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was killed on the spot. Captain Beechey says, "the melancholy fate of this man created so forcible an impression on the remaining few, that they resolved never again to touch spirits; and Adams has, I believe, to this day kept his vow."
Some time in the following year, that is, about 1799, we learned from Adams," says Captain Beechey, "that Quintal lost his wife by a fall from the cliff, while in search of birds' eggs; that he grew discontented, and, though there were several disposable women on the island, and he had already experienced the fatal effects of a similar demand, nothing would satisfy him but the wife of one of his companions. Of course neither of them felt inclined to accede to this unreasonable demand; and he sought an opportunity of putting them both to death. He was fortunately foiled in his first attempt, but swore openly he would speedily repeat it. Adams and Young, having no doubt he would follow up his intention, and fearing he might be more successful in the next attempt, came to the resolution that, as their own lives were not safe while he was in existence, they were justified in putting him to death, which they did by felling him, as they would an ox, with a hatchet.
"Such was the melancholy fate of seven of the leading mutineers, who escaped from justice only to add murder to their former crimes;" and such, it may be added, was the polluted source, thus stained with the guilt of mutiny, piracy, and murder, from which the present simple and innocent race of islanders has proceeded; and, what is most of all extraordinary, the very man from whom they have received their moral and religious instruction is one who was among the first and foremost in the mutiny, and deeply implicated in all the deplorable consequences that were the results of it. This man and Young were now the sole survivors out of the fifteen males that had landed upon the island.
Young, as has been stated, was a man of some education, and of a serious turn of mind; and, as Beechey says, it would have been wonderful, after the many dreadful scenes at which they had assisted, if the solitude and tranquillity that ensued had not disposed them to repentance. They had a Bible and a Prayer Book, which were found in the Bounty, and they read the church service regularly every Sunday. They now resolved to have morning and evening family prayers, and to instruct the children, who amounted to nineteen, many of them between the ages of seven and nine years. Young, however, was not long suffered to survive his repentance. An asthmatic complaint terminated his existence about a year after the death of Quintal; and Adams was now left the sole survivor of the guilty and misguided mutineers of the Bounty. It is remarkable that the name of Young should never once occur in any shape as connected with the mutiny, except in the evidence of Lieutenant Hayward, who includes his name in a mass of others. He neither appears among the armed nor the unarmed; he is not stated to be among those who were on deck, and was probably therefore one of those who were confined below. Bligh, nevertheless, has not omitted to give him a character. "Young was an able and stout seaman; he, however, always proved a worthless wretch."
If the sincere repentance of Adanis, and the most successful exertions to train up the rising generation in piety and virtue, can be considered as expiating in some degree his former offences, this survivor is fully entitled to every indulgence that frail humanity so often requires, and which indeed has been extended to him by all the officers of the navy who have visited the island, and witnessed the simple manners and the settled habits of morality and piety which prevail in this happy and well-regulated society. They have all strongly felt that the merits
and redeeming qualities of the latter years of his life have so far atoned for his former guilt, that he ought not to be molested, but rather encouraged, in his meritorious efforts, if not for his own sake, at least for that of the innocent young people dependent on him.
Still it ought never to be forgotten that he was one of the first and most daring in the atrocious act of mutiny and piracy, and that had he remained in Otaheite, and been taken home in the Pandora, nothing could have saved him from an ignominious death. His pretending to say that he was in his cot, and that he was forced to take arms, may perhaps be palliated under his peculiar circumstances, wishing to stand as fair before his countrymen as his case would admit—but it is not strictly true; for he was the third upon deck armed, and stood sentry over Bligh with a loaded musket and fixed bayonet. The story he told to Beechey respecting the advice stated to have been given by Mr. Stewart to Christian, "to take possession of the ship," is, as has been shown, wholly false; but here his memory may have failed him. If any such advice was given, it is much more likely to have proceeded from Young. He also told two different stories with regard to the conduct of Christian. To Sir Thomas Staines and Captain Pipon he represented this illfated young man as never happy after the rash and criminal step he had taken, and that he was always sullen and morose, and committed so many acts of cruelty as to incur the hatred and detestation of his associates in crime. Whereas he told Captain Beechey that Christian was always cheerful; that his example was of the greatest service in exciting his companions to labour; that he was naturally of a happy, ingenuous disposition, and won the good opinion and respect of all who served under him: which cannot be better exemplified, he says, than by his maintaining under circumstances of great per
plexity the respect and regard of all who were associated with him up to the hour of his death; and that even at the present moment Adams, in speaking of him, never omits to say Mr. Christian. Why indeed should he? Christian was a gentleman by birth, and an officer in his majesty's service, and was of course always so addressed. But why was he murdered within two years (one account says nine months) after the party reached the island? Captain Beechey has answered the question-for oppression and ill treatment of the Otaheitans.*
That Christian, so far from being cheerful, was, on the contrary, always uneasy in his mind about his own safety, is proved by his having selected a
* As the manner of Christian's death has been differently reported to each different visiter by Adams, the only evidence in existence, with the exception of three or four Otaheitan women and a few infants, some singular circumstances may here be mentioned that happened at home, just at the time of Folger's visit, and which might render his death on Pitcairn's Island almost a matter of doubt.
About the years 1808 and 1809 a very general opinion was prevalent in the neighbourhood of the lakes of Cumberland and Westmoreland, that Christian was in that part of the country, and made frequent private visits to an aunt who was living there. Being the near relative of Mr. Christian Curwen, long member of parliament for Carlisle, and himself a native, he was well known in the neighbourhood. This, however, might be passed over as mere gossip, had not another circumstance happened just about the same time, for the truth of which the editor does not hesitate to avouch.
In Fore-street, Plymouth Dock, Captain Heywood found himself one day walking behind a man whose shape had so much the appearance of Christian's that he involuntarily quickened his pace. Both were walking very fast, and the rapid steps behind him having roused the stranger's attention, he suddenly turned his face, looked at Heywood, and immediately ran off. But the face was as much like Christian's as the back, and Heywood, exceedingly excited, ran also. Both ran as fast as they were able, but the stranger had the advantage, and after making several short turns disappeared.
That Christian should be in England Heywood considered as highly improbable, though not out of the scope of possibility; for at this time no account of him whatsoever had been received since they parted at Otaheite; at any rate the resemblance, the agitation, and the efforts of the stranger to elude him were circumstances too strong not to make a deep impression on his mind. At the moment his first thought was to set about making some further inquiries, but on recollection of the pain and trouble such a discovery must occasion him, he considered it more prudent to let the matter drop; but the circumstance was fre quently called to his memory for the remainder of his life.
cave at the extremity of the high ridge of craggy hills that runs across the island, as his intended place of refuge in the event of any ship of war discovering the retreat of the mutineers, in which cave he resolved to sell his life as dearly as he could. In this recess he always kept a store of provisions, and near it erected a small hut, well concealed by trees, which served the purpose of a watch-house. "So difficult," says Captain Beechey, "was the approach to this cave, that even if a party were successful in crossing the ridge, he might have bid defiance, as long as his ammunition lasted, to any force." The reflection alone of his having sent adrift, to perish on the wide ocean, for he could entertain no other idea, no less than nineteen persons, all of whom, one only excepted, were innocent of any offence towards him, must have constantly haunted his mind, and left him little disposed to be happy and cheerful.
The truth is, as appears in Morrison's journal, that during the short time they remained at Tabouai, and till the separation of the mutineers at Otaheite, when sixteen forsook him, and eight only of the very worst accompanied him in quest of some retreat, he acted the part of a tyrant to a much greater extent than the man who, he says, drove him to the act of mutiny. After giving an account of the manner of his death, Captain Beechey says, "Thus fell a man who from being the reputed ringleader of the mutiny has obtained an unenviable celebrity, and whose crime may perhaps be considered as in some degree palliated by the tyranny which led to its commission." It is to be hoped, such an act as he was guilty of will never be so considered.
If mutiny could be supposed to admit of palliation, a fatal blow would be struck, not only at the discipline, but at the very existence of the navy; any relaxation in bringing to condign punishment persons guilty of mutiny would weaken and ultimately destroy the efficiency of this great and powerful me