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A HEROIC STRUGGLE BEGAN BETWEEN THE STEED AND THE TEN-YEARS-OLD KNIGHT.
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AN OCEAN KNIGHT;
THE CORSAIRS AND
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH
WITH TWENTY-THREE FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS AND FORTY-SIX VIGNETTES,
BY ADRIEN MARIE.
LONDON AND NEW YORK:
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.
[All rights reserved.]
THE YOUTHFUL HERO IS TAKEN TO BE A GIRL -
AFTER THE SWORD, THE BRIDLE -
OUR KNIGHT BREAKS HIS VOW NEVER TO DRAW SWORD BUT
THE KNIGHT, GOING ON THE WATER, SEES FIRE
THE KNIGHT'S. GUARDIAN ANGEL APPEARS- -
TOURVILLE TO THE RESCUE -
THE PARTING -
THE CARNIVAL OF VENICE -
FIXED AS THE SEAMAN'S STAR -
THE HUMAN BALLOON -
AT LAST APPRECIATED -
IN THE KING'S
His MAJESTY, THE KING OF
THE MARKET-PORTERS -
THE STRANGE SECRETARY -
UPON THE GALLEYS -
"THE SEVEN SHELLS TAVERN
APPLES OF DISCORD -
THE DANCE OF HEADS -
BEFORE THE BATTLE -
THE MARTYR OF FREEDOM
BY ORDER OF THE KING -
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
A heroic struggle began between the steed and the ten-year-old Knight
Shading his eyes, Guillaume was looking -
The Count of Gouville was a fine-looking cavalier
The Girls were like a file of soldiers with their corporal
He flourished the sword fiercely -
" That's well spoken, my lad !"
The girl ran to part the swordsmen -
An Academy Lesson -
The BRue du Petit Bourbon -
The Knight is presented to the Captain -
The Knight valiantly fought with both ruffians -
" I offer you a place in my coach," said the Duke
The forbidding-looking stranger -
"I defy you to follow me" -
The Knight was walled in by the dying and the dead
Marcouf stood guard at his master's door -
Andronica's head was superb -
Andronica set to studying the Knight's hand -
The Oriental Feast -
Marcouf and the Greek Servants -
At sunset, the Knight landed -
Andronica was on the secret cabin sill -
Tourville stood before the Lady -
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
"I come to restore your Daughter "
The old Doctor clasped his Daughter
The Knight welcomed by the City of Venice
"At last Ifind you, my dear Knigh t "
" Oh, if your Guardian Angel saw you now !"
The masked man picked out a large Gondola
Andronica came up to the Knight
Farewell to the Doge of Venice
The Mysterious Messenger -
" Drink to our success !" said the Duke -
Tourville found his Friend at tea
Marcouf sees the Doctor at work again
The Prime Minister greeted the young Captain
Marcouf dazzled the rustics -
"At last, a real Sailor !" cried the Admiral
The young Captain examined the Plan
It was the good, true Jani -
The Secretary was Andronica! -
"Is this pretty boy an officer of the mines?"
The Galley towed the Frigate under fire
" On the day when I kill your Master "
The disguised Girl faced the fire like an old trooper
" To the great Tourville !" said the old Soldier
"Here comes my Master"
Tourville was at the tiller -
The Sergeant helped to restrain the Renegade
Andronica leaned against the ship's side
LIST OF ILL USTRATIONS. xi
Herculean Arms dragged the Pirate backwards -- 227
Jani ,'/. .7..',,r the wounded Soldiers 233
The man's audacity interested the Duke 239
Cruvillier slowly walked to the gallows 246
.T, if if climbed upon the parapet -253
Andronica's Arms dropped lifeless 255
" You must avenge him 258
The Prince and the Captain 265
" Well what of Vassili demanded Tourville 269
The Commander's Address to the Troops 274
He shouted, Victory !" 277
" It's a spy !" shouted the soldiers 281
The Musketeers going into battle 284
The Knight ran to catch the dying Girl 289
The fall of the Duke 292
The fate of Fatima 298
Tourville and his Captains 300
The Battle of La Hogue 301
He might dwell in peace 307
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
THE YOUTHFUL HERO IS TAKEN TO BE A GIRL.
ALL was pleasant at Tourville Castle, one fine June morning in the year
of grace, 1652.
The old, lordly abode had donned an aspect of merry-making little suiting
it, for it had been built in the Middle Ages, and still wore the forbidding
appearance of the strongholds of the days when foreign foes might be feared.
But, on this day, the ivy mantle on the ancient towers gleamed a lively green
under the spring sun that shone on the Gothic arched windows; the banners
planted in the notches of the parapet floated on the breeze blowing off the
neighboring sea, and the domestics in full dress, and rustics in their Sunday
best clothes, bustled to and fro through the great courtyard.
The lady of the castle was expecting the visit of a guest as noble as herself,
and that is saying not a little.
Lucie de la Rochefoucauld was the daughter of Isaac, Marquis of
Montendre; five years before, she had been left the widow of Cesar de
Cotentin, Count of Tourville and Fismes, the first gentleman-attendant of the
" great Conde, the Prince-warrior, whom he had served in all his campaigns.
From her union with this worthy and valiant soldier, there were left to the noble
widow three sons and four daughters. The eldest, Lucie, was only nineteen;
the youngest son, Ange (or Anne) Hilarion, the Knight of Tourville, was but ten.
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
He had been born in the castle while his sire was defending Burgundy against
the enemies of his country, and had never quitted the home, where his mother
entirely devoted herself to the education of her seven children. Although an
important revenue, that of Tourville was barely sufficient for the expenses of
the family, and the Countess earnestly longed to find homes for her daughters,
three of whom were of the proper age to be mated with noblemen of their
own rank. But, dwelling afar from the Royal Court and fashion, she had scant
occasions to introduce them. In 1652, however, an old lady among her friends
pointed out as a desirable match a noble of grand family, and "well appointed,"
as was said then-in our words, very rich. It was Michel d'Argouges, Count
of Gouville, a Norman and a neighbour besides. The proposition had been
warmly received, though he had never seen the young ladies. He asked nothing
better than to ally himself with a family dating back to the Crusades, for one
of the Cotentins of Tourville had fought in Egypt by the side of the King
Saint Louis. But Lord de Gouville was an eccentric man, as we would say
nowadays, and, before calling, he had imposed the condition that he should
have the choice between the three girls, Lucie, IHIlne and Marie.
The fourth, Frangoise, was much too young to be thought of. The
condition had been lightly accepted, as the Countess, not taking it as serious,
relied on the choice falling on the eldest, on account of her goodness, beauty
The day of the introduction had come. Everybody in the castle was in a
state of eager expectation. The lady and her daughters, in full dress, were in
the drawing room; also the Chaplain, the Reverend Abbe Pirou, tutor of the
young Knight of Tourville, the only scion of his race at home. The other
two sons were studying at Caen College.
In the courtyard, the Master of the Horse was awaiting the guest's coming,
who would bring with him a retinue. In the midst of the broad avenue
leading up to the front of the castle, a couple of lads were posted as sentinels,
to give warning of the arrival of the cavalcade in as soon as it appeared
around the turning of the highway. They were two urchins of the place, as
was readily told by their ruddy complexion and their long tow-like hair.
Ierein lay their sole likeness, as one was "as long as a rainy day," and
TAKEN FOR A GIBR!
the other was thick-set and squat as a beagle. The taller had a jovial mien-
the other a dull one, not to say surly, and a furtive look.
On this Peninsula, surrounded by the sea on three sides, there were two
classes, the farmers and the seafarers. The boys came of the two.
The shorter one was Jean Gavray, the twelfth son of a wooden-shoemaker
in Briquebec Forest, who never earned enough to keep his numerous family,
while the long legged lad, Guillaume Marcouf, had lost his father, who was a
pilot, at sea. Both had been supported by the Countess out of charity, but
not with the same fortune, as Jean went out to mind the cattle in the pastures,
while Guillaume, becoming the playfellow of the Chevalier de Tourville, accom-
panied him in his wild scampers over the sandhills and through the woods, or
upon the strand not very far from the castle. Sometimes they went out on the
water in a boat borrowed from the fishermen, for the youth donated on nautical
expeditions, although none of his forefathers had gone to sea. These noble
descendants of one of William the Conqueror's brothers-in-arms had all been
warriors, but only served on land the Dukes of Normandy, and, later, the Kings
of France. This may have arisen from there being no navy, as we understand
it, before the age when Louis XIV. raised France into a great maritime power.
However, no such reflections as to their origin puzzled the heads of the
two lads watching for the Count of Gouville's arrival in the avenue.
Jean was musing on the copious feast to be given to the Countess' tenants
and farm-labourers in the outhouses, and particularly of the barrels of cider
tapped to quench their thirst. He smacked his lips beforehand over the idea
of feasting and carousing, for he was very much of a glutton and a budding
toper, having already known what it is to drink more than was good for him.
Guillaume was thinking about his young master, and wondering why he
had not seen him all the morning. It was not the young gentleman's habit to
keep his bed so late. Usually, he rose with the dawn, and -ran down into the
courtyard half-clad, to find his faithful Guillaume waiting there. The two
would start off together, and before the hour when the lessons of the tutor
commenced they would have leaped many a ditch, scrambled over many a
hedge, and emptied the nest of many a magpie, for the boy-Knight was
fond of climbing the highest trees, being of unequalled skill at that game-
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
as he was at all other bodily pastimes. It was the birds'-nesting season,
according to the boys' calendar, and on the eve previous, Guillaume had
discovered three in a chestnut wood, no great distance from the castle. He
was fretting to show them to Master Hilarion, and was determined to lead
him thither after the festivity, but he could see nothing as yet of the Count of
Gouville and his cortege.
"This fine Court fop of yours does not hurry himself," grumbled Jean
Gavray. It's afternoon, and I am rightdown hungry."
"And downright thirsty, too, I fancy returned Guillaume, laughing.
SWell, rather and Heaven only knows when we shall get a sup and bite.
Before the masters have done chattering in the great hall, they will not serve
us out so much as a mug of cider. It is little they care how long we hang
about with a parched gullet while they are having their fill! "
"Fie! Hold your tongue, you foul-mouthed fellow! You know well
enough that her ladyship the Countess' people are better treated than ever a
one in the properties for ten leagues around, and you did not fare so
sumptuously when you were shaping wooden shoes in the woods."
"Maybe so, but I did as I liked, then."
"Well, for my part, I am well content with being attached to the
Great House, and yet I had nothing to growl about at Saint-Waast, when my
poor father was alive."
"Of course, not You are the young master's very lap-dog up at the Great
House. They pamper you as they do the Countess' own pet pug! but this
place of a living plaything does not suit my father's child. I want to be my
own master, and I am not going to grow old in this sleepy hole. I would
rather go for a soldier than keep on minding the cows."
You would not be more free and you would not be better fed. Well, as
for me, I prefer obeying Master Hilarion to obeying a corporal, and when he
goes to town to serve the King, I hope, indeed, that he will take me along
"Granting that he takes you, upon my faith! you will have a pretty
master, and the King will be nicely served! Your little Knight will not much
frighten the enemies- a Knight who looks like a girl! "
TAKEN FOR A GIL !
"Never mind He hasn't any beard on his chin yet, but he is as brave as
any old soldier. "Why, the other day, in La Bellibre Wood, when we ran up
against a wolf, did he run ? Not he, but flew at it, and if I had not thrown
myself betwixt them, he
would have been throttled.
When we got home, my lady
scolded him cruelly, but, in
the end, she had to praise
him for his courage."
"Ay, and the wolf bit
you in the arm," sneered
Jean Gavray. "That's the J
way it always comes to pass
-the lords get the credit, -
and we get the nips and -
Guillaume did not resent
this sarcasm from the envious
youth, perpetually preaching
rebellion, but never converting ,
him to doctrines but narrowly
diffused among the Norman
peasants of that period: He -
was standing, in order to see
Sn SHADING HIS EYES, GUILLAUME WAS LOOKING.
the further, on the trunk of a
large felled tree, and, shading his eyes with his hand, he was intently looking
to the end of the avenue. All of a sudde:i he cried out-
"Hero. comes the Count and his party, by the deep road; the feathers
in their hats rise above the hedge. Let us run to warn her ladyship's
"You can go to Squire De Fougerolles, if you like," replied Jean; "I am
going to stay here. On his way by, perhaps the Count will toss me a piece
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
Guillaume did not hear this remark, for he was already at some distance.
Springing away at full speed, he held his woollen cap at arm's length, and
waved it like a flag to announce the expected guest. This signal was under-
stood by the official, who instantly sent a footman to inform the Countess, and
made ready to receive the new-comers.
Marcouf thought to have found his young master in the courtyard, as
the sole representative of the male Cotentins of Tourville at home; but, no,
he was not there.
"He must be ill," sighed the boy, "so fond of horses and swords as he
is. What can keep him away ? "
It was, without doubt, to make up for lost time that the future son-in-law of
the Countess was galloping up the avenue on a splendid black Spanish jennet,
with unclipped tail and mane that blew out on the wind. His attendants had
some difficulty in keeping pace with him on their Norman horses, stouter but
less speedy, and the glorious cavalcade swept by at such a dashing pace that
Gavray could not dream of receiving the boon he had anticipated.
Guillaume had no eyes save for the nobleman who aspired to the honour
of wedding a lady of the House of Tourville, and he was glad to perceive that
he was a fine-looking cavalier.
Michel d'Argouges, Count of Gouville, was barely in his thirtieth year.
Tall and broad of shoulders, fair and ruddy, like the true Norman that he was,
he might pride himself on more than one campaign, as he had begun his
manhood's career at the end of the year 1636, the disastrous one when the
Spaniards had marched almost up to Paris. Dressing as the upper classes had
dressed in his boyhood, he presented an imposing appearance under his broad-
brimmed felt hat decked with a scarlet plume, his body tightly cased in a hide
jerkin with flowing black velvet sleeves, jingling spurs on his long boots,
and sword hanging at his side, and, adhering to an expiring fashion; he
wore his hair long, and curled up his moustaches at the point, as the Royal
Lifeguardsmen did in the previous reign. This warlike garb better suited
his martial cut of features than a Court costume, and he had adopted it
for his introduction, knowing that it would please the widow and children
of a noble who had always been under arms; and, moreover, it was an era
F~~~ ~~ ji~J.- -. ;ah l
'I \% E m
THE COUNT OF GOUVILLE WAS A FINE-LOOKING CAVALIER.
'' -a~-~ ~; -- ;' ''"
Ie -;.. I i
ii.! -' b;-~V\
TAKEN FOB A GIRL !
when coaches could have hardly passed along the rough roads, and most
travelling was accomplished in the saddle.
But the Count was not merely a brave soldier. Birth gave him the
"entry at the Royal palaces, and during the insurrection of the Fronde. when
he fought for the Royal party, he had performed wonders. He had also mingled
with fashionable assemblies, where, among the wits, he had acquired the
best mode of conversation. He knew how to fence better than most, but
also how to speak to the point, and he was not at all abashed by this interview
in prospect.. He had no fear of being dismayed, and assured himself of coming
with credit out of this kind of new Judgment of Paris, to which the three
marriageable daughters of the House of Tourville had kindly submitted. Both
families were agreed on the settlements. All he had to do was to select the
loveliest girl without vexing the others ; and he meant to succeed.
De Fougerolles, the lady's squire, stepped forward to hold his stirrup, as
he alighted in the courtyard.
Guillaume, who eyed him with admiration, lifted his eyes towards the
great hall windows of the first storey. He hoped to catch a glimpse of
Hilarion de Tourville, whom the clatter of the cavalcade must needs attract
there, but still he did not show himself, and the only youthful head that he
beheld was one which he' took to be Francoises, the youngest girl's. This
kept appearing and disappearing without the Count of Gouville paying
any attention to it, as he was busy in courteously thanking the squire.
Guillaume ceased to trouble himself about his young master's absence, under
the belief that he should see him after -the reception, for the youth was
incapable of staying a whole day indoors in such fine weather when he might
be racing over the country. So the peasant boy strolled to the group of his
fellows in the yard, where he was soon joined by Gavray, sulky at the guest not
having bestowed a trifle upon him.
The latter had other thoughts than that of scattering petty coins among
the village urchins he met on his road. He was making ready to fulfil one of
the most important acts of his life, and meant to pi'esent himself with all
the gravity befitting the occasion. At that day, such acts were performed
in presence of the whole family, with all the circumstances studied, and
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
the example in:solemnity of the Grand Monarque was on the eve of universal
After adjusting his dress, and shaking off the dust from his rather long ride,
the Count, preceded by the squire, majestically went up the steps of the entrance
way, mounted another broad stone staircase, and was ushered into an immense
hall, at the end of which awaited him, standing, the lady and her daughters,
with the Abbe Pirou a little in the rear.
THE GIRLS WERE LIKE A FILE OP SOLDIERS WITH THEIR CORPORAL.
This long and lofty hall did not at all resemble one of our drawing rooms;
it was scantily furnished, the panels were ornamented only with family
portraits, and the casements had no curtains.
The usher respectfully stopped on the threshold, while the visitor, hat in
hand, proceeded with much gracefulness and freedom towards the lady whom he
recognized and the girls whom he had never seen. A less experienced courtier
would have had some trouble to keep his gravity before this exhibition of girls,
arranged according to size, under the maternal eye, and it might have struck
another that it was like a file of soldiers with their corporal. But the Count was
TAKEN' FOB A GIRL !
not tempted to laugh. What astounded him was to behold four instead of
three flowers of the house, but he recovered on remarking that the last in the
line seemed to be about twelve at most, so that he might infer that she
was a girl too young to be in the ranks by right of suitability, but added
from her desire to witness the presentation. He was not going to find fault
with the surplus of beauty.
The delicate moment had come: the choice must be made. He had
pledged himself to it, and yet he could not in politeness review and inspect the
girls as he might have done the Guards when he commanded them in Paris.
He would have to decide at the first glance under penalty of offending them,
and, in truth, he might well waver, for if the eldest were beautiful, so were
the next two. Tall, dark-complexioned, and inclined to be robust, they
resembled their mother, who had had remarkably good looks and had
preserved an ample remnant of them.
But the youngest surpassed them all. She was fair, "dazzlingly fair,"
writes an author of the times. Her blue eyes were charmingly soft, but had
a fire so bright in them that when they were fixed on anyone, their lustre
was perfectly dazzling; her fine and delicate features had a complexion of
roses and lilies; the slender figure was well-proportioned, and the speaking
countenance was animated and winsome. In one word, she was a wonder!
but her youth excluded her from the contest; and the Count, obliged to limit
his choice, could only admire as one does a Madonna of Raphael's. While
exchanging nicely turned compliments-with the Countess, he could not help
glancing at the little beauty secretly.
After wishing him welcome in excellent style, the lady presented the
Abb6, who had modestly kept in the background, and the nobleman found a
kind word for this tutor, a peasant's son, still somewhat rustic although not
unlearned. The Countess was about to introduce her children one by one;
but the suitor had a quick insight-his selection was already made, being one
in accordance with the Countess' hopes, but to avoid declaring it too abruptly
he invented a polite transition.
"I must begin by confessing to your ladyship a preference," he said, with
the easy and fluent air acquired by frequenting the Court. "I hope the
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
young ladies will forgive me. If their youngest sister had not been so young,
I should have done myself the honour to ask of your ladyship her hand in
The Countess smiled; her three daughters, strongly desirous to burst out
laughing, had the greatest trouble to contain themselves, and the speaker
rejoiced to see that they had not taken his avowal in ill-part. He had wished
for this, but he had not anticipated the sequel. To express this declaration, he
had, approached the hostess, and was so placed that he only saw her, the three
eldest daughters and the tutor. The youngest of all had stolen away, without
his being aware, and, before he turned to look for her, he waited for the lady's
reply. He was not a little amazed to perceive that, instead of answering him,
she frowned, and that the tutor shook his head and glared. These tokens of
displeasure could not be addressed to him, and he was wondering what was
the matter with the tutor and the lady when he felt a hand touching his left
side. He spun round instantly, and was stupefied at seeing the pretty
little daughter of the house just drawing his sword from its scabbard with
unparalleled dexterity, in order to examine the curiously chiselled steel hilt.
This was not a Court sword, good only for tucking up the full skirt of a
courtier's long coat at a ball, but a long, handsome and heavy rapier, which
may have crossed many another in battle or duel; for the Count of Gouville
had a "ready hand," as was the saying, and he had in his life, as a Captain,
drawn steel not only for his Sovereign. The girl was fondling it, and it
was a pleasure to see the mere child stroking with taper fingers the
dreadful blade, much more befitting the grasp of an old soldier of fortune.
So occupied was she in this worship that she did not lift her eyes to the
owner, who wore the oddest face ever seen, for he did not understand the
"Bless us and save us, young lady!" he cried out, merrily; "you are
showing us that noble blood is ever true, and that sex has nothing to do with
it. Your forefathers were valorous men of war, but we have not yet seen
any Joans of Arc in your family."
"I would to Heaven that I were a Maid of Orleans resolutely said the
possessor of the sword; she drove out the invaders of her country. That
TAKEN FOR A CGIBL!
same fortune will not attend me, since we are not overrun by an enemy; but
I do hope to meet them elsewhere than on our soil."
"Have done with this pleasantry," said Lady de Tourville, severely; "it
has been carried too far, and I beg my lord to overlook my weakness in
lending myself to it."
"Pray do not excuse yourself, madam," interposed the Count, still
without perceiving any error into which he had fallen. "No doubt you
were not aware that the child liked steel better than trinkets; but, for my
part, I am delighted at her having taken my sword. By holding it, her pretty
hands will give it good luck."
The girls could repress their laughter no longer, whereupon, to put an end
to the unseemly jest, the hostess, pointing to the sword-bearer, proceeded, in a
My lord, I beg to present the Chevalier Hilarion de Tourville, my youngest
Though a little annoyed at having been cheated, the nobleman only bit his
lip ere recovering, and exclaimed-
"My compliments to the young gentleman! The disguise suited him
marvellously; but your ladyship had not foreseen that his taste for bearing
arms would betray his sex."
In the same manner as happened to Achilles, dressed as a girl, among
the daughters of King Lycomedes, on the Island of Scyros," observed the
tutor, priding himself on erudition, and not sorry to make a parade of it
before a noble who went to the Court.
"Well said, sir! I augur that the Knight will become an Achilles, though I
would wager also that the idea never struck him to don the petticoats."
"It was mine," boldly acknowledged the eldest girl, "and my sisters
approved. You thought fit to choose amongst us, and we fancied that we had
a right to lay a snare for your lordship, in which you were caught."
There was, perhaps, no better course to show the Count that he was no
infallible judge, and the shot told; but he was not the man to be upset easily.
He stepped up to the teacher of the lesson on his presumption, so well
merited, and smilingly said-
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
"The trick which you have played me clearly proves that you did not
wish for the lot to fall on you; so, young lady, I shall punish your wit by
fixing my choice on you !"
Lucie de Tourville blushed and dropped her eyes without retorting, but
she did not snatch away the hand which the speaker took in order to lift it
respectfully to his lips. This selection realized the wishes of her mother, who,
like all mothers, wished to marry her daughters according to age. The
selection was not, in fact, unforeseen. The Count of Gouville, before coming,
had intended to wed the eldest daughter, and his unusual condition had only
been laid down in order to leave him a loophole out of which to retire decently
in the unfortunate case of the eldest inspiring him with dislike at their first
interview. He had not thought of her sisters, as he knew they had to become
nuns, as was the custom in noble families. This happened in reality, as
Hdlene died as Abbess of the Royal Abbey of Pantemont near Paris, and
Marie, a nun in the same house. Resigned to their fate, they heartily rejoiced
in Lucie's success, which was not the case with little Frangoise, whose dress
the playful boy had borrowed, for she clapped her hands when told that
evening of the approaching nuptials of her eldest sister; later on she herself
married a Count of Chateau-Morand, was very happy, and outlived all her family.
After the formal betrothal, all went on smoothly. Lucie would become the
Countess of Gouville, with the customary signing and sealing of the contract
in the official recorder's presence. Meanwhile, having thanked the lady and
her daughters, according to rule, the suitor returned again to young Hilarion,
who had not ceased to lovingly contemplate the naked sword of his future
"Come, come, Sir Knight," lightly said the latter, "will you be good
enough to hand me back my rapier? I should willingly make you a present
of it if it suited your grip, but, on my faith as a nobleman, I will gird it on
you myself, as soon as you are stout enough to bear it."
"That will soon be," replied the boy, for it is no burden to me now."
Whereupon he set to flourishing the sword about so fiercely that, to
reassure her daughters against the prospect of having their eyes put out, the
Countess had to command him to restore the weapon to where he took
TAKEN' FOR A GIL !
it from. The fiery boy always obeyed his mother (if her alone), but in doing
so now he somewhat reluctantly sheathed the blade. He offered the scabbard,
inclosing it again, to the Count, who said to him, with a serious air, as if
speaking to a man of his own age and rank-
"When it belongs to you, I rely on its being drawn only for the King."
"And my country, I vow "
no less seriously replied the
Cadet of Tourville, though he
was not more than ten.
"But you must previously
learn to serve them, for which
end you must go through one of
those academies in which a gen-
tleman's education is finished." :.
"I wish it were to-morrow!" "'
"That is a little too soon. <.
In four or five years it will be :, 4(.'a. .
time to think about it." V "
"My next-of-kin, the Duke ...
of Rochcfoucauld, has under- '
taken to manage all that,"
observed the lady, "his inten- ,
tion being to enter Hilarion L
under one De Renocourt, who '
keeps a college in Paris."
HE FLOURISHED THE SWORD FIERCELY.
"He is a gentleman, I
know; and I can assure you that your son will be in an excellent school there.
Beyond any doubt, he will come forth to receive an appointment worthy of his
birth and his merit, for the King stands.in need of officers, and there is no
likelihood of peace long retaining in idleness the young scions of nobility
instructed in arms. Our young Knight may aspire to any post. I would
not despair of his being, one of these days, a Marshal of France, and wearing
the collar of the Order of the Saint-Esprit."
ALV OCEAN KNIGHT.
"Nay, I do not entertain so much ambition for him, and I am pretty sure
that he will never carry the Commander-in-Chief's staff or the blue ribbon- "
"But he is noble enough to strive for them."
"To strive-but to obtain! So far, he is only a Knight of Malta," said
the Countess, smiling.
"What, so early ?"
"Since he was six years of age. When he was born, his father, as you
know, was in the wars in Burgundy, under the Prince of Conde. As soon as
he returned home, he dedicated his last son to defend Christendom, in the
Order of the Knights of St. John. Hilarion was not four years old when his
father had his name inscribed on the register of the Brotherhood. It is
needless to say that he has not yet taken any oath of fidelity!"
"If he does, he will be the first of his race-a monk Knight, forsooth! Will
you take the vows, my dear Hilarion? "
"It little matters to me whether I fight on sea or shore, as long as I do
fight," unhesitatingly rejoined the boy, with whom the old soldier had amused
himself by predicting the highest military destiny.
"Well answered, Knight," remarked the noble, finding a pleasure in
inflaming the enthusiasm of the future Marshal of France. Then you do not
fear setting out on shipboard, to war against those infidels whom your ancestors
combated of yore in Palestine ? "
I have already sailed the seas !" said our hero in the bud.
On which oceans? questioned the Count, with admirable calmness.
"On our own. I have been from Saint-Waast to Cherbourg in an open
boat, and I held the tiller, too."
"Is it possible ?" exclaimed the gentleman, to hide his strong inclination
"It is only too true," spoke the Abbe Pirou, "but the young gentleman
should not boast of his prowess, for his mother the Countess was nigh to death
with distress for a whole day. He concerted with a boy among the coast-
dwellers to unloose a boat in the port, and, setting sail, they doubled the
Barfleur headland, and arrived at Cherbourg, after having run great perils, for
the wind was high."
TAKEN FOB A GIRL!
Out upon you, Sir Knight !" interrupted the Count; here we have rather
too rash an adventure! Did you not think of your mother's grief, if anything
unhappy had befallen you? "
"I cannot say I did when I was on the water with Guillaume, for danger is
so absorbingly interesting-so amusing!"
"I see you are a fearless boy! But you must allow me to tell you that,
when you bear a name like yours, you have no right to risk your life for bare
amusement If you lose it'in some boyish freak, good-bye to the blue ribbon
and the Marshal's bdton! So, be careful! If, on quitting the college, you
carry out your career as a Knight of Malta, you will have chances in satiety of
getting shipwrecked, to say nothing of the Turks and Barbary Corsairs being
rough fellows to tilt against. Since the honour is mine of entering into your
family, I may be let speak to you in this strain. Promise me, therefore, that
you will not repeat such freaks ?"
"I do promise you, my lord," returned Hilarion, gravely.
"I make a note of it-we shall see how you keep your pledge."
"Ahem gruffly coughed the tutor, "I do not place great faith in the
meekness of our young lord so long as that rogue Guillaume is attached to his
Who is Guillaume ? inquired the Count.
"A country clown who follows him about everywhere."
He defended me against a wolf that flew at me," quickly interposed the
boy. "I hope he never will leave me."
"My son," said the Countess, I will come to some decision on that head
when you depart for town, and I depend on your obeying me. There is ample
time to think it over. But I ask you to change to the apparel of your sex. It
is not becoming that his lordship should be greeted here by ladies alone when
there is a son of the house in the castle."
Go, my young gallant," gaily added the Count of Gouville, "but come
back speedily. I am impatient to see if you make as winning a cavalier as
Before departing, the prankish boy made an obeisance which much amused
his sisters, who had been put in good humour by the episode and the kindliness
30 AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
of the eldest girl's noble suitor; but Hilarion had no sooner passed the door of
the hall, than, gathering up the skirts in order not to be hampered in running,
he ran down the stairs four by four. His rooms were in one of the left wing
towers, and, to reach them, he was obliged to cross the courtyard. He did not
mind appearing in this array, and, besides, he burned with desire to see, as he
went by, the horses of the Count of Gouville and his escort.
AFTER THE SWORD, THE BRIDLE.
THE horses were held by the servants while the stalls in the stables were
And the Count's groom was just unhooking from the saddle-bow a rather
heavy bag which he held in his hand, when Hilarion, going up to him, asked him
to point out which steed had the honour to carry his master.
Amazed to hear a young lady inquire about the Count's charger, the squire
stood agape, and would not have known how to reply if Guillaume, who had
drawn near, had not instantly recognized his young master, and joyously
"As I am a sinner, here is master tricked out as a girl! "
The peasants, in a troop at the end of the court, did not dare make an
outcry, and less still approach, but they did not stint their laughter. Perceiving
his mistake, the squire led Hilarion up to the black horse.
"Master," said he, this is Rocroy, the war-horse that my Lord the Count
had under him when he charged, last year, in the fight at Charenton, and got
The boyish Knight opened his eyes widely. He was passionately fond of
horses, and had never seen a finer one. To draw her coach, his mother had
only home-bred horses, and her daughters took their rides upon peaceful
hackneys, no more resembling this fiery barb than louts resemble proved
Rocroy was pawing the ground, champing the bit, and whinnying, so that
the groom who held the bridle had difficulty to quiet him.
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
"Oh, would I not like to see him ridden I" sighed the youngest of
"You will have to wait until my lord comes out here," answered the squire
with a lofty air. "My lord broke him in. No one else ever bestrode hinm, and
Rocroy would not suffer another to cross his back."
How do you know that, if nobody has tried it ?"
"Whoever tried it would not stay long in the seat, and I would not give a
crown piece for his skin. Rocroy would not make much ado to throw him on
the ground and smash his skull in!"
"Do you really mean that ?" asked the boy, starting back a couple of steps.
His eyes shone like carbuncles, the blood empurpled his cheek, and, in
spite of the gown he was wearing, he stood in the attitude of a soldier about to
leap the moat of a hostile fort. Guillaume, who knew his character well,
guessed what was his intention, and rushed to prevent him carrying it out.
But he arrived too late. Before he had taken three steps, the youth had made
his bound, and, without touching the stirrup, had vaulted into the saddle, one
leg on this side, one on the other.
Rocroy reared so violently that the groom had to let go the bridle, and the
squire was nearly upset. But the boy held on firmly, promptly grasped the reins,
and then, relaxing them, let himself be carried through the courtyard.
Everybody scattered, and the other horses scampered toward the stables.
Fully believing that the madcap would break his neck, and deeply frightened
about the responsibility for the accident apparently inevitable, the squire
hastened to drop the bag on a stone bench, and to run after the maddened
animal to catch it.
A heroic struggle had begun between Rocroy and the ten-year-old knight.
It was a sublime sight, but it had its comic side on account of the feminine
attire in which the precocious horsebreaker was clad. His long hair, built up
by his sisters, came down so that the golden locks flew in the wind, in the
same way as the skirts, which showed how his muscular limbs were clinging
to the horse's flanks.
The dreaded Rocroy lavished all his arts of defence-rearings, plunges,
lashing out of the heels, formidable bounds-but not one was of any use
FROM SWORD TO BRIDLE.
against the beardless rider, who had dropped on him by surprise. When a
shock more rough than common unsaddled him for the instant, he recovered
his place immediately, and by the manner in which he was managing the
bridle, it was plain that he already had the steed in hand. Rocroy
commenced obeying, while continuing to resist, and his irregular gallop began
to be gradually moderated.
Those countrymen who had not run away huddled up in the corners of
the inclosure and halloaed with fear. The Count's squire and Guillaume
alone had not lost their wits, and they sought for an opening to jump at the
reins and stop the steed. They would certainly not have succeeded. Rocroy,
who carried the boy about on his back as if he were a feather, would have
sent the stoutest man flying a dozen feet away if he had struck him with his
chest. It was a match between the boy and the charger, in which one or the
other had to be vanquished.
Soon it had other spectators than the rustics and the lackeys, for the
clamour had attracted to the hall windows the young ladies, who began to call
out also on seeing their little brother in a fair way to break his bones.
Running up to them on hearing their cries, the Countess looked and nearly
fainted in their arms, while the Count de Gouville hastened to their assistance,
without divining the cause of all this disorder. One glance into the yard told
him all that had occurred.
"What a dreadful little Puck he is! he muttered, more in wonder than
in vexation. Cheer up, lady," he hastened to say. That boy of yours is a
hero, and I am ready to believe that, all alone, he will subdue my steed
Rocroy, though he is.not easy to master; but he has run risk enough, and I will
hasten to put an end to the battle."
Hurriedly quitting the window, he went downstairs, saying to himself
between his clenched teeth-
If that boy is fated to serve on the seas, then will I go to Malta and own
I made a blunder. He was born a Centaur, and it will be a great pity if such
a horseman does not command a regiment of the Royal Horse Guards "
The Count had still further astonishment in store for him.
When he came out upon the doorsteps, he saw that the youngest scion of
AN OCEAN KNRIHIT.
the House of Tourville had become completely master of his steed. It now
obeyed both knee and hand, and was executing fanciful steps and curvets
which would have been admired by a Royal master of horse. As soon as he
described the Count, Hilarion brought Rocroy to the entrance, and stopped
him short at the mounting-block. He raised his hand to lift his hat, but
discovering nothing on his head but the dishevelled fair curls, he wore so droll a
look that his future brother-in-law could not help laughing heartily, and he said-
"Upon my word, young sir, you know more than they will ever teach you
at college. I came running to scold you, and I must compliment you; in fact,
I must give you the knights' accolade."
Advancing to the stirrup, the Count lifted the boy out of the saddle, kissed
him on both cheeks, and set him on the ground, while his squire hastened to
take the reins of the tired steed.
Somewhat ashamed of his freak, Hilarion dared not raise his eyes to his
new relative, who was busy for the moment bowing to the ladies at the window,
who were now set at ease.
Recovering from their fright, the peasants had gradually come nearer, with
Guillaume at their head, he being as proud of his young master's success as
though he had subjugated the fiery barb himself.
"Chevalier," said the nobleman, I am going to make you a present of the
steed which you mount so well."
Oh, my good lord," gasped the youth, with his eyes sparkling with joy,
"such a gift to me! you never can think it!"
"I have fixed my mind upon it, and I shall send it to you when you go to
the Capital. It will be my wedding present, but," went on the Count of
Gouville, lowering his voice, "now that I have lauded your skill and your
courage, allow me to blame you a little for making a show of yourself in that
attire to your servants and peasants. The masquerade was droll, and in the
bosom of the family much diverted me, but it is unbecoming a nobleman in
This merited rebuke made Hilarion colour up to the very tips of his ears.
"I was wrong," he faltered; "but when I see a good horse, the impulse
to mount it is stronger than I am. I cannot withstand it."
FROM SWORD TO BRIDLE.
No more than, they tell me, you can resist the desire to jump into a boat
when you spy one moored to the shore," interrupted the Count, laughing.
"Well, my dear young Knight, for your own sake, you must learn to resist the
whims that possess you. It will be the beginning of that life of wisdom
which your tutor preaches to you."
"I will try, my lord," modestly replied Hilarion; "but I entreat you to
let me go and change my dress. I am eager to appear before you with a
sword by my side."
"Not so long and heavy as mine, I hope, until you are of the age to
charge our enemies. Go, my friend, and return quickly to take your place
beside your mother. I am in haste to compliment her on having such a son
Highly flattered by this compliment, Hilarion was. going to run to the
tower where he was lodged, when the squire, returning from taking the
charger to the stables, came up with so doleful an aspect that his master
"What is there wrong? Has Rocroy hurt himself in caracoling so? "
"No, my lord," replied the squire, stammering. Rocroy was so hand-
somely managed that he has not so much as a scratch; but the bag! the
"What ? What bag ?"
"The one my lord entrusted to me, containing a hundred pistoles."
"It was carried hanging to my saddle bow till I took it off when I
alighted; and when Rocroy commenced cutting his capers, I laid it on that
bench yonder, by the wall, and it is gone !"
"It was too heavy for the wind to blow it away," tranquilly remarked the
Count; hence, somebody must have taken it."
"One of these idlers," observed the squire, scowling at the Castle servants.
"Come, own up your offence, or else you shall pay for it, you rogues! You
shall taste the stirrup-leather."
This threat made the lookers-on draw back; it did not force any to speak,
however. Guillaume was the only one who dared to reply, saying:-
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
"What I think, Master Squire, is that if anybody took your money-bag,
he was no such fool as to stay in the yard. He is by this at some distance,
and you had far better be hasting after him than drubbing us, who haven't
done any harm."
"The lad is right, 'pon my word said the Count, and I desire you to
leave these good folk alone. Mark ye, fellows," he added, addressing the
throng, "these hundred pistoles were for you. I thought to scatter them for
you to scramble for them, before I went hence, in honour of her Ladyship the
Countess of Tourville. It follows that it is ye who have been robbed. Run !
run after the thief! Make him disgorge! Hand him over to the soldiers of
the watch, and share the coin among ye "
This short speech had quite another effect than the squire's threats, for the
hearers shouted, "Long life to our lord! and disappeared in the pursuit of
the scamp. Guillaume alone remaining, the Count asked him the reason.
"Because I have no order from the Chevalier," replied Guillaume, without
discomposure, and because, also, if the thief is anyone attached to the Castle,
if would give me too much pain to help to hang him, although he deserved it."
Then, you give up your share of the money ? "
Oh, yes, with all my heart! I am sure that our mistress the Countess
would be distressed if a fellow were hanged on her estate who had eaten her
bread; and, if he escapes, just Heaven will punish him some day."
"That's well spoken, my lad What is your name ?"
Guillaume Marcouf, and I am in the young master's own service."
"His page, you mean? But the rustic did not know what a page was
and, as he stood dumbfounded, the Count went on to say, "I will wager
that it was you who unfastened that boat in which the young Knight made so
perilous a cruise? "
"It is not unlikely that it may have been so," rejoined Guillaume, with
the Norman peasant's dislike to give a plain answer.
The Count was of the same race, and knew that the people of Cotentin
never directly assert or deny, so he smiled; seeing this, the boy hastened to
"As for danger, my lord, there was not a jot. My father was a pilot, who
FROM SWORD TO BRIDLE.
took me out with him when 1 was a little one, and taught me how to sail a
of-war one of
comes about that, should the young gentleman command a ship-
these days, you would not shrink from following him on the
"Shrink? ah! good stuff never does that; and I should be happy as a
"THAT'S WELL SPOKEN, MY LAD !"
"And so should I!" broke in Hilarion de Tourville. "Guillaume once
saved my life."
He has shown that he has sound sense and good feelings."
"That is why I should very much like my mother to let him go with me
and be my servant when I am at the college."
That will not be for four or five years yet; plenty of time to think over it,"
responded the Count of Gouville, laughing. "But I must not keep the lady
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
waiting any longer. I shall speak about it to her. Away, Sir Knight, and
come and join us in the upper rooms, clothed as beseems the son of your sire,
who was a dignified nobleman and a heroic soldier."
Having thus spoken, the Count proceeded towards the grand staircase,
while Hilarion took the road to his tower, followed by Guillaume, who, beside
himself with delight, cried out--
Oh, master, what a noble lord the Count is! It is all nonsense to say,
'Like master, like man' about him and his vile squire! He wanted to have
us all thrashed; but his master is just, and would not let the innocent pay for
That is right," said the youth. "But this theft is a disgrace to our house,
and if I knew who was the thief- "
"I can tell; it is that surly lad, Jean Gavray."
"What? Did you see him steal, and let him do it ?"
"I did not see him do it, master; if I had, I should have leaped upon
him, snatched the bag from him, and showered the thumps upon him; but,
out of all our knaves, he is the only one apt to do such a meanness. He took
advantage of the time when everybody was looking at you riding the black horse.
He sneaked away then, and you will see that they will be unable to catch
him. He is quick on his pins, and he will run on and on, as far even as
Paris, where he will enlist among the cut-purses and footpads, with whom it is
said the town is full."
"Well, it is there we may come upon him again, since you will be going
thither with me."
Heaven hear you, my master! If ever the scoundrel falls under my hand
the account will be settled; but it is not to maul him that I want to go to the
great city, but because I do not want to leave you, sir. I could not live without
You shall not quit me, Guillaume; -the Count de Gouville is going to wed
my sister Lucie, and when that is done, he will have .a voice in the family
council. I am sure that he will keep the promise just made us to speak on
your behalf, and they will listen to him. I promise you, on my side, to take
you along with me wherever the King's service calls me; only you must have
FROM SWORD TO BRIDLE.
patience and wait. I shall not leave you behind, and I am of the opinion
that I shall be going on distant service."
The Knight of ten years, speaking in this strain, did not know what the
fortune of war reserved for him, and when he dreamed of military glory, it
was because he inherited faith and courage from his forefathers.
Guillaume also possessed these traits of character, without which no youth
can become a great man, or even an honourable one, and to them he joined the
sound sense and subtlety of the Norman race, which not only conquered
England by its valour, but retained it by its wisdom, and knew how to profit
by the prize. This humble peasant-boy seemed to have been created expressly
to protect the last descendant of an illustrious family of his native country, and
in this providential mission he was no less energetic than Hilarion in following
the glorious traditions of his noble ancestors.
But we are talking of the future, and, to return to our story, the two
youths parted. Away raced the boy-Knight to cast off the petticoat and
the gown, and Guillaume to inquire after the thief. The hunters had not
been able to overtake him, but Guillaume was not wrong in foretelling that
they would see him again one day. But he could not divine when, and at the
sequel of what remarkable adventures, he would encounter Jean Gavray.
OUR KNIGHT BREAKS HIS VOW NEVER TO DRAW SWORD BUT IN THE
SEVEN years after the marriage of his eldest sister, the Chevalier de
Tourville was in Paris, and he had long given up such boyish freaks
as masquerading like a girl The girlish-looking boy had become a bright
youth, and his ever winning face wore a manly aspect well beseeming him.
The Countess de Tourville had followed her son-in-law Gouville's advice by
sending her dear Hilarion up to her next-of-kin the Duke of La Rochefoucauld,
who placed him at the age of fifteen in the R6nocour Academy, in the Rue
Vieille-du-Temple. These "Academies had no link of communication with
the great French Academy, the learned and illustrious association founded by
They were originated and organized about the end of the reign of Henry IV.,
by his Squire, Antoine de Pluvinel, Manager of the Royal Stables, sub-tutor of
the Dauphin, and some time Ambassador to Holland. The youth of the upper
classes were trained for the army; not only were they taught bodily exercises,
such as shooting and horsemanship, fencing, tilting at the ring, and cutting off
the Turk's head, but deportment, polite forms, quickness of wit, style, courage,
and honour-in short, all the parts and qualifications for an officer in the
The students were not kept in barracks as at our military colleges, but only
lodged and boarded, and were free to go out in the hours not set apart for
ff -. -I- -_
- i -- .. *-PI *A .. ,.
..- ,- ..
THE GIRL RAN TO PART THE SWORDSMEN.
BREAKING HIS VOW.
Our novice did not strain this liberty. His character had much changed.
Much as he had liked at the Castle to roam, here he was assiduous at all
the lessons, and careless as to the sports of his age, so that his schoolfellows
jestingly nicknamed him "the Flincher." He was not vexed, for he flattered
himself that he would notfiincA on a field of battle, where he would prove his
courage and energy.
Earlier than this, however, the Flincher showed that under this joking
epithet his meek and tranquil demeanour was not to be trusted.
On this occasion, one of the students spoke some pleasantry concerning the
young and most praiseworthy daughter of Professor de Renocourt, which "the
Flincher" in a very sharp tone asserted to be disrespectful and scarcely fit for a
gentleman. Without further delay, the two whipped out their swords in the
Academy exercise ground. The Knight of Tourville, who might have hit his
adversary hard in the first passes, generously disarmed him, when the girl
spoken of, who had been watching the duel from a window without suspecting
that she was the cause, ran downstairs and outdoors to part the swordsmen.
Owning that he was in the wrong, and that he was beaten, the rude youth,
in the presence of the girl, invented another reason for the quarrel, and the two
shook hands. The event had no further result, but it is needless to say that it
gained for the scion of Tourville a prestige of bravery and generosity, raising him
to a level with any of the collegians.
He had obtained his mother's permission for Guillaume Marcouf, his play-
fellow in boyish pranks, to go with him in his service. The peasant-lad had
become a stalwart youth, much improved, and fitter for a soldier than a.
footman, and his young master treated him accordingly. Guillaume hoped
to march with him to the wars, and, in the meantime, waited on him with
exemplary zeal and devotedness.
Unhappily for their wishes, the only question in France was the "Peace of
the Pyrenees," just signed with Spain, which would throw a host of officers
out of occupation. Many among the meritorious veterans were transferred to.
the list, to be first called upon in certain preference to the newly-entered.
Hence the Chevalier de Tourville saw with disquiet the close of his course at
the Academy approach. Having been there three years, he was on the point
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
of leaving in the opening of 1660; in other words, he ran great danger in a
month of having to return, from lack of engagement, to his ancestral halls.
He had spoken of his apprehensions to the Duke of La Rochefoucauld,
beseeching him to use his Court influence for his kinsman. That nobleman
had promised it, and urged his claims warmly; but nothing had come of it,
and the Knight began to lose hope of following his vocation.
Looking about him, then, for a chance of active service, outside of the
King's, he remembered that he was a Knight of Malta, his name having been
down on the rolls of the Order since he was six years old, and he took pains
to keep acquainted with the armaments fitting out in the Mediterranean ports.
He had made acquaintance with the Chevalier d'Hocquincourt, a Captain
famous on that sea for his brilliant "caravans," as the word went then, for
" voyages against the infidels." This son of the Marquis d'Hocquincourt was
having a frigate built for him at Marseilles, and appeared willing to receive
several young noblemen. He had plenty to choose from, as they were jostling
one another for the honour of going to war, and yet he could take only a
Hilarion de Tourville, on his list, impatiently awaited his decision, which
was promised in a few days. Time pressed, for it was December, and the ship
was to be under sail in May.
As the reply was slow in coming, he thought he would go after it
The Academy lessons occupied the morning, but from two P.M. to the
supper hour all were free, in winter, to spend their time as they liked. It
was past two, but still he had leisure to pay a visit to the Captain, residing in
the fashionable part, the Faubourg St. Germain, in the Rue du Petit Bourbon,
near Bourgogne Mansion, where the actor Molibre and his company gave
performances. The young Knight kept no carriage, and the pupils were not
allowed to take the riding-horses out of doors; but he had good walking
powers, and the stroll did not daunt him. To make a better appearance at the
Captain's, he was content to take Guillaume with him as his cloak-bearer;
this lackey's livery was not gorgeous, but the wearer was a useful companion
in the streets, unsafe after nightfall
BREAKING HIS O W.
As he looked forward to being a soldier at his master's side, Guillaume,
who sometimes carried a strong sword, was directed to bring it in case of
the stay being late at the sea-Captain's.
Our young free-Knight did not forget the days when he went birds'-nesting
with Guillaume, in Cotentin Woods, and without becoming too familiar, did
not disdain chatting with him.
On the way, the rustic amply ,- -"
made use of this favour, and
Tourville was not behindhand.
He explained the object of his.
journey; and Guillaume, though
no lover of the Capital, did not
grumble, as he was with his
master, whom he would have
followed to the end of the
world. Still, he sighed for the 'f
hedges and strands of his native '
place. He longed to return \. -
there, or to fight the King's foes -
under Master Hilarion's orders, ;- '
though, like his countrymen, he "
had no special longing, for AN ACADEMY LESSON.
land service. Men on the coast
are seamen by love for Old Ocean, and they rate themselves superior to the
army. So he beamed with glee when the Knight told him that, scorning to
follow the traditional step set by his forefathers, he was seeking to serve in the
navy since the King was at war -with no power.
The sea! Guillaume knew all about the sea, from having been born on
it-close by it, at all events, and gone upon it from childhood. He prided
himself on having taught the sea-goer's craft to his young master, from having
given him the rudiments in the passage from Saint-Waast to Cherbourg.
The Knight moderated his ardour by adding that nothing was settled, and
all depended on Captain d'Hocquincourt's consent. They arrived at his house
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
without thinking the road was long. It was neither large nor imposing in
appearance, and the servants were not numerous, as the old Marshal lived
there no longer. Busy in fitting out his frigate, the son was more often at
Marseilles than in town; and as he had no family, he did not keep up the
by handsome horses; with the
first glance, Hilarion recog-
nized the livery and coat-of-
arms of his near relative the
Duke of La Rochefoucauld. It
Swas a happy meeting, for he
Swas inclined to believe he had
i come to support his request to
Captain d'Hocquincourt. He
was sure to be welcomed by
S'I -- his patron, and he might plead
his cause in his presence.
Hence he hastened to enter,
after bidding his attendant wait
for him in the street, and, not
meeting any of the servants at
the foot of the stairs, he boldly
E UE DU PETIT BOUBONwent up, for having called
TIlE ILUE DU PETIT BOURBON.
on the Captain more than once,
he knew the way. There was the same solitude on the landing, and not even
a footboy was in the vestibule preceding the long passage conducting to the
The host would probably be with the Duke, and Tourville, concluding that
it would not be proper to present himself without formal announcement,
waited for a lackey to appear. None came; but, after a few moments, he
BREAKING .HIS VOW.
heard the voices of two persons coming up the passage, which he identi-
fied from his familiarity with the owners. The clear and deep toned one was
D'Hlocquincourt's, the other, more grave and less sonorous, was La Roche-
foucauld's. These noblemen were speaking alternately, as if finishing a
conversation of interest; for they often stopped in their walk, to enlarge more
emphatically on some weighty points.
Perhaps the intruder should have shown himself, but he deemed it better
not to disturb the pair; and he stood still, so that they must see him and ask
why he was stationed in the way. It would not take long to do that, and
explain all matters as well there as in the passage. He surely was not trying
to overhear what they were saying; but they were only a few steps away, and
he was not to blame for losing no word of the parley.
"My dear Duke," merrily said D'Hocquincourt, "you must want to make
a riddance of your young kinsman ? "
"I ? protested the other. Quite the reverse-I hold him in the warmest
"Then, you must want to embroil me with the Court."
"In what way? What do you mean ? "
"Your pet is more fit to be a pet page than to rough it at sea."
"You imply that he is too dainty and pretty a darling to support the toil
of ship life?"
He could not stand it, and since I cast eyes on him, I have ceased to take
his desire to sail with me as in earnest. He is born to shine in a palace.
There, I do not doubt, he will win the greatest successes, but I set him down
as incapable of rubbing through the seaman's hard life."
"Allow me to tell you that you are wrong. He is not all that he looks to
be from his frail frame and pink complexion. He is one of the most spirited
cavaliers of his period. I know what he is by actions that have shown it, and
I answer for it that not one of all in his college equals him in strength or skill.
Professor de R6nocourt, his master, regards him as the pride of his Academy.
Make the trial, Captain. I vow that you will not repent it."
D'Hocquincourt did not hurry to reply. Tourville pleased him, and he
wished nothing so much as to be agreeable to his patron, but he doubted the
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
suitability of the youth, and feared to be burdened aboard his ship with one
who took the place of a more useful officer.
"Dash my doll's face!" said young Hilarion to himself; "why did not
nature create me ugly ? They would not then suspect me to be an effeminate
"All that I can do," returned the Chevalier d'Hocquincourt, after some
silence, "is to plunge him at the outset into the dangers and hardships of the
pursuit into which he rashly runs his curly pate. When he finds what the life
is that he talks about leading, we shall see if he will persevere in his fine
"There," muttered Tourville-" there is the reason for his shilly-shallying
about his decision so long! If he had only made that clear, I might have
answered in such terms that he would have my name down now on the list of
"That is well! agreed the Duke. "Put him to the test as soon as you
can. I will send him to you to-morrow or so. But it is time that I were
"You must allow me, my lord, to see you into your coach. My servants
have not come home. These knaves worry me to death."
"I cannot suffer you to come any farther. Your time is precious, as you
are going to Marseilles so soon."
"I cannot better employ it than in your company."
This contest in politeness kept the pair engaged up to the vestibule doorway,
and it was hard to tell which of the two was the more startled to behold young
Hilarion de Tourville, standing, hat in hand, in an attitude both firm and
respectful. His eyes shone at their brightest, and his fair curls fell like silk
floss around his bewitching countenance. Never had he looked handsomer. It
was the height of his misfortune to be thus caught, apparently eavesdropping.
"You here, my dear Hilarion! ejaculated the Duke, frowning. "Good
gracious! what are you doing here in the ante-chamber where my lord expected
to find only his footman ? "
"That is just what I wanted to find," retorted Tourville, without being
abashed, "in order that I might be shown into the Chevalier's presence."
BREAKING HIS VOW.
"You might as well have come in," said D'Hocquincourt; "you would
have been most welcome. We were actually speaking about you."
"I am aware of that, sir, for I am forced to own, in fairness, that,
without meaning to do so, I overheard all that you were saying."
"All's for the best, then I can be more at my ease in giving you a word
of advice. I do not doubt that you are burning with desire to go in the
THE KNIGHT IS PRESENTED TO THE CAPTAIN.
campaign with me, but I believe that you are mistaken about the pleasure you
will find in it."
"The honour of serving under such a Captain as you will be enough.
Perils do not daunt me."
I know that, my dear Chevalier, and if there were nothing to do but fight
valiantly, I should take you at once; but I am sure that you form a very false
idea of the life led by an officer on a Levantine cruiser, for it is a free cruiser
that I command. It is not at all like the officer's life on the Royal vessels,
where he is treated like a nobleman, and the days of battle are days of jollity.
On my ship you will be poorly lodged, meanly fed, and forced to lend a hand
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
in the most painful tasks. You will have to make a crew obey you, recruited
from every side and composed of the scourings of all nations. None but a
man of iron can resist such wearying work. I am not going to descant on the
dangers of the ocean, dreadful though they often are in the Archipelago, where
we must cruise to pick up rich prizes. I daresay you are ready to brave them,
but will you have the strength to spend days and nights on deck, without meat
and drink, throughout a frightful tempest, as happened to me last year, in
the mouth of the Adriatic Sea? "
As Tourville nodded emphatically for an affirmative, the sea-rover resumed-
"And what warfare it is In the Royal Navy, when our fleet meets an
enemy, there is hot cannonading at short range, so that a ship is sunk now and
then, but all that a gentleman has to do is carry himself fitly under fire; and if
the fortune runs counter-if he be taken prisoner by the English or Spanish-
why, he is treated with honour. But it is quite another matter in the Levant !
There is just as hot cannonading, and hotter But that game does not last for
ever; there is boarding-mounting in the assault of the enemy's ship, with the
half-pike in fist, and the dirk between the teeth; the fighting is hand-to-hand,
and no quarter is given. If misfortune casts one into the hands of the Turks,
one is sold for a slave, unless he be impaled or flayed alive Not an enviable
fate, and I like you too well, my dear young Knight, to wish to expose you to it.
I should never be forgiven in the home of which you are the pride and joy,"
concluded the Captain, smiling.
Tourville all but snapped his fingers impatiently. He was tired of being
considered a mother's darling. It was no fault of his that he should be dainty
of look, endowed with bodily advantages which he never enlarged upon, and
which might injure him by making it be thought that he was only meet for a
lady's page, incapable of manly deeds. Very little was wanting to spur him
into sharply resenting the final words. But he did restrain himself, and calmly
"I thank you, Captain, for having enlightened me. Thanks to you, I now
know what the life is on one of the Levantine cruisers. I was in a measure
destined for it, for I am a Knight of Malta. Since you have taken the trouble
to describe it to me, I see that it is precisely what I am looking out for, and I
BREAKING HIS VOW.
feel fully in the mood to lead it. Perhaps I rate myself too flatteringly, as my
powers may fail me, but take me on trial, that is all!'"
While the youth was saying this, the Chevalier d'Hocquincourt watched
him, and at last perceived on his features a firm expression, contrasting with
their delicacy and the sweetness of his voice.
"That's well put," he exclaimed, "and I have only one further objection to
your project. A man is born brave as he is born robust, and you have these
gifts, but none are born seamen. It is a craft to be learned, and a rough one."
"I shall learn it while sailing the sea," answered Tourville.
He might have replied that, in his province, the children think of nothing
but going on the water, and that he had himself made early attempts in
navigation, but he did not slip into such boyishness.
"Navigation must come a little later," continued the rover, "for my frigate
will not be setting sail till spring. She lies in Marseilles port, and if your
zeal led you to go aboard at once, you would be there some months to acquire
the knowledge you lack."
"Oh! that is all that I crave, and I will start as soon as I have my
"I undertake to ask for it of the Countess, my dear Hilarion," said the
Duke, proud of the success which his young kinsman had won over the
prejudices of the sea-rover.
So I may notify Professor de Renocourt that I shall be soon quitting his
Academy?" gladly cried Tourville.
"The sooner the better, for you will not have overmuch time to get an idea
of the working of a ship," said the mariner. It is settled, then; you will
make your first voyage-venture we call it, too-under my orders, and I
hope it will be a lucky one. Bear in mind, though, that if anything untoward
happens, that it is you who will be responsible; and that, if you should
have your beauty spoilt by the splinters of a bursting hand-grenade or the
slash of a Turkish yataghan, that your family must not bear me any grudge."
"I should not mind if the infidels put out an eye of mine in our first
onslaught, for then my asserted good looks would not be cast up into my face. I
might not please my sisters, but I should horrify the Barbary Corsairs, at least !"
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
"That is going too far," said the Duke, merrily. "Be brave and victorious;
return a vanquisher, and let your hands keep your face unhurt. Nobody will
reproach you for preserving it, not even our dear Knight of the Ocean here,
whom I thank for having listened to your petition and cast judgment in your
favour. .Your future can be defined now that you have chosen a career, and
I foresee that it will be brilliant. Your brother-in-law, Gouville, and your
mother, too, dreamed you would be famous in the army, and you would have
certainly distinguished yourself on land; but one must follow his star. You
might have been a good general-you will be a fine sailor. Your an-
cestors made the name of Tourville illustrious upon the battle field; it is
time that the King's enemies and those of the Christian faith learned of it on
Tourville rejoiced, for he had secured his aim. All he had to do now was
to thank his noble kinsman, who had pleaded for him, and the daring sea-rover,
who had granted his wishes. Before he took leave of them, he did so in a
voice of emotion. It was the right moment for doing so, as, without doubt,
the two wished to be left alone for an exchange of their impressions from this
deciding conference. The day was closing and the footmen, who were just
bringing in the candelabra, were ordered by D'Hocquincourt to light the
young Knight to the foot of the stairs.
The Duke's coach was still in waiting for its master, in the street before the
carriage-entrance, where Guillaume was also waiting for his; he ran to him as
soon as he appeared. The first words of the latter were-
"I am going to set out for Marseilles, and you are going with me."
"Long live the King shouted Marcouf, tossing his hat in the air. "So
we are going off to sea? he continued.
"And to make war on the Turks. I hear that it is rough work."
Guillaume had never heard about the Turks, but since his master was going
to battle, it little mattered to him with whom it would be, so long as he was by
Night had fallen, a dark winter's night, and the invention of hanging lamps
had not yet been introduced by La Reynie, the Lieutenant of Police in future.
In the part which Tourville and his companion would be forced first to traverse
THE KNIGHT VkLIANTLY FOUGHT WITH BOTH RUIFFIANS.
BREAKING HIS VOW.
there was still a little light and life, on account of the play performed at. the
Burgundy mansion, commencing very early at that period; but, as they drew
nearer to the riverside, they entered a region where they could see nothing
clearly, and to cross over to the right bank they had to use the New Bridge
(Pont NeJf), unless they went along the embankment as far as the Cathedral of
Notre Dame. The quays were no more safe than the bridge, which was of ill-
fame, on good grounds. In the daytime it was infested by pickpockets of
experience and Hectors; at night by snatch-cloaks," who were quick to strip
the wayfarers of their mantles, and even by ruffians ready to kill for a purse. It
would be hard to believe in such a state of things if Boileau's famous satire did
not exist to bear it out-
"Les voleirs a l'instant s'emparent de la ville, le bois le plus funeste et le
moins fire uent est, au prix de Paris, un lieu de sziret." (" Since robbers make
themselves masters of the town, the gloomiest and least frequented forest is
a safe resort compared with Paris.")
Boileau wrote these lines in 1660, and though Tourville had not read them
-since the year 1659 had not yet come to an end-he thoroughly well knew to
what he exposed himself by taking the shortest way to his Academy. Whoever
ventured into it after set of sun would only have themselves to rely upon, as
the'watchmen were often in connivance with the bad characters, and as soon
as night fell, the well-to-do tradesmen-on the Goldsmiths' Quay (Quai des
Orfevres) would lock and bar themselves up in their shops, and take very great
care not to interfere with the pastime of the cut-purses in the open air; the
latter undertook never to break in the shop doors. From this tacit agreement
between goldsmiths and robbers, it resulted that attacked foot-passengers had
no help to expect from any quarter.
Tourville had by his side that good sword with which he had disarmed
the young slanderer; Marcouf carried a strong long-sword, not too heavy for
his vigorous arm; and he had learnt to wield it well of the Academy fencing-
masters. Thus armed, the two Normans feared not a soul.
At the same time, they took care to walk in the middle of the Bridge Road,
to avoid being pounced upon unawares by the rogues ambushed along the
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
Ere long, they caught sight of some shadows that seemed to follow them at a
distance, but the two wore so bold a mien that they passed beyond the way into
the Place Dauphine without having come in contact with the malevolent night-
roamers. They were beginning to believe that they would not be molested,
with all the more reason as they heard a coach rolling on the left bank at a
pace that bid fair to bring it up to them speedily. They were thus deluding
themselves when, just as they reached the Clock Pier, they were suddenly
charged by four footpads, hidden flat against the shop-front of the first house,
who rushed at them, sword out in hand, shouting, Your money or your
Instead of surrendering to this rude demand, Tourville and Marcouf
whipped out their own blades. They had only time enough to fall on guard
and to receive the rascals with a cut and a slash. In his first lunge, indeed, the
young Knight fleshed his steel, for his opponent dropped his long toasting-iron
and turned his back.
But there was still a pair pressing him, though he valiantly fought with
them both. The fourth, a burly tatterdemalion, seemingly the leader of the
gang, mated himself with Marcouf, who fenced away with success, for he had
not been hurt, and his adversary commenced receding. But the combat was
too unfair, and would have turned out badly for both master and man if they
had not been speedily succoured.
They were so aided, inasmuch as the arrival of the vehicle put an end to
the conflict. The footmen standing behind this happily-sent carriage held
cressets, and the cloak-snatchers, foes of light, retired before the illumination.
The hangdog who was engaged with Marcouf stood his ground better than
his fellows, so that he was still fighting when the gleam of the torch shone on
his face. Guillaume uttered a roar and sprang at him, aiming a high thrust at
his throat, but the coward turned and fled with all his speed, and his adversary
was about to pursue him, but his master imperatively bade him not to stir,
and he dared not disobey, although he chafed at the restraint, and with good
The coach had come to a stop, and Tourville noticed the Duke of
La Rochefoucauld at the door; the latter recognized his young relative at
BREAKING HIS VOW.
the same time, and did not appear very much astonished to see him waylaid
by ruffians on their favourite prowling ground.
"My dear Hilarion," said the friendly peer, "I see that you have gallantly
defended yourself, and I felicitate you. But I am not going to tell this tale to
Captain d'Hocquincourt, for it would wrong you in his mind, as it shows that
you lack one of the essential parts of the warrior-prudence. You forgot
that the wise do not walk over the bridge after nightfall."
"I OFFER YOU A PLACE IN MY COACH," SAID THE DUKE.
Tourville might have retorted respectfully that he had no other means of
locomotion than his legs, but the noble went on to say, "You ought to have
asked for a place in my coach, which I offer you, since we have met again.
Step in beside me. I will set you down at your college."
"I am very much obliged to your lordship," faltered the youth, "but 1
have my man with me, who has bravely defended me, and I cannot leave him
among the rabble."
"That can be managed. Let him jump up behind with my fellows."
The glass coaches of that period were roomy and large as a three-decked
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
ship, so that there was a place for three footmen, and Guillaume did not
require the order to be repeated before he clambered upon the footboard.
Tourville made himself comfortable inside with the Duke, who, instead of
reproving him for his rashness, paid him compliments on his replies to
D'Hocquincourt, and on his resolve to begin his voyages in the service of the
Order of the Knights of Malta.
"Since the Tourville who followed William the Conqueror across the sea, I
believe that not one of his line has sailed the ocean," he smilingly observed.
You will be the first of your name to do so, and you will make your military
"Heaven hear your Grace for you are speaking my own dearest desire."
"Is it true that, without any regret, you can leave the society where such
as you are fated to win their golden way ? "
I have not yet taken my vows as a Knight of Malta to help the oppressed
and free the captive," returned the youth gravely, but it is all the same as if
I were sworn."
Tut, tut! I am afraid that you are making rash vows. While I approve
your entertaining such sentiments, we shall see how long they last. Let us say
no more on that head at present. Think only of preparing for the great change
in your life, and come and see me to-morrow at my house."
They had reached the Rue Vieille-du-Temple; the coach drew up before
the portals of the Academy, and Marcouf had already run round to the door to
help out his master, who had hastened to alight, for he was wishful to be alone
to reflect upon his adventures. Guillaume gave him no time. The coach had
barely gone before he exclaimed-
Oh, master if you only knew the rapscallion who pitched upon me on
the bridge, and who cut away just as I was going to run him through; it
"Well, who ? testily inquired the other.
"It was Jean Gavray-I recognized the villain."
"Did you say Jean ?"
"Is it likely I should forget the scapegrace who stole the Count of
Gouville's money-bag in our courtyard? "
BBEAIKING HIS VOW.
And who disappeared after that ? Yes, I call him to mind now."
"And you will recollect, too, that he was never caught, and that nobody
could say what had become of him.? I foretold at the time that he would flee
to Paris and join the riff-raff. I hit the mark, for I saw him as plainly as I see
your honour-saving your reverence!-and I am inclined to believe that he
knew us again. Oh, but I am sorry at missing him! To think that I had
him at the end of my stabbing-iron, and if the coming up of the coach had
not troubled me-"
"He would have killed you, according to all appearance; and it little
matters that he should have got away, since you have plucked yourself out of
the fire without being singed, as well as I myself. Let him go to more
"That he will, master; it is written on his blackguard brow! Never
mind! If ever we meet again!"
You will not do so, for we are going out of the country."
"Who can tell? One of these days he may be rowing in the Royal
galleys, and at Marseilles there are some manned by felons."
Tourville was not listening, for he was wholly absorbed by his dreams of
THE KNIGHT, GOING ON THE WATER, SEES FIRE.
CAPTAIN D'HOCQUINCOURT had some faults. Tourville found this
out afterwards. But he was a man of his word, and when his new
recruit arrived at Marseilles, where he had preceded him, he received him
with open arms. The youth's departure had not been effected without some
delay. The voyage had not pleased the Countess, who cherished other
ideas for her son. Her late husband had honourably served in the army, and
to his widow it seemed that the hope of the house demeaned himself by
consenting to run after fortune on a vessel that did not fly the Royal standard.
She had raised objections, and the Duke of La Rochefoucauld had been
obliged strongly to insist, to appease her opposition to what she called a freak
of folly. The good lady surely thought that she was acting rightly. She
could not foresee the future, and thought that it was enough to expose her son
to the dangers of war without adding those of the sea.
Still, she was compelled to give way, though not without having consulted
her son-in-law, Gouville, who had spoken in the same style as La Roche-
The die was cast. Hilarion was to be a seaman.
He was forced to learn his profession, of which he did not know even the
rudiments, for his boyish sports with Guillaume Marcouf had given him but
little instruction; and if he relied on the Chevalier d'Hocquincourt teaching
him, he ran a great risk of never learning it.
Brave as his sword, and daring to rashness, but fond of pleasures above all,
the sea-rover warred against the infidels mainly to enrich himself, while
gaining some fame. The Knights of Malta did great service to Christendom
WA TER AND FIBE.
by chasing the Mahometan pirates then infesting the Mediterranean Sea;
but they were no better themselves. Captured vessels were sold with their
cargoes, and their crews, instead of being held as prisoners, were made slaves,
each slave being worth a sum of money.
This "free trade," supported by great guns, had already brought large
profits to the enterprising Knight, a son of a Marshal of France. He longed
for nothing but to continue it, and while his vessel was refitting for sea he led
a jolly life.
The young gentlemen whom he had enlisted to carry out a fresh cruise had
no other goal than to make a fortune on land or sea by staking their lives, and
they spent their days merrily. But young Hilarion took care not to imitate
them. As soon as he went aboard, he took possession of a cabin and never left
the ship. After a few suppers and parties that he did not enjoy, he applied
himself to learning all he could from the boatswains, pilots and old sea-dogs,
joined in their work, doing all that the seamen had to do with more skill and
agility than any of them. This caused the others to banter him, and D'Hoc-
quincourt suggested his coming to land more often in order not to be
regarded as an oddity, and Tourville, to please him, occasionally went ashore, but
Marcouf took root on board, so to say. His instinct as a pilot's son was re-
awakened. He could not understand how the good folk lived except on the
water, or slept soundly unless in a hammock.
Not that he had liked the Mediterranean at the outset; it was too calm and
blue, and he disdained it for not having tides like the Atlantic; but he
became used to it, and fretted to leave the harbour and see more of it.
He was very well received by the crew, who grew to be almost as fond of
him as of his master.
The young Knight of Malta was their fancy-picture of a gentleman-sailor.
He charmed his rough shipmates, and towards doing this his good looks went far.
They regarded him as the cherub "that sits up aloft to look after the life of
poor Jack" come down on the deck to bring them good luck. The preference
they gave him was not the thing to win him the sympathy of his brother-
officers. These yearned to see him at work: how he would bear himself in a
storm and in battle-a gratification for them that came in good time.
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
The sailing out of Marseilles was in delightful weather. The sky was a
sheet of azure, the sea was calm, and the wind being astern, it was like a
The frigate behaved very well under sail, and skirted the Corsican and
Sardinian coasts, ran through the Straits of Messina, and, on the fifth day out,
shot into La Valetta, capital of the Island of Malta and residence of the Grand
Master of the Order.
The sea-bear D'Hocquincourt had become human during the fair weather
sail. His gruffness could not stand against the endeavours to please and the
goodwill of the Knight of Tourville. He had never refused him his esteem,
but he had taken a dislike to him at Marseilles, because he would not join the
revels. On board, he revoked his prejudice, so that the youth was the one
who was treated the most kindly.
It was the custom-almost an obligation-for commanders of vessels sailing
under the banner of the Order not to start on a cruise without paying their
respects to the head of it, and Captain d'Hocquincourt took care not to
Known and highly valued at Malta, he had no sooner cast anchor than the
most noted Knights came aboard to see him, and they escorted him to the
Palace when he went to present his officers to the Grand Master. It was one
of the most splendid processions the Maltese had seen for a long time, and
Tourville was wonderstruck. All was novel for him in this first stage of his
seafaring life, and he was never tired of gazing on this curious little town,
perched upon the side of a precipitous rock, like an eagle's eyrie, with a
formidable belt of fortifications and narrow and tortuous streets. They were
so narrow, indeed, that when two Knights met, they would draw swords to win
the right of way rather than yield it. For these young gallants, who were
sworn to combat the Pagans, were terribly quarrelsome, and their vows did
not prevent their leading a life of riot and feasting on shore.
This military order has a very strange history. It was the direct successor
of the Order of Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem, established in Malta,
in 1530, after the Turks took their previous seat in the Isle of Rhodes. It was
composed of Knights of all the Christian nations, styled "tongues" (langues),
WATER AND FIRE
eight in all, of England, France, Germany, etc. Each body had a head, the
pilier, or conventual bailiff; and the Grand Master, elected by a general
meeting, could be chosen out of any of them. The one recently elected, in
1660, when D'Hocquincourt's frigate moored in La Valetta Roads, was Gessaut
de Clermont, of the Provengal "langue," from Dauphine. He greeted them
with all the warmth called for by the commander's repute and his splendid
train. He cordially complimented them on the course they had taken to
serve the interests of Christendom by arms, and ended his speech by requesting
them to stay in the island before they went to war.
He spoke to young nobles who sought only diversion, and who widely
profited by the permission. It was worse than it was at Marseilles-nothing
but rejoicings. The dwellers on the island regaled the new-comers all
the more willingly as they burned with desire to go with them. But the
Captain became gloomy, and now tried to have good officers on the eve of
playing for a rich stake at sea.
The Chevalier de Tourville held back still from sharing in his brother-
officers' excessive banqueting; the only entertainments he went to were those
given by the Grand Master, who was not long in singling him out, and he
employed all his leisure in being instructed in the duties of his Order as, at
Marseilles, he had learnt those of the seaman. But they did not sail, and the
time hung heavy. He had not embarked to live in a seaport, and the idleness
began to grow irksome.
As impatient as he to fall to work, his commander only waited for the
chance which never seemed to come. The sailors arriving from the East had met
no Turkish vessels, and the sea adventurer did not want to set sail without
full knowledge and good hope of taking prizes. Always alert to seize the first
alarm, none arose, to the deep chagrin of Tourville who fretted to be off.
Thus stood matters on a fine June evening, when he was looking for his
boat to go aboard ship after a day passed in listening to the paternal advice of
the Grand Master. At the water's edge he met his Captain, arm-in-arm with a
very forbidding looking fellow.
Clad much like a common sailor, this stranger had a face bronzed by the
sun, roughened by gales, and furrowed by scars, hollow eyes, bushy, bristling
AN OCEAN KNIGHT
brows, prominent cheek-bones, and stooping shoulders, his whole aspect
was repulsive, with a stern gaze to boot-the ideal portrait of a freebooter.
Tourville was feigning not to see him, but his Captain called him up to
introduce his companion as "Captain Cruvillier. He has just got in, and
gives me good news."
The youth knew the name from often having heard it uttered in Malta,
being that of a noted sea-rover, famous for his exploits against the Turks,
who dreaded him as much as the Maltese admired him; he was almost as
notorious for his cruelty as for the number of his
"Captain Cruvillier commands the frigate you
see yonder moored alongside ours," resumed
D'Hocquincourt. "She carries four-and-twenty
S- guns and a crew of proven mettle. He tells me
that the Archipelago is ravaged by two pirates
hailing from Tripoli, in Barbary, which have
Already burned, after plundering them, more than
twenty sail, as well Venetian as Greek."
i i' "We must not allow that work to go on,"
./' interrupted Tourville, quickly, "and I trust
tIh "The Captain sighted them, but he had to
Srun before them, as his frigate was not strong
"\ enough to cope with them singly; so he came to
THE FORBDDING-LOOKING STRANGER. propose my joining him to go and find them.
I have accepted. Our understanding is made.
The product of the prizes will be divided equally, and I expect that it will
"So, captain, we shall at last get out to sea! "
"To-morrow, if the wind holds fair. I am going to pass the word for our
Knights to come aboard to-night, for, if I do not take that precaution, I greatly
risk finding none but you, my dear Tourville! Do not wait for me to go
to your ship. I have some arrangements to settle with Captain Cruvillier, who
WATER AND FIRE.
is going to show me the course, as we say when we are navigating in company
'on shares.' While awaiting my coming off, warn the boatswain to get every
Having thus spoken, Captain d'Ilocquincourt went away with his kindred
spirit, who had not opened his lips. This sea-wolf, perhaps, did not know
how to use his mouth except to shout orders to his crew through a speaking-
trumpet, or to call them all away to board "
Tourville did not pine for his company, and he would have rather liked to
begin his career in an enterprise in which booty was not the chief attraction;
but there would be fighting, and that was all he asked for at the moment.
Hereafter, he might go into action on a Royal vessel for the pure honour, and,
all considered, the infidels whom he was about to attack were everybody's enemy.
It will not be hard to believe that he hastened to share the great news with
Marcouf, and that the youth was delighted, and begged leave to be allowed
the post alongside him when the action was in progress, and though the
request was premature, Tourville granted it beforehand.
Next day, all the Knights were aboard, several languid from sleeplessness,
but all full of ardour and joyous with the prospect of activity.
The tidings had spread through the city, and the inhabitants rejoiced over
it as over a good bargain, for they hoped that the cruisers would come back to
sell their prizes there, when they reckoned to profit by the transaction.
All the people of La Valetta crowded the heights, and had a fine sight
when the two cruisers, Cruvillier's leading, left the port, driven by a good south-
west breeze which should carry them straight to their destination.
Wrapped in their faldettas-hoods that let only one eye be seen-the
Maltese women waved their 'kerchiefs, while the men shouted in Arabic,
mixed with Italian words, and the guns of the forts thundered to hail the
departure of the Knights of the Cross on their way to encounter the defenders
of the Crescent.
As arranged with his comrade, Cruvillier showed the way. A veteran of
these waters, he knew the likely haunts as a good sportsman who can point out
spots visited by deer, though this naval war in the East was a kind of sport
where the hunter was sometimes himself hunted.
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
From Tripoli to Tangiers, all the towns on the Barbary coast equipped
piratical barks to divide the Mediterranean Sea among them, as poachers share
a tract crowded with game. The Tunisians and Tripolitans by preference
scoured the seas to the south of Greece and Italy, particularly at the month of
the Adriatic Gulf, then the highway for the flourishing trade of Venice with
the Orient. Sometimes they ventured to the French shores, where they went
on land to pillage villages and
/-~ i, ^ l carry off the people, but they
... sought rather to waylay richly-
:.' The brace of Tripolitans
l which Cruvillier had spied by
S the southern points of the
SMorea would scarcely still be
there, as Corsair tactics con-
s. listed in often shifting position,
Sthe better to surprise the ves-
sels they were waiting for. In
/ accord with D'Hocquincourt,
9 Cruvillier hurried to the Island
I of Zante, where he hoped to
I -, i find later intelligence of these
SAt Malta, D'Hocquincourt
had taken aboard four Knights
who could count many cara-
I DEFY YOU TO FOLLOW ME."
vans or expeditions, and who
were free in teasing Tourville as a novice, though he knew as much about
sea-life as they; being particular about his person, a rarity in those times,
his care for his attire was the subject of their jests, and there was one
more annoying than the rest, who worried him with dull jokes to which he
determined to put an end.
As they neared Zante, the wind freshened from overnight, and the frigate,
WATER AND FIRE.
carrying too much canvas, laboured heavily. Tourville, who had the watch with
the plaguy fellow, and was awaiting, like all the ship's company on deck, the
order to take in sail, asked this foolish jester if he would like to wager as to
which of them would reach the main-topmast the first.
To which the other sneeringly replied, "I am too much your friend to feel
any pleasure in seeing you break your neck by a fall on the deck, or drown by
dropping into the sea."
A whistle from the boatswain's call interrupted this pretty speech.
"Reefers away! D'ye hear? Well, you shall see nothing of that sort
of thing," returned Tourville, and I defy you to follow me."
Then, leaping on the bulwark and seizing the shrouds, he ran up in a breath
to the top, and up the topmast, where he reached out on the yard before any
of the topmen, helped them to gather in the sail, and came down by a stay,
hand-under-hand, with a skill and a swiftness which all admired, including the
commander and his officers. Thereupon he saluted the jester with a Go and
do the same which drew the laughers on his side. When he had given this
well merited lesson, the raillery ceased.
It was high time that joking came to an end. At Zante, where they came
to an anchor for a couple of hours, there was certain news of the two Barbary
Corsairs. One of them, under an admiral's flag, carried forty-two guns; the
other had twenty-four, and they might be found in the waters of Sapienza
Island, in the opening of Modon Bay.
It was enormous disproportion of strength, as the Christian frigates did not
have sixty pieces of artillery between them; but the Chevalier d'Hocquincourt
did not shirk, and they sallied forth in the same order, Cruvillier's ship leading,
as she was the smarter sailer.
Matters were getting serious now, as they might meet the enemy at any
instant in this sea, where every cape that they doubled had concealed pirates,
ambushed like a spider in the nook of its web. This was the critical moment
when the old seamen watched the new-comers, as, before marching in a
storming party, veterans study the countenance worn by raw recruits included
in the forlorn hope with them.
Young Hilarion not only did not flinch, but he had never appeared lighter-
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
hearted, and if the gentlemen had deigned to glance at Marcouf, they would
have noticed that he was as calm as in the days when he strolled under the
trees in the avenue of Tourville Castle.
The quest lasted four days. The foe was not at Sapienza, Carrera, or
Venetiko, two other islands convenient for ambuscades. They had passed
Modon Bay, and were doubling Cape Gallo, the westernmost point of the
three on the Morea, when, this fifth day, Cruvillier, ever in the van, signalled
two sail, and lay to, to wait for his ally.
Our young Knight, fresh from his college, was going to witness a naval
action at last, one that everything betokened as fierce, for the forces encountered
were most superior.
The two Corsairs had the wind in their favour, and they swooped down
with all sails spread, as if sure of winning, and having no other fear than that
the prey might escape them. On hoisting their flag, it was seen not to be that
of the Tripolitans, but of the Algerians. Hence, these were not the two ships
said to have been seen off Zante.
"It is to be hoped that those Tripolitans have left these waters," thought
D'Hocquincourt. We shall have all our work cut out for us without their
giving us any rents to repair."
This well-grounded apprehension did not hinder the brave rover from
skilfully taking all measures for the action. He knew that the Barbary
Corsairs, like the Turks, had very numerous crews, and that all their naval
tactics lay in running alongside and throwing the boarding-party aboard.
Instead of losing time in "long bowls," or cannonading at fair range, they sail
up close to the enemy, drive against her at the prow, cast grappling-irons upon
her, and swarm on board, with the scimitar, their chosen weapon, in their
grasp, which they wield with incredible skill and vigour.
D'Hocquincourt could not evade the collision, as his frigate was to the lee-
ward. So he made ready to receive the boarding-party by stationing at "the fair
point," that is, where the attack would fall, his stoutest men, under command of
the Knight of Tourville, whom he kept in view, and who was quietly playing with
his long curls. He had put on a breast-plate of polished steel, and white buck-
skin boots with gilded heels. With his long-sword brandished in the sunshine,
THE KNIGHT WAS WALLED IN BY THE DYING AND THE DEAD.
WATER AND FIE.
he somewhat resembled the pictures of Saint George piercing the Dragon.
Behind him stood Marcouf, with no other weapon than one of those pikes
called by seamen spontoons, which, kept in play by his sturdy arm, might be
expected to hold the Mahometan sword-players at a respectful distance.
"Feel afeard, Guillaume ? queried the youth.
Were I afeard, I should not be my father's son," was the pert reply of the lad.
"We are going to receive a whole hive of bees, with long stings, on our
head, for all that !"
'Sooth, master mine, I know that we are not rook-shooting in Tourville
Woods, but I am not scared, in spite of that."
He was still speaking when both pirates, which had swept down with a
swelling sheet, sent their broadsides so that some of the balls cut up the rigging
of the two frigates, that were closing up so as to be able to help one another.
"What, is that all it is ? mocked Tourville, on hearing the iron sleet
The Christian leaders did not deign to reply. They wanted to see the
miscreants still nearer, and, before returning the discourteous salute, wished to
come yard-arm to yard-arm, but the Algerians gained nothing by the delay.
Starboard guns, fire!" On this command from both D'Hocquincourt
and Cruvillier, a hail of slugs and cannon-balls swept the low decks of the two
Barbary ships. At the same time, the volunteer Knights fired their muskets
at the infidels who were aloft at a distance that made most shots tell.
The two captains competed as to which should do the more damage. Old
Cruvillier wished to prove to D'Hocquincourt that age had not chilled his
ardour, and the other to show that, new as he was in command, he could bear
himself as handsomely as the veterans.
The Algerians fell like flies, but they were not to be daunted. They
succeeded in getting the grapnels on D'Hocquincourt's frigate, which was over-
whelmed in a twinkling by some sixty desperadoes. Placed in the most
dangerous spot, Tourville was surrounded and furiously assailed. He received
three wounds, one of which was a deep spear-thrust in the side, but he laid
about him and lunged out so lustily that he was soon walled in by the dying
and the dead.
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
Marcouf had added his share to this rampart-dead men whom he had
slain with his pike, but not without getting a gash in the skull.
In five minutes after the onset, the deck was swept clear; all the boarders
had been overpowered or flung into the waves, and this fierce welcome had
cooled the ardour of the others who endeavoured to get away. But, on the
smoke fading, there loomed up in the eastward the two Tripolitan Corsairs,
hidden up to this behind Cape Matapan, but now hastening hither, attracted
by the roar of the cannon.
The match had before been unequal, and became next to hopeless with the
frigates fighting two to four. Their captains had need to be bold to offer
resistance after an hour's furious battle, but they stuck to their task.
Both Algerians and one of the Tripolitans headed together for the Sainte
Ampoule, old Cruvillier's ship, which was lost to sight in a dense fog of smoke,
while the other Tripolitan, the largest and most heavily-armed of all, surged
down upon the Diana's Star, D'Hocquincourt's vessel, and delivered a broad-
side at short range. She held out well. Her master was determined ol
sinking before he would haul down his colours, and his heroic resistance must
have ended in disaster, when despair suggested to the Knight of Tourville
a brilliant idea. Remarking some disorder on the Tripolitan-her commander
being killed-he drew himself upon a heap of cordage, wounded though he
was, and shouted, in a clear voice, heard despite the uproar of the conflict--
"My lads, time's come to show the Pagans 'Jack's-play!' Lay them
aboard, the Levantine scum, and show them that one Christian is worth a
dozen Mahound dogs! Helmsman, send us plump into her!"
The steersman obeying, his turn of the rudder hurled the Star upon the foe,
to which she was lashed and grappled, and off the gunwale of the damaged
frigate six Knights and thirty men sprang upon the pirate's deck, Hilarion de
Tourville at the head.
Then was beheld a prodigy: two hundred of the African savages were
crowded together, felled, chopped down, slashed, finally exterminated literally
by this handful of intrepid sailors led by a youthful Paladin. After having
overcome the hostile crew, he had the further energy to go to the haliard of the
Ottoman flag, dangling from the spanker-gaff, and cut it through.
WATER AND FIRE.
Freed of his adversary, D'Hocquincourt, who had remained on his vessel.
steered it instantly to the help of old Cruvillier, who was keeping up a
Terrified by what they saw of the carnage, the three pirates surrounding
the Sainte Ampoule did not linger for the Diana's Star to attack them. The
Tripolitans and one of the Algerians hurried off with all sails spread.
The other, manned by sterner stuff, would neither flee nor yield, and the
frigates united to overpower her.
Tourville and his brave spirits had kept on board the captured vessel. Too
badly hurt to be moved, the boyish officer had his wounds dressed as well as
they could treat them, and the Chevalier d'Hocquincourt, coming to see him
and praise him for his brilliant feat, found him seated on the quarter-deck, very
pale and rather weakened, but quite collected, and ready to strike into battle
The prize's deck was smothered with blood and heaped with corpses.
Frightful carnage had been made of the heathens, and D'Hocquincourt
wondered how less than a score even of his war-dogs had managed to slay so
many in so brief a time. In the depths of the hold was found a French
renegade whom the Captain thought fit to question, to learn why so poor a
defence had been made against such a petty band.
"You ought to say against one," said the prisoner. The massacre was
done by a tall young Knight with fair hair. He is lovely as an angel from on
high, but, methinks, he must have come up from the other place, as there was
no one able to resist him."
When Tourville was pointed out to him, he fell on his knees, and so
remained till his life was promised him, if he would return to the Christian
religion. The wretch had been forced to renounce it when taken by the Turks,
and he did not require much entreaty to embrace it again. In course of time,
he became a valuable pilot on the Star.
D'Hocquincourt had not wanted this testimony to admire Tourville's
dazzling valour and do his merit justice. Both frigates had been saved by this
young Knight in the first action of his first voyage, and his captain thanked
him heartily. Cruvillier, who came aboard the prize, did the same, and
AN OCEAN KN-IGHT.
Hilarion had to submit to this sea-bear's hug, with which he would willingly
The old rovers owed him more than thanks for his having extricated them
from an awkward scrape, as they said, but they were not content. One ship
sunk, two others put to flight, and the fourth captured-this made a glorious
victory, but Cruvillier rated glory less than gain, and the gains were mean.
The prize carried very little in precious goods, and Tourville having killed all
the crew, there were no prisoners to sell as slaves.
The task before them was to repair the frigates, sorely damaged in the
fierce action, and to refit. Cruvillier, familiar with all the coverts of the
Archipelago, advised making for Siphanto, or Siphnos Island, where all would
be found necessary to repair the ships and recuperate the men.
It was not a large place, but the climate was most healthy, and fresh meat
and vegetables abounded, as it was thoroughly under cultivation; numberless
sheep grazed, and luscious fruit could be obtained. But it was not close to the
Bay of Coron, where the battle had taken place, and they could not reach it
without going away from Malta, as Siphnos, one of the Cyclades, is situated
between Paros, where Parian marble is quarried, and Milo, where a celebrated
ancient statue was unearthed.
D'Hocquincourt did not like sailing thither, but Cruvillier protested that
there would be found the only surgeon able to set the Knight of Tourville on
foot again. It was one Doctor Jani, a wise Athenian, exiled some twelve years
to Siphnos, where he performed miracles in the exercise of his art.
Captain d'Hocquincourt yielded to this argument, and Tourville raised no
objections; but could he have peered into the future, he might have refused
placing himself in the hands of the learned Athenian Doctor.
They hastily repaired the damages to the three vessels as well as they
could patch them up, for there were three now, from their having brought
along the captured Tripolitan. They sailed to the island inhabited by the
new Hippocrates, where they arrived after twenty hours' peaceful navigation.
For a period the pirates had vanished from this part. The sorely-punished
ones had taken refuge in ports on the Barbary coast, and the rest were
cruising on the Rhodian shore.
THE KNIGHT'S GUARDIAN ANGEL APPEARS.
ON the arrival of the victors, Signor Jani was on the landing-place to
receive the wounded. Tourville was grievously hurt, having escaped
terrible crises at sea. It never occurred to him what others were hatching
for him on the delightful island where he was set ashore to be healed.
Old Cruvillier had not overrated the position which Doctor Jani held
in Siphnos. An illustrious practitioner, he was beyond dispute the foremost
person on the isle. His house was the largest and finest. He was
wealthy, having gathered much money in the exercise of his profession, and it
was not at all surprising, for all the soldiers wounded in the Archipelago had
recourse to him, and in these waters where naval warfare was continuous no
week went by without the Turkish pirates falling foul of the cruisers out of
Malta. After the contest, the cripples of both flags would hie to Siphnos to
be cured, Jani attending to them with exemplary impartiality.
Loved and esteemed by the Greeks forming the bulk of the population, he
dwelt on perfectly pleasant terms with the less numerous Turks, the masters,
for the Venetians had not yet reconquered the Morea and its dependencies.
At the sight of the cruisers and their prize, the doctor knew that there was
work for him, and he came to help in the landing of the wounded. He shook
hands with Cruvillier, who was one of his oldest and most regular patients, and
who introduced and recommended to him the Chevalier de Tourville as needing
his cares and a suitable home.
Doctor Jani had a keen eye, and as easily judged the officer's social as his
bodily condition, and deeming him to be a man of mark, he offered to take
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
him under his own roof. This was a favour granted to no one, and the old
rover hastened to accept it for his comrade, who was too gravely hurt to bandy
So he was carried to the Doctor's house, while the other sufferers were
lodged as best might be in the dwellings of the poorer classes.
Jani's science was not without success, for, at the end of three days, Tourville
was out of danger; in another week he was convalescent, and could walk and
eat. He took strolls, and dined at the table of his host and physician.
Everything presaged a long stay at Siphnos, the three barks having been
badly knocked about and repairs taking time. Hence, the officers looked for
_- II' P. ._
44' -l w, T ..
MARCOUF STOOD GUARD AT HIS MASTER'S DOOR.
pleasure-places and sport, not to be wearied during the enforced holiday. The
sociable Cruvillier described a Greek wine-shop, where he treated his friends to
Santorin wine of excellent quality when not engaged supervising the workmen
re-planking and caulking his ship where the Turkish cannon-balls had ripped and
torn it. More active in his pleasures, Captain d'Hocquincourt had discovered
the haunts of wild rabbits among the rocks, behind the town; and he organized
miniature hunting parties to which the young gallants from the neighboring
islets gathered, for the news of the victory had spread, and there was pressing
to hob-nob with the heroes.
Hilarion de Tourville was more celebrated than he was, the seamen speaking
THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.
of nobody else and dwelling on his prowess, so that the sightseers longed to
behold him, but he did not go out, and saw no visitors but his captain and
Guillaume Marcouf, who never left him, stood guard at his door, and found
it hard work to drive away the curious men, women, and even children, who
prattled of his beauty and courage and worshipped him like the prince in a
Ever shy and reserved, he would not make a show of himself, passing the
been his son. Tourville was not long before finding out that the surgeon
was not only a wise but a well-bred gentleman.
His family, of Venetian origin, had been established in Athens nearly
two centuries, and were living there, rich and honoured, when the Turks took
Constantinople and conquered Greece. They remained after the conquest, which
ruined them so, that Jani, the last of his race, was finally reduced to practise the
physician's art to subsist. He had to quit Athens to elude the arbitrary
exactions of a Turkish governor. It was a happy event for him, this quitting his
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
country, as the Mussulman authorities left him in peace in Siphnos, and he
had regained his fortune.
Tourville inspired him with so much sympathy that he related the story of
When very young, Jani had married the daughter of a Venetian
patrician, a Bragadini, who died after ten years of a happy union, leaving an
only daughter. On Tourville's asking him what had become of the child,
She is here beneath this roof, and your not seeing her comes from her
misfortune of being too beautiful. Contrary to most girls, she does not like
gadding about and seeing novelties, and, when your ships arrived, she begged
me, as a favour, not to let her be seen by any of the young Knights who should
come on shore."
Tourville could not help smiling at a timidity which might be classed with
his own, but he felt compelled to beseech an introduction to this marvel,
whereupon her father answered directly-
She has seen you, Sir Knight. I have spoken about you, and what I have
said, now that I know you, agrees with the good opinion which she founded
upon you at a peep through the bars of the summer-house in which she lives,
in the garden where you sometimes take a stroll since your strength has
returned. I say 'bars,' because, though Christians, we have learned from the
Mahometans to shut up our women from the public eye. They live secluded,
and only go forth veiled, but the seclusion is of free will, and there is no
reason why you should not be, as you politely wish, in the presence of my
Andronica. She will be agreeable, as I have vaunted your exploits, and she is
passionately fond of glorious deeds."
The young gentleman was profuse with thanks, while feeling some uneasiness
about the interview.
You can chat with her in French," went on Jani, "for she was educated
in the nunnery of Murano, near Venice, where she learned French at the same
time as Italian. The child knew only Greek when she went there, but now she
has as much mastery over French as I."
The excellent "leech" spoke half a dozen languages, European or Oriental,
THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.
a very useful accomplishment in the pursuit of a profession with patients from
all nations. He begged Tourville to make no mention of the introduction to
his brother-officers, and upon his pledging that point, he took him the same
day to his daughter's dwelling, having had the fair Andronica's permission.
As stated, she lodged in a Turkish kiosk, in a clump of lemon trees at the
end of the garden; it was built of wood, and had bow windows on the upper
storey, with lattice-work to let in the light; these cages, Kafess, are well-
named (klofi, hidden).
She had seen her father coming, and the Knight found her standing
on the threshold of a richly-furnished room, in the Oriental style, to
Tourville was astonished. He had never imagined that so beautiful a girl
could exist. Tall and hale, Andronica had the appearance of a Greek statue,
with its sculptural lines, but with gracefulness and animation in addition.
Crowned with black tresses, raised in rolls above a forehead as white as ivory,
her head was superb, and what was imposing in it was tempered by her
winsome expression. Her eyes sparkled with intelligence, and her cherry
lips seemed created for nothing but smiles.
The young Knight had never seen a being to approach her. Professor
R4nocour's daughter, who had been an idol to the youth of the Paris
Academy, would have seemed uncomely beside this Venetian, gilded by the
sun of Greece.
Andronica respectfully kissed her father's hand, made a courtesy to the
Knight, and waved her hand for them to take seats on the circular divan,
which she had quitted to greet them.
She was attired in neither the Greek or Italian fashion, but her dress
rather drew portions from each: it was a long silken gown, drawn in at the
the waist by a broad embroidered sash; a gold brocade body was cut just low
enough to show a flexible neck and finely-chiselled shoulders. She wore no
ornaments-not so much as a flower, and her feet were hidden in Turkish
slippers, with the points turned up.
Tourville was dumbfounded with admiration, but it was another sensation
when the statue spoke.
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
The deep and sonorous voice was Music's own. Such as must have been
the enchantment of that invented by the poetical fancies of the Grecians for
the divinities when they came down upon earth to deign to speak to common
What the fair Andronica said completed the overturning of all ideas the
Knight had formed upon the charms and merits of the exile's daughter.
Expecting to hear sweet nonsense, he was the object-the subject, in fact
-of a speech which would not have been disavowed by Minerva, Goddess of
Wisdom and Protectress of Athens.
"Sir Knight," she began, "no doubt my father has not concealed that I
besought him to ask you hither. I beg you to believe that it was not vain
curiosity that inspired the ardent desire. Above all else, I like noble deeds, and
the longing came to me to hear of yours from your own lips."
"Mine are not worthy to be related to you, lady," modestly responded
Tourville. "Hereafter, if Heaven grants me life, and helps me, I hope to
distinguish myself in my monarch's service, but what I have so far done is a
paltry thing !"
"You are lessening your feats too much, my dear Knight," interrupted
Jani. Captain d'Hocquincourt, and even that old griffin Cruvillier, tell
everyone that they owed the victory to your courage, and that their vessels
would have been taken by those miscreants but for you-but for your happy
thought of boarding the Tripolitan that wrought them so such damage. And
I, better informed than others from having to attend to your wounds, know
that you did not spare yourself."
"Are you still in pain, Sir Knight?" inquired the girl, with an emotion
which she did not try to hide.
"No, lady, thanks to your father's cares and learning. And, now," he
added, gallantly, "since he has kindly made me acquainted with you, I am
beginning to deplore that he has so quickly put me in the state to go away
for fresh wounds. It will cost'me some distress to leave this isle where I shall
have passed so many happy days."
Then, your ship is ready to breast the billows anew? "
Not yet, lady, but soon it will be, if I may believe old Captain Cruvillier
-- -* -
I, I '.. .- .~
.;f- ~ r. -f
A tr ..-xar~rm ~ A
ANDIONICA SET TO STUDYING THE KNIGHT'S HAND.
THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.
who is urging on the shipwrights. He frets to undertake a new cruise more
profitable than the last-more fruitful for him."
"True," murmured the fair Andronica; I hear that the Captain loves
money alone, and, forgive me, Sir Knight! I am astonished that you should
have linked yourself with him in such enterprises."
"Alas! I am only a younger son, lady, trying to find a career. Heaven
is my witness that I would have preferred to fight on a Royal ship, but I had
no choice in the matter, and perhaps I never shall have the honour."
"Why not? I firmly believe that you are destined to command one. I
could be sure of it, if I might read your fortune in your hand."
"How dare you tease the Knight with your chimerical vision ?" exclaimed
the Doctor, who only believed in his art and a simple creed. He will take you
for a witch, and not be so very far wrong."
"Nay, my dear Jani," laughingly said Tourville, "I could not make the
blunder. Witches have no such youth and aspect as your daughter, and she
has merely to wish for me to open the book in which she thinks to read my
At the same time, the young Knight held out his fine and aristocratic hand,
white, with taper fingers having rosy nails. Our Norman Knight-errant had all
the gifts of nature, and this dainty hand could wield a sword or grasp the
rigging as firmly as the coarse fist of the old pirate Cruvillier. Andronica took
it in hers, which were small and tender, and set to studying it with a gravity
that made Tourville smile and Jani frown impatiently.
I was sure of it," she slowly said. Knight, you will rule, and you will
carry the flag of your country far in glory." Suddenly her face grew gloomy,
and she pursued, in a voice less steady, "You will also have reverses."
"I expect I shall," observed the youth, lightly.
"Oh! muttered the prophetess; this line broken short off- "
"Foretells other woes ? "
"The worst of all, that you will perish in your blossom."
"Andronica !" sternly interposed the physician, chiding this evil prediction.
"Let her speak cried Tourville. "I do not crave to die old, and I shall
praise Heaven when I am called away, if then I stand sword in hand."
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
That is a laudable thought, Knight; but I hope that you will not take in
earnest the rigmarole with which a Zantese nurse stuffed my daughter's brain."
"I shall always take in earnest whatever the young lady tells me," politely
"You will be highly wrong, and, to put her asserted science to the test,
ask her to tell you what the future holds in store for her."
Great sorrows; then, great gladness, with cruel griefs to follow," rejoined
the Pythoness, without hesitation.
"This time, I do not .subscribe to it," interrupted the youth. Whence
could sorrow come to you? That everybody is your friend is certainly written
in your hand."
"I do not care to have friends, Sir Knight, for I shall live alone."
"That is coming to a decision too early at your age, and I hope you will
think better of it."
"No; friends would only fetter me. If I devoted myself to anything, it
would be to a high aim; I should serve if not save my country, as your Maid
of Orleans did hers "
Tourville was astounded to hear this convent-trained girl speak of the
Deliverer of France, and declare her readiness to act like her. There was
reason for his wonder at her being so exalted when she had no country, since
her family had lived for two hundred years under the yoke of the conquerors
of Greece. His astonishment was not to cease here, for she continued with an
I would I were a man, to free this land from its oppressors; but I am a
woman-still I may serve it by consecrating my life to it. I have dreamed of
one day beholding the hero who is to drive forth the Osmanli tyrants, and I
would sacrifice all to attach myself to him and defend him against his foes.
Oh! I would fight at his side."
"You would be his guardian angel? cried Tourville, glancing askant at
the father, who he expected would intervene to calm the transports of this
But Jani did not breathe a word. The stranger read in his eyes that he
was not far from sharing the enthusiasm. The benevolent surgeon, who so
THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.
devotedly alleviated the Turkish wounded, was a fanatic, ready to die to liberate
Christendom, which was at this time enslaved and overrun by the dread soldiery
of Islam. Still, he did make a sign to his daughter to moderate, and she
abruptly ceased to speak, her beauteous countenance expressing nothing further
than a kind of wearied indifference. It was the air of a somnambulist,
awakened and remembering nothing of what she had done in dreamland.
Tourville took care not to remind her, and her father, perturbed and a little
confused, deemed it a proper moment to rise. His guest had heard but too
much not to understand Andronica's character, and the old man feared that he
might mistake the feelings inspiring the Pearl of Siphnos with this strange
language. After Tourville had respectfully taken leave of the voluntary
recluse, he led him out, but abstained from asking what he thought of her,
and limited himself to saying that he trusted to his honour, at the same time
giving him leave to call again as often as he liked.
Tourville replied that he would be happy to avail himself of the permission,
but that he would not abuse it. He was sincere in so speaking, for Andronica's
outburst had encouraged more than it had enchanted him. Another might
have fancied that her praise of the Champion of the Oppressed was meant for
him, but he was so far from self-conceited that the idea never struck him.
He believed her true in saying that, like him, she loved glory and the
defender of the down-trodden, and, while admiring, he pitied her, for he saw
that she could hardly realize her warlike aspirations.
Where was the hero she sought?
He did not divine that she had found him in her visitor.
The part of guardian angel, which she dreamt of playing, seemed fanciful
to him, and he meditated giving her some good advice on that point.
Nevertheless, she had produced a sharp impression, and he felt drawn
towards one so fair, and yet so grave," as the poet says.
He felt. it would pain him to go away from her, but the parting was
unavoidable. Birth, country, the duties of his profession-all tended to
separate them. Besides, though he had not taken the oath to lead a single
life in his Order, it was clear that a Knight of Malta must fight the enemies
of the Faith with a whole heart. And what a stir at home, if he were seen
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
returning with this Oriental bride 1 The Countess would never smile on this
daughter of an Athenian surgeon, who had enriched himself by amputating
the limbs of pirates! His reason for this latter thought was that he had
caught himself doubting that he should ever meet a handsomer lady, and
one more endowed with gifts for Worthily bearing his title and name.
However, the sailing-hour approached, and that would end his youthful
flights of fancy.
To recover his wits, on leaving Jani, the Knight went down to the water-
side, to see how the ships were getting on as regards repairs. He met
D'Hocquincourt, whom he had not seen for several days, and who wished him
joy-not because he might go to the wars again, for the rover was in no
hurry to quit the island of roses and honey.
Tourville might have objected that, if he laid up in clover too long,
the Barbary Corsairs would despoil the Morean coast, but he only inquired
upon his plans for the next venture; and the other replied flippantly-
"Really, my dear Knight, I must acknowledge that I have not settled on
anything yet. We shall return to the good grounds, near the entrance of the
Adriatic, and I hope that we shall be luckier this time. Cruvillier is wild at
having taken a ship so hammered to pieces that she will hardly sell at Zante,
where he wants to go and offer her. We may meet some plunder-laden bark on
the way-at least, there is as fine a chance of it as on any other course; but, tell
me, would it suit you to sail the old tub ? I would willingly give you the com-
mand, only for the Chevalier d'Artigny having the step by seniority over you."
"I would most freely serve under his orders," Tourville hastened to say.
"I expected no less from your obliging disposition, but I shall be really
glad for your acceptance, from certainty that, with you, the frigate would be
well defended if attacked. I will not keep it back from you that I mean tc
part company with Cruvillier as soon as he is rid of the prize. He is a good
seaman and brave in any pinch, but he is too fond of money. I do not scorn
it, but we are noblemen, not traders, and Cruvillier thinks solely of enriching
himself, without regard to the manner."
I suspected as much."
Suppose I were to tell you that, to procure money, he has conceived an
~k~~"-~_ 5~Y~ Lj J
THE ORIENTAL FEAST.
THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.
abominable plot ? My dear Tourville, he has discovered that there dwells on
this isle-I know not how or where-a Greek girl of marvellous beauty, whom
he has determined to steal away when we sail."
"Fallen in love? An old fellow like him!" mockingly replied the
"No, steal away, I said. She has not captivated him, but he wishes to
capture her, in order to sell her to the Turks, for she is accomplished, and
they will pay a high price at Constantinople for a slave who can sing and
dance to cheer up the Sultan."
"Then the man's a scoundrel! "
An old rogue who has no faith and knows no law! I am not going to
try to convert him to better principles, for it is not worth my while. But I
am going to lay my course so that it will not lie along with his any more.
We must be patient as far as Zante. Now, I will say good-bye, dear Knight.
We are going to beat the marshes for the wild fowl-good sport is promised
me-in the morning, and I would not miss it for the Empire of the Soudan.
Are you still satisfied with Jani? "
One could not be more so. I owe my life to him."
"Ay, he is a skilful man. Take him my compliments, and say he may
expect a few brace of wild ducks."
With this final speech, D'Hocquincourt whirled round on his heel with as
much easy grace as though he were again in the King's private apartments in
the Louvre Palace.
The younger mariner had to resume his way home to Jani's without clearer
intelligence as to the date of their sailing, on account of the replies given by
his superior being so vague. He might have found Cruvillier at the wine
shop, but he did not burn to seek him there, for now, the old sea-roamer filled
him with horror, and he made up his mind to speak to him no more and to
see as little as possible of him.
So the Knight returned to the house, where the good Doctor was awaiting
him, with a surprise in store.
They were to have an Oriental feast in the summer-house with the lovely
Andronica, dining on mutton kabobs (kibaub, Pers.) and Stamboul sweetmeats.
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
This gave him a better chance of making the acquaintance of his host's
daughter. He had come to a right valuation before, at first sight. She had
lofty thoughts, was exempt from affectation, and perfectly outspoken with her
ideas-not her only merit. In the patriot inflamed to exaggeration was also
a learned woman, bright, and with domesticated manners that would not be
out of place in a western housewife. She made no allusion to her talents as
a fortune-teller, and there was no talk again of freeing Greece. All they
MARCOUF AND THE GREEK SERVANTS.
chatted about was the Knight's recent naval deeds, which at length he
consented to relate, and he retired very late, delighted with his enchantress,
and quite confirmed in his good opinion of her.
It was clear that Andronica really loved her country and, moreover,
worshipped her father, to the exclusion of every idea and every prospect of
romantic adventure arising from her patriotic conversation with the Knight;
so that Tourville felt he might freely continue to see her, and did not deprive
himself of this innocent enjoyment.
The repairing of the cruisers still went on, and two weeks, seeming short to
young Hilarion and rather long to Marcouf, passed away; Guillaume had to
THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.
spend his leisure in company with Jani's Greek servants, rough mountaineers,
of whose language the Norman could not make head or tail. He would have
much preferred living on board ship with the sailors, but he did not want to
quit his master, and although the existence was sweet enough, he longed to
have it come to an end.
Tourville was growing fond of the life, though he often felt an impulse to
break off the inclination to inertness, and Andronica did not encourage him in
it, for she knew that he would soon again be warring with the infidels, and
the only hope she expressed was to see him, before long, returning to Siphnos,
again a victor. Perhaps she had other ideas, but she did not mention them,
and Tourville would have been the last one to press her on the subject. He
became attached to her, and began to understand the part of guardian angel
that she dreamt of playing over his life as a man-of-war's man, but which he
had not taken seriously at first. While in action in these seas he might be
fated to see her often.
Why should he not consult her before each cruise for counsel and
encouragement, as the Ancients were wont to consult their oracles ? Men
incessantly exposed to the perils of the ocean are more or less superstitious.
Tourville had a little touch of credulity, and he fancied that the Greek girl's
prayers might protect him amid bullets and in the tornado. It is true that
the predictions she made as regards him were not calculated to give him trust
in the future, as they announced much glory, some reverses, and an untimely
end. With good heart he accepted this horoscope.
In short, he let himself live quietly at Jani's, who increased his kindness in
all ways, and for the sequel of events he resigned himself to Heaven, the hand
which holds all human destinies.
TOURVILLE TO THE RESCUE!
1 ATTERS were at this point when, one day, Captain d'Hocquincourt sent
word to Tourville that the three vessels must get away to sea early
the next day but one, and urged him to be, the same evening, on board of the
prize, of which he was to be the first officer-that is, second in command.
The youth knew that they were ready for sea, but he had not expected so
quickly receiving the sailing order. Only a few hours were left to bid farewell
to his host; but, by an annoying mischance, Jani was from home. He had
been sent for from the other end of the island to see a patient, and might
not be back until late in the evening. Of course, his daughter had not gone
with him; she remained in the kiosk, but the Knight never intruded there in
the hours of the siesta, the time set apart for rest in this hot climate during
So he had to tarry until the sun went down, which would not allow much
space for farewell to his "guardian angel," but he consoled himself with the
thought that partings are the less painful when of the greatest brevity.
Meanwhile, he went aboard, his light luggage carried by Marcouf. On the
prize he found the Knight of Artigny, appointed to command it, who greeted
him heartily. A little afterwards, D'Hocquincourt and Cruvillier came to hail
him as cordially, but while he warmly returned the Knight's welcome, he bore
a very cool front towards the old rover, who had become odious to him since he
knew his abominable intention to steal away a girl for slavery. The hardened
old freebooter did not heed his tokens of scorn.
TO THE RESCUE !
D'Hocquincourt explained to the party what they counted upon performing
during the new voyage.
They would sail to Zante to buy gunpowder and collect tidings about the
pirates. In cannonading the Barbary Corsairs they had used an enormous
quantity; at Siphnos they could not procure any, and they feared running
short. Until the magazines were replenished, the three vessels would shun
AT SUNSET, THE KNIGHT LANDED.
battles and scud away under full sail on spying an enemy, each doing its
best, with the fastest sailer at the lead.
These instructions surprised Tourville, and did not gratify him, for the
Sainte Ampoule and even the Diana's Star were more fleet than the prize, and
in case of a fierce chase, Tourville and his new Captain strongly risked being
sacrificed to ensure the escape of the other frigates. But the sea rule is, Obey
orders though you break owners," and the young Knight did not dispute them.
All Tourville requested was leave on shore for an hour or two in the
evening, promising to come off in the cutter, which would wait after landing
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
him. There was no obstacle about this; and, at sunset, the Knight landed in
the hollow of the harbour, and sauntered along towards the house which he
had quitted a little after noon.
He hoped the master would have returned, as he was sorry to go away
without wishing him good-bye, he had no doubt about finding the young lady
The dwelling was situated at the extremity of the town, rather distant from
the water, on the top of a hill overlooking the port. It was utterly isolated
from other abodes, and surrounded by a vast garden protected solely by
Doctor Jani had many servants, and would surely not have taken them
all along with him on his visit. Consequently, Tourville was startled not to
see any of them guarding the house, of which the doors were wide open. He
walked in, and though he searched all over it, from top to bottom, he could meet
nobody. It looked as if these faithful retainers had taken advantage of their
master's absence to spend the evening in the famous drinking-den favoured by
Cruvillier, and as the Knight had no time to go and hunt them up, he resolved
to pay his respects at the kiosk, without other herald than Andronica's maid, a
Moorish girl, captured in former times by a Maltese rover, and bought by Jani,
whom she had served some ten years. Usually, this slave squatted on cushions
at the kiosk door, mumbling Arabic prayers while she told her beads. But
she was not there this evening.
Tourville called her, with uplifted voice, by her name of "Fatima." No
answer came, and yet her mistress herself should have heard him, as the slight
building was only one storey high, and nothing but a piece of hanging
tapestry closed the entrance of the stairway.
More and more astonished, Tourville mounted the stairs. The room where
the fair Andronica had received him was empty There was enough twilight
on this bright summer's day for him to make sure that she had not gone to
sleep on any of the sofas. No, Andronica had gone hence.
No doubt her absence would be a short one, from everything being in its
place in the parlour, as he knew, having spent pleasant hours in it. The
cushions that she leant upon were heaped upon the divan where she was
TO THE RESCUE!
accustomed to lounge. A small, low table, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, still held
the tiny silver cup, out of which she had taken coffee in the Eastern manner.
Certainly, Andronica would be coming in, after counting the stars enkindled
in the firmament.
Tourville hastened to go down and stroll in the grounds.
Night had completely come, and the silence was profound. He called, but
echo alone replied to him. It seemed as if Jani's residence were abandoned by
It occurred to the Knight that the Doctor might have heard of the frigate's
riding at anchor, and, coming home for his daughter, had taken her out, to spare
her the farewell likely to trouble her excitable brain.
If this were a good guess, there was nothing for Tourville to do but go
his way. Reason prompted it, too; but still, he was in no hurry to leave
the beautiful garden, where he yet hoped to meet, at the turning of some walk,
that good angel whom he would, perhaps, never more behold.
For several instants he wandered, not perceiving that the north-east breeze
had risen and much freshened-the wind that his little fleet desired. A
cannon-shot from the Star roused him from his reverie, he knew it was to
call him on board, and that D'Hocquincourt had decided to profit by this
favouring breeze and to sail forthwith. It would never do to fail this
signal, and Tourville, in hot haste, took the road to the port.
He regretted not having taken leave of his host and daughter, but
duty stood first in the Knight's eyes, and besides, he no longer doubted
the prudent Jani had planned this absence. So he departed, saddened but
resolute, and found the small boat waiting.
On board his own ship, D'Artigny informed him that he had not been mis-
taken. They were to start before dawn. D'Artigny strongly approved this
decision, though he complained of the crew assigned to his command. A
few able men out of the Star had been given him, but they were joined to
hangdog pillagers taken from Cruvillier's ship.
"These cut-throats may play us some scurvy trick," he said to his mate,
"and we must keep a close eye on them."
This was the hearer's own opinion, and he meant to be severe and watchful.
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
Everything betokened, however, that they would not have a long course, for
the wind grew stiffer and kept out of the north-east, so that they would the
sooner double the three southern capes of the Morea, to run up towards Zante
Island, where they should come to an anchor.
An hour before daybreak the frigates were under weigh, all speeding for
Cape Malea, the first point met with on leaving the Cyclades. So strong was the
breeze, that they were sailing under the lower sails alone, with the exception of
the Sainte Ampoule, for Cruvillier kept the topsails out at the risk of carrying
away the spars. The old Corsair must have been in haste to arrive, thus to
expose his vessel to mishap. He carried on so that he was soon out of sight.
Diana's Star sailed less fleetly, but she was not slow to distance the prize,
which lumbered, and finally was left to herself.
The Chevalier d'Artigny, a very good seaman, commanded the working
from the quarter-deck, while Tourville saw to the actual execution, mingling
with the suspected sailors, who had not given any tokens of insubordination
up to the present.
Guillaume Marcouf kept near him, and now and then ventured on a remark.
Tourville had always allowed this license, and, this day, questioned him himself,
to learn his thoughts upon the men with whom he was in closer contact than
Master, the best is only fit for the gallows," he responded, "and we are
at their mercy, for they are more in numbers than our old shipmates. If we
meet the Turks, they are the sort to pair off with them. I cannot understand
their gibberish, but I am sure that they are laying their heads together to
I shall split the skull of the first who looks like disobeying," growled
Tourville through his set teeth; "but they would never dare!"
Not so long as we are not attacked by the foe."
"That will not happen while this wind holds; but we may be cast on
shore, for the sea is tumbling up fearfully."
"It will fall when we are sheltered by the headland thereaway ahead,
which will soon be reached at the rate we are driving. If there are any
pirates hanging about, it is there they will be waiting."
TO THE RESCUE!
"They would be already exchanging shots with the frigates, and we should
hear the cannonade."
"Anyway, I pray that we shall slip along without a mishap. Nothing
will put a stopper on my idea that these robbers are hatching some nasty
scheme. Old Captain Cruvillier came aboard last night."
What are you telling me ?"
"Just the truth, master. You were sleeping in your state-room, and I did
not dare to rouse you, but I saw him as plain as I see your honour. He came
in his own boat, and his mongrels hoisted upon our deck some bales that
they lowered into our main-hold by the hatchway. Nobody was on deck but
the boatswain, who is steering now, and he was in tow with them, for he
said not a word to Captain d'Artigny about it this morning."
"I shall tell him, though. The idea of this Cruvillier transferring
merchandise to us that he probably stole! "
An order from the Captain cut short this dialogue between master and
man. A mismanagement of the rudder had all but capsized the ship. She
hardly recovered, and had to be eased; in other words, so sailed as to offer the
least hold for the wind. It drove her towards Cape Saint-Ange, known to the
ancient Greeks as Cape Malea; this should have been left on their north, to
enter the straits separating the mainland from Cerigo Island.
Perhaps the steersman was a traitor, but he certainly did not wish to
wreck the ship with himself aboard; he knew his art, for he very adroitly
steered the frigate through the shoals seething plentifully in the pass, and though
the wind moderated under the headland, he brought her rapidly to the Elaphonisi
Passage, where a huge rock masks the mouth of one of the Peloponnesian gulfs.
Here they were completely sheltered, and the navigation became less
arduous, so that Tourville was able to leave his station for a minute to confer
with his commander.
But hardly had the frigate rounded the rock before a large ship, bearing
the Turkish flag, barred the passage, and let fly a broadside which went over
the deck. Not a man was struck. This unexpected discharge had been aimed
high, perhaps intentionally, but one of the cannon-balls crushed the unfortunate
D'Artigny on the quarter-deck.
AN OCEAN KNIGHT.
A slight confusion followed. Surprised in the same degree as an honest
man attacked in a wood by robbers, Tourville swiftly recovered, and gauged
the position in a glance.
The old hands from the Star had jumped to their guns, and only awaited
the word to reply. Cruvillier's reprobates, on the other hand, had gathered
around the helmsman, who was bearing the rudder to windward in order to
throw the ship under the enemy's guns.
With a pistol-shot, Tourville dashed the traitor to the deck, and he grasped
the guiding-spokes. Obeying the fresh turn, the vessel fell off so as to present
her side-guns on the foe.
"Fire, lads, and death to all turncoats shouted he.
The helmsman's allies drew back appalled, for the youth wore a shining
face that terrified them, and not one of them dared to raise a hand against him.
"To your guns, knaves 1" continued he, at the moment when the true
men discharged the upper battery.
The rascals obeyed. The Turk replied feebly, for he had expected to see
the Christian strike his flag, and the resistance had taken him unawares.
Tourville, compelled to be saving with his powder, thought at once of
boarding, but he had ample to keep up the fire until the vessels came
together, and he gave his orders accordingly.
Proven in a score of battles, the trusty seamen knew what they had to do.
The gunners reloaded the pieces, while the rest dropped down into the hold to
bring up ammunition.
The new Captain remained at the helm, intending to steer until he had
laid his ship alongside the other. Marcouf had to aid him, for two men were
none too many to move the clumsy wheel of that period.
In the deck before them, between poop and main-mast, opened the hatchway
for bringing up the hand-grenades and loading for the deck-guns, and out of
the gap rose the sounds in the gun-deck, the trampling of the men and the
rolling of the balls.
Hark! d'ye hear that, master?" suddenly inquired Guillaume. "It
sounds like a female voice calling for help."
But Tourville did not trouble to attend to him. He had something better