service, and was then intended to be restored to France ; but, in the mean time, she became lost at sea. Captain Barreaut, towards the end of the present year, was tried by a court-martial at Lorient for the loss of his ship, and, after an investigation which lasted nine days, honourably acquitted, chiefly because of the enormous disparity of force between the two vessels.
Of the relative force in the above case it will be sufficient to state that the Constellation at this time mounted, although she afterwards exchanged them for eighteens, 28 long 24-pounders on the main deck, and 10 long 12-pounders, with ten 32-pounder carronades, on the quarterdeck and forecastle ; total 48 guns. the French say 50. The Insurgente was armed, according to the French accounts, with " trente-six canons," meaning without her four carronades ; making her guns in all 40 ; as enumerated in Commodore Truxton's letter, and particularized at No. 7 of the little table at p. 54 of the first volume.
On the 22d of February, at a quarter past 12 at noon, the town of Marbella in Spain bearing north-north-west distant three leagues, the British brig-sloop Espoir, of fourteen 6-pounders and 80 men and boys, Captain James Sanders, discovered in the south-east and windward quarter two brigs and two xebecs. Both of the latter and one of the former appearing to be cruisers, the Espoir hoisted her colours ; whereupon one of the brigs and one of the xebecs hoisted Spanish colours, and, with the other xebec, formed in line ahead, to receive the Espoir. The second brig was a Moorish vessel, which had been towed by one of the others, and was now cast off. The Espoir immediately hauled to the wind in chase, but was unable to weather her two opponents ; with whom, however, the Espoir exchanged broadsides in passing, on opposite tacks. The Espoir then put about, and soon brought to close action the leewardmost of the vessels, which was his catholic majesty's xebec Africa, Captain Josef Subjado, mounting 14 long Spanish 4-pounders and four brass 4-pounder swivels, with a crew of 75 seamen and 38 soldiers. The firing continued with spirit for an hour and a half ; when, a favourable opportunity presenting itself, the Africa was boarded, and after a sharp struggle of 20 minutes carried, by the British crew. The Africa's two consorts, in the mean time, had continued standing on towards the shore, which, when the action ended, was only three miles distant ; and they eventually effected their escape.
The Espoir's loss on this occasion amounted to two seamen killed, and two wounded. That of the Africa amounted to one officer and eight seamen killed, her commander, two other officers, and 25 seamen wounded.
The British 74-gun ship Majestic, Captain Robert Cuthbert, was in sight during the action, but, being between five and six miles to leeward, had of course no share in it. Captain Subjado, while he lay wounded in the Espoir's cabin, told Captain Sanders, that he fully expected to have carried the Espoir into
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