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flag-ship, and showing, by an almost paternal kindness, his recollection of his early obligation.
It was now Pellew's good fortune to get into a better school-at least of manners and morals. Captain Pownoll, an officer of great professional merit and polished habits, received him into the Blonde.
• Captain Pownoll soon appreciated the merit and promise of his midshipman, who returned his kindness with almost the affection of a son. Such mutual confidence and attachment between a captain and a midshipman has very rarely been met with; and it was peculiarly fortunate for Mr. Pellew, that his quick and determined character, which, with a judgment not yet matured by experience, might have carried him into mistakes, found a guide so kind and judicious as Captain Pownoll.
* Active beyond his companions, Mr. Pellew did the ship's duty with a smartness which none of them could equal; and as every one takes pleasure where he excels, he had soon become a thorough seaman. At the same time, the buoyancy of youth, and a naturally playful disposition, led him continually into feats of more than common daring. In the spring of 1775, General Burgoyne took his passage to America in the Blonde, and when he came alongside, the yards were manned to receive him. Looking up, he was surprised to see a midshipman on the yard-arm standing on his head. Captain Pownoll, who was at his side, soon quieted his apprehensions, by assuring him that it was only one of the usual frolics of young Pellew, and that the General might make himself quite at ease for his safety, for that if he should fall, he would only go under the ship's bottom, and come up on the other side. What on this occasion was probably spoken but in jest, was afterwards more than realized: for he actually sprang from the fore-yard of the Blonde, while she was going fast through the water, and saved a man who had fallen overboard. Captain Pownoll reproached him for his rashness, but he shed tears when he spoke of it to the officers, and declared that Pellew was a noble fellow.'—p. 10–12.
This is the first of the many instances in which Pellew distinguished himself-above any officer we have heard of—by his couage, skill, and humanity in saving the lives of his fellow-creatures. In each of these qualities Pellew had amongst his brother officers an abundance of rivals, but in him they happened to be combined in a reinarkable degree. There is in the hearts of we believe the majority of mankind-certainly of British sailors--an instinctive enthusiasm of humanity which prompts them to endeavour, at their own risk, to save a fellow-creature; and besides this instinct, such an attempt is in itself so glorious a distinction, and the successful result is so gratifying to all the noblest feelings of our nature, that on board a British man-of-war such feats require rather to be repressed than encouraged.* Frequent and lamentable are the instances in which inconsiderate impulses of this nature have occa
* See the admirable chapter entitled • A Man Overboard,' in Captain Basil Hall's Fragments.
sioned double calamities. Those whose courage prompts them to jump overboard should, in a well-disciplined ship, be early taught that there is a rarer and higher, though less brilliant quality-presence of mind-which enables its fortunate possessors to appreciate, in the twinkling of an eye, the circumstances and contingencies of the case. Nor are mere spirit and coolness sufficient to form such an opinion; the probabilities of success must depend not merely on the personal powers of the individual, but on a vast variety of what we may call technical circumstances, of which none but what is emphatically called a thorough seaman can make an adequate estimate. Such a seaman was Pellew; and great as were his courage and his strength, and though he was in the sea
" Like a creature native and endued
Unto that elementyet it is the skill and judgment which he was wont to exercise on such occasions that we should chiefly inculcate as examples of imitation; and there was, as we shall see by and by, one instance at least, in which even his skill and judgment failed him.
In furtherance of the operations which Sir Guy Carleton, the commander-in-chief, was now carrying on against the American insurgents, it became expedient to have a flotilla on Lake Champlain and its waters. A detachment from the Blonde,* under a sieutenant and a senior midshipman, were ordered on this service. Pellew, at his earnest entreaty, was—fortunately--added to the party.
Mr. Osler swells out his book with much more of the details of this campaign than can possibly belong to the history of young Pellew. We shall only say that, by most extraordinary skill and exertions, under the superintendence of Lieutenant (afterwards Admiral) Schanck, an officer of great mechanical ingenuity, a little feet was created on the inland waters—the keel and toor timbers of a ship of three hundred tons which had been laid at Quebec were taken to pieces and conveyed to the lake-and • Here, on the morning of the 2d of September, the Inflexible was again laid down, and by sunset all her former parts were put together, and a considerable quantity of additional timbers were prepared for her. The progress of the work was like magic. Trees growing in the forest in the morning would form part of the ship before night. She was launched in twenty-eight days from laying her keel, and sailed next evening, armed with eighteen twelve-pounders, and fully equipped for service.'—p. 16.
Two schooners and twenty-six other vessels and boats were equipped with equal celerity. The Blonde's party manned one of
* Mr. Osler does not state the amount of the detachment-we have heard that it consisted of abuut 60 men.
the the schooners—the Carleton. In the first action, both his superior officers being wounded and disabled, Pellew succeeded to the command, and distinguished himself by that union of gallantry and seamanship which characterized his whole career. 'In attempting to go-about, being close to the shore covered with the enemy's marksmen, the Carleton hung in stays, and Pellew, not regarding the danger of making himself so conspicuous, sprang out on the bowsprit to push the jib over: some of the gun-boats now took her in tow—but so thick and heavy was the enemy's fire, that the towrope was cut with a shot. Pellew ordered some one to go and secure it, but seeing all hesitate—for indeed it looked like a deathservice-he ran forward and did it himself.'—p. 18.
This, in the lad's first action, is a striking exemplification of the homely but emphatic panegyric long after pronounced on him by the sailors, that “The captain never desired any man to do what he was not able and ready to do himself. His conduct in this whole affair was so much beyond his years and station as to attract extraordinary notice. Sir Charles Douglas, Commodore in the St. Lawrence, wrote to him to say that his' behaviour on board the Carleton, in the different actions on the lakes, gave him the warmest satisfaction, and that he would not fail to represent his gallantry in the strongest terms to Lord Howe, the Commander-inChief, and Lord Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty, as deserving of promotion.' Lord Howe immediately expressed his approbation, and promised him a lieutenant's commission whenever he might join the tlag—the compliment of a voluntary letter from the First Lord of the Admiralty was more unusual.
• Admiralty Office, London, Jan. 5, 1777. • Sir, -You have been spoken of to me by Sir Charles Douglas and Captain Philemon Pownoll, for your good conduct in the various services upon Lake Champlain, in so handsome a manner, that I shall receive pleasure in promoting you to the rank of lieutenant whenever you come to England; but it is impossible to send you a commission where you now are, it being out of the jurisdiction of the Admiralty.
Sandwich.' The natural anxiety to obtain the rank thus nobly earned did not, however, induce Pellew to quit the anomalous but arduous service in which he was engaged. He was now attached to the army unluckily confided to the presumptuous Burgoyne. Mr. Osler gives, in considerable detail, the events of that gallant but unfortunate expedition, which ended in Burgoyne's surrender. The flotilla kept with the army as far as the navigation extended; but when it advanced overland to the Hudson, Pellew was selected to accompany it with a body of seamen, and in the operations along the Hudson he certainly prolonged Burgoyne's chances of escape by his courage and technical resources. In the calamity of the reverse of the 7th October Pellew had more than a common share. His brother John—who, at the age of seventeen, had already become aide-de-camp to General Phillips—was among the dead. In Burgoyne's attempt to retreat, the enemy, having a superiority on the river, attacked and carried the English bateaux, and particularly a vessel which contained the small store of provisions for the army. This loss would have deprived it o. its last hope, but Pellew, at the head of his sailors, attacked and recaptured her.
The inevitable injustice of general history overlooks such subordinate affairs, and, on the other hand, we know but too well that vanity and partiality often take an exaggerated view of individual achievement; but the value of Pellew's services on this trying occasion is preserved from oblivion by the incontestable evidence of the following letter, written by the Commander-in-chief of the army to his young auxiliary-a Midshipman of twenty..
• Dear Sir,-It was with infinite pleasure that General Phillips and myself observed the gallantry and address with which you conducted your attack upon the provision-vessel in the hands of the enemy. The gallantry of your little party was deserving of the success which attended it ; and I send you my sincere thanks, together with those of the Army, for the important service you have rendered them upon this occasion.
'John Burgoyne.' Nor was this all : as matters grew more desperate, Burgoyne assembled a council of his principal officers, amongst whom was included Mr. Pellew, as commanding the brigade of seamen ; and, Mr. Osler justly remarks, no more decisive testimony of his services, and of the confidence which he inspired, could be afforded than the unprecedented compliment of calling a midshipman, only twenty years of age, to sit in council with generals on such a vital question.' Pellew, as the youngest officer present,'--one of the youngest probably, since his brother's death, in the whole camp, ' was required to offer his opinion the first. He pleaded that he and his own little party might not be included in the capitulation, but permitted to make their own way back. He had never heard of sailors capitulating, and was confident he could bring them off, and that without any reflection on the army. Soldiers are accustomed to act only in orderly masses, but sailors, in a peculiar degree, combine with discipline individual enterprise. Mr. Pellew's party had acted as pioneers and artificers to the army during its advance, and their knowledge and resources would have given them great facilities in making their way in a small body; but their escape would have cast a very undeserved discredit on the army; and the proposal was very pro perly discountenanced.'—p. 39. Burgoyne paid him the final compliment of sending him home with his dispatches; and Sir Guy Carleton, to the former testimonials of Pellew's extraordinary merit which we have quoted, added the following letter to Lord Sandwich :
· Quebec, November 2, 1777. My Lord,—This will be presented to your lordship by Mr. Edward Pellew, a young man to whose gallantry and merit during two severe campaigns in this country I cannot do justice. He is just now returned to me from Saratoga, having shared the fate of that unfortunate army, and is on his way to England. I beg leave to recommend him to your lordship as worthy of a commission in his Majesty's service for his good conduct.
• Guy CARLETON.' He came home in a transport, which was chased by an enemy's cruiser. Pellew, who had hitherto been only a passenger, now insisted on taking the command, and tighting the ship. He did so, engaged and beat off the privateer; and so concluded a series of services, which, considering the youth and subordinate station of the officer, the strangeness of the occasions, the paucity of bis force, and the combined gallantry and prudence by which he obtained the unanimous approbation of the army and the navy, was, as Mr. Osler says, unprecedented, and we believe we may add-remains unparalleled. We heartily wish that Mr. Osler, instead of many pages dedicated to General Burgoyne's strategics, which have no kind of relation to Mr. Pellew and which we had already in the Annual Register—had been enabled to give us some more particulars and details of the personal services of the extraordinary young man. It is not enough to say "Mr. Pellew threw a bridge across the Hudson'- Mr. Pellew and his party recaptured a victualler."* In order to understand the value, or at least the merit, of the exploit, we should know with what means this youth constructed the bridge—with what force he recaptured the vessel and why, in a river whose banks were occupied by hostile armies, he and his little band of seamen were by one side employed, and by the other not defeated, in executing those important services.
Pellew now received his lieutenant's commission, but was appointed to a guard-ship-the convention of Saratoga preventing bis active employment. Mr. Osler states Pellew's impatience of this restraint, but does not mention how it was removed : we find bim, however, in 1777, lieutenant of the Licorne, where he had the good fortune to distinguish himself in an action with two of the enemy's cruisers. He soon after rejoined his old friend, Captain Pownoll, now of the Apollo, whose regard managed to secure for
* We have heard from an old officer that the re-capture of the victualler was not only a most critical relief, but a most daring and almost desperate exploit. She was carried by boarding, and taken in tow by our people—the tow-rope was twice shot away, and twice replaced by Pellew's swimming with it on board under the enemy's fire.