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GLENCORE, CHAPS. XXVII., XXVIII., XXIX., and XXX.
POETRY:-OLD CHURCH BELLS, BY JONATHAN FREKE SLINGSBY............
HODGES, SMITH, AND CO., 104, GRAFTON STREET.
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 authorJames Fenimore Cooper-was, once upon a time, tempted to lay aside his well-worn novelist's pen, and grasp that of a historian, the result being the production of a certain book which is said-for we have only read extracts -to smack racily enough of the more familiar and congenial occupation of its great author. In this book, Mr. Cooper (who was a warm patriot, although his own countrymen ungratefully ignored the fact, and repeatedly subjected him to shameful persecution for merely hinting at their faults, if we are rightly informed) promulgates the very startling opinion, "that it is not improbable the battle for the mastery of the seas will have to be fought over again!!!" Such a sentence as this, written by so eminent a man as Cooper, is enough to make any intelligent subject of Queen Victoria thoughtful and enquiring. The plain meaning of the words lies in a nutshell. Whenever the United States again tackle the Old Country, her navy will grapple with ours, to settle the problematical question whether the Star and Stripes are to flutter o'er the Union Jack; the American eagle to flap its wings and scream with triumph over the prostrate British lion; the nervous arm of young Jonathan to snatch the trident from the feeble grasp of the superannuated old lady who figures on the
reverse of the copper coins of this realm; and Yankee Doodle (or Hail Columbia) to supersede Britannia Rules the Waves! Food for thought, my merry masters! Reflect, perpend, an' ye will or can, what the worldwide result would be were we compelled to put forth all our colossal naval strength to contend for our very birthright-our hitherto undisputed naval supremacy-with our own vigorous offspring on t'other side the Great Herring Pond! By'r lady! the very idea of such a contest makes our beard bristle and our nostrils expand, and we involuntarily ejaculate, Ha! Ha!
No one can appreciate the first-rate merit of Fenimore Cooper as a naval writer better than ourselves; no one has more cordially recognized his stupendous powers; no one has (we are bold to say) done more ample justice to him as being not merely a great author, but incomparably the ablest naval novelist any country has yet produced; and therefore we trust we shall be acquitted of all prejudice when we deliberately express our opinion that his patriotism as American, and his habits as a writer of fiction, combined to dazzle and mislead his judgment when he penned the extraordinary and portentous sentence we have above quoted.* We shall weigh it in the balance !
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 why there is no likelihood whatever to anticipate a deadly struggle for the mastery of the seas between Great Britain and her transatlantic offspring. We write this at a time when there is a "chip out" between the two countries. We learn, however, that matters are in course of rational adjustment without any worse result than some temporary irritation and vapouring. We hope this is so. Heaven forbid that a fratricidal war should ever again ensue between Great Britain and the Great Republic-nations of the same lineage and language, foremost champions of liberty and civilization, and closely united by a thousand bands of the strongest mutual interest and sympathy. A war between them would be nearly as criminal and insane as a duel between
a father and son, or brothers, and could only result in the most awful mutual injuries; the cause of civilization and progress would receive a deadly blow, and all the despotisms of the world would exult at the spectacle of the two great divisions of the Anglo-Saxon race fighting each other like tigers instead of being linked in amity. Hand in hand, the United States and Great Britain may defy all the despotic powers to assail them, or to impede their glorious career. As nations they are the salt of the earth, the pioneers of progress, and the bulwarks of liberty. Were it possible for them to lose their present prestige, what a deluge of tyranny and unutterable misery would flood the earth! 'Tis true that Providence for inscrutable reasons occasionally permits nations, as well as individuals, to be blinded with passion and moral madness, and therefore it is certainly possible that a conflict may eventually ensue between the two countries; and however distressing it is to contemplate even the possibility of such an event, yet it would be both weak and reprehensible to shirk the matter, for danger can neither be postponed nor evaded merely by shutting our eyes and affecting to ignore its existence.
It is, we believe, an unquestionable fact that the American flag was hoisted for the first time on board ship, by a Briton born. In 1775, the celebrated Paul Jones with his own hands hoisted the flag of the United States on board the Alfred-that vessel being one of the small squadron raised by order of Congress, and fitted out under the direction of Jones, who was appointed commander of one of the vessels, a Captain Hopkins becoming commodore of the squadron. The fact that a home-born British subject
for such Paul Jones was, in spité of having bitterly forsworn allegiance to his native land-first hoisted the American flag on shipboard is remarkable enough in itself; but, taken in connexion with the history. of the United States navy down even to the present day, it is exceedingly significant-not to say ominous. We shall speak more explicitly on this point, bye-and-bye.
The memory of Paul Jones is warmly cherished by the Americans, and held by them in the highest honor. Not many years ago, as we are informed by a nautical friend, they dispatched a frigate to France to receive his remains, which were conveyed to America for re-interment -a somewhat ostentatious and unnecessary act, to our thinking; for we are not aware that Jones himself, when dying at Paris, expressed the slightest desire to be buried in the soil of that country he had served so well. But we entirely agree with the Americans in their opinion that Paul was one of the ablest naval commanders who have borne their flag. He was much more. He was beyond compare the most brilliant seaman who ever served the United States; and all their other naval "heroes"-such as Commodores Decatur, Rodgers, Hull, Bainbridge, and Co.-are unworthy of being placed for a moment on the same pedestal with him. They made prizes of British frigates so interior in force to the vessels they commanded, that the "glory" thereby accruing to the Stars 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 obtained →→ on the sea itself.”
ble character; but Paul Jones, by his own marvellous skill and indomitable prowess, won victories under the most adverse circumstances-victories which would have reflected the highest honor on any navy in the world. Thus it is that he deservedly fills the foremost place in the annals of the American navy; and as, even to this day, the character of this wonderful man is imperfectly appreciated by many, and probably misunderstood by the majority of the British public, it will not be out of place if we digress a little to briefly record our own impressions of him, derived from a study of all the facts of his career which we have gathered from various sources.
One of the choice literary treasures we possessed in our boyhood was a sixpenny pamphlet or chronicle of the life and blood-thirsty exploits of "Paul Jones, the Scotch Pirate," (for so he was designated on the title page, with a noble disregard of any possible extenuating circumstances), embellished with a large and brilliantlycolored frontispiece, representing the aforesaid "Paul Jones shooting his first lieutenant in the act of striking his [P. J.'s] colors." How we used to gloat over that magnificent and soulstirring work of art! How we read and re-read, with profound, child-like, unquestioning faith, the veracious biography itself, which depictured Paul Jones as a most atrocious traitor, miscreant, murderer, and monster incarnate! To the very best of our recollection there was hardly a possible (or impossible) crime of which this villainous Scotch pirate, demon, &c., had not been repeatedly guilty!
What especially confirmed our belief in this absurd farrago, was the circumstance that on a visit to the museum at Hull we there beheld with dilated eyes an oblong iron shot,* bearing an inscription testifying that it was fired by Paul Jones at Scarborough Castle, in the year 1779. Yes, and did not our own truthful little book minutely relate how Paul Jones captured the "Serapis," and the "Countess of Scarborough" somewhere off Flamborough Head, and also wickedly amused himself by trying the range of his murderous guns off Scarborough? Here, then, was a material guarantee of the unimpeachable accuracy of the biography, in the shape of an oblong iron shot that had perhaps been rammed in the gun by the blood-reeking hands of the miscreant Scotch pirate himself! A thousand per cent. did the chronicle rise in our estimation! Money would not have purchased it--nothing would have shaken our faith in it. Alas! for the bright innocent days of our youth, when we believed in all we read! In sober seriousness let us add that a generation or two ago the British public really regarded Paul Jones as the monster of iniquity he was circumstantially described to be in the above and kindred "biographies," and probably many people even yet entertain a somewhat similar opinion.
A few years subsequently (by which, time a good many of the ideals of our boyhood had been annihilated) we read Cooper's grand fiction, the Pilot," and in the hero, Paul Jones, we could not recognize a single familiar 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 summary of the character of Paul Jones, in the mouth of Lieutenant Griffiths:
"His devotion to America proceeded from a desire of distinction, his 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 terminated 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 him 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 gravely speaks of Paul Jones not as the imaginary