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which has so long deprived me of my dearest boy: but now the happy time is come when, though I cannot have the unspeakable pleasure of seeing and embracing you, yet I hope we may be allowed to correspond; surely there can be nothing improper in a liberty of this sort between an affectionate mother and her dutiful and beloved son, who, I am perfectly convinced, was never guilty of the crime he has been suspected of by those who did know his worth and truth. I have not the least doubt but that the all gracious God, who of his good providence has protected you so long, and brought you safe through so many dangers and difficulties, will still protect you, and at your trial make your innocence appear as clear as the light. All your letters have come safe to me, and to my very dear good Nessy. Ah! Peter, with what real joy did we all receive them, and how happy are we that you are now safe in England! I will endeavour, my dearest lad, to make your present situation as comfortable as possible, for so affectionate and good a son deserves my utmost attention. Nessy has written to our faithful and kind friend, Mr. Heywood, of Plymouth, for his advice, whether it would be proper for her to come up to you; if he consents to her so doing, not a moment shall be lost, and how happy shall I be when she is with you! Such a sister as she is! Oh! Peter, she is a most valuable girl," &c.
On the same day this “most valuable girl" thus writes:
* The following shows how much her fond mind was fixed on her unfortunate brother :
On the Arrival of my dearly-beloved Brother, Peter Heywood, in Eng.
land, uritten while a Prisoner, and waiting the Event of his Trial on board his Majesty's Ship Hector.
COME, gentle Muse, I woo thee once again,
“My dearest and most beloved brother,- Thanks to that Almighty Providence which has so miraculously preserved you, your fond, anxious, and, till now, miserable Nessy, is at last permitted to address the object of her tenderest affection in England! Oh! my admirable, my heroic boy, what have we felt on your account! yet how small, how infinitely trifling was the misery of our situation when compared with the horror of yours! Let me now, however, with confidence hope that the God of all mercies has not so long protected you in vain, but will at length crown your fortitude and pious resignation to his will with that peace and happiness you so richly merit. How blest did your delightful and yet dreadful letter from Batavia make us all! Surely, my beloved boy, you could not for a moment imagine we ever supposed you guilty of the crime of mutiny. No, no; believe me, no earthly power could have persuaded us that it was possible for you to do any thing inconsistent with strict honour and duty. So well did we know your amiable, steady principles, that we were assured your reasons for staying behind would turn out such as you represent them; and I firmly trust that Providence will at length restore you to those dear and affectionate friends, who can know no happiness until they are blessed with your loved society. Take care of your precious health, my angelic boy. I shall soon be with you; I have written to Mr. Heywood (your and our excellent friend and protector) for his permission to go to you immediately, which my uncle Heywood, without first obtaining it, would not allow, fearing lest any precipitate step might injure you at present; and I only wait the arrival of his next letter to fly into your arms. Oh! my best beloved Peter, how I anticipate the rapture of that moment!—for alas ! I have no joy, no happiness, but in your beloved society, and no hopes, no fears, no wishes, but for you.”
Fill all my soul with notes of Love and Joy,
soon to Friendship, Love, and me. August 5th, 1792, Isle of Man.
Mr. Heywood's sisters all address their unfor. tunate brother in the same affectionate, but less impassioned strain; and a little trait of good feeling is mentioned, on the part of an old female servant, that shows what a happy and attached family the Heywoods were, previous to the melancholy affair in which their boy became entangled. Mrs. Heywood says, “My good honest Birket is very well, and says your safe return has made her more happy than she has been for these two-and-forty years she has been in our family.” And Miss Nessy tells him, “ Poor Birket, the most faithful and worthiest of servants, desires me to tell you that she almost dies with joy at the thought of your safe arrival in England. What agony, my dear boy, has she felt on your account; her affection for you knows no bounds, and her misery has indeed been extreme ; but she still lives to bless your virtues.”
The poor prisoner thus replies, from his majesty's ship Hector, to his “ beloved sisters all:!:
“This day I had the supreme happiness of your long expected letters, and I am not able to express the pleasure and joy they afforded me; at the sight of them my spirits, low and dejected, were at once exhilarated; my heart had long and greatly suffered from my impatience to hear of those most dear to me, and was tossed and tormented by the storms of fearful conjecture-but they are now subsided, and my bosom has at length attained that long-lost serenity and calmness it once enjoyed; for you may believe me when I say it never yet has suffered any disquiet from my own misfortunes, but from a truly anxious solicitude for, and desire to hear of, your welfare. God be thanked, you still entertain such an opinion of me as I will flatter myself I have deserved; but why do I say so ? can I make myself too worthy the affectionate praises of such amiable sisters? Oh! my Nessy, it grieves me to think I must be under the necessity, however heart-breaking to myself, of desiring you will relinquish your most affectionate design of coming to see me; it is too long and tedious a journey, and even on your arrival you would not be allowed the wished-for happiness, both to you and myself, of seeing, much less conversing with, your unfortunate brother: the rules of the service are so strict, that prisoners are not permitted to have any communication with female relations ; thus even the sight of, and conversation with, so truly affectionate a sister is for the present denied me! The happiness of such an interview let us defer till a time (which, please God, will arrive) when it can be enjoyed with more freedom, and unobserved by the gazing eyes of an inquisi. tive world, which in my present place of confinement would of course not be the case.
“I am very happy to hear that poor old Birket is still alive; remember me to her, and tell her not to heave aback, until God grants me the pleasure of seeing her.
“ And now, my dear Nessy, cease to anticipate the happiness of personal communication with your poor but resigned brother, until wished-for freedom removes the indignant shackles I now bear from the feet of your fond and most affectionate brother,
" P. H."
In a subsequent letter to his sister he says, “ Let us at present be resigned to our fate, contented with this sort of communication, and he thankful to God for having even allowed us that happinessfor be assured the present confinement is liberty, compared with what it has been for the fifteen months last past.” On the 15th July, Commodore Pasley addresses the following business-like letter to Miss Heywood.
"I received your letter, my dearest Nessy, with the enclosure [her brother's narrative], but did not choose to answer it until I had made a thorough investigation; that is, seen personally all the principal evidences, which has ever since occupied my whole thoughts and time. I have also had some letters from himself; and notwithstanding he must still continue in confinement, every attention and indulgence possible is granted him by Captain Montague of the Hector, whọ is my particular friend. I have no doubt of the truth of your brother's narrative; the master, boatswain, gunner, and carpenter, late of the Bounty, I have seen, and have the pleasure to assure you that they are all favourable, and corroborate what he says. That fellow, Captain Edwards, whose inhuman rigour of confinement I shall never forget, I have likewise seen; he cannot deny that Peter avowed himself late of the Bounty when he came voluntarily aboard; this is a favourable circumstance. I have been at the Admiralty, and read over all the depositions taken and sent home by Bligh and his officers from Batavia, likewise the court-martial on himself; in none of which appears any thing against Peter. As soon as Lieutenant Hayward arrives with the re