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tacked, and wore his whole fleet, and
stood to the southward, on the star-
board tack, close hauled ; but the wind,
immediately after they wore about, co-
ming more southerly, I continued to
stand on till a quarter past ten, at which
time I tacked the British fleet together
by signal. Soon after we wore about on
the starboard tack, the wind came two
points in our favour to the westward,
which enabled us to lie up for a part of
them ; but in a dark squall that soon af-
ter came on, I lost fight of the enemy for
above half an hour, aud when it cleared
away at eleven o'clock, I discovered the
French fleet had changed their position,
and were endeavouring to form the line
on the larboard tack; which finding they
could not effect without coming within
gun-shot of the van of the British fleet,
they edged down, and fired on my head-
most ships, as they approached them on
the contrary tack, at a quarter after e-
leven ; which was instantly returned;
and then, and not till then, I made the
signal for battle. All this happened in
about half an hour; and must have been
owing to the enemy’s falling to leeward
in performing their evolution during the
squall, which we could not see, and by
that means produced this sudden and un-
expected opportunity of engaging them.
as they were near three leagues ahead of
me when the squall came on.
If therefore, by making the fignal for
the line of battle, when the van of my
fleet was thus suddenly getting within
reach of the enemy, and well connected
with the centre, as my accuser himself
has admitted, I had called back the Vice-
Admiral of the Red, the French flect
might either have formed their line com-
plete, and have come down upon my
fleet while in the confusion of getting in-
to order of battle; or (what I had still
greater reason to apprehend) might have
gone off to windward out of my reach
altogether; for even as it was, the e-

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