Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

est and most interesting on earth to my heart); let me conjure you only, my kind friend, to read it, and consider the innocence and defenceless situation of its unfortunate author, which calls for, and I am sure deserves, all the pity and assistance his friends can afford him, and which, I am sure also, the goodness and benevolence of your heart will prompt you to exert in his behalf. It is perfectly unnecessary for me to add, after the anxiety I feel, and cannot but express, that no benefit conferred upon myself will be acknowledged with half the gratitude I must ever feel for the smallest instance of kindness shown to my beloved Peter. Farewell, my dearest uncle. With the firmest reliance on your kind and generous promises, I am ever, with the truest gratitude and sincerity, “ Your most affectionate niece,

“ NESSY HEYWOOD."

CHAPTER V.

THE PANDORA.

"Oh! I have suffer'd
With those that I saw suffer! A brave vessel,
Who had, no doubt, some noble zreature in her
Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock
Against my very heart! Poor souls! they perish'd.
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth, or ere
It should the good ship so have swallow'd, and
The freighting souls within her."

The tide of public applause set as strongly in favour of Bligh, on account of his sufferings and the successful issue of his daring enterprise, as its indignation was launched against Christian and his associates, for the audacious and criminal deed they

had committed. Bligh was promoted by the Admiralty to the rank of commander, and speedily sent out a second time to transport the bread-fruit to the West Indies, which he without the least obstruction successfully accomplished; and his majesty's government were no sooner made acquainted with the atrocious act of piracy and mutiny, than it determined to adopt every possible means to apprehend and bring to condign punishment the perpetrators of so foul a deed. For this purpose, the Pandora frigate of twenty-four guns, and one hundred and sixty men, was despatched under the command of Captain Edward Edwards, with orders to proceed in the first instance to Otaheite, and, not finding the mutineers there, to visit the different groups of the Society and Friendly Islands, and others in the neighbouring parts of the Pacific, using his best endeavours to seize and bring home in confinement the whole or such part of the delinquents as he might be able to discover.

This voyage was in the sequel almost as disastrous as that of the Bounty, but from a different

The waste of human life was much greater, occasioned by the wreck of the ship; and the distress experienced by the crew not much less, owing to the famine and thirst they had to suffer in a navi. gation of eleven hundred miles in open boats; but the captain succeeded in fulfilling a part of his instructions, by taking fourteen of the mutineers, of whom ten were brought safe to England, the other four being drowned when the ship was wrecked.

The only published account of this voyage is contained in a small volume by Mr. George Hamilton, the surgeon, who appears to have been a coarse, vulgar, and illiterate man, more disposed to relate licentious scenes and adventures in which he and his companions were engaged, than to give any information of proceedings and occurrences connected with the main object of the voyage. From this book,

cause.

therefore, much information is not to be looked for. In a more modern publication many abusive epithets have been bestowed on Captain Edwards, and observations made on the conduct of this officer highly injurious to his reputation, in regard to his inhuman treatment of, and disgraceful acts of cruelty towards, his prisoners, which, it is to be feared, have but too much foundation in fact.

The account of his proceedings rendered by himelf the Admiral is vague and unsatisfactory; and had it not been for the journal of Morrison, and a circumstantial letter of young Heywood to his mother, no record would have remained of the unfeeling conduct of this officer towards his unfortunate prisoners, who were treated with a rigour which could not be justified on any ground of necessity or prudence.

The Pandora anchored in Matavai Bay on the 23d March, 1791. Captain Edwards, in his narrative, states that Joseph Coleman, the armourer of the Bounty, attempted to come on board before the. Pandora had anchored; that on reaching the ship he began to make inquiries of him after the Bounty and her people, and that he seemed to be ready to give him any information that was required; that the next who came on board, just after the ship had anchored, were Mr. Peter Heywood and Mr. Stewart, before any boat had been sent on shore; that they were brought down to his cabin, when, after some conversation, Heywood asked if Mr. Hayward (midshipman of the Bounty, but now lieutenant of the Pandora) was on board, as he had heard that he was; that Lieutenant Hayward, whom he sent for, treated Heywood with a sort of contemptuous look, and began to enter into conversation with him respecting the Bounty ; but Edwards ordered him to desist, and called in the sentinel to take the prisoners into safe custody, and to put them in irons; that four other mutineers soon made their appearance; and that from them and some of the natives he learned that the rest of the Bounty's people had built a schooner, with which they had sailed the day before from Matavai Bay to the north-west part of the island.

He goes on to say, that on this intelligence he despatched the two lieutenants, Corner and Hayward, with the pinnace and launch, to endeavour to intercept her. They soon got sight of her and chased her out to sea, but the schooner gained so much upon them, and night coming on, they were compelled to give up the pursuit and return to the ship. It was soon made known, however, that she had returned to Paparré, on which they were again despatched in search of her. Lieutenant Corner had taken three of the mutineers, and Hayward, on arriving at Paparré, found the schooner there, but the mutineers had abandoned her and fled to the mountains. He carried off the schooner, and returned next day, when he learned they were not far off; and the following morning, on hearing they were coming down, he drew up his party in order to receive them, and when within hearing, called to them to lay down their arms and to go on one side, which they did, when they were confined and brought as prisoners to the ship.

The following were the persons received on board the Pandora:Peter Heywood.....

.Midshipman.
George Stewart......

Ditto.
James Morrison......

..Boatswain's Mate.
Charles Norman.....

Carpenter's Mate.
Chonias M'Intosh....

Carpenter's Crew.
Josephi Coleman

.....Armourer.
Richard Skinner
Thomas Ellison
Henry Hillbrant
Thomas Burkitt

.Seamen:
John Millward
John Sumner
William Musprat

Richard Byrn
In all fourteen. The other two, which made up the

sixteen that had been left on the island, were murdered, as will appear presently.

Captain Edwards will himself explain how he disposed of his prisoners. “I put the pirates," he says, “ into a round-house which I built on the afterpart of the quarter-deck, for their more effectual se. curity in this airy and healthy situation, and to separate them from, and to prevent their having communication with, or to crowd and incommode the ship's company." Dr. Hamilton calls it the most desirable place in the ship, and adds, that “orders were given that the prisoners should be victualled in every respect the same as the ship's company, both in meat, liquor, and all the extra indulgences with which they were so liberally supplied, notwithstanding the established laws of the service, which restrict prisoners to two-thirds allowance; but Captain Edwards very humanely commiserated their unhappy and inevitable length of confinement.” Mr. Morrison, one of the prisoners, gives a very different account of their treatment from that of Edwards or Hamilton. He says that Captain Edwards put both legs of the two midshipmen in irons, and that he branded them with the opprobrious epithet of “ piratical villains ;” that they, with the rest, being strongly handcuffed, put into a kind of round-house, only eleven feet long, built as a prison, and aptly named " Pandora's Box," which was entered by a scuttle in the roof, about eighteen inches square. This was done in order that they might be kept separate from the crew, and also the more effectually to prevent them from having any communication with the natives; that such of those friendly creatures as ventured to look pitifully towards them were instantly turned out of the ship, and never again allowed to come on board. But two sentinels were kept constantly upon the roof of the prison, with orders to shoot the first of its inmates who should attempt to address another in the Otaheitan dialect.

were

« FöregåendeFortsätt »