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They are chietly made up of natives of the count, appear to have been in a more miser.. country; and a deserter from the British able, destitute, forlorn, disordered, rascally, would be here no acquisition. In the Unit- and rotten state, than that which yon give us ed States, every man may bunt or shoot as the state of the British Navy. But, impuamong the wild animals of the forest. The dent liar; foul toad-eater; why did you foryoung peasant or back-woodsman carries a get to state, that this rascally, rotten thing, å rifled-barrel gun the moment he can lift cost, at the very time you speak of, upwards ove to his shoulder, and woe to the duck or of twenty millions a year! Verily, an histodeer that attempts to pass him withiu fair rian worthy of Blue and Buff! range of piece. To collect these expert Then, from this poor old rotten thing; marksmen, when of a proper age, officers this worn-out, this battered, this dejected are sent into the western parts of the Union; thing, you turn our attention to the half dozen and to embody and finish drilling them, a nice American frigates, “constructed upon marine barrack is established near the city the most approved principles both for sailing of Washington, from which depot the ships and for war!” These were, surely, not are regularly supplied.
those "half dozen of fir frigates with bits of “No one act of the little pavy of the Unit- striped bunting flying at their mast-heads," ed States had been at all calculated to gain of which Mr. CANNING talked in that very the respect of the British First was seen
year, 1812 ! the Chesapeake allowing herself to be beat We had seven hundred and forty-six ships en with impunity by a British ship, only in commission ; but what were these to the nominally superior to her. Then the huge six frigates of the Americans! Constructed frigate President attacks, and fights for as they were upon the most approved pripcinearly three quarters of an hour, the British ples ! Bless us! Six dreadful frigates! We sloop Little Belt. And, even since the war, had seven bundred and forty more than they the same President at the head of a squadron, to be sure. But, then, we had no backmakes a bungling business of chasing the woodsmen to place in the round tops. Oh! Belvidere.
backwoodsmen are the devil! and the worst “ While, therefore, a feeling towards of it is, that we shall never be able to get America, bordering on contempt, had unhap- any backwoodsmen; so that, as far as this pily possessed the inind of the British naval goes, we are sure to be beaten. officer, rendering him more than usually Such was your preface to the defeat of the careless and opinionative, the American na Guerriere. As to the defeat itself; it proval officer, having been taught to regard his duced a still more melancholy description. new foe with a portion of dread, sailed forth The Guerriere's powder was dampber to meet him with the whole of his energies mainmast had been struck by lightning some roused. A moment's reflection assured him months previous to the action; she sailed that his country's, honour was now in his very much by the head; but, the great thing hands; and what, in the breast of man could of all appears to have been, that “HER be a stronger incitement to extraordinary BREECHINGS WERE ROTTEN,” and exertions ?
she had no ropes left to repair her breech“ Thus situated were the navies of the two ings! Shocking state to fight in! The strings countries, when H. M. ship Guerriere, with of the waistband broken, and no tape to damaged masts, a reduced compliment, and in make new ones with! Look, then, compasabsolute need of that thorough refit, for which sionate reader, look at the poor GUERRIERE, she was then, after a very long cruise, speed with her breeches about her heels, and the ing to Halifax, encountered the U. s. ship CONSTITUTION laying on apon her hip and Constitution, seventeen days only from port, thigh! manned with a full compliment, and in all It is impossible to be serious upon such a respects fitted for war."
subject. Such pitiful, such miserable excuBravo ! and yet cruel Blue and Buff gives ses never were offered before. you the bastinado! Was ever such a story Amongst these excuses, there is, however, as this told before! The Americans had de. one worthy of particular notice. You say, coyed our seamen away ; they had got back or rather you ask : “ Were it possible that woodsmen put up into their tops; the canker the Constitution ship's company could have worm of neglect had been preying upon our been inspected by the officers of the British poor navy; British oak had become scarce ; navy, how many, besides the commissioned
were contract ships; they had been officers, and the riflemen, who would have built in haste; with soft wood and light proved to be native Americans ?" You frames. We had seven hundred and forty mean to insinuate that a large part of the six ships in commission, bat manned chietly crew were British seamed; but, Mr. James, with impressed men, raw hands and small suppose this to have been the case, yours boys, a great number of both of whom were were all British seamen; and what then is foreigners! Shocking state of things! the the conclusion ? Why, that the victory was long war had made us forget how to fight; gained in consequence of the Constitution our officers as well as men had contracted having American officers. You insinuate a the habit of inattention. We had lost our falsehood, Mr. James; but, if it were a skill, our discipline, our strength of body, truth, it would only bring additional dishonand our every thing that was good. Accord- our upon Blue and Buff. This, therefore, is ing to you, Mr. James, “ Corinna, pride of a very bad excuse; not quite so ridiculous, Drury Lane, for whom no shepherd sighs in but certainly much more suspicious, than vain, was not in a worse plight when she the breaking loose of the guns, owing to the waked in the morniug:
rottenness of the breechings. “ A pigeon pick'd her issue peas,
I must notice here a circumstance well
worthy of the reader's attention. - It discor* And flock her tresses fill'd with fleas."
ers to us a species of meanness which I beI will quote no further ; but this strolling lieve to be without parallel previous to this strumpet does not, according the poet's ac disgraceful war, Captain Dacres, while a
prisonerat Boston, said in his official letter to too, in human blood! Such things ought to Admiral Sawyer, “ I feel it my duty to be remembered. It argues a want of justice state, that the conduct of Captain Hulj and to forget them, and not to resent them. How his officers to our men, bas been that of a did the Americans treat their prisoners of brave enemy, the greatest care being taken war, lawfully made prisoners: I believe to prevent our men from losing the smallest that they never put any of them into prison trife, and the greatest attention being paid at all. I believe that it was mere nominal to the wounded.” This is what Captain Da- imprisonment. Barracks, jails, dungeons, cres said at Boston. When, however, he make no part of their system. They went came before the court-martial at Halifax, he no further, I believe, than what is called accused shese same American officers of parole of honour. Poor Lord Liverpool, in breach of promise; and you, Mr. James, are a speech in the House of Lords, during the pleased to add, that the English sailors were war, told the House that the Americans robbed by the Americans of the contents of treated our people whom they had prisoners their bags! You produce go proof of this; of war, more like friends and brethren than it is your bare assertion; and, I dare say, like enemies, whence that sagacious poblethat one more false pever was made.
man concluded, that the American people The like of this meanness, however, hap- disapproved of their own Government for pened in several instances. While prisoners going to war with us, and that they were with the Americans, great gratitude was fre- desirous “ of placing themselves under the quently expressed for the kind and generous protection of his Majesty's government ?"
treatment which those prisoners received; And it really required the beating which 'but, at subsequent periods, these acknow our people got at Lake Champlain and ledgments were retracted ; and, in most ca. Plattsburg, to convince the profound preses, with very ungrateful accusations. And, mier of his great mistake. The Americans bere, (having omitted it before, let me say do not wreak their vengeance on prisoners a word or two on the manner of conducting of war. They inflict vengeance on hanghty the war. You decline to do this; and well foes that are in arms. And now I think of you may; for the contrast is not such as it, Mr. James, what sort of prisoner were you would have suited your purpose.
in America ? The first sentence of your book When the war broke out, we had on board tells us that you were a prisoner there, and of our ships a great number of Americans, the third sentence tells us that you effected whom we had pressed in the manner in your escape. In a hundred parts of your which James Tompkins and his three brave book you accuse the Americans of falsehood associates were impressed. We had, by the and of foul dealing: it would not have been usual well-known means, compelled the amiss, therefore, if you had explained to us poor fellows to serve us. We have recently in what kind of imprisonment you were in the seen an instance, in which it was sworn that United States. This explanation was fully one of them had a pistol placed to his tem due to a public, before whom you were placple, to compel him to fight against his own ing yourself as an accuser-general of the countrymen. But what did we do with them American naval historians, and as a vouchergenerally? Why; WE MADE THEM general for facts which directly contradicted PRISONERS OF WAR! Answer that, the official statements of the American comMr. James. We took them off the decks of manders. In many of the cases, you tell us our own ships, where many of them had that there is no British official account of the been compelled to serve ns for years, where battle. Tlsis is particularly the case with remany of them had been wounded several gard to the memorable victory (so painful times; we took them from those decks and for an Englishman to think on) gained by SHUT THEM UP IN OUR PRISONS, the siugle frigate CONSTITUTION over the and kept them there to be exchanged against LEVANT and CYANE. You, with all the asour people that the Americans might take surface imaginable, contradict the American in war. The world never saw the like of commander, upon what you call the authori. this before. I, who am an Englishman, de- ty of “ British officers engaged,” but you spise and detest an American who pretends take special care not to name any of those that he can forgive this; and, were I an officers! This you do in many of those inAmerican, I would destroy such a wretch stances, and particularly in the case of the as soon as I would destroy a toad or an
British defeats. In the instance of the St. adder. It is a thing that never will be for- Lawrence beaten by the American ship gotten or forgiven. The Americans are all CAASSEUR, you say, “no British official humanity and generosity towards prisoners account has been published : but unofficial that fall into their power; but they never accounts state;" and then you go on with can forgive this; they never can pardon your own story. It is you, therefore, whose England for this unpardonable öffence accounts we receive; it is upon your auagainst them.
thority that the contradiction is given to the Many of the American prisoners, who had American official accounts. It became you, been taken from serving us on the decks of then, sir, before you attempted to pass your our ships of war, were imprisoned at Dart- word for so much, to tell us what kind of priMOOR." They endeavoured to make their son that was, from which in the United escape; and MANY OF THEM WERE States, you “effected your escape,”---whether SHOT BY OUR SOLDIERS! And, do it was a prison made of bricks, mortar, and you believe, Mr. James, that this is forgot. bars, or a prison formed only by your paien in America? Foolish man are you, and role, or word; and if the latter, how you foolish men are your patrons, if they believe contrived to effect your escape from it with this. In thogsands of houses in America, the out doing that which is commonly called names of the men shot at DARTMOOR are breach of parole. If this was the way you written and put upon the walls, and written effected your escape, you ought when you
28 ATHENEUM VOL. 2. 2d serics.
come forward to vouch for facts in opposi- their long absent friends, all the ties of their tion to the American official statements, to homes and families !” Shocking! Despicabring somebody to vouch for yourself. hle ! A oavy has come to a pretty pass in
But, besides the treatment of their prison- deed, when such apologies can be offered for ers of war, how great was the difference in its defeats, and fast falling is the nation that the manner of the two countries in condast can accept of such an apology:
I shall give one more instance of your conduct of the English at Hampton will be miserable apologies. The CONSTITUTION forgotten. The visit to the old man upon his American frigate was attacked by two Brideath bed, will long be remembered in the tish ships, the Levant and the Cyane, the United States. You complain bitterly of former carrying 94 guns, and the latter 21. the publication of private letters by authori. The American frigate aprears to have ty of the Captain of the Chasseur. I well mounted 56 guns, but then, as every one must remember the publication of those private see, the two ships had greatly the advantage. letters, and thai they discovered scenes and Indeed, they were aware that they should motives of meanness, selfishness, low cun- have the advantage! for you yourself say, ning, base greediness, such as I do trust in that they resolved to attack her, and she God no man with one drop of English blood beat and captured them both! And let us hear in him is capable of being guilty of. The your crying account of this affair. Captain of the Chasseur performed a duty to “ On the 20th of February, 315, H. M. his country, to our country, and to the world. ships Levant and Cyane, were proceeding in Those letters would have become shop-lifters company, a few days out from Gibraltar, in London. Such people can never uphold bound to the Western Islands. About 1 the glory of a country. A country must o'clock in the afternoon a strange sail was sink if they bave any thing to do with her seen by the Cyane, upon her weather bow; affairs.
her consort, the Levant, Captain Douglass, You give us an account of the military then bull down to leeward. The Cyane operations at Washington, and of those at stood on until about 4 o'clock; when, having Alexandria. Your pretext is, that the feet ascertained the character of the stranger, had something to do with those operations. Captain Gordon Falcon bore up to speak the But, had not the feet also something to do Commodore. At about quarter past 5, the with the affair at New-Orleans? Did not two ships passed within hail of each otber. the feet assist in achieving that inextinguish- Captain Douglass, the senior officer, resolved able defeat and disgrace? Did not the to engage the enemy's frigate, in hopes, by COCHRANES and COCKBURNS assist to gain disabling her, to prevent her intercepting for us that which Paddy would call “father two valuable convoys, that sailed from Gibof a beating ?”. Yet not a word do you say raltar about the same time as the Levant and about the affair of New-Orleans. Yoo sap- Cyane. Both Commanders, at this time, pressit altogether; and those who read your fülly believed that she was the American history, without having heard of the thump- frigate Constitution : having received intele ing at New-Orleans, wust be unable to be- ligence, before leaving port, of her being in lieve it possible that such a thing ever took their intended track. place. This is your way of writing impartial “ The two ships now tried for the weatherhistory!
gage, but, finding they could not obtain it, There was one thing, however, which, they bore up, in hopes to prolong the enone would suppose, you could not have gagement outil night, when, by mapeuvring omitted. Your gallant countrymen (of in the dark, they might effect their objeci, whom more another tiine) took away a parcel The superior sailing" of the Constitution, of negroes from Virginia. Strange that you however, defeated that plan also ; and, at should not mention this achievement! You 45 minutes past 5, the Levant and Cyane, dwelt with great minuteness on their ex- hauled to the wind on the starboard-tack. ploits at Washington ; but say not a word No British official account of this action has about this negru expedition, which expedi- been published; therefore, the details are tion, by-the-bye, WE HAVE YET TO taken, partly from the American accounts, PAY FOR. Whether the sum will be bun- and partly from the information of the Bridreds of thousands of pounds, is more than I tish officers engaged. can say ; but, in a short time, we shall have “The Constitution had previously fired her the confort of knowing what it is. Yet, not bow-chasers at the Cyane, without effect, a word do you tell us about this part of the ber shot falling short; and, now, baving the achievements of the navy: In short, you two British ships under the command of her suppress every thing calculated to give us a main-deck battery (they being at a distance true impression of the naval occurrences of from her of full three-quarters of a mile) she which you profess to be the historian.
commenced firing her broadsides. Both Before I dismiss these remarks, I will give ships returned her fire; but having only carthe public a specimen or two of your manner ronades, their shot fell short, while the Conof apologizing for Blue and Buff. When stitution's 24 pound shot were cutting to pieshe schooner St. Lawrence was beaten by ces their sails and rigging. As the British the Chasseur brig, which were, as nearly us became gradually disabled, the Constitution possible, of equal force, the former was shortened her distance; and, by her supericarrying despatches from Cockborn, or ority in sailing, and working, frequently Cochrane, to some other cominander, about raked both her opponents. . the peace; the American attacked her, and " It is stated in the American Minutes took her in about fifteen minutes. Now let of the Action,' that, when the firing comus hear the apology. “Mep are not in the menced, the contending ships were about best trim for tighting, just upon hearing the 300 yards distant.'. According to the posinesos of peace ; sailors are then dwelling upon tive testimony of the British officers, examintheir discharge from scrvitude, the sigbi of ed at the court-marcial, the distance was, as
stated before, nearly three quarters of a and ten minutes apart; yet, says the former, mile. The object in framing this assertion, both of which, after a spirited action of is evident. It is to show that the British had FORTY MINUTES, surrendered to the the use of their carropades froin the first; ship under my command ! After this a comand that the Constitution did not keep pliment to British gallantry could not be er. out of range, until she had crippled both pected; yet the advance of the Levant, at ships.
half past eight, and her ranging close up, " At about 35 minutes past six, was with- and exchanging broadsides, with such an adout a brace or a bow-line, except the lar- versary would have elicited admiration from board fore-brace. Yet, seeing her consort the breast of a Turk ! exposed to a heavy raking fire, owing to the “ The Levant lost 6 seamen and marines, Constitution having fired across her, she galkilled, and an officer, and 14 seamen and lantly stood in belween them, and received marines wounded. The Cyane had 6 killed, the broadside. The firing, cootinued at in- and 13 wounded; total, 19 killed and 39 tervals for a few minutes longer, when the wounded. Captain Stewart, to make the Cyane turned the bands op to refit the rig. complements of the ship appear greater than ging. Before that could be accomplished, they were, states 23 as the killed, of the forthe Constitution had taken a position on her larbuard quarter, within hail. Being become a stale trick, and scarcely deserves
mer ship, and 12, the latter. This is now Dow totally unmanageable; with most of her notice. The smallness of the Bsitish loss in standing and running rigging gone; main and this action shows clearly, that the Americans and mizzen-masts toitering, and other princi• had already began to relax in their discipal spars wounded; several shot in the hall, pline. The Constitution's fire, considering bine or ten of which were between wind and the disparity or force, falls far beneath the water; five carronades disabled, chiefly by very worst of ours. the drawing of the bolts and starting of the cheeks ; and the Levant having bore op to
“ Old Ironsides, as, from her strength and repair damages, since 6 40, and being now
compactness she is very properly called in two miles to leeward, still bearing away; ing out of carronade-range, to allow many
the United States, was too successful in keeptbe Cyane fired a lee-gun, and hoisted a light as a signal of submission (see p. 433;) in her sides; and a few others, it may be
shot to reach her. Some, however, lodged and, soon after seven, was takeà possession presumed, found their way through; or we of by the Constitution.
* At 8 15, which was as soon as the Levant should not hear of 6 men killed and mortalhad rove new braces, the gallant little ship ly wounded, and 6 others wounded, severely again hauled her wind, to ascertain the fate
and slightly. That both British commanof her companion, as well as to renew the
ders had drilled their men at the guns, is desperate contest.' On approaching the two proved by the precision of their fire, during ships, Captain Douglas, with a boldness bor
the short period thi their carronades could
reach. dering on rashoess, ranged close alongside the Constitution, to leeward, being unable
« The Levant mounted 21 guns; eighto weather her, and the two ships, on oppo
teen carronades, 32.pounders, two long 9. site tack, exchanged broadsides. This, by pounders, and a 12-pound lanch carronade. the American account, was at half past 8.
Her established complement was 135 men The Constitution immediately wore under and boys; but she had in the action 115 the Levant's stern, and raked her with a men and 16 boys; total, 131. Her marines second broadside. 'At 9 30, Captain Dougs were young raw recruits, that scarcely las, finding that the Cyane had undoubtedly knew how to handle their muskets; and, struck her colours, put again before the wind : although considered as men, would all have in doiog which, the Levant received several been rated as boys in the American serraking broailsides, had her wheel shot away,
vice. and her lower masts badly wounded. To fire her stero-chase guns, and to steer at the
" The Cyane was a deep-waisted or a same time, was impossible, owing to a sad frigate-buili ship, and mounted 33 guns, mistake in the construction of this new class iwenty-two carronades, 35-pounders, upon of vessels! seeing the Constitution ranging the main-deck, eight carronades, 18-pounupon the larboard quarter, the Levant, at ló ders, an 18-pound lanch carronade, and P. m. by the American, and 10 40 by the Bri• two long 9-pounders, upon the quarter: tish account, struck her colours to the . gigan- deck and forecastle. Not another gun did tic evemy.' “ One could almost cry out, shame! shame! her an additional 18-pound carronade, and
she mount; yet Captain Stewart has given at the Constitution firing successive broadsides into such a ship as the Levant. It is
two long 12's in lieu of 9's; and, in the surprising that she did not sink her. Had
“ Sketches of the War,” all her thirtythe Levant, on first bearing away, continu- four guns' are described as 32-pound cared her course, she might have escaped; but ronades! that would have appeared like deserting her « The established complement of the Cy. consort ; and personal consideration in ang was 191 men, and 24 (including 12 subattle was never the characteristic of a pernumerary) boys: total 185. But DOUGLAS.
the morning of the action, she was defi. The reader has, no doubt, already dis- cient, in petty-officers and able seamen, 16, covered the important variation betweeu and had a surplus of two boys; making her Captain Stewart's official letter (App. No. 108,) and the “Minutes of the Action, complement, in this action, 145 men, and (No. 109,) by some unaccountable blunder of 26 boys; total, 171. of this number, 4 ihe Americans, published along with it.
men were sick and not at quarters. In According to the latter, the two ships were computing his prisoners Captain Stewart captured at successive periods, three hours has committed a mistake; which, added to
that respecting the killed of the two Bri. they not their reasons for it, think you? In tish ships, making their united comple. short, Captain Stewart says that he capments appear greater than they were by 34 tured the two ships in forty minutes; and men.
what ground is there for disbelieving him ? "Three of the Cyane's men deserted to You are exceedingly offended at the the Americans; but, generally, the two boastings of the Americans. You have forcrews resisted the repeated offers to enlist got all Dibdin's songs, I suppose? You with the enemy. It was stated by the Bri- have forgot all the songs, and all the odes, tish officers, at the court-martial, that the and all the plays, of all the pensioned paracrews of the two ships were, for three sites? You have forgot Neptune coming weeks, kept constantly in the Constitution's in his watery car to surrender his trident hold, with both hands and legs in irons, and to that wonderous hero, King George the there allowed but three pints of water dur. Third ! You have forgot, doubtless, all ing the 24 hours. This, too, in a tropical the disgusting, all the sickening, all the climate! It was further proved, that, after loathsome, all the literary, vomit-producing the expiration of three weeks, upon the ap- flattery incessantly poured forth upon our plication of Capt. Douglas, one third of the navy, and all connected with it?' Of all men were allowed to be on deck four hours the boasters upon the face of this earth, out of the 24, but had not the means of we have been the greatest, the most shamewalking, being still in irons; that, on mus- less, the most contemptible and ridiculous. tering the crews when they were landed at However, it was not until 1814, that this. Maranham, five of the Levant's boys were boasting assumed a regular official characmissing; that, upon application and search
ter. Then it was that the viclory of the for them, two of them were found locked Serpentine River came to crown all the up in the American captain of marines ca- boastings of this nation of boasters. You bin ; that a black man at Maranham was complain that Capt. Stewart, after capturemployed as a crimp and enticed one of ing the two English ships, “was welcomed the Levant's boys to enter the American ser at Boston by federal salutes ; that he land. vice. Upon these facts, let the reader em ed under a salute; that he was escorted to ploy his own thoughts: if he possesses a the Exchange Coffee-house by troops, British heart, he will need no prompter.”. amidst the repeated cheers of citizens of
“ British heart," indeed! Where was the both sexes, who filled the streets, wharves, British heart when James Tompkins and and vessels, and occupied the houses, his comrades were impressed! Where was while a band of music played national the British heart when they were so treated airs." You are exceedingly offended at day after day? But who is to believe this this, and seem to curse the manager of the story? . It is nobody's story but yours; it play-house for having craved leave to anis your own miserable story ; and entitled nounce, that the gallant Captain Stewart to no belief. You have no British official and the officers of the Constitution would, account of the action. Does not this speak in their full uniforin, honour the Theatre volumes ? Would there not have been such with their presence. You seem to be enragofficial account of the action, if a good ex ed at this enthusiasm of the people, and at cuse could have been made out for this de- this little trick of the play-house men ; and feat and capture! You take your details, yet not one word did you say about the you say, partly from the information of the victory on the Serpentine river ! British officers engaged. Why do you not On that famous sea in Hyde Park, the uame one at least of the number. You two fleets met, in order to give the foreign talk of Capt. Douglas, and you say, with a sovereigos, their whiskered followers, and species of national vanity that deserves not the enlightened people of this royal Wen, only beating but kicking, that " personal ocular demonstration of the superiority of consideration in battle was never the cha. British skill and valour. The Yankees were racter of a DOUGLAS.” A Douglas in- superior in number of ships, and guns. deed! Why not of a Douglas, you ridicu- Long and obstinate was the fight, but, at lous coxcomb? Sad experience has taught last, as the newspapers told us, “ the shouts me that roguery in collecting money is cha- of half a million of people communicated racteristic enough of " a Douglas,” for “ to the sky that Britannia still ruled the Douglas” once robbed me in this way of a waves !" pretty many thousands of dollars. This, The citizens of Boston were very soon however, is a specimen of the nauseous afterwards taking their turn; but, they had flattery which you never fail to bestow on something to boast of. One of their ships eyery Scotch officer that comes in your way. had taken two English ships, which, every
Your story about the breast of a Turk man must allow, ought to have taken her. might do well enough, if we could possibly There was really something to boast of. If believe the fact that you state ; but upon you had been there, indeed, to explain to what ground are we to believe you? You them, as you have done to me in pages are fatly contradicted by the American 466 and 467, that the Levant was “ built of official account; and there is no English fir ;' that the Cyane's " timbers were rot. official account. Were not the English ten;" that her " breeching bolts drew out ;" Government pretty good judges, of what if you had been present at Boston to ex. they ought to do in such a case ? If they plain all this, as nicely as you have explaindid not publish their official account, had ed it to me, how you would have set the