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born slave : of course, you can show the man as he spoke? There were it; but we must proceed by forms." the same features—the same look
None seemed to heed this demand yetit seemed as though a bright light, much, or as of any importance; some mysterious influence had fallen done, save the cousin. On him it on him ; such as tales say magic struck like a thunderclap. His face power can shed over men and things. grew yellow with pallor; his eyes It was the clear soul and the free glared fiercely round and round, but heart shining out through the man, met nothing save strong confident and manifesting themselves. glances; he gasped for breath, and Listen, John. I never heard this sank almost helplessly into a chair. before ; never guessed-never dreamStarting up with a fierce effort, he ed of it. It came to me now for the rushed at Steele, and said,-“This is first time-a revelation and a sura quibble, lawyer-a cursed quibble. prise. But think not I will take adYou know I'm free born, so does vantage of the power thus gained, for uncle. Wasn't my mother old ought save to benefit the poor slaves Veaner's heiress, and isn't that on my estate. If what I hear be true, enough ?”
you would be one of them. As soon “I am afraid we must require as forms can be drawn out, that shall more," was the steady answer. "We be cancelled ; you and yours shall be must see the paper of manumission, or free beyond doubt, beyond cavil. The have evidence of its existence. None bond was between brothers who loved is to be found in Barbadoes, at least." one another. He believed you a free
"You have been there, then, spy- born son—so did I. It shall still be ing, have you? Ah ! there's your in- binding. This is my proposal : I will former, is it,” he said, as Quamino ap- give you now the value of my slaves peared and disappeared at the door. to free you from your difficulty, and
You've been tampering with these reserve to myself the power of dealinfernal niggers, who'll swear black ing with them as I will. The estate is white, or white black, to serve a shall pass to you at my death. What turn. That old hag has been tattling, I have saved since shall be Rose's I s'pose ; but we'll try the law yet. portion-and a fair one, too. So let And now I'm got up, I'll have the there be peace between us. So let bond to the letter. You can't make old memories pass away; and the us show the ticket. Everybody last atonement for the past be offerknows 'twas made out ; and I'll ed,” he added, in a low voice. fight this cheat, this quibbler, whilst For an instant the West Indian I've a drop of blood or an acre to seemed about to hurl defiance on all
and to dare consequences, when his His eyes were quite bloodshot now look softened, and his heart changed, -his forehead covered with clammy and he stepped towards his unclesweat, and his face blood red-his kissed his hand, and went forth with limbs quivering and shaking with his hat over his brows, and a totterpassion.
ing step. That kiss was a sign of "This temper is of no use, my good peace. All felt it to be so, and that sir," said the lawyer. “We are not the end of the trial was come; and pretending to quibble or dispute ; but that henceforth there would only be we must ask if you are prepared to light on the hearth-brightness in prove yourself the free-born son of the future. John Trevenna. Otherwise this bond “Oh, don't look at me,” said Steele. is naught—is neither binding in law “Here is the fellow who did it all. nor honour.”
He found it out. You must thank He had risen and tried to speak, him.” And I looked around to meet but his voice would not come-words these thanks as my rightful meed; would not flow-and with a heavy but Rose's eyes were bent on Gerald's muttered curse, and a withering look, —the Squire had grasped Trevenna he was about to dash out through by the hand. The mothers were lookthe open door when Trevenna's voice ing on their children. I was nothing stopped him.
-I, who had brought all this peace, “John, John-Nephew, stop and all this happiness. So another stage
What was the change in was passed, another act ended.
CHAPTER XVIII. The last scene of that dear memory young life which was then borne is rising now. Summer had heralded forth in hope and fear, now moved all the changes--all the eventful out in the fulness of joy, a fair young periods of our little history. Again bride, beside him who was to be her it was summer, and the gate of Tre- husband. And the elders, the fathers venna's house opened once more for and mothers, were around them, no a procession. The bells were ringing longer anxious or doubtful of a fumerrily. There were schoolboys, too, ture, but assured and happy. in the lane, and the light shades were Thus the light passed from the chasing one another across the blue hearth, but left its brightness behind sky, and the rooks were cawing and a brightness which shone there on whirling round. Quamino was pre- and on o'er long happy years, and set sent, too, more gorgeous than ever, only when life set; and then, even having taken advantage of a license then, leaving, as the sun does, a linto order his own livery, by making gering glory. every strip of lace broader, and deep- And has it shed no brightness on ening every colour; and strutted out me-me, the lone man? Yes ; Rose's with a dignity quite above and beyond children have climbed on my knee; noticing any remarks about cocka- the light of her happiness has floated toos or peacocks, or pickle herring, around me; and her memory, her which might come from Beelzebub spirit, have gleamed again and again and other friends.
in dark hours, as now, a light on this All was as before, save that the lonesome, lonely hearth.
CHERBOURG-THE PORT AND FORTRESS.
A SEABOARD is a great power; it of egress, a means of extending and is also a great responsibility. It developing their resources and opens to a people a second empire, strength ; by some it is accepted a great thoroughfare of expansion merely as a boundary and frontier and possession; it involves, also, a incurring exposure and demanding necessity of defence and protection. security. In either case it is a posBefore, however, it becomes a power session which imposes on a nation or a necessity of defence, it has been aspiring to take a high place among an outlet for the wants and the sup- the principalities and polities of the plies of a population. Fishermen world the destiny of becoming sooner have drawn their food and found or later a naval power, and, as a their livelihood along the shores, and natural consequence, its ports and merchants have built their barks and harbours become docks, arsenals, laden them in the ports and har- and fortresses. bours, long ere the policies of national To France, at first, her extensive interests or international balances seaboard was rather a difficulty, and have recognised them as necessary a responsibility, than a power. Her and useful agents in their systems. ambitions and tendencies were all The fisher-boats and the merchant- rather territorial than maritime. Her barks are the regular antecedents of inland frontier and her army were the vessels of war and naval armaments; great objects of her attention and conthey first show the value of a sea- cern. To push forward the one, to board, and suggest its conservation; maintain and develop the other, was in them are nurtured and prepared the great aim of national aggrandisethe elements of maritime offence and ment, the
great effort of national redefence. To some people it is a sources. The pressure of competition possession eagerly adopted as a point with a rival powerful on the seas, the enlargement of political systems, the in others the people wills and the opening of communications with new result is, that in one case the action worlds, forced her beyond the sphere will be more constant and consisof Continental economies, and com- tent; in the other, that the power pelled her, in assertion of the position to sustain it will be more elastic and of a great power, to create and pos- enduring. The decretal system has sess a navy. The genius of her great produced the navy of France; it has princes and statesmen long foresaw clothed it with abundant materialthis necessity, and had fixed on the has harboured it in magnificent strategic points where the great ports ports ; yet the life - blood which militaires should be constructed. should feed it-should give it full Their plans were many years in vitality and vigour-must flow from abeyance ; circumstances delayed the impulses, and receive a movetheir fulfilment, but the judgment ment from the pursuits of a people. of posterity and the course of events Spite, however, of obstacles natural confirmed their choice of positions. and national, spite of reverses and The fact that they were ever strate- defeats, it has raised a naval power, gic, ever selected with military aim formidable in appearance, formidable and purpose, with a view to the in reality, more formidable, perhaps, balance of power rather than the in its structure than in its resources, development of a marine, and were yet formidable ever as the assertion ever parts of certain bases of attack of the resolve of a great nation. or defence, insured the recognition of The seaboard had three faces—one, their importance by those who in- opening to the Mediterranean, touchherited or adopted the polities which ed on the coast - lines of the conthey represented. It also made the tinental kingdoms of the south, and locality a greater_object than the abutted on the African shores ; annatural fitness. The position was other broadly fronted the Atlantic, chosen, and the port must be made. and a third looked forth on the coast
The creation of a marine must be of England. Polities gave the earliever a great work-a work which, est and most prominent importance aided by natural facilities and na- to the first. The Mediterranean was tional influences, must necessarily be then the great outlet of commerce, slow in its progress; but when under- the great arena of navies ; Spain was taken as a measure of statecraft, and a naval power holding and commandin defiance of obstacles, must be a con- ing its entrance; Carthagena and quest of difficulties to be achieved Gibraltar were to be balanced, the only at great cost of time and energy. corsairs of Algiers and Barbary Such was it with France. The mari- checked, the commercial influences time population of an extended coast of the Italian cities controlled, in offered a fair supply of the man-power, order that France might maintain though not equal, perhaps, to that among its maritime neighbours the which the demand of more com- position which its military force gave mercial nations afforded ; but the it on land. To effect this, the statespopular favour and the national manship of Henri Quatre designed tastes helped not to foster the for- the construction of a great war-port. mation of a marine, and every stage Toulon was fixed upon as offering in its advance was a decree of state. the greatest natural and strategic The seaboard, too, presented few advantages. Marseilles, which had natural advantages; and it was only a been the harbourage of the old succession of great and continuous galleys, was given over to the reefforts which established on it the quirements of commerce. Louis grand cordon of the ports militaires. XIV. recognised the design as suited The last of these efforts would seem to his system, and resolutely adto have burst on the world as a sur- vanced it. Vauban planned its deprise ; and yet the history of the fence; the events of the time furthernation for the last two centuries ed its progress. Thus, following the. shows it to be the part of a fluctuations of the Fre marine, fixed and persi
In some and the changes of p someations the go
and times neglected and oked,
sometimes rising into temporary pro- same will
. From the inspirations of minence-at last, under
the vigorous Colbert, and the resolve of his master, administration of the Empire, Tou- sprang most of the conceptions lon became the chief, as it had been which, in their maturity and perfecthe first, of the five grand ports tion, have made the naval greatness militaires. Here have since been of France. Ever with their designs organised, and hence have started, were associated the name and talent great expeditions of conquest and of Vauban. Strategy was the idea colonisation, proving its import, and of their conception, and the master justifying the forecast of the rulers mind of the great strategist was a who had selected it as a nursery and fitting agent for their achievement. a point d'appui for the naval force of Rochefort was unbealthy. What France. The Atlantic, however, had matter !-it was strategic. The become about the same period a malaria of the marshes spread death. great field of naval enterprise, a Long to breathe the air was to die. great roadway of discovery and com- Men disappeared there by hundreds. merce; and the genius of Richelieu What were men to the glory and decided that on this face of the sea- greatness of France ? So the work board, also, the maritime power of went on. In time the swamps were his nation must have its development drained ; the average mortality prein a port and arsenals. As a salient vailed in its barracks and hospitals ; point which offered an egress both and, in virtue of its "position geoto the Atlantic and the English graphique,” it took its place among Channel, the extremity of Brittany the great ports. Betwixt this place seemed most eligible for the purpose. and Brest, on the coast of Brittany, Here was found a splendid, spacious, and at the confluence of the rivers natural harbour, opening into a large Scorf and Blavet, was a harbour and well-sheltered roadstead, so little which the enterprise of the merknown and used, that the town which chants trading to the East had stood on it was a little insignificant seized upon for the entrepôt of place without commerce and without their merchandise, and the great trade. The iron-mines and forests port of their commerce. There in the neighbourhood afforded all they constructed their docks and the material for construction ; and, quays, built their workshops and shortly, the little village of Brest magazines. As long as they flourrose to be a chief naval station, the ished, it flourished, grew wealthy, site of docks and storehouses, forts great, and populous. The reverses of and barracks. The project of Riche- trade fell on the company, and the lieu was for a while almost forgotten government stepped in, purchased and abandoned, until Louis XIV., and took possession of the readywhose policy gave ever vitality and made locality and properties, and impulse to the creation of a marine, L'Orient became another link in the revived it. Under the direction of his cordon of the ports. minister Colbert, the admiral Du- Still there would be a great break. quesne was intrusted with the Along the whole northern face, from organisation of an arsenal ; and to the Isle of Ushant to Dunkirk, there him, and a local engineer, 'Lindu, was no war-port, no harbour of belong the honour of planning and refuge even capable of receiving originating the great works, which vessels of the line. Opposite were have since been brought to such the coasts of a great rival power, completion. The great movements gradually rising to maritime supreand operations of which the Atlantic macy, and her chief ports commandwas for years the scene, prevented ing the Channel, and offering ever, to Brest from ever again falling into squadrons of observation or attack, obscurity, and it became in import points of ready egress and easy access. and efficiency, on that seaboard, what Brest was scarcely a counterbalance Toulon was on the Mediterranean.
to these. Its position was not favourRochefort was another point on able for a point d'appui on the Chanthe same base. It was a part of the nel, and the prevalence of westerly same policy, an emanation of the winds would render it uncertain and
difficult to fetch, as a place of refugemacy, with that of the great maritime or retreat. Thus one base, and that people of the world. the one most open to operations, The means by which such ends would remain a defect in the stra- have been accomplished, the motives tegic principle, a weakness to the for which they were undertaken, the “politique extérieure” on which the real nature of the results achieved, maritime system of France was to be are well worthy of consideration. founded and constructed. Its great Let us study them as represented in projectors perceived this, and the the port of Cherbourg. 'To do this coast-line was searched and exam- we must view it in its different ined along its whole extent for a aspects—as a port, as a fortress of place which should have at once the defence, as a point of aggression. advantages of a harbour and position. First as a port. Cherbourg Road, as The shores offered nought save bays it presented itself to the explorers filled with sand, or bristling with for a situation, was an open space rocks, and roadsteads open to the formed between Querqueville Point winds and the surf. The position and Pelée Island, distant about four therefore became the chief consider- miles, and lying E.S.E and W.S.W. ation ; the port was to be created. of each ther. Hills, which form Vauban selected the bay of La Hogue; a high and precipitous coast, termithe seamen of the period favoured nating in cliffs of grey rock and Cherbourg, in consequence of its ledges near Querqueville, run to having such an even depth of water, the south-eastward. Between their and affording such good holding- spurs and the sea lies a low parrow ground. Both were equally strategic; plain, bordered by a shore broken both were situated on salient points by rocky banks and sandy indents, of the coast of Normandy; both were which, after sweeping along for some commanding stations from which distance in a curve, makes a sudden ships could depart, or to which they turn, and hollows into the bay of could return, at almost any season, Cherbourg. The Point d'Hommet, and with any wind. The question the western extremity, was a mass was long debated- bureaux and of rock which was continued along councils divided on it-conflicting the western side. At the head of interests and opinions were agitated the bay the small river Divette ran on either side-circumstances and into the sea, but made no harbour. changes of policies delayed the Here, too, stood the town. In front decision. At last Cherbourg was of this south side was a low sandy chosen as the site of another port beach, which extended until the militaire, which, surpassing the shore trends towards the east and original design, was afterwards, by north, where the rocks Des Flaits magnitude and capacity, as well mands lie, uncovered at low-water, as by the energy and resolve evinced and running_off in shoals to the in its construction, to excite the northward. Beyond this again was suspicion of nations, and be inter- the Pelée Island, a flat of bare rocks preted as a menace of war. Thus which had evidently been separcompleted, the strategic system ated from the coast by the action of showed a seaboard surrounded by the waves, leaving a channel nearly a cordon of ports militaires-every half-a-mile wide, so shallow and front was an armed base—and pos- broken as to be impassable by vessessed its point of defence or attack. sels. This Ile Pelée and the QuerqueThe policy, too, which had resolved ville Point are the extremities which the institution of France as a great defined the Road of Cherbourg, though naval power, was fulfilled. Within they did not shelter it. Betwixt these ports had grown a navy, strong them was an area equal to about in material and means, strong in a square league, affording more than equipment and organisation, strong a thousand acres of good holdingin the supply of men--a navy which, ground, at a depth of four fathoms from a state of confessed inferiority, and upwards, and capa
containhad risen in years to challenge ing fully twenty s
line, comparise Zete for supre- besides frigates a