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that purpose Mr. Robert Adair was sent by the 1808! british government to Constantinople. The Seahorse herself carried up the ambassador; and her officers Peace saw their old opponent, the Alis-Fezan, lying dis- bemantled in the harbour. After some delay, occa- Engsioned by one or two of those revolutions so frequent land in Turkey, peace between England and the Sublime Turkey Porte was signed on the 5th of January, 1809.
We left the french frigate Sémillante just as ber Semilvoyage to Mexico had been rendered impracticable, arrives in consequence of the attack made upon her at St.- at the Jacinta by the british frigate Phaëton and brig-sloop France Harrier.* This was the more unfortunate for the Sémillante, as the south-west monsoon 'then blew with extreme violence. Greatly, however, to his credit, captain Motard persevered against contrary winds and currents, and amidst a very dangerous navigation, until he cleared the sea of Celebes by the narrow and difficult strait of Aloo. The Sénillante then steered direct for the Isle of France, and anchored, on or about the 5th November, in the harbour of Port-Louis.
In the midst of her refit, the Sémillante was joined by the french frigate-privateer Bellone, of 34 guns, captain Péroud, whose capture a few months afterwards has already been related it and, towards the close of the year, the port, with these two ships within it, became blockaded, by the british 18- Pitt pounder teak-built 36-gun frigate Pitt, (afterwards and
TerpsiSalsette,) captain Walter Bathurst, and 12-pounder chore 32-gun frigate Terpsichore, captain William Jones Lye. On the 5th of January, 1806, having got on Portshore in watering at Flat island and thrown several of her guns overboard, and being in a very leaky state, the Terpsichore parted company for Ceylon; Terpsiand the Pitt, whose effective crew were reduced by chore sickness to less than one half, cruised alone off the Isle of France. Here captain Bathurst took several prizes; pany.
* See vol. iv.
1808. and on the 26th, in chase of a vessel to-windward,
the Pitt got so near to the fort upon Pointe Canonnière, situated about eight miles to the northward of Port-Louis, as to have one seaman killed, and her starboard night-head shot away. Nor. was the frigate, although shé lay for nearly 20 minutes within gun-shot of the fort, able, owing to the direction of the wind, to bring a single gun to bear in return.
No sooner did M. Motard, as he tells us, ascertain that the Pitt was cruising alone off the port; no sooner did the french captain, as he does not tell us, learn from a countryman of his, who had recently been liberated from her, that the Pitt, having 90 men sick, (chiefly with scurvy and contracted limbs,) and a great many absent in prizes, had scarcely a
sloop of war's complement on board, than he deterlante mined to go out and engage her. For this purpose
captain Motard hastened the repairs of his ship, and
in three days the Sémillante was ready for sea. But, put to it appears, so disproportionate in point of force were return, the two frigates still considered ; not by the french
captain, ,who, if we are to believe him, was all fire to engage, but by general Decaen, the governor of the island, that captain Péroud was persuaded to add the force of the Bellone to that of the Sémillante.
On the 27th, accordingly, at about 9 P. M., the two ships put to sea from Port-Louis, and in about one hour afterwards were descried and chased by the Pitt, then 12 or 13 leagues south-east by east of the port. At 11 h. 30 m. the Pitt made out the strangers to be two frigates, and soon afterwards they were no longer to be seen. “Elle (the Sémillante) sortit à la recherche de l'ennemi, qui évita constamment le combat; la nuit ayant favorisé sa fuite, il disparut."* The english of this is, thạt captains Motard and Péroud, glad at an escape to sea, left the british frigate to herself, and proceeded to execute the service,
* Dict. Historique, tome iv. p. 6.
upon which alone they had been ordered out by 1808. governor Decaen.
The Sémillante and Bellone steered straight for Isle Bourbon; and, arriving off the bay of St.-Paul, took charge of several prizes and merchant vessels, which had been detained at that anchorage by the knowledge that one or two british frigates were cruising off the Isle of France. With these vessels under convoy, the french frigate and privateer made sail on their return; and, as the Pitt, having scarcely men enough left to work the ship, had been obliged to return to Pointe de Galle, captain Motard reentered without difficulty the harbour of Port-Louis.
On the 7th of April, having completed the repairs Sail which she had only partially undergone at her de- again parture upon the successful mission we have just cruise. related, the Sémillante, accompanied by the Bellone and Henriette privateers, again succeeded in putting to sea. The Bellone and Henriette, after cruising for a month or two, fell into the hands of their enemies; but the Sémillante, in spite of her captain's fighting propensity, managed on every occasion, as the sequel will show, to avoid a similar fate. During her cruise in the Indian Ocean, the Sémillante captured eight merchant vessels, valued at upwards of 32 millions of francs. Early in the month of September, with her eight prizes in company, the Sémillante arrived in the neighbourhood of the Isle of France; but, gaining intelligence that a strong british force was cruising off Port-Louis, captain Motard bent his course towards Isle Bourbon. On the 9th Sémilthe Sémillante, with her valuable convoy, anchored lante in the road of St.-Paul's bay; where already were chors lying, bound also to the Isle of France, four other vessels, prizes to some of the french cruisers. bay.
The british force, at this time stationed off the Isle of France, consisted of the 74-gun ship Sceptre, captain Joseph Bingham, 24-pounder 40-gun frigate (late teak-built indiaman) Cornwallis, captain Charles James Johnston, and 12-pounder 36-gun frigate Dédaigneuse, captain William Beauchamp Proctor. On
1808, the 16th, in the afternoon, the Cornwallis arrived off
the entrance of St.-Paul's bay, and discovered the
Sémillante and her charge at anchor. On the 17th, wallis at 9 A. M., the Cornwallis bore up, and ran as far into the bay as the wind would allow.
At 10 A, M., her at when three or four miles only from the Sémillante,
the british frigate became nearly becalmed; and,
On the 26th the Sceptre appeared off the entrance
the Sémillante herself was protected by upwards of Sémil- 100 pieces of cannon, including 37 long 24-pounders,
and seven or eight heavy mortars; and which guns tected were mounted upon seven distinct batteries, all by by nu
their positions admirably calculated to prevent an
Sémillante and her prizes at their fortified anchorage.
On the 11th of November, however, while on his
way, with the Sceptre and Cornwallis, from off Mont wallis Brabant, the south-west extremity of the Isle of make a France, to Isle St.-Mary on the coast of Madagas
car, to get a supply of water, captain Bingham called tirache
. off St.-Paul's, with the intention of making a demon
stration, rather, we believe, than a serious attack,
merous batte. ries.
with shot and shells. The heavy cannonade soon 1808, hushed the little breeze there had been, and the two british ships could with difficulty manoeuvre.
At 4h. 30 m., by signal from the Sceptre, the Cornwallis repeated several signals made by the latter as if to ships in the offing; captain Bingham expecting, probably, that the french captain would run his frigate and prizes on shore. Captain Motard, however, knew better the strength of his position, than to resort to so ruinous a measure; and at 5 h. 20 m. P. M. the Sceptre and Cornwallis ceased firing, and, with- Sail for out, we believe, any loss or damage, made sail for Isle St. Mary
In a few days afterwards, finding a clear coast, Sémilcaptain Motard got under way with the Sémillante and his fleet of prizes, and stood across to the Isle ceeds of France. On the 21st, at sunset, the Sémillante wards was discovered from the mast-head of the Dédai- Isle of gneuse, who immediately crowded all sail upon a wind in chase, with light airs. At about midnight the two frigates crossed each other on opposite tacks, and were not more than half a mile apart. As the Sémillante approached on the larboard tack, Is met the Dédaigneuse fired two or three bow-chasers at and her; and, on hearing the french frigate beat to quar- by ters, the british frigate discharged her broadside as Dédaithe guns would bear. Putting her helm a-lee, the Dédaigneuse then prepared to tack after her opponent; but, owing to the lightness of the wind, the ship would not come round. A quarter boat was lowered down to tow; and at length, by wearing, the Dédaigneuse got on the same tack as the enemy. In the mean time the Sémillante had greatly increased her distance. All sail was again set in chase; but, having lost a great deal of copper from her bottom, being very foul, and at best a bad working ship, the Dédaigneuse kept gradually dropping astern. Finding this to be the case, captain Proctor, at about 5 P. M., shortened sail and hauled to the wind on the chors starboard tack. Very soon afterwards the Sémil- Louis.