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the latter ship's bows and placing the British squadron between two fires. At 9 h. 40 m. A. M., being within half a cable's length of the shore of Lissa, Captain Hoste threw out the signal for his ships to wear together. Just as the latter were in the act of obeying the signal, the Favorite made an effort to wear and get to leeward of the British line, but had scarcely put her helm up, ere she struck on the rocks in the utmost confusion. This important circumstance of the battle, to produce which had been the object of Captain Hoste in standing so long upon the starboard tack, we have endeavoured to illustrate by the following diagram.
\ Here. Sell.
Oh. 10m. AM. Carol.
While the Cerberus was in the act of wearing, her rudder became choked by a shot. This occasioned the voltage to get round before her, and that ship consequently took the lead on the larboard tack; on which board, being close to the wind, the four ships fell into a bow and quarter line. Sheltered as she had been in some degree by her leader, the Flore was in much better trim for performing any evolution; and, now that the British line had stood off from the land, Captain Peridier found no difficulty in passing under the stern of the Amphion. The Flore then opened her first fire, and immediately afterwards hauled up on the larboard tack upon the Amphion's lee quarter. Almost at the same moment the Bellona hauled up on the Amphion's weather quarter, and both ships opened upon her a heavy fire. See the diagram on the following page.
By this time the Danae, carefully avoiding the Active's line of fire, had wore on the larboard tack, followed by the Corona and Carolina. Thinking to make an easy conquest of the Volage, the Danae took up a station abreast of her. Thus honoured with occupying a frigate's post, the Volage bravely
Vol. v. 2 A
maintained a frigate's character, and poured in her 32-pound shot with steadiness and precision. Finding the unexpected weight of these, and soon discovering that they proceeded from carronades, the Danae hauled off to a greater distance; where her long 18s could produce their full effect, but where carronades could not reach. The Volage was now obliged to increase the charge of powder for her carronades; and they, in consequence, broke their breechings and upset. So that, at last, the 6-pounder on the forecastle was the only gun which this gallant little ship had to oppose to the 14 long 18-pounders of her wary antagonist. While the Volage and Danae were thus employed, the Cerberus and Corona were not looking inoffensively at each other. In a little time, however, the Cerberus, who was upwards of 90 men short of complement, became greatly shattered in hull, and nearly disabled in rigging, by the heavy and well-maintained fire of the Corona; with whom the Carolina co-operated only in a slight degree, that ship not appearing very ambitious of closing. At length the Active, who had been striving her utmost to get to the assistance of her two friends in the van, approached under a press of canvass. The moment they saw her coming up, the Danae, Corona, and Carolina made all sail to the eastward. The following diagram will serve to illustrate this period of the action; the date of which we may fix at from 10 to 10 h. 30 m. A. M.
Suffering greatly from the fire of the two ships that had placed themselves on her quarters, the Amphion gradually bore up to close her heaviest and most annoying opponent. Having passed so close ahead as almost to touch the Flore, the Amphion, at about 11 h. 15 m. A. M., came to the wind on the same tack as before, with her larboard broadside bearing directly on the French ship's starboard and lee bow." So well-directed a fire was now opened upon the latter, that, in about five minutes, the Flore ceased firing and struck her colours. Immediately after the Amphion had bore up, the Bellona did the same; and, placing herself across the former's stern, maintained a heavy and destructive fire. Although particularly careful not to fire into her late consort, some of the Bellona's shot appear to have struck the Flore, who had imperceptibly forereached upon the Amphion. Conceiving the shot to come from the Amphion, one of the officers of the Flore took the French ensign, halliards and all, and, holding them up in his hands over the taffrail, as if for the Amphion's people to witness the act, threw the whole into the sea.
After an ineffectual attempt, owing to the damaged state of her rigging and yard-tackle, to hoist out a boat to take possession of the Flore, the Amphion bore up to close and silence the Bellona. Having wore round on the starboard tack, and taken a position on the Bellona's weather bow, the Amphion poured in one or two broadsides; and at a few minutes before noon compelled the Bellona to haul down the Venetian, as the Flore had the French colours. In the mean time the Mercure brig had also been firing occasionally at the Amphion; but an 18-pounder was at length brought to bear upon her, and the brig soon swept herself beyond the reach of either giving or receiving annoyance. Lieutenant Donat Henchy O'Brien, by Captain Hoste's orders, now went with two seamen in the punt, and took possession of the Bellona.
Having secured this prize, the Amphion wore round; and, making the signal for a general chase, brought to on the larboard tack, a little to leeward of the Cerberus and Volage, whose greatly disabled state had obliged them to bear up. The Amphion had now the mortification to see her first and most valuable prize, the Flore, out of gun-shot on her weather bow, making sail for the island of Lessina; and towards whom the Danae presently edged away, as if to encourage the Flore's commander in the dishonourable act: dishonourable indeed, for the French ship, had lain, for some time, at the mercy of the Amphion. The Active also, until she made sail after the Corona, might have sunk the Flore, and probably would have taken possession of her, but that it did not comport with Captain Gordon's spirit, to stay by a beaten enemy, while a fighting enemy remained te be subdued; above all, when a friend stood in need of his assistance. Had even the Cerberus or Volage been aware that the prize was not secured, either ship, as the Flore passed them, might have sent a boat and taken possession of her, having had her rigging sails cut to pieces, and expecting her foremast every moment to fall, the Amphion was as much incapacitated from giving chase as the Cerberus and Volage.
The surrender of the Flore and Bellona, the escape of the former, and the closing of the Active with the Corona, we have attempted to show by the following diagram.