|Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
||Light Squadrons and Single Ships
from the boats, and were in possession of the deck. Two were going, to fall upon the captain at once. I ran up, held there back, and then adjured him to accept quarter. With inflexible heroism he disdained the gift, kept us at bay, and compelled us to kill him. He fell, covered with honourable wounds. "
Having, in the manner related, possessed themselves of the Atalante, the British had another enemy to combat : a sudden gale from an adverse quarter frustrated all their attempts to put to sea from the road. Captain Hardinge now secured his prisoners, stationed his men at the Atalante's guns, got the powder on deck, and made every arrangement to attack the other Dutch brig. The dawn of day, however, showed the latter at too great a distance to be approached, especially as the gale had not in the least abated. In this perilous state the British remained for 48 hours ; during which, two of their boats had broken adrift, and two others had swamped alongside of the Atalante. At length, the wind again shifting, the Atalante made a push to get out ; but the two captains found the navigation so difficult, that it was three days ere they could accomplish their object.
This, in all its bearings, was an exploit worthy of British seamen ; and every admirer of meritorious conduct will be pleased to learn, that the officer who had so judiciously planned, and so gallantly led on to, the attack, together with his brave and able second, was, immediately promoted. Lieutenant Bluett, also, as he well merited, was made a commander. A step to post-rank is frequently not without its alloy : Captain Hardinge, no longer qualified to command a sloop, was obliged to quit the Scorpion, a fine brig of 384 tons, just launched, to be the captain of a dull, convoy-keeping " post-ship, " the Proselyte, of 404 tons, late a Newcastle collier ; a cruiser, which any privateer could have run from, and any well-manned 18-gun brig, the Scorpion herself, for instance, have captured.
The following postscript to the private letter referred to at a previous page affords a fine specimen of a British officer's magnanimity : " In two days after the captain's death, " says Captain Hardinge, " he was buried with all the naval honours in my power to bestow upon him. During the ceremony of his interment the English colours disappeared, and the Dutch were hoisted in their place. All the Dutch prisoners were liberated ; one of them delivered an éloge upon the hero they had lost, and we fired three volleys over him as he descended into the deep. " To give to this affair, so honourable to those engaged in it, the proper finish, Rear-admiral Thornborough sent a flag of truce to the Batavian Admiral Killkert inside, with the late Captain Carp's servant, and the effects of the deceased, in order that they might be delivered to his relations.
On the 3d of April the British hired cutter Swift, of 77 tons, eight 4-pounders, and 23 men and boys, commanded by
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