dacres. with inflexible resolution, persisted in defending ber; he did not relinquish the hope of getting the ship under command to renew the action ; but just as the crew had disengaged the guns on the spar-deck from the wreck of the fallen masts, the sprit-sail yard went, leaving her an unmanageable log on the water. Meantime Captain Hull, baving rove new braces, put bis helm a-weather, filled his sails, and laid the Constitution athwart hawse of, the Guerriere, who, now dismasted and defenceless, lay in the trough of the sea, rolling the muzzles of her maindeck guns under water. Incapacitated for further resistance, there was no alternative but to strike the colours; and, at 45 minutes after 6, Captain Dacres,, with the concurrence of his few remaining officers, fired a gun to leeward, and gave orders for the jack to be lowered from the stump of the mizen-mast. The Guerriere bad 15 men killed and 63 wounded; the Constutition 7 killed, and the same number wounded. Such was the result of
rity for this particular part : “ It was my intention, after having “ driven back the enemy, to have boarded in return ; and, in conse“quence, I ordered down the first lieutenant on the main-deck, to “ send every body up from the guns; but finding his deck filled with men,
and every preparation made to receive us, it would have "been almost impossible to succeed.”
English Commander's Address to the Court.
the first encounter between the naval flags of the two nations. England, accustomed to victory only on her own element, received the intelligence with surprize and disappointment; while America, with the vanity natural to a rising maritime state, boasted that she had broken thë spell of her invincibility on the ocean. Those who, to conceal their chagrin, affected to despise the success of the Americans in this combat as petty and animportant in its consequences, were not just to the interests of Great Britain. It gave an impulse to the navy of the only nation that can ever hope to dispute with her the sovereignty of the waters. The keels of twelve line of battle ships, and of twenty-four frigates, were ordered to be laid down in the navy yards at New York, Portsmouth, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, and Norfolk.. It established an implement of defence suited to the prejudices of the people, and the character of their country; and the hostile attitude taken at sea by this new power was not to answer a temporary purpose, but one that would find, in the resources of the commonwealth, support and renovation. This victory rankled deeply in the bosoms of the English, and they were content to charge theinselves with laxity of naval discipline and neglect of gunnery, rather than the slightest glory should be extorted by the countrymen of Washington. As hitherto single British ships had always beaten the single ships of France and Holland, of Portugal and Spain; criticul judgment was exercised to discover what could produce this anomaly. Some writers pretended to detect the secret in the thicker sides of the American; some in the
desperate co-operation of English seamen on board, who fought with halters round their necks; some, with revolting absurdity, asserted the Constitution was a seventyfour in disguise, notwithstanding a frigate had held a tug with her two hours and forty-five minutes; and others. eager, quocunque modo, to blast Hull's laurels, insidiously pronounced him a player at long bowls, when his close fighting bore a strong analogy to slugs in a sawpit. In the heat of passion, or the absence of candour, all overlooked that the crews of both ships proceeded from the same stock, and were of one common origin.
The firing on both sides having ceased, Captain Hull set his courses, and hauled to the eastward, to repair the damages which bis ship had sustained in the action: some of his spars had been shot away, and much of his standing and running rigging cut to pieces. At7, having sufficiently refitted, he wore, and standing under the lee of the prize, sent his boats for the captain, the officers, and seamen. And now as the crews of the two ships mingled, the effect must have been touchingly impressive. A tender sentiment of sorrow could not but steal on the breasts of the sailor crowd, that men demonstrably designed by Nature to be brothers, in the unequivocal identity of language, look, air, and mien, should so far forget the relations that subsisted between them, as to meet in hostile array. The moon encircled by the spark. ling constellations illuminated a serene sky, and the repose of night spread over the ocean formed an affecting contrast with the anguish of the wounded and the bustle of the boatmen conveying them from one ship to the
other. The important operation of removing the wounded occupied several hours; the Constitution wearing occasionally to obtain an eligible position, and facilitate the coming alongside of the cutters, the barge, and the yawl. The last boat had scarcely delivered fier freight, when, about midnight, a sail was discovered on the larboard beam, standing in a direction towards the Constitution ; and the officers and crew, without having reposed after their toils, went with great alacrity to their quarters, and prepared again for battle and for conquest. In less than an hour the strange sail hauled her wind, and stood off. The Guerriere had received many shot in her hull; thirty had taken effect at about three sheets of copper from her water line. The mizen-mast in falling had perforated her starboard counter; and Mr. Adams, the carpenter of the Constitution, in reporting the damages sustained by the prize, declared it to be bis opinion that she could not be made sea-worthy to take into port. Of this there was. soon full confirmation; for, at daylight, Lieutenant Saunders, who had charge of the Guerriere, hailed the Constitution, to inform Captain Hull that she had four feet water in the hold, and was in a sinking condition. All hands were now actively employed in removing the remainder of the crew from the prize; and at a signal from the Constitution, Mr. Saunders set fire to the Guerriere, and she soon after blew up.
27. The Constitution arrives at Boston, and, in going up the harbour, is saluted from the forts amidst the hearty, unanimous, and repeated cheers of a hundred
thousand citizens on the wharves, the shipping and the house-tops.
28. Thomas King, an American youth, makes his escape, in an open boat, from Bermuda to the Capes of Virginia.* Being confined on board a prison-ship in Harrington Sound, he watched the coming alongside of the cutter, and, as the crew left the boat, slipped into her from the gangway-port, and, setting the sail, committed himself to the mercy of the ocean. He had provided him, self with a small pocket compass, and concealed in his dress some biscuit,the boat being ballasted with kegs of sweet water, he was in no want of drink. In this boat, so inconsiderable in size, as not to exceed twelve feet in length, he was 8 days and 8 nights a pilgrim of the great deep, with no other society but sometimes a petrel, or the leviathan rising from his unfathomable home.
29. The American squadron, composed of the President, Commodore Rodgers, the United States, Captain Decatur, the Congress, Captain Smith, the Hornet sloop, Capt. Lawrence, and the Argus, Capt. Sinclair, arrive at Boston from a cruize. They had been 70 days at sea, during which time they had run to the chops of the English Channel, along the coast of France, Spain, and Portugal, to within 10 leagues of the Rock of Lisbon, to the vicinity of the Azores, and back by the banks and coast of Nova
* The Bermuda Isles are situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, 720 miles S. E. from the Capes of Virginia.