325 335 ——//—— The symetry symmetry of form
attainable in pure fiction can not so
readily be achieved in a narration
^ essentially have having less to do with fable than with
fact. Truth uncompromisingly told
97 will always have its ragged edges;
hence the conclusion of such a
narration is apt to be less finished
that an architectural finial.
How it fared with the
Handsome Sailor during the year
of the Great Mutiny has been
faithfully given . to But tho' properly
the story ends with his life,
something in way of sequel
326 336 will not be amiss. Three brief chapters
will suffice.
Athéiste In the general re-christening
under the Directory of the craft originally
forming the navy of the French monarchy,
the St. Louis line-of-battle ship was
98 named the Atheiste Such a name, like
some other substituted ones in the F
Revolutionary fleet while proclaiming
the infidel audacity of the ruling power
was yet, tho' not so intended to be,
the aptest name, if one consider it, ever
given to a war-ship; far more so indeed
than the Devastation, the Erebus
(the Hell ) and seem similar names
bestowed upon fighting-ships.
327 337 On the return-passage to the English
fleet from the detached cruise during
which occurred the events already recorded,
the Bellipotent fell in with the Atheiste ^ Athéiste
An engagement ensued; during which
Captain Vere in the act of putting
99 his ship alongside the enemy with
a view of to throwing his boarders
on her decks , ^ across her bulwarks was hit by a musket-ball
from a port-hole of the enemy's
main cabin. More than disabled
he dropt dropped to the deck and was
carried below to the same cock-pit
where some of his men already lay.
The senior Lieutenant took command.
Under him the enemy was
328 338 finally captured and though
much crippled was by rare good
fortune successfully taken into
Gibraltar, an English port luckily
not ^ very distant from the scene of the fight.
There, Captain Vere with the rest
100 of the wounded was put ashore. He
lingered for some days, but the end came.
Unhappily he was cut off too early for
the Nile and Trafalgar. The spirit
that spite its philosophic austerity
may yet secretly have indulged in the
most secret of all passions, ambition
of broad fame , never attained to
the fulness of fame.
Not long before death
329 339 while lying under the influence of
that magical drug which soothing
the physical frame mysteriously
operates on the subtler element in
man, he was heard to murmer
words inexplicable to the his
101 attendant —— "Billy Budd, Billy Budd."
That these were not the accents of
remorse, seems would seem clear
from what the attendant said
to the Bellipotent 's senior officer
of marines who as the most reluctant
to x condemn of the membes of the
drum-head court, too well knew
tho' here he kept the knowledge to
himself, who Billy Budd was.