5-sail of French men of war had passed the Straits. On hearing this, the lion roused himself ; and the idol of that focus of corruption, the Neapolitan court, again shone forth as Nelson of the Nile. Instantly he despatched orders to Captain Troubridge at Naples bay, to come to Palermo with the whole of his line of-battle force, and if possible, a frigate. He also forwarded instructions to Captain Ball, at Malta, who, with the Alexander and Goliath 74s, and occasionally a Portuguese 74, was blockading the port of Valette ; also to the Russian admiral wherever he could be found, and whose force, in alliance with that of the British in this quarter, consisted of four or five sail of the line and some frigates and smaller vessels. Much effective co-operation, however, was not expected from these.
On the 17th, in the morning, his lordship repeated the orders as to the ships of the line in and off Naples bay, but added that the frigates must remain to take care of the recently surrendered islands. On the same afternoon the rear-admiral was joined by the 74-gun ships Culloden, Commodore Troubridge, Swiftsure, Captain Benjamin Hallowell, and the San-Sebastian, a Portuguese 74.
On the 20th, having been reinforced by the 74-gun ship Minotaur, Captain Thomas Louis, and a third Portuguese 74, the Alphonso, Lord Nelson got under way ; and cruised for several days near the islands of Levanzo and Maritimo. On the 30th the squadron, having been further reinforced by the 74-gun ship Zealous, Captain Samuel Hood, and the Lion 64, Captain Manley Dixon, returned to Palermo, and anchored off the Mole, in a line opposite to the Marino. On the 1st of June the Audacious 74, Captain David Gould, joined; and on the 7th, Rear-admiral Duckworth, with the 80-gun ship Foudroyant, Captain William Brown, the 74-gun ships Leviathan, bearing the rear-admiral's flag, Captain Henry Digby, Northumberland, Captain George Martin, and Majestic, Captain George Hope. On the 8th Lord Nelson shifted his flag to the Foudroyant, and Captains Hardy and Brown exchanged ships.
On the 13th, having now under his command the Foudroyant, Leviathan, Culloden, Minotaur, Northumberland, Zealous, Audacious, Swiftsure, Vanguard, Majestic, Alphonso, Principe-Real, San-Sebastian, and Lion, also the reduced 64-gun ship Haerlem, but not, we believe, a single frigate, Lord-Nelson again put to sea from Palermo, and was the next day, joined by the Powerful and Bellerophon, forming a total of 16 sail of the line. With this fleet, Lord Nelson cruised off and, on the coast of Sicily ; but, as we have elsewhere shown; neither the French nor the Spanish fleets arrived there to seek a battle with one, who had already convinced both nations, that, whatever might be his inferiority of force, he was not to be attacked with impunity.
On the departure of Captain Troubridge with his three 74s
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