John Paul Jones: Man of Action

By Phillips Russell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVIII
The New Ship

There passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, and glazed each eye.
A weary time! A weary time!
How glazed each weary eye,
When looking westward, I beheld
A something in the sky.


I

AS soon as Jones gained the time to go up to Paris, he found himself the centre of an admiring circle. That an English ship of war should be defeated by an inferior vessel was extraordinary enough, but that it should be captured and taken intact into port as a prize -- that was a sensation indeed. "The taking of the Drake was universally regarded here as an unequalled exploit," Jones proudly wrote to Hewes, "and it opened the eyes of the French to a fact they had considered out of the question, namely, that an English man­ of-war could be forced to strike to a ship of inferior force."

Jones now began to meet influential people, chiefly at Franklin's home. Among them was the Duke of Chartres, and, what was more important to his later career -- the Duchess.

"The Duc de Chartres has shown me sundry attentions," wrote Jones joyfully to Franklin, "and expressed his inclination to facilitate my obtaining the ship built at Amsterdam." About the same time Jones wrote in his Journal that "by his personal credit with Count d'Orvilliers, the Duc de Chartres, and his Intendant of Brest, he fed his people and prisoners

-116-

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