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2018年04月21日
The privateer was a large vessel


In October, Marryat made his first acquaintance with Malta, and the scenes associated with the immortal memory of Mr. Midshipman Easy Company Formation. He was not to stay there long, for the Impérieuse left almost immediately to join Lord Collingwood, who was cruising off Palermo. Soon after, the future describer of so many dashing affairs with boats had an opportunity of seeing one. On the 14th of November (Marryat himself says the 15th), the Impérieuse sighted two vessels under the land of Corsica, and, as it was calm, the boats were ordered out to examine them, under the command of Napier and Fayrer.

“As soon,” it is Marryat who speaks, “as they were within half a mile, the ship hoisted English colours. The sight of these colours, of course, checked the attack; the boats pulled slowly up toward her, and, when within hail, demanded what she was, for, if an English vessel, she could have no objection to be boarded by the boats of an English frigate. Now, as it afterwards was proved, the ship was a Maltese privateer of great celebrity Hong Kong Apartments, commanded by the well-known Pasquil Giliano, who had been very successful in his cruises, and, if report spoke truly, for the best of reasons, as he paid very little respect to any colours; in fact, he was a well-known pirate, and, when he returned to Malta, his hold was full of goods taken out of vessels, which he had burnt that he might not weaken his crew by sending them away; and in an Admiralty Court so notoriously corrupt as that of Malta, inquiries were easily hushed up. Although such was the fact, still it had nothing to do with the present affair.

“When the boats pulled up astern, the captain of the[28] polacre answered that he was a Maltese privateer, but that he would not allow them to come on board; for, although Napier had hailed him in English, and he could perceive the red jackets of the Marines in the boats, Giliano had an idea from the boats being fitted out with iron tholes and grummets, like the French, that they belonged to a ship of that nation. A short parley ensued, at the end of which the captain of the privateer pointed to his boarding nettings triced up, and told them that he was prepared, and if they attempted to board he should defend himself to the last. Napier replied that he must board, and Giliano leaped from the poop telling him that he must take the consequences. The answer was a cheer and a simultaneous dash of the boats to the vessel’s side MD Senses.

“A most desperate conflict ensued, perhaps the best contested and the most equally matched on record. In about ten minutes, the captain having fallen, a portion of the crew of the privateer gave way, the remainder fought until they were cut to pieces, and the vessel remained in our possession. And then, when the decks were strewn with the dying and the dead, was discovered the unfortunate mistake which had been committed., pierced for fourteen guns and mounting ten, and the equality of the combatants, as well as the equality of the loss on both sides, was remarkable. On board of the vessel there had been fifty-two men; with [the] boats fifty-four. The privateer lost Giliano, her captain, and fifteen men; on our side we had fifteen men killed and wounded. Fayrer lost for ever the use of his right arm by a musket bullet, and Napier received a very painful wound, and had a very narrow escape—the[29] bullet of Giliano’s pistol grazing his left cheek and passing through his ear, slightly splintering a portion of the bone.”

Marryat’s version of the story does not agree in every detail with Cochrane’s, but in essentials they are at one. Particularly there is no difference of opinion between them as to the character of the Maltese Admiralty Court. In this case it not only refused to allow that the King George (Giliano’s vessel) was a lawful prize, but it fined the Impérieuse five hundred double sequins. That iniquitous court was one of the many abuses Cochrane had to fight in his life.

[ 投稿者:Forgetting is really hard at 22:19 | お友 | コメント(0) | トラックバック(0) ]

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