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him on the subject, he replied, that "he would convince him that every thing became his as soon as it was brought on board ; that he would take ninetenths of every man's property, and let him see who dared to say any thing to the contrary.” The sailors' pigs were seized without ceremony, and it became a favour for a man to obtain an extra pound of his own meat.
The writer then says, “the object of our visit to the Society Islands being at length accomplished, we weighed on the 4th April, 1789. Every one seemed in high spirits, and began to talk of home, as though they had just left Jamaica instead of Otaheite, so far onward did their flattering fancies waft them. On the 23d we anchored off Annamooka, the inhabitants of which island were very rude, and attempted to take the casks and axes from the parties sent to fill water and cut wood. A musket pointed at them produced no other effect than a return of the compliment, by poising their clubs or spears with menacing looks; and as it was Lieutenant Bligh's orders that no person should affront them on any occasion, they were imboldened by meeting with no check to their insolence. They at length became so troublesome, that Mr. Christian, who commanded the watering party, found it difficult to carry on his duty; but on acquainting Lieutenant Bligh with their behaviour, he received a volley of abuse, was d -d as a cowardly rascal, and asked if he were afraid of naked savages while he had weapons in his hand ? To this he replied in a respectful manner, arms are of no effect, sir, while your orders prohibit their use."
This happened but three days before the mutiny and the same circumstance is noticed, but somewhat differently, in Bligh's MS. journal, where he says, " the men cleared themselves, and they therefore merit no punisnment. As to the officers I have no resource, nor do I ever feel myself safe in the few
instances I trust to them."
A perusal of all the documents certainly leads to the conclusion that all his officers were of a very inferior description; they had no proper feeling of their own situation; and this, together with the contempt in which they were held by Bligh, and which he could not disguise, may account for
that perfect indifference with regard both to the captain and the ship which was manifested on the day of the mutiny.
That sad catastrophe, if the writer of the journal be correct, was hastened, if not brought about, by the following circumstance, of which Bligh takes no notice. “ In the afternoon of the 27th Lieutenant Bligh came upon deck, and missing some of the cocoanuts which had been piled up between the guns, said they had been stolen, and could not have been taken away without the knowledge of the officers, all of whom were sent for and questioned on the subject. On their declaring that they had not seen any of the people touch them, he exclaimed, • Then you must have taken them yourselves ;' and proceeded to inquire of them separately how many they had purchased. On coming to Mr. Christian, that gentleman answered, “I do not know, sir; but I hope you do not think me so mean as to be guilty of stealing yours.' Mr. Bligh replied, 'Yes, you dd hound, I do--you must have stolen them from me, or you would be able to give a better account of them;' then turning to the other officers, he said, "God d-n you, you scoundrels, you are all thieves alike, and combine with the men to rob me: I suppose you will steal my yams next; but I'll sweat you for it, you rascals--I'll make half of you jump overboard before you get through Endeavour Straits.' This threat was followed by an order to the clerk
to stop the villains' grog, and give them but half a pound of yams to-morrow; if they steal them, I'd reduce them to a quarter.'”
It is difficult to believe that an officer in his
majesty's service could condescend to make use of such language to the meanest of the crew, much less to gentlemen; it is to be feared, however, that there is sufficient ground for the truth of these state. ments: with regard to the last, it is borne out by the evidence of Mr. Fryer, the master, on the courtmartial. This officer being asked, “What did you suppose to be Mr. Christian's meaning when he said he had been in hell for a fortnight ?" answered, “From the frequent quarrels they had had, and the abuse which he had received from Mr. Bligh.”“ Had there been any very recent quarrel ?"_" The day before, Mr. Bligh challenged all the young gentlemen and people with stealing his cocoanuts.” It was on the evening of this day that Lieutenant Bligh, according to his printed narrative, says Christian was to have supped with him, but excused himself on account of being unwell; and that he was invited to dine with him on the day of the mutiny.
Every one of these circumstances, and many others which might be stated from Mr. Morrison's journal, are omitted in Bligh's published narrative; but many of them are alluded to in his original journal, and others that prove distinctly the constant reproofs to which his officers were subject, and the bad terms on which they stood with their commander. A few extracts from this journal will sufficiently establish this point.
In so early a part of the voyage as their arrival in Adventure Bay, he found fault with his officers, and put the carpenter into confinement. Again, at Matavai Bay, on the 5th December, Bligh says, “I ordered the carpenter to cut a large stone that was brought off by one of the natives, requesting me to get it made fit for them to grind their hatchets on; but, to my astonishment, he refused, in direct terms, to comply, saying, “I will not cut the stone, for it will spoi] my chisel; and though there may be law to take away my clothes, there is none to take away
my tools. This man having before shown his mutinous and insolent behaviour, I was under the neces sity of confining him to his cabin."
On the 5th January three men deserted in the cutter, on which occasion Bligh says, “Had the mate of the watch been awake, no trouble of this kind would have happened. I have therefore disrated and turned him before the mast: such neglectful and worthless petty officers, I believe, never were in a ship as are in this. No orders for a few hours together are obeyed by them, and their conduct in general is so bad that no confidence or trust can be reposed in them; in short, they have driven me to every thing but corporal punishment, and that must follow if they do not improve." By Morrison's journal it would appear that “
corporal punishment” was not long delayed; for on the very day, he says, the midshipinan was put in irons, and confined from the 5th January to the 230 March -eleven weeks!
On the 17th January, orders being given to clear out the sail-room and to air the sails, many of them were found very much mildewed, and rotten in many places, on which he observes, “If I had any officers to supersede the master and boatswain, or was capable of doing without them, considering them as common seamen, they should no longer occupy their respective stations; scarcely any neglect of duty can equal the criminality of this."
On the 24th January the three deserters were brought back and flogged, then put in irons for further punishment.
“ As this affair," he says, solely caused by the neglect of the officers who had the watch, I was induced to give them all a lecture on this occasion, and endeavour to show them, that however exempt they were at present from the like punishment, yet they were equally subject, by the articles of war, to a condign one.” He then tells them that it is only necessity that makes him have
recourse to reprimand, because there are no means of trying them by court-martial; and adds a remark, not very intelligible, but what he calls an unpleasant one, about such offenders having no feelings of honour or sense of shame.
On the 7th March a native Otaheitan, whom Bligh had confined in iror contrived to break the lock of the bilboa-bolt and make his escape. “I had given," says Bligh, “a written order that the mate of the watch was to be answerable for the prisoners, and to visit and see that they were safe in his watch, but I have such a neglectful set about me that I believe nothing but condign punishment can alter their conduct. Verbal orders, in the course of a month, were so forgotten that they would impudently assert no such thing or directions were given, and I have been at last under the necessity to trouble myself with writing what, by decent young officers, would be complied with as the common rules of the service. Mr. Stewart was the mate of the watch."
These extracts show the terms on which Bligh was with liis officers; and these few instances, with others from Morrison's journal, make it pretty clear, that though Christian, as fiery and passionate a youth as his commander could well be, and with feelings too acute to bear the foul and opprobrious language con. stantly addressed to him, was the sole instigator of the mutiny ;-and that the captain had no support to expect, and certainly received none from the rest of his officers. That Christian was the sole author appears still more strongly from the following passage in Morrison's journal. “When Mr. Bligh found he must go into the boat, he begged of Mr. Christian to desist, saying, "I'll pawn my honour, I'll give my bond, Mr. Christian, never to think of this if you'll desist,' and urged his wife and family; to which Mr. Christian replied, “No, Captain Bligh, if you had any honour, things had not come to this; and if you had any regard for your wife and family, you should