Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

and the cation were per with whom

ilhame informele borar unes fuffered to

[ocr errors]

ain Bligh's Narrative,

335 When the officers and men, with whom I was suffered to have no communication, were put into the boat, they only waited for me, and the master at arms informed Christian of it'; who then faid — “Come, Captain Bligh, your officers and men are now in the boat, and you must go with them ; if you attempt to make the least resistance you will instantly be put to death:” and, with, out any farther ceremony, holding me by the cord that tied my hands, with a tribe of armed ruffians about me, I was forced over the fide, where they untied my hands. Being in the boat we were veered aftern by a rope. A few pieces of pork were then thrown to us, and some cloaths; and it was now that the armourer and carpenters called out to me to remember that they had no hand in the transaction. After having undergone a great deal of ridicule, and been kept some time to make sport for these unfeeling wretches, we were at length cast adrist in the open ocean.

I had with me in the boat the following persons : John Fryer, Master; Thomas Ledward, ačting Surgeon; David Nelson, Botanist; William Peckover, Gunner; William Cole, Boatswain; William Purcell, Carpenter; William Elphinston, Master's Mae; Thomas Hayward and John Hallet, Midshipmen; John Norton and Peter Linkletter, Quarter Masters ; Lawrence Lebogue, Sailmaker; John Smith and Thomas Hall, Cooks ; George Simpson, Quarter Master's Mate; Robert Tinkler, a boy; Robert Lainb, Butcher; and Mr. Samuel, Clerk. There remained on board the Bounty, with Fletcher Christian, Master's Mate; - Peter Haywood, Edward Young, and George Stewart, Midshipmen, and 21 hands, the most able men of the ship's company.

Having little or no wind, we ruwed pretty fast towards Tofoa, which bore N E about ten leagues from us. While the ship was in fight she steered to the W NW, but I conlidered this only is a feint; for when we were sent away -“Huzza for Otaheite," was frequently heard among the mutineers.

Christian, the captain of the gang, is of a respectable family in the north of England. This was the third voyage he had made with me; and, as I found it necessary to keep my ship's company at three watches, I gave him an order to take charge of the third, his abilities being thoroughly equal to the task; and by this means my master and gunner were not at watch and watch.

Haywood is also of a respectable family in the north of Eng. land, and a young man of abilities, as well as Christian. There two were objects of my particular regard and attention, and I took great pains to instruct them, for they really promised, as profesfinal men, to be a credit to their country.

Young was well recommended, and appeared to me an able ftout seaman; therefore I was glad to take him: he, however, fell short of what his appearance promised. ' ,

Stewart was a young man of creditable parents, in the Ork. neys; at which place, on the return of the Resolution from the Soutb Seas, in 1780, we received so many civilities, that, on that

account

2 1 2

rememristian. When niks was a proper the appeared

[ocr errors]

account only, I should gladly have taken him with me : but, independent of this recommendation, he was a seaman, and had always borne a good character.

Notwithstanding the roughness with which I was treated, the remembrance of past kindnesses produced some figns of remorse in Christian. When they were forcing me out of the ship, I askede him, if this treatment was a proper return for the many instances he had received of my friendship? he appeared disturbed at my question, and answered, with much emotion, “That, — Captain Bligh, - that is the thing;- I am in hell - I am in hell.?!

As soon as I had time to reflect, I felt an inward satisfa&tion, which prevented any depression of my spirits : conscious of my integrity, and anxious solicitude for the good of the service in which I was engaged, I found my mind wonderfully supported, and I began to conceive hopes, notwithstanding so heavy a calamity, that I should one day be able to account to my King and country for the misfortune. A few hours before, my situation had been peculiarly flattering. I had a ship in the most perfeit order, and well stored with every necessary both for service and healih. By early attention to those particulars I had, as much as lay in my power, provided against any accident, in case I could. not get through Endeavour Straits, as well as against what might befal me in them; add to this, the plants had been successfully preserved in the most flourishing state: so that, upon the whole, the voyage was two thirds completed, and the remaining part in a very promising way; every person on board being in perfect health, to establish which was ever amongst the principal objects of my attention.

It will very naturally be asked, what could be the reason for such a revolt ? in answer to which, I can only conjecture, that the mutineers had assured themselves of a more happy life among the Otaheiteans, than they could possibly have in England; which, joined to some female connections, have most probably been the principal cause of the whole transaction. The women at Otaheite are handsome, mild and chearful, in their manners and conversation, poffelled of great sensibility, and have fufficient delicacy to make them admired and beloved. The chiefs were so much attached to our people, that they rather encouraged their ftay among them than otherwise, and even made them promises of Jarge possessions. Under these, and many other attendant cir. cuinstances, equally desirable, it is now perhaps not so much to be wondered at, though scarcely possible to have been foreseen, that a set of sailors, molt of them void of connections, should be. led away; especially when, in addition to such powerful inducements, they imagined it in their power to fix themselves in the midst of plenty, on the finest island in the world, where they need not labour, and where the allurements of dissipation are beyond any thing that can be conceived. He

is, Desertions? · Desertions have happened, more or less, from many of the ships that have been at the Society Islands ; but it ever has been in the commanders power to make the chiefs return their people : the knowledge, therefore, that it was unsafe to desert, perhaps, first led mine to consider with what ease so finall a ship might be surprized, and that fo favourable an opportunity would never offe: to them again.

The secrecy of this mutiny is beyond all conception. Thirteen of the party, who were with me, had always lived forward among the people'; yet neither they, nor the mess-mates of Chriftian, Stewart, Haywood, and Young, had ever observed any circumstance to give them suspicion of what was going on. With such close-planned acts of villainy, and my mind free from any sula picion, it is not wonderful that I have been got the better of. The possibility of such a conspiracy was ever the farthest from my thoughts. Had their mutiny been occasioned by any grieve ances, either real or imaginary, I must have discovered fymptoms of their discontent, which would have put me on my guard : but the case was far otherwise. Chriftian, in particular, I was on the most friendly terms with ; that very day he was engaged to have dined with me; and the preceding night he excused himself from fupping with me, on pretence of being unwell; for which I felt concerned, having no suspicions of his integrity and honour,

It now remained with me to consider what was best to be done. My first determination was to seek a supply of bread-fruit and water at Tofoa, and afterwards to sail for Tongataboo, and there risk a solicitation to Poulaho, the king, to equip my boat, and grant a supply of water and provisions, so as to enable us to reach the East Indies. The quantity of provisions I found in the boat was 150 lb. of bread, 16 pieces of pork, each piece weighing 2 lb; 6 quarts of rum, 6 bottles of wine, with 28 gallons , of water, and four empty barrecoes.

April 29th.* Happily the afternoon kept calm, when we were so far to windward, that, with a moderate easterly breeze which sprung up, we were able to fail. It was nevertheless: dark when we got to Tofoa, where I expected to land ; but the , fhore proved to be so steep and rocky, that I was obliged to give up ail thoughts of it, and keep the boat under the lee of the island with two oars; for there was no anchorage. Having fixed on this mode of proceeding for the night, I served to. every perfon half a pint of grog, and each took to his rest as, well as our unhappy situation would allow.

in the morning, at dawn of day, we set off along shore in search of landing, and about ten o'clock we discovered a stony, cove at the NW part of the island, where I dropt the grapnel

* It is to be observed, that the account of time is kept in the nautical way, cach day ending at noon. Thus the beginning of the 29th of April is, according to the common way of reckoning, the afternoon of the 28th,

within

within 20 yards of the rocks. A great deal of surf ran on the fhore; but, as I was unwilling to diminilh our stock of provisions, I landed Mr. Samuel, and some others, who climbed the cliffs, and got into the country to search for supplies. The rest of us remained at the cove, not discovering any way to get into the country, but that by which Mr. Samuel had proceeded. It was great consolation to me to find, that the spirits of my people did not fink, notwithstanding our miserable and almost hopeless fituation. Towards noon Mr. Samuel returned, with a few quarts of water, which he had found in holes; but he had met with no spring, or any prospect of a sufficient supply in that particular, and had only seen signs of inhabitants. As it was imposlīble to know how much we might be in want, I only issued a morsel of bread, and a glass of wine, to each person for dinner.

[ To be continued.]

The Conversion and happy Death of CHRISTOPHER SINCLÁIR,

of Fryup-Dale, near Whitby ; written by his Father, Mr. John Sinclair. THRISTOPHER SINCLAIR was born August 28, 1769, at

Stainseker, near Whitby, in Yorkshire. At twelve years of age, his inclination led him to a seafaring life; accordingly he was bound apprentice and served seven years to the entire satisfaction of his master and owners. In 1790, he was impressed into his Majesty's service, where he saw much wickedness, which so af. feéted his mind as to constrain him to weep and pray earnestly to God to be delivered from such a firuation." Because he appeared more serious than o:hers, he was frequently called by way of re. proach, n Methodist Dog. As no war commenced, he had his choice either to remain in the service, or to have his liberty: he readily preferred the latter, and returned home in January 1792. The remaining part of the Winter he applied himself to the study of navigation and astronomy, in which he made great proficiency, until April, when he was seized with a severe pain in his back, accompanied with a dry cough, shortness of breath, and universal weakness. These alarming symptoms induced me to apply to a doctor of great reputation for his experience and skill, and who at first enteriained some hopes, that he could be useful to my son, Upon examination the Doctor found three of the joints of his back dislocated. And to add to our affliction, in a few days after we discovered that iwo ribs were slipped off his breast bone. He felt a severe pain all over his body, accompanied with a violent : cough, fore throat, and fever.

May 17, 1792, about four o'clock, after a restless night, he desired me to carry him to his chair : when I had him in my arms he cried out with a lamentable voice, and tears running down his face, his hands and knees trembliog, "Q father, I am dying, and

not

and my ppon him

thall die alarmed the desired us

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

not prepared! I shall die, I shall die! I know it for certain : I feel the terrors of the Lord upon me: I am going to misery ! What shall I do? “O pray for me." Those who know any thing of the feelings of a parent, may easily conceive what I felt, while my dear child clung around my neck, the appearance of death upon his countenance, and trembling every limb under the apprehension of the wrath of God. I answered, " That I hoped the Lord had heard my prayers for him, and that I was glad to see the hand of the Lord upon him for good." He replied, “ O father, it is now too late : for I know I shall die in a little time : perhaps this day, or this hour!” Our cries alarmed the rest of the family, who all joined in weeping over him. He desired us not to weep for the loss of his body, but earnestly pray to the Lord that he would have mercy upon his soul; for he was just going to appear before that God whom he had so long offended. I encouraged him to hope for mercy; that, the Lord had no pleasure in the death of a finner, and that to see our danger and feel our misery, was half way to the kingdom of heaven. He imme. diately answered, like one ready to perish, “ that is good news; but perhaps I have finned the sin against the Holy Ghoft; if so, I cannot be forgiven.” Being overwhelmed with sorrow, I said to him, I cannot speak to thee as thy situation requires, I will therefore send for thy uncle John Collier, who is able to fhew thee thy duty, and point thee to the Lamb of God; for he surely died for thee. He laid hold of these words and repeated them frequently; at the same time requesting that his uncle might be sent for directly; adding, “ For my soul is at stake;" When his uncle came and asked him how he did, he said, “I am going to die, and I am not prepared : what shall I do ?" His uncle answered, “I perceive there is a change in thy mind since last Sunday : when I then spoke to thee on the necessity of preparing for death, thou seemed not much concerned about the mater." He replied, “o yes : but I was alhamed to ask your advice then; but now you have done well to come ; for I am weak in body, and in great distress of mind, and still I fear I am too late." His uncle assured him, that the Lord was ready, and willing to pardon all his sins, provided he truly repented, and turned to Jesus Christ in faith. After some time employed in explaining the nature of conversion, and exhorting him to look unto the Lord for present pardon and peace, he went to prayer; during which Christopher appeared to be in greater distress and agony of spirit. Many of our neighbours and friends came in, and asked how he did? He thanked them, and said, “ I am going to die ; my body is in great pain from head to foot; but this is as nothing compared to the distress of my soul." He then cried with great fervency, “ God be merciful to me a finner! O my Saviour, undertake my cause before i he throne of justice : I acknowledge I deserve everlasting punishment; but thou hast died for me! One drop of thy precious Blood is sufficient to take

away

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »