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fleet-also if it had bin upon the coast; he tells me in like manner that they were then 80 saile, great ships, many guns and men, and that de Witt runs up and downe every day from ship to ship to see that all be as it should be, and that they doe dayly exercise their men and with their armes and to balling of the ropes, whereby they may be the better able to doe it when they come to sea: that there is a great animositie among them, and earnestness to fight; that the Bast India ships which are among them are generally very great ones, some of them as many guns as Obdam's ships; that they speake of' nothing but of close fighting, and boarding; that Cortenaer was fallen downe as low as where their scoutes did lye, he being to have the van with his squadron, and he is certainly one of the best men they have, and a very stout and experienced seaman, having bin a great while captaine of old Trump's ship, and they expect that he will board the Duke or Prince Robert; that young Trump lyes next with his squadron, then Obdam, and then the North Holland squadron, and then that of Frise, and Obdam takes his leave of every body as with a resolution to perish or conquer. Moreover he tells me that Cortenaer's squadron lyes towards that channell which lookes towards Zeiand to be the readier for a conjunction with Everson. Moreover here is a merchant come to this Towne from Zeiand that tells me that he saw Everson's fleet at an anchore there upon Wednesday last in the afternoone, full of men, and of their best men as well landmen as seamen. lts' said that in regard the other squadrons will be cut about 17 and 18 a peice, that that squadron of Everson's (to make it somewhat more proportionable to the rest) shall be divided into two. The said merchant tells me also that there was not any one merchants ship of their French fleet come in thither. They speake here and at Amsterdam infinitely high, and that so soone as ever the wind shall come faire veir East or bet weene the East and the South, that their fleet shall without faile putt to sea and hazzard a Battle; yea the cheifest of them say that their fleet in the Texell alone is' aboundantly enougb to fight the Duke, they being all such great ships so well man'd, and they make no account of all the Duke's small ships which they say will not be able to abidê a broadside of their great ones, and so will doe him more hurt thaif good.

131. WICQUEFORT AAN FREDERIK IU, 23 Mei 1665 i).

Les deux escadres de la Meuse et de Zeelande, qui ont esté quelque temps dans les Wilingen, arriverent lundy derniers a Schonvelt, qui est une rade auprès de Goeré, vers 1'emboucheure de la Meuse, 'd'oü

1) R. K. — R. H. — Uit den Haag.