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1813 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 190

manoeuvre by the possession of her masts ; that it was done in a fair side-to-side action, neither frigate, during the three hours and a half's engagement, having had an opportunity to give one raking fire. It will, no doubt, also strike Commodores Decatur and Bainbridge, that, so far from constantly evading the close assaults of his antagonist, Captain Bouvet remained nearly in the same position from the commencement of the battle to its termination.

Both frigates found ample employment, during the remainder of the night, in clearing the decks of the dead and wounded, and in securing their damaged masts. At daylight on the 8th they were about five miles apart, the Aréthuse to the eastward of the Amelia, and both nearly becalmed. On a light breeze springing up, the Amelia, having bent a new foresail and fore topsail made sail, before it to the southward, on her way to Madeira and England ; and the Aréthuse stood back to Isle de Los, to see what had become of Captain Ollivier and his people. On the morning of the 10th the Aréthuse was joined by the Serra, with the late crew of the Rubis, stated then to consist of 300 men.

Taking half the number on board his frigate, Captain Bouvet, with the Serra in tow, steered for France. On reaching the latitude of Madeira, however, Captain Bouvet removed every man out of the Serra, and destroyed her, as she retarded the Aréthuse in her voyage. On the 18th of March, in latitude 33° 30' north, longitude 40° west, the French frigate fell in with and boarded the Mercury and another cartel, having on board the surviving officers and crew of the late British frigate Java; and on the 19th of April, after having made in the whole about 15 prizes, the Aréthuse anchored in St.-Malo ; as on the 22d of the preceding month had the Amelia at Spithead.

Another pair of French 40-gun frigates had been nearly the same route as the Aréthuse and Rubis, but during a two months and a half's cruise, had not encountered a single hostile vessel of war. The Hortense and Elbe, Captains Pierre-Nicolas Lahalle and Jules Desrostours, sailed from Bordeaux on the 7th of December, 1812 ; and steering for the coast of Africa, anchored on the 4th of January between the Bissagot islands, a little to the northward of Sierra-Leone. They sailed soon afterwards, cruised a short time off the Azores, and on the 15th of February succeeded in entering Brest.

While, in the early part of December, 1812, the United States' frigate Constitution, Commodore Bainbridge, and ship-sloop Hornet, of eighteen 32-pounder carronades and two long 12-pounders, Captain James Lawrence, were waiting at St.-Salvador, to be joined by the Essex, * an occurrence happened,

* See p. 188.

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