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of this victim of a cruel and arbitrary government. He sank into despair. He looked forward to death as the only event calculated to bring a termination of his sufferings. Yet death came not, and a gleam of hope now and then cheered him to sustain the mortal coil. Thus, for an additional period of twenty years, did he endure the horrors of confinement in the vaults of Vincennes and the Bicetre. At length, Cardinal de Rohan, a minister of Louis XVI, discovered him in the bottom of a dungeon in the last-mentioned Parisian prison, and being moved with his extreme wretchedness, promised him his liberty, provided he could give proper security for his good behavior. The last kind office was undertaken by a charitable lady of the name of Le Gros, who, on being accidentally informed of his misfortunes, resolved to dedicate her whole time and attention toward procuring his enlargement. The difficulties she had to encounter, together with the narrowness of her own circumstances, rendered the accomplishment of this project almost impossible; but, by incessant and persevering diligence, she at last obtained the object of her wishes; and, after having set him free from all restraints, helped to support him by the small earnings of her own and her husband's industry.
His joyful liberation took place in 1784, hav.
ing altogether been confined for about thirtyfive years. He entered prison a gay, lighthearted young man of three-and-twenty; and when restored to the world, it was at the mature age of fifty-eight; but the sufferings he had endured had broken his constitution and blighted his prospects, and he now had all the appearance of a man in the extreme of old
age and decrepitude. Such is the story of the unfortunate M. de la Tude, which forms another testimony of that terrific species of oppression which has been for ages perpetrated by the continental powers of Europe, and an exemption from which is one of the proudest boasts of this land of liberty and intelligence.
HE colony of Senegal, on the western coast
of Africa, was captured from the French by the English in the year 1809, but was ceded to its former masters at the peace of 1815. As soon after this event as the state of affairs would admit, the French Government fitted out an expedition, consisting of the newly-appointed governor, M. Schmaltz, and other functionaries, civil and military, to take possession of and colonize. the restored settlement. The squadron fitted out on this occasion consisted of four vessels—the Medusa, a frigate of forty-four guns, the Loire store-ship, and the Argus brig, and the Echo corvette—the whole carrying upward of six hundred individuals, of whom two hundred and fifty were soldiers. On board the Medusa, the chief vessel in the squadron, commanded by Captain Lachaumareys, were the governor and other principal functionaries, along with a considerable number of the soldiers, and a number of women and children: the entire
number of individuals on board being four hundred.
Among this large body on board the Medusa, was a family to whom we shall have to advert more particularly in the sequel. It consisted of M. Picard, his wife, two grown-up daughters by a previous marriage, both accomplished young women, and several younger children, with a girl, their cousin-the whole nine in number, the youngest of whom was an infant at the breast. M. Picard was by profession an attorney; he had been resident in Senegal previous to 1809, and now, on the resumption of French authority, he was returning, for the purpose of occupying a situation connected with the government of the colony. Provided with a small cabin on the main-deck of the Medusa, and with some valuable goods on board, the family formed a happy group, full of bright anticipations of the future, and having every reason to expect a prosperous voyage to the shores of Africa.
Setting out from the port of Rochefort, in the west of France, all the vessels of the expedition were under sail on the 17th of June, 1816, and remained for several days together; at length, from the changeableness of the wind, they were separated, each pursuing its course alone, and the Echo only keeping in sight of
the Medusa, as if to guide it on its route. Some fine weather which ensued served to confirm hopes of happiness in the Picards, and on the 28th of June they felt interested in contemplating the lofty peak of Teneriffe, which rose on the horizon. The satisfaction which the passengers now generally felt and expressed, was doomed to be of no long duration. Captain Lachaumareys was apparently so unfit for the trust reposed in him, not only from his ignorance of seamanship and general management, but as regards temper and humanity, that it is impossible to understand how he should have obtained the command of the vessel. One day, when the frigate was going before a fine breeze, at the rate of nine knots an hour, a sailor-boy fell overboard. Several persons were at the moment standing on the poop, witnessing the gambols of seals, but no effective measures were taken to save the poor boy's life. For some time the unfortunate lad kept hold of a rope which he had caught in his fall, but the vesse was making such way, that he soon lost his hold. A sailor now seized him by the arm, but for the same reason he was forced to let go. To communicate this accident to the Echo, a gun was ordered to be fired, but not a single piece was found charged; it required also a long time to lower the sails, when the more sim