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and his ship was employed for more than a year in escorting traders from Rochefort to Brest, and from Nantes to Bordeaux. It was a sad truce for the French fleet: the English vessels anchored off the coast with the utmost coolness, and not a French ship could slip out of port. The sailors, idle and unpaid, deserted by fifties at a time, and entered on board letters of marque. Our author had an agreeable change, then, when he was appointed to the command of the frigate Mignonne, which, with two other frigates, ran down the African coast to do what injury they could to the English homeward-bounders, and pick up slavers. In less than a year they captured thirty vessels off the gold coast, and had some smart engagements in boat attacks up the rivers. Thence they proceeded to Prince's Island, where they remained a month, and levied a fine of five hundred gold ounces on their departure. But their success was soon over.

The three frigates came up presently with an English man-of-war, and six ships of the Honourable East India Company's fleet; the commandant of the French squadron took them all for liners, and lowered his flag at the first shot fired. Another of the frigates threw her guns overboard, but was speedily captured, while our author succeeded in making his escape, thanks to the enormous speed of his vessel, and eventually reached Rochefort. We hardly believe that the annals of French naval history tell a more disgraceful story than this, of three frigates frightened into surrender and flight by an English 64 and six floating tea-chests.

Our author was next appointed aide-de-camp to Admiral Bruix, who at that time commanded the fleet at Aix. Unfortunately for M. Jurieu, however, ill health compelled him to resign, and Decrès took his place. He had a dispute with him the very first day he assumed the command, and M. Jurieu felt it bitterly for many years. His character is described by our author so fairly that we may be permitted a quotation:

Admiral Decrès entered the ministry twelve days prior to the suspension of hostilities, six months before the peace of Amiens. He remained there till the downfal of the Empire. It would be unjust to try and appreciate the results of his long administration without taking into account the immense difficulties which a disastrous past left him as a legacy. He was for thirteen years the docile and active instrument of a genius whose impetuous projects he served badly, but whose reparatory efforts he seconded better. He did much for the regeneration of our navy, very little for the success of our arms. Posterity will probably see in him a skilful administrator, it cannot see in him a great minister. He lacked the first quality which a man must have to hold these eminent positions: the healthy appreciation of men and things. Either through deficiency of judgment or of conscience, he could only choose for the most important business mediocre men, completely beneath the task entrusted to them. In this respect, his accession to office was fatal to the great interests of the country. Trafalgar, St. Domingo, the fire-ships in Aix roads, are disastrous memories, whose responsibility must ascend even to the minister. Owing to the unhappy selections, which the navy condemned beforehand, the second period of the maritime war, commenced in 1793, was not less humiliating or mournful than the first.

Our author was now to be engaged on a more honourable mission than any he had had for many years. The expedition for the recovery of St. Domingo was decided on, and the Mignonne was to take part in it. Thirty-six French, Dutch, and Spanish ships of the line, with an equal number of frigates, corvettes, brigs, and a crowd of transports, were to

bear to the West Indies an army of twenty-one thousand men, commanded by General Leclerc, the First Consul's brother-in-law, and intended to put down the luckless Toussaint Louverture, whose only fault was that he had followed rather too closely the lessons read him by the French revolution. The expedition was at first perfectly successful; the blacks evacuated Port au Prince, though not before they had plundered and burnt the city, and in a few months the French were again in possession of the island. The negroes, however, had a powerful ally in the cholera and the yellow fever, which decimated the troops, and enabled them to rise in revolt again. It is impossible for us to follow all the moving details of this great drama, in which our author played a most worthy part; suffice it to say, that the French lost in this disastrous expedition twenty thousand soldiers and sailors, all picked men.

The news arriving from Europe being still peaceful, Captain Jurieu de la Gravière was sent home with despatches, after landing nearly all his guns to strengthen the forts. When off the coast of Brittany, the Mignonne was stopped by the English cruisers, and finally taken by the Minotaur. The officers who took possession of her stated that the two nations were not at war, but they had received instructions to arrest all French vessels until an understanding had been come to. The fact was, our author indignantly declares, that war had been proclaimed ten days previously, but the British squadrons had been warned of the moment to begin hostilities, even before Lord Whitworth had asked for his passports. The consequence of this "disloyal" conduct was, that the English captured one ship of the line, seven frigates, two corvettes, and a lugger, before the trick was detected. Another special cause of grievance was, that the English plundered the contents of the French captain's cabin, and drank his wine by knocking the necks off the bottles. To quote our author's own words, "I felt happy at having a right to despise my conquerors, and be able to keep up in my heart new motives for hatred. That was the condition we were in in 1803. French dogs and chiens d'Anglais were not vain words. We felt a profound horror for each other, and could have devoured one another if twenty-one miles of water had not run between us. When such passions have calmed down, if not been completely extinguished, who would dare incur the responsibility of rekindling them ?"

Captain Mansfield, of the Minotaur, did all in his power to recover his prisoner's traps, and the sailor's kits were inspected. In one of these a pair of silver candlesticks being found, the luckless thief received at once one hundred lashes. That was but a poor consolation, after all, and the French captain received no other: the excuse was that his vessel had been. boarded by the crews of three vessels, and what would you have? 'twas the fortune of war!

At Portsmouth, M. Jurieu was placed on board the Beneficent hulk, to join four hundred other prisoners. He was justly indignant at the treatment he received, but at end of a fortnight was allowed land, and take up his quarters at the Globe Inn. His word was taken that he would not go out, and he scrupulously kept it-the more so as two sentries were placed at his door. Thence he was removed to Tavistock, as prisoner on parole, and speaks in glowing language of the treatment he

experienced. Even more, before long he was allowed to return to France, on the promise that he would not serve until an officer of equal rank had been exchanged for him. Decrès had here an opportunity of repaying his enemy for past insults; he employed all sorts of evasions to keep our author in a state of inactivity, and he lost five of the best years of his life in consequence. When he returned to his duties in 1808, as captain of the Créole, at Lorient, the French navy had suffered two fearful blows at Trafalgar and St. Domingo, and the navy was, as it were, a thing of the past. The French felt instinctively that they could not cope with their detested rivals on the sea, and the fleet was tacitly ignored. Our author, however, received command of a division formed of three frigates, and fought a good fight with the Defiance man-of-war, at the Sables d'Olonne. It was about this time, too, that Cochrane performed his daring feat with the fire-ships in Aix roads, by which the French lost four ships and a frigate. This put the crown on the despondency of the sailors: they were no longer in safety in their own roads." The emperor, therefore, altered his tactics: if his ships did not fight they must undergo no mishaps, and he sold off a large portion of his fleet to merchants, who fitted them up as letters of marque.

Our hero's reward for the gallant action at Les Sables was his postcaptaincy, and the command of an 84, the Borée, which lay at Lorient, but which he exchanged for the Marengo, 74. At the same time he asked leave to get married, which was graciously conceded. Nothing is so surprising to us as to read the panic the French felt. They had at Lorient four ships of the line, blockaded by four English frigates, and yet did not dare quit the port for Brest until one of those frigates ran ashore. Even then they were positively chased into Brest by two English frigates. Even worse, English vessels would coolly anchor within sight of a large French fleet for weeks, and the latter had not the pluck to try and drive them off, though numbering ten times the amount of guns. Now-a-days the French sailors are very little inferior to our own. Have we degenerated, or have they so wonderfully improved? We doubt whether our vessels, in the event of a war, could play such tricks off Brest and Lorient as Admiral de la Gravière describes, with a bleeding heart, as occurring in his golden prime. Perhaps though, in those days, there was an exaggerated fear of responsibility; no one liked to commit a mistake, and have to bear the cutting insults of the little grey man, who would have liked to be his own admiral, and whose misfortune it was ever to have his grandest combinations foiled by the stupidity of his subordinates.

On the news that Paris was in the hands of the allies, the crews of the Brest fleet, amounting to seven thousand men, proposed to one another that he should lead them against the enemy; but he wisely declined. The admiral is so cautious that it is impossible to detect what his politics are, but we fancy he was no great admirer of Napoleon; perhaps a little pardonable anger at the step-motherly way in which the navy was treated, when compared with the army, may have something to do with it. Still he is too manly and open-hearted a sailor to turn and kick the falling lion in the scandalous way that Marmont behaved. He certainly had no reason to complain of the government of the Restoration, for while so many other naval officers were put on the pension lists, M. de la

Gravière was appointed to the command of a division destined to retake possession of the colony of Bourbon. During the voyage his vessel, the Psyché, was nearly lost, by a large portion of her copper sheathing coming off; and, on returning to Brest, it was discovered that the copper bolts had been treated precisely in the same way as was recently detected in some of our gun-boats. Only a small piece of metal attached to the head was driven through, the rest, which responded for the safety of the vessel, was absent. During the old war we lost several ships, as the York, 64, and the Albion, 74, by the same "hellish" fraud, as Brunton rightly calls it in his life of Lord St. Vincent. Yet a committee has sat on this very matter, and nothing has come of it. There is no way of checking such abuses, it appears, by which the lives of so many brave men are risked for the sake of scandalous gain. There is one poor consolation in the fact that, in this instance, they did not "manage these things better in France."

In 1817, our author received his promotion to rear-admiral, and before long was appointed to the Centaure, with an important mission to the Dey of Algiers on the subject of piracy, in which he was attached to Admiral Freemantle, then commanding the naval forces of Great Britain in the Mediterranean. The Centaure had been hurriedly equipped, and the admiral blushed at the contrast she afforded to the trim English men-ofwar. Her masts were almost blown out of her in crossing the Bay of Biscay, and of her crew of six hundred and forty men only eighty were not afflicted by that fell demon maladie de mer. Luckily the English admiral did not reach Mahon for some time after the appointed rendezvous, and our author had time to get things a little ship-shape.

The embassy to the Dey of Algiers was fated to meet with no great results. He would not put down piracy; and although the admirals threatened him with the wrath of the united nations, he did not believe them till it was too late. We are happy to find that M. de la Gravière got on very well with Admiral Freemantle, and he was the only Englishman for whom he ever felt the slightest sentiment of affection. Hence, it caused him great grief to find, on reaching Naples, that the gallant admiral had died suddenly. He writes so properly on this subject that we will quote his own words:

Peoples, I am convinced, only hate each other because they are not acquainted. I was no less astonished to meet in the English navy with an honourable and upright man, than Collingwood was at finding himself in the presence of a French officer who was not a braggart. The difference of climate, religion, political constitution, does not place men so far apart as is generally supposed. Prejudices, before everything else, separate them. I have had but few occasions to enter into relations with English officers since the day I ran down the Barbary coast in the company of Admiral Freemantle; but two months of that intimacy, the recollection of which I have ever kept up, sufficed partly to dissipate the bitter feelings I entertained against a hostile race. I do not yet feel myself able to love the English; I still readily recognise the influence over the destinies of the world which would be exerted by the sincere rapprochement of two nations which were properly only created so near and so dissimilar in order to complete each other.

The growing importance of South America rendered it advisable that France should be worthily represented in those waters, and the Centaure,

accompanied by the Renommée, was ordered off, and was the first French man-of-war that ever sailed round Cape Horn. The admiral had a difficult task in steering clear of the Liberal and Royalist factions, but he effected it to the full satisfaction of his government. It was at this time that Lord Cochrane achieved his brilliant feat of cutting out the Esmeralda under the guns of the forts in Callao roads.

The formation of the Columbian republic had one disadvantage, that ere long the West India waters swarmed with pirates, who sailed under the flag of the republic. This state of things grew so irksome at last, that the great powers sent out squadrons to put down these scoundrels. Unfortunately, the Americans behaved with extraordinary mercy to their prisoners, and the others grew most insolent. The government of Caraccas possessed, for instance, upwards of fifty guarda-costas and nine corvettes. To these vessels-all commanded by Yankees-the single port of Puerto Caballo added, in 1824, twenty-two letters of marque. The French admiral felt inclined to blow them all out of the water, but was obliged to be prudent through the jealousy of England, and therefore limited himself to receiving an ample apology for an insult offered the French flag.

With the revolution of 1830, our hero was promoted to the viceadmiralty, and raised to the peerage. A new prefecture was assigned him, and he set to work with a will in renewing the French fleet. In one year no less than twenty-one ships of the line were equipped. But a heavy blow awaited the worthy admiral, like a thunderbolt from a cloudless sky. A law was passed that all vice-admirals must retire from active service at the age of sixty-eight, and he was one of the first victims, at a moment when he never felt more active. In conclusion, let us see what our gallant admiral really thinks of the French fleet.

I will sum up my deliberate opinion in a few words: I demand that, for the material, we obtain all the guarantees possible of efficaciousness and disponibility; as for the personnel, that we may never run the risk of being short of the proper complement of officers. No permanent navy. I will concede that; but let us have at least a permanent corps of eight to ten thousand picked men, chosen in the various maritime specialties, and kept in the service by all the advantages which a wise budget may offer them. From the rapidity with which the first squadron is equipped may depend all the success of the first campaign, and wars will not contain many campaigns in the present day. The impatience or wisdom of nations will soon indicate its limits. Pacific ideas have made such progress that I often feel astonished at the subject which occupies me. I ask myself if I am not behind my age; if my alarm is not a gratuitous insult to the future; but without wishing to adopt the saddening maxims of a moralist who would close our hearts against all sympathy. I believe it is always prudent in politics to treat your friends as if you were going to have them as enemies to-morrow. I believe, moreover, that to combat exaggerated claims to naval supremacy it is not necessary to bring before the eyes of Europe the phantom of a military dictatorship; it would only be requisite to ask of France a little of that impulse and enthusiasm she displayed at the beginning of the American war. During the reign of Louis XVI., each of the successes of our navy re-echoed in our provinces. The battle of the Surveillante and the Quebec produced the emotions of a great victory. The fact is, that in every naval engagement there is something which appeals vividly to the self-love of nations. The champion of our people conquers or succumbs: destiny decides for Alba or for

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