Narrative of a Voyage to Senegal in 1816
J. B. Henry Savigny and Alexander Correard

Part 2 out of 4

was not with us; but we had no more success in persuading them; nothing
could make them recollect themselves; we were obliged to continue to combat
them, and to oppose force to those over whom reason had lost all its
influence. In this confusion the unfortunate woman was, a second time,
thrown into the sea. We perceived it, and Mr. Coudin, assisted by some
workmen, took her up again, to prolong, for a few moments, her torments and
her existence.

In this horrible night, Lavillette gave further proofs of the rarest
intrepidity. It was to him, and to some of those who have escaped the
consequences of our misfortunes, that we are indebted for our safety. At
length, after unheard-of efforts, the mutineers were again repulsed, and
tranquillity restored. After we had escaped this new danger, we endeavoured
to take some moment's repose. The day at length rose on us for the fifth
time. We were now only thirty left; we had lost four or five of our
faithful sailors; those who survived were in the most deplorable state; the
sea-water had almost entirely excoriated our lower extremities; we were
covered with contusions or wounds, which, irritated by the salt-water,
made us utter every moment piercing cries; so that there were not above
twenty of us who were able to stand upright or walk. Almost our whole stock
was exhausted; we had no more wine than was sufficient for four days, and
we had not above a dozen fish left. In four days, said we, we shall be in
want of every thing, and death will be unavoidable. Thus arrived the
seventh day since we had been abandoned; we calculated that, in case the
boats had not stranded on the coast, they would want, at least, three or
four times twenty-four hours to reach St. Louis. Time was further required
to equip ships, and for these ships to find us; we resolved to hold out as
long as possible. In the course of the day, two soldiers slipped behind the
only barrel of wine we had left; they had bored a hole in it, and were
drinking by means of a reed; we had all sworn, that he who should employ
such means should be punished with death. This law was instantly put in
execution, and the two trespassers were thrown into the sea.[28]

This same day terminated the existence of a child, twelve years of age,
named Leon; he died away like a lamp which ceases to burn for want of
aliment. Every thing spoke in favor of this amiable young creature, who
merited a better fate. His angelic countenance, his melodious voice, the
interest inspired by his youth, which was increased by the courage he had
shown, and the services he had performed, for he had already made, in the
preceding year, a campaign in the East Indies, all this filled us with the
tenderest interest for this young victim, devoted to a death so dreadful
and premature. Our old soldiers, and our people in general, bestowed upon
him all the care which they thought calculated to prolong his existence. It
was in vain; his strength, at last, forsook him. Neither the wine, which we
gave him without regret, nor all the means which could be employed, could
rescue him from his sad fate; he expired in the arms of Mr. Coudin, who had
not ceased to shew him the kindest attention. As long as the strength of
this young marine had allowed him to move, he ran continually from one side
to the other, calling, with loud cries, for his unhappy mother, water, and
food. He walked, without discrimination, over the feet and legs of his
companions in misfortune, who, in their turn, uttered cries of anguish,
which were every moment repeated. But their complaints were very seldom
accompanied by menaces; they pardoned every thing in the poor youth, who
had caused them. Besides, he was, in fact, in a state of mental
derangement, and in his uninterrupted alienation he could not be expected
to behave, as if he had still retained some use of reason.

We were now only twenty-seven remaining; of this number but fifteen seemed
likely to live some days: all the rest, covered with large wounds, had
almost entirely lost their reason; yet they had a share in the distribution
of provisions, and might, before their death, consume thirty or forty
bottles of wine, which were of inestimable value to us. We deliberated
thus: to put the sick on half allowance would have been killing them by
inches. So after a debate, at which the most dreadful despair presided, it
was resolved to throw them into the sea. This measure, however repugnant it
was to ourselves, procured the survivors wine for six days; when the
decision was made, who would dare to execute it? The habit of seeing death
ready to pounce upon us as his prey, the certainly of our infallible
destruction, without this fatal expedient, every thing in a word, had
hardened our hearts, and rendered them callous to all feeling except that
of self preservation. Three sailors and a soldier took on themselves this
cruel execution: we turned our faces aside, and wept tears of blood over
the fate of these unhappy men. Among them were the unfortunate woman and
her husband. Both of them had been severely wounded in the various combats:
the woman had a thigh broken between the pieces of wood composing the raft,
and her husband had received a deep wound with a sabre on his head. Every
thing announced their speedy dissolution. We must seek to console
ourselves, by the belief, that our cruel resolution shortened, but for a
few moments only, the measure of their existence.

This French woman, to whom soldiers and Frenchmen gave the sea for a tomb,
had partaken for twenty years in the glorious fatigues of our armies; for
twenty years she had afforded to the brave, on the field of battle, either
the assistance which they needed, or soothing consolations ... It is in the
midst of her friends; it is by the hands of her friends ... Readers, who
shudder at the cry of outraged humanity, recollect at least, that it was
other men, fellow countrymen, comrades, who had placed us in this horrible

This dreadful expedient saved the fifteen who remained; for, when we were
found by the Argus, we had very little wine left, and it was the sixth day
after the cruel sacrifice which we have just described: the victims, we
repeat it, had not above forty-eight hours to live, and by keeping them on
the raft, we should absolutely have been destitute of the means of
existence two days before we were found. Weak as we were, we considered it
as certain that it would have been impossible for us to hold out, even
twenty-four hours, without taking some food. After this catastrophe, which
inspired us with a degree of horror not to be overcome, we threw the arms
into the sea; we reserved, however, one sabre in case it should be wanted
to cut a rope or piece of wood.

After all this, we had scarcely sufficient food on the raft, to last for
the six days, and they were the most wretched immaginable. Our dispositions
had become soured: even in sleep, we figured to ourselves the sad end of
all our unhappy companions, and we loudly invoked death.

A new event, for every thing was an _event_ for wretches for whom the
universe was reduced to a flooring of a few toises in extent, who were the
sport of the winds and waves, as they hung suspended over the abyss; an
event then happened which happily diverted our attention from the horrors
of our situation. All at once a white butterfly, of the species so common
in France, appeared fluttering over our heads, and settled on our sail. The
first idea which, as it were, inspired each of us made us consider this
little animal as the harbinger, which brought us the news of a speedy
approach to land, and we snatched at this hope with a kind of delirium of
joy. But it was the ninth day that we passed upon the raft; the torments of
hunger consumed our entrails; already some of the soldiers and sailors
devoured, with haggard eyes, this wretched prey, and seemed ready to
dispute it with each other. Others considered this butterfly as a messenger
of heaven, declared that they took the poor insect under their protection,
and hindered any injury being done to it. We turned our wishes and our eyes
towards the land, which we so ardently longed for, and which we every
moment fancied we saw rise before us. It is certain that we could not be
far from it: for the butterflies continued, on the following days, to come
and flutter about our sail, and the same day we had another sign equally
positive: for we saw a (_goeland_) flying over our raft. This second
visitor did not allow us to doubt of our being very near to the African
shore, and we persuaded ourselves that we should soon be thrown upon the
coast by the force of the currents. How often did we then, and in the
following days, invoke a tempest to throw us on the coast, which, it seemed
to us, we were on the point of touching.

The hope which had just penetrated the inmost recesses of our souls,
revived our enfeebled strength, and inspired us with an ardour, an
activity, of which we should not have thought ourselves capable. We again
had recourse to all the means which we had before employed, to catch fish.
Above all, we eagerly longed for the (goeland), which appeared several
times tempted to settle on the end of our machine. The impatience of our
desire increased, when we saw several of its companions join it, and keep
following us till our deliverance; but all attempts to draw them to us were
in vain; not one of them suffered itself to be taken by the snares we had
laid for them. Thus our destiny, on the fatal raft, was to be incessantly
tossed between transitory illusions and continued torments, and we never
experienced an agreeable sensation without being, in a manner, condemned to
atone for it, by the anguish of some new suffering, by the irritating pangs
of hope always deceived.

Another care employed us this day; as soon as we were reduced to a small
number, we collected the little strength we had remaining; we loosened some
planks on the front of the raft, and with some pretty long pieces of wood,
raised in the center a kind of platform, on which we reposed: all the
effects which we had been able to collect, were placed upon it, and served
to render it less hard; besides, they hindered the sea from passing with so
much facility through the intervals between the different pieces of the
raft; but the waves came across, and sometimes covered us entirely.

It was on this new theatre that we resolved to await death in a manner
worthy of Frenchmen, and with perfect resignation. The most adroit among
us, to divert our thoughts, and to make the time pass with more rapidity,
got their comrades to relate to us their passed triumphs, and sometimes, to
draw comparisons between the hardships they had undergone in their glorious
campaigns, and the distresses we endured upon our raft. The following is
what Lavillette the serjeant of artillery told us: "I have experienced, in
my various naval campaigns, all the fatigues, all the privations and all
the dangers, which it is possible to meet with at sea, but none of my past
sufferings, is comparable to the extreme pain and privations which I endure
here. In my last campaigns in 1813 and 1814, in Germany and France, I
shared all the fatigues which were alternately caused us by victory and
retreat, I was at the glorious days of Lutzen, Bautzen, Dresden, Leipzig,
Hanau, Montmirail, Champaubert, Montereau," &c. "Yes," continued he, "all
that I suffered in so many forced marches, and in the midst of the
privations which were the consequences of them, was nothing in comparison
with what I endure on this frightful machine. In those days, when the
French valour shewed itself in all its lustre, and always worthy of a free
people, I had hardly anything to fear, but during the battle; but here, I
often have the same dangers, and what is more dreadful, I have to combat
Frenchmen and comrades. I have to contend, besides, with hunger and thirst,
with a tempestuous sea, full of dangerous monsters, and with the ardour of
a burning sun, which is not the least of our enemies. Covered with ancient
scars and fresh wounds, which I have no means of dressing, it is physically
impossible for me to save myself from this extreme danger, if it should be
prolonged for a few days."

The sad remembrance of the critical situation of our country also mingled
with our grief; and certainly, of all the afflictions we experienced, this
was not the least, to us, who had almost all of us left it, only that we
might no longer be witnesses of the hard laws, of the afflicting
dependence, under which, it is bowed down by enemies jealous of our glory
and of our power. These thoughts, we do not fear to say so, and to boast of
it, afflicted us still more than the inevitable death which we were almost
certain of meeting on our raft. Several of us regretted not having fallen
in the defence of France. At least, said they, if it had been possible for
us to measure our strength once more, with the enemies of our independence,
and our liberty! Others found some consolation in the death which awaited
us, because we should no longer have to groan under the shameful yoke which
oppresses the country. Thus passed the last days of our abode on the raft.
Our time was almost wholly employed in speaking of our unhappy country: all
our wishes, our last prayers were for the happiness of France.

During the first days and nights of our being abandoned, the weather was
very cold, but we bore the immersion pretty well; and during the last
nights that we passed on the raft, every time that a wave rolled over us,
it produced a very disagreeable sensation, and made us utter plaintive
cries, so that each of us employed means to avoid it: some raised their
heads, by means of pieces of wood, and made with whatever they could find a
kind of parapet, against which the wave broke: others sheltered themselves
behind empty casks which were placed across, along side each other; but
these means often proved insufficient; it was only when the sea was very
calm that it did not break over us.

A raging thirst, which was redoubled in the daytime by the beams of a
burning sun, consumed us: it was such, that we eagerly moistened our
parched lips with urine, which we cooled in little tin cups. We put the cup
in a place where there was a little water, that the urine might cool the
sooner; it often happened that these cups were stolen from those who had
thus prepared them. The cup was returned, indeed, to him to whom it
belonged, but not till the liquid which it contained was drank. Mr. Savigny
observed that the urine of sum of us was more agreeable than that of
others. There was a passenger who could never prevail on himself to swallow
it: in reality, it had not a disagreeable taste; but in some of us it
became thick, and extraordinarily acrid: it produced an effect truly worthy
of remark: namely, that it was scarcely swallowed, when it excited an
inclination to urine anew. We also tried to quench our thirst by drinking
sea-water. Mr. Griffon, the governor's secretary, used it continually, he
drank ten or twelve glasses in succession. But all these means only
diminished our thirst to render it more severe a moment afterwards.

An officer of the army, found by chance, a little lemon, and it may be
imagined how valuable this fruit must be to him; he, in fact, reserved it
entirely for himself; his comrades, notwithstanding the most pressing
entreaties, could not obtain any of it; already emotions of rage were
rising in every heart, and if he had not partly yielded to those who
surrounded him, they would certainly have taken it from him by force, and
he would have perished, the victim of his selfishness. We also disputed for
about thirty cloves of garlic, which had been found accidentally in a
little bag: all these disputes were generally accompanied with violent
threats, and if they had been protracted we should, perhaps, have come to
the last extremities.

We had found, also, two little phials which contained a spirituous liquor
to clean the teeth; he who possessed them, kept them carefully, and made
many difficulties to give one or two drops of this liquid in the hollow of
the hand. This liquor, which we believe was an essence of guiacum,
cinnamon, cloves, and other aromatic substances, produced on our tongues a
delightful sensation, and removed for a few moments the thirst which
consumed us. Some of us found pieces of pewter, which, being put into the
mouth produced a kind of coolness.

One of the means generally employed, was to put some sea-water into a hat,
with which we washed our faces for some time, recurring to it at intervals;
we also moistened our hair with it, and held our hands plunged in the
water.[29] Misfortune rendered us ingenious, and every one thought of a
thousand means to alleviate his sufferings; extenuated by the most cruel
privations, the smallest agreeable sensation was to us a supreme happiness;
thus we eagerly sought a little empty phial, which one of us possessed, and
which had formerly contained essence of roses: as soon as we could get hold
of it we inhaled, with delight, the perfume which issued from it, and which
communicated to our senses the most soothing impressions. Some of us
reserved our portion of wine in little tin cups, and sucked up the wine
with a quill; this manner of taking it was very beneficial to us, and
quenched our thirst much more than if we had drunk it off at once. Even the
smell of this liquor was extremely agreeable to us. Mr. Savigny observed
that many of us, after having taken their small portion, fell into a state
approaching to intoxication, and that there was always more discord among
us after the distribution had been made.

The following is one instance, among many, which we could adduce. The tenth
day of our being on the raft, after a distribution of wine, Messrs.
Clairet, Coudin, Charlot, and one or two of our sailors, conceived the
strange idea of destroying themselves, first intoxicating themselves with
what remained in our barrel. In vain Captain Dupont, seconded by Messrs.
Lavillette, Savigny, Lheureux, and all the others, opposed their purpose by
urgent remonstrances, and by all the firmness of which they were
capable--their disordered brains persisted in the mad idea which governed
them, and a new combat was on the point of commencing; however, after
infinite trouble, we were beginning to bring back Messrs. Clairet and
Coudin to the use of their reason; or rather he who watched over us
dispelled this fatal quarrel, by turning our attention to the new danger
which threatened us, at the moment when cruel discord was, perhaps, about
to break out among wretches already a prey to so many other evils--it was a
number of sharks which came and surrounded our raft. They approached so
near, that we were able to strike them with our sabre, but we could not
subdue one of them, notwithstanding the goodness of the weapon we
possessed, and the ardour with which the brave Lavillette made use of it.
The blows which he struck these monsters, made them replunge into the sea;
but a few seconds after, they re-appeared upon the surface, and did not
seem at all alarmed at our presence. Their backs rose about 30 centimetres
above the water: several of them appeared to us to be at least 10 metres in

Three days passed in inexpressible anguish; we despised life to such a
degree that many of us did not fear to bathe in sight of the sharks which
surrounded our raft; others placed themselves naked on the front part of
our machine which was still submerged: these means diminished, a little,
their burning thirst. A kind of polypus (mollusques),[30] known by seamen
under the name of _galere_, was frequently driven in great numbers on our
raft, and when their long arms clung to our naked bodies, they caused us
the most cruel sufferings. Will it be believed, that amidst these dreadful
scenes, struggling with inevitable death, some of us indulged in
pleasantries which excited a smile, notwithstanding the horror of our
situation? One, among others said, joking, "_If the brig is sent to look
for us, let us pray to God that she may have the eyes of Argus_," alluding
to the name of the vessel, which we presumed would be sent after us. This
consolatory idea did not quit us an instant, and we spoke of it frequently.

During the day of the 16th, reckoning ourselves to be very near land, eight
of the most determined of us, resolved to try to reach the coast: we
unfastened a strong fish of a mast,[31] which made part of the little
parapet of which we have spoken, we fixed boards to it at intervals,
transversely, by means of great nails, to hinder it from upsetting; a
little mast and sail were fixed in the front; we intended to provide
ourselves with oars made of barrel staves, cut out with the only sabre we
had remaining: we cut pieces of rope, we split them, and made smaller
ropes, that were more easy to manage: a hammock cloth, which was by chance
on the raft, served for a sail; the dimensions of which, might be about 130
centimetres in breadth and 160 in length: the transverse diameter of the
fish was 60 or 70 centimetres, and its length about 12 metres. A certain
portion of wine was assigned to us, and our departure fixed for the next
day, the 17th. When our machine was finished, it remained to make a trial
of it: a sailor wanting to pass from the front to the back of it, finding
the mast in his way, set his foot on one of the cross boards; the weight of
his body made it upset, and this accident proved to us the temerity of our
enterprise. It was then resolved that we should all await death in our
present situation; the cable winch fastened the machine to our raft, was
made loose, and it drifted away. It is very certain that if we had ventured
upon this second raft, weak as we were, we should not have been able to
hold out six hours, with our legs in the water, and thus obliged
continually to row.

Mean time the night came, and its gloomy shades revived in our minds the
most afflicting thoughts; we were convinced that there were not above
twelve or fifteen bottles of wine left in our barrel. We began to feel an
invincible disgust at the flesh which had till then, scarcely supported us;
and we may say that the sight of it inspired us with a sentiment of terror,
which was doubtless produced by the idea of approaching destruction.

On the 17th, in the morning, the sun appeared entirely free from clouds;
after having put up our prayers to the Almighty, we divided among us, a
part of our wine; every one was taking with delight his small portion, when
a captain of infantry looking towards the horizon, descried a ship, and
announced it to us by an exclamation of joy: we perceived that it was a
brig; but it was at a very great distance; we could distinguish only the
tops of the masts. The sight of this vessel excited in us a transport of
joy which it would be difficult to describe; each of us believed his
deliverance certain, and we gave a thousand thanks to God; yet, fears
mingled with our hopes: we straitened some hoops of casks, to the end of
which we tied handkerchiefs of different colours. A man, assisted by us all
together, mounted to the top of the mast and waved these little flags.

For above half an hour, we were suspended between hope and fear; some
thought they saw the ship become larger, and others affirmed that its
course carried it from us: these latter were the only ones whose eyes were
not fascinated by hope, for the brig disappeared. From the delirium of joy,
we fell into profound despondency and grief; we envied the fate of those
whom we had seen perish at our side, and we said to ourselves, when we
shall be destitute of every thing, and our strength begins to forsake us,
we will wrap ourselves up as well as we can, we will lay ourselves down on
this platform, the scene of so many sufferings, and there we will await
death with resignation. At last, to calm our despair, we wished to seek
some consolation in the arms of sleep; the day before we had been consumed
by the fire of a burning sun; this day, to avoid the fierceness of his
beams, we made a tent with the sails of the frigate: as soon as it was put
up, we 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
to fasten it to the upper part of the mast, in the hope that it would reach
the government and our families.

After we had passed two hours, absorbed in the most cruel reflections, the
master gunner of the frigate wishing to go to the front of the raft, went
out of our tent; scarcely had he put his head out, when he turned towards
us, uttering a loud cry; joy was painted on his countenance, his hands were
stretched towards the sea, he scarcely breathed: all that he could say,
was, "_Saved! see the brig close upon us_." And in fact, it was, at the
most, half a league distant, carrying a press of sail, and steering so as
to come extremely close to us; we precipitately left the tent: even those
whom enormous wounds, in the lower extremities, had confined for some days
past, always to lie down, crawled to the back part of the raft, to enjoy
the sight of this vessel, which was coming to deliver us from certain
death. We all embraced each other with transports that looked like
delirium, and tears of joy rolled down our cheeks, shrunk by the most cruel
privations. Every one seized handkerchiefs, or pieces of linen to make
signals to the brig, which was approaching rapidly. Others prostrating
themselves, fervently thanked Providence for our miraculous preservation.
Our joy redoubled when we perceived a great white flag at the foremast
head, and we exclaimed "It is then to Frenchmen that we shall owe our
deliverance." We almost immediately recognised the brig to be the Argus: it
was then within two musket shot: we were extremely impatient to see her
clue up her sails; she lowered them at length, and fresh cries of joy rose
from our raft. The Argus came and lay-to on our starboard, within half a
pistol shot. The crew, ranged on the deck and in the shrouds, shewed, by
waving their hats and handkerchiefs, the pleasure they felt at coming to
the assistance of their unhappy countrymen. A boat was immediately hoisted
out; an officer belonging to the brig, whose name was Mr. Lemaigre, had
embarked in it, in order to have the pleasure of taking us himself from
this fatal machine. This officer, full of humanity and zeal, acquitted
himself of his mission in the kindest manner, and took himself, those that
were the weakest, to convey them into the boat. After all the others were
placed in it, Mr. Lemaigre came and took in his arms Mr. Correard, whose
health was the worst, and who was the most excoriated: he placed him at his
side in the boat, bestowed on him all imaginable cares, and spoke to him in
the most consoling terms.

In a short time we were all removed on board the Argus, where we met with
the lieutenant of the frigate, and some others of those who had been
shipwrecked. Pity was painted on every face, and compassion drew tears from
all who cast their eyes on us.

Let the reader imagine fifteen unfortunate men, almost naked; their bodies
and faces disfigured by the scorching beams of the sun; ten of the fifteen
were hardly able to move; our limbs were excoriated, our sufferings were
deeply imprinted on our features, our eyes were hollow, and almost wild,
and our long beards rendered our appearance still more frightful; we were
but the shadows of ourselves. We found on board the brig some very good
broth, which had been got ready; as soon as they perceived us, they added
some excellent wine to it; thus they restored our almost exhausted
strength; they bestowed on us the most generous care and attention; our
wounds were dressed, and the next day several of our sick began to recover;
however, some of us had a great deal to suffer; for they were placed
between decks, very near the kitchen, which augmented the almost
insupportable heat of these countries; the want of room in a small vessel,
was the cause of this inconvenience. The number of the shipwrecked was
indeed too great. Those who did not belong to the marine, were laid upon
cables, wrapped in some flags, and placed under the kitchen fire, which
exposed them to perish in the night; fire having broken out between decks,
about ten o'clock, which had like to have reduced the vessel to ashes; but
timely assistance was afforded, and we were saved for the second time. We
had scarcely escaped when some of us again become delirious: an officer of
the army wanted to throw himself into the sea, to go and look for his
pocket book; which he would have done had he not been prevented; others
were seized in a manner equally striking.

The commander and officers of the brig were eager to serve us, and kindly
anticipated our wants. They had just snatched us from death, by rescuing us
from our raft; their reiterated care rekindled in us the flame of life. Mr.
Renaud, the surgeon, distinguished himself by indefatigable zeal; he passed
the whole day in dressing our wounds; and during the two days that we
remained on board the brig, he exerted all the resources of his art, with a
degree of attention and gentleness which merit our eternal gratitude.

It was, in truth, time that our sufferings should have an end: they had
already lasted thirteen days; the strongest among us might, at the most,
have lived forty-eight hours more. Mr. Correard, felt that he must die in
the course of the day; yet he had a foreboding that we should be saved; he
said that a series of events so extraordinary was not destined to be buried
in oblivion: that providence would preserve some of us at least, to present
to mankind the affecting picture of our unhappy adventures.

Through how many terrible trials have we past! Where are the men who can
say that they have been more unfortunate than we have?

The manner in which we were saved is truly miraculous: the finger of heaven
is conspicuous in this event.

The Argus had been dispatched, from Senegal, to assist the shipwrecked
people belonging to the boats, and to look for the raft; for several days
it sailed along the coast without meeting us, and gave provisions to the
people from the boats who were crossing the great desert of Zaara; the
captain, thinking that it would be useless to look for our raft any longer,
steered his course towards the harbour from which he had been dispatched,
in order to announce that his search had been fruitless; it was when he was
running towards Senegal that we perceived him. In the morning he was not
above forty leagues from the mouth of the river, when the wind veered to
the South West; the captain, as by a kind of inspiration, said that they
ought to go about, the winds blew towards the frigate; after they had run
two hours on this tack, the man at the mast head, announced a vessel: when
the brig was nearer to us, by the aid of glasses, they perceived that it
was our raft. When we were taken up by the Argus, we asked this question:
Gentlemen have you been long looking for us? We were answered yes; but
that, however, the captain had not received any positive orders on the
subject; and that we were indebted to chance alone, for the good fortune of
having been met with. We repeat with pleasure the expression of Mr.
Parnajon, addressed to one of us. "If they were to give me the rank of
captain of a frigate, I should feel a less lively pleasure, than that which
I experienced when I met your raft." Some persons said to us without
reserve, "We thought you were all dead a week ago." We say that the
commander of the brig had not received positive orders to look for us. The
following were his instructions: "Mr. de Parnajon, commanding the brig
Argus, will proceed to the side of the desert with his vessel, will employ
every means to assist the shipwrecked persons, who must have reached the
coast; and will supply them with such provisions and ammunition as they may
want; after having assured himself of the fate of these unfortunate
persons, he will endeavour to continue his course to the Medusa, to see
whether the currents have carried the raft towards her." This is all that
was said of our wretched machine. It is very certain, that, at the Island
of St. Louis, we were given up; our friends believed we had perished: this
is so true, that some, who were going to send letters to Europe, wrote that
one hundred and fifty unfortunate people had been placed on a raft, and
that it was impossible they should have escaped. It will not, perhaps, be
out of place, to mention here a conversation which took place respecting
us. In a pretty large company, some persons said: "It is a pity that the
raft was abandoned; for there were many brave fellows on board; but their
sufferings are over; they are happier than we, for who knows how all this
will end." In short, as we were now found, the frigate steered again for
Senegal, and the next day we saw the land, for which we had been longing
for thirteen days: we cast anchor in the evening off the coast, and in the
morning, the winds being favorable, we directed our course to the road of
St. Louis, where we cast anchor on the 19th of July, about three o'clock in
the afternoon.

Such is the faithful history of one hundred and fifty persons, who were
left upon the raft; only fifteen of whom were saved; and five of that
number were so reduced, that they died of fatigue, shortly after arriving
at St. Louis; those who still exist are covered with scars, and the cruel
sufferings which they have endured have greatly impaired their

In terminating this recital of the unparalelled sufferings, to which we
were a prey for thirteen days, we beg leave to name those who shared them
with us:

_Alive when we were saved._ _Notice of their subsequent fate_.
Dupont, Captain of Foot; In Senegal.
L'Heureux, Lieutenant; In Senegal.
Lozach, Sub-Lieutenant; Dead.
Clairet, Sub-Lieutenant; Dead.
Griffon du Bellay, Ex-Clerk of the Navy; Out of employment.
Coudin, _eleve de marine_; Midshipman.
Charlot, Serjeant Major (of Toulon); In Senegal.
Courtade, Master Gunner; Dead.
Lavillette. In France.
Coste, Sailor; In France.
Thomas, Pilot; In France.
Francois, Hospital Keeper; In the Indies.
Jean Charles, black Soldier; Dead.
Correard, Engineer Geographer; Without employment.
Savigny, Surgeon. Resigned.

The governor having been apprised of our arrival, sent a large-decked
vessel to convey us ashore. This vessel also brought us wine and some
refreshments; the master, thinking the tide sufficiently high to enable him
to pass the bar of sand, which lies at the mouth of the river, resolved to
land us at once upon the island. Those who were the most feeble among us,
were placed below deck, together with a few of the least skilful of the
negroes, who composed the crew, and the hatches closed upon us, to prevent
the sea from coming in between decks, while the dangers occasioned by the
surf running over the bar, was passed. The wretched condition to which we
were reduced, was such as to awaken a feeling of sympathy, even among the
blacks, who shed tears of compassion for our misfortunes; during this time,
the most profound silence reigned on board; the voice of the master alone
was heard; as soon as we were out of danger, the negroes recommenced their
songs, which did not cease till we arrived at St. Louis.

We were received in the most brilliant manner; the governor, several
officers, both English and French, came to meet us, and one of the officers
in this numerous train, held out to us a hand, which a fortnight before,
had, as it were, plunged us in the depth of despair by loosening the
tow-rope which made our raft fast to the boat. But such is the effect
produced by the sight of wretches who have just been miraculously
delivered, that there was not a single person, either English or French,
who did not shed tears of compassion on seeing the deplorable condition to
which we were reduced; all seemed truly affected by our distress, and by
the intrepidity which we had shewn on the raft. Yet we could not contain
our indignation, at the sight of some persons in this train.

Some of us were received by two French merchants, who bestowed on us every
attention, and rendered every assistance in their power. Messrs. Valentin
and Lasalle stimulated by that natural impulse which incites man to assist
a fellow creature in distress, is, on that account, entitled to the highest
praise. We are extremely sorry to say that they were the only colonists who
gave assistance to the shipwrecked people belonging to the raft.

Before we proceed to the second part of our work, in which we shall include
the history of the Camp of Daccard and of the unfortunate persons
shipwrecked in the Medusa, who remained in the hospitals of St. Louis, let
us cast our eyes back, and examine what were the operations of the boats
after the tow-lines had been loosened, and the raft abandoned.

The long-boat was the last which we lost sight of. It descried the land and
the Isles of Arguin, the same evening before sun-set: the other boats must,
therefore, necessarily, have seen it some time before, which proves, we
think, that when we were abandoned, we were at a very small distance from
the coast. Two boats succeeded in reaching Senegal without accident; they
were those in; which were the governor and the commander of the frigate.
During the bad weather, which forced the other boats to make the land,
these two had a great deal of difficulty to resist a heavy sea and an
extremely high wind. Two young seamen gave proofs of courage and coolness
in these critical moments, in the barge. Mr. Barbotin, _eleve_ of the
marine: and in the captain's barge, Mr. Rang,[32] also an _eleve_ of the
marine, as deserving of praise for his knowledge, as for the courage he
displayed on this occasion; both of them, as long as the bad weather
lasted, remained at the helm, and guided the boats. One Thomas, steersman,
and one Lange, the boatswain's mate, also shewed great courage, and all the
experience of old seamen. These two boats, reached the _Echo_ corvette, on
the 9th, at 10 o'clock in the evening, which had been at anchor for some
days, in the road of St. Louis. A council was held, and the most prompt and
certain measures adopted to assist those who were left on board the boats
and the raft.

The Argus brig was appointed for this mission. The commander of this
vessel, burning with eagerness to fly to the assistance of his unfortunate
countrymen, wanted to set sail that very moment; but causes, respecting
which we shall be silent, fettered his zeal; however, this distinguished
officer executed the orders which he received with uncommon activity.

Let us return to the history of the four other boats; and first, that of
the principal, which was the long-boat. As soon as it descried the land, it
tacked and stood out in the open sea; because it was on the shallows, and
it would have been imprudent to pass the night in one metre, or one metre
30 centimetres of water; it had already grounded two or three times. On the
6th, about four o'clock in the morning, finding itself too far from the
coast, and the sea very hollow, it tacked, and in a few hours saw the coast
for the second time. At eight o'clock, they were extremely near, and the
men ardently desiring to get on shore, sixty-three of the most resolute
were landed; arms were given them, and as much biscuit as could be spared;
they set out in search of Senegal, following the sea-coast. This landing
was effected to the North of Cape Meric, eighty or ninety leagues from the
Isle of St. Louis.[B7] This vessel then stood out to sea. We will leave,
for the present, these sixty-three poor people who have been landed on the
sands of Cape Meric; and shall return to them in the sequel.

We will now proceed to describe the motions and fate of the other vessels.
At noon, after having proceeded some miles, the long-boat saw the other
vessels, and endeavoured to fall in with them; but every one distrusted the
other: the long-boat did its utmost to rally them; but they employed all
the means they could to avoid the meeting; even the officers assisted in
working them, because some persons had asserted that the crew of the
long-boat had mutinied, and had even threatened to fire on the other
boats.[33] The long-boat, on the other hand, which had just landed a part
of its people, advanced to inform the other boats that it was able to
relieve them, in case they were too much loaded. The captain's boat and the
_pirogue_, were the only ones that came within hail: at five o'clock in the
afternoon the sea became hollow, and the wind very high, when the pirogue,
unable to hold out against it, asked the assistance of the long-boat, which
tacked and took on board the fifteen persons which that frail boat
contained. At two o'clock in the afternoon, of the 8th,[B8] the men,
tormented by a burning thirst, and a violent hunger which they could not
appease, obliged the officer, by their reiterated importunities, to make
the land, which was done the same evening. His intention was to proceed to
Senegal: he would doubtless have succeeded; but the cries of the soldiers
and sailors, who murmured loudly, induced the measure that was taken, and
the crew landed about forty leagues from the Island of St. Louis. The
great-boat, which had approached very near the coast, and had not been able
to resist the violence of the weather, being besides, destitute of
provisions, had also been obliged to make the land on the 8th: the first,
at five in the afternoon; the second, at eleven in the morning.[B9] The
officers joined their crews, ranged them in order, and proceeded towards
Senegal; but they were in distress, destitute of resources of every kind:
without a guide, on a coast inhabited by barbarians: hunger and thirst
cruelly tormented them; the beams of a scorching sun, reflected from the
immense sandy plains, aggravated their sufferings. In the day, oppressed by
excessive heat, they could scarcely move a step: it was only in the cool of
the morning and the evening, that they could pursue their painful march.
Having, after infinite pains, crossed the downs, they met with vast plains,
where they had the good fortune to find water, by digging holes in the
sand: this refreshing beverage gave them fresh life and hope.

This manner of procuring water is mentioned by many travellers, and
practised in various countries. All along the coasts of Senegambia, and for
some distance in land, they find, by digging in the sand to the depth of
five or six feet, a white and brackish water, which is exclusively used in
these countries, both for the ordinary beverage and domestic purposes; the
water of the Senegal, may, however, be used at St. Louis at the time of the
rise or inundation.

The Moors have signs, which they have agreed upon among themselves, to
inform each other at a distance when they have found water. As the sands of
the desert lie in undulations, and the surface of these plains has the
appearance of a sea, broken in large waves, which, by some sudden
enchantment, had been fixed and suspended before they could fall back; it
is on the ridges of these motionless waves, that the Moors in general
travel, unless they run in a direction too different from that of their
intended route, in which case they are obliged to traverse them; but
besides, as these ridges themselves are not always ranged parallel to each
other, but frequently cross each other, the Moors always have some of their
party before, to serve as guides, and to point out by signs with their
hands, at every crossing, on which side they ought to go; and also every
thing which prudence requires they should know before hand, as well as the
water, or rather the moisture and verdure which are to be perceived. In
general, these people who approach the sea-coast during the winds and
hurricanes of the summer solstice, rarely keep on the breach properly so
called, because they and their cattle are too much tormented by myriads of
flies which never quit the sea-coast. In this same season the appearance of
the gnats, or mosquitoes, induces them to remove from the Senegal, for
their cattle being incessantly stung by these animals, become mad and sick.

Our people met with some of these Moors, and in some measure forced them to
serve as guides; after continuing their march along the sea-coast, they
perceived on the morning of the 11th, the Argus brig, which was cruising to
assist those who had landed; as soon as the brig perceived them, it
approached very near to the coast, lay-to, and sent a boat on shore with
biscuit and wine.

On the 11th, in the evening, they met with more of the natives, and an
Irish captain of a merchant ship, who, of his own accord, had come from St.
Louis with the intention of assisting the sufferers: he spoke the language
of the country, and had put on the same dress as the Moors. We are sorry
that we cannot recollect the name of this foreign officer, which we should
take particular pleasure in publishing; but since time has effaced it from
our memory, we will at least publish his zeal and noble efforts, which are
an unquestionable title to the gratitude of every man of feeling. At last,
after the most cruel sufferings and privations, the unfortunate men who
composed the crews of the great-boat, and of that which we called the
Senegal boat, twenty-five men from the long-boat, and fifteen persons from
the pirogue, arrived at Saint Louis, on the 13th of July, at seven o'clock
in the evening, after having wandered above five whole days, in the midst
of these frightful deserts, which on all sides presented to their eyes only
the most profound solitude, and the prospect of inevitable destruction.

During their progress, they had to struggle with the most dreadful extremes
of hunger and thirst; the latter was such, that the first time that several
of them discovered water in the desert, such selfishness was manifested
that those who had found these beneficent springs, knelt down four or five
together, near the hole which they had just dug, and there, with their eyes
fixed on the water, made signs to their comrades not to approach them; that
they had found the springs, and that they alone had a right to drink at
them; it was not till after the most urgent supplications that they granted
a little water to their wretched companions, who were consumed by a raging
thirst. When they met with any Moors, they obtained some assistance from
them; but these barbarians carried their inhumanity so far as to refuse to
shew them the springs which are scattered along the shore: sordid avarice
made them act in this manner to these unhappy people; for when the latter
had passed a well, the Moors drew water from it, which they sold to them at
a gourd for a glass; they exacted the same price for a small handful of
millet. When the brig approached the coast, to assist these unfortunate
men, a great many of the natives of the country immediately crowned the
heights; their number was so great, that it caused some fear in the French,
who immediately formed, in order of battle, under the command of a captain
of infantry. Two officers went to ask the chiefs of the Moors what were
their intentions? whether they desired peace or war? They gave the officers
to understand that far from wishing to act as enemies, they were willing to
afford the shipwrecked people all the assistance in their power; but these
barbarians shewed, on all occasions, a perfidiousness which is peculiar to
the inhabitants of these climates; when the brig had sent biscuit on shore,
they seized the half of it, and a few moments after, sold it at an
exorbitant price, to those from whom they had stolen it. If they met with
any soldiers or sailors who had had the imprudence to stray from the main
body, they stripped them entirely, and then ill treated them; it was only
numbers united, which, inspiring them with fear, that did not receive any
insult from them; besides, there exists between the chiefs of these tribes
and the government of the Isle of St. Louis, a treaty, in which it is
stipulated that a large reward shall be given to the Moors, who meet in the
desert with persons that have been shipwrecked, and bring them to the
European factory: these barbarians were therefore induced by their
interest, and if they brought back those who went astray, it was only in
hope of obtaining a reward.

The women and young children inspired the greatest pity. These feeble
beings could not put their delicate feet on the burning sands, and were
besides incapable of walking for any length of time. The officers
themselves assisted the children, and carried them in turn: their example
induced others to imitate them; but having met with some Moors, who never
travel in these deserts without having their camels and their asses with
them, all that were not able to walk, mounted these animals: to obtain this
indulgence, it was necessary to pay two gourds for a day; so that it was
impossible for Mr. Picard, who had a numerous family, to bear so great an
expence: his respectable young ladies were therefore obliged to walk.

One day at noon, which was the hour for halting, the eldest of these young
ladies, exhausted with fatigue, withdrew to a solitary place to take some
moments rest. She fell asleep upon the beach; to guard herself from the
mosquitoes, she had covered her breast and face with a large shawl. While
every body was sleeping, one of the Moors who served as guides, either from
curiosity, or some other motive, approached her softly, attentively
examined her appearance, and not content with this, lifting up the shawl,
looked at her with fixed eyes, remained for a few moments like one
profoundly astonished, approached her then very near, but did not venture
to touch her. After having looked at her for some time, he let fall the
veil, and returned to his place, where he joyfully related to his comrades
what he had just seen. Several Frenchmen who had perceived the Moor,
informed Mr. Picard, who resolved, on the obliging offers of the officers,
to dress these ladies in a military dress, which, for the future, prevented
all attempts of the inhabitants of the desert.

Before they arrived at the Senegal, the Irish officer, of whom we have
already spoken, bought an ox: it was immediately killed; they collected
such combustibles as they could find, and when the animal was divided into
as many portions as there were persons, each fixed his portion to the end
of his sabre or bayonet, and thus they prepared a repast which they found

During the whole time they remained in the desert, biscuit, wine and
brandy, in very small quantities, had been their principal nourishment;
sometimes they procured by money, from the Moors, milk and millet; but what
most distressed them was, that in the midst of these sandy plains, it was
absolutely impossible for them to shelter themselves from the rays of a
burning sun, which inflames the atmosphere of these desert regions.
Scorched by insupportable heat, almost destitute of the first necessaries
of life, some of them partly lost their senses; a spirit of mutiny even
shewed itself for some moments, and two officers, whose conduct is,
however, irreproachable, were marked as the first victims: happily they did
not proceed to open violence. Many of those who crossed the desert, have
assured us that there were moments when they were quite beside themselves.

An officer of the army in particular, gave signs of the most violent
despair; he rolled himself in the sand, begging his comrades to kill him,
because he could no longer bear up against so many sufferings. They
succeeded in calming him; he arrived at St. Louis with the caravan.[B10]

The sixty-three who embarked near the Moles of Angel, had a longer series
of fatigue to endure: they had to go between eighty and ninety leagues, in
the immense desert of Zaara. After their landing, they had to cross downs
that were extremely elevated, in order to reach the plain, in which they
had the good fortune to meet with a vast pond of fresh water, where they
quenched their thirst, and near which they lay down to rest. Having met
with some Moors, they took them for guides, and after long marches, and the
most cruel privations, they arrived at the Senegal, on the 23d of July, in
the evening. Some of them perished for want: among this number was an
unhappy gardener, and the wife of a soldier: this poor woman, exhausted
with fatigue, told her husband to abandon her, for, that it was impossible
for her to proceed; the soldier in despair, said to her in a rage: "well,
since you cannot walk, to hinder you from being devoured alive by wild
beasts, or carried into captivity among the Moors, I will run you through
the body with my sabre;" he did not execute this threat, which he had
probably conceived in a moment of despair; but the poor woman fell, and
died under the most cruel sufferings.

Some persons having strayed from the main body, were taken by the natives
of the country, and carried into the camp of the Moors; an officer remained
above a month with them, and was afterwards brought to the Isle of St.
Louis. The naturalist, Kummer, and Mr. Rogery, having separated from the
troops, were forced to wander from one horde to another, and were at last
conducted to Senegal. Their story, which we are now going to give, will
complete the narrative of the adventures of our shipwrecked companions who
traversed the desert.

After the stranding of the long-boat, Mr. Kummer quitted the caravan,
formed by the persons wrecked, and proceeded in an easterly direction, in
the hope of meeting with some Moors, who would give him food, to appease
the hunger and thirst which he had endured for two days. Shortly after his
departure, Mr. Rogery took the same resolution as our naturalist, and
followed a route parallel to that taken by Mr. Kummer. This latter walked
the whole day without meeting with any body; towards the evening he
perceived, at a distance, some fires on the heights which generally lie
round the ponds. This sight filled him with joy, and with hopes of meeting,
at length, with some Moors who would conduct him to the Isle of St. Louis,
and give him food of which he was much in need; he advanced with a firm and
rapid step, went up to the Moors, who were under their tents, with much
assurance, pronouncing as well as he could, a few words in Arabic, in which
language he had taken some lessons while in France, and which he
accompanied with profound salutations: "Receive," said he, "in your tents,
the son of an unfortunate Mahometan woman, whom I am going to join in Upper
Egypt; a shipwreck has thrown me on your coast, and I come in the name of
the great prophet, to ask you for hospitality and assistance." At the name
of the great prophet, Mr. Kummer bowed his face to the earth, and made the
customary salutation: the Moors did the same, and doubted not but that they
saw, before them, a follower of Mahomet.

They received him with joy, asked him to enter their tents, and to give a
short account of his adventures. Milk, and flour of millet, were given him,
and this food revived his strength. Then the Moors made him promise to
conduct them to the place where the long-boat had stranded; they hoped to
get possessions of the numerous effects, which they supposed the persons
shipwrecked to have abandoned on the shore. Having made this promise, Mr.
Kummer went to examine the tents, and the flocks of the chief of this tribe
who conducted him himself, and boasted of his wealth and his dignity: he
told him that he was the Prince Fune Fahdime Muhammed, son of Liralie
Zaide, King of the Moors, called Trazas, and that, when he returned from
the sea coast, he would take him to the King, his father, and that he would
see there, his numerous slaves, and his innumerable flocks. While they were
walking about the camp, Prince Muhammed perceived that Mr. Kummer had a
watch: he desired to see it; of course, he could not refuse to shew it; the
prince took it, and told Mr. Kummer that he would return it him when they
should arrive at Andar, which promise he punctually performed. They arrived
at last at the head of the flock, and our naturalist was astonished at the
extraordinary care which these people take of their beasts. The horses and
camels were in a separate place, and the whole flock was on the border of a
large salt pond; behind them, the slaves had formed a line of fires of
great extent, to drive away the mosquitoes and other insects, which torment
these animals: they were all remarkably beautiful. While traversing, with
the chief, the various quarters of the camp, Mr. Kummer beheld with
surprise, their manner of cleaning their beasts. Upon an order of the
Prince, the men, charged with this employment, take the strongest oxen by
the horns, and throw them down on the sand with astonishing ease; the
slaves then take the animal, and clear its whole body from the insects,
which, notwithstanding the fires that surround the flocks, get among the
hair of the cattle, which they torment cruelly. After this first operation,
they are washed with care, particularly the cows, which are then milked.
These various operations generally employ the slaves, and even the masters,
till eleven o'clock at night. Mr. Kummer was afterwards invited to repose
in the Prince's tent; but before, he could go to sleep, he was assailed
with a multitude of questions. The history of the French Revolution has
penetrated to these people; and they put questions to our naturalist which
surprised him much; they afterwards asked him why our vessels no longer
came to Portendick and the Isles of Arguin; after this, they allowed him to
take a few moments' repose; but the poor Toubabe, (the name which the Moors
give to the whites) did not dare to indulge himself in sleep; he feared the
perfidy of the Moors, and their rapacious spirit; however, exhausted by
three days incessant fatigue, he fell asleep for a few moments; he had but
a very disturbed slumber; during which, the barbarians took away his purse,
which still contained thirty pieces of 20 francs each, his cravat, pocket
handkerchief, great-coat, shoes, waistcoat, and some other things which he
carried in his pockets: he had nothing left but a bad pair of pantaloons
and a hunting jacket; his shoes were, however, returned to him.

The next morning, at sun-rise, the Moors made their salam, (a Mahometan
prayer): then about eight o'clock, the Prince, four of his subjects, Mr.
Kummer, and a slave, set out for the sea-coast, in order to look for the
wreck of the long-boat. They proceeded first towards the _South_, then to
the _West_, then to the _North_, which made Mr. Kummer imagine that they
were conducting him to Morocco. The Moors have no other method of finding
their way, than to go from one eminence to another, which obliges them to
take all sorts of directions; after they had proceeded five or six leagues
to the East, they again turned to the _West_, then to the _South West_.
After walking a considerable time longer, they arrived at the shore, where
they found but few things. What particularly attracted their attention, was
pieces of copper: they took them away, resolving to return and fetch the
fragments of the long-boat, and several barrel, which the currents had
driven on the coast. After taking whatever they could carry away, they set
out towards the _East_, and at the end of about two leagues, they met some
other Moors, also subjects of Prince Muhammed; they stopped and lay down
under their tents: the Prince lay down under the finest, and ordered
refreshments to be given to the _Toubabe_, who was worn out with fatigue
and want of nourishment. Here Mr. Kummer was tormented by the women and
children, who came every moment to touch and feel the fineness of his skin,
and to take away some fragments of his shirt, and the few things which he
had left. During the evening, fresh questions were put to him respecting
the cruel wars which desolated France; he was obliged to trace the account
of them, on the sand in Arabic letters. It was this extreme complaisance,
and his pretended quality of the son of a Christian and of a Mahometan
woman, which caused him to be upon very good terms with Prince Muhammed,
and in general, with all the Moors whom he met with, on his journey. Every
moment of the day, the Prince begged Mr. Kummer, to make the wheels of his
watch go, the motions of which, much astonished the Moors; our traveller
was on his side equally surprised, to see among the hordes, children five
or six years of age, who wrote Arabic perfectly well.

The next day, July 8, at day-break, the Moors went and stationed themselves
on the summit of a hill. There, prostrated with their faces turned towards
the East, they waited for the rising of the sun, to perform their salam,
which they begin the moment he appears in the horizon. Mr. Kummer followed
them, imitated them in all their ceremonies, and never failed in the
sequel, to perform his devotions at the same time as they did. The ceremony
being over, the prince and his suite, continued their route in the
direction of the _South East_, which again frightened the poor _Toubabe_;
he thought that the Moors were going to resume their course to the _North_,
and that in the end they would take him to Morocco; then he endeavoured to
impart his uneasiness to Prince Muhammed, who at last comprehended him; but
to make it quite clear, Mr. Kummer drew upon the sand, a part of the map of
Africa; mean time, he heard them continually pronounce the word _Andar_,
which did not at all diminish his alarms; but by the lines which he traced,
he soon understood that the Moors meant the Isle of St. Louis; of which he
was convinced when he had written the name of the European factory, by the
side of that of Andar. The Moors let him know that they had comprehended
him; and shewed great joy that a white could understand their language.

At noon, they stopped on the side of a great pond or lake. Mr. Kummer, who
was extremely fatigued, lay down on the sand, and fell asleep immediately.
During his sleep, the Moors went to look for a fruit, produced by a tree
which generally grows on the sides of these lakes (marigots). They are
bunches of little red berries, and very refreshing: the Moors are very fond
of them, and make great use of them.[34]

During this time, chance ordered it, that Mr. Rogery, who had also been
taken by the Moors, stopped at the same place: he was brought by some of
the natives, who were taking him also to their sovereign Zaide: he soon
perceived Mr. Kummer lying with his face to the earth, and thought he was
dead; at this sight, a mortal chillness pervaded all the limbs of the
unfortunate Rogery; he deplored the loss of a friend, of a companion in
misfortune: he approached him trembling; but his grief was soon changed
into joy, when he perceived that his friend still breathed; he took hold of
him, and embraced him eagerly. These two unfortunate men were transported
with mutual joy, at meeting in the midst of their distress, with a fellow
countryman. Mr. Rogery had lost every thing; they had taken from him about
forty pieces of 20 francs each, his watch, and all his effects: he had
nothing left but his shirt, a very bad pair of pantaloons, and a hat. The
wives of the Moors, and still more the children, had greatly tormented him;
the latter, continually pinched him, and hindered him from taking a
moment's sleep. His character was remarkably soured by this treatment, and
his faculties rather impaired. These two unfortunate men, after having
related their distresses to each other, fell asleep close together; some
hours after, the Moors returned, and gave them some of the berries we have
before mentioned. The caravan soon set forward again, and took a _South
West_ direction, which led to the camp of King Zaide: they reached it in
the evening, but the monarch was absent; the report of our shipwreck had
reached his camp, and Zaide, who desires to see every thing himself, had
gone to the sea-shore to have assistance given to such of the persons
shipwrecked, as he should meet with. The King did not return till
twenty-four hours after, which gave time for our travellers to repose, and
for Prince Muhammed to make a bargain with the two whites: to conduct them
to the Isle of St. Louis; the Prince demanded for his trouble, including
the expences of provisions and travelling, 800 gourdes for each, and
obliged them before they set out, to sign an agreement in the Arabic
language: Mr. Kummer consented to it, and said to Mr. Rogery, when we have
once got to St. Louis, we will give them what we please. The latter
hesitated, being much more scrupulous on that point, he would not at first
accede to an agreement which he feared he should not be able to perform;
but seeing that the Moors were resolved to keep him among them, he
consented to accept the absolute proposal of the Prince, and the
conventions were signed.

Our two travellers passed a part of their time in examining the customs of
these people; we shall mention some circumstances which particularly struck
them. They observed, that the children imperiously command their fathers
and mothers: but especially the latter, who never oppose their
inclinations; hence, doubtless comes that despotic spirit, which is carried
to the extreme; a refusal, or a delay, in the executions of their orders
irritates them, and their anger is so violent that in the first transport,
the unhappy slave who may have excited their fury, runs the risk of being
stabbed on the spot. Hence, too doubtless the manly boldness which
characterises them, and which seems to inspire those who surround them,
with respect and submission. The Moors are, in every respect, much superior
to the Negroes: braver than they are, they reduce them to slavery, and
employ them in the hardest labour; they are, in general, tall and well
made, and their faces are very handsome, and full of expression.

However, it may also be observed that the Moors of both sexes, appear at
the first sight, like a people composed of two distinct races, which have
nothing in common, except, the extremely brown, or tanned colour of their
skin, and the shining black of their hair. The greater part of them, it is
true, are endowed with the stature, and the noble, but austere features,
which call to mind some of the great Italian painters, but there are
several, (indeed the smaller number) whose cranium and profile form a
singular contrast with the others. Their head is remarkably elongated, the
ears small: the forehead, which, in the first, is very high and finely
formed, is contracted in the latter, and becomes at the top disagreeably
protuberant; their eyes are sunk, and placed as it were obliquely, which
gives them the savage look with which they are reproached, and their lower
jaw has a tendency to be elongated. Some of them have, it is true, the high
forehead of the former: but it always differs by being sunk in at the base.
These latter are, perhaps, the descendants of the aborigines of this
country, whose characteristic features are still discernible,
notwithstanding their alliance with so many strangers? History has, indeed,
transmitted to us some of the customs of the Numidians, who were by turns,
the enemies, and the allies of the Romans; but it has not condescended to
draw their portrait. Juvenal somewhere speaks of the withered hands of the
Moors: _manus ossea Mauri_. But, besides, that this is general in hot
countries, this description may be understood of ill-fed slaves.

The travellers remarked that there was no difference between the very
frugal diet of the slaves, who are all blacks, and that of their masters.
The fathers and mothers, as well as the marabous, (a kind of priests) pass
their leisure moments in teaching the principles of their religion, as well
as instructing them in reading and writing on the sand; the wives of King
Zaide, the number of whom is considerable, passively obey Fatima, who is
the favourite, or chief wife of the sovereign.

Our travellers estimated the number of men, women, children and slaves, at
seven or eight hundred persons; their flocks appeared to them very
numerous: they constitute part of the wealth of Zaide, who possesses a
great many besides, in different parts of the kingdom, the extent of which
is pretty considerable; it has about sixty leagues of coast, and stretches
to a great depth in the interior of the desert. The people, as we have
said, call themselves _Trasas_, and profess the Mahometan religion; they
hunt lions, tigers, leopards, and all other ferocious animals, which abound
in this part of Africa. Their commerce is in furs or skins, and ostrich
feathers: they manufacture the leather called basil, in french, basane,
which they prepare very well;[A11] they make this leather into pocketbooks,
to which they give different forms, but in general, that of a _sabretache_.
They also dress goats skins, and join several together to give them more
breadth; they are known under the name of _peaux de maures_, are excellent,
and afford a complete defence against the rain: in form, they nearly
resemble the dress of a Capuchin; they sell all these articles in the
interior, as well as goldsmiths work, which they manufacture with only a
hammer, and a little anvil; but their chief commerce, which is very
extensive, is in salt, which they carry to Tombuctoo, and to Sego, large
and very populous cities, situated in the interior of Africa. Sego is built
on both sides of the river Niger, and Tombuctoo not far from its banks, the
former about five hundred, and the latter about six hundred leagues East of
the Island of Goree. The Marabous, who are almost all traders, frequently
extend their journeys into Upper Egypt. The Moors and the Negroes, have an
extraordinary respect for these priests, who manufacture leather, into
little etuis, perfumed bags, and pocketbooks, to which they give the name
of _gris-gris_. By means of magic words spoken over the _gris-gris_, and
little notes written in Arabic, which they enclose in them, he who carries
such a one about him, is secure against the bite of wild beasts; they make
them to protect the wearer against lions, crocodiles, serpents, &c. They
sell them extremely dear, and those who possess them set a very high value
on them; the king and the princes are not less superstitious than those
whom they command. There are some who wear as many as twenty of these
_gris-gris_ fixed to the neck, the arms, and the legs.

After a day's stay, King Zaide arrived: he had no ornament which
distinguished him; but he was of a lofty stature, had an open countenance,
and three large teeth in the upper jaw, on the left side, which projected
at least two lines over the under lip, which the Moors consider as a great
beauty. He was armed with a large sabre, a poniard and a pair of pistols;
his soldiers had zagayes or lances, and little sabres in the Turkish
fashion. The King has always at his side, his favourite negro, who wears a
necklace of red pearls, and is called Billai. Zaide received the two whites
kindly, ordered that they should be well-treated, and that Mr. Rogery
should not be molested, he being continually tormented by the children. Mr.
Kummer was much more lively, and did not mind his misfortunes; he wrote
Arabic, and had passed himself off for the son of a Mahometan woman; all
this greatly pleased the Moors, who treated him well; while Mr. Rogery,
deeply affected by his misfortunes, and having just lost his last
resources, did not much rely on the good faith of the Moors.

In the course of the day, the King ordered Mr. Kummer to relate to him the
events of the last French revolution; he was already acquainted with those
of the first. Mr. Kummer did not exactly comprehend what the king wanted of
him. Zaide ordered his chief minister, to draw upon the sand, the map of
Europe, the Mediteranean, and the coast of Africa, along that sea: he
pointed out to him the Isle of Elba, and ordered him to relate the
circumstances which had taken place in the invasion of 1815, from the
moment that Buonaparte left it. Mr. Kummer took advantage of this favorable
moment, to ask for his watch; and the King ordered his son to return it to
the _Toubabe_, who then commenced his narrative; and as in the course of it
he called the Ex-Emperor, sometimes Buonaparte, and sometimes Napoleon, a
Marabou, at the name of Buonaparte, interrupted him, and asked if he was
the general whose armies he had seen in Upper Egypt, when he was going on
his pilgrimage to Mecca, to which Mr. Kummer answering in the affirmative,
the king and his suite were quite delighted; they could not conceive how a
mere general of army had been able to raise himself to the rank of Emperor:
it seems that these people had, till then, believed that Napoleon and
Buonaparte were two different persons. Mr. Kummer was also asked if his
father belonged to the army of Egypt; he said no, but that he was a
peaceable merchant, who had never borne arms. Mr. Kummer continued his
narrative, and astonished more and more, the King of the Trasas, and all
his court. The next day, Zaide desired to see the two whites again, from
whom he always learnt something new. He sent away the Moors, his subjects,
who had brought Mr. Rogery, and ordered his son, Prince Muhammed,
accompanied by one of his ministers, two other Moors of his suite, and a
slave, to conduct the two whites to Andar. They had camels to carry them,
as well as their provisions. Zaide, before he dismissed them, made them
take some refreshments, gave them provisions, for a part of the journey,
and advised Mr. Kummer to entrust his watch to his son; because, by that
means, he would be secure from its being taken from him by the Moors; and
that it would be returned to him at Saint Louis. Mr. Kummer immediately
obeyed. The prince faithfully executed his father's orders.

Before the departure of the two Frenchmen, the King wished to shew them his
respect for the laws which govern his dominions; knowing that this quality
is that which nations always desire to find in those who govern them; he
therefore thought, with reason, that he could not give a higher idea of his
virtues, and show his character in a more honorable light, than by
convincing them that he was the protector and most faithful observer of the
laws: to prove it, he related the following anecdote:

"Two princes, my subjects, had had an affair, for a long time, in
litigation: to terminate it, they resolved to ask me to be arbitrator
between them; but the proposals which I made, though I thought them
reasonable, were not approved by them; so that after my proposals, a
violent quarrel arose between the two parties: a challenge ensued, and the
two princes left my tent to decide their cause by arms. In fact, they
fought in my presence; one of them, the weakest, who was my friend, was
thrown down by his adversary, who stabbed him immediately. I had the grief
to see my friend die, and notwithstanding all my power, it was impossible
for me, as our laws allow duelling, and on account of the respect which I
have for them, to avenge the death of the prince whom I esteemed. You may
judge, by this, how scrupulously I observe the laws by which I govern my
dominions, and which regulate the rights of the princes, as well as those
of the citizens, and of the slaves."

The third and fourth day, after they had quitted the camp of King Zaide,
our travellers were reposing as usual, till the greatest heat of the day
should be passed. During the repast, the minister, who had the contracts
between the Prince and the two Frenchmen, took from his great _gris-gris_,
or pocket book, that of Mr. Rogery, who snatched it from him, and tore it
into a thousand pieces; immediately one of the Moors rushed upon him,
seized him by the throat, with one hand threw him on the ground, and was
going to stab him with a dagger which he held in the other; happily, the
Prince, out of regard for Mr. Kummer, whom he particularly esteemed,
pardoned him who had dared, so seriously, to insult one of his ministers.
But, during the four or five days that the journey continued, they
incessantly tormented him; and did not give him a fourth part of what was
necessary for his support, so that the unfortunate man was frequently
obliged to gnaw the bones which the Moors had thrown away; they also forced
him to make the whole journey on foot; it was pretty long; for these
gentlemen, on their arrival at St. Louis, estimated it at a hundred and
forty leagues at the least, because the Moors made them go so much out of
their way.

The respectable Mr. Rogery, a man of rare probity, was disturbed by the
recollection of the agreement which he had made with Muhammed, in a moment
of difficulty, knowing very well that he could never fulfil it; he thought
his honor implicated, and strictly bound by this contract, though he had
destroyed it. This recollection, and his inability to pay, affected his
nerves; to this was added fear, lest the contract should be known to his
countrymen; and this was what induced him to that act of desperation which
had nearly cost him his life, and deprived humanity of one of the most
zealous partisans of liberty, and of the abolition of the slave trade.

On the 19th, in the morning, they arrived at a village situated on the bank
of one of the arms of Senegal, which is called _Marigot of the
Maringouins_, and which appears to have been the ancient mouth of the
river, when it flowed directly to the sea, before it turned aside and
flowed to the South. This position may one day become important, if
Senegambia should ever be colonised.

The gentlemen remarked, that the banks of this arm of the river, are very
well cultivated; the fields are covered with plantations of cotton-trees,
with maize[35] and millet; one meets, at intervals, with tufts of wood,
which render it agreeable and healthy. Mr. Kummer thinks that this country
could be adapted to the cultivation of colonial productions. Here begins
Nigritia, and one may say, the country of good people; for, from this
moment, the travellers were never again in want of food, and the negroes
gave them whatever they wanted.

In the first village, which is called Vu, they met with a good negress, who
offered them milk and cous-cous, (flour of millet). She was affected, and
shed tears when she saw the two unhappy whites almost naked, and
particularly when she learned that they were Frenchmen. She began by
praising our nation; it is the custom of these people; and then, she gave
them a short account of the misfortunes she had experienced. This good
negress had been made a slave by the Moors, who had torn her from the arms
of her mother; she consequently detested them, and called them the banditti
of the desert; she said to the two whites, in very good French: "are they
not very villainous people?" "Yes," answered our unhappy countrymen.
"Well," continued she, "these robbers carried me off, notwithstanding the
efforts of my unhappy father, who defended me with courage; they then
carried desolation into our village, which a moment before enjoyed
tranquillity and happiness; on this sad day we saw whole families carried
off, and we were all conducted to that horrible market at St. Louis, where
the whites carry on the execrable trade of dealers in men; chance favored
me, and saved me from being sent to find death in America, amidst the
tempests which cover the ocean that separates it from Africa. I had the
good fortune to fall into the hands of the respectable General
Blanchot,[37] whose name and memory will be ever dear to the inhabitants of
St. Louis. This worthy governor kept me some years in his service; but
seeing that I always thought of my country and my relations, and that, in
short, I could not habituate myself to your customs, he gave me my liberty,
and from that moment I have vowed eternal friendship to everything that
bears the French name." Our two whites were much affected by this
interesting meeting; from that moment they fancied themselves among their
own countrymen.

After some hours repose they continued their journey, and in fact, they had
every reason to praise the negroes, who did not let them want for anything.
In proportion, as they approached the town, the Moors became much more
civil, and when they were going to pass the river, to enter St. Louis,
Prince Muhammed returned Mr. Kummer his watch. The French governor received
the Prince and his suite, very well; he caused them to be paid about sixty
francs in two sous-pieces; this sum seemed enormous to them; for they were
extremely satisfied with it: this gives ground to suppose that they were
not acquainted with the value of the gourde, when they demanded eight
hundred for the ransom of each of the two travellers. It was on the 22nd of
July, that they arrived, after having wandered sixteen days in the burning
desert of Zaara, and having endured all the horrors of hunger and thirst,
particularly the unfortunate Mr. Rogery, who had to bear all the caprices
of the Moors.

All the shipwrecked persons who had escaped these disasters being assembled
at St. Louis, we thought we should immediately take possession of our
establishments. But the English governor, Mr. Beurthonne, having learned
our shipwreck, either of his own authority, or having received orders to
that effect, from his government, refused to give up the colony. This
difficulty obliged the commander of the French expedition to take measures,
to wait for fresh orders from France. He was enjoined to send away
immediately all the shipwrecked persons who arrived in the town of St.

Every thing induces us to believe that the delay in the restitution of
these settlements depended on the English governor, who threw obstacles in
the way, whenever circumstances permitted him. He alledged at first, that
he had not received orders to give up the colony, and that besides he was
in want of vessels to remove his troops, and all the effects belonging to
his nation. This last allegation of wanting vessels is, of itself,
sufficient to shew, that he was not much inclined to retire from the Isle
of St. Louis; for the French governor, in order to remove all difficulties,
proposed the _Loire_ to serve as a transport, and this offer was refused.
We think we have guessed the cause of this delay in the restitution of the
colony, for two reasons, which seem to us the better founded, as they take
their origin in the British policy, which is constantly to follow no other
rule than its political or commercial interest. We give them, however, only
as suppositions; but these suppositions seem so well confirmed by the
events to which they relate, that we do not hesitate to lay them before our

We think then that Mr. Beurthonne had received orders to give up the
Islands of St. Louis and Goree, to the French squadron, which should come
to take possession of them; but we think also, that he was desired to
evacuate them as late as possible, in case the English merchants or
government could derive any advantage from a delay.

In fact, if Mr. Beurthonne had not received any instructions to deliver up
the colony, it was certainly, useless to alledge that he was in want of
vessels. To the desires of the French governor, he had only to make the
plain and unanswerable objection, that his government had not given him any
orders. It is therefore, by the kind of vacillation which appears in his
answers, that himself, leads us to the opinion which we have formed. But it
will be said, what advantage could the English government derive from this
delay? The following, is what we conjecture on this subject.

The gum trade was on the point of commencing; it was very just that the
English merchants, who were in Senegal, should carry off this crop, which
would have belonged to the French merchants if the colony, had been

A second motive, not less powerful, is, that we were just at the entrance
of the bad season, and that the English settlements, on the river Gambia,
(to which, a part of the English, garrison were to go) are extremely
unhealthy: diseases that are almost always mortal, prevail during the
winter-season, and generally carry off two thirds of the Europeans, who are
newly arrived. Every year the mortality is the same; because, every year it
is necessary to send fresh garrisons: those who have the good fortune to
resist these terrible epidemics, come, to recover, to the Isle of Goree,
where the air is salubrious. Such are the reasons which, as we think,
caused the delay in the restitution of our settlements on the coast of

Without losing ourselves farther in conjectures, we will conclude with one
remark: namely, them on this occasion the English governor was influenced
more by the usual policy of his government than by local and particular
considerations. Let us remember what passed on the restitution of our
colonies at the peace of 1802 and that of 1814; and it will be seen that
the British Government, without giving itself much trouble to assign
reasons, has adopted and faithfully followed the principle, of not
willingly giving up what it possessed.[38]

The shipwreck of the Medusa favoured the designs of the governor; for, what
sensation could be produced by the arrival of an expedition, of which the
principal vessel no longer existed, and the three others appeared one after
the other? If the English had had the intention to restore the colony on
our arrival, the disorder in which we appeared, would alone have sufficed;
to make them conceive the idea of delaying as much as possible to withdraw
from the Island of St. Louis. But what we cannot conceive is, that the
governor, after giving the French a good reception for some days, should
have required their troops to be sent away from the colony: and what were
these troops? wretches almost naked, worn out by the long fatigues and
privations which they had had to bear in the deserts; they were almost all
without arms. Did he fear the spirit of the colonists, and even that of the
negroes, which was not in his favor, and who saw with the greatest pleasure
the arrival of the French? This is not at all probable.

All the shipwrecked persons being assembled at St. Louis, as we have
already said, the governor, two days before his departure for Cape Verd,
thought of sending a vessel on board the Medusa, to look for a sum of
100,000 francs,[39] which was intended to form the treasure of the colony,
as well as provisions, which were in abundance on board, and of which there
was some scarcity in the colony. Very little was said about the men, who
had remained on board, and to whom their companions had solemnly promised
to send for them as soon as they should arrive at St. Louis; but these
unfortunate men were already hardly thought of any more. Mr. Correard says
that the first day that he took a walk in the town, he went to pay a visit
to the family of the governor. During the conversation, the vessel was
mentioned, that was going to be sent to the Medusa, as also the possibility
of recovering the 100,000 francs, provisions, and effects. Seeing that they
said nothing of the seventeen men who had remained on board the frigate, he
said, "but a more precious object, of which nothing is said, is the
seventeen poor men who were left!" "Pooh," answered somebody, "seventeen!
there are not three left." "And if there remained but three, but one,"
replied he, "yet, his life is more valuable than all that can be recovered
from the frigate;" and left the company in anger.

When in the first part of this work, we represented Mrs. and Miss Schmalz,
as alone unmoved when the frigate ran aground; and seeming to rise above
the general consternation, our readers may have given them credit for
uncommon greatness of soul, and more than manly courage. Why are we obliged
to destroy this honorable illusion which we may have caused? Why, when
these ladies, have carried indifference so far as to dispense themselves
from the most common duties of humanity, by refraining from paying the
smallest visit to the poor wretches, placed in the hospital at St. Louis,
have they themselves discovered to, us that their composure on board the
frigate was nothing but profound insensibility?

We could, however, if not excuse, at least explain this last mark of their
hard-heartedness: what sight, in fact, awaited them in this melancholy
abode, on the new theatre, where the sad victims of a first act of
inhumanity, had to struggle with the fresh miseries prepared for them by
the indifference, the inattention of their fellow-creatures? The sight of
men, who all bore in their hearts, the remembrance of the faults, of a
husband, of a father, could not be an object which they would be desirous
of seeking, or meeting with; and in this point of view, the care, which
they took to avoid the hospital, seems to us almost pardonable. But what is
not, what cannot be excused, what we have not learned without the greatest
surprise is, that Miss Schmalz, judging of us doubtless, after a manner of
thinking which was not ours, and not supposing it possible that the faults
of her father, and the inhuman conduct of herself and her mother, should
not be one day known in France, should have hastened to anticipate this
publication, by writing to her friends at Paris, a letter justifying her
relations with the shipwrecked persons belonging to the raft, and trying to
devote these unfortunate men to public hatred and contempt. In this
singular letter, which has been circulated in Paris, she confessed that the
sight of the shipwrecked persons inspired her with a degree of horror,
which she could not suppress. "It was really impossible for me," said she,
"to endure the presence of these men, without feeling a sentiment of

What then was our crime in the eyes of Miss Schmalz? Doubtless that of
knowing too well the persons really guilty of our misfortunes. Yes, on this
account, whenever Miss Schmalz saw us, which was extremely seldom, our
presence must have been a thunder-bolt to her. She could say to herself,
"these men have in their hands the fate of my father. If they speak, if
they utter complaints which they suppress here, if they are listened to,
(and how should they not be listened to in a country, where a charter, the
noble present of our august Monarch, causes justice and the law to reign,)
instead of being the daughter of a governor, I am but a wretched orphan;
instead of these honors, with which it gives me so much pleasure to be
surrounded, I fall into the degradation, and the oblivion which generally
await the unhappy family of a great criminal."

It is certain that, if we had listened to our griefs, if we had called to
legal account, the authors of our misfortunes, it is difficult to believe
that they would have escaped the inflexible rigour of justice. But we have
been generous, and it is we who are oppressed! Thus, as the historians of
the human heart, have but too often observed, "_It is more easy to pardon
the injury we have received, than that we have inflicted_."

The little vessel chosen to go to the frigate, was a schooner, commanded by
a lieutenant of the navy; the crew was composed of some black-drivers, and
some passengers. It sailed from St. Louis, on the 26th, of July, and had on
board, provisions for eight days: so that having met with contrary winds,
it was obliged to return to port, after having, in vain, endeavoured for
seven or eight days, to get to the Medusa.

This schooner sailed again after having taken in provisions for about
twenty-five days; but, as the sails were in a very bad condition, and the
owner would not change them, till they were wholly unfit for service, she
was obliged to sail again, with a few repairs only. Having experienced at
sea, a pretty heavy gale, the sails were almost entirely destroyed, and she
was obliged to return to port after having been a fortnight at sea, without
having been able to accomplish her purpose. She was then furnished with new
sails, which cost about ten days labour. As soon as she was ready, they
sailed for the third time, and reached the Medusa, fifty-two days, after
she had been abandoned.

A very obvious reflection here presents itself to the most inattentive
mind: it is certain, that the reader must presume, that this was the only
schooner in the colony; it is our duty to undeceive him: many other
merchants offered their vessels; but their offers were declined. The
governor liked better to treat with a single house, than to have accounts
to regulate with a part of the merchants of the colony; who, however, were
ready to place at his disposal, every thing in their power. Mr. Durecur was
the merchant favored. This house carries on the whole trade of Senegal; its
firm has taken place of the African company. He made the governor large
advances, both of provisions and money, which amounted to 50,000 francs; he
had continually, at his house, Mr. Schmalz, his family and a numerous
suite. The general opinion was that, Mr. Durecur had got by his acts of
generosity, a decent profit of a hundred per cent; he was, besides,
recompenced, on the application of the governor, by that decoration, which
it seems, ought to be conferred for some brilliant action,[40] and not for
a very profitable commercial transaction; but let us return to our
schooner. What was the astonishment of those on board her, at still finding
in the Medusa, three unfortunate men on the point of expiring! Most
certainly, they were very far from expecting this meeting; but as we have
said, 17 were abandoned. What became of the 14 others? We will try to
relate the story of their unhappy fate.

As soon as the boats and the raft had left the frigate, these 17 men
endeavoured to subsist till assistance should be sent them. They searched
wherever the water had not penetrated, and succeeded in collecting
sufficient biscuit, wine, brandy, and bacon, to enable them to subsist for
some time. As long as their provision lasted, tranquillity prevailed among
them: but forty-two days passed without their receiving the assistance
which had been promised them; when twelve of the most resolute, seeing that
they were on the point of being destitute of everything, determined to get
to the land. To attain their object, they formed a raft with the pieces of
timber which remained on board of the frigate, the whole bound together
like the first, with strong ropes: they embarked upon it, and directed
their course towards the land; but how could they steer on a machine, that
was doubtless destitute of oars and the necessary sails. It is certain that
these poor men, who had taken with them but a very small stock of
provisions, could not hold out long, and that, overcome by despair and
want, they have been the victims of their rashness. That such was the
result of their fatal attempt, was proved by the remains of their raft,
which were found on the coast of the desert of Zaara, by some Moors,
subjects of King Zaide, who came to Andar to give the information. These
unhappy men were doubtless the prey of the sea-monsters which are found in
great numbers on the coasts of Africa.

Unhappy victims we deplore the rigour of your lot: like us, you have been
exposed to the most dreadful torments: like us abandoned upon a raft, you
have had to struggle with those pressing wants which man cannot subdue,
hunger and thirst carried to the extreme! Our imagination carries us to
your fatal machine; we see your despair, your rage; we appreciate the whole
extent of your sufferings, and your misfortunes draw forth our tears. It is
then true that misfortune strikes more forcibly him who has had already to
struggle with adversity! The happy man scarcely believes in misfortune, and
often accuses him whose distresses he has caused.

A sailor who had refused to embark upon the raft, attempted also to reach
the shore some days after the first; he put himself on a chicken coop, but
he sunk within half a cable's length of the frigate.

Four men resolved not to leave the Medusa, alledging that they preferred
dying on board, to braving new dangers which it seemed impossible for them
to surmount. One of the four had just died when the schooner arrived, his
body had been thrown into the sea: the three others were very weak; two
days later they would have been no more. 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 knifes. 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.[41]

Every care was bestowed on these three men that their situation demanded,
and all three are now in perfect health.

After having given the necessary succours to the three men of whom we have
just spoken, they proceeded to get out of the frigate, every thing that
could be removed; they cut a large hole in her, (_on la saborda_,) and were
thus able to save wine, flour, and many other things. Mr. Correa had the
simplicity to think that the shipwrecked people were going to recover a
part, at least, of their effects, since a vessel, belonging to the king,
had reached the frigate. But far from it! Those who were on board declared
themselves corsairs, and pillaged, as we may say, all the effects which
they could get at. One of them Mr. ------, carried off several
portmanteaus, and four hammocks, full of all kind of articles, the whole
for his own use.

The schooner having quite completed its cargo, and all attempts to recover
the 100,000 francs, of which we have spoken, being fruitless, returned to
Senegal. We saw this little vessel arrive, and our hearts beat with joy; we
thought we should see again our unfortunate companions, who had been
abandoned on board the frigate, and recover some clothes, of which we were
in much need. The schooner passed the bar, and in an hour or two had
traversed the space which separated it from us. In an instant we ran to the
port, and enquired if any of our unfortunate countrymen had been saved. We
were answered, three are still living, and fourteen have died since our
departure: this answer confounded us. We then asked if it had been possible
to save any of our effects; and were answered, _yes_, but that they were a
_good prize_; we could not understand this answer, but it was repeated to
us, and we learnt for the first time that we were at war with Frenchmen,
because we had been excessively unfortunate.

The next day the town was transformed into a public fair, which lasted at
least a week. There were sold effects belonging to the State, and those of
the unhappy crew who had perished; here, the clothes of those who were
still living, a little further was the furniture of the captain's cabin: in
another place were the signal flags, which the negroes were buying to make
themselves aprons and cloaks; at one place they sold the tackling and sails
of the frigate, at another bed-linen, frames, hammocks, quilts, books,
instruments, &c. &c.

But there is one thing that is sacred, respected by every man who serves
with honor, the rallying sign under which he ought to find victory or
death, the flag; what it will be asked became of it?... It was saved ...
Did it fall; into the hands of a Frenchman?... No! he who debases a
respectable sign, which represents a nation, cannot belong to that nation.
Well! this sign was employed in domestic uses.[42] Vases which belonged to
the captain of the frigate himself, were also saved, and were transferred
from his side-board to the table of the Governor, where Mr. de Chaumareys
recognized them, and it is from him we have received these details. It is
true that the ladies of the Governor had received them, as a present, from
those who went on board the schooner.

Nothing was now seen in the town but negroes dressed, some in jackets and
pantaloons, some in large grey great coats; others had shirts, waistcoats,
_police-bonnets_, &c. every thing, in short, presented the image of
disorder and confusion. Such was a part of the mission of the schooner: the
provisions, which it brought, were of the greatest choice to the French
Governor, who began to be in want of them.

Some days after, the Merchants of St. Louis, were authorized to go on board
the Medusa with their vessels, on the following conditions: they were to
equip the vessels at their own expence, and all the effects which they
could save out of the frigate were to be divided into two equal parts, one
for the government, the other for the owners of the vessels. Four schooners
sailed from St. Louis, and in a few days reached their destination: they
brought back to the colony a great quantity of barrels of flour, salt,
meat, wine, brandy, cordage, sails, &c. &c. This expedition was terminated
in less than twenty days. As the schooners arrived in the Senegal, the
proper way would have been to unload them, and deposit the things saved, in
a magazine, till the arrival of the French Governor, who was absent; it
appears to us, that, in making the division, his presence, or that of some
other competent authority was necessary. But whether the ship-owners, would
not wait for the return of the Governor, or whether they were in haste to
possess their share of the cargo, they went to Mr. Potin Agent, or Partner
of the house of Durecur, and begged him to divide the articles saved from
the frigate. We are ignorant whether Mr. Potin was authorized to make this
division; but whether he was authorised or not, we think he could not make
it, without the co-operation of one or more officers of the administration,
since he was himself one of the ship-owners. It would have been the more
easy to have this division superintended by an officer of the government,
as there were then three or four at St. Louis; among whom were the
secretary and the paymaster. Yet neither of them was called in to be
present at these operations, though they lasted some days. However, those
to whom the vessels belonged, shewed themselves much more generous to the
shipwrecked people, than those who went on board the frigate, with the
first schooner: the few books and effects which they had been able to save
were restored to such of the crew as claimed them.

A short time after these depredations were ended, some French officers and
soldiers, belonging as well to the land as the sea-service, and who were
still at St. Louis, received orders from the English Governor to go
immediately to the camp of Daccard: it was about the first of October. At
this time Mr. Correard remained the only Frenchman in the hospital at St.
Louis, till he should be entirely recovered. We are entirely ignorant of
the reasons which induced this Governor to employ such severe measures
towards about twenty unhappy persons, among whom three officers had been
part of the crew of the fatal raft. He however, allowed the civil officers
to remain in the city.

Let us take a rapid survey of the new misfortunes which overtook some of
the unfortunate persons who escaped from the raft and the desert, and
remained plunged in a horrid hospital without assistance, and without
consolation, before we proceed to the history of the camp at Daccard, which
will terminate this account. Our readers will remember that it was on the
23d of July, that the men, who escaped from the raft, were united to the
sixty-three landed by the long boat, near the Moles of Angel.

Mr. Coudin, commander of the raft, and Mr. Savigny, were received at
Senegal by Mr. Lasalle, a French Merchant, who, on all occasions, bestowed
on them the most generous care, which spared them the new sufferings, to
which their companions in misfortune were exposed, and gives Mr. Lasalle a
title to their lasting gratitude.

As for Mr. Correard, as soon as he was at the isle of St. Louis, he and
some others of our companions covered with wounds, and almost without life,
were laid upon truck-beds, which, instead of mattresses, had only blankets
doubled in four, with sheets disgustingly dirty; the four officers of the
troops were also placed in one of the rooms of the hospital, and the
soldiers and sailors in another room, near the first, and lying in the same
manner as the officers. The evening of their arrival, the Governor,
accompanied by the captain of the frigate, and by a numerous suite, came to
pay them a visit: the air of compassion, with which he addressed them, much
affected them; in this first moment, they were promised a guinea, linen to
clothe them, wine to restore their strength, and ammunition to amuse them
when they should be able to go out. Vain promises! It is to the compassion
of strangers, alone, that they were indebted for their existence for five
months. The Governor announced his departure for the camp at Duccard,
saying to these poor men who were left behind, that he had given orders
that they should want for nothing during his absence. All the French, able
to embark, departed with the Governor.

Left to themselves in the horrid abode which they inhabited, surrounded
with men in whom their cruel situation inspired no pity, our countrymen
again abandoned, gave vent to their distress in useless complaints. In vain
they represented to the English physician that the ordinary ration of a
common soldier, which had been hitherto given them, was wholly unfit for
them, first, because their health required, if it was indeed wished to
recover them, better nourishment than is given to a soldier in good health
in his barracks: that, besides, officers enjoyed in all countries some
preference, and that, in consequence, he was requested to have regard to
the just desires of the sick.

The doctor was inexorable: he answered that he had received no orders and
that he should make no change. They then addressed their complaints to the
English Governor, who was equally insensible. It is, however, probable that
the French Governor, before his departure, had requested this officer to
afford all the assistance which the situation of those whom he left
required, under the protection of his generosity. If this request was made
it must be allowed that this Mr. Beurthonne has a heart but little
accessible to sentiments of humanity.

What a contrast between the conduct of this Lieutenant-Colonel, and that of
the other officers of his nation, belonging to the expedition for exploring
the interior of Africa, with whom the officers of the garrison joined. It
is to their generous efforts that the officers saved from the raft, owed
assistance and perhaps life. It is not, in fact, rare to see the same
circumstances give rise to the same observation. On occasions of this kind,
a great number of private Englishmen excite astonishment by the excess of
their generosity to their enemies, while on the other hand the agents of
the government, and individuals, who doubtless believe that they enter into
its views, seem to glory in a conduct diametrically opposite.

These gentlemen, some days after the arrival of our unfortunate comrades,
having been informed of their melancholy situation, came to the hospital
and took away with them the four officers who were already able to go out;
they invited them to share their repast with them, till the colony should
be given up.[43] Forty days had passed, since the compassionate English had
come to the relief of these four companions in misfortune, without the
distressed Correard's having personally felt the effects of their kindness.
His health was greatly impaired, in consequence of the unheard-of
sufferings which he had experienced on the raft; his wounds gave him great
pain, and he was obliged to remain in the infirmary: add to this the
absolute want of clothes, having nothing to cover him except the sheet of
his bed, in which he wrapped himself up. Since the departure of the
governor, he had heard nothing of the French, which made him very uneasy,
and doubled his desire to join his countrymen, hoping to find from them,
consolation and relief; for he had friends among the officers and
passengers who were at the Camp of Deccard. He was in this temper of mind,
and in the melancholy situation which we have just described, reduced to
the ration of a common soldier, during the forty days which had just
elapsed, when he caused the captain of an American merchant vessel to be
asked whether he would do him the pleasure to take him to Cape Verd, to
which place he was to go; the answer was affirmative, and the departure
fixed for two days after. In this interval, Mr. Kummer, the naturalist,
happened to express, in the presence of Major Peddy, commander in chief of
the English expedition for the interior of Africa, the fears which he felt
at the departure of his friend, alledging that he was very uneasy
respecting the effects of the bad air of the camp of Deccard, on a
constitution so shaken as that of Mr. Correard. Scarcely had the sensible
Mr. Kummer ceased speaking, when Major Peddy hastily went away, returned to
his apartment, and immediately got ready linen, clothes and money, and
while he was thus employed, this genuine philanthropist shed tears at the
fate of the unhappy man, whom he did not know, cursing those who had
cruelly abandoned him. His indignation was excited, because he had been
assured that ever since the departure of the French governor, Mr. Correard
had heard nothing farther, either of him, or of his countrymen. Respectable
Major! worthy friend of humanity! in departing for the interior of Africa,
you have carried with you the regret and the gratitude of a heart, on which
your noble beneficence is indelibly engraven.

While this unexpected relief was preparing Mr. Correard, seated at the foot
of his truck bed, was overwhelmed by the thoughts of his wretchedness, and
plunged in the most heart-rending reflections. All that he saw affected him
still more deeply, than the dreadful scenes which had passed upon the raft.
"In the very heat of battle," said he, "the pain of my wounds was not
accompanied by the gloomy despondency which now depresses me, and by a
slow, but sure progress, is conducting me to death. Only two months ago, I
was strong, intrepid, capable of braving every fatigue: now, confined to
this horrid abode, my courage is vanished, every thing forsakes me. I have,
in vain, asked some assistance of those who have come to see me, not from
humanity, but from unfeeling curiosity: thus, people went to Liege to see
the brave Goffin, after he had extricated himself by his courage, from the
coal-pit which had fallen in and buried him. But he, happier than I, was
rewarded with the cross of the legion of honour, and a pension which
enabled him to subsist.[44] If I were in France," he continued, "my
relations, my countrymen, would mitigate my sufferings; but here, under a
burning climate, where every thing is strange to me, surrounded by these
Africans, who are hardened by the habitual sight of the horrors produced by
the slave trade, nothing relieves me; on the contrary, the length of the
nights, the continuance of my sufferings, the sight of those of my
companions in misfortune, the disgusting filth by which I am surrounded,
the inattention of a soldier who acts as nurse, and is always drunk or
negligent, the insupportable hardness of a wretched bed, scarcely sheltered
from the inclemency of the air, all announce to me an inevitable death. I
must resign myself to it, and await it with courage! I was less to be
pitied on the raft; then my imagination was exalted, and I scarcely enjoyed
my intellectual faculties! but here, I am only an ordinary man, with all
the weaknesses of humanity. My mind is continually absorbed in melancholy
reflections; my soul sinks under incessant sufferings, and I daily see
those who shared my unhappy fate, drop before me into the grave.[45]"

While he was wholly absorbed in this distressing soliloquy, he saw two
young officers enter the room, followed by three or four slaves, carrying
various effects. These two officers approached, with an air of kindness,
the mournful and motionless Correard, "Accept," said they, "these trifling
presents, they are sent to you by Major Peddy, and Captain Cambpell: we,
sir, have desired the happiness of bringing you this first assistance; we
were commissioned by all our comrades, to obtain from you accurate
information respecting your wants; you are, besides, invited to partake of
our table, all the time we shall pass together: the Major, and all the
officers, beg you to remain here, and not to go to the pestilential camp at
Deccard, where a mortal distemper would carry you off in a few days." It
would be ungrateful not to name these two young officers: one bears the
name of Beurthonne, without being a relation of the Governors; the name of
the other is Adam.

While these generous officers were fulfilling, with so much politeness and
kindness, these acts of humanity, Major Peddy entered the room, followed by
other slaves, also loaded with things, which he came to offer to the friend
of the naturalist, Kummer, by whom he was accompanied. The Major approached
the unfortunate Correard, who seemed as if awaking from a dream; he
embraced him, shedding tears, and vowing to him a friendship which never
abated during the whole time that he remained with him. What a sublime
image is a fine man, almost two metres in height, who sheds tears of pity
at the sight of an unfortunate man, who was not less affected, and, shed
them in abundance, penetrated with the most delicious feelings of gratitude
and admiration. After he had recovered from the emotion excited in him by
the sight of the melancholy situation of the stranger, whom he had just
snatched from misery, the Major made him the most obliging offers: and that
Mr. Correard might not decline them, he assured him, beforehand, that he
himself and many of his comrades had received similar assistance from
Frenchmen; and that their countrymen ought to allow him the honour of
discharging, if it were possible, his debt to their nation, for the
generous treatment which he had received from them.[46] Offers so nobly
made, could not but be accepted by Mr. Correard, who expressed to his
benefactor, how happy he should esteem himself to be able to merit the
friendship that he had just offered him, and that he wished nothing so much
as to be able, one day, to shew his gratitude in a manner worthy of
himself, and of a Frenchman. From that time Mr. Correard received all
imaginable assistance from the Major and his officers, and it may be said
with truth, that he owes them his life, as do the four French officers who
were with him.

On the 24th of August, Mr. Clairet paid the debt of nature. It was
thirty-four days after our arrival at St, Louis. Mr. Correard had the grief
to see him die at his side, and to hear him say before his death, that he
died satisfied, since he had had time to recommend to his father a natural
son whom he loved. At this time Major Peddy had not yet relieved Mr.
Correard; he was without clothes, so that he could not attend the funeral
of his comrade, who had just expired, worn out by the sufferings which he
had experienced on the raft.

The remains of this young officer received the honours due to them. The
English officers, and especially Major Peddy, acted on this occasion in a
manner worthy of praise.

Perhaps our readers will not be sorry to be made acquainted with some of
the details of this mournful ceremony. They are drawn up by Mr. Correard,
who still feels a sad pleasure in calling to mind the moments which
necessarily made upon him so great an impression.

The body of the unfortunate Clairet was laid out in a subterraneous
apartment of the hospital, whither immense crowds repaired to see once more
the mortal remains of one who was almost regarded as an extraordinary man;
and who, at this moment, owed to his cruel adventures, the powerful
interest, which the public favor attached to him and to those, who had so
miraculously escaped from all the combined afflictions sustained on the
fatal raft.

"About four o'clock in the afternoon," says Mr. Correard, "I heard the
mournful sounds of martial instruments under the windows of the hospital.
This was a dreadful blow to me, not so much because it warned me of the
speedy fate which infallibly awaited me, as because this funeral signal
announced to me the moment of eternal separation from the companion of my
sufferings: from the friend, whom our common misfortunes had given me, when
I passed with him the most dreadful moments of my life. At this sound I
wrapped myself in my sheet, and crawled to the balcony of my window, to bid
him the last farewell, and to follow him with my eyes as far as possible. I
know not what effect the sight of me may have produced, but when I now
reflect upon it myself; I imagine that the people must have believed it was
a spectre welcoming a corpse to the abode of the grave."

"As for me, notwithstanding my emotion, the sacrifice which I supposed I
had made of my life, permitted me to contemplate and to follow in detail
the sad spectacle on which my almost extinguished eyes eagerly dwelt. I
distinguished a crowd of slaves who had obtained permission from their
masters to be present at the ceremony. A body of English soldiers was
placed in a line; after them came two lines of French soldiers and sailors.
Immediately after, four soldiers bore the coffin on their shoulders, after
the manner of the ancients. A national flag covered it, and hung down to
the ground; four officers, two French and two English, were placed at the
angles, diagonally opposite, and supported the corners; on the coffin were
laid the uniform and the arms of the young soldier, and the distinctive
marks of his rank. On the right and left French officers of the army and
navy, and all the officers of the administration, ranged in two files,
formed the procession. The band of music was at their head: afterwards,
came the English staff with the respectable Major Peddy at its head, and
the corps of citizens, led by the mayor of the town; lastly, the officers
of the regiment, and a detachment, commanded by one of them, closed the
procession. Thus was conducted to his last repose, this other victim of the
fatal raft, snatched in the flower of his age, from his friends and his
country, by the most fatal death, and whose fine qualities and courage
rendered him worthy of a less deplorable fate."

This brave officer, who was only twenty-eight years of age, had been eight
years in the service; he had received the cross of the Legion of Honor at
the _Champ de Mai_, as a reward for the services which be had performed at
Talavera de la Reina, Sierra Morena, Saragossa, Montmiraill, Champaubert,
and Montereau; he was present, also, at the too deplorable day of Waterloo;
he was then ensign-bearer of his regiment.

Such were the events that passed in the isle of St. Louis. The bad season,
which, in these countries is so fatal to the Europeans, began to spread
those numerous and dreadful maladies, which are so frequently accompanied
by death. Let us now turn to the unhappy persons assembled in the camp at
Daccard, not far from the village of that name, situated on the Peninsula
of Cape Verd.

The French Governor, as we have already observed, being unable to enter
into the possession of the colony, resolved to go and remain upon Cape
Verd, which had been recognized to be the property of France. On the 26th
of July the Argus brig, and a three-roasted vessel belonging to Messrs.
Potin and Durecur, took on board the remains of the crew of the Medusa,
that is, the men who had landed near Portendick, and some persons from the
raft: those whose health were the most impaired remained in the hospital at
St. Louis. These two vessels set sail; the Governor embarked on board that
with three masts, and they arrived in the Goree Roads at nightfall. The
next day the men were removed to Cape Verd: several soldiers and sailors
had already repaired to it; these were those who had first crossed the
desert: the flute, _la Loire_, had conveyed them thither some days before,
with the commander of the frigate. It had also landed the troops it had on
board, consisting of a company of colonial soldiers. The command of the
camp was confided to Mr. de Fonsain, a respectable old man, who died there
the victim of his zeal. What procured him this fatal distinction was the
resolution taken by the Governor to go and reside in the island of Goree,
to be able to superintend the camp, and the ships, and doubtless for the
sake of his health.[47]

The shipwreck of the frigate having much reduced the number of the
garrison, and occasioned the loss of a great quantity of provisions which
she had on board, it was necessary to dispatch a vessel to France, to
obtain assistance and fresh orders, on account of the difficulties that had
been raised by the English Governor. The _Echo_ corvette was chosen for
this purpose, which sailed on the 29th of July, in the evening. She had on
board fifty-five of those who had been shipwrecked, three of whom were
officers of the navy, the head surgeon, the accountant, three _eleves_ of
the marine, and an under surgeon. After a passage of thirty-four days, this
corvette anchored in Brest Roads. Mr. Savigny says, that during the six
years he has been in the navy, he has never seen a vessel so well kept, and
where the duty was done with so much regularity as on board the Echo. Let
us return to the new establishment, which collected the remnant of us on
Cape Verd.

A camp was formed there to receive them near a village inhabited by
negroes, and called Daccard, as has been stated above. The natives of the
country appeared to be pleased at seeing the French found an establishment
on their coast. A few days after, the soldiers and sailors having had some
misunderstanding, the latter were removed, and distributed between the
Loire and the Argus.

The men who formed this camp were soon attacked with the diseases of the
country. They were ill fed, and many of them had just endured long
fatigues. Some fish, very bad rum, a little bread, or rice, such were their
provisions. The chace also contributed to supply their wants; but the
excursions which they made to procure game, frequently impaired their
health. It was in the beginning of July that the bad season began to be
felt. Cruel diseases attacked the unhappy French; who being exhausted by
long privations, these terrible maladies spread with dreadful rapidity. Two
thirds of them were attacked by putrid fevers, the rapid progress of which
hardly allowed the physicians time, to administer that precious remedy, the
produce of Peru, of which, by some mismanagement, the hospitals were nearly
destitute.[A12] It was in these distressing circumstances that Mr. de
Chaumareys came to take the command of the camp. Other measures were taken,
and the hospitals were no longer in want of bark; but dysenteries, which
frequently proved mortal, spread every where. On all sides there were none
but unhappy men who gave themselves up to despair, and who sighed after
their country: it was scarcely possible to find men enough for the duty of
the camp. It is remarkable, that the crews of the vessels, which were in
the roads of Goree, were hardly sensible of the influence of the bad
season: it is true these crews were better fed, better clothed, and
sheltered from the inclemency of the air; it is, besides, pretty certain,
that this road is healthy, while the maladies of the country prevail on
shore. Such was the situation of the camp of Daccard, when, on the 20th of
November, the French Governor, was authorized, by Mr. Macarty, Governor
General of the English settlements, to inhabit, on the former coast of the
French possessions, the place which should suit him the best. Mr. Schmalz
chose St. Louis.[48]

As we were neither of us at the camp of Daccard we have not been able to
detail all that passed there, and to speak only of things, with which we
are perfectly acquainted, we have been obliged to pass over this part of
our narrative rather slightly.

Mr. Correard, who had remained at the isle of St. Louis, hastened to pay
his respects to the governor, when he came, in consequence of the
permission of Mr. Macarty to inhabit that town. He relates, that on this
occasion, the governor received him very well, pitied him much, and
protested that if he had not been taken better care of, it was not his
fault: Mr. Schmalz, allowed, that he had been the worst treated of all the
shipwrecked persons, a thing which he had long known; "But, added he, your
misfortunes are terminated, and henceforward you will want for nothing. I
will send you, every day, very good rations of rice, meat, good wine, and
excellent bread; besides, in a short time, I will put you to board with Mr.
Monbrun, where you will be extremely well off." These last promises were as
unavailing as the first had been. One day, however, in a fit of the fever,
Mr. Correard sent his servant to the governor with a note, in which he
asked for a bottle of wine, and one of brandy; he, in fact, received what
he had asked for; but when he was recovered from his delirium, he was going
to send back these two bottles; however, on reflection, he thought it would
not be proper, and he resolved to keep them. This is all that he was able
to obtain from the French authorities, during five month's time that he
remained at Saint Louis. It is even probable that he would have returned to
France without having cost his government the smallest trifle, but for that
fit of the fever, which deprived him of his reason, and during which, be
made the request which he afterwards thought to be indiscreet and improper.

On the 23rd, or 24th of November, he again saw his two benefactors Major
Peddy and Captain Campbell, who were about to depart on their great
expedition to the interior of Africa.

At the moment of their separation, Major Peddy was eager to give to Mr.
Correard the last marks of true friendship, not only by his inexhaustible
generosity, but also by good advice, which the event has rendered very
remarkable, and which, for this reason, we think it necessary to mention
here. The following is pretty nearly the discourse which the good Major
addressed to Mr. Correard at their last interview: "Since your intention,"
said he, "is to return to France, allow me, first of all, to give you some
advice; I am persuaded that, if you will follow it, you will one day have
reason to congratulate yourself on it. I know mankind, and without
pretending exactly to guess how your Minister of the Marine will act
towards you, I, nevertheless, think myself justified in presuming that you
will obtain no relief from him; for, remember that a minister, who has
committed a fault, never will suffer it to be mentioned to him, nor the
persons or things presented to him, that might remind him of his want of
ability;[49] therefore, believe me, my friend; instead of taking the road
to Paris, take that to London; there you will find a number of
philanthropits, who will assist you, and I can assure you that
henceforward, you will want for nothing. Your misfortunes have been so very
great that there is no Englishman who will not feel a pleasure in assisting
you. Here, Sir, are 300 francs, which will suffice for the expences of your
voyage, whether you go to Paris or to London. Reflect a moment on what I
propose to you, and if your resolution is such as I wish you to take, let
me know it immediately, that I may give you letters of recommendation to
all my friends, as well as to my patrons, who will be truly happy to serve

Mr. Correard was deeply affected by what he had just heard; the noble
generosity of the excellent man to whom he already owed his life, and who
entered with such perfect readiness, into all the details which he thought
the most proper to finish his work, and insure the happiness of his poor
friend, filled the heart of the latter with emotion and gratitude; yet,
shall we say it? The advice to go to London, which the Major had just given
him, had in it something that distressed him; he had not heard it without
recollecting that he was a Frenchman, and some secret suggestions of
self-love and national pride, told him that a Frenchman who had served his
country, and to whom unparalleled misfortunes had given so many claims to
the justice, as well as to the kindness of his own government, could not,
without offering a kind of insult to his fellow countrymen, begin by going
to England, and there throwing himself on the public compassion. These
sentiments, therefore, suggested much more by his heart than by his
understanding, dictated his answer to the Major.

It was not difficult for him to express, with warmth, all the gratitude
which he owed him, for the noble and delicate manner in which he had sought
him out, and relieved him in his misfortune.

"As for the pecuniary assistance which you still offer me," continued he,
"I accept it with great pleasure, because benefits conferred by you, can
only do honour to him who receives them, and because I hope, one day, to
repay this debt with interest, to your countrymen, if I can meet with any
who have need of my assistance. As for your other proposal, Major, allow me
not to be of your opinion, and to have a little more confidence in the
generosity of my government, as well as in that of my countrymen. If I
acted otherwise, would you not be authorised to have a bad opinion of the
French character and then, I appeal to yourself, generous Englishman,
should not I have lost my claims to your esteem? Believe me, Major, France
can also boast of a great number of men, whose patriotism and humanity may
rival those which are so frequently found in Great Britain. Like you we are
formed to the sentiments, to the duties which compose the true love of our
country and of liberty. In returning to France, I firmly believe that I
return into the bosom of a great family. But if, contrary to my
expectation, it were possible that I should find myself, one day, abandoned
by my government, as we were by some men who have nothing French about them
but their dress; if France, which so often and so nobly welcomes the
unfortunate of other countries, should refuse pity and assistance to her
own children, then, Major, should I be obliged to seek, elsewhere, a
happier fate and a new country: there is no doubt but that I should chuse
that of my generous benefactors in preference to every other."

Major Peddy answered Mr. Correard only by tears. The transport of
patriotism, in which the latter had naturally indulged himself, had found,
as may be supposed, the heart of the noble Briton, in harmony with that of
him whom he protected; he felt a visible satisfaction, and an emotion which
he did not attempt to dissemble. The Major closely embraced Mr. Correard,
bidding him farewell for ever; it seemed that this worthy man forsesaw his
approaching end.

He was in fact destined to sink beneath the fatigues of the journey which
he was about to undertake.

This expedition was composed, besides the Major, who commanded in chief,
and the Captain, who was the second in command, and charged with the
astronomical observations, of a young Physician, who was third in command;


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