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the fire of the main-deck guns; and, whenever it sensibly slackened, they raised a feeble cheer, and incited their shipmates to perseverance with their dying breath. Upon the fall of Captain Lambert, the command devolved on Mr. Chads, the first lieutenant, an officer of great experience, activity, and resolution, who inflexibly persisted in fighting the ship even after she was reduced to a wreck on the water; and were not his extraordinary defence of the Java authenticated by unquestionable testimony, the recital would carry with it a marvellous air. In sustaining the heavy fire of the Constitution's concentrated broadside, the mizen-mast of the Java went nearly by the board; she then fell off a little, and the American shooting ahead, the two frigates were brought again opposed to one another, broadside and broadside. Enabled, by this position, to bring his guns once more to bear, Lieutenant Chads, with only one mast standing, renewed the action with an intrepidity of spirit, which, if it did not ensure success, at least deserved it; and it will scarcely be any hyperbole to assert, that he fought in a blaze of heroism; for, during the renovated combat, which lasted half an hour, his ship was frequently in flames from the crew being obliged to fire their guns through the wreck of the masts. In this new struggle the Constitution, having sustained considerable injury in her rigging, made sail ahead out of gun-shot, and hove to, in order to reeve new braces, and repair other damages aloft ; leaving the Java a wreck on the water, with her main-mast tottering, and her main-yard gone in the slings. During this pause, Lieutenant Chads, his officers, and crew, exerted themselves to clear the wreck, and get the ship before the wind. Though the main-yard was shot in the slings, the weather yard-arm still remained aloft, and they were enabled to bring the maintack forward. This gave the ship steerage-way; and having unstowed the booms, they got out a spare topgallant mast, and began to rig it as a jury fore-mast; substituting a lower-studding sail for a fore course. But in the height of their toil, their attention was diverted to the main-mast, wbich, from the heavy rolling of the ship, was becoming every moment more unstable; and it was found expedient to anticipate the fall of the mast inboard, by cutting it away. The Java was now reduced to a hull, bare and unmanageable. There was not left on her standing a mast or spar of any kind. Six of the quarter-deck guns, and four of those on the fore-castle, were dismounted : several on the main-deck lay buried and useless under the accumulated wreck of the spars, blocks, and cordage, that lumbered the planks fore and aft: and the hull, greatly shattered, was making water, with one pump shot away. Still, in this mutilated state, Lieutenant Chads kept his flag flying, and re-loaded bis guns, awaiting the attack of the enemy, who had now wore, and was standing again towards him: meantime he mustered his men at their quarters, and, on calling over their names, found 110 missing. It was at this affecting period that James Humble, the boatswain, whose left hand had been carried away by a grape-shot, returned on deck from the cockpit, with a tourniquet on the stump of the bone, which be supported in the bosom of his shirt. There are few able to enter into the feelings of an officer whose ship is dismasted in a combat, while . that of his opponent is entire in her spars. If the wreck of the disabled masts hangs over the side from whence the fire of the guns is maintained, resistance is necessarily controuled and hazardous; some of the cannon are rendered nugatory, and the flash from the few that can be served often produces a conflagration. Every attempt to point the guns with precision is counteracted by the heavy rolling of the naked hull; for the ship, being without canvas to steady her, dips their muzzles into the water at every reeling motion. While the Java was in this perplexity, Bainbridge, in the Constitution, triumphant and unhurt, was about to resume a raking position athwart her bow: any further resistance in Lieutenant Chads would have been to bury his crew in an unfathomable and inevitable grave; and humanity interposed to tear down the flag which valour had nailed to the remains of the mast.

In this place it may not be improper to state the comparative dimensions and armament of the two frigates ; and as, by a singalar coincidence, the Constitution and the United States are sister ships, and the Guerriere, the Macedonian, and the Java, all of one class, the estimate will serve for general reference:



English. American.

Ft. In,

to rabbit

154 6 173 3 Breadth, extreme

39 6 44 4


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Thickiness of topisodes, at mid-ship}


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main-deck port cell
Actual keel, from fore-foot to stern-

Height of birth-deck
Height of main-deck
Width of main-deck ports
Distance between them
Load-draught of water before
Load-draught abaft

7 0 3 5

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English. American.
Ft. In.


In. 92 0 101 6

2 31 3 5*

81 6 92 0 diameter

1 7 181 Main-shrouds


Main-mast { diameter

Main-yard { dingstih
Brit. 7 pr. Am. 9. } circumference

0 11

* This measurement includes four quarter-fishes, each 3} inches thick ; hooped on nearly from the level of the deck to the cheeks of the mast; otherwise the intrinsic diameter at the partners is only 2 feet 10 inches. The lower masts of English ships have only a small fish in front, for the yard in lowering to go clear of the mast-hoops.


Main-deck 28 long 18 pndrs. 30 long 24 pndrs. 16 carr. 32

22 carr. 32 Quarter-decks 1. 18

1- 18 and forecastle

2 long

2 long 18

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The American frigates are built on an improved principle, in not having so wide a waist, or open space in the spar-deck amidships, as those of Europe.

Of some writers it is a favourite and insidious theme to magnify the force of the American frigates, and liken them to English 74s; but if they exhibit the scantling, they want the lower-deck battery of the line of battle-ship; and to make the resemblance just, the lower-deck ports of the 74 ought to be hermetically sealed. A Blake, a Benbow, a Rodney, or a Nelson, in the Constitution or United States, would keep out of the range of the guns of a 74, and never bazard a contest with one, unless a very heavy sea, by preventing the opening of her lowerdeck ports, should place her lower tier of cannon hors de combat. But while the 74, with her immense ballast, reposited to counteract the weight of her upper-works, is taking deep and heavy rolls; the American frigate, with her iron, provisions, and stores, drawing within three feet as much water in midships as her two-decked

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