aggregate weight of metal, a trifling superiority of force; but in number of men she was a fourth inferior. If length of service and nautical experience are to be taken into the account, the odds were in favour of the Cléopâtre ; her crew having been upwards of a twelvemonth in commission, while the crew of the Nymphe had been very recently assembled, and that without any opportunity of selection. Still, the numbers 50 and 63, for the killed and wounded of the two crews, show that, in practical gunnery, they were nearly upon a par; and both combatants displayed, throughout the contest, an equal share of bravery and determination.*
On the 21st the Nymphe arrived at Portsmouth with her prize; and, on the 29th, Captain Edward Pellew, along with his brother, Captain Israel Pellew, who happened to be on board the Nymphe during the action, was introduced by the Earl of Chatham to George III. His late majesty was thereupon pleased to confer on one brother the honour of knighthood, and, on the other, the rank of post-captain. The Nymphe's first lieutenant, Amherst Morris, received, also, from the Board of Admiralty, the step that was his due ; and the second and third lieutenants, George Luke and Richard Pellowe, appear likewise to have distinguished themselves. The Cléopâtre, being a fine little frigate, was purchased by the British government; and, under the name of Oiseau (a Cleopatra being already in the service), became a cruising 36 of the 12-pounder class.
Towards the end of July the British 12-pounder 32-gun frigate Boston, Captain George William Augustus Courtenay, cruised off New York, in the hopes of intercepting the French 36-gun frigate Embuscade, † Captain (de vais. ‡) Jean-Baptiste François Bompart, lying at anchor in that harbour; and who, during her last cruise, had captured or destroyed upwards of 60 British vessels. On the appearance of the Boston off the port, Captain Bornpart mistook her for the Concorde, a frigate under
* It is seldom we read in a Paris newspaper a paragraph announcing the capture of a French ship of war, couched in such terms as these: " Les Anglais nous ont enlevé derniérement la superbe frégate la Cléopâtre. Elle a été prise par une frégate d'égale force."-Abrévialeur Universel, Juillet 16, 1793.
† Armed precisely as No. 7 in the table at p. 54, except in having two instead of four brass carronades. The Embuscade has been described (Brenton's Nav. hist., vol. i., p. 460) as a "French frigate of the large class, or what was called an 18-pound ship." Captain Brenton's mistake, as we shall hereafter show, arose, from the inaccuracy of an official despatch.
‡ It appears necessary to mark this distinction, it not being customary in the French as in the British navy, to assign one order of captains to the command of post-ships and another to the command of sloops of war. With the French, a " capitaine de vaisseau," or captain of a ship of the line, frequently, as in the case of M. Bompart, commands a frigate; but it is not the general practice (indeed we are not aware of an instance, except occasionally in a flag-ship) for a "capitaine de frégate" to command a ship of the line.
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