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Ан yes, my friend, I am nothing now
No Youth at the helm, and Hope at the prow,
In the gallant old days, now gone, now dead,
With my sails all spread and my flag at my head
Any storm, any danger, if only it led
To Glory and Victory.
Ah, those were the glorious days of old
That I never again shall know!
Dear days, that were once so glad and bold
In the young, brave long ago,—
When the winds were my playmates, the sea my bride, And over the billows in joy and pride
Unfearing I used to ride;
Dear days, that are now so dead and cold,
I am nothing now but a shattered old hulk
Laid up in the dock to rot and to sulk,
From which hot shot in the days that are not
Despoiled and bereft, and with nothing left,
Save to tell the old tales till my memory fails
Of the battles I fought, of the din of war,
That I made in the good, old, well-rigged time,
When life was without a care,
And I, in my strength and prime.
Now, far away to the tropic isles,
Where the love-birds of Paradise flash through the air, And the year's long summer sleeps lingering there,
And the deep blue heaven smiles,—
Now, to the North where the icebergs high
Topple all flashing against the sky,
Or into the seas at their bases lashing,
And the white gulls startled fly.
Ah then, on the world how gladly I went,
No doubt, no question my spirit oppressed,
Or the tempest and storm unfearing to breast
You may laugh if you choose, and scorn and abuse
Those good old sailing days
You may boast of your steam and your wheels and your screws,
And all your new-fangled ways;
But for beauty and grace you must take second place,
However your use you praise.
Ah yes! for a braver and gallanter sight
On the ocean you never will find
Than an old three-master, its canvas white
Not hammering, panting along the sea
Ah, that was sailing! ah, that was living!
The winds from heaven their impulse giving,
And we joying in what they sent!
How we played with the storm and laughed with the tempest, As under their pressure we bent,
The wild seas leaping, and rushing, and sweeping
Over our decks and sides;
Our sharp prow lifting high up, and cleaving
The dark blue billows before it heaving,
As over them bravely it rides ;
Or downward stooping and into them swooping,
Into their deep black caverns scooping,
While above, at the mast-head flying free,
And playing with the wind,
Streamed the good old flag, and after us sweeping
How we used to speed o'er the summer seas
Our full sails strained by the steady breeze,
All the long fresh day how we sped away,
With never a dream of care
All the moonlight night, so clear and bright,
Singing and laughing, and jesting and chaffing,
Life was not then a remembered joy;
But we lived in the Present, and wide-eyed Hope Had the key of the Future, and promised to ope New Joys in the Life before.
And we panted for more and more, Never content, though we wildly spent Of the Present's abundant store,
Scarcely knowing how happy Life was, as it went,
For 'tis only at last, looking back at the Past
With its careless joys, and its brief annoys,
Now!-ah now!-but 'tis useless to sigh
As afar they sleep in the distance deep
Here all alone, life's voyages done,
Its banners and sails and masts cut down,
In the narrow dead dock of Age,-
Open wide with its key this prison gate
And set me free from this cage;
And I hear the stern cry sounding low but clear—
But even here, when the guns on the shore
Through sails, yard, mast, coming thundering past
Ah! the wild shrill cries, and the agonies
Of the wounded-the decks all red
With the blood of the dying and dead!
As the balls told sternly their terrible tale,
Till after what seemed like months had passed,
Ah! my friend, what am I, that am bragging so
What am I now-
But a wretched old hulk, razeed, cut down,
With not even one old cracked gun ?—
That never again will feel the strain
Of the wind in my swelling sails,
Never freely careening, and swinging, and leaning,
Never!-ah, never again!
Even now while I tell these old-world tales,
To age, old age, there's a hidden smile
Lurks under that deference all the while,
And a smile of pity too.
Still, while I am telling, my heart keeps swelling
Till I almost seem to feel those gales
But pardon !-pardon !-I'll say no more;
For me are utterly o'er!
And perhaps even you, if you're honest and true,
Or at best must seem like the idle dream
Of a bragging old "Seventy-Four."
W. W. STORY.
THE PRETENDER AT BAR-LE-DUC.
"THE Pretender Charles Edward resided here three years in a house which is still pointed out.' So you may read in " Murray," under the head of "Bar-le-Duc." The information is, as it happens, not altogether accurate. For, in the first place, the "Pretender" who "resided" at Bar was not "Charles Edward" at all. In the second, so little is "the house still pointed out" that, on my first visit to Bar, in August 1890, I could actually not find a soul to give me even the vaguest information as to
its whereabouts. "Cela doit être dans la Haute Ville"-" Cela doit être dans la Basse Ville”—“Eh bien, moi je n'en sais rien." Why should they know about the Pretender? There were no thanks, surely, due to him. While in the town, he had given himself intolerable airs, had put the town to no end of expense and all manner of trouble, and in the end had slunk away without so much as a word of thanks or of farewell, leaving a heavy score of debts to be paidand, up in a neat cottage on the brow of the picturesque hill, for which some one else had to pay the rent, one pretty little Barisienne disconsolate, betrayed, disgraced. There was, in fact, but one man belonging to the town who had taken the trouble to trace the house from the description given in the local archives-M. Vladimir Konarski-and he was away on his holiday. There was nothing, then, for me to do but to go home with an empty note-book, quoad Bar, and return in 1891 to resume my inquiry.
Even to us Englishmen the first Pretender is not a particularly attractive personage. But he is a
historical character. And about his doings at Bar thus far very little has been made known. With the help of M. Konarski's notes, of the local and other archives, freely placed at my disposal (including those of the Foreign Office on the Quay d'Orsay), I have managed to gather together sufficient historical crumbs to make up a fairly substantial loaf
-all the information on the subject, I suppose, that is to be got. And, at any rate as a secondary side-chapter to our national history at an important epoch, perhaps the account which, within the limits of a magazine article, I shall be able to give, may prove of passing interest to more besides those staunch surviving Jacobites who still from time to time "play at treason" in out-of-the-way places.
What sent the Pretender to Bar every schoolboy knows. We had fought with France and were, in 1713, about to conclude peace. Our Court had, as a Stuart MS. in Paris puts it, showed itself extremely "chatouilleuse et susceptible" with respect to the countenance given to James. Louis XIV., we were aware, had expressed his desire to render to the Pretender's family "de plus grands et plus heureux services" than he had yet been able to give. And so, very naturally, before engaging to suspend hostilities, we insisted that James should be turned out of France. Once we were about it, we might as well have asked a little more, and pressed for his removal to a farther distance. The Hanoverian Court was anxious to see him in papistical Italy-best of all, at Rome. That would, M. de Robethon avows, do for him en