Page:Confederate Portraits.djvu/290

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246 CONFEDERATE PORTRAITS

by officers and crew. I quote from the New York " Her- ald" of October 17, 1862 : "Captain Hagar says that, however much Semmes may have had the appearance of a gentleman when an officer of the United States Navy, he has entirely changed now. He sports a huge mustache, the ends of which are waxed in a manner to throw that of Victor Emmanuel entirely into the shade, and it is evident that it occupies much of his at- tention. His steward waxes it every day carefully, and so prominent is it that the sailors of the Alabama call him * Old Beeswax.' His whole appearance is that of a corsair, and the transformation appears to be complete from Commander Raphael Semmes, U.S.N., to a combi- nation of Lafitte, Kidd, and Gibbs, the three most noted pirates the world has ever known."

So, you see, I can cherish a watery image of my pi- rate, after all. And if the words attributed to him by his near friend, Maffitt, on the sinking of his ship, are genu- ine, neither Cleveland nor the Red Rover could have struck an attitude or phrased an exit more effectively.

  • ' Raising his sword with affectionate solicitude, he gently

placed it on the binnacle, sorrowfully exclaiming, * Rest thee, excalibur, thy grave is with the Alabama.' " ^^

Excalibur! oh I

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