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Full text of "The Life Of Charles Stewart Parnell Vol - I"

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NATAL  BATTLE                                 25
deserted the god of battles for the god of love, and married Delia Tudor, * the belle of Boston/ daughter of Judge Tudor, who had fought against the British in the War of Independence.    But the wedding was scarcely over when the * Constitution' was once more ready for sea, and Stewart bade farewell to his bride. * What present shall I bring you home ? ' he asked as they  parted.     'A British  frigate/  was  the prompt reply.    'I  shall  bring you  two/   said Stewart.     In December 1814 he   set sail for  Europe,  seizing two British vessels on the way, destroying one, and sending the other, which had a valuable cargo, to New York. On February It), 1815, at 1 P.M., the ' Constitution' was off the coast of Spain.    A sail was sighted some twelve miles ahead.    The first lieutenant reported that she was probably a British ship of 50 guns.    'Whatever may be the number of her guns/ said Stewart, ' I'll fight.    Hot every stitch of canvas ; lay me alongside/    With studding sails alow and aloft the ' Constitution ' sped through the waters, and by 4 P.M. she had shortened the distance between herself and the enemy by one-half.    Then a second ship hove in sight, and she was soon pronounced to be the consort of the first.  But the * Constitution ' sped on.   ' Before sunset, my lads/ said Stewart, * we must flog these Britishers, whether they have one or two gun-decks each/    The ' Constitution ' now came up hand over hand, and it was   soon   seen   that the British ships—for  so  they turned out  to   be—were ready for action.    All three vessels  formed   (as   Stewart   put   it)   an   equilateral triangle; the British ships—the ' Cyane/ 34 guns, and the 'Levant/ 21 guns—making the base, the ' Constitution ' the apex.    Stewart began the action by firing between  the  British  ships.    The  British   responded