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my age. It has made me acquainted with three things which are little known, and as little believed by any but those who have felt their effects: first, the villany and censoriousness of mankind; secondly, the futility of all human hopes; and thirdly, the happiness of being content in whatever station it may please Providence to place me. In short, it has made me more of a philosopher, than many years of a life spent in ease and pleasure would have done.
"As they will no doubt proceed to the greatest lengths against me, I being the only surviving officer, and they most inclined to believe a prior story, all that can be said to confute it will probably be looked upon as mere falsity and invention. Should that be my unhappy case, and they resolved upon my destruction as an example to futurity, may God enable me to bear my fate with the fortitude of a man, conscious that misfortune, not any misconduct, is the cause, and that the Almighty can attest my innocence. Yet why should I despond? I have, I hope, still a friend in that Providence which hath preserved me amid many greater dangers, and upon whom alone I now depend for safety. God will always protect those who deserve it. These are the sole considerations which have enabled me to make myself easy and content under my past misfortunes.
"Twelve more of the people who were at Otaheite having delivered themselves up, there was a sort of prison built on the after-part of the quarterdeck, into which we were all put in close confinement, with both legs and both hands in irons, and were treated with great rigour, not being allowed ever to get out of this den; and, being obliged to eat, drink, sleep, and obey the calls of nature here, you may form some idea of the disagreeable situation I must have been in, unable as I was to help myself (being deprived of the use of both my legs
and hands), but by no means adequate to the reality.
"On the 9th May we left Otaheite, and proceeded to the Friendly Islands, and about the beginning of August got in among the reefs of New-Holland, to endeavour to discover a passage through them; but it was not effected, for the Pandora, ever unlucky, and as if devoted by Heaven to destruction, was driven by a current upon the patch of a reef, and on which, there being a heavy surf, she was soon almost bulged to pieces; but having thrown all the guns on one side overboard, and the tide flowing at the same time, she beat over the reef into a basin, and brought up in fourteen or fifteen fathoms; but she was so much damaged while on the reef, that imagining she would go to pieces every moment, we had contrived to wrench ourselves out of our irons, and applied to the captain to have mercy on us, and suffer us to take our chance for the preservation of our lives; but it was all in vain-he was even so inhuman as to order us all to be put in irons again, though the ship was expected to go down every moment, being scarcely able to keep her under with all the pumps at work.
"In this miserable situation, with an expected death before our eyes, without the least hope of relief, and in the most trying state of suspense, we spent the night, the ship being by the hand of Providence kept up till the morning. The boats by this time had all been prepared; and as the captain and officers were coming upon the poop or roof of our prison, to abandon the ship, the water being then up to the combings of the hatchways, we again implored his mercy; upon which he sent the corporal and an armourer down to let some of us out of irons, but three only were suffered to go up, and the scuttle being then clapped on, and the master-atarms upon it, the armourer had only time to let two persons out of irons, the rest, except three, letting
themselves out; two of these three went down with them on their hands, and the third was picked up. She now began to keel over to port so very much, that the master-at-arms, sliding overboard, and leaving the scuttle vacant, we all tried to get up, and I was the last out but three. The water was then pouring in at the bulk-head scuttles, yet I succeeded in getting out, and was scarcely in the sea when I could see nothing above it but the cross-trees, and nothing around me but a scene of the greatest distress. I took a plank (being stark-naked) and swam towards an island about three miles off, but was picked up on my passage by one of the boats. When we got ashore to the small sandy key, we found there were thirty-four men drowned, four of whom were prisoners, and among these was my unfortunate messmate (Mr. Stewart); ten of us, and eightynine of the Pandora's crew, were saved.
"When a survey was made of what provisions had been saved, they were found to consist of two or three bags of bread, two or three beakers of water, and a little wine; so we subsisted three days upon two wine glasses of water, and two ounces of bread per day. On the 1st September we left the island, and on the 16th arrived at Coupang in the island of Timor, having been on short allowance eighteen days. We were put in confinement in the castle, where we remained till October, and on the 5th of that month were sent on board a Dutch ship bound for Batavia.
"Though I have been eight months in close confinement in a hot climate, I have kept my health in a most surprising manner, without the least indisposition, and am still perfectly well in every respect, in mind as well as body; but without a friend, and only a shirt and pair of trousers to put on, and carry me home. Yet with all this I have a contented mind, entirely resigned to the will of Providence, which
conduct alone enables me to soar above the reach of unhappiness."
In a subsequent letter to his sister he says, "I send you two little sketches of the manner in which his majesty's ship Pandora went down on the 29th August, and of the appearance which we who survived made on the small sandy key within the reef, about ninety yards long and sixty broad, in all ninety-nine souls; here we remained three days, subsisting on a single wineglass of wine or water, and two ounces of bread a day, with no shelter from the meridian and then vertical sun. Captain Edwards had tents erected for himself and his people, and we prisoners petitioned him for an old sail which was lying useless, part of the wreck, but he refused it; and the only shelter we had was to bury ourselves up to the neck in the burning sand, which scorched the skin entirely off our bodies, for we were quite naked, and we appeared as if dipped in large tubs of boiling water. We were nineteen days in the same miserable situation before we landed at Coupang. I was in the ship, in irons, hands and feet, much longer than till the position you now see her in, the poop alone being above water (and that knee deep), when a kind Providence assisted me to get out of irons and escape from her."
The treatment of these unhappy men was almost as bad at Batavia as in the Pandora, being closely confined in irons in the castle, and fed on very bad provisions; and the hardships they endured on their passage to England, in Dutch ships, were very severe, having, as he says, slept on nothing but hard boards on wet canvass, without any bed, for seventeen months, always subsisting on short allowance of execrable provisions, and without any clothes for some time, except such as the charity of two young men in the ship supplied him with. He had during his confinement at Batavia learned to make straw
hats, and finished several with both his hands in fetters, which he sold for half a crown apiece; and with the produce of these he procured a suit of coarse clothes, in which, with a cheerful and light heart, notwithstanding all his sufferings, he arrived at Portsmouth. How he preserved his health under the dreadful sufferings he endured, and in eight months' close confinement in a hot climate, is quite wonderful.
On the second day after the arrival of the Gorgon at Spithead the prisoners were transferred to the Hector, commanded by Captain (the late Admiral Sir George) Montague, where they were treated with the greatest humanity, and every indulgence allowed that could with propriety be extended to men in their unhappy situation, until the period when they were to be arraigned before the competent authority, and put on their trials for mutiny and piracy, which did not take place until the month of September.
In this period of anxious and awful suspense, a most interesting correspondence was carried on between this unfortunate youth and his numerous friends, which exhibits the character of himself and the whole family in the most amiable and affectionate colours, and in a more particular manner, of that adorable creature, his sister Nessy, who, in one of her letters, accounts for the peculiar warmth of her attachment and expressions by their being nearly of the same age, and engaged in the same pursuits, whether of study or amusement, in their juvenile years. The poor mother, on hearing of his arrival, thus addresses her unfortunate son:
"Isle of Man, June 29th, 1792. "Oh! my ever dearly-beloved and long-lost son, with what anxiety have I waited for this period! I have counted the days, hours, and even minutes since I first heard of the horrid and unfortunate mutiny