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THE UNITED STATES NAVY
HURST AND BLACKETT, LONDON.
The Editor of THE DUBLIN UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE begs to notify that he will not undertake to return, or to be accountable for, any manuscripts forwarded to him for perusal.
An illustrious American author- reverse of the copper coins of this James Fenimore Cooper -was, once realm ; and Yankee Doodle (or Hail upon a time, tempted to lay aside his Columbia) to supersede Britannia well-worn novelist's pen,
grasp Rules the Waves ! Food for thought, that of a historian, the result being my merry masters ! Reflect, perpend, the production of a certain book which an' ye will or can, what the worldis said—for we have only read extracts wide result would be were we com—to smack racily enough of the more pelled to put forth all our colossal familiar and congenial occupation of naval strength to contend for our its great author. In this book, Mr. very birthright-our hitherto undisCooper (who was a warm patriot, puted naval supremacy-with our although his own countrymen un- own vigorous offspring on t'other side gratefully ignored the fact, and the Great Herring Pond! By’r lady! repeatedly subjected him to shameful
the very idea of such a contest makes persecution for merely hinting at their our beard bristle and our nostrils faults, if we are rightly informed) expand, and we involuntarily ejacupromulgates the very startling opinion, late, Ha! Ha! " that it is not improbable the battle No one can appreciate the first-rate for the mastery of the seas will have merit of Fenimore Cooper as a naval to be fought over again !!!” Such a writer better than ourselves ; no one sentence as this, written by so eminent has more cordially recognized his a man as Cooper, is enough to make stupendous powers ; no one has (we any intelligent subject of Queen are bold to say) done more ample Victoria thoughtful and enquiring.
him as being not merely a The plain meaning of the words lies great author, but incomparably the in a nutshell. Whenever the United ablest naval novelist any country has States again tackle the Old Country, yet produced ; and therefore we trust her navy will grapple with ours, to we shall be acquitted of all prejudice settle the problematical question when we deliberately, express our whether the Star and Stripes are to opinion that his patriotism as flutter o'er the Union Jack; the American, and his habits as a writer American eagle to flap its wings and of fiction, combined to dazzle and misscream with triumph over the prostrate lead his judgment when he penned British lion; the nervous
the extraordinary and portentous young Jonathan to snatch the trident
sentence we have above quoted.* We from the feeble grasp of the superan- shall weigh it in the balance ! nuated old lady who figures on the In the course of this article we
• Another American speaks more explicitly than Cooper, and leaves us in no sort of doubt as to what he considers the “special mission of the navy of his country in time of war. “This arm (the navy) can only fill its special mission in war, that of aggression, by being enabled to leave the great sea-ports and exposed points of our maritime frontier to a more
VOL. XLVIII.NO. CCLXXXV.
shall endeavour to show solid reasons It is, we believe, an unquestionable why there is no likelihood whatever to fact that the American flag was hoisted anticipate a deadly struggle for the for the first time on board ship, by a mastery of the seas between Great Bri- Briton born. In 1775, the celebrated tain and her transatlantic offspring. Paul Jones with his own hands hoistWe write this at a time when there is ed the flag of the United States on
chip out” between the two coun. board the Alfred—that vessel being tries. We learn, however, that mat- one of the small squadron raised by ters are in course of rational ad- order of Congress, and fitted out under justment without any worse result the direction of Jones, who was apthan some temporary irritation and pointed commander of one of the vapouring We hope this is so. vessels, a Captain Hopkins becoming Heaven forbid that a fratricidal commodore of the squadron. The war should ever again ensue between fact that a home-born British subject Great Britain and the Great Repub
---for such Paul Jones was, in spité lic--nations of the same lineage and of having bitterly forsworn allegiance language, foremost champions of liber- to his native land-first hoisted the ty and civilization, and closely united American flag on shipboard is by a thousand bands of the strongest remarkable enough in itself ; but, mutual interest and sympathy. A taken in connexion with the history. war between them would be nearly as of the United States navy down even criminal and insane as a duel between to the present day, it is exceedingly a father and son, or brothers, and significant-not to say ominous. We could only result in the most aw- shall speak more explicitly on this ful mutual injuries ; the cause of point, bye-and-bye. civilization and
progress would The memory of Paul Jones is receive a deadly blow, and all the warmly cherished by the Americans, despotisms of the world would exult and held by them in the highest at the spectacle of the two great divi- honor. Not many years ago, as we sions of the Anglo-Saxon race fighting are informed by a nautical friend, each other like tigers instead of being they dispatched a frigate to France linked in amity. Hand in hand, the to receive his remains, which were United States and Great Britain may conveyed to America for re-interment defy all the despotic powers to assail - a somewhat ostentatious and unnethem, or to impede their glorious cessary act, to our thinking ; for we
As nations they are the salt are not aware that Jones himself, of the earth, the pioneers of progress, when dying at Paris, expressed the and the bulwarks of liberty. Were slightest desire to be buried in the it possible for them to lose their soil of that country he had served so present prestige, what a deluge of well. But we entirely agree with tyranny and unutterablemisery would the Americans in their opinion that flood the earth ! 'Tis true that Pro- Paul was one of the ablest naval vidence for inscrutable reasons occa- commanders who have borne their sionally permits nations, as well as flag. He was much more. He was individuals, to be blinded with pas- beyond compare the most brilliant sion and moral madness, and there- seaman who ever served the United fore it is certainly possible that a States ; and all their other naval conflict may eventually ensue between “heroes"-such as Commodores Decathe two countries; and however dis- tur, Rodgers, Hull, Bainbridge, and tressing it is to contemplate even the Co.--are unworthy of being placed possibility of such an event, yet it for a moment
on the same pedestal would be botlı weak and reprehensible with him. They made prizes of to shirk the matter, for danger can British frigates so interior in force to neither be postponed nor evaded the vessels they commanded, that the merely by shutting our eyes and "glory" thereby accruing to the Stars affecting to ignore its existence. and Stripes was of a very questiona
certain and economical system of protection, in order to carry the sword of the State' upon the broad ocean ; sweep from it the enemy's commerce ; capture or scatter the vessels of war protecting it ; cover and convey our own to its destined havens, and be ready to meet hostile fleets: in other words, to contend for the mastery of the seas where alone it can be obtaineilon the sea ilself."
ble character ; but Paul Jones, by What especially confirmed our belief his own marvellous skill and indomi- in this absurd farrago, was the cirtable prowess, won victories under cumstance that on a visit to the the most adverse circumstances-vic- museum at Hull we there beheld with tories which would have reflected the dilated eyes an oblong iron shot, * highest honor on any navy in the bearing an inscription testifying that world. Thus it is that he deservedly it was fired by Paul Jones at Scarbofills the foremost place in the annals rough Castle, in the year 1779. Yes, of the American navy; and as, even
and did not our own truthful little to this day, the character of this book minutely relate how Paul Jones wouderful man is imperfectly appre- captured the “Serapis," and the ciated by many, and probably mis- Countess of Scarborough” someunderstood by the majority of the where off Flamborough Head, and British public, it will not be out of also wickedly amused himself by tryplace if we digress a little to briefly ing the range of his murderous guns record our own impressions of him, off Scarborough? Here, then, was a derived from a study of all the facts material guarantee of the unimpeachaof his career which we have gathered ble accuracy of the biography, in the from various sources.
shape of an oblong iron shot that had One of the choice literary treasures perhaps been rammed in the gun by we possessed in our boyhood was a the blood-reeking hands of the missixpenny pamphlet or chronicle of the creant Scotch pirate himself ! A life and blood-thirsty exploits of thousand per cent. did the chronicle “ Paul Jones, the Scotch Pirate,” (for
rise in estimation ! Money so he was designated on the title page, would not have purchased it--nowith a noble disregard of any possible thing would have shaken our faith in extenuating circumstances), embel- it. Alas! for the bright innocent lished with a large and brilliantly- days of our youth, when we believed colored frontispiece, representing the
in all we read! In sober seriousness aforesaid “Paul Jones shooting his let us add that a generation or two first lieutenant in the act of striking ago the British public really regarded his (P. J.'s] colors.” How we used to Paul Jones as the monster of iniquity gloat over that magnificent and soul- he was circumstantially described to stirring work of art! How we read be in the above and kindred " biograand re-read, with profound, child-like, phies,” and probably many people unquestioning faith, the veracious even yet entertain a somewhat simi, biography itself, which depictured lar opinion. Paul Jones as a most atrocious traitor, A few years subsequently by which, miscreant, murderer, and monster time a good many of the ideals of our incarnate! To the very best of our boyhood had been annihilated) we recollection there was hardly a possi- read Cooper's grand fiction, the ble (or impossible) crime of which “Pilot," and in the hero, Paul Jones, this villainous Scotch pirate, demon, we could not recognize a single familiar &c., had not been repeatedly guilty ! feature of our own Scotch pirate !+.
* This is unquestionably a very interesting memento of Paul Jones. About sixteen years have elapsed since we saw it, but we presume it is still preserved in Hull museum.
† At the conclusion of the “ Pilot," however, Cooper puts the following noteworthy suma mary of the character of Paul Jones, in the mouth of Lieutenant Griffiths :
" His devotion to America proceeded from a desire of distinction, bis ruling passion, and perhaps a little also from resentment at some injustice which he claimed to have suffered from his countrymen. He was a man, and not therefore without foibles--among which may have been reckoned the estimation of his own acts; but they were most daring and deserving of all praise [!!!] neither did he at all merit the obloquy that he received from his enemies. His love of liberty may be more questionable ; for if he commenced his deeds in the cause of these Free States, they terininated in the service of a despot! He is now dead--but had he lived in times and under circumstances when his consummate knowledge of his profession, his cool, deliberate, and even desperate courage, could have been exercised in a regular and well-supported navy, and had the habits of his youth better qualified him to have borne, meekly, the honors he acquired in his age (manhood : for he died in the prime of life] he would have left behind himn no name in its lists that would have descended to the latest posterity of his adopted countrymen with greater renown.'
It will be observed that Cooper here grarely speaks of Paul Jones not as the imagiuary