We must observe to our readers that it has been impossible for us to avoid the use of naval terms, which will, perhaps, give a great degree of roughness to our narrative, but we hope that the public who are always indulgent, will be so on this occasion, to two unfortunate men, who pretend only to make them acquainted with the truth, and not to give them a superior work. Besides, as we in a manner, submit these events, to the judgment of the gentlemen of the French Navy, it was necessary to make use of the technical terms, that they might be able to understand us.
This second edition is enriched with notes, which will give the reader interesting details on many points, which in the former we could only slightly touch upon. He will have nothing more to desire, particularly respecting the march in the desert after the stranding of the long-boat.
These notes begin with the moment that the frigate stranded, and terminate with the arrival at St. Louis.
They were communicated to us by Mr. Landry, an officer of the Royal University, Professor Emeritus of the Academy of Paris, and at present at the head of a school or Academy, in the Rue Cerisaye, No. 2, quarter of the Arsenal, at Paris. He has had the kindness to extract them for us from a narrative, written by his nephew, Mr. Bredif, Engineer of Mines, belonging to the expedition to Senegal.
The Narrator sent this account to his family above a year ago, addressing it to his sister. The reader will, therefore, not be surprised at the tone of simplicity which prevails in this recital. Mr. Landry would not take away any part for fear of injuring the truth of the circumstances, by meddling with it. If Mr. Bredif, is always placed in the fore-ground, that is not surprising; in a sister, a brother is the principal object which she cannot lose sight of for a moment.
He who loves to observe men, in all the circumstances, in which they may be placed, will easily judge, after what Mr. Bredif did or felt, what may have been done or felt by the sharers in the same misfortunes, who are, besides, never forgotten.
Mr. Bredif is now in the interior of Africa, employed upon the Mission which the government has entrusted to him; the last accounts from him are of the 14th of October, 1817. The manner in which he knows how to give an account of the facts which he has observed, and still more the courage, the prudence, and humanity, which he displayed in the disaster of the Medusa, and in all that followed it, give reason to hope, and this hope cannot be deceived, that be will duly execute his Mission, and render himself worthy of his Majesty’s favours.
[Illustration: Plan of the raft of the Medusa, at the moment of its being abandoned. 150 Frenchmen were placed on this Machine. 15 only were saved 13 days after.]