Mahan: The Life and Work of Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, U.S.N.

By W. D. Puleston | Go to book overview

Chapter VII European Tour Marriage

HE had planned his return itinerary with great care. In order to see Europe properly he obtained six months' leave, to be taken on the voyage home. On the steamer from Yokohama to Hong Kong he met a very intelligent Parsee merchant who advised him to include India in his tour, so he modified his plans in order to visit Britain's imperial dependency. He took passage on the S.S. Glencartney, touched at Singapore, and arrived in Calcutta early in November. The railway from Calcutta to Bombay was not quite completed, and he had to take to the post road in the interior. He managed to visit Lucknow and Delhi on his circuitous route to Bombay and was shown around Lucknow by a British army officer who had participated in the siege during the Sepoy rebellion.

He had seen Aden and the Red Sea ports very thoroughly on his way to China, so he next took passage for Suez. Passing through the Suez Canal within a month of its formal opening, he arrived at Marseilles on December 17. The U.S.S. Juniata was in harbor; going aboard to gather the latest naval gossip, he learned that the frigate Sabine to which his brother Dennis, recently graduated from Annapolis, was attached, was at Nice. He therefore delayed his visit to Paris and went to Nice. There he found his brother and also the lady to whom he had been devoted since his duty in Newport in 1862. Her husband had recently died. She was free. Mahan's infatuation instantly revived. He wroke Ashe, "I skill find myself incapable of imagining anyone equal to her in lovableness and fascination." He attributed his "disastrous constancy" to the fact that he had "only once found perfect or nearly perfect

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