All the vessels of the Continental

The Ranger and her prizes arrived at Brest at a propitious time, both for the fortunes of Jones and for those of his adopted country as well. The secret treaty of alliance between the confederated colonies and France had been signed on February 6th. The plenipotentiaries from the United States had been publicly received at Versailles on March 23d. On the same day the French ambassador left England, and the English ambassador, Lord Stormont, left France. The fleet of D'Estaing put to sea from Toulon a fortnight later. In two weeks the English fleet followed to American waters. The attempt was made on the part of the French to execute the brilliant strategic plan which Jones had devised, although, of course, the delay had rendered the effort fruitless.

The successful cruise of the Ranger, the rich captures she had made, the daring enterprises she had undertaken, the boldness and audacity of her commander in venturing with a little vessel of such trifling force into the very midst of the three kingdoms, and the brilliancy of his capture of a war vessel of nominally superior, and at least really equal, force, in a fair and open yardarm to yardarm fight, a thing to which the French navy was not accustomed, awakened the greatest admiration, and Paul Jones found himself in that most congenial of positions to him--and to almost any other man--of being the observed of all. On this expedition, his first real opportunity, he had that he possessed an ability to plan, and a courage to carry out his conceptions, which put him in the front rank of the sea officers of his day. With one single vessel, laboring under every disadvantage conceivable, he had done what no European power or combination of powers had been able to accomplish in centuries, with all their resources at command. He had terrorized the whole English seaboard, and filled the United Kingdom with uneasiness and unrest.

The gallant men who had gone before him and accomplished so much with the Reprisal, the Revenge, and the others, had a worthy successor and superior in this little Scots-American, who, as a citizen of the world, in love with humanity, drew his sword for the cause of freedom. The French admired him, the English hated him. The American prisoners immediately felt the effect of his captures by the general amelioration of their unhappy condition, and Franklin at last realized that he had a man at hand upon whom he could depend to further his bold designs. When the news reached America, it was received with great joy, and the Naval Committee and the Congress generally knew they had made no mistake in sending Jones to Europe. The young navy looked to him with hope. His exploits were detailed and amplified in the cafés and on the boulevards of Paris, and were related with even within the sacred confines of the court. He was the hero of the hour.

But there is a homely maxim exemplified by frequent experience that "Fine words butter no parsnips." It was true in this instance undoubtedly, and Jones learned that there was no necessary connection between glory and bread and butter. He was unable to procure actually necessary supplies for his crew. navy went to sea undermanned, ill-provided, and inadequately provisioned, and the ship's purser, as a rule, had no money. The seamen had not received their wages--no money at all, in fact, except that which Jones himself had advanced out of his own pocket. With the sanction of the Marine Committee he had made himself responsible for the regular payment of the wages of the men. His pocket was now empty, the last guineas having been given to the Irish fishermen aforementioned. His own resources were always drawn upon freely for the good of the service and his men; now they were entirely exhausted. His provisions had been consumed, he did not know where to get any more. In addition to his own people he had several prizes and over two hundred who had to be cared for, and who were a healthy and hungry lot.
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