them ; and the ship's company cheered in consequence. The people of the Russel declared, also, that the Révolutionnaire, as she passed under their stern, had no colours hoisted. That the latter was a beaten ship may be inferred from her having returned but three shots to the last broadside of the Audacious: moreover, her loss in killed and wounded amounted, if the French accounts are to be credited, to nearly 400 men. Still the Révolutionnaire, became no prize to the British ; owing, partly to the disabled state of the Audacious, but chiefly because the Thunderer, on approaching the latter, and being hailed to take possession of the French ship, made sail after her own fleet.
Such was the crippled state of the Audacious, that it was some time before she was enabled to wear clear of the French line. Having effected this, she used every effort to repair her damages, in time to resume her station at daylight. The loss on board the ship (and the Audacious appears to have been the only ship that sustained any loss by the Révolutionnaire's fire bore no proportion to the extent of the injuries done to her masts, yards, rigging, and sails. She had but three men killed, and 19 (including three mortally) wounded. Just as daylight arrived, nine sail of French ships * made their appearance about three miles to windward. The Audacious, who was now with her standing rigging very indifferently stoppered, her foresail and three topsails unbent, and her main topsail in the top, in the act, of being bent, put before the wind, with the main and fore topmast staysails only, and those ill set from the stays having been shot away.
Fortunately, the prevailing haze brought down rain and thick weather, and screened the Audacious, in some degree, from the enemy's view. The greatest exertions were made by every officer and man to get the ship under sail; but before that could be accomplished, the haze cleared, and discovered two ships in chase, which, in all probability, were the Audacieux and a frigate, detached by M. Villaret in search of the Révolutionnaire. At this time the Audacious passed her old opponent, without any mast standing, at the distance of about a mile and a half. Just as the Audacious had set sail enough to maintain her distance ahead of her pursuers from the southward, the French 36-gun frigate Bellone, accompanied by a ship and brig-corvette, came rapidly up from the eastward.
These, observing the shattered condition of the Audacious, the state of whose masts would not admit of an alteration in her
* It is doubtful what ships these were. The squadron of M. Vanstabel consisted, besides his prizes, stated to be 10 in number, of eight square-rigged vessels, and he was certainly within hearing of the firing on the 28th. The squadron of M. Nielly was also not far distant. Moreover, two small squadrons from Lorient and Rochefort were cruising, in the bay, one under the command of Commodore Jean-Joseph Castagnier.
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