quarters of an hour after midnight, a breeze sprang up from the north-east; and soon afterwards the Brilliant, losing sight of her pursuers in the dark, bore away south by east. An interchange of signals between the two French frigates, by rockets, and false fires, followed this alteration in the British frigate's course, but no further attempt at pursuit that the latter could discover.
The Brilliant suffered very little damage, and no loss, by the enemy's shot ; but, in the chase, she sprang her foremast and spanker-boom. On the 3d of August Captain Blackwood fell in with the 36-gun frigate Flora, Captain Robert Gambier Middleton ; and the two frigates, one of them having prisoners to exchange, proceeded off Santa-Cruz. Arriving there on the 10th, Captain Middleton sent in a flag of trace ; which brought out nine men who had been prisoners on board the Vertu. These gave an account of the names and some other particulars of the ships which the Brilliant had engaged. Part of the information was, that the Régénérée's bowsprit, foremast, and main topmast, owing chiefly to their wounded state, had fallen overboard, while the ship was in the act of tacking after the Brilliant, a short time before the latter bore away to the southward.
Had the Flora joined company during the chase, the combat would most probably have been brought to a decisive issue ; and, as an additional reward to the British, should the day have been theirs, intelligence might have been obtained of the two rich Spanish galleons, which the two French frigates had taken under their convoy ; and which they escorted safe to their destination.
On the 4th of July, at 9 h. 45 m. p.m., the French ex-Venetian brig-corvette Lodi, of 18 long 6-pounders and at least 130 men, commanded by Lieutenant Sennequier, while running through the Piombino channel, on her way from Leghorn, which she had quitted that morning, to Alexandria, with despatches for General Buonaparte, was hailed and attacked by an armed brig. As soon as she had ascertained that the vessel approaching her so fearlessly was an enemy, the Lodi endeavoured to obtain a raking position ahead of her; but the British brig frustrated the attempt by running her own bowsprit through the Lodi's boom-mainsail.
A furious action now commenced ; on the part of the Lodi by vivid and constant discharges of musketry, in which the officers and troops on board as passengers greatly assisted, and on the part of the British brig, who probably in the arm of musketry felt sensibly her deficiency, by discharges of grape and canister shot from such of her great guns as would bear. Twice the British attempted to put an end to the combat by boarding ; but a part of the assailants, each time, fell dead into the sea, and the remainder were driven back to their brig, covered with
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