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1813 Amelia and Aréthuse 187

directed fire kept up by the Amelia's marines, her object could not be accomplished, the Aréthuse threw all aback and dropped clear. In doing this, her spritsail yard knocked Lieutenant William Reeve, who had been invalided from the Kangaroo sloop, from the break of the forecastle into the waist. Setting her main topgallant and middle staysails (her jib for the time being disabled), the Amelia endeavoured again to get her head towards the bow of the Aréthuse. The Amelia at length did so, but, in attempting a second time to cross her antagonist, a second time fell on board of her; and the two ships now swang close alongside, the muzzles of their guns almost touching. This was at about 9 h. 15 m. p.m., and a scene of great mutual slaughter ensued. The two crews snatched the spunges out of each other's hands through the portholes, and cut at one another with the broadsword. The Amelia's men now attempted to lash the two frigates together, but were unable, on account of the heavy fire of musketry kept up from the Aréthuse decks and tops ; a fire that soon nearly cleared the Amelia's quarterdeck of both officers and men. Among those who fell on the occasion were the first and second lieutenants (John James Bates and John Pope), and a lieutenant of marines. Captain Irby was also severely wounded, and obliged to leave the deck to the command of the third lieutenant, George Wells ; who, shortly afterwards, was killed at his post, and Mr. Anthony De Mayne, the master, took the command.

The mutual concussion of the guns at length forced the two frigates apart; and, in the almost calm state of the weather, they gradually receded from each other, with, however, their broad sides still mutually bearing, until 11 h. 20 m. p.m.; when both combatants, being out of gun-shot, ceased firing. Each captain thus describes this crisis. Captain Irby says: " When she (the Aréthuse) bore up, having the advantage of being able to do so, leaving us in an ungovernable state, &c." Captain Bouvet says : " At eleven o'clock the fire ceased on both aides; we were no longer within fair gun-shot ; and the enemy, crowding sail, abandoned to us the field of battle."-----" A onze heures, le fen cessa de part et d'autre ; nous n'étions plus à bonne portée, et l'ennemi se couvrit de voiles, nous abandonnant le champ de battaille, '' *

The damages of the Amelia, although, chiefly on account of the smooth state of the sea, they did not include a single fallen spar, were very serious; the frigate's masts and yards being all badly wounded, her rigging of every sort cut to pieces, and her hull much shattered. But her loss of men will best show how much the Amelia had suffered. Of her proper crew of 265 men, and 30 (including, as if 18 were not already enough, 12

* Mon. April 29. An English translator of Captain Bouvets letter has rendered " Nous n'étions plus a bonne portée " by " We were no longer in good condition." See Naval Chronicle, vol. xxix., p. 385.

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