French national frigate Vengeance, who, on the preceding evening, had been fired into by an English sloop of war of 24 guns, which got under her stern and gave her a broadside; whereby the Vengeance was considerably damaged, and had six of her crew killed ; and that the sloop of war then stood away under a press of sail, and escaped. It was not until 10 or 12 days afterwards that any account reached England of Captain Beresford's action.
Of what description of frigate, in point of force, the Vengeance was, has already been stated. She measured 1180 tons ; while the Raison, whose armament was 20 long 9-pounders, and two 18-pounder carronades in the bridle-ports, on the main deck, and six long 6-pounders and two 12-pounder carronades on the quarterdeck and forecastle, total 30 guns, with a complement of 195 men and boys, measured only 472 tons.
On the 28th of August, at 5 a.m., as a British squadron, composed of the:
was lying becalmed about four leagues east-south-east from Cape Henry, three strange ships made their appearance in the east-north-east quarter. The signal was made for a general chase, but the British ships were unable to steer before noon. At 5 h. 30 m. p.m. the Topaze, who was considerably ahead of the remainder of her squadron, brought the sternmost of the enemy's ships to action. This ship, which was the French frigate Elizabet, of 36 guns (twenty-four 12-pounders on the main deck, and twelve 8-pounders on the quarterdeck and forecastle) and 297 men, fired a broadside and hauled down her colours.
The Assistance and Bermuda were directed to take charge of the prize ; and the admiral, with the rest of the squadron, continued in pursuit of the Elizabet's consorts, now seen to be two frigates, until dark, when the latter disappeared. The Elizabet was taken to Halifax, Nova-Scotia, but, having been an Indiaman bought into the French service, and a very indifferent sailer, was not purchased for the use of the British navy.
In the beginning of the year 1794, if not still earlier in the war, the French government contemplated sending out an expedition to India, to supply the isles of France and Bourbon with troops and munitions of war ; and, that accomplished, to
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