therefore took every practicable means to avoid it. The Leander's inferiority of sailing, however, rendered an action inevitable ; and it was only left to steer such a course, as would enable her to receive her powerful adversary to the best advantage.
That adversary was the French 74-gun ship Généreux, chef de division Lejoille, bound to Corfu, and armed with the addition of two brass 36-pounder carronades on the forecastle, making 80 guns in all, the same as No. 4 in the table at vol. i. p. 54 ; while the Leander's force consisted of only 22 long 24-pounders on the lower deck, the same number of 12-pounders on the second deck, six long 6-pounders, on the quarterdeck and forecastle, and two, or rather one, for the other had been dismounted at the Battle of the Nile, 12-pounder carronade on the poop, total 51 guns. *
At 8 a.m. the Généreux, still retaining exclusive possession of the breeze, and having by way of deception hoisted Neapolitan colours, approached within random-shot of the Leander, then steering, under every stitch of canvass she could spread, with the wind on the larboard beam. The French 74 now changed her colours to Turkish ; but, from the first, her national character had been known. At 9 a.m. the Généreux ranged up, within half gun-shot, on the Leander's larboard and weather quarter. Finding that an action was inevitable, the Leander shortened sail, and hauled up until her broadside could be brought to bear. The Généreux now fired a shot ahead of the Leander and the latter immediately replied to it by a broadside.
A vigorous cannonade thus commenced on both sides ; and the two ships continued nearing each other, keeping up a constant and heavy fire, until 10 h. 30 m. a.m., when the Généreux evinced a disposition to run her opponent on board. Such was the shattered state of the latter's rigging, sails, and yards, and so light the breeze, that the latter could make no movement to evade the shock. The French 74, accordingly, struck the British 50 on the larboard bow, and, dropping alongside, with a crash that bent double several of the Leander's lowerdeck ports, continued there for some time.
A spirited and well-directed fire, however, from the Leander's remnant of marines, stationed on the poop, and commanded by the sergeant (no officer having arrived on board to succeed Lieutenant Robinson killed at Teneriffe), and from the small-arm men on the quarterdeck, prevented the crew of the Généreux, numerous as they were, from taking advantage of the juxtaposition of the ships ; and the Frenchmen every time they attempted to board, were driven back with loss. Meanwhile
* A contemporary mistates the force of both ships. He gives the Généreux two guns too many on each of her principal decks, and calls her 8-pounders 12s. For the Leander's six 6-pounders, he substitutes eight 9s. Brenton, vol. ii., p. 322.
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