|Naval history of Great Britain
||France and the Northern Powers
honours of war. On the 14th of June the battle of Friedland was fought ; on the 25th an armistice was agreed upon between France and Russia at Tilsit ; and on the 7th and 9th of July, at the same place, treaties were concluded between France, Russia, and Prussia.
That the French emperor had not, in the mean time, wholly, neglected strengthening his marine, a glance at his naval means at the conclusion of that treaty will show. In the ports of Brest, Lorient, Rochefort, Ferrol, Vigo, Cadiz, Carthagena, and Toulon, were upwards of 45 French and Spanish sail of the line ready for sea, or nearly so, exclusive of three French sail of the line in the West Indies and America. Buonaparte flattered himself that he should soon have also at his disposal nine Portuguese sail of the line in the Tagus, and five Russian in the Mediterranean. These 62 sail, even while lying in port, would occupy the attention of an equal number of British ships ; and every division that escaped to sea would, in all probability, be pursued by at least two squadrons of equal force. Moreover it was requisite to have an adequate British force in the colonies, east and west, to be ready to act, in case an enemy's fleet should suddenly make its appearance. Hence, a great portion of the British navy was fully employed in the southern, eastern, and western seas : we have still to show what force might be opposed to the remainder in the northern sea.
In the port of Flushing, and at Anvers, or Antwerp, as more usually called, were three Dutch and eight new French, sail of the line, ready for sea, or fitting with the utmost expedition. All these were 74s, built from Dutch models ; two, the Charlemagne and Commerce-de-Lyon, were launched on the 8th of April, 1807, two others, the Anversois and Illustre, on the 7th of June ; and the remaining four, the Audacieux, Duguesclin, César, and Thésée, in the latter end of that month and beginning of July. Two other 74s, the Albanais and Dalmate, were on the stocks, getting ready with the utmost expedition. In the Texel were also three Dutch sail of the line, making a total of 14.
But these ships were not all. The French emperor, who, besides his grand army in the neighbourhood of Tilsit, had one of 70,000 men on the confines of Swedish Pomerania, and meditated sending another to occupy the Danish monarch's newly acquired territory of Holstein, flattered himself with obtaining, either by fair means or by foul, the 11 sail of the line belonging to Sweden, and the 16 belonging to Denmark. There is also good ground for believing, that one of the secret articles of the treaty of Tilsit placed at the conqueror's temporary disposal the 19 or 20 fine new ships, which the Emperor of Russia had ready for sea, or nearly so, in the ports of Revel and Constadt.
Here would have been a confederate French, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, and Russian fleet of 60 sail of the line in the North and Baltic seas. Admitting the plan to have been realized to only
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