then received a grape-shop in the arm, and several other officers, in succession, were wounded. With the exception of a second interval from its commencement, of three quarters of an hour or so (but which we are unable precisely to fix), occasioned by the British ships retiring to secure their wounded masts, the action continued to be furiously maintained on both sides until, by the Indefatigable's time, about 4 h. 20 m. a.m. ; when the sudden appearance of land, close on board of all three ships, caused the Indefatigable and Amazon to haul off from the threatened danger, and the far more disabled Droits-de-l'Homme to make a similar effort. Thus terminated an engagement, which had lasted, including the two intervals of suspension, for which an hour and a half may be allowed, about ten hours and a half : the French, indeed, fixing the time of its commencement at 5 h. 15 m. p.m., and of its close at 6 h.15 m. a.m., make the duration of the action 13 hours.
During the whole of this long engagement, the sea ran so high, that the people on the main decks of the frigates were up to their middles in water. So violent, too, was the motion of the ships, that some of the Indefatigable's guns broke their breechings four times ; some drew their ring-bolts from the side, and many of the guns, owing to the water having beaten into them, were obliged to be drawn immediately after loading. A scene nearly similar was acting on board the Amazon ; and, when the firing ceased, the crews of both ships, notwithstanding the increased demand for their exertions owing to the new perils that assailed them, were almost worn out with fatigue.
The Indefatigable had four feet water in the hold, and all her masts were in a wounded state. The main topmast was completely unrigged, and was saved only by uncommon alacrity. The Amazon had nearly three feet water in her hold. Her mizen topmast, gaff, spanker-boom, and maintopsail yard, were entirely shot away; her
For so much injury in materiel, that which the two British ships suffered in personnel bore, in comparison with other cases, a somewhat inadequate proportion. The Indefatigable, out of her crew (admitting all to have been on board) of 330 men and boys, had her first lieutenant (John Thompson) and 18 men wounded ; 12 of these not in a serious manner, and chiefly with splinter-contusions. The Amazon's loss, out of a crew of about 260, amounted to three men killed, and 15 badly wounded. The casualties on board this frigate being thus at least equal to those of the Indefatigable,* a ship so much more large and
* Sir Edward, when he said, in reference to the Amazon, "Her condition, I think, was better than ours," could only have judged from appearances, having had no communication with his consort.
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