her larboard quarter with intent to board; whereupon the Fortune seeing the three frigates also approaching, struck her pendant, her colours, having just been shot away the third time, were already down.
The Fortune's guns were French 4 and 3 pounders, all in bad condition, and her crew amounted to 28 ; of whom she had two seamen killed, and her commander and three seamen wounded. The Salamine mounted 16 long French 6-pounders, with a crew of 126 men. What loss or damage, if any, the Salamine sustained does not appear. The gun-boat also fell into the hands of M. Perrée, who immediately scuttled and sank both his prizes.
The Fortune had been captured on the 11th of the preceding August by the Swiftsure 74. She was then called, by mistake, a corvette of 18 guns. The Fortune, in fact, was a mere shell of a vessel, and measured only 150 tons ; while the Salamine, which was afterwards in the British service, was a regular man-of-war brig, and measured 240 tons. Considering the very great disparity of force, the defence of the Fortune was highly creditable to her commander and crew.
On the 12th of May, in the morning, the British hired armed cutter Courier ; of twelve 4-pounders and 40 men, commanded by Lieutenant Thomas Searle, while on her way from Yarmouth roads, to join the Latona frigate off the Texel, discovered an armed brig about eight or nine leagues off Winterton, in the act of capturing a merchant sloop. The Courier immediately made sail, and at 1 h. 30 m. p.m., brought to close action a French privateer of 16 guns. The two vessels continued engaged at close quarters for an hour and 40 minutes ; when the brig, being the better sailer, and having the advantage of the wind, effected her escape. The Courier continued in chase until midnight ; at which time, the weather becoming thick, she lost sight of her adversary. The Courier had five men wounded. The obvious damages received by the brig, whose guns were afterwards ascertained to have been 6 and 8 pounders, indicated that her loss was far more severe than the cutter's. A French lugger-privateer lay to leeward during the whole of the action, but evinced no inclination to interfere.
On the 13th, at daylight, Lieutenant Searle saw a sail in the north-east, which he at first judged to be his old opponent ; but, the vessel, as the Courier neared her in chase, proved to be schooner-rigged. At 8 a.m. the cutter arrived up with, and without any resistance captured, the French privateer-schooner Ribotteur, of four (originally six) 3-pounders and 26 men; a consort, as it turned out, of the brig which Lieutenant Searle, with so much gallantry and effect, had engaged the day before.
On the 9th of June, the British 12-pounder, 32-gun frigate, Success, Captain Shuldham Peard, chased a Spanish polacre into the harbour of La Selva, a small port about two leagues to
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