presently at anchor in Miconi road, within a little more than a cable's length of the French 40-gun frigate Sibylle, chef de division, or commodore, Jacques-Mélanie Rondeau.
In the hope to save the effusion of blood, Captain Paget sent a message to the French commander, desiring him to surrender his ship. This Commodore Rondeau refused ; alleging that he was well acquainted with the Romney's force, that he was fully prepared, both with men and ammunition, and that he had made oath never to strike his colours. By the time the Romney's officer had returned to his ship, the Sibylle had placed herself between the Romney and the town of Miconi ; which obliged Captain Paget to carry out another anchor, and warp the Romney further ahead, in order that her guns might point clear of the town. At 1 p.m. the Romney, being abreast of the French frigate, and secured with springs on her cables, fired a broadside, which the Sibylle instantly returned. The action, thus commenced, lasted, without a moment's intermission, for one hour and ten minutes ; when the Sibylle, being quite in a defenceless state, hauled down her colours, and, with the three merchantmen, was taken possession of by the Romney.
The Romney, when she commenced action, was 74 working men short of her established complement : consequently she had on board only 266 men and boys. Of these the Romney lost eight seamen killed, and 30 (including two mortally) wounded. The Sibylle commenced action, as deposed by three of her surviving officers, with a crew of 380 ; of which number she lost her second lieutenant, captain of marines, and 44 seamen killed, and 112 officers, seamen, and marines (including nine mortally) wounded. The fact of the Romney's being so short of complement had, it appears, reached the ears of M. Rondeau ; who, knowing, on the other hand, that his own ship could muster at quarters upwards of 100 men, and those effective hands, more than his adversary, was sanguine enough to hope for that success which his bravery so well merited.
The Sibylle, although she mounted but 26, had, like other 40-gun frigates, ports for 28 guns on her main deck, and actually fought through her aftmost port one of her guns from the opposite side ; a measure which, from her stationary position, was not at all inconvenient. The force of that shifting-gun will accordingly be computed. On her quarterdeck and forecastle the Sibylle mounted 16 long 8-pounders and two brass carronades, 36-pounders; making her total number of guns 44. In the official letter, the 8s and the carronades are called 9 and 42 pounders ; but no such pounders are known in the French service. The mistake, which is a very frequent one, arises from adopting the denomination assigned to an English gun of the nearest apparent caliber, in preference to that used by the French.
The Romney does not appear to have been supplied with
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