received me very well, and asked a good many questions which I was easily able to answer. I was closeted with him fully two hours. I partook of a most excellent dinner on board the Admiral's vessel, and was therefore much surprised to hear Comte d'Estaing complain that he was in need of many of the necessaries of life;—it certainly did not appear so. I announced the speedy arrival of fifty fat oxen;—which caused such universal pleasure that, before I had finished speaking, the good news was being conveyed by speaking trumpet or signals to all the vessels of the fleet.
All the officers surrounded me, and cross-questioned me closely as to our position, forces, etc. I was quite an important personage. Le Bailly de Suffren—then only in command of a 50-gun ship—sent for me on board his vessel. I was obliged, in order to please him, to drink such a quantity of punch that when I left the ship I was afraid I should fall into the sea.
- See Note F.