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was certainly a breach of neutrality; and the french 1806. consul at Norfolk so considered it, by refusing to Sept. acknowledge her late crew as prisoners of war. However, the affair happily passed off in the United States with very little notice.
About a fortnight previously to the destruction of the Impétueux, the Patriote and Eole, each on a different day, arrived in the Chesapeake in a very disabled state, particularly the former. These ships Reafterwards proceeded to Annapolis; where, in a der of little while, they were blockaded by some british french ships of war from Halifax. Eventually, as will be dron, seen, the Patriote reached France; but the Eole, disposwe believe, was taken to pieces in America. The ed of. same fate attended the Valeureuse frigate, who, partially dismasted, had put into the Delaware, and had subsequently removed, for greater security, as high up the river as Philadelphia. The Foudroyant, after undergoing a refit at Havana, set sail on her return to France, and arrived in the road of Brest. The Cassard, the only remaining ship of the french squadron, as soon as the gale had abated, bent her course towards Europe, and reached in safety the port of Rochefort.
A third british squadron had been despatched Squafrom the Channel, for the purpose of intercepting dron of M. Willaumez on his return to France. This squa- Louis. dron was placed under the command of rear-admiral sir Thomas Louis, bart. in the 80-gun ship Canopus, with orders to cruise about 50 leagues to the westward of Belle-Isle. The news of the dispersion of the french squadron, and of the disasters that had subsequently attended it, reached the rear-admiral in the early part of his cruise, and sir Thomas and his squadron forthwith removed to the station off St.Cadiz. We must now pay a short visit to the port of Brest; the fleet cruising off which, since the 22d comof February, when admiral Cornwallis struck his flag, had been under the chief command of the earl Chanof St. Vincent.
Not only had the best of the ships and the bulk of
of stores at
1806. the seamen been taken from the Brest fleet to form Sept.
the two expeditions that had sailed from the road Want in December, 1805, and of whose respective fates we
have already given so full an account, but a serious
deficit had been caused in the stock of stores and Brest. provisions at the port.
Hence the seven or eight line-of-battle ships, that still remained afloat, were not in a condition to go to sea; nor, during the whole of this year, did one of them make even a show of sailing out. However, on the 5th of October, during the temporary absence of the british squadron stationed off the port, the french 74-gun ship Régulus,after nearly a twelvemonth's successful cruise, the principal events of which we shall hereafter relate, got safe in."
Heavy as had been the loss to the french navy at the battle of Trafalgar, it was by no means in so desperate a state as some of the english periodical
writers would have the public believe. Steel, in neous his monthly Navy-list for March in the present year, catives enumerates the number of line-of-battle ships then view of belonging to France at 19: while, with an air of english
triumph, he states the british line-force, including french 50s, at 243 sail. This appears in a small table
entitled, “ Naval Force of Europe ;" and in which France, as a naval power, ranks below Sweden, Denmark, and even Turkey. So far from the statement being correct as relates to France and England, the one possessed, in a state for sea-service and building, more than 53 sail of the line, thus :
Several of the ships here marked down as build- 1806, ing were ready to be launched, and some were ac- Sept. tually afloat. Among the ships of the line which Real Napoléon at the commencement of the war had state ordered to be built, were two at Nantes, one at two Bordeaux, one at Marseille, one at Ostende, and shown. one at Saint-Malo. These have been excluded from the statement, because it is doubtful whether or not they were proceeded upon. In the course of two or three years, every one of the above 21 building ships was actually in commission, and it is believed that, before the close of the year 1806, several other line-of-battle ships, including two or three three-deckers of the class of the Impérial, were laid down in the different ports of the french empire.
Out of the above 53 ships, not one mounted, or was intended to mount, fewer than 74 guns; whereas England, if her 64-gun ships be excluded, possessed, in a state for service and building, but 102 sail of the line. * Nor, with the addition of the 64s, would the number exceed 123. The absurdity of including stationary harbour-ships, hulks, and 50-gun ships, when the total on the opposite side contains no vessels of that description, has already been exposed.+ Even admitting that, in the year 1806, Russia or Spain had about the same number of line-of-battle ships as France, will any one say that, in point of maritime enterprise, physical strength, and means of annoy- France ance, the latter did not rank far above them ? the seHence, so far from the british navy, in March, 1806, naval being to the french navy, in ships of the line, as 12 power. to one, the difference in reality, was but as two to one ; and, so far from France being, at the time referred to, the seventh naval power in Europe, she was, as she long had been, the second.
The command of the british naval forces, on the extensive station of the Mediterranean, was still in
* See Appendix, Annual Abstract No. 14.
1806. the able hands in which we last year left it.* Early Peb. in the month of February vice-admiral lord CollingLord wood, while cruising off Cadiz, received information
that four of the five frigates which, along with other wood ships of the late discomfited franco-spanish fleet, had off Ca- sought refuge in the port after the battle of Trafal
gar, were ready for sea, and intended to sail the
keep a watchful eye upon any vessels sailing from it. Escape
On the 23d of February a strong easterly wind of four began to blow, and by the 26th had driven the brifrigates tish squadron as far to the westward as Cape Sta... and a Maria. Informed of this by the signal posts along brig.
the coast, M. La Marre-la-Meillerie, on the same
and brig, captain Mundy intending to steer 'a parallel course, to watch their by Hy
manoeuvres. At 11 P. M., observing that the french
in chief, and, with the Hydra alone, gallantly con-
of the french commodore having altered his course 1806. a point to the westward, the british captain found Feb. that he had considerably neared the squadron, par- Gallant ticularly the brig, which was at some distance astern con: of the frigates. The object now was, to cut off this captain brig; and at length, after a two hours' further Mundy chase, the Hydra overtook her. The Furet, mounting 18 long 8-pounders, with a complement of 130 men, commanded by lieutenant de vaisseau PierreAntoine-Toussaint Demai, and victualled for a five Capmonths' cruise, fired a broadside 6
pour l'honneur de pavillon,” and hauled down her colours. Apparently unmoved by this circumstance, M. La Marrela-Meillerie permitted the british frigate to carry off her prize, and, with his four french frigates, continued his route to the westward.
In the course of the summer the whole of the five State of french two-deckers, that had escaped from the battle and of Trafalgar, appear to have got themselves re- spanish paired and in readiness to put to sea, under vice- Cadiz, admiral Rosily. The Spaniards also succeeded in &c. getting ready one three-decker and five or six twodeckers; making a total of 11 or 12 sail of the line in Cadiz alone. In Carthagena lay ready for sea eight spanish sail of the line, including two threedeckers. In Toulon there were three french twodeckers, and two or three frigates, also ready; besides one or two sail of the line in ports of Venice, fitting. Whether it was that a want of concert existed among the allies, that Napoléon was too much occupied with his army to chalk out a plan of operations, or that the scenes of the 21st of October, 1805, had made too deep an impression to be so soon obliterated, the year 1806, in respect to the movements of the enemy's fleets within the limits of lord Collingwood's command, was one of compara
Although the waters of the Mediterranean had ente in been cleared of the fleets of tha french emperor, his the Me armies were still tyrannizing over the inhabitants of rancan.