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all to be burned together; the walls thereof demol. ished, and the spot on which it stood be converted into a market-place for the sale only of hogs and swine, to all posterity.

These and many other barbarous usages were transferred into the institutions of Wisbuy, which formed the jus mercatorum for a long period, and in which great care was taken for the security of ships against their crews. Among other articles are the jollowing:—Whoever draws a sword upon the master of a vessel, or wilfully falsifies the compass, shall have his right hand nailed to the mast. Whoever behaves riotously shall be punished by being keel hauled. Whoever is guilty of rebellion (or mutiny) shall be thrown overboard.

For the suppression of piracy, the Portuguese, in their early intercourse with India, had a summary punishment, and accompanied it with a terrible example, to deter others from the coinmission of the crime. Whenever they took a pirate ship, they instantly hanged every man, carried away the sails, rudder, and every thing that was valuable in the ship, and left her to be buffeted about by the winds and the waves, with the carcasses of the criminals dangling from the yards, a horrid object of terror to all who might chance to fall in with her. Even to this day a spice of the laws of Oleron still remains in the maritime code of European nations, as far as regards mutiny and piracy; and a feeling of this kind may have operated on the mind of Captain Edwards, especially as a tendency even to mutiny, or mutinous expressions,

are considered, by the usage of the service, as justifying the commander of a · ship of war to put the offenders in irons. Besides, the treatment of Bligh, whose admirable conduct under the unparalleled sufferings of himself and all who accompanied him in the open boat, had roused the people of England to the highest pitch of indig.

nation against Christian and his associates, in which Edwards no doubt participated.

The following letter of Mr. Peter Heywood to his mother removes all doubt as to the character and conduct of this officer. It is an artless and pathetic tale, and, as his amiable sister says,

breathes not a syllable inconsistent with truth and honour.”

Batavia, November 20th, 1791. “My ever-honoured and dearest Mother, “At length the time has arrived when you are once more to hear from your ill-fated son, whose conduct at the capture of that ship in which it was my fortune to embark has, I fear, from what has since happened to me, been grossly misrepresented to you by Lieutenant Bligh, who, by not knowing the real cause of my remaining on board, naturally suspected me, unhappily for me, to be a coadjutor in the mutiny; but I never, to my knowledge, while under his command, behaved myself in a manner unbecoming the station I occupied, nor so much as even entertained a thought derogatory to his honour, so as to give him the least grounds for entertaining an opinion of me so ungenerous and undeserved; for I flatter myself he cannot give a character of my conduct, while I was under his tuition, that could merit the slightest scrutiny. Oh! my dearest mo. ther, I hope you have not so easily credited such an account of me; do but let me vindicate my conduct, and declare to you the true cause of my remaining in the ship, and you will then see how little I deserve censure, and how I have been injured by so gross an aspersion. I shall then give you a short and cursory account of what has happened to me since; but I am afraid to say a hundredth part of what I have got in store, for I am not allowed the use of writing materials, if known, so that this is done by stealth ; but if it should ever come to your hands, it will, I hope, have the desired effect of removing your uneasiness on my account, when I assure you, before the face of God, of my innocence of what is laid to my charge. How I came to remain on board was thus :

“The morning the ship was taken, it being my watch below, happening to awake just after daylight, and looking out of my hammock, I saw a man sitting upon the arm-chest in the main hatchway, with a drawn cutlass in his hand, the reason of which I could not divine; so I got out of bed and inquired of him what was the cause of it. He told me that Mr. Christian, assisted by some of the ship's company, had seized the captain and put him in confinement; had taken the command of the ship, and meant to carry Bligh home a prisoner, in order to try him by court-martial for his long tyrannical and oppressive conduct to his people. I was quite thunderstruck; and, hurrying into my berth again, told one of my messmates, whom I awakened out of his sleep, what had happened. Then dressing myself, I went up the fore-hatchway, and saw what he had told me was but too true; and again I asked some of the people who were under arms what was going to be done with the captain, who was then on the larboard side of the quarter-deck, with his hands tied behind his back, and Mr. Christian alongside him with a pistol and drawn bayonet. 1 now heard a very different story, and that the cap tain was to be sent ashore to Tofoa in the launch, and that those who would not join Mr. Christian might either accompany the captain, or would be taken in irons to Otaheite and left there. The relation of two stories so different left me unable to judge which could be the true one; but, seeing them hoisting the boats out, it seemed to prove the latter.

“In this trying situation, young and inexperienced as I was, and without an adviser (every person being, as it were, infatuated, and not knowing what to do), I remained for a while a silent spectator of what was going on; and after revolving the matter in my mind, I determined to choose what I thought the less of two evils, and stay by the ship; for I had no doubt that those who went on shore in the launch would be put to death by the savage natives, whereas the Otaheitans being a humane and generous race, one might have a hope of being kindly received, and remain there until the arrival of some ship, which seemed, to silly me, the most consistent with reason and rectitude.

“While this resolution possessed my mind, at the same time lending my assistance to hoist out the boats, the hurry and confusion affairs were in, and thinking my intention just, I never thought of going to Mr. Bligh for advice; besides, what confirmed me in it was, my seeing two experienced officers, when ordered into the boat by Mr. Christian, desire his permission to remain in the ship, (one of whom my own messmate, Mr. Hayward,) and I being assisting to clear the launch of yams, he asked me what I intended to do; I told him, to remain in the ship: Now this answer, I imagine, he has told Mr. Bligh I made to him; from which, together with my not speaking to him that morning, his suspicions of me have arisen, construing my conduct into what is foreign to my nature.

Thus, my dearest mother, it was all owing to my youth and unadvised inexperience, but has been interpreted into villany and disregard of my coun. try's laws, the ill effects of which I at present, and still am to labour under for some months longer. And now, after what I have asserted, I may still once niore retrieve my injured reputation, be again reinstated in the affection and favour of the most tender of mothers, and be still considered as her eves dutiful son.

“I was not undeceived in my erroneous decision


till too late, which was after the captain was in the launch; for while I was talking to the master-at. arms, one of the ringleaders in the affair, my other messmate, whom I had left in his hammock in the berth (Mr. Stewart), came up to me, and asked me if I was not going in the launch. I replied, No; upon which he told me not to think of such a thing as remaining behind, but take his advice and go down below with him to get a few necessary things, and make haste to go with him into the launch; adding, that by remaining in the ship I should incur an equal share of guilt with the mutineers themselves. I reluctantly followed his advice; I say reluctantly, because I knew no better, and was foolish; and the boat swimming very deep in the water, the land being far distant, the thoughts of being sacrificed by the natives, and the self-consciousness of my first intention being just, all these considerations almost staggered my resolution; however, I preerred my companion's judgment to my own, and ve both jumped down the main-hatchway to prepare Ourselves for the boat; but, no sooner were we in the berth, than the master-at-arms ordered the sentry to keep us both in the berth till he should receive orders to release us. We desired the master-at-arms to acquaint Mr. Bligh of our intention, which we had reason to think he never did, nor were we permitted to come on deck until the launch was a long way astern. I now, when too late, saw my error,

“At the latter end of May we got to an island to the southward of Taheité, called Tooboui, where they intended to make a settlement; but, finding no stock there of any kind, they agreed to go to Ta heite, and, after procuring högs and fowls, to returi to Tooboui and remain. So, on the 6th June, we arrived at Taheité, where I was in hopes I migh. find an opportunity of running away and remaining on shore, but I could not effect it, as there was 16-11


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