On the 23d at daybreak, the troops, marines, and seamen were all in the boats ready again to land, under cover of the Néréide, when it was discovered that General Desbrusleys, the governor of Bourbon, had, in the course of the night, retreated across the island to St.-Denis. The commandant of the town of St.-Paul, Captain St.-Michel, being now disposed to negotiate with the British, terms for the delivery of all public property in the town were drawn up and agreed to. General Desbrusleys having shot himself, through chagrin, as alleged, at the success of the British, a prolongation of the armistice was granted for five days. On the 28th the truce expired ; and the British troops, marines, and seamen immediately began shipping the provisions, ordnance stores, and small remainder of the cargoes of the captured Indiamen. Captains Dale and Gelston were then reinstated in the command of the Streathem and Europe ; and, with the aid of the British squadron, the ships were refitted for sea. This done, Commodore Rowley and his squadron made sail from the bay of St: Paul.
The Caroline, a tolerably fine frigate of 1078 tons, launched at Antwerp in August, 1806, was commissioned under the appropriate name (a Caroline being already in the service) of Bourbonaise, and Captain Corbett was appointed to command her. The vacancy in the Néréide, was immediately filled up by giving post-rank to Captain Willoughby, who had so gallantly and so successfully exerted himself on the occasion ; and of whom Lieutenant-colonel Keating and Captain Rowley, in their several despatches speak in the highest terms.
The above, in substance, is as the account of the expedition of St.-Paul's bay stands in our first edition ; but a contemporary has given a somewhat different version of it. He names Captain Corbett as Captain Willoughby's assistant on shore, although the former never quitted the Néréide, ; and had he landed, would of course, from his superior rank, have assumed the command. The following paragraph also appears: " The Sirius (commanded, it appears, by ' Captain Corbet,' not Captain Pym) anchored with her stern within pistol-shot of the beach, and sustained the fire of the batteries, a frigate, two Indiamen, and a brig. She never returned a shot till both her anchors were let go ; the British troops then rushed on ; and in 20 minutes every French flag was struck. The grape-shot of the Sirius went over the most distant ships of the enemy ; and so severe and well kept up was her fire, that both the French and English expressed their admiration." *
The principal part of this statement will be best answered by a short extract from the logs of two of the ships present at the attack. The Sirius herself says: " At 7 a.m. Néréide,
* Brenton, Vol. iv., p. 398.
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