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1812 Escape of M. Allemand from Lorient 43

Colossus, joined company with the Pompée as, on the following, did the Tonnant, Tremendous, and Poictiers. The two latter had lost sight of the French ships at dark on the 10th ; but, having again discovered them at daylight on the 11th, had chased them until 2 p.m. ; when, foggy weather coming on, the Tremendous and Poictiers shortened sail and hauled to the wind on the larboard tack.

Thus left to himself, M. Allemand cruised about at his leisure, and on the 15th of March, in latitude 47 39' north, longitude 10 20' west, fell in with and chased the British 12-pounder 36-gun frigate Nijaden, Captain Farmery Predam Epworth ; but the frigate, although frequently fired at by the French van-ship, and a good deal damaged in her sails and rigging, managed to effect her escape. Captain Epworth, also, by his signals, prevented the Northampton, Monarch, and Euphrates, homeward-bound Indiamen, from becoming prizes to the French admiral ; towards whom they were unsuspiciously steering until apprized of their danger by the Nijaden. After making a few inconsiderable prizes, the French squadron bent its course towards Brest, and on the evening of the 29th anchored in the road ; a matter of just boast to M. Allemand, as two or three British squadrons, besides the one he had escaped from, were anxiously looking out for him.

The account we have given of the escape of the French admiral from the Pompée, Tremendous, and Poictiers, although the only account to be seen in print, is far from being so full and clear as it might have been made, could we have gained a sight of the minutes of the court of inquiry which, it appears, was held at Portsmouth on the subject. We turned to the biography of Sir James Athol Wood in the work of Mr. Marshall ; but, although 13 closely printed pages are devoted to an account of the rear-admiral's professional life, not a line is spared to throw some light on the proceedings of the Pompée in the spring of 1812.

In the latter part of the present year the Ocean, and four of the six two-deckers which, with her, had so nearly been destroyed by the British in 1809, were again in the road of Isle d'Aix, watching an opportunity to proceed to Brest; whither the Courageux and Polonais, in the port of Cherbourg, were also waiting to get ; and where Buonaparte wanted once more to assemble a respectable fleet. The French port, which at this time, owing to the powerful fleet at anchor within it was a much more important station than Brest, now claims our attention.

The British Mediterranean fleet still continued its listless task of watching a superior, though, excepting a little demonstration now and then off the port, inactive enemy. On the 3d of January 14 sail of the line, four frigates and several corvettes, under Rear-admirals Lhermite, Baudin, Violette, and Duperré,

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