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FLOWERS OF LITERATURE.
ACCOUNT OF THE SHIPWRECK OF THE
In all the history of perils and sufferings encountered at sea, fertile as it is in terrific events, there is assuredly no darker page than that which contains the narrative of the shipwreck of the Medusa frigate. It may, indeed, justly be doubted whether any similar occurrence was ever marked by such circumstances of extreme horror. In many instances of shipwreck the mind is somewhat relieved and solaced by the contemplation of the patience, the fortitude, and the mutual kindness, displayed by the individuals who are the theme of the story; but, in this instance, no such consolation is afforded. All the bad passions seem to have conspired with natural dangers, to render the situation of the crew of the Medusa as terrible as imagination itself can possibly conceive.
The Medusa, of forty-four guns, in company with three other vessels, sailed from Rochefort on the 17th of June, 1816, to take possession of the French settlements on the river Gambia, which had been restored to France by the treaties of 1814 and 1815. As it was intended that the governor of Senegal, who was on board, should send out a party to ascertain the possibility of establishing a settlement near Cape Verd, this expedition was accompanied by a number of scientific men, agriculturists, and miners. The Medusa, on