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sinned against than sinning, is worthy the quarter it comes from. We all know with what shame and confusion every responsible liberal, that has ever dared to impeach the character of Sir Hudson Lowe, has been fain to retreat from his charge. It is our belief that no man was ever placed in a more difficult position, or con. ducted himself therein with greater fortitude and humanity, or has been more wantonly and malignantly subjected to the tyranny of safe slander !
We think it right to note a few of this author's drafts on the credulity of his readers; and in the very first sentence of the grand episode, i.e. the first volume of the book, our attention is called to the situation of a young officer placed in irons, in a miserable hutch on the poop of Sir T. Troubridge's ship, then lying in the harbour of Bombay,—and to a seaman crossing secretly to his prison with a little mess o' beef and a drop of grog,' because, he says, 'I couldn't abide to see your honour starving up here sivin banyan days in the week.' An officer, or even the lowest swabber, starving on board a king's ship!- Either the writer knows, and if so he is a knave,-or he does not know, and then he is a fool,—that neither admiral nor captain dares to withhold any portion of the established allowance of provisions from any one on board.
In the next page we have summoned before the ferocious admiral, on a most absurd and ridiculous charge, one of the principal characters in the piece, namely, the carpenter of the ship, whom, we are told, in an evil hour, it had pleased certain of his majesty's officers to attack, overpower, and impress into his majesty's service. This happened, the story proceeds, at Cork, where there was a regulating officer, who of course examined, and passed, or discharged, all the men pressed at that post, and as this carpenter, being a landsman settled there, was not liable to be impressed, he must, of course, have been discharged,-but no matter; have him they (who?) were determined. They knew he was settled in life---that he would leave behind him a young wife and two infant children,-but what of that?
His conquerors' hearts were steeled - inore adamantine than their gyves; and within twenty-four hours after his capture, the ship was bearing him away to cross the vast Atlantic.'
'Græme had often begged permission to go home; but unhappily "he was too good a hand, he could not be spared.” “ Almighty God!” responded the maddened man to himself; “must I be led, by the conduct of
my fellow-creatures, to curse the very bounties which Thy hand hath bestowed ! Make me a complete fool, -an idiot; strike me with pestilence, disease—wither my frame-let me become an outcast, of no use to these tyrants; but conduct me to support the un
deserved afflictions of those whom my heart loves dearer than itself!
too good !'-I will become a very fiend incarnate!”.—vol. i. pp. 16, 17,
The Blenheim (for it is useless to disguise the name) is now at sea, and the seeds of the mutiny sown before she left Bombay are beginning to sprout forth. The carpenter, Græme, whose warrant had been taken away, was artfully worked upon by Grooves, another carpenter, to whom it had been given, and also by two others, of the names of Kavanagh, an old smuggler, and M•Pherson, a wary and cunning Scotchman,
A frigate bore down to join the flag ship, having a bag of letters from England. Among others was one which deeply concerned Græme, and which, being calculated to harrow up his feelings, was therefore read to him publicly by the captain on the quarter-deck. It was as follows :
• Admiralty. ""Sir,—I am desired by my Lords Commissioners to inform you, that the enclosed letter is for Charles Græme, landsman, now serving on board his Majesty's ship under your command. It has been forwarded to this office by the under secretary of state for the home department; who received it from Mary Græme, to be transmitted to her husband, subsequent to her condemnation, and prior to her execution for theft; she having suffered the extreme penalty of the law for this offence on the ultimo,” &c. &c.
From the first word of the letter he had listened with the most intense anxiety, which had rapidly changed to suspicion-alarmagony, and then a maddened unconscious gaze of bewilderment; but when the final and irrevocable sentence was heard, amid the breathless silence of the crew, overstretched nature could support no more: the distended eye—the set teeth—the hand that idly clutched at the empty air, relaxed -no sound was uttered,—no tear was seen to fall, but consciousness and reason appeared to desert their empire, and the deck received a form not less insensate than itself. All colour, save the sallow tints of the grave, had flown from his gaunt swarthy cheek, and several of his shipmates now kindly endeavoured to lift up the stiffened body.'- vol. i. pp. 69, 70.
This letter, and one from his deceased wife, had been written two years before they were received! The latter stated, in
pathetic terms, that in a state bordering on madness she had taken a bit of linen stuff to cover the naked bodies of her children: she says on her trial, in addressing the judge,
• Your honour, I lived in credit, and wanted for nothing, till a press-gang came and stole my husband from me ; but since then I have had no bed to lie on; nothing to give my children to eat; and they were almost naked. Perhaps your honour says I may have done something wrong, for I hardly know what I did.' YOL. XLIX. NO. XCVIII.
Why, we might ask, does this vile slanderer of the illustrious dead suppress the fact, when painting the starving wife and children, that every warrant and petty officer, and every seaman, pressed or not pressed, can at any time allot one half of his pay for his wife, children, or mother, which can be received by them in any part of the United Kingdom ?-Why?-because the statement of this fact would have spoiled the story of Græme's starving wife:-fabricated to create an impression of disgust against the naval service—and to make the reader sympathise with Græme and his associates in the mutiny, which at length bursts out, and which, after a variety of the most horrible scenes of carnage, is only quenched in the watery grave of all the mutineers save one!
There is considerable merit in the author's description of the awful night in which his heroes carry their purposes into effect. In the eastern seas, in particular, it is well known a phenomenon frequently takes place, called the ripples, when the surface of the sea, in the midst of a dead calm, is thrown into the most violent state of agitation, rolling on, as would seem, with great velocity, while in point of fact there is no current whatever. We have never met with a satisfactory explanation of this extraordinary phenomenon, but it is so well described, though with some exaggeration, by the writer of these pages, that we shall quote the passage :
* A brilliant glare of light was observed to gleam forth from that part of the heavens where the brig was last observed to be. It was not lightning, so much as a dazzling and splendid coruscation. This had scarcely passed away, when a low hollow murmur was faintly distinguished-the ear at first doubted whether it was a sound or a deception. Then it grew louder, resembling the distant roar of surf on a lee-shore. With terror in their countenances the men eyed one another, involuntarily and simultaneously exclaiming, “ Breakers !” But again, they were distant from any land—the noise increased, while the point from whence it came exhibited a bright light, distinguishable through which was for a moment beheld the black speck of the brig. The ocean seemed to be on fire ; the tumult increased; the long line of vivid light on the distant horizon rapidly approached with supernatural swiftness; the agitated surface of the waters, lashed into fury, seemed more appropriate to Pandemonium than our globe, - the sailors looked aloft to the canvass, expecting to see the closereefed top-sails blown out of their bolt-ropes. ..... Not a point, not a gasket betrayed the slightest motion. No breath was felt to cool the faces which the sultry air had parched, and which expectation fevered: the roll of the long seas seemed chained; the rest of the ocean appeared as a polished glass ; while a quick, steady, tremulous shivering was felt throughout the ship's hull, and her crew momentarily expected the abyss to yawn and close on them for ever,
Thus, then, they remained staring with distended eyeballs on the approaching confusion of the waters, that traversed miles in seconds, and left distance far behind in its luminous career. No human voice was distinguishable; their breasts throbbed, their pulses seemed clogged with the heavy-laboured breath they drew as it came near. Some chemical decomposition of the atmosphere seemed to take place, as if those particles replete with life, which it once contained, had vanished ; they inhaled the air, and yet it seemed to mock them, leaving behind the pangs of suffocation. In an instant more, and it had overtaken them. As far as the eye could reach, a-head or a-stern, all was one stream of fire and foam, while the same view presented itself on either side for a considerable way. The brine boiled up around them, mounting the gangway and splashing in the face of those whose curiosity had led them too near.
Still the air was unmoved the sense of „suffocation intense, while the ship trembled beneath their feet, as if endowed with the living and animate comprehension of her terrified .crew.-pp. 97, 100.
Kavanagh has got together some of the most riotous of the crew on the lower deck, and after holding forth on the glory of freeing themselves from the despots,' and the advantages to be derived from running away with the ship, he and his confederates succeed in swearing the rash multitude to stand by them.
The flogging of Græme was the completion of the business. After imploring the captain not to inflict a punishment, the disgrace of which no future good behaviour could wipe out, · for the love of mercy,' he says, ' for heaven's sake, Captain Grummet,' catching his superior's hand, drive me not to madness.'
• “Madness ! you beast !" snatching the hand away as if polluted. • The cat will take the madness out of you! Get up, you rascal, this instant !” and he inflicted a kick on the suppliant form before him. A gleam of rage flashed forth on Græme's features, and was as suddenly subdued. “ Captain, for the love of heaven, if-"
"" Here, master-at-arms, serjeants, take this villain up; seize him to the gratings !” Four men immediately stepped out to obey this order.
Meanwhile, the crew, who had been gradually drawing near, all warmly excited by the open tyranny perpetrated on one so universally respected, no sooner beheld the first blow struck than they rushed forward in a body with the cries of “ Hurra ! my hearties, down with the -, down with them! true blue for ever!" Each man now seizing whatever weapon came' to hand, it was one scene of irretrievable confusion and carnage.'— pp. 114, 115.
The admiral at this moment rushing out on deck, ordered the marines to fire, which was immediately obeyed; the mutineers took shelter on the lower deck; while, by those above, the hatches were battened down; the guns spiked, and the cutlasses and pistols carried upon the роор, The mutineers below were divided as to 2 1 2
what should be done : some advised a surrender-others to remain inactive-others again to get possession of the ship. One fellow says, 'I propose we broach the rum, get ourselves groggy, blow the old barky up, and all go to Davy Jones together.' It ended, however, by Græme being appointed leader, and in a determination to take the ship by storm. A long and detailed account follows of the steps taken to attack the officers and the loyal part of the crew, which was at length effected by blowing up the decks,the detail of which is so minutely circumstantial as to lead one to suspect that the writer must have himself been engaged as a mutineer in the course of his service, At the solicitation of a female passenger, it was agreed that one of them was to go to the admiral to propose to him, as it was impossible for his party to retain the ship, to give her up on condition of being set free on the first shore. Some twenty were to draw lots who was to undertake the message : the lot fell upon Grooves, whom, as might be supposed, the admiral ordered immediately to be hung at the yard-arm. This made the mutineers furious, and nothing was heard but · Revenge !-revenge for Grooves's murder, and death to the admiral !'
They now proceeded to carry the deck by storm, across which had been formed a barricade of hammocks ; to these they set fire with lighted torches. Græme, pointing to the carpenter, still swinging from the yard-arm, called out, · There, my boys, there's your murdered shipmate! who shall cut him down first ? Revenge or death! three cheers and on!'
A dreadful contest ensues, in which Græme cuts down the captain while defending the admiral, and the latter remains a prisoner at the mercy of the mutineers. Having bound him hand and foot, they take him to the gangway, and having lowered down the body of Grooves, still swinging from the yard, the savages tie the neck and feet of the admiral to the corresponding parts of the corpse of Grooves, which, stiffened in death, is set upright on its feet by the seamen, back to back with the gallant flag-officer, who maintains a dignified silence. They then, after every species of insult, place the two bodies in a horizontal position and launch them into the deep.
The whole of this scene is described in a brutal vein of coldblooded sympathy and diabolical admiration. That none of the ship's officers may escape degradation, the minister of religion is brought forward staggering drunk; and instead of reading the impressive service, ordained in committing the bodies of seamen to the deep, he is made to stammer out the usual grace said at dinner!
And what, even according to this caitiff's own notions, are the natural consequences of mutiny and insubordination ?