crumbled under the feet of our daring countrymen as they mounted to the assault, and often precipitated huge masses on the heads of those beneath; the tops are guarded by the redoubts of St. Antoine, Artigues, St. Catherine's, and others : from the battery of La Croix, on the peninsula, to Cape Brun, the distance is two thousand yards, and this may be taken as the extreme breadth of the great road from north to south ; westward of this may be about the same distance towards the grand tower and Bellaguer.
" The Mediterranean, though subject to strong and irregular currents, had no rise or fall of tide: this peculiarity of the inland sea subjects the port of Toulon to difficulties unknown to the rest of Europe, and its improvement, under such natural disadvantages, is highly creditable to the ingenuity and public spirit of the nation. They have but one large dock, which, when filled for the reception of a ship, is afterward pumped out by the convicts, who were formerly employed in working the galleys; but that species of force being now disused, these people are kept to such labours only as their crimes have deserved, and their strength will enable them to perform." *
France having assembled, at the time she declared war, a powerful fleet in the harbour of Toulon, it became necessary that an English fleet should be despatched, without delay, to the Mediterranean. Accordingly, a fleet, in several divisions, proceeded for that destination. The first division, composed of one 98, and one 74 gun-ship, under the orders of Rear-admiral John Gell, in the St. George, sailed from Spithead early in April; and on the 15th of the month, was followed from the same anchorage by the second division, composed of two 98, and three 74 gun-ships, and two frigates, under Vice-admiral Philip Cosby, in the Windsor-Castle. The third division, composed of one 100, three 74, and one 64 gun-ship, and two frigates, under Vice-admiral Hotham, in the Britannia, sailed also from Spithead early in May, and, was followed, on the 22d of the same month, by the fourth and last division, composed of one 100, five 74, and one 64 gun-ship, five frigates and sloops, two fire, and two hospital ships, under Vice-admiral Lord Hood, the commander-in-chief, in the Victory.
It was not until the middle of August that the vice-admiral arrived before the port of Toulon. His force then consisted. of the following 21 sail of the line, besides frigates and sloops:
* Brenton's Naval history, vol. i., p. 200.
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