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I.

Accident

CHAP. room, to dine there with his officers, according

to his weekly custom. As we were beginning which be our dinner, the voice of a sailor employed in Romulus . heaving the lead was suddenly heard calling

half four !The Captain, starting up, reached the deck in an instant; and almost as quickly putting the ship in stays, she went about. Every seaman on board thought she would be stranded; as she came about, all the surface of the water exhibiting a thick black mud: and this extended so widely, that the appearance resembled an island. At the same time, no land was really visible, not even from the mast-head, nor was there any notice of such a shallow in any chart on board. The fact is, as we leammed afterwards, that a stratum of mud, extending for many leagues off the mouths of the Nile, exists in a moveable deposit near the coast of Egypt, and, when recently shifted by currents, it sometimes reaches quite to the surface, so as to alarm mariners with sudden shallows, where the charts of the Mediterranean promise a considerable depth of water. These shallows, however, are not in the slightest degree dangerous ; vessels no sooner touch them, than they are dispersed ; and a frigate may ride secure, where the soundings would induce an inexperienced pilot to believe her nearly aground. In the

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I.

evening of this day we made land, and saw the chap. eastern fort at the entrance of the Damiata branch of the Nile, bearing n. w. distant seven or eight miles.

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CHAP. room, to dine there with his officers, according

to his weekly custom. As we were beginning hich be. our dinner, the voice of a sailor employed in omulus.

heaving the lead was suddenly heard calling

half four !" The Captain, starting up, reached the deck in an instant; and almost as quickly putting the ship in stays, she went about Every seaman on board thought she would be stranded; as she came about, all the surface of the water exhibiting a thick black mud: and this extended so widely, that the appearance resem. bled an island. At the same time, no land was really visible, not even from the mast-head, nor

held a

was there any notice of such a shallow in any chart on board. The fact is, as we leamed afterwards, that a stratum of mud, extending for many leagues off the mouths of the Nile, exists in a moveable deposit near the coast of Egypt, and, when recently shifted by currents, it sometimes reaches quite to the surface, so as to alarm mariners with sudden shallows, where the charts of the Mediterranean promise a considerable depth of water. These shallows, hor. ever, are not in the slightest degree dangerous ; vessels no sooner touch them, than they are dispersed ; and a frigate may ride secure, where the soundings would induce an inexperienced pilot to believe her nearly aground. In the

July the twenty-seventh, at ten A. M. we were employed in answering signals from the Heroine ; and it was very interesting to us landsmen, to observe the facility with which the commanders of frigates, separated from each other by such an immense distance that their vessels were scarcely visible to the naked

eye, conversation with each other. We had calm weather with light breezes during this and the following day: no land was visible. July the twenty-ninth, observed

a strange cutter to leeward, and land bearing s. w. and by s. supposed to be cape Brule, distant six or seven miles. July the thirtieth, about three P. m. we made land from the mast head, which proved to be Cape Berelos, bearing s. s. w. distant about ten or twelve miles, the town of Rosetta being at the same time w. and by s. half s. distant ten or eleven miles.

July the thirty-first, a calm and a strong current compelled us to anchor east of Rosetta, in five fathoms and a half water. On the

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Arrival at
Aboukir.

CHAP. following morning, being the first of August, at

seven A. M. 'weighed, and made sail. At four
P. M. saw the fleet off Aboukir, and plainly
observed the Admiral's ship. The same even-
ing, at eight o'clock, we came to anchor nearly
in the station held by the Romulus previous to
her sailing for the coast of Syria. Here we re-
ceived the joyful intelligence of the surrender of
Cairo, reports of which had reached us in Syria.
Presently after, Captain Clarke came alongside,
in the Braakel's barge; when, taking leave of
our kind friends, we regained once more a com-
fortable berth within his cabin.

w

!

kel receives

convoy a
Squadron

seilles.

We had not been here many days, before
The Brua- the Braakel received orders from the Admiral,
orders to Lord Keith, to convoy the French prisoners
to caro captured at Rachmanie and the different forts

upon the Nile, including the garrison of Cairo, to
Marseilles ; and, at the same time, to take in, with
as many of those prisoners as possible, their
artillery, arms, baggage, &c. and to sail with all
possible expedition. So rapid were the measures
adopted by Captain Clarke for this

purpose,

that he was ready before any of the other vessels appoin:ed to convey the prisoners had obtained their cargo; and, making the signal for sailing to all the convoy, he was ordered to proceed on

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P. following morning, being the first of August, at

seven A. M. weighed, and made sail. At four ir. P. M. saw the fleet off Aboukir, and plainly

observed the Admiral's ship. The same evening, at eight o'clock, we came to anchor nearly in the station held by the Romulus previous to her sailing for the coast of Syria. Here we received the joyful intelligence of the surrender of

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We had not been here many days, before was the Braakel received orders from the Admiral, to Lord Keith, to convoy the French prisoners

captured at Rachmanie and the different forts upon the Nile, including the garrison of Cairo, to Marseilles; and, at the same time, to take in, with as many of those prisoners as possible, their artillery, arms, baggage, &c. and to sail with all possible expedition. So rapid were the measures adopted by Captain Clarke for this purpose, that he was ready before any of the other vessels appointed to convey the prisoners had obtained their cargo; and, making the signal for sailing to all the convoy, he was ordered to proceed on

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CHAP. but afterwards the more lamentable slaves of

the lowest rabble of the French army. They
were desirous of going anywhere, rather than
to remain in Egypt, where they were sure of
being immolated by the first Moslem they might
encounter.

As soon as matters were somewhat adjusted, and the wounded men taken care of (among whom there were a few in so terrible a condition that they died upon the following day), a deputation, from all the prisoners, waited upon the Captain, to offer him a band of music every day during dinner; and requesting his permission to exhibit a club-d'armes, for fencing, every morning, and a comédie every evening. Never was there any thing to equal the gaiety and good-humour of the poor Frenchmen. animosity was laid aside; singing, dancing, fencing, and acting, became the order of the day; even the wounded, when able to come upon deck, shewed signs of the joy which animated their comrades in the thoughts of returning to France. They would do any thing to gratify the English officers and men. Sometimes, when their band played ” God save the King,” the members of the theatrical party, in the forecastle, sang out, in broken English, Send him victorious !"

All

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