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Spanish Prisoners of War
W. Howells

Page 1 of 18


SPANISH PRISONERS OF WAR 

Certain summers ago our cruisers, the St.  Louis and the Harvard, arrived
at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with sixteen or seventeen hundred Spanish
prisoners from Santiago de Cuba.  They were partly soldiers of the land
forces picked up by our troops in the fights before the city, but by far
the greater part were sailors and marines from Cervera's ill-fated fleet.
I have not much stomach for war, but the poetry of the fact I have stated
made a very potent appeal to me on my literary side, and I did not hold
out against it longer than to let the St.  Louis get away with Cervera to
Annapolis, when only her less dignified captives remained with those of
the Harvard to feed either the vainglory or the pensive curiosity of the
spectator.  Then I went over from our summer colony to Kittery Point, and
got a boat, and sailed out to have a look at these subordinate enemies in
the first hours of their imprisonment. 

I. 

It was an afternoon of the brilliancy known only to an afternoon of the

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