fore and main mast standing, took a raking position under the quarter of the British ship, where she kept up a fire, unchecked by any return from the Ceylon, whose gallant captain directed the mizen topsail to be cut away, to enable the ship to get before the wind. This resource failing, and every thing having been done for the preservation of the ship, the colours were hauled down to superior force. The frigates were the Vénus, of 44 guns and 380 men, and the Victor (formerly English), of 16 guns and 120 men.
A " frigate," indeed ; such a frigate as Captain Brenton himself would have gladly met in the Merlin sloop †; such a frigate as he would have thought it a step to have been removed from into the Amaranthe brig ; ‡ such a frigate, in short, as the old 16-gun schooner Netley, with her non-recoil carronades, would have been ashamed to run from. As far as we can judge from the context, by the ship that, previously to midnight, sustained a close action of " an hour and ten minutes " with the Ceylon, is meant the Victor, "of 16 guns." If so, this is paying a high compliment to the French commander, and places in no very creditable light the conduct of his antagonist. Such, however, was evidently not the writer's intention ; and it is perhaps not the least fortunate circumstance connected with Captain Brenton's narrative of operations in the vicinity of the Isles of France and Bourbon, that it is so confusedly put together, and contains so many contradictions and absurdities, as considerably to weaken its misleading powers.
The Boadicea's prize was a fine frigate of 1105 tons ; and, to commemorate the gallant defence of the Néréide at Grand-Port, Vice-admiral Bertie named the Vénus after her. For the capture of the Ceylon by the Vénus and her consort, Captain Gordon, his officers, and crew were tried by court-martial on board the Illustrious 74 belonging to the Cape station, and honourably acquitted.
Colonial Expeditions - West Indies
On the 27th of January a combined naval and military expedition, under the respective commands of Vice-admiral the Honourable Sir Alexander Cochrane, and Lieutenant-general Sir George Beckwith, anchored off the town of Gosier, island of Guadaloupe. On the 28th the troops landed without opposition: one division, commanded by Major-general Hislop, at the village of Sainte-Marie, under the direction of Commodore William Charles Fahie, of the 74-gun ship Abercrombie ; and the other division, commanded by Brigadier-general Harcourt, a
* Brenton, vol. iv., p. 473. † See vol. iii., p. 206. ‡ See p. 86.
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