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

26                 CIIAELES STEWAET PARXELL
with a broadside, which was, however, ineffective owing
to the American's excellent strategic position.   Stewart now concentrated his fire on the foremost vessel, the
* Levant/ raking her fore and aft.    The British replied gallantly, and a hot combat ensued.    At this juncture the  stermnost   ship, the   ' Cyane/  crept  up   to  the
* Constitution' and endeavoured to  take her   on the weather side.    But Stewart, handling his  ship  with admirable  skill,   out-manoeuvred   the   Britisher,  and getting to close quarters poured a tremendous broadside into her.    Both ships now maintained a running fire until about 6 P.M., when the enemy, raked, battered, and disabled, was forced to surrender.    Stewart, putting a crew on board the ' Cyane,' bore down on the * Levant/ passing under her stern and delivering a well-directed broadside.    The f Levant' briskly returned the fire, striking the i Constitution' amidships ; but  another broadside from  the American   brought down the British colours, and made Stewart the victor of the day.     AYhen the battle  was over the British commanders  sat  in the cabin of the * Constitution ' and discussed the action in the presence of Stewart, each blaming the  other  for the  disaster which had befallen them.    'Gentlemen/ said Stewart, 'it is idle to discuss the question.    You both fought gallantly, and neither of you is to blame.    No matter what you had done the result would have been the same.    If you doubt it, go back to your ships and we will fight the battle over again/
Stewart now made for home with his two prizes. On the way back he rested in neutral waters at Porto Praya in Santiago, the largest of the Cape Verde islands. But a British squadron soon hove in sight. Stewart knewr that the British would not respect the