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As a matter of course, those concerned in the capture, and who survived the affair, reaped some advantages from their success. England seldom fails in the duty of conferring rewards, more especially in her marine. When Cook returned from his renowned voyages, it was not to meet with persecution and neglect, but credit and justice. Nelson knew how to appreciate that spirit and enterprise, which were so often exercised by himself. As for Sir Frederick Dashwood, little could be done besides giving his name an honourable place on the list of those who had fallen in battle. His heir wore mourning, seemed filled with sorrow, and inwardly rejoiced at being a baronet with some thousands a year. Lyon got his ship, and, from that moment, he ceased to consider the chase and all connected with le Feu-Follet an unprofitable thing. Airchy followed him to the Terpsichore, with visions of prize-money before his eyes, which were tolerably realized in the course of the succeeding five
Winchester was promoted into the Ringdove, and Griffin became first of the Proserpine. This, of course, made Yelverton second, and left one vacancy. Thus far the orders had been made out, when Cuffe dined with the Admiral, by invitation, tête-à-tête.
"One of my objects in having you here to-day, Cuffe," observed Nelson, as they sat together over their wine, the cabin cleared, "was to say something about the vacant berth in your gun-room, and the other was to beg a master'smate of you, in behalf of Berry. You remember that some of your people were received on board here, before you got in, the other day?"
"I do, my lord; and I meant to make my acknowledgments for the favour. The poor fellows had a warm time of it at the rocks, and deserved comfortable berths after it was over."
"I believe we gave them as much—at least, I know few suffer in this ship. Well, there was a mate among them, who is a little advanced, and who is likely to stick where he ts, by what I learn. We want just such a man for the hold, and I have promised my Captain to speak to you about him. Don't let him go if there's any reason for wishing to retain
him; but we have three seamen ready to exchange against him; good fellows too, they tell me."
Cuffe picked some nuts, and appeared a little at a loss for a reply. Nelson saw this, and he fancied the other reluctant to give up his mate.
"Well, I see how it is," he said, smiling. "We must do without him, and you will keep your Mr. Clinch. A thorough officer in a ship's hold is an advantage not to be thrown away; and I suppose, if Hotham had asked such a thing of old Agamemnon, he might have whistled for the favour. The deuce is in it, if we do not get as good a mate somewhere!"
"It's not that, my lord-you're welcome to the man, though a better, in his station, cannot be had. But, I was in hopes his recent good conduct, and his long services, might give him a lift into the vacant gun-room berth."
The Admiral appeared surprised, while he did not seem to be exactly pleased.
"It has a hard look, I grant you, Cuffe, to keep a poor devil ten or fifteen years in the same station, and this, too, after he has served long enough for a commission. I was a captain ten years younger than this Mr. Clinch must be to-day, and it does seem hard; and yet I doubt not it is just. I have rarely known a midshipman or a mate passed over, in this way, that there was not some great fault at the bottom. We must think of the service, as well as of generosity."
"I confess all this, my lord-and yet I did hope poor Clinch's delinquencies would at length be forgotten." "If there are any particular reasons for it, I should like to hear them."
Cuffe now related all that had passed between himself and the master's-mate; taking care to give Jane a due place in his history. Nelson began to twitch the stump of his arm, and by the time the story was told, Clinch's promotion was settled. An order was sent forthwith, to the secretary, to make out the orders, and Cuffe carried them back with him to the Proserpine that night, when he returned to his own ship.
All Nelson's promotions were confirmed by the Admiralty, pretty much as a matter of course. Among others was that of Clinch, who now became the junior lieutenant of the Pro
serpine. This elevation awakened new feelings within him. He dressed better; refrained from the bottle; paid more attention to his mind; improved in manners, by keeping better company; and, in the course of the next twelvemonth, had made rapid advances towards respectability. At the end of that time, the ship was sent home; and Jane, in hei imagination at least, received the reward of all her virtuous constancy, by becoming his wife. Nor did Cuffe cease his friendly offices, here. He succeeded in getting Clinch put in command of a cutter; in which he captured a privateer, after a warm action, within a month. This success procured him a gun-brig, and with her he was still more forturate; actually cutting out, with her boats, a French sloopof-war, that was not half manned, it is true, but which was still considered a handsome prize. For this affair he got the sloop; thus demonstrating the caprice of fortune, by whose means he found himself a commander in less than three years after he had been a mate. Here he stuck, however, for a long time, until he got another sloop in fair fight, when he was posted. From that moment we have lost sight of him.
Cuffe being sent into the Gulf of Genoa, shortly after, seized the opportunity to restore the vice-governatore and his friend to their native island. The fame of their deeds had preceded them, exaggerated, as a matter of course, by the tongue of rumour. It was understood that the two Elbans were actually in the fight, in which Raoul Yvard fell; and, there being no one to deny it, many even believed that Vito Viti, in particular, had killed the corsair with his own hand. A discreet forbearance on the part of the podestâ always kept the matter so completely involved in mystery that we question if any traveller who should visit the island, even at this day, would be able to learn more than we now tell the reader. In a word, the podestâ, for ever after, passed for a hero, through one of those mysterious processes by which men sometimes reach fame; quite as much, perhaps, to their own astonishment, as to the surprise of everybody else.
As for Ithuel, he did not appear in America for many years. When he did return, he came back with several thousand dollars; how obtained no one knew, nor did he
choose to enter into particulars. He now married a widow, and settled in life. In due time he "experienced religion,' and, at this moment, is an active abolitionist, a patron of the temperance cause, tee-totally, and a general terror to evildoers, under the appellation of Deacon Bolt.
It was very different with the meek, pious and singleminded Ghita; though one was e'en a Roman Catholic, and the other a Protestant, and that, too, of the Puritan school. Our heroine had little of this world left to live for. She continued, however, to reside with her uncle, until his days were numbered; and then she retired to a convent, not so much to comply with any religious superstitions, as to be able to pass her time, uninterrupted, in repeating prayers for the soul of Raoul. To her latest hour, and she lived until quite recently, did this pure-minded creature devote herself to what she believed to be the eternal welfare of the man who had so interwoven himself with her virgin affections, as to threaten, at one time, to disturb the just ascendency of the dread Being who had created her.