exposed ship of her fleet. At 6 h. 20 m. p.m. the Marlborough, then with the Russel and Thunderer on the Bellerophon's weather quarter, was ordered to engage the rear of the enemy, who had just made sail. The Bellerophon, having had her main cap upset and disabled by a shot, was now obliged to take in her main topsail. In consequence of this accident and of the wounded state of her mainmast, Rear-admiral Pasley, after having, for upwards of an hour and a quarter, been unsupported in his very gallant engagement with the Révolutionnaire, made the signal of inability, and bore up.
By this time the Russel, Marlborough, and Thunderer had backed their main topsails and opened a distant fire upon the Révolutionnaire as well as upon the ship next ahead of her. Having just lost her mizenmast,* and being otherwise much disabled by the well-directed fire of the Bellerophon, the Révolutionnaire wore round on her heel, and put before the wind. Almost as soon as she had bore up, the crippled three-decker was intercepted and engaged by the Leviathan, who, with the Audacious, had passed to windward of the Bellerophon in the latter's disabled state.
At 7 h. 30 m. p.m. the Queen-Charlotte made the signal, " to assist ships engaged," and in a minute or two afterwards repeated it, with the Russel and Marlborough's pendants. Meanwhile the Leviathan continued to engage the Révolutionnaire until the coming up of the Audacious. The Leviathan then passed on, fired a broadside at the next ship in the French line, but at 8 p.m., in compliance with the signals just made by the commander-in-chief (to form line ahead and astern as most convenient, and for the Bellerophon, Leviathan, Russel, and Marlborough to leave off chase), dropped down towards the main body of the fleet.
The Audacious, having placed herself on the Révolutionnaire's lee quarter, poured in a heavy fire; and, until recalled by signal, the Russel, who was at some distance to leeward, also fired at her. The Audacious and Révolutionnaire now became so closely engaged, and the latter so disabled in her masts and rigging, that it was with difficulty the former could prevent her huge opponent from falling on board of her. Towards 10 p.m. the Révolutionnaire having, besides the loss of her mizenmast, had her fore and main yards and maintopsail yard shot away, dropped across the hawse of the Audacious; but the latter quickly extricated herself, and the French ship, with her fore topsail full, but, owing to the sheets having been shot away, still flying, directed her course to leeward.
The men quartered forward in the Audacious, declared that the Révolutionnaire struck her colours just as she got clear of
* She had caught fire in the top, and it may have been cut away, in order that it might not, in its crippled state, fall in-board.
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