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loss on board


cheering in their turn, gave the danish crew such a 1808. salute as sent them quickly back to their secure Octs retreat upon their motionless opponent's quarters and bows.

The Africa had her lower masts and lower yards Heavý badly wounded, and the greater part of the stand-daing and rinning rigging and sails cut to pieces. Her and two cutters were entirely destroyed, and her remaining boats disabled. Her hull was struck in many Africa. places, several large shot had entered between wind and water, and her stern was much shattered. The loss on board the Africa was proportionably

It amounted to nine seamen and marines killed, the captain, (slightly,) two lieutenants of marines, (Thomas Brattle and John George Richardson) the captain's two clerks, one midshipman; and 47 seamen and marines wounded. The loss among the Danes it is impossible to state; but one or two of their boats were seen to go down. The difficulty of hitting such small objects, and the care the gun-boats took to station themselves where few shot could reachi them, render it probable that the danish loss was comparatively trifling:

Captain Barrett walked the deck during the whole Admirengagement, perfectly cool and composed, and kept behaviexhorting the men to persevere in their resistance. our of After the action was over, he gave up both his cabins Barto the wounded; and, following their captain's example, the officers gave up their cots for the same humane purpose. Had the daylight and the calm continued two hours longer, the Africa must either have sunk or surrendered. As it was, her disabled state sent the ship back to Carlscrona to refit.

One salutary effect of the restriction imposed by Effect Great Britain on neutral commerce was, that it stricobliged France to carry on, in the best manner she tions could, her own trade with her colonies. Hence the tral frigates and corvettes of the latter power, instead of, comwhen they got to sea, roaming about the ocean to capture or destroy the merchant vessels of the former





Comet falls in with

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1808. ran straight for Guadeloupe or Martinique, deeply der laden with troops, ordnance-stores, and provisions, and, in consequence, were less likely to

were less likely to escape from a chasing force.

On the 11th of August, at 8 h. 30 m. A. M., latitude

45° 58' north, longitude 5° 4' west, the british 18-gun three ship-sloop Comet, captain Cuthbert Featherstone

Daly, observed three strangers in the north-northvettes. east. These were a small french squadron, which

had sailed from Lorient on the 9th, bound to Mar-
tinique with a supply of flour for the colony, and
consisted of the 18-gun ship-corvette Diligente,
captain Jean-François Lemaresquier, and 16-gun
brig-corvettes Espiégle and Sylphe, captains Joseph
François-Léon Maujouen and Louis-Marie Clément,
all armed, we believe, with french 24-pounder car-

ronades, and long sixes for bow-chasers.
They At 9 A. M. the Comet, having approached nearer

to the strangers, made them out to be three enemy's her and corvettes; and, considering it likely that if he sepa- altered his course they would chase and overpower

him by their united superiority, captain Daly boldly
stood on.

Whether alarmed by the frigate-built
appearance of the Comet, or that he considered himself
bound by his orders to hasten to his destination, the
french commodore tacked from the Comet, and, with
his two consorts, made all sail to the north-north-
east. At noon the Diligente, having much outsailed
the two brigs, tacked again and stood to the south-

Feeling no hesitation about attacking the two brigs, captain Daly made all sail in chase of them. At 3 h. 30 m. P. M. the Espiégle, which was the headmost

brig, tacked and passed to-windward of the Comet Sylphe. at the distance of about two gun-shots. At 5 P. M.

the Sylphe, in pursuit of which the Comet continued,
hoisted french colours and commenced firing her
stern-chasers. At 5 h. 20 m. P.M., having got within
pistol-shot of her, the Comet opened her fire; and at
the expiration of 20 minutes, being much disabled,

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and having, out of her crew of 98 men and boys, 1808. lost one midshipman and five men killed, and two midshipmen and three men wounded, the Sylphe hauled down her colours.

In this very gallant affair on the part of captain Daly, the Comet had not a man hurt; but her main and maintop masts were badly wounded, and her sails and rigging cut. The Sylphe, a fine brig of 343 tons, was afterwards added to the british navy under the name of Seagull. Lieutenant James Tomkinson, first of the Comet, was much commended by captain Daly in his official letter, and became a commander, as the lists inform us, in March, 1810. To the additional credit of the crew of the Comet on this occasion, they consisted chiefly of newlyraised men.

The Espiégle afterwards succeeded in joining her Sibylle remaining consort, and the two vessels proceeded in pures

to the westward. On the 16th, however, égle. they were fallen in with by the british 38-gun frigate Sibylle, captain Clotworthy Upton. After a chase of some continuance, the Diligente by her good sailing escaped; but the Espiégle was captured, and, under the name of Electra, became added to the british navy:

Proceeding alone to her destination, the Diligente Dilimet no further obstruction until the 6th of September, falls in in latitude 17° 50' north, longitude from Greenwich with 58° 20 west. On this day, at 6 A. M., the british 18-gun brig-sloop Recruit, captain Charles Napier, standing close hauled on the starboard tack with the wind from the east by north, discovered the Diligente in the north-east, going free on the larboard tack, or in the direction of the island of Martinique. The Recruit immediately tacked, and made all sail in chase; and at 7 h. 30 m. A. M. fired two shot at the strange ship, and hoisted her colours. At 8 b. 15 m. A. M. the Diligente tacked to preserve the weathergage, and in less than a quarter of an hour afterwards hoisted a french ensign and pendant.


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At 8 h. 30 m. A. M. the two vessels, the Recruit Sept.

on the larboard, and the Diligente on the starboard They tack, passed each other within pistol-shot, and engage exchanged broadsides. On this occasion captain

Napier was wounded, but not, we believe, so as to
oblige him to quit the deck. At 8 h. 40 m. both
vessels, having passed out of gun-shot, tacked and
again exchanged broadsides. The Diligente then
wore, with the intention of raking the Recruit astern;
but the brig wore also, and brought her antagonist

to close action with the larboard guns. At 9 h. 20 m. has her A. M. the second lieutenant (Moses De Willetts)

was wounded. In this way, broadside to broadside,

the action continued until 11 h. 30 m. A. M.; when away. the Recruit had her mainmast shot away. While

this lay over her stern the brig continued the action
with her foremost guns, and made several attempts
to board her antagonist; but the Diligente every
time sheered off. The french ship then backed her
mizen topsail, and, shooting up under the brig's stern,
raked her. As the Diligente stood along her star-
board beam, the Recruit returned this fire ; but the
Diligente reserved her next broadside, until, bearing
up athwart the bows of her disabled antagonist, she:
was enabled to bestow it with more effect. The
Diligente then stood along the brig's larboard beam,

with the intention probably of running round her a Dili- second time; but a well-directed fire from the gente

Recruit blew up a part of the ship's quarter, and treats. cut away her stern-boat filled with small-arm

men. Immediately on this the Diligente put her:
helm up, and ran away before the wind.

The Recruit quickly set about clearing the wreck, to pur- refitting her rigging, rebreeching and remounting

her carronades, many of which had upset, and pre-
paring herself to renew the action with the french
ship; who then lay upon her lee beam repairing her
damages. At 2 P. M., having got ready to engage,
the Recruit bore up to close; but the Diligente,
setting courses, topsails, and topgallantsails, hauled

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Recruit unable

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to the wind on the starboard tack. At 4 P. M. the 1808. Recruit got up a jury mainmast and set a royal upon Sept. it, and, hoisting her fore topsail, endeavoured again to close; but every effort was in vain, and by 7 h. 30 m. P. M. the Diligente had run herself completely out of sight.

Notwithstanding the very serious nature of her Loss, damages, the Recruit does not appear to have had each more than one man killed, and a few, besides the side. captain and second lieutenant, wounded. The brig was of course obliged to make the best of her way into port to get a new mainmast, and on the 10th she anchored in Carlisle bay, Barbadoes. The extent of the loss which the Diligente sustained has not been made public; but we must suppose it to have been very heavy, to excuse captain Lemares- French quier for having abandoned the action after he had count. knocked away his antagonist's mainmast.

He, indeed, takes care to assign a sufficient reason for his retreat; no less than that several enemy's vessels were in sight, although not a sail of any kind, except the Diligente herself, could be discovered from the Recruit. His opponent the french captain takes to have been “ le Curieux, de 20 carronades de 32,* and says: “ Ce dernier a été totalement désemparé, et n'a échappé que 'parce que la Diligente, ayant une mission importante et voyant plusieurs bấtimens ennemis, n'a pas dû s'éxposer en poursuivant son avantage, à ne voir couper le chemin de sa destination.” This destination the Diligente reached in safety, and, at the surrender of Marti- arrives nique a few months afterwards, was one of the few at Marfrench national vessels that fell into the hands of the and is conquerors. The Diligente was a ship of 371 tons, tikies and became added to the british navy by the name surrenof St.-Pierre, the port in which she was found by



her captors.

On the 29th of September, at 6 A. M., Pointe

* See vol. iv. p. 503. The brig was at this time lying at an anchor in the harbour of Halifax, Nova-Scotia.

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