186 DRAMATIC MOMENTS
the sea, to lift the blockade of the Southern ports, and to bombard the Bowery into sub- mission and tribute.
In them lay new heart and life for the starv- ing Confederacy. They meant guns and ammunition for Longstreet's deadly riflemen. They meant murderous food for Pendle- ton's batteries, shoes and blankets for a desti- tute soldiery, and three-course dinners for a gaunt population. Far worse than this: for they carried with them the panic of dangers strange and unfamiliar. Their successful op- eration would give the eager Emperor of France the encouragement and opportunity he was panting for — to recognize, if not join, the Confederacy.
Verily, circumstances alter cases. In 1776 a rebellious army in the United States had sought and obtained comfort and support from a Bourbon prince, in defiance of all rules of neutrality. And John Paul Jones in French ports had acquired the swift hulls and salt- petre which struck such a blow at the pride of���