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pelled to crowd to the centre of the raft; all those who could not reach it being swept off by the billows, In the centre another danger awaited them, the pressure being so intolerable, that some of the men were stifled or crushed to death
To complete their miseries there was yet one thing wanting, which was, that they should shed each other's blood, and this dreadful completion was now at hand. Giving themselves up as doomed to inevitable death, and untaught to look for consolation where alone under such circumstances it can be found, the soldiers and sailors resolved to soothe their last moments by driuking till they lost their reason.” They accordingly broke a large hole in a cask of wine, and continued to drink, till the sea-water mixing with it, rendered it too nauseous for them to swallow.
The result of this may easily be imagined. The want of food, the agitated state of their minds, and the fumes of the wine, combined to produce the most dreadful intoxication, or rather insanity. They determined to murder their officers, and destroy the raft, by cutting asunder the ropes which united it. At the head of them was “an Asiatic, a soldier in a colonial regiment, a man of colossal stature, whose short curled hair, extremely large mouth, and sallow complexion, gave him a hideous air.” With an axe he began to cut the cords, and even menaced an officer, but a blow with a sabré put an end to his existence. The contest soon became general. Sabres, knives, bayonets, but-ends of cara, bines, were used'; every weapon that rage could find, was employed on both sides. Nothing was to be seen but cruelty, wounds, and slaughter. The most horrible ferocity was displayed by the mutineers, who, among other instances of the same kind, endeavoured to tear out with a penknife the eves of an officer whom they had ineffectually tried to drown. It was in vain that kindness was shewn to them. M. Correard, who displayed great courageduring the contest, having plunged into the wayes to save the life of one of the mutineers, named Dominique, the miscreant rejoined them, renewed the combat, and was finally slain.
A short pause ensued, in which the soldiers displayed a momentary repentance. Many of them threw themselves at the feet of those whom they had just attacked, and requested pardon. The moon, too, broke through the clouds, and rendered the scene less horrible.-At midnight, however, the brief tranquillity on the raft was at an end. With tenfold fury the mutineers returned to the combat, and nothing was to be heard but cries of phrenzied rage, nothing seen but the most appalling and disgusting sights. The raft was covered with the dying and the dead. The gloomy pencil of Dante never painted a more sickening and terrific scene than this marrow space presented to the view.Those of the soldiers who had no weapons, attempted, like wild beasts, to tear their enemies with their teeth. Many were cruelly mangled in this manner. One of the mutineers, says the narrator, seized a workman by the right leg, and was biting him savagely in the sinew above the heel, while others were beating him severely with their sabres, and the but-end of their carabines. Amidst the combat they perpetually called for the head of one of their officers, who was left in the frigate, but whom, deprived as they now were of all sanity, they persisted in believing to be present. At length, the officers, and those who were on their side, succeeded in conquering their assailants; and a gloomy quiet was once more restored, broken only at intervals by the cries and lamentations of some, and the delirious exclamations of others, who fancied themselves on board of the Medusa, or travelling at their ease over the fertile plains of Italy. · The return of the day, as was always the case, restored them in some degree to reason, but disclosed to them a melancholy scene. Between sixty and sixtyfive men had perished during the night; at least a fourth of whom had drowned themselves in despair, In every face was the deepest despondency. Tears and lamentations again burst forth. They now, also, discovered another source of grief: the mutineers had thrown into the sea two casks of wine, and the only two casks of water which were on the raft. There were but two casks of wine left, and the persons among whom it was to be divided were above sixty in number. To accelerate their course the mast was replaced, but this failed in its object, for the sail being spread
indifferently to every breeze that blew, they were sometimes wafted towards the coast, and at other times into the open sea. At one moment they flattered themselves that they caught a glimpse of the land, and they even believed that they felt the burning air of the sandy desert. But either this was an illusion, or they were driven back from the coast, by a change in the direction of the wind. The latter was probably the case, as, at the outset, the gales for some time blew violently towards the shore. To satisfy the cravings of hunger, which were excessive, they having had no food for forty-eight hours, they endeavoured to procure some fish. Tags were collected from the soldiers, to make small hooks of them; and they bent a bayonet, to form a larger hook, in the hope of catching a shark. This plan entirely failed: the hooks were drawn under the raft, by the current, and became entangled ; and the et was found
ound too weak for its purpose. There now remained only one horrible resource-the dead!
TO BE RESUMED.
For the Pocket Magazine. MR. EDITOR-IF the annexed be worthy a place in your Pocket Magazine, you will oblige me by inserting it. It is from my journal of last summer, and is á sketch from life.
Your constant reader, Islington, Oct. 7.
THE FRENCH SOLDIER. “ HAVING reached Peronne, a well fortified town, beautifully situated about thirty miles beyond Cambray, the diligence stopped to change horses, a business which I had never yet seen the French in any particular hurry to complete. Finding myself rather fatigued, from sitting so many hours cramped up in this vehicle, I embraced the opportunity now offered for a walk.' It was a delightful evening in June, and taking the arm of my friend, we set forward together, admiring the beauties of the scenery which surrounded us, and calling to mind those equally charming scenes we had left in England.
“We had strayed some distance from Peronne, when we were accosted by an old man, who, in a supplicat. ing tone, crayed our charity. A more finished figure of penury and wretchedness I had scarcely ever beheld : distress was pourtrayed in every feature of his brown, wrinkled face, where hardships and misfortunes bad left indelible marks of their ravages. He wore an old blue jacket, patched and torn in almost every part, and seeming even now as ready to fall from his back. On his head he had an old cocked-hat, where still might be perceived the remains of a feather'; while a tattered pair of what once were white trowsers, finished the catalogue of his dress; for, alas! poor fellow, he had neither shoes nor stockings. Across his shoulder was a stick, to which hung a small bundle, probably containing all he was worth in the world.
* Such was the object which now appeared before me; and, as I viewed him with a look of pity, I saw a tear tremble on his withered cheek. I could not resist this appeal to my compassion; and, taking a franc from my purse, presented it to the old soldier. The hand which received it fell from its former position, and now hung, as if useless, by his side. Not a word of thanks broke from his lips, for, indeed, he seemed unable to speak the gratitude he felt. A look was all he gave; but it was a look which spoke the feelings of his heart. I waited a moment, expecting he would say something; but, after a short reflection, instead of pouring forth that abundance of common-place thanks we so generally meet with on these occasions, he began to dance and sing, in such a manner as quite astonished me. His old cocked-hat he pulled from his head, and throwing it into the air, played as many antics as a monkey. What an alteration did this trifling gift make in the poor old veteran! raising him from the worst apparent misery to this extravagance of joy! The diligence had now overtaken us; and, when seated in it, I frequently looked out after him, and perceived him still dancing and waving his hat with every demonstration of gratitude, till distance entirely divided us from the sight of each other.”
NOVEMBER THIS month was under the protection of Diana. The Emperor Commodus gave it the name of Exuperatorius, but this name it retained no lovger than Commodus himself was in existence.
On the first there was a feast in honour of Jupiter, and games in the circus. The Neptunalia, dedicated to Neptune, began on the fifth, and the sports lasted du*ring eight days. Arbours were constructed of branches, on the banks of the Tiber, in which the Romans diverted themselves. A bull was sacrificed to Neptune. * The seventh was one of the three days of the year in which the temple called Mundus Patens was opened. On the thirteenth was the Cona Capitolina, or supper given to Jupiter in the Capitol. It was the custom of the Romans, on some occasions, to give entertainments to their deities, and to provide them with seats, and act as if they were really present. This kind of feast, which was called also Lectisternium, was intended to propitiate them. On the fifteenth popular games began in the circus, which lasted during three days. The pontiffs had a supper on the nineteenth, in honour of Cybele. The Liberalia were held on the twenty-first, and were devoted to Bacchus. This day was a day, not merely of gaiety, but of the utmost licentiousness. Libations of honey were poured out to the god, because he was believed to have taught the use of it, and a camel or a goat was sacrificed to him, the latter because of its being destructive to the vines. The ceremonies and sacrifices of this festival were performed by females, crowned with ivy. On the twenty-second, offerings were made to Pluto and Proserpine. The Bru. malia began on the twent;:-fourth, and continued for several days. They were instituted by Romulus, in honour of Bacchus, and during the continuance of them he used to give entertainments to the senate. The mortuary sacrifices, in the Forum Boarium, took place on the twenty-seventh.
The sun, during this month, is in the signs Scorpio and Sagittarius.