My Lords of Strogue (of III) Volume II
Excerpt: ...Winter, who agreed with the Gallic Directory that now was the time or never; for the British navy was utterly disorganised--there were mutinies among the sailors at Plymouth and at Portsmouth, and one more serious still, under Parker, at the Nore. What moment could be better chosen for conveying an army to Ireland than one in which the mistress of the seas lay crippled; when the Channel--unusual circumstance--was open to the world? Wolfe Tone, however, did not recover his enthusiasm. The conduct of his brethren at home, when friendly vessels were in the offing, had been reprehensible--pusillanimous. Instead of rising and making a vigorous effort for freedom, those who pretended to be their chiefs had bickered and shilly-shallied among themselves--a sight to command the scorn of honest men--and the young hero was profoundly discouraged. He began to doubt his countrymen; yet would he not desert them though they seemed inclined to desert themselves, but joined the Texel fleet, under Daendels and De Winter, hoping and praying for the best. It was a fine fleet of fifteen sail of the line and ten frigates. If the wind would only blow fair--if the shoals and sandbanks of the Texel were once safely passed--then success was certain. For Admiral Duncan, who was watching, had but a few vessels under his command, and even some of these were called home in consequence of the Nore troubles. 'Hurry then!' cried De Winter and old Daendels. 'Ship the troops, and let us be off.' The troops were shipped--everything was ready; but Daendels and De Winter whistled vainly for a fair wind. The elements, as usual, were on the side of England. Before, there had been too much wind; now, not a breath stirred the air. The sea was a dead calm. The admirals and generals marched up and down the deck--beautiful--in blue, with rainbow sashes, and hats prodigious with great plumes of the three colours. But no breeze moved a feather of the plumes. Exasperated, they descended to the...
- 189 x 246 x 4mm | 141g
- 13 Sep 2013
- United States
- black & white illustrations