sailing remarkably fast in the prevailing fresh breeze, rapidly approached the Pelican.
Having away in prizes her master and several of her petty officers and seamen, the brig could not muster, at this time, more than 97, out of her established complement of 121, men and boys; and some of the seamen appeared to hesitate about engaging a ship of such evident superiority of force. But, when Captain Searle called to their recollection the frequent occasions on which they had distinguished themselves while under his command, and expressed a hope that they would not sully their well-earned reputation, nor place less confidence in him than they had been accustomed to do, the fine fellows gave three cheers, and at once declared their resolution, rather to sink with their commander than forfeit his good opinion.
As soon as she had made all ready, the Pelican, to the great surprise, no doubt, of all on board the frigate, shortened sail and at 7 a.m., the French 36-gun frigate Médée, having arrived within gun-shot, opened her fire. The brig reserved hers until her carronades could reach with effect. Having at length got within the proper distance, the Pelican commenced a very brisk fire, and kept it up until 8 h. 53 m. a.m. ; when the Médée, whose crew appeared to be in some confusion, hauled on board her maintack, and made off to the northward under all possible sail. Having had every brace and bowline, all the after backstays, the main-stay, several of the lower shrouds, the topsail ties, and other parts of her rigging, shot away, her sails very much torn, and her mainmast, maintopsail yard, and fore yard a good deal injured, the Pelican was not in a condition for an immediate pursuit ; and the Médée, being thus left to herself ; soon ran out of sight. With all her heavy damage, the Pelican had no person killed, and only one slightly wounded.
At 10 a.m., while the Pelican was repairing her damages, the man at the mast-head discovered a large ship on the lee beam. At 11 a.m., having got her rigging and sails in tolerable order, the Pelican gave chase ; and at 3 p.m., Englishman's Head, Guadeloupe, bearing south-south-east, distant a mile and a half, succeeded, after firing several shot, in cutting away the stranger's maintopsail yard. Upon this the latter brought to, and proved to be the Alcyon, late a British army-victualler, but then a prize in the possession of the Médée ; who had captured her on the 9th, about 100 leagues to windward of Barbadoes. Having put on board the Alcyon Acting-lieutenant Thomas Ussher and a party of men, the Pelican, at 4 p.m., made sail to the southward with the prize in tow ; but at midnight, owing to a calm and a heavy westerly swell which caused the Alcyon three times to fall on board the Pelican, the latter was obliged to cast her off.
At daybreak on the 24th the Alcyon was found to have drifted very near to the shore at Anse-la-Barque; and, at about a gun
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