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all lay down under'it, so that we could not perceive what was passing around us. We then proposed to inscribe upon a board an account of our adventures, to write all our names at the bottom of the narrative, and fasten it to the upper part of the mast, in the hope that it would reach the government and our families."
Two hours had been passed in this state of hopeless supineness, when one of the crew quitted the tent, to go to the front of the raft. He had scarcely put his head out of the tent, when he uttered a loud cry, looked back on his companions, and stretching out his hands to the sea, almost inarticulately exclaimed, “We are saved! see! the brig is close upon us !” All rushed out, with beating hearts, to enjoy this delightful sight; and when they were convinced of the truth of the fact, nbrace
h other with the wildest transports, and shed tears of joy. It was, indeed, the Argus brig, which was not more than half a league distant, and which was bearing down upon them with a press of sail. She soon came alongside, and “her crew, ranged on the deck, or in the shrouds, showed, by waving their hats and handkerchiefs, the pleasure they felt at coming to the assistance of their unhappy countrymen.” In a few minutes the shipwrecked sufferers were conveyed on board the vessel, where they met with that kindness and assistance which were necessary to men in their exhausted state. Of the fifteen, however, who were taken from the raft, the sad remnant of one hundred and fifty persons, only eleven survived.
It is now necessary to show what was the fate of that part of the crew of the Medusa which was embarked in the boats. Two of the boats reached the Senegal, with comparatively small difficulty. The other four were not equally fortunate. By the winds and currents they were carried to a considerable distance from the point which was their destined port. They were driven on various parts of the coast, some at not less than eighty or ninety leagues from the Isle of St. Louis, and the men who were on board of them were exposed to the most dreadful fatigues and privations in crossing the burning desert of Zaara, a journey which one of the parties was sixteen days in performing. Their sufferings, however, great as they were, were not to be com
pared with those of the wretched victims whom they had abandoned, on the raft, to the mercy of the waves.
It has been already mentioned, that seventeen persons were left on board of the Medusa. The vessel had, it is true, struck, and nearly filled with water; but, as she was lying on a bank, she did not sink, and, consequently, while she held' together, those who were on board of her were safe. As soon as the boats and the raft had quitted the Medusa, these seventeen men exerted themselves in collecting whatever articles of provision they could find; and they thus obtained a sufficient quantity of brandy, wine, biscuit, and bacon, to subsist them for a length of time. For forty-two days they remained peaceably on the wreck, hoping that assistance would arrive. Twelve of them then committed themselves to the winds and waves on a small raft, and were unfortunately lost. The fragments of their frail conveyance were found on the coast of the desert of Zaara. A single sailor, shortly after, madly attempted to reach the shore on a chicken-coop, and perished within half a cable's length of the wreck. Vf the four who remained, one died in a few days. The three who were left, instead of clinging closer to each other, seemed to be inspired by the same fatal spirit that produced such horrible effects on the first of the rafts." These unhappy men occupied each a separate place, and never left it but to fetch provisions, which, in the last days, consisted only of a little brandy, tallow, and salt pork. When they met, they ran upon each other, brandishing their knives. As long as the wine had lasted, with the other provisions, they had kept up their strength perfectly well; but as soon as they had only brandy to drink, they grew weaker every day.” Their increased ferocity may also, in a great measure, be attributed to the malignant effect of the spirits. At length, when they had been fifty-two days in this situation, and when it was impossible for them to live more than forty-eight hours longer, they were saved by a vessel from Senegal, which had been despatched to endeavour to recover from the Medusa some money and valuable effects, and which had been twice driven back, by contrary winds, after having performed a part of her voyage
SUBJECT OF THE PLATE.
" HE faded, and so calm and meek,