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must now be clear, from the Amelia's damaged state, 1913. that captain Bouvet was mistaken when he said, that Feb. she crowded sail to get away: it is much more probable, as requiring no other effort than shifting the helm, that the Aréthuse, as captain Irby states,
Viewing the relative effectiveness of the two Probacrews, one debilitated by sickness, the other, as that admitted, in the full vigour of health ; considering Arethat, although both frigates sustained an almost un- would paralleled loss of officers, the captain of one of them have only was obliged to give up the command; consider-sucing, also, the difference in the numerical loss, 141 cessful. and 105, a difference mainly attributable, no doubt, to the fatigued state of the Amelia's crew at the latter part of the action; we should say, that the Aréthuse, had she persevered, or could she, being to-leeward, have done so, would, in all probability, have taken the british frigate. In saying this, we are far from placing every french 40-gun frigate upon a par with the Aréthuse: she was excellently manned, and was commanded by one of the best officers in the french navy. The chief part of the crew of the Aréthuse may, it is true, have been conscripts; but, then, they were the conscripts of the year 1807, and were under an officer capable, if any officer was so, of making them good seamen.
With respect to captain Irby, his critical situation, Gallant without reference to the state of his crew, must not viour be overlooked. The Amelia commenced, gallantly of capa commenced, the action, under the impression that Irby. another french frigate, also equal in force to herself, was, although out of sight, at no great distance off. If, then, there was a probability of the approach of the Rubis when the action began, how must that probability have been heightened after the action had lasted three hours and a half, both ships remaining nearly stationary the whole time, and the wind, when it afterwards sprang up, drawing from the eastward, the direction in which the Rubis had been last seen?
1913. In addition to all this, the Amelia had on board a
considerable quantity of gold dust, belonging to merchants in England. Upon the whole, therefore, both frigates behaved most bravely; and, although he had no trophy to show, each captain did more to support the character of his nation, than many an officer who has been decorated with the chaplet of victory
Previously to quitting the action of the Amelia to the and Aréthuse, we would request the boasters in the
United States of America to compare the execution here done by an 18-pounder french frigate, with the best performance of one of their huge 24-pounder frigates; bearing in mind, that it was done against an opponent, not only equal to herself in force, but equally able to manoeuvre by the possession of her masts; that it was done in a fair side-to-side action, neither frigate, during the three hours and a half's engagement, having had an opportunity to give one raking fire. It will, no doubt, also strike commodores Decatur and Bainbridge, that, so far from constantly evading the close assaults of his antagonist, captain Bouvet remained nearly in the same position from the commencement of the battle to its termination.
Both frigates found ample employment, during the
remainder of the night, in clearing their decks of Eng- dead and wounded, and in securing their damaged land. masts. At daylight on the 8th they were about five
miles apart, the Aréthuse to the eastward of the Anelia, and both nearly becalmed. On a light breeze springing up, the Amelia, having bent a new foresail and fore topsail, made sail before it to the southward, on her way to Madeira and England; and the Aréthuse stood back to Isle de Los, to see what had become of captain Ollivier and his people. On the morning of the 10th the Aréthuse was joined by the Serra, with the late crew of the Rubis, stated then to consist of 300 men.
Taking half the number on board his frigate, captain Bouvet, with the Serra in tow, steered for
France. On reaching the latitude of Madeira, how- 1813. ever, captain Bouvet removed every man out of the Serra, and destroyed her, as she retarded the Aréthuse in her voyage. On the 18th of March, in sails latitude 33° 30' north, longitude 40° west, the french France frigate fell in with and boarded the Mercury and and another cartel, having on board the surviving officers at St.and crew of the late british frigate Java; and on the Malo. 19th of April, after having made in the whole about 15 prizes, the Aréthuse anchored in Saint-Malo ; as on the 22d of the preceding month had the Amelia at Spithead.
Another pair of french 40-gun frigates had been Cruise nearly the same route as the Aréthuse and Rubis, tense but, during a two months and a half's cruise, had and not encountered a single hostile vessel of war. The Hortense and Elbe, captains Pierre-Nicolas Lahalle and Jules Desrostours, sailed from Bordeaux on the 7th of December, 1812; and, steering for the coast of Africa, anchored on the 4th of January between the Bissagot islands, a little to the northward of Sierra-Leone. They sailed soon afterwards, cruised a short time off the Azores, and on the 15th of February succeeded in entering Brest.
Wbile, in the early part of December, 1812, Bonnethe United States' frigate Constitution, commodore enne Bainbridge, and ship-sloop Hornet, of eighteen 32- arrives poundercarronades and two long 12-pounders,captain SalvaJames Lawrence, were waiting at St.-Salvador to be joined by the Essex,* an occurrence happened, which down." the characteristic cunning of Americans turned greatly to their advantage. In the middle of November the british 20-gun ship Bonne-Citoyenne, of eighteen 32pounder carronades and two long 9-pounders, captain Pitt Barnaby Greene, having, while coming from Rio-de-la-Plata, with half a million sterling on board, damaged herself greatly by running on shore, entered the port of St.-Salvador, to land her cargo and be hove down.
* See p. 199.
dor and is hove
When the ship was keel-out, the two american March. ships arrived in the port. The american consul and Chal. the two american commanders now laid their heads lenge together, to contrive something which, without percaptain sonal risk to any one of the three, should contribute Law- to the renown of their common country. What so to cap- likely as a challenge to captain Greene? It could
not be accepted; and then the refusal would be as good as a victory to captain Lawrence. Accordingly, a challenge for the Hornet to meet the Bonne-Citoyenne was offered by captain Lawrence, through the american consul, to the british consul, Mr. Frederick Landeman; commodore Bainbridge pledging his
honour to be out of the way, or not to interfere. Capt. Without making the unpleasant avowal, that his refuses government, upon this occasion, had reduced the ves
sel he commanded from a king's cruiser to a merchant ship, captain Greene transmitted, through the consular channel, an animated reply; refusing a meeting,
upon terms so manifestly disadvantageous as those proposed by commodore Bainbridge.” Indeed, it would appear, as if the commodore had purposely inserted the words, “or not interfering,” lest cap . tain Greene, contrary to his expectation, should accept the challenge. For, had the two ships met by agreement, engaged, the Constitution 'looked
on without interfering, and the british ship been Their the conqueror, the pledge of honour, on the part absur- of both american commanders, would have been shown. fulfilled; and can any one for a moment imagine,
that commodore Bainbridge would have seen the Bonne-Citoyenne carry off a United States' ship of war, without attempting her rescue ? It was more than his head was worth. Where was the guarantee against recapture, which always accompanies a serious proposal of this sort, when a stronger force, belonging to either party, is to preserve a temporary neutrality? The bait, therefore, did not take: the specie remained safe, and the american officers were obliged to content themselves with all the
benefit they could reap from making a boast of the 1818. circumstance. This they did ; and, to the present Feb. hour, the refusal of the Bonne-Citoyenne to meet the Hornet stands recorded in the american naval archives, as a proof of the former's dread, although the “superior in force," of engaging the latter. The two ships, as has just been seen, were equal in guns, and not very unequal in crews; the Hornet having 171 men and two boys, the Bonne-Citoyenne, including 21 supernumeraries, 141 men and nine boys. But this inferiority was in a great degree compensated, by the pains which captain Greene had taken, to teach his men the use of their guns.
After the Constitution had sailed for Boston as Hornet already stated,* the Hornet continued blockading chased the Bonne-Citoyenne and her dollars, until the ar- from
St.-Salrival, on the 24th of January, of the british_74-gun vador ship Montagu, captain Manley Hall Dixon, bearing by the flag of rear-admiral Manley Dixon. The ame- gu 74 rican sloop, on being chased, ran for the harbour; but, night coming on, the Hornet wore, and, by standing to the southward, dexterously evaded her pursuer. Escorted by the Montagu, the Bonne- BonneCitoyenne, with her valuable cargo on board, put erity to sea on the 26th of January; and on the 22d of arrives
in EngFebruary, in latitude 5° 20' south, longitude 40° west, the rear-admiral left captain Greene to pursue his
Sometime in the month of April, having stopped at Madeira by the way, the BonneCitoyenne arrived in safety at Portsmouth.
After escaping from the Montagu, the Hornet Hornet bauled her wind to the westward, and on the 14th verses, of February, when cruising off Pernambuco, captured piègle an english brig, with about 23000 dollars in specie chor, on board. Having removed the money and destroyed refit
. the prize, captain Lawrence cruised off Surinam until the 22d ; then stood for Demerara, and on the 24th chased a brig, but was obliged to haul off on account of the shoals at the entrance of Demarara
* See p. 198.