|Naval history of Great Britain
||Curieux and Revanche
On the 11th of December, at 11 A.M. as the Renommée and Grasshopper were cruising on the same station, the latter, being on the look-out, descried a brig under way, and two settees at anchor, off Cape Palos, and immediately made sail to cut off the former. On observing the Grasshopper's intention, the two settees also weighed and stood towards their consort. The Grasshopper continued working to windward, and at noon lost sight of the Renommée.
At about half an hour after noon, having got within range, the Grasshopper opened a heavy fire of round and grape upon the brig. A running fight was maintained (about 15 minutes of it close) until 2 h. 30 m. P.M. ; when the latter, which was the Spanish brig of war San-Josef, of ten 24-pounder carronades and two long sixes, commanded by Lieutenant Don Antonio de Tories, ran on shore under Cape Negrete, and struck her colours. The greater part of her crew, which, upon leaving Carthagena on the preceding evening, numbered 99 men, then swam on shore, and effected their escape. Seeing the fate of their companion, the two settees, which were the Medusa of 10 guns and 77 men, and the Aigle of eight guns and 50 men, tacked and made sail to the eastward.
The Grasshopper now shortened sail and anchored, in order to attempt getting her prize afloat. This was at length effected, in the face of a body of troops assembled on the cliffs ; and who, by their constant discharges of musketry, severely wounded one of the Grasshopper's men, the only loss she sustained. It was not, however, with entire impunity, for the Grasshopper fired at the musketeers several well-directed broadsides. This was a very creditable little affair on the part of Captain Searle, his first lieutenant, Cornelius Willes, of whom he speaks in the highest terms, and his remaining officers and men.
On the 3d of December, at 10 A.M., latitude 14° 48' north, longitude 59° 14' west, the British brig-sloop Curieux, mounting 10 carronades, 18-pounders, and eight long 6-pounders, with a crew on board of rather less than 100 men and boys, commanded by Captain John Sherriff, while standing on the starboard tack with the wind from the north-east, discovered in the north-northwest, or right ahead, a strange ship steering under easy sail on the opposite tack. This was the late Liverpool slave-ship British-Tar, but now the French privateer Revanche, of 24 long guns, chiefly, it is believed, English 9-pounders, and one long French 18-pounder upon a traversing carriage on the forecastle, with a crew of 200 men, commanded by Captain Vidal.
At 11 A.M., as the ship passed almost within gun-shot to leeward of her, the Curieux made the private signal. That not being answered, the brig soon afterwards tacked in chase, and at 1 P.M. discharged her bow gun at the Revanche; who fired one stern-chaser in return, hoisted her colours, and set more sail, edging away to the southward. At 2 P.M., having arrived
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