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In peace, competition had become difficult, until the British ship owner cried for war; yet he already felt, without acknowledging it even to himself, that in war he was likely to enjoy little profit or pleasure on the day when the long, low, black hull of the Yankee privateer, with her tapering, bending spars, her long-range guns, and her sharp-faced captain, should appear on the western horizon, and suddenly, at the sight of heavy-lumbering British merchantman, should fling out her white wings of canvas, and fly down on her prey.

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