remaining masts went over the side, and left her a mere wreck upon the water.
In three or four minutes after the Minerve had poured her first broadside into the Sabina, the Blanche was close alongside the frigate to leeward. Eight or nine broadsides, very feebly returned, silenced her ; and, calling for quarter, the Ceres hauled down her colours, with a loss, as subsequently ascertained of seven men killed and 15 wounded. But the consummation of the victory was impracticable; the Matilda and Perla, who were almost within gun-shot when the action commenced, being at this time so near that the Blanche was obliged to wear and make sail in the direction of her consort the Minerve. As, however, the Matilda and Perla did not close immediately with the Ceres, who although damaged in her rigging and sails, had now got her foresail, fore topsail, and fore topgallantsail set, the Blanche again stood towards the latter. But the Ceres outsailed the Blanche before the wind, and, moreover, was presently joined by the Principe-de-Asturias three-docker, from near the land. Captain Preston, therefore, although his ship had sustained neither damage nor loss, was obliged to content himself with a trophiless triumph.
The Minerve, in the mean time, had proceeded upon her destination, and on the 26th anchored in the harbour of Porto-Ferrajo. Here the commodore remained, embarking the troops and stores, until the morning of the 29th of January, 1797 ; when the Minerve, accompanied by the Romulus, Southampton and Dido frigates, Dolphin and Dromedary store-ships, two sloops, and 12 transports, set sail upon her return. On the same evening, the Minerve and Romulus parted company from the squadron, and stood towards the French coast. On the 1st of February these two frigates reconnoitred the road of Toulon, and successively the ports of Barcelona and Carthagena, and on the 10th rejoined their companions at Gibraltar.
COLONIAL EXPEDITIONS.-NORTH AMERICA.
Rear-admiral Richery, with his seven sail of the line and three frigates, as soon as the kind friends, who had released him from his long thraldom at Cadiz, parted company on their return home, steered straight for North America, and on the 28th of August arrived on the grand bank of Newfoundland. The British naval commander-in-chief on the station was Vice-admiral Sir James Wallace, who had under his command only the 50-gun ship Romney and three or four 12-pounder frigates ; and all of these were out on a cruise, except the 32-gun frigate Venus, Captain Thomas Graves, lying at an anchor in the harbour of St.-John. As soon as it became known that the French squadron was off the coast, Captain Graves, with the greater
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