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Then, at last, judging from the respective positions of the two fleets that our superior speed must certainly frustrate any further attempt at escape on the part of the enemy, up went the longed-for signal for us to swerve round and give chase. This manoeuvre of ours was the signal for another shift of helm on the part of the Russians.

In the dispersal of the two fleets that followed the gale, each of these crippled vessels, on the evening of the 13th, encountered singly a British 50-gun ship; the Languedoc being attacked by the Renown, and the Marseillais by the Preston.

Decrees to that effect were soon issued, under very heavy penalties, by the States-General to the citizens of the republic and to the world at large. It was natural therefore that the English traders should hail the appearance of the Dutch fleets with much less enthusiasm than was shown by the King of Ternate.

It was maintained by Italian publicists that the Italian fleet had fought with the fleets of France and England on several occasions against the Turks. It was pointed out that that fleet was on continual patrol duty in the Mediterranean with those of the Allies.

The maritime cities of Greece sent their respective quotas of men and ships to the celebrated harbor of Piræus, and their united forces consisted of no more than two hundred small vessels a very feeble armament, if it is compared with those formidable fleets which were equipped and maintained by the republic of Athens during the Peloponnesian war.

Its commercial towns, again, were not exposed on the open sea to the attacks of pirates or hostile fleets, but were safely ensconced in inland flats, reached by rivers or canals, almost inaccessible to maritime enemies. Similar conditions elsewhere early ensured peace and prosperity for Venice. In so flat a country, locks are all but unnecessary.

The great ship channel, with the unconquered Half-moon upon one side and the incomplete batteries and platforms of Bucquoy on the other, still defiantly opened its passage to the sea, and the retiring fleets of the garrison were white in the offing.

Among the events of this age, which had great influence on the worship and the representations of the Madonna, I must place the battle of Lepanto, in 1571, in which the combined fleets of Christendom, led by Don Juan of Austria, achieved a memorable victory over the Turks. This victory was attributed by Pope Pius V. to the especial interposition of the Blessed Virgin.

Charles, on his part, after the most insulting treatment of the ambassadors sent to London, required, among other terms, that the Dutch should give up the honor of the flag without reserve, whole fleets being expected, even on the coasts of Holland, to lower their topsails to the smallest ship under British colors; that the Dutch should pay one million pounds sterling toward the charges of the war, and ten thousand pounds a year for permission to fish in the British seas; that they should share the Indian trade with the English; and that Walcheren and several other islands should be put into the king's hands as security for the performance of the articles.

Merchants arriving at the different Indian ports would often find that their own countrymen had been too quick for them, and that other fleets had got the wind out of their sails, that the eastern markets had been stripped, and that prices had gone up to a ruinous height, while on the other hand, in the Dutch cities, nutmegs and cinnamon, brocades and indigo, were as plentiful as red herrings.