Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 4.djvu/37

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CHAPTER II

For the first time in their history the people of the United States learned, in June, 1807, the feeling of a true national emotion. Hitherto every public passion had been more or less partial and one-sided; even the death of Washington had been ostentatiously mourned in the interests and to the profit of party: but the outrage committed on the "Chesapeake" stung through hide-bound prejudices, and made democrat and aristocrat writhe alike. The brand seethed and hissed like the glowing olive-stake of Ulysses in the Cyclops' eye, until the whole American people, like Cyclops, roared with pain and stood frantic on the shore, hurling abuse at their enemy, who taunted them from his safe ships. The mob at Norfolk, furious at the sight of their dead and wounded comrades from the "Chesapeake," ran riot, and in the want of a better object of attack destroyed the water-casks of the British squadron. July 29 the town forbade communication with the ships in Lynnhaven Bay, which caused Captain Douglas to write to the Mayor of Norfolk a letter much in the tone of Admiral Berkeley.