the horizon, tacked to the eastward. Lord Howe, with his fleet formed in line-of-battle, continued standing in, with a very moderate breeze, until a little past 6 p.m. ; when, being about three leagues from the north end of the island, he tacked to the north-west, and, after dark, each ship of the English fleet carried a light.
On the 1st of August, soon after daybreak, the wind being very light, 17 sail were seen, at a great distance, in the northeast. At 7 a.m. the British fleet put about on the larboard tack, but tacked again soon afterwards, an alteration of the wind favouring an endeavour to approach the enemy ; many of whose ships, towards noon, were seen from the deck. Shortly afterwards it fell quite calm. As the evening came on, a light breeze sprang up from the north-west, of which the British fleet took advantage, and steered directly for the French fleet; but the wind again shifting to north-east, the British fleet hauled to the northward, in order to get in with the shore. The French fleet, when last seen in the evening, consisted of 21 sail, two of them reconnoitring frigates, whose hulls were visible from the deck.
On the 2d not a French ship was to be seen; but the master of an American vessel from Lorient informed Lord Howe, that he had, the day previous, passed through the French fleet, which he also represented to consist of 17 sail of the line. On the succeeding day two French ships were chased by the British advanced frigates, but were too near the shore to be overtaken. The unsettled state of the weather, which subsequently became very tempestuous, rendered it necessary to disengage the fleet from the intricate navigation of this part of the French coast. The ships, accordingly, hauled their wind and stood off, On the 10th, the British admiral, after having, owing to the freshness of the wind, failed in an attempt to reconnoitre Brest, cast anchor in Torbay.
Having effected his escape from a fleet which, according to the intelligence derived from the English newspapers, and from prizes and neutrals brought in by his frigates, consisted, when it sailed, of a much greater force than 17 sail of the line, Vice-Admiral Morard-de-Galles returned to his anchorage in the road of Belle-Isle. Here, very soon, a spirit of mutiny began to show itself among the French sailors. The poor fellows were without shoes or shirts, and; although compelled by the orders of the government to be daily spectators of their own shore, had been feeding upon salt provisions until the greater part of them were infected with the scurvy. Add to this, that they were debarred, by their forced inactivity, from sharing the spoils of war with their more fortunate brother-tars in the open sea; and it will be acknowledged, that the crews of the French ships at Belle-Isle had ample cause for complaint.
In the commencement of September the sailors called upon
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