Preservation of Quirini on the Coast of Norway, and Residence In the Isle of Rostoe.
As they had no rope with, which to make fast their boat to the shore and prevent it from being dashed to pieces, they remained in it the whole night. Next day at dawn, sixteen weak, miserable and exhausted wretches, the sad remains of forty-seven who had originally taken refuge in the large boat, went on shore and laid themselves down in the snow. Hunger, however, soon obliged them to examine if there might not remain some of the provisions which they had brought with them from the ship: All they found was a very small ham, an inconsiderable remnant of cheese, and some biscuit dust in a bag, mixed with the dung of mice. These they warmed by means of a small fire, which they made of the boat seats, and in some measure appeased their hunger. On the following day, having convinced themselves beyond doubt that the rock on which they then were was quite desert and uninhabited, they resolved to quit it in hopes of being able to reach some inhabited island, or part of the adjacent coast of Norway; but, after filling five small casks with snow water, and getting into the boat to put their resolution into execution, the water ran in torrents through all the seams, and the boat went to the bottom immediately, so that they were forced to get on shore again quite drenched in the sea. During the whole of the preceding long night, the boat had been beating against the rock, which had loosened its planks and opened all the seams. Despairing now of any relief, as they were utterly destitute of any means to repair their boat, they constructed two small tents of their oars and sails, to shelter themselves from the weather, and hewed the materials of their boat in pieces to make a fire to warm themselves. The only food they were able to procure consisted in a few muscles and other shell-fish, which they picked up along the shore. Thirteen of the company were lodged in one of the tents, and three in the other. The smoke of the wet wood caused their faces and eyes to swell so much that they were afraid of becoming totally blind; and, what added prodigiously to their sufferings, they were almost devoured by lice and maggots, which they threw by handfuls into the fire. The secretary of Quirini had the flesh on his neck eaten bare to the sinews by these vermin, and died in consequence; besides him, three Spaniards of a robust frame of body likewise died, who probably lost their lives in consequence of having drank sea water while in the boat; and so weak were the thirteen who still remained alive, that during three days they were unable to drag away the dead bodies from the fire side.