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Then some leap'd overboard with dreadful yell,
As eager to anticipate their grave;
And down she suck'd with her the whirling wave,
Louder than the loud ocean, like a crash
Save the wild wind and the remorseless dash
Accompanied with a convulsive splash,
of some strong swimmer in his agony. On the sandy key which fortunately presented itself the shipwrecked seamen hauled up the boats, to repair those that were damaged and to stretch canvass round the gunwales, the better to keep out the sea from breaking into them. The heat of the sun and the reflection from the sand are described as excruciating, and the thirst of the men was rendered intolerable, from their stomachs being filled with saltwater in the length of time they had to swim before being picked up. Mr. Hamilton says, they were greatly disturbed in the night by the irregular behaviour of one of the seamen, named Connell, which made them suspect he had got drunk with some wine that had been saved, but it turned out that the excruciating torture he suffered from thirst had induced him to drink salt-water; “ by which means he went mad, and died in the sequel of the voyage." It seems, a small key of water and some biscuits had been thrown into one of the boats, which they found by calculation would be sufficient to last sixteen days, on an allowance of two wineglasses of water per day to each man, and a very small quantity of bread, the weight of which was accurately. ascertained by a musket-ball and a pair of wooden scales made for each boat.
The crew and the prisoners were now distributed among the four boats. At Bligh's “Mountainous Island” they entered a bay where swarms of natives
came down and made signs for their landing ; but this they declined to do; on which an arrow was discharged and struck one of the boats; and as the savages were seen to be collecting their bows and arrows, a volley of muskets, a few of which happened to be in the boats, was discharged, which put them to flight. While sailing among the islands and near the shore, they now and then stopped to pick up a few oysters and procure a little fresh water. On the 2d September they passed the north-west point of New-Holland, and launched into the great Indian Ocean, having a voyage of about a thousand miles still to perform.
It will be recollected that Captain Bligh's people received warmth and comfort by wringing out their clothes in salt water. The same practice was adopted by the crews of the Pandora's boats; but the doctor observes, that “this wetting their bodies with salt water is not advisable, if protracted beyond three or four days, as after that time the great absorption from the skin that takes place taints the fluids with the bitter part of salt water, so that the saliva becomes intolerable in the mouth.” Their mouths, indeed, he says, became so parched, that few attempted to eat the slender allowance of bread. He also remarks, that as the sufferings of the people continued, their temper became cross and savage. In the captain's boat, it is stated, one of the mutineers took to praying; but that “ the captain, suspecting the purity of his doctrines, and unwilling that he should have a monopoly of the business, gave prayers himself.”
On the 13th they saw the island of Timor, and the next morning landed and got some water and a few small fish from the natives; and on the night of the 15th anchored opposite the fort of Coupang. Nothing could exceed the kindness and hospitality of the governor and other Dutch officers of this settle. ment, in affording every possible assistance and
relief in their distressed condition. Having remained here three weeks, they embarked on the 6th of Oc. tober on board the Rembang Dutch Indiaman, and on the 30th anchored at Samarang, where they were agreeably surprised to find their little tender, which they had so long given up for lost. On the 7th November they arrived at Batavia, where Captain Edwards agreed with the Dutch East India Company, to divide the whole of the ship's company and prisoners among four of their ships proceeding to Europe. The latter the captain took with him in the Vreedenburgh; but finding his majesty's ship Gorgon at the Cape, he transhipped himself and prisoners, and proceeded in her to Spithead, where he arrived on the 19th June, 1792.
Captain Edwards in his meager narrative takes no more notice of his prisoners with regard to the mode in which they were disposed of at Coupang and Batavia, than he does when the Pandora went down. In fact, he suppresses all information respecting them from the day in which they were consigned to “ Pandora's Box.” From this total indifference towards these unfortunate men and their almost unparalleled sufferings, Captain Edwards must be set down as a man whose only feeling was to stick to the letter of his instructions, and rigidly to adhere to what he considered the strict line of his duty; that he was a man of a cold phlegmatic disposition, whom no distress could inove, and whose feelings were not easily disturbed by the sufferings of his fellow-creatures. He appears to have been one of those mortals who might say with Manfred
My spirit walk'd not with the souls of men;
I had no sympathy with breathing flesh! There seems to have been a general feeling at ana hefore the court-martial, that Captain Edwards had
exercised a harsh, unnecessary, and undue degree of severity on his prisoners. It is the custom, sanctioned no doubt by long usage, to place in irons all such as may have been guilty of mutiny in a ship of war, and the necessity of so doing is obvious enough-to prevent in the most effectual manner communication with the rest of the ship's company, who might be contaminated by their intercourse with such mischievous and designing men; men whose crirne is of that die that, if found guilty, they have little hope to escape the punishment of death, to which a mutineer must by the naval articles of war be sentenced; no alternative being left to a courtmartial in such a case but to pronounce a sentence of acquittal or of death.
In the present case, however, most of the prisoners had surrendered themselves; many of them had taken no active part in the mutiny; and others had been forcibly compelled to remain in the ship. It was not likely, therefore, that any danger could arise from indulging them occasionally and in turns with a few hours of fresh air on deck. As little danger was there of their escaping; where indeed could they escape to, especially when the ship was going down, at a great distance from any shore, and the nearest one known to be inhabited by savages ? All or most of them were desirous of getting home, and throwing themselves on God and their country. The captain, however, had no compunctious visitings of nature" to shake his purpose, which seems to have been to keep them strictly in irons during the whole passage, and to deliver them over in that state on his arrival in England.
Perhaps the circumstance of the crime of piracy being superadded to that of mutiny, may have operated on his stern nature, and induced him to inflict a greater severity of punishment than he might otherwise have done, and which he certainly did far beyond the letter and spirit of his instructions. He
might have considered, that in all ages and among all nations, with the exception of some of the Greek states,* piracy has been held in the utmost abhorrence, and those guilty of it treated with singular and barbarous severity; and that the most sanguinary laws were established for the protection of person and property in maritime adventure. The laws of Oleron, which were composed under the imme. diate direction of our Richard I., and became the common usage among maritime states whose vessels passed through British seas, are conceived in a spirit of the most barbarous cruelty.f Thus, if a poor pilot through ignorance lost the vessel, he was either required to make full satisfaction to the merchant for damages sustained, or to lose his head. In the case of wrecks, where the lord of the coast (something like our present vice-admiral) should be found to be in league with the pilots, and run the ships on rocks in order to get salvage, the said lord, the salvers, and all concerned are declared to be accursed and excommunicated, and punished as thieves and robbers; and the pilot condemned to be hanged upon a high gibbet, which is to abide and remain to succeeding ages on the place where erected, as a visible caution to other ships sailing thereby. Nor was the fate of the lord of the coast less severe,--his property was to be confiscated, and himself fastened to a post in the midst of his own mansion, which, being fired at the four corners, were
* The Phoceans, on account of the sterility of their country, were in the habit of practising piracy, which, according to Justin, was held to be an honourable profession.
* These laws are contained in an ancient authentic book, called “ The Black Book of the Admiralty,” in which all things therein comprehended are engrossed on vellum, in an ancient character; which has been from time to time kept in the registry of the High Court of Admiralty for the use of the judges. When Mr. Luders made inquiry at the office in Doctors' Commons, in 1808, he was informed by the proper officers there that they had never seen such book, and knew nothing of it, nor where to find it. The fact is, the book in question was put into Lord Thurlow's hands when attorney-general, and never returned. There is a copy of it w the Admiralty