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The bad weather, of which sir Richard Strachan Feb. had to complain in the bay of Biscay, had assailed

with equal if not greater violence the squadron of ceed- M. Allemand. The latter, in consequence, had ings of Roche- been obliged to send back to Rochefort one of his

ships, the Jemmappes, in a crippled state. With dron. his remaining five sail of the line, the french admiral

continued his voyage to the Mediterranean. Passing
the Straits on the night of the 26th, unseen from the
rock, or, it is believed, by any british cruiser, M. Gan-

teaume, on the 6th of February, anchored in the road Toulon of Toulon, having chased from before the port the

38-gun frigate Apollo, captain Edward Fellowes,
and destroyed, during the 20 days' passage, one
portuguese and six english merchant vessels ; none
of them, however, of any great value.

On the 7th admiral Ganteaume sailed out of the again. harbour, with a fleet composed of 10. sail of the line,

three frigates, two corvettes, and seven armed trans-
ports of 800 tons each, having on board troops, ord-

nance stores, and provisions. On the 23d the fleet Corfu. arrived off the island of Corfu. The admiral imme

diately sent detachments of his smaller vessels to
Taranto, Jacente, Brindisi, and other adjacent
ports, to afford protection to the trade and bring
the vessels to Corfu; where, in the mean time, vice-
admiral Ganteaume landed his troops, stores, and
provisions. While lying at Corfu, the fleet experi-

enced very stormy weather; from which the ComCruises merce-de-Paris suffered so much in her masts, that Archi- the vice-admiral shifted his flag to the Magnanime, pelago. and, leaving the former ship to be repaired, sailed on

the 25th with his remaining nine sail of the line and
frigates. He ran down to the latitude of Sicily ;
thence through the different passages between Zante
and the other Ionian islands, and on the 15th of
March returned to Corfu.

On the 23d, the day on which the french admiral
arrived at Corfu, he was fallen in with by the british
22-gun ship Porcupine, captain the honourable Henry


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Dancan, then on her way to join the 64-gun ship 1808.
Standard, captain Thomas Harvey, stationed off Peb.
Corfu. Having, at the great risk of capture by one
of the 74s, staid until he had clearly ascertained that
the ships were enemies, captain Duncan made sail to
join lord Collingwood at Syracuse. On the 24th, at
noon, the Porcupine fell in with the 38-gun frigate
Active, captain Richard Hussey Moubray; who,
knowing that the Standard had gone to the admiral,
took the Porcupine under his orders, and stood
back to look after the french fleet. . From the 26th
of February to the 13th of March, amidst some
severe gales of wind, the Active and Porcupine kept
company with M. Ganteaume's fleet; and, for several
successive days, the Porcupine alone performed this
bold and perilous service.

On the 16th, the day after the admiral's return to Rean-
Corfu, having rehoisted his flag on board the Com-
merce-de-Paris, M. Ganteaume again set sail with Toulon
his whole fleet: he ran along the coast of Africa,
Sicily, and Sardinia, watched, for a part of the time,
by the 38-gun frigate Spartan, captain Jahleel Bren-
ton, and on the 10th of April reanchored in the road
of Toulon. Since the 23d of February the Spartan,
accompanied by the 40-gún frigate Lavinia, captain
John Hancock, had been detached to gain intelli-
gence respecting the Rochefort squadron, by vice-
admiral Thornborough, just before the latter, with the
11 ships of the line in his company, weighed from Pa-
lermo, and made sail in search of lord Collingwoo

On the 3d of March, having received intelligence Sparfrom a maltese privateer of the sailing of the Toulon fans fleet, captain Brenton joined lord Collingwood off with M. Maritimo. The vice-admiral immediately sent the Lavinia for further intelligence, and stood with the fleet towards the bay of Naples; whence his lordship detached the Spartan to Palermo. On arriving at Palermo, the Spartan was ordered by rear-admiral Martin, at anchor there with three sail of the line, to cruise between Cape Bon and Sardinia; “ where,” says captain Edward Brenton, “ on the Ist of

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1808. April, she discovered the french fleet carrying a
Feb. press of sail to get to the westward. Captain (now

sir Jalleel) Brenton, placing his ship about two
leagues on the weather beam of the french admiral,
under an easy sail, watched his motions during
the day; the enemy chased, but without ·gaining
on him; in the evening, having previously prepared
his launch with a temporary deck, he hove to, and
sent her under the command of lieutenant Coffin
with despatches to Trepani, then 130 miles distant.
This officer narrowly escaped capture by the enemy's
fleet, which, before he had got two miles from the
ship, came close upon him; he very judiciously low-
ered his sails and lay quiet until they had passed. He
reached Trepani on the following evening, whence,
despatching the launch agreeably to his orders to
Malta, he set off for Palermo, and gave the intelli-
gence to rear-admiral Martin. The launch reached
Malta on the third day, and vessels were detached in
every direction in search of the british fleet; the
eneiny in the mean time continued in chase of the

Spartan, dividing on opposite tacks, to take advantage Keeps of any change of wind, so frequent in the Meditersight of ranean.

Confident in the sailing qualities of his ship, several the captain at night again placed himself on the weadays. ther beam of the french admiral, and at daylight

made sail from him on the opposite tack, to increase
the chance of falling in with the british' fleet. The
enemy tacked in chase: the Spartan was becalmed,
whilst they were coming up with the breeze, and for
a short time her capture appeared almost inevitable;
but as she caught the breeze, she again took her po-
sition on the admiral's weather beam. This was
the close of the third day; when a frigate was seen
to run along the french line, and speak all the ships
in succession: soon after the whole of them bore up,
steering with the wind a-beam; and the captain of
the Spartan concluding that the french admiral had
shaped his course for the gut of Gibraltar, and had
given up the chase, steered the same way with
a strong breeze at N. N. W. The night was

him for

Nar TOW escape from capture.

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excessively dark, and a most anxious look-out was

1808. kept for the enemy: at half past seven they were Feb. discovered on the lee quarter, close hauled, and very near: this was evidently a stratagem of Ganteaume's to get to-windward of his enemy; but the manoeuvre failed. All hands were on deck, and at their stations; the Spartan wore and crossed the enemy Within within gun-shot, before they could take any

advantage of their position; the french squadron also shot. wore in chase, and the next morning were hull down to-leeward. The fourth day was passed in the same manner; the Spartan keeping a constant and anxious look-out for the british fleet, while the enemy

sight of crowded every sail in pursuit of her; in the evening french a shift of wind brought them to-windward, and the fleet. night being very squally and dark, captain Brenton lost sight of them, &c."*

Upon his return to Toulon, as we have stated, M. on the 10th of April, M. Ganteaume found an acces-feaume sion to his force in two fine frigates, the Péné- joined lope and Thémis, which had arrived since the 28th

by two

frigates of the preceding month. These frigates had escaped from from the road of Bordeaux on the 21st of January, deaux. cruised off Madeira and the african coast until the middle of March, passed the Straits on the 17th, anchored at Ajaccio on the 23d, and sailed tbence on the 26th for Toulon; having captured or destroyed british vessels to the alleged value of six millions of francs, including four or five straggling westindiamen from a homeward-bound convoy under the protection of the british frigate Franchise.

What the british admiral was about, to suffer a french feet to traverse the Mediterranean in all ings of directions, and to possess a whole month's command lord of the Adriatic, has been a question often asked. lingOur researches have enabled us to collect a few facts, wood. that may throw some, although a very faint, light upon the subject. When the french fleet, on its way to Corfu, was rounding Cape Passaro, lord Collingwood,

* Brenton, vol. iv, p. 239.





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1808, with the following five sail of the line, was at anchor
March, in the port of Syracuse :

vice-adm. (r.) lord Collingwood.
98 Ocean.

captain Richard Thomas.

rear-adm. (b.) George Martin. 80

captain Charles Inglis. Malta

William Shield. s

hon. Arthur Kaye Legge. Montagu

Robert Waller Otway, : On the 24th of February, the day after M. Ganlord- teaume had arrived at Corfu, the british admiral, with ship

the Ocean, Canopus, Malta, and Montagu, sailed mits an from Syracuse, bound to Palermo. On that very portant evening a line-of-battle ship was seen standing into error. Syracuse from the eastward. This was the Standard,

from off Corfu, with the important intelligence that
the french feet was in that neighbourhood. Unfor-
tunately the Standard could not see lord Colling-
wood's squadron under the land ; and, still more
unfortunately, his lordship could not be persuaded,
that there was the least necessity for communi-
cating with captain Harvey. The Standard entered
Syracuse in the dark, and was unable, owing to the
state of the wind, to sail out again for two or three
days. Immediately on the 64's arrival, captain
Legge, who, as we have seen, had been left in the
port, sent an express to Cape Passaro, but the ad-
miral had passed to the westward.

On the 2d of March, when about 11 leagues to the

north-westward of the island of Maritimo, lord Colstrong lingwood was joined by vice-admiral Thornborough force- and rear-admiral sir Richard Strachan. This reinment. forcement augmented his lordship's force to 15 sail of

the line and two or three frigates. On the next
day the british fleet steered towards Palermo, still
without any knowledge that the french Toulon fleet
was even at sea. On the 6th, when off Cape St.-Vito,
lord Collingwood was joined by the Apollo, with
the intelligence of M. Ganteaume's departure from
Toulon a month back. The british fleet immediately


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