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you, here, ashore, and call on you to prove that you are not one of his subjects?-How would you go to work to make it out-no parish register being at hand?"

"Well, then, Captain Cuffe, if we are so very wrong, we had better give all these men up, at once-though one of them is the very best hand in the ship; 1 think it right to tell you that, sir."

"There is a wide difference, sir, between giving a man up, and hanging him. We are short-handed as it is, and cannot spare a single man. I've been looking over your station bills, and they never appeared so feeble before. We want eighteen or nineteen good seamen to make them respectable again; and, though this Bolt is no great matter, as a seaman, he can turn his hand to so many things, that he was as useful as the boatswain. In a word, we cannot spare him; either to let him go, or to hang him; even were the latter just."

"I'm sure, sir, I desire to do nothing unjust, and so act your pleasure in the affair.”

"My pleasure is just this then, Winchester. We must turn Bolt to duty. If the fellow is really an American, it would be a wretched business even to flog him for desertion; and as to treason, you know, there can be none without allegiance. Nelson gives me a discretion, and so we'll act on the safe side, and just turn him over to duty again. When there comes an opportunity, I'll inquire into the facts of his case, and if he can make out that he is not an Englishman, why he must be discharged. The ship will be going home in a year or two, when everything can be settled fairly and deliberately. I dare say, Bolt will not object to the terms."

"Perhaps not, sir. Then there's the crew, Captain Cuffe. They may think it strange, treason and desertion go unpunished! These fellows talk and reason more than is always known, aft.”

I've thought of all that, Winchester. I dare say you have heard of such a thing as a King's evidence ?—Well, here has Raoul Yvard been tried and found guilty as a spy; Bolt having been a witness. A few remarks judiciously made, may throw everything off on that tack; and appear ances will be preserved, so far as discipline is concerned.”

"Yes, sir, that might be done, it's true; but an uneasy berth will the poor devil have of it, if the people fancy he has been a King's evidence! Men of that class hate a traitor worse than they do crime, Captain Cuffe, and they'll ride Bolt down like the main tack."

"Perhaps not; and if they do, 'twill not be as bad as hanging. The fellow must think himself luckily out of a bad scrape, and thank God for all his mercies. You can see that he suffers nothing unreasonable, or greatly out of the way. So send an order to the master-at-arms to knock the irons off the chap, and send him to duty, before you turn in, Winchester."

This settled the matter as to Ithuel, for the moment, at least. Cuffe was one of those men who was indisposed to push things too far, while he found it difficult to do his whole duty. There was not an officer in the Proserpine who had any serious doubts about the true country of Bolt, though there was not one officer, among them all, who would openly avow it. There was too much "granite" about Ithuel to permit Englishmen long to be deceived, and that very language on which the impressed man so much prided himself, would have betrayed his origin, had other evidence been wanting. Still there was a tenacity about an English ship of war, in that day, that did not easily permit an athletic hand to escape its grasp, when it had once closed upon him. In a great and enterprising service, like that of Great Britain, an esprit de corps existed in the respective ships, which made them the rivals of each other, and men being the great essentials of efficiency, a single seaman was relinquished with a reluctance that must have been witnessed, fully to be understood. Cuffe, consequently could not make up his mind to do full justice to Ithuel, while he could not make up his mind to push injustice so far as trial and punishment. Nelson had left him a discretion, as has been said, and this he chose to use in the manner just mentioned.

Had the case of the New Hampshire man been fairly brought before the British Admiral, his discharge would have been ordered without hesitation. Nelson was too far removed from the competition of the separate ships, and ordinarily under the control of too high motives, to be

accessary to the injustice of forcibly detaining a foreigner in his country's service; for it was only while under the malign influence to which there has already been allusion, that he ceased to be high-minded and just. Prejudiced he was, and in some cases, exceedingly so; America standing but little better in his eyes than France herself. For the first of these antipathies he had some apology; since in addition to the aversion that was naturally produced by the history of the cis-atlantic Republic, accident had thrown him in the way, in the West Indies, of ascertaining the frauds, deceptions, and cupidities of a class of men that never exhibit national character in its brightest and most alluring colours. Still, he was too upright of mind, willingly to countenance injustice, and too chivalrous to oppress. But Ithuel had fallen into the hands of one who fell far short of the high qualities of the Admiral, while, at the same time, he kept clear of his more prominent weaknesses, and who was brought within the sphere of the competition between the respective ships and their crews.

Winchester, of course, obeyed his orders. He roused the master-at-arms from his hammock, and directed him to bring Ithuel Bolt to the quarter-deck.

"In consequence of what took place this morning," said the first-lieutenant, in a voice loud enough to be heard by all near him, "Captain Cuffe has seen fit to order you to be released, Bolt, and turned to duty again. You will know how to appreciate this leniency, and will serve with greater zeal than ever, I make no doubt. Never forget that you have been with a yard-rope, as it might be, round your neck. In the morning you will be stationed and berthed anew."

Ithuel was too shrewd to answer. He fully understood the reason why he escaped punishment, and it increased his hopes of eventually escaping from the service itself. Still he gagged a little at the idea of passing for one who peached -or for a "State's-evidence" as he called it; that character involving more of sin, in vulgar eyes, than the commission of a thousand legal crimes. This gave Winchester no concern. After dismissing his man, he gossiped a minute or two with Yelverton, who had the watch, gaped once or twice somewhat provokingly, and going below, was in a deep sleep in ten minutes.

CHAPTER XX.

"White as a white sail on a dusky sea,
When half the horizon 's clouded and half free,
Fluttering between the dun wave and the sky,
Is hope's last gleam in man's extremity."

The Island.

THE dawning of day, on the morning which succeeded, was a moment of great interest, on board the different English ships which then lay off the Gulf of Salerno. Cuffe and Lyon were called, according to especial orders left by themselves, while even Sir Frederick Dashwood allowed himself to be awakened, to hear the report of the officer of the deck. The first was up quite half-an-hour before the light appeared. He even went into the main-top, again, in order to get as early and as wide a survey of the horizon as he wished. Griffin went aloft with him, and, together they stood leaning against the top-mast rigging, watching the slow approach of those rays which gradually diffused themselves over the whole of a panorama that was as bewitching as the hour and the lovely accessories of an Italian landscape could render it.

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"I see nothing, in-shore," exclaimed Cuffe, in a tone of disappointment, when the light permitted a tolerable view of the coast. "If she should be outside of us, our work will be only half done!"

"There is a white speck close in with the land, sir," returned Griffin; "here, in the direction of those ruins, of which our gentlemen that have been round in the boats to look at, tell such marvels; I believe, however, it is only a felucca or a sparanara. There is a peak to the sail that does not look lugger-fashion."

"What is this, off here at the north-west, Griffin ?-Is it too large for the le Few-Folly ?"

"That must be the Terpsichore, sir. It's just where she ought to be, as I understand the orders; and, I suppose, Sir Frederick has carried her there. But yonder's a sail, in the

northern board, which may turn out to be the lugger; she's fairly within Campanella, and is not far from the north shore of the bay."

"By George!"-that must be she; Monsieur Yvard has kept her skulking round and about Amalfi, all this time! Let us go down, and set everything that will draw, at once, sir."

In two minutes Griffin was on deck, hauling the yards, and clearing away to make sail. As usual, the wind was light at the southward, again, and the course would be nearly before it. Studding-sail booms were to be run out, the sails set, and the ship's head laid to the northward, keeping a little to seaward of the chase. At this moment the Proserpine had the Point of Piane, and the little village of Abate, nearly abeam. The ship might have been going four knots through the water, and the distance across the mouth of the bay was something like thirty miles. Of course, eight hours would be necessary to carry the frigate over the intervening space, should the wind stand, as it probably would not, at that season of the year. A week later, and strong southerly winds might be expected, but that week was as interminable as an age, for any present purpose.

Half-an-hour's trial satisfied all on the deck of the Proserpine, that the chase was keeping off, like themselves, and that she was standing towards the mountains of Amalfi. Her progress, too, was about equal to that of the frigate, for, dead before the wind, the latter ship was merely a good sailer; her great superiority commencing only when she brought the breeze forward of the beam. It had been supposed that the stranger, when first seen, was about fifteen miles distant, his canvass appearing both small and shapeless; but some doubts now began to be entertained, equally as to his rig, his size, and his distance. If a large or a lofty vessel, of course he must be materially farther off, and if a large or lofty vessel it could not be le Feu-Follet.

The other frigate took her cue from the Proserpine, and stood across for the northern side of the gulf; a certain proof that nothing was visible, from her mast-heads, to lead her in any other direction. Two hours, however, satisfied ali on board the latter ship, that they were on a wrong scent, and that the vessel to-leeward was their own consort, the

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