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Thousands of their sailors looked down from the decks and laughed; Thousands of their soldiers made mock at the mad little craft Running on and on till delayed By the mountain-like San Philip that, of fifteen hundred tons, And towering high above us with her yawning tiers of guns, Took the breath from our sails, and we stayed. The soft, lingering voice threw the words at us with a thrill and a leap forward, just us the Revenge was carrying us with long bounds, over the shining sea. We were spinning easily now, under a steady light wind, and Cary, his hand on the rudder, was opposite me. He turned with a start as the girl began Tennyson's lines, and his shining dark eyes stared up at her. "Do you know that?" he said, forgetting the civil "Miss" in his earnestness. "Do I know it? Indeed I do!" cried Sally from her swinging rostrum. "Do you know it, too? I love it--I love every word of it--listen," And I, who knew her good memory, and the spell that the music of a noble poem cast over her, settled myself with resignation. I was quite sure that, short of throwing her overboard, she would recite that poem from beginning to end. And she did. Her skirts and her hair blowing, her eyes full of the glory of that old "forlorn hope," gazing out past us to the seas that had borne the hero, she said it. At Flores in the Azores, Sir Richard Grenville lay, And a pinnace, like a frightened bird, came flying from far away; Spanish ships of war at sea, we have sighted fifty-three! Then up spake Sir Thomas Howard "'Fore God, I am no coward"-- She went on and on with the brave, beautiful story. How Sir Thomas would not throw away his six ships of the line in a hopeless fight against fifty-three; how yet Sir Richard, in the Revenge, would not leave behind his "ninety men and more, who were lying sick ashore"; how at last Sir Thomas sailed away With five ships of war that day Till they melted like a cloud in the silent summer heaven, But Sir Richard bore in hand All his sick men from the land, Very carefully and slow, Men of Bideford in Devon-- And he laid them on the ballast down below; And they blessed him in their pain That they were not left to Spain, To the thumbscrew and the stake, for the glory of the Lord. The boat sailed softly, steadily now, as if it would not jar the rhythm of the voice telling, with soft inflections, with long, rushing meter, the story of that other Revenge, of the men who had gone from these shores, under the great Sir Richard, to that glorious death. And the sun went down, and the stars came out far over the summer sea, And not one moment ceased the fight of the one and the fifty-three. Ship after ship, the whole night long, their high-built galleons came; Ship after ship, the whole night long, with their battle thunder and flame; Ship after ship, the whole night long, drew back with her dead and her shame; For some they sunk, and many they shattered so they could fight no more. God of battles! Was ever a battle like this in the world before? As I listened, though I knew the words almost, by heart too, my eyes filled with tears and my soul with the desire to have been there, to have fought as they did, on the little Revenge one after another of the great Spanish ships, till at last the Revenge was riddled and helpless, and Sir Richard called to the master-gunner to sink the ship for him, but the men rebelled, and the Spaniards took what was left of ship and fighters. And Sir Richard, mortally wounded, was carried on board the flagship of his enemies, and died there, in his glory, while the captains --praised him to his face. With their courtly Spanish grace. So died, never man more greatly, Sir Richard Grenville, of Stow in Devon. The crimson and gold of sunset were streaming across the water as she ended, and we sat silent. The sailor's face was grim, as men's faces are when they are deeply stirred, but in his dark eyes burned an intensity that reserve could not bold back, and as he still stared at the girl a look shot from them that startled me like speech. She did not notice. She was shaken with the passion of the words she had repeated, and suddenly, through the sunlit, rippling silence, she spoke again. "It's a great thing to be a Devonshire sailor," she said, solemnly. "A wonderful inheritance--it ought never to be forgotten. And as for that man--that Sir Richard Grenville Leigh--he ought to carry his name so high that nothing low or small could ever touch it. He ought never to think a thought that is not brave and fine and generous." There was a moment's stillness and then I said, "Sally, my child, it seems to me you are laying down the law a little freely for Devonshire. You have only been here four days." And in a second she was on her usual gay terms with the world again. "A great preacher was wasted in me," she said. "How I could have thundered at everybody else about their sins! Cousin Mary, I'm coming down--I'm all battered, knocking against the must, and the little trimmings hurt my hands." Cary did not smile. His face was repressed and expressionless and in it was a look that I did not understand. He turned soberly to his rudder and across the broken gold and silver of the water the boat drew in to shadowy Clovelly.