moon rose in the north-east ; thereby casting the ships that were under the land in complete shade, and throwing a light upon objects in the offing. Thus favoured, the Pénélope, and Pauline, at 2 a.m. discovered in the south-west by south the unsuspecting Proserpine, lying becalmed, with her head directed towards them. The two French frigates immediately bore up under all sail, before a freshening land wind from the east-north-east. We will now take the account as given by the Proserpine herself.
At 4 a.m., Cape Sicie bearing north-east by north distant 12 or 13 miles, the Proserpine discovered the two French frigates steering towards her from under the land. Having no doubt that they were enemies, Captain Otter, taking advantage of a light breeze which that moment sprang up from the east-south-east, wore on the larboard tack, and made all sail ; just keeping near enough to the wind to permit the larboard topgallant studding-sails to draw. For the double purpose of being used as chasers, and of bringing the ship more by the stern to quicken her sailing, the two foremost 18-pounders were removed to the cabin. Before, however, they could be pointed through the ports, the two French frigates had arrived within gun-shot.
At about 4 h. 25 m. p.m. Captain Otter hailed the Pénélope, then approaching upon the larboard quarter. The French frigate answered by a single gun. Upon this the British crew were ordered to their quarters; and, while the drum was rolling for that purpose, the Pénélope, opened her broadside upon the Proserpine's larboard quarter. This was at 4 h. 30 m. A.M.; and almost at the same instant the Pauline commenced firing into the British frigate's starboard quarter. The fire was returned by the Proserpine, but not in so effective a manner as it might have been, the two guns, that had been brought into the cabin, disabling the two aftermost guns on the larboard side. The same untoward circumstance prevented any return to the raking fire kept up by the Pauline upon the Proserpine's stern and starboard quarter.
At 4 h. 40 m. a.m. the Pénélope, ranged up alongside within pistol-shot of her opponent, and several broadsides were exchanged. The Pauline, in the mean while, preserved her station upon the Proserpine's starboard quarter, and continued to direct her fire chiefly at the latter's rigging and sails. By 5 h. 10 m, a.m. the Proserpine had her maintopsail yard shot away, foremast half cut through nine or ten feet from the deck, main and mizen masts, main yard, and foretopsail yard badly wounded, and her stays, shrouds, braces, bowlines, and the whole of the running rigging destroyed : the Pénélope, was also on her larboard bow, and the Pauline on her starboard quarter, each preparing to board. Being in this hopeless situation, the British frigate hauled down her colours.
The proper complement of the Proserpine was 251 ; but, having manned some prizes, she had only 211 men and boys on
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