they appear to have mounted 28 long 24-pounders on the main deck, 18 long 12-pounders, and four brass 36-pounder carronades, upon the quarterdeck and forecastle, making a total of 50 guns, with a complement of 500 men. It is believed that the first ship so fitted was named Expériment. Seven others were, Agricole, Brave, Brutus, Flibustier, Hercule, Robuste, and Scévola.
The strength of any navy, considered in a national point view, is its line-of-battle, rather than its detached, or frigate force. The latter may cruise about, and interrupt trade, or levy contributions on some comparatively insignificant colonial territory; but it is the former that arrays itself before formidable batteries, and strikes dread into the heart of the parent state. According to the usual mode of comparing the British and French line-of-battle forces, we ought to be satisfied with the following statement :
The first, which is Steel's number for February, includes many ships for which there are no comparates in the number below. According to the first abstract in our series,* 113 is the proper number ; but we shall add two of the ships in the building column, the Cæsar and Minotaur, because they were launched early in the present year; and, for the same reason, we shall not exclude more than two of the four French ships, described as nearly ready for launching. Hence, deducting the two French 74s declared to be unserviceable, and two other ships of the same class, that were undoubtedly converted into frigates, the numbers will stand thus:
In the one case, the difference is as two to one, or nearly so ; in the other, it is barely as three to two. Still, the comparison is imperfect; for, while the French line is possessed of as many as eight ships that mount from 110 to 120 guns each, the British line can produce no ship that mounts more than 100 guns : and, while upwards of a fourth of the latter's numerical: strength is made up of 64-gun ships, the weakest ship belonging to the former mounts 74 guns.
There is no remedy here, unless we take the total number of guns mounted on each side, which would be 8718 and 6002 ; showing a difference of rather more than four to three. But, as every one of the lowerdeck guns of any French line-of-battle
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