five minutes after the expiration of that time, the ships, he said, would open their fire. Upon this the very sentinels scampered off, and every vessel came out of the mole. During the five following days, the work of embarkation was carried on : the property of individuals and public stores to the amount of £200,000 was saved.*
On the 22d, after having, as the French accounts say, taken the British rear-guard, consisting of 700 or 800 men of Dillon's regiment, prisoners, General Casalta quitted Bastia for the town of San-Fiorenzo. He found the gorges of San-Germano strongly guarded ; but, after a smart brush, his troops forced the passage. The republicans then marched on towards the town, and, in the face of a constant and very destructive discharge of grape from two British 74s moored off the beach, made themselves masters of it, taking prisoners a part of the garrison. On the 22d, in the evening, Bonifacio was occupied by the French, and the garrison also, as it appears, made, prisoners. In the mean while General Gentili, like General Casalta, had found the means, with the remainder of his troops, to get across from the "blockaded port" and immediately marched upon Ajaccio, the birthplace of Buonaparte ; the capture of which port restored the whole island to the dominion of the republic.
On the 2d of November, having completed, as far as was deemed practicable, the evacuation of Corsica, and ascertained that the fleet of Admiral Langara had come to an anchor in Toulon, Sir John Jervis set sail from Mortella bay, with a fleet of 15 ships of the line and some frigates, having on board the troops and stores embarked at Bastia, and under his convoy 10 or 12 merchant vessels, which his cruisers had brought down from Smyrna. On the 11th of December the whole of this fleet anchored in safety in Rosia bay ; and thus was the Mediterranean left without a single British line-of-battle ship cruising upon its waters.
On the day preceding that on which Sir John arrived at Gibraltar, the Spanish fleet, accompanied by the French Rear-admiral Villeneuve, with the 80-gun ship Formidable, the Jean-Jacques, Jemmappes, Mont-Blanc, and Tyrannicide 74s, and the Alceste, Diana, and Vestale frigates, put to sea from Toulon. On the 5th or 6th of December the Spanish admiral, with his fleet numbering, as already mentioned, 26 sail of the line, besides 12 or 13 frigates, entered the port of Carthagena ; leaving M. Villeneuve, with his five sail of the line and three frigates, to make the best of his way to Brest unattended. On the 10th, in the afternoon, the French admiral passed the rock of Gibraltar, and was of course seen by a part of the fleet at anchor in the bay ; but a heavy gale of wind from the east-south-east, while it drove the French rapidly through the gut, rendered it
* Marshall, vol. i., p. 255.
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