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teachings of the Bible, and remember that rebellion, mutiny and revenge are gateways to misery here, and wailings and wo hereafter!
It appears that some of the officers under Bligh were men not possessing the dignity and the ability which became their station. This was to him a constant source of irritation. Although he was a man of many good qualities, and an able officer, as was shown by his conduct when thus set adrift, as well as in after life, his passionate temper led him to indulge in such abuse of both officers and men, who doubtless often gave him provocation, as to lead to a most unhappy state of ill-will between them and their commander. Upon the afternoon which preceded the mutiny, he had accused Christian of theft, and indulged in language which aroused in him feelings of intense anger. Anger led to a desire for revenge, and an invitation from his commander to sup with him, which showed a willingness to forget the quarrel, was refused.
His first determination was to quit the
ship himself, and make his way to one of the neighbouring islands. His own statement to a companion in the mutiny was— that, "finding himself much hurt by the treatment he had received from Lieutenant Bligh, he had determined to quit the ship the preceding evening, and had informed the boatswain, carpenter, and two midshipmen of his intention to do so; and by them he was supplied with part of a roasted pig, some nails, beads, and other articles of trade, which he put into a bag. He said he had fastened some staves to a stout plank, with which he intended to make his escape; but finding he could not effect it during the first and middle watches, as the ship bad no way through the water and the people were all moving about, he laid down to rest about half-past three in the morning; that when Mr. Stewart called him to relieve the deck at four o'clock, he had but just fallen asleep, and was much out of order; upon observing which Mr. Stewart strenuously advised him to abandon his intention; that as soon as he had taken charge of the deck, he saw Mr. Hayward, the mate of his watch, lie down on the arm-chest to take a nap; and finding that Mr. Hallet, the other midshipman, did not make his appearance, he suddenly formed the resolution of seizing the ship. Disclosing his intention to Matthew Quintal and Isaac Martin, both of whom had been flogged by Lieutenant Bligh, they called up Charles Churchill, who had also tasted the cat, and Matthew Thompson, both of whom readily joined in the plot. That Alexander Smith,(alias John Adams,) John Williams, and William McKoy evinced equal willingness, and went with Churchill to the armourer, of whom they obtained the keys of the arm-chest, under pretence of wanting a musket to fire at a shark then alongside; that finding Mr. Hallet asleep on the arm-chest in the main-hatchway, they roused and sent him on deck. Charles Norman, unconscious of their proceedings, had in the mean time awaked Mr. Hayward and directed his attention to the shark, whose movement he was watching at the moment that Mr. Christian and his confederates came up the fore-hatch way, after
having placed arms in the hands of several men who were not aware of their design. One man, Matthew Thompson, was left in charge of the chest, and he served out arms to Thomas Burkitt and Robert Lamb. He then proceeded to secure Lieutenant Bligh, the master, gunner, and botanist.”
Captain Bligh's treatment of his men had failed to make them his cordial friends, and the instigation of a passionate youth served to turn the tide in favour of revolt. Flushed with the thought of unrestricted liberty, self-indulgence, and revenge, they seconded him in his deeds of violence, and their commander and eighteen companions were cast adrift! Little did these wicked and misguided men think, when shouting with joy at their mis-called liberty, what troubles they were bringing upon their own heads. Could they but have foreseen the misery which would be visited upon them, they would not have dared thus to provoke the vengeance of God.
THE BOAT ADRIFT-MURDER OF NORTON-SUFFERINGS AND
OF BLIGH AND ELEVEN MEN IN ENGLAND.
CHRISTIAN had intended to send away his captain and associates in the cutter, and ordered that it should be hoisted out for that purpose, which was done-a small wretched boat, that could hold but eight or ten men at the most, with a very small additional weight; and, what was still worse, she was so worm-eaten and decayed, especially in the bottom planks, that the probability was, she would have gone down before she had proceeded a mile from the ship. In this “rotten carcass of a boat," did Christian intend to cast adrift his late commander and his eighteen innocent companions, or as many of them as she would stow, to find, as they inevitably must have found, a watery grave. But