bearing east by north, distant eight leagues. At about 6 h. 30 m. a.m. the Culloden made the signal for five sail in the south-west by south ; and the frigates Lively and Niger (the latter of which had joined at 5 a.m., after having kept company with the Spanish fleet for some days) presently confirmed the same ; adding, that the strangers were by the wind, on the starboard tack. The Bonne-Citoyenne sloop was now directed to reconnoitre. At 8 h. 15 m. a.m. the admiral made the signal for the fleet to form in close order, and in a few minutes afterwards, repeated that of the preceding evening, to prepare for battle.
At 9 h. 30 m. a.m. the Culloden, Blenheim, and Prince-George proceeded, by signal, to chase in the south by west quarter ; and, upon the Bonne-Citoyenne's signalling, at 9 h. 55 m. that she saw eight sail in that direction, the Irresistible, Colossus, and Orion were directed to add themselves to the former. At about 10 a.m. the chasing ships had advanced so far ahead, as to be seen, and, as we learn from the Spanish accounts, made out to be ships of the line, by the Spanish reconnoitring frigates Santa-Catalina and Preciosa.
It was then, and not till then, that the Spaniards recovered from their delusion, as to the ships in sight being part of a convoy. But they fell into another. An American, who had passed through the British fleet on the 4th, previously to Rear-admiral Parker's junction, and while the Culloden was absent in chase, afterwards spoke the Spanish admiral, and informed him, that Sir John Jervis had with him, as was true enough, but nine sail of the line. The partial view obtained of the British fleet through the intervening fog, especially before the ships had extended themselves into a single line, tended to confirm the statement ; and the Spaniards were in high glee at the thought of the triumphant entry they should make into the harbour of Cadiz.
Since 9 a.m. 20 sail of the line, and 31 sail altogether, had been counted from the Victory's mast-head. At 10 a.m. the Minerve made a signal to nearly the same effect. At 10 h. 15 m. a.m. the Bonne-Citoyenne announced by signal, that 20 of the strange ships in the south-west by south were of the line. At 10 h. 40 m. a.m. owing to the weather becoming more hazy, Captain Lindsay could discover but 16 to be of the line ; but at 11 a.m. he made the signal for 25. *
By this time the fog having cleared away, had left the two fleets at liberty to form an estimate, as far as counting numbers could afford it, of their relative strength. What was the surprise of the Spaniards, at seeing 15, instead of nine sail of the line ; and those 15 ships, formed in two close lines, which steadily
* So stated-in the Bonne-Citoyenne's log, and except in the substitution of the Victory's for the Bonne-Citoyenne's time, in the Victory's log, and in Sir John Jervis's letter ; at least in that published in the London Gazette ; but stated to be twenty-seven " sail of the line, both in what purports to be a copy of that letter, inserted at p. 157, vol. ii. of "Brenton's Naval history," and in the author's account of the action, as given at p. 151 of the same volume
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