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great exertions the boat was got along side. Ramsdell then or dered the main-top-sail aback, and lanthorm to be brought on deck; “but” said he, “throw no rope to them; let the fellow who commands come on board the best way he can; and suffer no one else to come on board.” The officer with great difficulty, scrambled up the side, and exclaimed as he reached the deck, “I never saw English sailors behave in this manner before.”-“ You are not on board of an English ship,” said Ramsdell; “how dared you to hail me in the manner you did?” “Not on board of an English ship,” said the officer, with great astonishment, “what ship am I on board of?” “Of an American ship, and if I should treat you as you deserve, I would take you and your boats crew along to the port I am bound to, and there let you find your way back to your ship as well as you could.” “Sir,” said the officer, “ his has been a mistake ; we were told by a signal from the frigate that this was an English ship.” “ And if it were an English ship, had you any right to hail her like a pirate ? Go, sir, to your boat, and tell the captain of your ship, that I expected to find an English officer always a gentleman ; and if he asks you who fornied so wrong an opinion of him, tell him Charles Ramsdell, of the American ship Louisa.” By this time guns were fired, and blue lights burnt, and rockets set off on board the English ship, as signals for the boat; and the officer took his departure, in a tone somewhat different from the one he had on his arrival.
Here we parted from the Liverpool ships.“ If,” said Ramsdell “we are to be treated in this manner by every British ship of war that we may meet merely because we are in their company, we had better cut the connexion, and have nothing to do with them."
On the following morning, we fell in with a brig from Boston, bound up the Mediterranean, with the commander, who wished to keep in our company, Ramsdell was acquainted. The next morning we saw a vessel standing across our course, which when she approached to within about two miles, appeared to be reconncitering us, upon which the ship laid to for her to come down. When she came within long gun-shot, she showed Spanish colours, and fired a gun, which we answered, by showing our colours, and firing a gun to Iceward. We now found her to be an armed ship of 18 guns, apparently full of men. She again stood towards us, and came to at about half gun-shot. I was leaning on the quarters looking at her, when Ramsdell took me by the arın, and said, walk forward a little, the fellow will try to throw a shot between the main and mizen, just over the place where you stand. Directly a gun was fired, the shot of which struck the water close by our stern, and the ship then came along side of us, and sent her boat aboard. Our men were all at their quarters, I had taken my old station, and while their officer went into the cabin to look at the ships' papers, some of the Spaniards from the boat were suffered to come on deck. One
of them asked a sailor, in very broken English, for some tobac
" Here's my tobacco-box," said the sailor, with a very sour phiz, taking a musket which stood by him, and strking the but of it against the deck. “ Is not this,” asked the other," the ship that had an action with two French privateers in the straits about two months ago ?” Why, do you ask?” said the sailor. “Because, I know her; I was on board of one of the privateers.” « Ah ha! shipmate,” said the tar,“ if you know her so well, you had better advise Jack Spaniard to keep a greater offing."
The officer, had not been long in the cabin, before we heard some high words. It appeared, that on examining the ships papers, he thought, or affected to think, that there was some deficiency in them, and talked of taking the ship into Alicant. “ The less you say on that subject the better,” said our captain, bundling up his papers; “ Come, sir, I must go on deck ; il can't be detained here any longer by you :” on which he came from the cabin, very angry, and very unceremoniously leaving the other to follow. The officer, who was in high wrath, at the cavalier treatment, went into his boat, uttering something in Spanish, which I took to be a string of oaths, and saying something in broken English to Ramsdell, which he understood as at heart of firing into us. In the meantime, they in the Spanish ship had obliged the captain of the brig to go on board with his papers, which they detained, but suffered him to go back in his boat to the brig. In this situation, the captain of the brig hailed, and said that the Spaniards had detained his papers, and was going to take the brig into Alicant. Ramsdell ordered four men to jump into the boat. “What, sir," said the first mate, “ shall I do, if they detain you ?”—“ You can fight your ship, Mr. Bennet!”
“Oh, then, I know what to do,” said Bennet; and as soon as the captain was on board the Spaniards, he ordered the maintopsail to be filled, and ranged along side, within twenty yards of the Spanish vessel, all hands at the guns, and a fellow, who could play on the fife, piping Yankee Doodle. We learnt afterwards, that the captain, on going into the cabin, saw thc brig's papers on the table, and seized them without any ceremony. There were several officers, who attempted to stop him ; but he drew his cutlass, and forced his way on deck. Here we saw a great bustle, and a number of muskets presented at him, and at the same time heard him hail, “ Mr. Bennet, fire a broad-side right where I stand.” Bennet in a minute would have obeyed the order; but we supposed that some of the men who were hemming him in, understood what he said; for they gave way instantly, and he jumped on board the boat, and was rowed to the ship. As soon as he reached the deck, he hailed the briga “Capt. Davis, I have got your papers; make sail, and if this scoundrel offers to prevent you, I will sink him.”. Davis, was very alert in obeying the directions of his friend : no impediment was offered, and both vessels stood on their former course.
The conduct of the Spaniard, appeared to be very unjustifiable. The papers of both the ship and brig were all full and fair. A number of Frenchmen were observed on board the Spaniard ; and some of our men suspected it to be a French vessel ; but in this I think they were mistaken. She was well armed, and some of our men, who were stationed in the tops, counted upwards of an hundred men on deck. The conduct of Ramsdall, may be considered as rash, but it was successful; and success is sometimes the only difference between the hero and madman.
There were many cruisers in our way up the Mediterranean, and I had several opportunities of observing the spirit of our crew. One day, we rliscovered a sail standing for us. In a little time, she was ascertained to be a brig-of-war, of 18 guns. From her rigging the sailors said she was French. Ramsdell hailed the brig in company, and told the commander to get a considerable offing, in case the vessel coming down on us should prove an enemy. He then took in sail and hove to for her, all The men at their quarters. In this situation the strange vessel manæuvred as if to run astern of us. No colours were displayed on either side. Ramsdell supposing she would cross the stern of our ship, stationed some men so as to wear round at the moment she should do so, by which she would find herself along side instead of astern of us : but at the moment this was expected, she ran along side, close aboard, and hoisted an English fag; but before the flag was displayed, and while she was ranging along side, our sailors said, she is an English brig. She hailed, “Where are you from? Where bound to? What brig is that in company? Have you seen any Frenchmen?" And on receiving answers to these questions, she went off without making any further examination. I afterwards asked one of our sailors, “ How did you know that to be an English brig?” “Oh, no Frenchman would run along side of us, as she did.” 66 Well, how did he know our ship to be an American? We might have been a French ship, and had a person who spoke English, on board to answer his questions.” « Yes, that is very true ; but he knew we were an American, for no French ship of our force, would have laid to for him to come along side of." I might mention in justification of our men's opinion of the rigging, that on our hailing to know what brig it was, we were answered the Mondovi, which from the name was probably a French built
At another time, we were chased, very perseveringly, the wind right ahead, from daylight till noon, by a corvette built ship. She tacked whenever we did, and outsailed us. The captain and supercargo of the brig in company, dined that day on board of the ship. By the time we sat down to dinner, the superiority of the vessel in chase could be fairly ascertained from the deck. “ The fellow will be up with us by dark,” said Rams
dell, whether Frenchmen or not. However, that need not spoit our dinner; we should fight none the better with empty stomachs. After dinner we went on deck; the chase was about à league from us, to the leeward. The captain said to our guests, * Gentlemen, you had better go on board your brig. Keép a good distance to windward ; and if you do so, and this should provė to be a Frenchman, though he nay take us, I think we will put it. out of his power to take you. At the rate we have gone he would get along side of us in the night: we can't avoid that; but as I like to see what I am about, I will save him the trouble of any further chase, and stand down to speak him while we have day-light.” Our guests went away in their boat ; but the boat directly came back with the four men who had rowed it, and desiring to speak to the captain, they told him that with the permission of captain Davis, they had came to offer their serviees on board, in case the ship in chase should prove to be an enemy. “You are honest fellows, stout sailors, and true yankees," said he ; "come on board, and take your stations, at the guns; we may have need of all the aid we can get before the day is over.” All things were ready for action, and the ship under her top-sail, stood down towards the chase. When we ranged along side, she proved like the former one, an English vessel ; but we were told that she had been taken from the French, and retained her original spars and rigging. An officer came on board from her, and seeing our men at their guns, turned round to the captain, and said,“ surely, sir, you did not intend to engage our ship with your force.” “ Certainly, I did," said the captain,“ but you know I did not think it one of his majesty's ships that we were running down upon."
One morning at day-light, we found ourselves close by two armed cutters. They were smart looking black little things, exactly alike, of ten guns each, and full of men. They hoisted English colours. The one nearest hailed with a trumpet large enough, at least with a tone loud enough, to have belonged to a line of battle ships. “Ho! heave your main-top-sail aback, till I send my boat aboard of you!"-Ramsdell
, who was standing beside me looking at them, somewhat nettled by being hailed in that manner by a vessel of the size, imitating the provincial twang, generally supposed to belong to some of the eastern peóple, and drawling his words, replied, "Ho! what's that you say, neighbour?" Our neighbour who appeared to understand the derison intended, again hailed with a still deeper roar than his former one, “heave your main-top-sail aback, or I'll fire a broad-side into you!" "Why, now, I guess, cried Ramsdell, still drawling in his former tone, that would be very unkind of you; for you might cut away some of my rigging, and then you'd soon see who would pay the piper.” By this time the other cutter hailed in a more respectful manner, and Ramsdell
VOL. II.VO. 3.
said, “Well, my little fellow, as you appear to know how to behave yourself, you n ay come on board.”
On the 3d of November, we arrived off Leghorn, where we were brought to by the British frigate Mermaid, and informed that the French troops were in Leghorn, which rendered it impossible for the ship to enter, in consequence of which it was judged prudent to put into Elba, till information could be obtained of the situation of Leghorn; the ship therefore bore away for that Island, since celebrated as the short residence of the modern Charlemagne. On the evening of the 5th, we came to in the outer harbour of Porto Ferajo, with the small bower anchor; but that not holding, in consequence of heavy squalls, we let go the best bower also ; notwithstanding which the ship began to drive, and before day-light, being almost on the rocks, under the light-house we were obliged to hoist both anchors, and get the ship under ..weigh, in order to take a station higher up in the harbour, where the bottom might be better holding ground. It blew in violent squalls, and we were obliged to tack from point to point, making little or no head way. Just at day-light, the fort fired a gun without shot; we supposed it to be a morning gun, and paid no attention to it: but a few minutes afterwards, as we were tacking ship, two or three more, shotted, were fired in quick succession at us. We could not heave to; the ship was in the greatest danger of going on the rocks at the time, and the stupid fellows in the fort appeared to think that we were escaping out of, instead of trying to get into, the harbour. In this dilemma, I told the captain that if he would order some men into the boat, I would endeavour to stop the firing on us. The men were sent into the boat, and I jumped in after, and told them to row right up to the battery, on arriving at which, I was directed to go round a point higher up to the harbour, to the officer of the port. This I did, and told him who we were, and what was our difficulty. I was treated with great politeness, and asked if I wished any refreshment; I requested some coffee and breakfast for my men, and was admiring the promptitude and alacrity with which my request was granted, when a guard of soldiers entered the room and told me rather roughly, that I and my men, must go with them, which I did without hesitation, thinking that they wished to conduct me to the governor or some superior officer of the place, instead of which, they led us to a very uncomforta ble looking mansion, whose interior did not belie its outside consisting of one large room floored with brick, and desiring us to walk in, fairly turned the key on us. The grating of the lock made me whistle a long whew, and called forth other exclama tions from my companions. My anxiety was shortly after very much increased by hearing several cannon fired in the direction I supposed the ship to be. I was utterly unable to conjecture what was the cause of this, and remained in great uncertainty