SPIRIT OF THE YEARS
To his long friend the minister Dtcves Words that go heavily / „ , „
" I am made the arbiter in vast designs
Whereof I see black outcomes. Do I this
Or do I that, success, that loves to jilt
Her anxious wooer for some careless blade,
Will not reward me. For, if I must pen it,
Demoralized past prayer is the marine—
Bad masts, bad sails, bad officers, bad men;
We cling to naval technics long outworn,
And time and opportunity do not avail me
To take up new. I have long suspected such,
But till I saw my helps, the Spanish ships,
I hoped somewhat.—Brest is my nominal port;
Yet if so, Calder will again attack—
Now reinforced by Nelson or Cornwallis—
And shatter my whole fleet . . . Shall I admit
That my true inclination and desire
Is to make Cadiz straightway, and not Brest ?
Alas! thereby I fail the Emperor;
But shame the navy less.—
Your friend, VILLENEUVE."
GENERAL LAURISTON enters.
Admiral, my missive to the Emperor, Which I shall speed by special courier From Ferrol this near eve, runs thus and thus ;— " Gravina's ships, in Ferrol here at hand, Embayed but by a temporary wind, Are all we now await. Combined with these We sail herefrorn to Brest; there promptly give Cornwallis battle, and release Ganteaume;