John Paul Jones: Man of Action

By Phillips Russell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
Who Was the Sailor's Sweetheart ?

The bride hath paced into the hall, Red as a rose is she; Nodding their heads before her goes The merry minstrelsy.

IN one of Jones's own letters appears a reference to a yet more mysterious phase of this buried period of his life. In the midst of his sea-raids he wrote to the Countess of Selkirk:

"Before this War began I had at an early time of Life, withdrawn from the sea service, in favor of 'calm contemplation and poetic ease.' I have sacrificed not only my favorite scheme of Life, but the softer affections of the Heart, and my prospects of Domestic Happiness."

Other references of the same kind in Jones's letters and sayings make it evident that about this time he was wounded in a very tender place, and since he never married it may be assumed that the wound was serious. Some confirmation is lent by what is called the Edinburgh biography of 1830, which remarks that he "formed an attachment for an American lady. Their affection was mutual, but circumstances forbade their union, and from this time he formed the resolution of never marrying.

A few years later when the then Commodore was basking in the shining admiration bestowed on him in France, a Mademoiselle de Menon approached him and asked if he had ever been wounded.

-44-

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