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1808 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 58

from Gritchery to Malta, the master of which ship confirmed, the accounts previously received of a Turkish squadron being in that neighbourhood. Profiting by a light air, which had just sprung up from the south-east, Captain Stewart dismissed the Greek ship and made all sail to the north-west. At 4 p.m., the weather becoming squally from the north-east with rain, the Seahorse was obliged to reduce her canvass to treble-reefed topsails. At 5 h. 45 m. p.m. by which time the weather had cleared up, two ships and a galley were descried between the islands of Scapula and Dromo, standing to the southward, with. the wind, owing to the mountainous nature of those islands, more to the northward than it blew with the Seahorse. The discovery was very soon made, that the two ships were Turkish, men of war.

Before we proceed further in the narrative, we will give an account of the force of the parties now approaching each other with, on one side at least, determined hostility. The Seahorse, upon her main deck, mounted the 28 long 18-pounders of her class, with 12 carronades, 32-pounders, upon her quarterdeck, and upon her forecastle two long brass Spanish 18-pounders, which she had taken on board at Messina in lieu of four long nines ; total 42 guns. The net complement of the Seahorse was 281 men and boys ; but, having several men absent in prizes she had at this time on board only 251. The ship measured 998 tons.

The Badere-Zaffer, Captain Scandril Kichuc-Ali, mounted upon the main deck 30 brass guns, of three different calibers : on each side, at the centre or broadest part of the ship, was a French 36-pounder; the two next guns on each side of that gun were French 24-pounders, and the remaining 10 upon the broadside, French 18-pounders. On the quarterdeck, including two stern-chasers, the Turkish frigate had 14 long French 12-pounders, and on the forecastle, including two bow-chasers, six guns of the same caliber, all brass ; making in the whole 62 guns. Her crew, including some supernumeraries received from the galley, amounted to 543 men ; and, as a proof that she was well able to carry the armament established upon her, the Badere-Zaffer measured nearly 1300 tons. The Alis-Fezan, Captain Duragardi-Ali, mounted 24 long brass French 12-pounders on the main deck, and two mortars in the centre of the ship, with a crew, partly taken out of the galley (which had been ordered back to a port of safety), of 230 men. In point of size, the Alis-Fezan was about 730 tons.

As single-decked ships and Turkish men of war, the Badere-Zaffer and Alis-Fezan excited no alarm on board the British frigate ; and, with colours hoisted, the Seahorse continued standing to the eastward to interrupt them in their course to the southward. Either because the Turkish commodore was confident in his strength, or that he had no suspicion of an

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