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their sufferings, and now appeared like specters to welcome the approach of their countrymen!
The following is the account which these infortunate men gave of what had occurred on the wreck. When the boats and the raft had left the frigate, the seventeen had collected a sufficient quantity of wine, biscuit, brandy, and bacon, for their subsistence during a certain number of days. While this stock lasted they were quiet; but forty-two days having passed without the arrival of the expected succor, twelve of the most resolute constructed a raft, and, endeavoring to make the land without oars or sails, and but a small quantity of provisions, were drowned. That this was their fate there is no reason for doubting, as the shattered fragments of their raft were some time afterward thrown on shore by the waves, and picked up by the Moors. Another seaman, who refused to trust for safety to the raft, adopted the strange resolution, a few days after, of placing himself on a hencoop, and in this way tried to reach the shore; at the distance of half a cable's length, however, the coop upset, and he was drowned.
Four now remained on the wreck, resolved to await death or succor, rather than brave dangers which appeared to them insurmountable. One of them had lately expired when the
schooner arrived, and the others were so weak and emaciated, that in a very short time death would have put an end to all their sufferings. They lived in separate corners of the vessel, which they never quitted but to look for food, and this latterly consisted only of tallow and a little bacon. If on these occasions they accidentally met, they used to run at each other with drawn knives; so completely had selfishness and ferocity stifled that sympathy which fellow-sufferers are generally disposed to feel for one another. It is mentioned as a remarkable fact, worthy of being made known, that as long as these men abstained from strong liquor, they were able to support the hardships of their situation in a surprising manner; but when they began to drink brandy, their strength daily and rapidly diminished. How these unfortunate beings should have been driven to extremities for food, is not easily accounted for. The Medusa contained a large cargo of provisions, and why this store was not reached is not explained in the original narrative. Perhaps the men did not know of there being barrels of provisions on board; or they might not have possessed sufficient strength to reach them below other articles in the hold.
On being discovered and removed by the schooner, the three survivors received all the
attention which their situation required. This having been attended to, the crew of the schooner proceeded to remove from the frigate every thing that could be taken out; and after having loaded their own vessel with wine, flour, and every thing else that was removable, whether public or private property, though without discovering the money, they returned to Senegal
Those who had been rescued by the boats, and also from the raft, expected that the schooner, besides fetching the public property from the wreck, would bring many articles which they would claim as their own. The crew of the schooner, however, though in the service of the King of France, acted on this occasion the part of pirates: they not only kept and made sale, in the market of St. Louis, of articles of value found in the wreck, but robbed the miserable victims whom they had rescued.
The report they gave of the state of the wreck, induced the governor to permit merchants to send vessels to bring off more of the goods on board—the proceeds to be equally di-. vided between the government and the adventurers. Four vessels thus set sail, and in a short time brought back a great quantity of flour, salt, provisions, brandy, cordage, and other articles, of which there was a fair division.
In concluding this melancholy recital, we almost feel it necessary to assure our readers that what we have been telling them is no dressed-up fiction, but a narrative drawn from authentic sources, and true in every particular. We need scarcely repeat, what must occur to every mind, that nothing in the whole annals of shipwreck equals in infamy the conduct of Lachaumareys, the captain of the Medusa, or of the governor, Schmaltz, with whom he appears to have acted in concert. Neither, we believe, did ever any disaster by sea or land present such a series of blunders, such want of concert or management, or such a deficiency among nearly all concerned, of the common feelings of humanity. Shortly after its occurrence, the shipwreck of the Medusa created a considerable sensation in Europe, and especially in France. The general feeling was that of horror; but in France, this sentiment was mingled with shame, and every effort was made to prevent the publication of the details by Correard, as well as belief in them after publication. But all was unavailing. The narrative remains trustworthy in all respects--a sad memorial of human suffering and depravity.
Mutiny of the Bounty.
IHE circumstances detailed in the following
narrative are altogether of so singular and romantic a character, that, but for the undeniable authenticity of every particular, the whole might be considered as the production of the ingenious brain of a Defoe. Some of the incidents, indeed, surpass in impressive interest any thing to be met with in the fictitious history of Alexander Selkirk's solitary existence and adventures.
In December, 1787, the Bounty sailed from Spithead for Otaheite, under the command of Lieutenant Bligh, who had previously accompanied Captain Cook in his exploratory voyages in the Pacific Ocean. The object of the present expedition was to convey from Otaheite to the West India colonies the plants of the breadfruittree, which Dampier, Cook, and other voyagers, nad observed to grow with the most prolific luxuriance in the South Sea Islands, and which furnished the natives" with a perpetual and