|Naval history of Great Britain - Vol. IV
||Pallas and Minerve
protection of the battery, succeeded in getting into a river beyond the reach of the enterprising chief and his men. In all these exploits, Lieutenant David Mapleton, and Mr. Sutherland, the master, and Mr. Robert Hillier, the gunner, are mentioned as having greatly distinguished themselves.
On the 12th of May the Pallas, accompanied by the 44-gun rate Indefatigable, Captain John Tremayne Rodd, and 16-gun ship-sloop Kingfisher, Captain George Francis Seymour, again stood in to reconnoitre the French squadron in the road of the Isle of Aix. The French admiral immediately ordered out two frigates, one of which was known to be the Minerve, attended by the three brigs. At 2 P.M. the two British frigates and sloop passed the lighthouse battery on the Isle of Aix, which fired several shot at them. Shortly afterwards a few distant broadsides were exchanged between one of the French frigates and the Kingfisher. At 3 P.M., being close under the batteries, the Pallas, Indefatigable, and Kingfisher tacked and stood out.
On the 14th, early in the morning, the Pallas worked in alone against a fresh breeze from the south by west ; and at 10 h. 30 m. A.M., having arrived nearly within gun-shot of the battery on the Isle of Aix, shortened sail to her topsails to reconnoitre the French squadron in the road. In a little while the Minerve, accompanied by the three brig-corvettes already named, was seen upon the beam of the Pallas running down with studding-sails and royals set, to capture or drive off the intruder. Knowing how to profit by the heedless manner in which the French captain was making his approach, Lord Cochrane kept the main topsail of the Pallas shivering, and got all ready to assist M. Collet in taking in his flying kites.
At about 11 h. 15 m. A.M., the Minerve and her three consorts having arrived within point-blank shot, the Pallas opened her fire, and very soon shortened the frigate's sail for her, and brought down the maintopsail yard of one of the brigs. The Pallas now filled her main topsail, hauled on board her tacks, and endeavoured to get to windward of her principal opponent ; who, assisted by the batteries, opened a smart fire upon the British frigate.
The mutual cannonade continued, with such interruptions only as were occasioned by the frequent tacking of the Pallas to avoid the shoals, until l P.M. ; when, having succeeded in gaining the wind of the Minerve, and in getting between her and the batteries, the Pallas poured into her, at tolerably close quarters, one or two heavy broadsides. The Minerve slackened her fire. Seeing this, the Pallas ceased hers, and, with the view of preventing her opponent's retreat, ran her on board. The French frigate's side thrust back into their ports the British frigate's guns ; but that did not prevent the latter from discharging their contents, with destructive effect, into the hull of the former. The
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