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was certainly a breach of neutrality; and the french 1806. consul at Norfolk so considered it, by refusing to ‘so acknowledge her late crew as prisoners of war. However, the affair happily passed off in the United States with very little notice. About a fortnight previously to the destruction of the Impétueux, the Patriote and Eole, each on a different day, arrived in the Chesapeake in a very disabled state, particularly the former. These ships. afterwards proceeded to Annapolis; where, in a jo little while, they were blockaded by, some british ...” ships of war from Halifax. Eventually, as will be:. seen, the Patriote reached France; but the Eole, i. we believe, was taken to pieces in America. The ed of same fate attended the Valeureuse frigate, who, artially dismasted, had put into the Delaware, and É. subsequently removed, for greater security, as high up the river as Philadelphia. The Foudroyant, after undergoing a refit at Havana, set sail on her return to France, and arrived in the road of Brest. The Cassard, the only remaining ship of the french squadron, as soon as the gale had abated, bent her course towards Europe, and reached in safety the port of Rochefort. . A third british squadron had been despatched sufrom the Channel, for the purpose of intercepting dron of M. Willaumez on his return to France. This squa. ...” dron was placed under the command of rear-admiral sir Thomas Louis, bart. in the 80-gun ship Canopus, with orders to cruise about 50 leagues to the west- . ward of Belle-Isle. The news of the dispersion of the french squadron, and of the disasters that had subsequently attended it, reached the rear-admiral in the early part of his cruise, and sir. Thomas andr, his squadron forthwith removed to the station offs: Cadiz. We must now pay a short visit to the port. of Brest; the fleet cruising off which, since the 22d com: of February, when admiral Cornwallis struck his." flag, had been under the chief command of the earl Chanof St.-Vincent. nel
Not only had the best of the ships and the bulk of
1806, the seamen been taken from the Brest fleet to form ‘go’ the two expeditions that had sailed from the road want in December, 1805, and of whose respective fates we ... have already given so full an account, but a serious a deficit had been caused in the stock of stores and * provisions at the port. Hence the seven or eight É. ships, that still remained afloat, were not in a condition to go to sea; nor, during the whole of this year, did one of them make even a show of sailing out. However, on the 5th of October, during the temporary absence of the british squadron stationed off the port, the french 74-gun ship Régulus,after nearly a twelvemonth's successful cruise, the principal events of which we shall hereafter relate, got safe in. " - Heavy as had been the loss to the french navy at the battle of Trafalgar, it was by no means in so desperate a state as some of the english periodical Erro- writers would have the public believe. Steel, in neous his monthly Navy-list for March in the present year, jo enumerates the number of line-of-battle ships then
... belonging, to France at 19: while, with an air of i" triumph, he states the british line-force, including ... 50s, at 243 sail. ... This appears in a small table entitled, “Naval Force of Europe;” and in which France, as a naval power, ranks below Sweden, Denmark, and even Turkey. So far from the statement being correct as relates to France and England, the one possessed, in a state for sea-service and
building, more than 53 sail of the line, thus:
Brest . . . . . . . . . . . . afloat... 10 building... 3
32 Total 53
Several of the ships here marked down as build-Jo, ing were ready to be launched, and some were ac- so. tually afloat. Among the ships of the line which Real Napoléon at the commencement of the war had . ordered to be built, were two at Nantes, one at two Bordeaux, one at Marseille, one at Ostende, and * one at Saint-Malo. These have been excluded from the statement, because it is doubtful whether or not they were proceeded upon. In the course of two or three years, every one of the above 21 building ships was actually in commission; and it is believed that, before the close of the year 1806, several other line-of-battle ships, including two or three three-deckers of the class of the Impérial, were laid down in the different ports of the french empire. .
Out of the above 53 ships, not one mounted, or was . intended to mount, fewer than 74 guns; whereas England, if her 64-gun ships be excluded, possessed, in a state for service and building, but 102 sail of the line.* Nor, with the addition of the 64s, would the number exceed 123. The absurdity of including stationary harbour-ships, hulks, and 50-gun ships, when the total on the opposite side contains no vessels of that description, has already been exposed.H. Even admitting that, in the year 1806, Russia or Spain had about the same number of line-of-battle ships as France, will any one say that, in point of maritime enterprise, physical strength, and means of annoy- France ance, the latter did not rank far above them 2 the o: Hence, so far from the british navy, in March, 1806, ..., being to the french navy, in ships of the line, as 12 Power. to one, the difference in reality, was but ás two to one ; and, so far from France being, at the time referred to, the seventh naval power in Europe, she was, as she long had been, the second.
The command of the british naval forces, on the extensive station of the Mediterranean, was still in
* See Appendix, Annual Abstract No. 14.
t See vol. i. p. 82, o
WOL. IV, - x
1806, the able hands in which we last year left it.* Early ‘F.C. in the month of February vice-admiral lord Colling. Lord wood, while cruising off Cadiz, received information Goi that four of the five frigates which, along with other ... ships of the late discomfited franco-spanish fleet, had off Ca- sought refuge in the port after the battle of Trafal* gar, were ready for sea, and intended to sail the first opportunity. By way of inducing the french frigates to do so, in the hope to intercept them soon after they quitted port, lord Collingwood, with his squadron, retired to a station about 10 leagues distant from the harbour; where he lay out of sight, leaving the 38-gun frigate Hydra, captain George Mundy, and 18-gun brig-sloop Moselle, captain John Surman Carden, close off the port, with orders to keep a watchful eye upon any vessels sailing from it. Escape On the 23d of February a strong easterly wind ; : began to blow, and by the 26th had driven the bri#., tish squadron as far to the westward as Cape Sta. Maria. Informed of this by the signal posts along * the coast, M. La Marre-la-Meillerie, on the same evening, put to sea with the Hortense, Hermione, Rhin, and Thémis, and brig-corvette Furet, the frigates with six months' provisions and a number of troops on board. At 9 h. 15 m. P. M. the Hydra and Moselle, then about three miles west of Cadiz lighthouse, standing in-shore, discovered and chased • the french squadron, which, with a wind so strong and favourable, had already got outside of them. The british frigate and brig immediately bore up after the four french frigates and brig, captain Mundy intending to steer a parallel course, to watch their §: manoeuvres. At 11 P.M., observing that the french on and squadron continued a steady course, captain Mundy *. detached the Moselle in search of the commander in chief, and, with the Hydra alone, gallantly eontinued the pursuit. On the 27th, at 2 h. 30 m. A. M., in consequence
* See p. 152.
of the french commodore having altered his course 1806. a point to the westward, the british captain found F. that he had considerably neared the squadron, par- Gallant ticularly the brig, which was at some distance astern ...; of the frigates. The object now was, to cut off this captain brig ; and at length, after a two hours' further "y chase, the Hydra overtook her. The Furet, mounting 18 long 8-pounders, with a complement of 130 men, commanded by lieutenant de vaisseau PierreAntoine-Toussaint Demai, and victualled for a five Capmonths' cruise, fired a broadside “pour l'honneur. de pavillon,” and hauled down her colours. Apparently anmoved by this circumstance, M. La Marrela-Meillerie permitted the british frigate to carry off her prize, and, with his four french frigates, continued his route to the westward. In the course of the summer the whole of the five of french two-deckers, that had escaped from the battle ..." of Trafalgar, appear to have got themselves re-i. paired and in readiness to put to sea, under vice- Caiz, admiral Rosily. The Spaniards also succeeded in * getting ready one three-decker and five or six twodeckers; making a total of 11 or 12 sail of the line in Cadiz alone. In Carthagena lay ready for sea eight spanish sail of the line, including two threedeckers. In Toulon there were three french twodeckers, and two or three frigates, also ready; besides one or two sail of the lines in ports of Venice, fitting. Whether it was that a want of concert existed among the allies, that Napoléon was too much occupied with his army to chalk out a plan of operations, or that the scenes of the 21st of October, 1805, had made too deep an impression to be so soon obliterated, the year 1806, in respect to the movements of the enemy's fleets within the limits of lord Collingwood's command, was one of comparative repose. - French Although the waters of the Mediterranean had oi, been cleared of the fleets of the french emperor, his loarmies were still * over the inhabitants of men. X