What was this ship? Why did Nautilus come to visit her grave? Was it then not an accidental wreck that had taken the ship under the waters?
I did not know what to think, when, close to me, I heard Captain Nemo say in a slow voice:
Once this ship was named Marseillais. She bore 74 guns and was launched in 1762. In 1778, on 13 August, under La Poype-Vertrieux, she fought audaciously against Preston. In 1779, on 4 July, she saw with Admiral d’Estaing squadron the capture of Grenada. In 1781, on 5 September, she took part in the fight of Count de Grasse in the bay of Chesapeak. In 1794, the French Republic changed her name. On 16 April of the same year, she joined in Brest the squadron under Villaret-Joyeuse, in charge of escorting a convoy of wheat inbound from American under Admiral Van Stabel. On 11 and 12 prairial, year II, the squadron met with English ships. Sir, today is the 13 prairial, the 1st of June 1868. Seventy-four years ago, on that exact day, at this very place, by 47°24’ of latitude and 17°28’ of longitude, this ship, after a heroic fight, dismasted of all her three masts, water in her hull, a third of her crew hors de combat, preferred to founder with her three hundred fifty-six sailors than to surrender, and nailing her flag to her aft, she disappeared under the waves at the cry of “Long live the Republic!
— The Vengeur! I exclaimed.
— Yes! sir. The Vengeur! A beautiful name”, murmured Captain Nemo while crossing his arms.