Изображения страниц

ters to you may have miscarried, I think it will be a great satisfaction to you to know that he has a friend and relation on the spot who will do every thing she can to make his present confinement as comfortable as possible.' In the same cover, her father, Mr. Heywood, also writes to the family to say

that it would be his endeavour to render him all the assistance in his power. This gentleman also wrote to Peter, giving the same assurance, and advising him to keep up his spirits as much as possible, trusting to a consciousness of his innocence, and to the certainty of having an honourable acquittal.

Again Peter writes to his mother, expressing his disappointment at not having yet heard from home.

· H. M. S. Hector, June 29, 1792. - MY DEAR MOTHER, · From my not having as yet received any answer to the letters I wrote you on the 20th inst., I am apprehensive that by some unforeseen accident they may have miscarried, or perhaps, as I have since heard you are in Whitehaven, (the direction upon them being for Douglas,) the cross postage and contrary winds which the packets might meet with, have perhaps occasioned the delay. Let me hear from you as soon as possible, and be so good as to get me a couple of registers of my age.

* An intimate friend of Mr. Heywood, of Maristow, has received instructions from that gentleman to authorize the first lieutenant of this ship to furnish me with whatever I should be in want of. Oh! my dear mother, what an instance of generous friendship is this! and how unexpected! To come before it was asked is more than I could have hoped even from a father. It will, I hope, be yet in my power to shew myself worthy the patronage of so generous a man. I wrote to him on Wednesday last, and likewise to my uncle Pasley. Alas! I have heard of the death of my aunt, whose loss I truly deplore. How various are the vicissitudes of this transitory life, and how futile are all human expectations! This, I think, I have pretty well experienced, when my age is considered. Yet I already find those things which by the world are called evils, to be of benefit to my disposition, and hope I shall reap intrinsic advantage from them. I wish to be informed of the welfare of my dear brother and sisters, and hope I shall yet be able to shew myself deserving of so kind a patron, and the name of, my ever honoured and dearest mother, - Your most obedient and dutiful son,

P. H. On the same day, Mrs. Heywood, the afflicted mother, was writing as follows to her son, and the ardent Nessy's pen was also engaged in the same service:

· Isle of Man, June 29, 1792. Oh!' my ever dearly-beloved and long-lost son, with what anxiety have I waited for this period! I


have counted the days, hours, and even minutes, since I first heard of the horrid and unfortunate mutiny which has so long deprived me of my dearest boy: but now the happy time is come when, though I cannot have the unspeakable pleasure of seeing and embracing you, yet I hope we may be allowed to correspond. Surely there can be nothing improper in a liberty of this sort between an affectionate mother and her dutiful and beloved son, who, I am perfectly convinced, was never guilty of the crime he has been suspected of by those who did not know his worth and truth. I have not the least doubt but that the all-gracious God, who of his good providence has protected you so long, and brought you safe through so many dangers and difficulties, will still protect you, and at your trial make your innocence appear as clear as the light. All your letters have come safe to me, and to my very dear good Nessy. Ah! Peter, with what real joy did we all receive them, and how happy are we that you are now safe in England! I will endeavour, my

dearest lad, to make your present situation as comfortable as possible, for so affectionate and good a son deserves my utmost attention. Nessy has written to our faithful and kind friend, Mr. Heywood, of Plymouth, for his advice, whether it would be proper for her to come up to you; if he consents to her so doing, not a moment shall be lost, and how happy shall I be when she is with you! Such a sister as she is ! Oh! Peter, she is a most valuable girl. What comfort will she give you, and how will she lessen the many tedious hours you must, I fear, pass in your confinement! Take care of your health, which is so dear to me, and put your full trust in that Supreme Being who never has nor ever will forsake you. I will not tell you the grief and anguish I and all your brothers and sisters felt when we first heard of the horrid mutiny, and that you were not returned.'-An account of the other branches of the family follows, and Mrs. Heywood concludes: “As Nessy writes, I will leave her to tell you all I may have omitted. May the Almighty still protect and bless you, my dearest boy, is the continual prayer of your most affectionate mother,


On the same day this most valuable girl' thus writes : *

* The following lines shew how much her fond mind was fixed on her unfortunate brother : On the Arrival of my dearly-beloved Brother, Peter Heywood, in England, written while a Prisoner, and waiting the Event of his Trial, on board his Majesty's Ship Hector.

Come, gentle Muse, I woo thee once again,
Nor woo thee now in melancholy strain ;
Assist my verse in cheerful mood to flow,
Nor let this tender bosom Anguish know;
Fill all my soul with notes of Love and Joy,
No more let Grief each anxious thought employ!

非 *

Return'd with every charın, accomplish'd youth !
Adorn'd with Virtue, Innocence, and Truth !
Wrapp'd in thy conscious merit still remain,
Till I behold thy lovely form again.

MY DEAREST AND MOST BELOVED BROTHER, • Thanks to that Almighty Providence which has so miraculously preserved you, your fond, anxious, and, till now, miserable Nessy, is at last permitted to address the object of her tenderest affection in England! Oh! my admirable, my heroic boy, what have we felt on your account ! yet how small, how infinitely trifling, was the misery of our situation when compared with the horror of yours ! Let me now, however, with confidence hope that the God of all mercies has not so long protected you in vain, but will at length crown your fortitude and pious resignation to his will with that peace and happiness you so richly merit. How blest did your delightful and yet dreadful letter . from Batavia make us all! Surely, my beloved boy, you could not for a moment imagine we ever supposed you guilty of the crime of mutiny. No,

Protect him, Heav'n, from dangers and alarms,
And oh! restore him to a sister's arms;
Support his fortitude in that dread hour
When he must brave Suspicion's cruel pow'r ;
Grant him to plead with Eloquence divine,
In ev'ry word let Truth and Honour shine;
Through each sweet accent let Persuasion flow,
With inanly Firmness let his bosom glow,
Till strong Conviction, in each face exprest,
Grants a reward by Honour's self confest.
Let thy Omnipotence preserve him still,
And all his future days with Pleasure fill;
And oh! kind Heav'n, though now in chains he be,
Restore him soon to Friendship, Love, and me.

• Nessy HEYWOOD. Isle of Man, August 5th, 1792?'

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »