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John Paul Jones
Chapter XXI - 1780 - 1783


A FEW days later, on the 18th, with the roar of that mimic battle still echoing in the air, the Ariel sailed, the voyage being without exciting incident until the adventure described in the memorial for the King of France, which is written in the third person. Through a long chase, during which Jones manoeuvred so that the enemy should not see the force of the Ariel, "an action finally became unavoidable," and everything was thrown overboard that interfered with the defence and safety of the ship. In the afternoon the Ariel fired now and then a light stern-chaser at the enemy from the quarter-deck, and continued to crowd sail as if very much alarmed. This had the desired effect, and the enemy pursued with greater eagerness. Captain Jones did not suffer the enemy to come close up till the approach of night, when, having well examined his force, he shortened sail to meet his approach. When the two ships came within hail of each other they both hoisted English colours. The person whose duty it was to hoist the pennant on board the Ariel had not taken care to make the other end of the halyards fast, to haul it down again to change the colours. This prevented Captain Jones from an advantageous manoeuvre he had intended, and obliged him to let the enemy range up along the lee-side of the Ariel, where he saw a battery lighted for action. A conversation now took place between the two ships, which lasted near an hour; by which Captain Jones learned the situation of the enemy's affairs in America. The captain of the enemy's ship said his name was John Pindar. His ship had been constructed by the famous Mr. Peck of Boston, built at Newbury Port, owned by Mr. Tracey of that place, commanded by Captain Hopkins, the son of the late Commodore Hopkins, and had been taken and fitted out at New York, and named the Triumph by Admiral Rodney. Captain Jones told him he must put out his boat and come on board and show his commission, to prove whether or not he really did belong to the British navy. To this he made some excuses, because Captain Jones had not told him who he was, and his boat, he said, was very leaky. Captain Jones told him to consider the danger of refusing. Captain Pindar said he would answer for twenty guns, and that himself and every one of his people had shown themselves Englishmen. Captain Jones said he would allow him five minutes only to make his reflection. This time being elapsed Captain Jones backed a little on the weather quarter of the enemy, ran close under her stern, hoisted American colours, and being within short pistol-shot on the lee-beam of the enemy began to engage. It was past seven o'clock, and as no equal force ever exceeded the vigorous and regular fire of the Ariel's battery and tops, the action while it lasted made a glorious appearance. The enemy made a feeble resistance for about ten minutes. He then struck his colours. The enemy then begged for quarter, and said half his men were killed. The Ariel's fire ceased, and the crew, as usual after a victory, gave cries of joy, "to show themselves Englishmen." The enemy filled their sails, and got on the Ariel's weather-bow before the cries of joy had ended on board the Ariel. Captain Jones, suspecting the base design of the enemy, immediately set every sail he could to prevent her escape; but the enemy had so much advantage in sailing that the Ariel could not keep up, and they soon got out of gun-shot. The English captain may be called a knave, because, after he surrendered his ship, begged for and obtained quarter, he basely ran away, contrary to the laws of naval war and the practice of civilised nations. It must be remembered, however, that this ship was not one belonging to the regular navy. The Triumph is impartially described as a letter-of-marque and a sloop-of-war, she mounted twenty guns—twelve or fourteen nine-pounders and the rest sixes, with a crew of ninety-seven men. The Naval Chronicle says the Ariel carried "a battery of twenty twelve-pounders, a crew of 180 men, mostly prime sailors, and commanded by the redoubtable Paul Jones."

Soon after this encounter Jones was called on to suppress a mutiny among the English part of the Ariel's crew, and arrived at Philadelphia on the 18th February, 1781, with twenty of the ringleaders in irons. Paul had been absent from America three years, three months, and eighteen days. A few days after his arrival he turned over the command of the Ariel to his lieutenants, Dale and Lunt, who took the ship to Portsmouth. This ended Jones's active connection with the United States Navy, which had lasted from December 7, 1775, to the present date, during which he had earned for himself more fame than all the others connected with the service, both by his daring as a fighter and his skill as a diplomat; and had made the power he represented, young as it was, an important factor in the politics of nations. One of the first pieces of news brought to Jones was that Pierre Landais had been dropped from the navy, which ended any necessity of a court-martial and wiped Landais and his eccentricities off the calendar of events to be dealt with.

The action of Lee and Landais in usurping command of, and running away with, the Alliance had, by upsetting Jones's plans for sailing, greatly delayed the arrival of the military stores. This occasioned much dissatisfaction, the matter being made the subject of an inquiry by Congress, Jones and Franklin eventually being exonerated from any blame; and the latter, "as an appropriate mark of the entire confidence of Congress, was appointed by the Marine Committee to the sole management of maritime affairs in Europe."

The Board of Admiralty, soon after his arrival, called upon Commodore Jones to answer some forty- seven questions relating to his services and public affairs in that connection, which, after a great deal of correspondence he did to their satisfaction. The subjects and answers are mostly on naval and technical matters and not interesting, while a number relate to Landais and his usurped command of the Alliance.

Like all men who have risen to heights unattained by the less successful, Jones was constantly the prey of jealousy and petty malice. Perhaps he was too sensitive to public criticism, and would have been happier had he been of the disposition to ignore things which were not of a pleasing nature. For example, though he had received permission from Congress to wear the decoration bestowed by Louis XVI, he never did so in America after being told by some ladies at a dinner that they had "heard deprecating comments" on this, and that he used a title derived from a king though an officer of a "free republic." There is only one letter of Jones's written, while in America, in which he signs himself the "Chevalier Paul Jones," though Washington addressed him by this title in his correspondence of a certain date. Taking all these different elements into consideration, one is not surprised, after weighing the matter carefully, that Paul found life in the old world more congenial. But it must not be thought that he was unpraised and unappreciated by the mass of his adopted countrymen, and even Washington, who so seldom grew enthusiastic, quite unbent in commendation of his friend in the letter he wrote to the "Chevalier Paul Jones."

"Whether our naval affairs have in general been well or ill conducted would be presumptuous in me to determine. Instances of bravery and good conduct in several of our officers have not, however, been wanting. Delicacy forbids me to mention that particular instance which has attracted the admiration of all the world, and which has influenced the most illustrious monarch to confer a mark of his favour which can only be obtained by a long and honourable service, or by the performance of some brilliant action." Washington concludes by hoping that "you may long enjoy the reputation you have so justly acquired," and, knowing what we do of George Washington, this was, indeed, high praise.

The cabal by whom Jones was disliked still continued to give him annoyance, and, shortly after his arrival on the Ariel, he learned that Lee had been spreading derogatory stories about him. Without waiting, the Commodore challenged Lee, who tried to avoid fighting by insinuating that it was a matter of question whether Jones was a gentleman and entitled to the privileges of one, demanding—

"Who is he, anyhow? Nobody but the son of obscure Scottish peasants, and a man who has changed his name at that! What right can such a person claim to expect satisfaction from a Virginia gentleman of my position and antecedents?"

General Anthony Wayne, to whom this question was addressed, intimated that he was not there to go into questions of genealogy, quietly adding: "But permit me to suggest, sir, that no one in this country or before American people can possibly reflect credit upon himself by trying to bar Paul Jones from the rights of a gentleman. It makes no difference who his parents may have been, or how many times he may have changed his name, the American people will never sustain any man in the pretence of barring from a gentleman's privileges the conqueror of the Drake and Serapis." Wayne clearly placed before Lee the question of social standing and the rights and position of an officer in the navy, who had been knighted for his conspicuous valour and daring bravery, and who was received by the highest society in every country. To refuse the challenge of Paul Jones would stamp the man, who took such an action, as worse than a coward. To make a long story short, mutual friends smoothed the matter over, and the duel was heard of no more.

Robert Morris, always one of Jones's staunch friends, advised him in a letter to drop his quarrel with Lee, saying very sensibly: "You should, I think, accept these accumulated honours and proofs of the public confidence as most ample vindication of yourself from any wrongs of which you have hitherto entertained a sense, and you should also view them as having placed you upon a plane of honour and dignity from which you could but derogate by further meditation of personal recourse in any direction whatever."

The Chevalier could afford to be magnanimous, and, though the summer was not marked by heroic combat or naval victory, he found that "peace hath her victories no less renowned than war," and equally enjoyable. He and his officers and men were publicly thanked by Congress on April 14th, and on June 26th he was unanimously elected to command the America, building at Portsmouth, it being recommended by some of his partisans that Jones should be raised to the rank of Admiral. Mingled with these glowing and congratulatory happenings, the old spectre of unpaid crews kept stalking grimly. On the arrival of the Ariel Colonel Henry Fisher, of the "Continental Army," had loaned him money to pay off officers and crew, and, on June 26, he petitioned Congress for an advance on the pay due to him, of which, from his date of commission, December 7, 1775, until the present moment, he had never received a penny. The amount reached the total of £1400 5s. He was referred to the Treasury Board without definite result.

The Chevalier Jones did not arrive in Portsmouth until the end of August, having visited General Washington on the way, and received personally the congratulations of that august statesman. Jones had, in the February previous, been authorised by Congress to wear the Order of Military Merit, which King Louis bestowed on him for his valour, and was given a sumptuous entertainment at Philadelphia by the Chevalier de la Luzerne, the French Minister, in honour of the event. His reception on arriving at Portsmouth was most flattering, and inspired by that personal tinge, which friendship alone can give, had all the sincerity of a real home-coming. The Ranger had been considered by the people of Portsmouth as their ship, and when Jones "came back in 1781, to command the America, covered with world-wide fame, decorations, Order of Knighthood, and the thanks of Congress, he became at once the most interesting character in the place. The good people, staid in their notions of republican simplicity as they were, rejoiced to see that four years of almost marvellous success had by no means spoilt him, but that he was yet the same plain Paul Jones they had known and liked so well in 1777.

"The young folks did little less than worship him, because his appearance among them was always the signal for jolly yarns and interesting accounts of what he had seen in the great world beyond the seas.

"On such occasions, when surrounded by the young ladies, to whom his stories of Paris and Versailles were almost like fairy tales, his usually sad, swarthy face would light up with a rich glow as if his youth had come back again, and he would hold all listeners as in a trance."

And, most undeniably, Paul had nice little ways, for "among the souvenirs he had brought from France and also from Spain were rare little bits of lace handkerchiefs, fans of marvellous design, gloves, slippers, and bewitching little ornaments for the hair. Most of these had already met their fate among the Commodore's fair friends in Philadelphia before he came to Portsmouth."

The completion of the America occupied most of his waking hours, for the work progressed slowly, and he was afraid the ship would he seized by the enemy or blown up, as the island on which she was being built was poorly fortified and, with the exception of the guard he ordered, and the two six-pounders defending the landing, quite open to attack. After Jones's arrival a sharp watch was kept for prowling boats, and anything approaching too close was warned off on penalty of being fired into with the omnipresent six-pounders. By way of variety in his troubles, the America was too large to be launched off the stocks where she was built, and only with the utmost manipulation was she got into the water at all. The America was a seventy-four gun ship, extreme length 1821 feet, with a complement of 626 officers and men. Her keel had been laid down in 1777, though little had been done on her except "to get out and season her timbers," and Jones, who had been led to understand that she was ready for launching, received a disagreeable shock when he first saw her at Langdon's Island. He planned as figurehead "the Goddess of Liberty crowned with laurels. The right arm was raised with the forefinger pointing to heaven, as if appealing to that high tribunal in behalf of the justice of the American cause. On the left arm was a blue buckler with thirteen silver stars."

Paul became so exasperated at the slowness of the task he had undertaken, that he wrote Lafayette he had volunteered to join Washington's army, requesting that he might serve in the marquis's division; but Robert Morris would not allow him to leave Portsmouth, where he considered his services more useful than they would be in the field. During his stay in Portsmouth Paul was persuaded to address a public meeting at the town hail, and made a glowing reference to the flag given him by the girls of Portsmouth as "a pattern new to the world. That flag the Ranger carried across the sea and showed alike to our French friends and our English enemies. Our French friends saluted it with the cannon of their grand fleet. Our English enemies twice lowered their haughty emblem to it . . the story of the flag as made by the daughters of Portsmouth has been written in letters of blood and flame that can never be rubbed out so long as Liberty shall he the watchword of brave men and virtuous women." He told an anecdote which greatly pleased his audience, of a sailor boy, Johnny Downes, with him on the Ranger and Bonhomme Richard. "Johnny, though seventeen years old, was so small for his age that he attracted the attention of a duchesse who was visiting the ship, who asked him—

'Why are you here? Such a child! You are not big or strong enough for war. Why did your mother let you come here?'

"'My mother did not let me come here, madame, she sent me,' Johnny replied; but the duchesse was not satisfied, and pursued the question.

"'Why, then, did she send such a little and delicate boy?'

"'Because, madame, she had no other boy to send. But, madame,' said Johnny, 'I am much stronger than You think. I can keep my station with the best of them, as the Captain will tell you, if you do me the honour to ask him. True, I am small, but that is an advantage, because the enemy can't hit me in battle as easily as they could if I was large.'"

The duchesse was charmed, declaring to the Captain that Johnny came of a race of Spartan mothers, all of which must have been very pleasant to Johnny's mother, who sat in the audience.

In the following May, 1782, the birth of the Dauphin being announced, Congress, to emphasise the entente cordiale between the two countries, ordered all commanding officers to celebrate. We have no details of what the other commanders did, but Commodore Jones, with his usual lavishness, gave an entertainment on the America, supplying, at his own expense, the powder used for salutes and everything connected with the joyful day.

With the completion of the America came another crushing disappointment. Instead of sailing in command he received a letter from Robert Morris, dated September 4, 1782, enclosing the resolution by which Congress presented the ship to France, to replace the French ship Magnifique, wrecked the preceeding month at the entrance to Boston Harbour. So he saw the realisation of his hopes and ambitions given to the Chevalier de Martigne, and the bitterness of the disappointment was not lessened by the fact that he had a crew such as his heart loved, officered by the men who had fought the Bonhomme Richard to victory. The French renamed her Le Franklin, and so she passed from the hands of those who built her; and Paul Jones, at the end of seven years' constant, and often thankless, service, found himself without command, without prize money or pay, and without official recognition of his exertions in the cause to which he devoted so important a part of his life.

Unhappy and unoccupied ashore, Commodore Jones volunteered to join the Marquis de Vaudreuil's flagship, on the expedition undertaken by France and Spain against English power in the West Indies. This squadron, comprising the ships under de Vaudreuil and the main French fleet commanded by the Comte d'Estaing, as well as the Spanish fleet under Admiral Don Solano, was so late in arriving at the rendezvous that Admirals Hood and Piggott prevented the planned attack on Jamaica, and then the news of peace between England and France ended the cruise. Jones, not being in good health, immediately sailed on a French frigate for Philadelphia, carrying with him commendatory letters from de Vaudreuil to the Chevalier de la Luzerne, in which the former says, after many complimentary preliminaries : "I shall feel infinitely obliged to you if you can find a means of doing him service. He is one of the bravest, ablest and most honourable of men."

But all the hardships, anxieties and vicissitudes of fortune to which Paul had been subjected for so many years were beginning to tell on that iron constitution. While in the West Indies he had a sharp attack of fever, and for years he had never enjoyed more than four hours' sleep at a time. His eyes, tried by the poor light of ships' lamps and the enormous amount of correspondence he had carried on, gave him constant trouble, since he had a decided aversion to any kind of eye-glasses. In his own words—

"It was not until peace came, and with it no immediate prospect of active service nor any incentive to ambition, that I realised how prodigally I had drawn upon Nature's bequest to me of an iron frame and a strong constitution. For the first time in my life I felt what the doctors call the effect of reaction. Fortunately my affairs were in a condition that enabled me to rest without serious inquietude on the score of means. . . . I passed the months of June, July, August, and a part of September in the bracing air of the Lehigh Valley, and this with so much benefit that, in November, I was able to undertake a mission to France, by appointment of Congress, as special and plenipotentiary agent to adjust and collect all prize moneys due and unpaid in that country to American seamen who had served under my command."

An interesting sidelight on his unusual character is the shrewd sense he showed in business matters. This trait, from his early days in the merchant service, induced him to put by what money he could, which, by careful manipulation, grew into a comfortable nest-egg as the years went on. Far from benefiting by his services to the United States, his part in the war was a great expense to him, though he gave freely to the cause he considered so just and rightful. Congress acted wisely in appointing him as agent to deal with the troubled question of prize-money adjustment, and his excellent credit is proved by his instantly obtaining the necessary bond for £40,000.

As illustrating his foresight in financial matters, the following is a good example. While in America Paul bought large quantities of illuminating oil, for which there was always a great demand in Europe, and shipped it to his agents in Amsterdam, Nantes and Antwerp. As his credit was practically unlimited, he had to pay out almost nothing in actual money, and the oil when sold by his correspondents brought in a profit of some £7500 or £8000. This sum may be exaggerated, but the Chevalier is known to have benefited considerably by this and other commercial ventures during the previous nine years. If he had not had these means of income it would be impossible to say how he could have provided for the constant expense of keeping open house on shore or aboard ship, and for the Teludson menage; as it was not until 1785 he got his prize money, amounting to the sum of 181,039 livres, 1 sou, 10 deniers.

On the ioth of November Jones sailed from Philadelphia on the Washing/on. This ship, being forced by adverse gales to put into Plymouth, he landed, posting to London, where the first person he met was his old enemy, John Adams, to whom he delivered the despatches he carried, and discussed a commercial treaty in which both were interested. Jones left London the next morning, arriving at Paris on the 7th of December. The despatches he brought for Franklin were rough drafts for treaties, concerning fishing and other rights, to be submitted to the Cabinet in London. Franklin was anxious to employ Jones on this mission, but the latter preferred to lose no time in taking up the adjustment of his prize claims.

On the 20th of December he was presented to Louis XVI in his role of Special Agent by the Maréchal de Castries, Minister of Marine. The King conferred on him the honour of a command to "lunch at the royal table, a distinction that no naval officer under the rank of Admiral had enjoyed in France since Louis XIV similarly entertained Jean Bart; after the repast the Commodore enjoyed another honour, one to which he had often aspired but never before realised: that of being presented to the Queen. This was a marked triumph for the Commodore, because while the war was in progress, notwithstanding the persuasions of many of his friends including even Mme. de Campan, the Queen had steadily declined to lend her countenance to the Commodore's enterprises and ambitions."

Just how much of this is authentic one cannot determine, as the only mention of it in the Commodore's papers is: "On December 20th his Excellency the Marechal de Castries graciously presented me in my official capacity to the King, who in turn presented me informally to Her Majesty the Queen."

The adjustment of the prize-money claims was beset with untold complications, a fact which Jones appreciated, and employed no less an advocate than the eloquent Mirabeau, with Malesherbes to advise in matters involving admiralty jurisprudence. The confusion was increased by the action of Congress, which had several times during the war changed the rules governing the distribution of prize money. The prizes taken by the American and French ships had been sent to, and sold in, the ports of different countries, some in Holland and others in France. Those sent to Denmark, against Jones's orders, had instantly been returned to the English owners at the request of the British minister, an action foreseen by Jones, who knew the Danish king's sympathies to be with England. All this involved an almost incomprehensible mass of legal subtleties, and a knowledge of International and Admiralty law bewildering even to the clever brains employed on the case.

Franklin declared in exasperation, "If I once get rid of this business, nothing shall ever induce me to to approach it again," and implores Jones "to have mercy on me, and refrain from bothering me any more with masses of technical details, and even sea lingo, which is worse than Greek to me." In truth the old gentleman grew extremely irritable, and it is amusing to see how the Commodore, knowing that "even Jove nods at flattery," appealed to the sage's vanity in the most barefaced manner. He concludes his reply to this scolding by apologising deferentially for invading Franklin's peace or "disturbing his tranquillity, impelled to do so by no consideration less flattering to you than the childlike faith and the artless confidence I have ever reposed in your incomparable wisdom and your unexampled grasp of affairs. . ."

The Commodore's mission took him to London, where his appearance at Lloyd's formed the theme of a column of gossip in the Cumberland Packet of November, 1786.

"Last Wednesday appeared on the Underwriters' 'Change at Lloyd's no less a personage than the celebrated Paul Jones; no stranger to the Cumberland coast and Whitehaven, but a most attractive stranger and object of much interest at Lloyd's. He came on the most peaceful errand of listing on the Boards for underwriting certain cargoes of American destination in which he has interest.

"No one noticed him until he had to sign the Owners' Register, which he did in a bold round hand. In a few minutes many had seen it, and his identity among the throng on the floor was quickly made out; when there was a rush about him almost amounting to mobbing. All introduced themselves to him, and he received them in a most charming manner, easy and affable. The Chairman of the Board . . . invited him into the lunch-room, by accepting which he escaped attentions, which, though kindly meant and most politely accepted, must have been annoying."

The writer proceeds to describe Jones "His attire is of the most faultless make-up, and his bearing martial and imposing to the last degree. It is gossiped about that while at luncheon the chairman remarked that his relations with British commerce had most materially changed during the past few years. To which Captain Jones is said to have replied, 'Oh no, not so much that, as it is a resumption of most pleasant relations many years ago.'

The impression he made on all who had the privilege of seeing and conversing with him is most pleasant, and it is a common remark that it is much better to have him here seeking insurance on cargoes of his own than at sea seeking cargoes insured by others."

Jones says that he owed many of the pleasures of his stay in London to the kindness of Captain the Honourable Samuel Hood, afterwards Sir Samuel Hood, who commanded the Zealous at the Battle of the Nile. The Commodore's connection with this distinguished naval family was unusual and most interesting. As far back as the days when Jones was a young merchant captain he became involved in some trouble at the Island of Grenada "under circumstances not at all discreditable to him." Captain, afterwards Admiral, Lord Hood learned the facts of the case, and being senior officer on the station, interfered in Captain John Paul's behalf, causing him to be released and giving his word as an officer and a gentleman that the young captain should appear to answer the charge if necessary. In 1779, after the fight between the Serapis and the Bonhomme Richard, Jones found Midshipman Hood, severely wounded, among the prisoners. Immediately on arriving at the Texel' he turned Hood over to Sir Joseph Yorke, without parole, begging him to convey his compliments to the boy's family, and "say that he found pleasure in the opportunity to reciprocate an ancient kindness." In 1784-5 Jones had seen a great deal of Captain Hood, who was in France, and says, "II had been in my power to be serviceable to him in social directions. Now he, with the courtesy for which he is everywhere distinguished, repaid my former attentions, and to him more than any one else I owe the most enjoyable moments of my stay in London. . . ." Captain Hood was ordered to a ship on the American station, and left shortly after this, but his fellow-officers made life so agreeable that Jones found it hard to tear himself away. Eventually he took passage to France by the Ostend lugger, which sailed under the English flag. He commented that, "It was the first time since 1773 that I had trod an English deck with the King's colours flying. I own that for a moment the sensation was queer."

Jones hoped that France would employ him against the Algerines, as the United States was too poor to engage in an expedition at this moment. Unfortunately France was bankrupt, and could do nothing in response to the Commodore's petition to the King. So prophetic was the plan of French rule in Africa, outlined in this document, that it was quoted by Louis Philippe in a speech, asking for money to promote the Algerine conquest, many years later.

Jones was urged by the Frazier Brothers, in whose charge he had placed his Virginia property, to return to a community where every one desired so distinguished a man for a neighbour. They offered to rebuild his house and buildings, which had long ago been razed to the ground. To this Jones replied most politely, but declared it impossible to work a plantation to advantage without slave labour, to which he very strongly objected. His mission, he explained, was not yet completed, and he hoped to find employment in his career of naval officer.

Leaving for Denmark in May, 1787, he had gone as far as Brussels when he learned that two of the firms to which his goods were consigned were insolvent. As this venture comprised a large part of his working capital, he instantly took a swift sailing packet for New York, arriving there some days before the slow merchant ships, and, by his promptness, saved his money. Paul remained in the United States until November. Congress approved the settlement he had made for prize money, and, on the 16th of October, voted him a gold medal which was to be made in Paris, under the supervision of Thomas Jefferson, who had succeeded Franklin as American Minister to France. Jones was to be the bearer of a letter to King Louis on his return, and Jefferson was given full powers to act in the Danish prize case, with authority to appoint any agent he saw fit. In spite of the gold medal, Jones was still unpaid for his services, owing to the depleted condition of the national exchequer. Exceping two thousand guineas on account, the remainder, amounting to £10,000, came to his heirs fifty-six years after his death.

Paul still played the part of a social butterfly, and fluttered about as gaily as of yore among his many friends. The Livingstons, blest with the matchmaking instinct, tried to marry him to a comely widow, whose maiden name had been Rosalie Bloom; but Paul, with the sound of that charming Frenchwoman's voice lingering in his ears, and the pressure of her miniature in his heart, desparted fancy free, though the lady would not have proved obdurate had Paul willed, for Madame Livingston says—

"There was no mistaking the signs of her conduct in his presence. I frankly own that though I had known the Chevalier in Philadelphia when there with my husband during the war, and had greatly admired him then, he was now an infinitely superior man. Then I had thought him a genius, as did everybody, but in many respects a 'rough diamond.' But now he fairly shone with the polish of European courts; his grace, dignity and aplomb were easily beyond imitation by the most accomplished men of our own set, and he seemed more like some French duke paying us a visit than the brave, dashing sailor, Paul Jones, I had known in Philadelphia in 1776."

Madame Livingston continues eulogistically: "His ways were the poetry of grace and elegance, his table talk was to us a revelation of the charm and fascination of Court-life in the Old World. His discourses of the great, the royal and the noble personages he had encountered in his marvellous career, told sometimes in English like that of Bacon, and sometimes in French like that of Fontenelle, by turns delighted, amazed and mystified us. Alas! that he could have been with us but two short weeks. . . . Such chivalry I never saw in any man. We begged him to give us his own description of the miraculous battle that had made him famous in all the world. He parried our importunity by saying that too much had already been written about it, and, besides, the picture of it in his memory was too horrible for portrayal in the sight of our delicate sex. But he said that he felt at liberty to impress on us that he owed a debt of gratitude to his brave adversary, Captain Sir Richard Pearson, whose martial conduct and heroic bravery had given him the opportunity for such a combat; and in that view he considered himself fortunate in having encountered so admirable a foe. And that was all we could induce him to say about it."

Did some premonition sweep over Paul, that this was to be the last time he would set foot on the shores of the country for which he had performed such great service? He saw once more those fighting sailors whom he loved so well; one and all they had come to see their old commander. Dale, Mayrant, Tom Potter, Fanning, Gardner, whose names recall that raging sea fight. Who was the favourite? He said, "It has been my fortune to command many brave men, but I never knew a man so exactly after my own heart or so near the kind of man I would create, if I could, as John Mayrant." This was high praise from Jones, whom his critics accuse of never commending any man serving under him, forgetting that, in those rude times, fulsome praise was not heaped on such as did their duty, and did it bravely because it was their duty.

Did Paul, at this period of his life, in his heart of hearts ever lose a little of the keen enthusiasm for the service of the United States and the "Rights of Man," when other lands honoured him so unstintedly with their praise? . . . and then, there was the Lady in the Case, his "well beloved Adele," to whom he complains—

"The last French packet brought me no letter from the person whose happiness is dearer to me than anything else. I have been on the rack of fear and apprehension, and am wholly unable to account for your silence; having received but one letter since my departure from France, and that one written soon after I left there, informing me of the sudden death of our most noble friend the Marquise. . . . My return to Europe approaches. My sentiments are unchanged and my impatience can better be imagined than expressed. I have been honoured here beyond my expectations. But your silence makes even honours insipid."


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