The Views of One

Ambrose Bierce

San Francisco Examiner/October 24, 1905

IF Admiral Dewey is so confident that the high officers of our navy are too old for efficient service somebody should invite his attention to what one of them, who had not been born the day before, did in Manila Bay. The enemy’s ships had been wound with ropes to keep them from falling apart—which was a low-down trick—but the “elderly naval man” in command of our fleet ordered his gunners to fire at the ropes. His callowest lieutenant could not have done better than that.


Strange ruler—seeking in a summer sea

A port from ice and interference free,

And sacrificing, to secure that blessing,

All (and much more) that made it worth possessing.


Monarch exemplary! Whose private worth

Drove the embattled foemen from the earth,

When diplomatic enemies assail,

Your formidable virtues all turn tail!


Now with the Japanese in firm alliance

You bid the Russian Bear a stern defiance—

That is to say, when they’ve knocked out his brains

You fling your fearless hoofs at the remains.

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