« ElőzőTovább »
day.came to see les habits rouges of les Anglais : and while she was going through those little elegancies, so peculiarly characteristic of the French, the poodle dog came towards us, and from an over officiousness, some of the French soldiers whistled to keep it within bounds, which so frightened the little creature, that at full speed it entered our lines and crouched at our feet. Without a moment's delay we sent it back by a soldier to its anxious mistress, who was highly delighted, and with her own delicate hand presented a goblet of wine to the man, who, with an unceremonious nod, quaffed the delicious beverage to the dregs, touched his cap and rejoined us, with a pipe in his mouth and a store of tobacco-the latter having been presented to him by the French soldiers.'-—vol. ii. pp. 72, 73.
A scene in a little town in the south of France, into which the author and a party of stragglers had entered, deserves to be quoted, it being but rarely that Captain Cooke condescends to notice the trifling subjects of manners and customs.
. The second day we entered a small town crowded with troops: the rain descended in such torrents that the cavalry borses were put into the lower rooms of the houses, and we were quartered in the house of a cobbler, which was divided into three compartments: the soldiers filled the loft : the horses the kitchen : and we put up in the shop, in which there were two beds in dark recesses. The little cobbler, seeing our boots soaked through, very good humouredly proposed making us some bonne soupe, and witholit further preamble, set about the cuisine. His figure was unique~he wore a cocked hat square to the front, and as old as the hills. His hair was greased 10 excess, and grimed with the remains of powder, ending in a queue of nine inches long, and about four in circumference, tightly bound with a leathern thong. His height was hardly more than five feet, he possessed a swarthy broad bony visage, small penetrating grey eyes, thick, bushy, black eye-brows, a short neck, long sinewy arms, covered with hair (the shirt sleeves being tucked up), large hands and feet, narrow shoulders, short body, broad hips, and bow legs—and was the reputed father of a delicate daughter of about fifteen years of
with light hair, skin as fair as alabaster, and cheeks vying with roses: she meekly lent a willing hand in making us welcome to their abode, strewed with old shoes, sabot lasts, leather, soles, heels, waxed ends, and live poultry—the latter being tolerated as guests owing to the urgent entreaties of the little grisette, who was in great dread that they might be plucked if left to roost in the loft amongst the soldiery. A large iron kettle was slung over the wood fire and filled with water, into which a few cabbage leaves were immersed, and when it simmered, half a pound of hog's lard was added (from an earthen jar hanging by a cord from a large beam,) with a little
pepper and salt; half a dozen brown pans were then laid out, into which our host cut with a clasp knife some slices of coarse bread, and with a wooden ladle, the contents of the cauldron were poured over it, the grease floating on the surface of the boiling liquid. 66 La voilà !” said our host, “ La voilà, Messieurs, la bonne soupe ! To refrain from appreciating the kind intentions of the cobbler and his fair daughter, was impossible ; but we could not partake of such a mess. The times of scarcity were gone by, and as our canteens arrived at this juncture, stored with every thing good, and a keg of excellent wine, we invited the civil little cobbler to partake,
and he spent a glorious evening, shedding tears over his cups, and declaring that Les Anglais were de tres bon garçons ; while the daughter, sitting in the chimney corner, sang some pretty French songs. At the usual hour of rest, by common consent, we laid down on one bed, and the cobbler and his daughter turned into the other; but for decorum sake, the father lay with his head on the bolster, and the daughter placed a pillow at the foot of the bed, and thus turning dos-a-dos, they avoided each other's feet; and by the glimmering of the fire we could see the little girl's bright eyes under the coverlet.
Making cur adieu on the following morning, and the weather clearing up, we contined our march, at the end of which the troops entered the various chateaux and farm houses on each side of the
The country being very much intersected with hedges, green fields, plantations, and gardens, we suddenly encountered, near some scattered cottages, a man, who was so terrified at our appearance, that he ran up, seized the bridles of our horses, and led us to a large oven, filled with ready-baked bread, all of which he insisted on giving to the soldiers : thence he took us to an out-house, where there was a quantity of wine casks : “ All, Messieurs," exclaimed the peasant, “ is yours.” We assured him that every thing consumed would be duly paid for, which he would not hear of, in his over eagerness and civility, and, breaking from us, he rushed into the ranks of the soldiers (who were quietly at ordered arms, waiting until the different houses should be marked off for their reception, according to usage), and bawled out, “ Camarades, although your officers will not sanction your having bread and wine, I insist on supplying you.” At length, to put an end to such rhapsodies, we agreed that, at the utmost, he might give a pint of wine to each soldier, of which they cheerfully and thankfully partook.
• On the following morning, when the soldiers had fallen in, and the over-generous peasant found what an orderly set of people he had to do with, he boldly came forward, and demanded payment, and when expostulated with, bawled out with the greatest indecency, before the rest of the assembled villagers, that we were des voleurs, and with the greatest effrontery put himself at the head of the company, as if to stop its march. Such vile behaviour so disgusted us, that we ordered one of the soldiers to put him out of the way.'- vol. ii. pp. 110–113.
The narrative abruptly ends with the retreat of the French from Toulouse.
About one hundred and fifty pages of the last of these volumes are occupied with the accounts contributed by the Earl of Munster and Lieutenant Moodie, of the campaigns which they respectively witnessed. They are both written with remarkable simplicity and force, and the contribution of the Earl of Munster contains the evidences of a sound and practical understanding, as also the traces of a well disciplined and highly cultivated mind. But in both instances, as we, at the commencement, observed, the publication of the narratives of each writer has been anticipated : and, indeed, it so happens, that those portions of them which were most likely to prove interesting, and which we, under other circumstances, would have
had no hesitation in extracting, have, within our recollection, been circulated by the daily and weekly vehicles of intelligence.
We cannot, however, leave this work to the fate, whatever it be, which is assigned to it, without once more protesting against the unworthy contrivance which has been resorted to, for the purpose of attracting to it the public attention. Such men as the Earl of Munster and his companions in arms, have nothing to fear for their character and their honour, so far as the sensible portion of the community, at least, is concerned. But it is no slight misfortune that such men should be traduced in the minds of even the simpletons of the community; the beings who put faith in the newspaper advertisements, and live under the impression that all booksellers are provided with a conscience. Why should manly dignity, why should high name, and worth without a stain, be implicated in the machinations of the counting-house? We trust that a stop will be put to this system : but we confess that we look for a complete removal of it more to the firmness of the innocent who are unconsciously involved, than to the virtue of those who have betrayed them. It is utterly false to call this book by the title with which it is labelled at the instance of the publisher, ‘Memoirs of the late War, by the Earl of Munster, Captain Cooke, &c.' The true description of it would be—“ A weak and desustory version of the foreign dispatches in the London Gazette, from the year 1811 to that of 1813. To which have been added, by the means of scissors and paste, a considerable series of pages, from a monthly publication. All the trash has been done by Captain Cooke, while the rational portion of the work is copied from a periodical.”
Art. VII.- The eventful History of the Mutiny and piratical Seizure
of H. M. S. Bounty ; its Cause and Consequences. 12mo. p. 356.
Being No. XXV. of “The Family Library.” London: Murray, 1831. ALTHOUGH forty years and more have elapsed since the occurrence of the Mutiny on board the Bounty, yet we think that Mr. Barrow has l'endered a service to the public, and especially to the navy, by collecting into one authentic narrative the circumstances by which that singular and romantic transaction was attended. Hitherto they have appeared only in detached publications, and have been much misrepresented by the partizans of the commander on one side, and of the principal mutineers on the other. Mr. Barrow has, we think, steered his course evenly between the two parties; he has admitted palliations where they were fairly entitled to consideration, and has not hesitated to let censure fall upon those to whom it was in reality due. He has, moreover, added some documents which have not been before published; the journals of recent voyagers have enabled him to bring the story to a complete conclusion; his official situation, as one of the secretaries of the Admiralty, has put it in his power to rectify dates and supply omissions, in some
instances, and thus to present a full and accurate report of one of the most extraordinary and interesting events, that ever occurred in what may be called the domestic history of the British navy.
The celebrated expedition of Captain Cook having made the world more fully acquainted with the existence, and numerous and valuable productions of the islands in the Pacific, our merchants were not long in endeavouring to turn his discoveries to some practical advantage. It struck those who were connected with the WestIndia islands, that the importation into them of the bread-fruit tree,which was found so abundantly in Ota heite, would be of the greatest benefit to those settlements, by supplying food to their black population; and in compliance with a representation to that effect, addressed to George III. by the West-India merchants, his Majesty was pleased to direct that a vessel should be dispatched to the South Seas for that purpose. This vessel having been fitted out at Deptford, was called the Bounty, and entrusted to the command of Lieutenant Bligh; her establishment consisting in all of forty-four persons, of whom we need only name Fletcher Christian, one of the master's mates, and Peter Heywood, one of the midshipmen. She sailed from Spithead on the 23rd of December, 1787, and for some time encountered the most unfavourable weather, especially upon her arrival off Cape Horn, where the storms of wind, with hail and sleet, were so tremendous, that Bligh, who was a capital sailor, though a rough and most ill-tempered man, found it necessary to bear away for the Cape of Good Hope, which he reached in safety on the 23rd of May, 1788, determined to make Otaheite by the eastern instead of the western course. He remained at the Cape thirty-eight days to re-fit the ship and replenish provisions, and refresh the crew; and having sailed again on the 1st of July, they did not reach Otaheite until the latter end of October, the ship having, since leaving England, run over the distance by log of not less than twenty-seven thousand and eighty-six iniles. They were well received at Otaheite—indeed, so hospitably, that the ship was soon filled with provisions, and so rapidly did an intimacy arise between the ship’s company and the natives, that in a few days there was scarcely a man belonging to the Bounty who had not his tayo, or friend and patron, on the island.
Every thing went on as well as could be desired. Young plants of the bread-fruit tree were every where to be met with, and leave was at once freely given to Bligh to take away as many of them as he chose. Every house was open to him and to his people, and on every occasion they were treated by the islanders not only with a generous hospitality, but with a degree of affection that could hardly have been expected from strangers. Every man was free to indulge every wish of his heart; from the moment he set his foot on shore, he found himself surrounded by female allurements in the midst of ease and indolence, and living in a state of luxury, without submitting to any kind of labour !”. Indeed, so. de
lightful was the repose which the sailors here enjoyed, that it was imagined by Bligh, though without foundation, to have kindled in their hearts a strong attachment to the place, and to have been the principal cause of the mutiny which afterwards broke out.
The plants for which the vessel was dispatched having been collected and carefully stowed on board, and the preparations for her departure having been all completed, the Bounty sailed on the 4th of April, 1789, and after touching at one or two other islands, was, on the morning of the 28th, steering to the westward in the most perfect order, the plants in a most flourishing condition, all the men and officers in good health, and every thing bearing the promise of the most successful results, when, just before sun-rise, Christian, with a cutlass in hand, accompanied by three other men, armed with muskets and bayonets, suddenly appeared in the commander's cabin; and seizing him, while yet in bed, they tied his hands with a cord behind his back, and threatened him with instant death if he spoke or made the least noise. They then hauled him out of bed, and forced him on deck, where he was detained until the launch was hoisted out, Christian holding him with a strong gripe by the cords, and threatening to kill him every moment, while the others stood around him with their pieces cocked. Orders were then given for particular persons to hasten into the launch, into which they were allowed to take a store of twine, canvas, lines, sails, cordage, a cask of water, some bread, rum and wine, and also a quadrant and compass. All this having been accomplished in an incredibly short space of time, Christian then said—“Come, Captain Bligh, your officers and men are now in the boat, and
you must go with them; if you attempt to make the least resistance, you will be instantly put to death,” and without farther ceremony, he was forced over the side into the boat, which was instantly veered astern by a rope. After having undergone in that position a great deal of ridicule, and been kept for some time to make sport for the mutineers, Bligh and his companions, amounting in all to eighteen, were at length cast adrift in the open ocean! The most able of the ship's company, including Heywood, Young, and Stewart, three midshipmen, remained in the Bounty with Christian.
Before we trace the further course either of the launch or the ship, the question naturally presents itself, what was the cause that led to so sudden and so violent an act of perfidy ? Christian, the chief of the mutineers, had been up to that period, an exceedingly well conducted man. He was of a respectable family in the north of England; this was the third voyage which he had made with Bligh, who had named him lieutenant, and in consequence of his abilities, had entrusted the third watch to his charge. Heywood, Young, and Stewart, were also young men of respectable families, and of good abilities. Bligh had not entertained the slightest suspicion that disaffection prevailed in any part of his crew; no preparations for à mutiny had been observed ; indeed none had actually been