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The Fireside Companion;



For those who like to fare better than they now do, and at the same time to thrive and grow rich.

(From the Reports of the Society for Bettering the Condition, and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor.)

1. THE ready penny always fetches the best bargain. He who buys upon trust must not complain if he is cheated. The shopkeeper suspects his customer who buys on trust, and thinks that he means to cheat, and never to pay; and therefore he takes good care to be beforehand, and charges high accordingly.

2. The best pennyworth is to be had where most sit together, in the open market; and bargains are often cheaper in the latter end of the day. When honest men have done their work, it is better for them to go to market than to the alehouse.

3. When times are hard why should we make them harder still? Is it not enough to be taxed once by government, without being taxed twice by folly, thrice by drunkenness, four times by laziness, and so on ?—A good man, even in hard times, will do twice as well as a bad man will in the best of times. Let us all then rise up against ourselves, who thus tax and injure ourselves: and we shall soon find that the times will mend. Let us do good to ourselves at home, and we shall become happy in our own habitations; and learn that it is a true saying, that God helps those who help themselves.'

4. TIME IS OUR ESTATE; it is our most valuable property. If we lose it, or waste it, we can never-never purchase it back again. We ought, therefore, not to have an idle hour, or throw away an idle penny. While we employ our time and our property, (however small that property may be), to the best advantage, we shall find that a fortune may be made in any situation of life; and that the poor man, who once wanted assistance himself, may become able to assist and relieve others.

5. INDUSTRY will make a man a purse, and FRUGALITY will find him strings for it. Neither the purse nor the strings will cost him any thing. He who has it, should only draw the strings as frugality directs; and he will be sure always to find a useful penny at the bottom of it. The servants of industry are known by their livery ;



it is always whole and wholesome. Idleness travels very leisurely, and poverty soon overtakes her. Look at the ragged slaves of idleness, and judge which is the best master to serve;-Industry, or Idleness.

6. MARRIAGE IS HONOURABLE; and the married state, when entered into with prudence, and continued in with discretion, is of all conditions of life the most happy; but to bring a wife home, before we have made provision by our industry and prudence for her and our children, or to choose a wife who has not, by attention and economy on her part, proved herself fit to manage a family, is extremely imprudent and improvident. Let, therefore, the young prepare themselves for the married state, by treasuring up all the surplus of their youthful earnings, and they will marry with confidence, and live together in comfort.

7. Of all idolatry that ever debased any savage and ignorant nation, the worship of the gin bottle is the most disgraceful. The worshipper of the gin bottle becomes unfit for any thing; he soon rots his liver, and ruins himself and his family.

8. He who does not make his family comfortable will himself never be happy at home; and he who is not happy at home, will never be happy any where.-Charity begins at home; the husband and wife, who can hardly keep themselves and their children, should not keep a dog to rob the children of part of their food.

9. She who roasts or broils her meat wastes half of it in the fire. She who boils it loses half of it in the water. But when the good wife stews her meat gently, thickening the liquor with a little meal, ground rice, or pease and vegetables, and making it savoury with fried onions, herbs, and seasoning, her husband and she fare much better, their children thrive and grow hearty and stout, and their money goes twice as far.

10. When you stew or boil your meat, if you leave the vessel uncovered a great deal of the best part goes off, and is wasted in steam; and when you make the fire in a wide chimney, with a large open throat, there is at least twice as much of the heat goes up the chimney, as ever comes into the room to warm the family.

11. Sinning is a very expensive occupation.-Ask those who have practised it; they can tell you what it has cost them. The man who attempts to make you laugh at THE FEAR OF GOD is your worst enemy. In so doing he endeavours to teach you to be also your own bitter and irreconcileable enemy for ever, both in this world, and in the next.

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12. Sin is the greatest of all evils; the salvation of the soul our best good; and THE GRACE of GoD our richest treasure. Let the poor man find his way to the cheapest market on Saturday, to a place of divine worship on Sunday, and, like an honest man, go to his labour on Monday. Following these plain directions, he may be twice happy; HAPPY HERE, AND HAPPY HEREAFTER, TO ALL



(From the Quarterly Review.)

THE French possessions on the west coast of Africa having been restored at the general peace, an expedition, consisting of a frigate and three other vessels, was sent in the month of June 1816, to take possession of them.

Owing to a very relaxed state of discipline, and an ignorance of the common principles of navigation which would have disgraced a private merchant ship, this frigate, the Méduse, was suffered to run aground on the bank of Arguin. It was soon discovered that all hopes of getting her off must be abandoned, and that nothing re mained but to concert measures for the escape of the passengers and crew. Some biscuit, wine, and fresh water, were accordingly got up and prepared for putting into the boats, and upon a raft which had been hastily constructed; but, in the tumult of abandoning the wreck, it happened that the raft, which was destined to carry the greatest number of people, had the least share of the provisions; of wine, indeed, it had more than enough, but not a single barrel of biscuit.


There were five boats. The military had, in the first instance, been placed upon the raft-the number embarked on this fatal machine was not less than one hundred and fifty; making, with those in the boats, a total of three hundred and ninety-seven.

The boats pushed off in a line, towing the raft, and assuring the people on board that they would conduct them safely to land. They had not proceeded, however, above two leagues from the wreck, when they, one by one, cast off the tow-lines. It was afterwards pretended that they broke. Had this even been true, the boats might at any time have réjoined the raft; instead of which, they all abandoned it to its fate, every one striving to make off with all possible speed.

At this time, the raft had sunk below the surface to the depth of three feet and a half, and the people were so squeezed one against another, that it was found impossible to move; fore and aft, they were up to the middle in water. In such a deplorable situation, it was with difficulty they could persuade themselves that they had been abandoned; nor would they believe it until the whole of the boats had disappeared from their sight. They now began to consider themselves as deliberately sacrificed, and swore to be revenged of their anfeeling companions, if ever they gained the shore. The consternation soon became extreme, Every thing that was horrible took possession of their imaginations; all perceived their destruction to be at hand, and announced by their wailings the dismal thoughts by which they were distracted. The officers, with great difficulty, and by putting on a show of confidence, succeeded at length in restoring them to a certain degree of tranquillity, but were themselves over

come with alarm on finding that there was neither chart nor compass, nor anchor on the raft. One of the men belonging to M. Corréard, geographical engineer, had fortunately preserved a small pocket compass, and this little instrument inspired them with so much confidence, that they conceived their safety to depend on it; but this treasure, above all price, was speedily snatched from them for ever. It fell from the man's hand, and disappeared between the openings of the raft.

None of the party had taken any food before they left the ship, and hunger beginning to oppress them, they mixed the biscuit, of which they had about five-and-twenty pounds on board, with wine, and distributed it, in small portions, to each man. They succeeded in erecting a kind of mast, and hoisting one of the royals that had belonged to the frigate.


Night at length came on, the wind freshened, and the sea began to swell; the only consolation now was the belief that they should disthe boats the following morning. About midnight the weather became very stormy; and the waves broke over them in every direction. In the morning the wind abated, and the sea subsided a little; but a dreadful spectacle presented itself-ten or twelve of the unhappy men, having their lower extremities jammed between the spars of the raft, unable to extricate themselves, had perished in that situation; several others had been swept off by the violence of the waves: in calling over the list, it was found that twenty had disappeared.

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All this, however, was nothing to the dreadful scene which took place the following night. The day had been beautiful, and no one seemed to doubt that the boats would appear in the course of it, to relieve them from their perilous state; but the evening approached, and none were seen from that moment a spirit of sedition spread from man to man, and manifested itself by the most furious shouts. Night came on; the heavens were obscured with thick clouds; the wind rose, and with it the sea; the waves broke over them every moment; numbers were swept away, particularly near the extremities of the raft; and the crowding towards the centre of it was so great, that several poor wretches were smothered by the pressure of their comrades, who were unable to keep on their legs.

Firmly persuaded that they were all on the point of being swallowed up, both soldiers and sailors resolved to sooth their last moments by drinking till they lost their reason.' They bored a hole in the head of a large cask, from which they continued to swill till the salt water, mixing with the wine, rendered it no longer potable. Excited by the fumes, acting on empty stomachs and heads already disordered by danger, they now became deaf to the voice of reason; boldly declared their intention to murder their officers, and then cut the ropes which bound the raft together: one of them, seizing an axe, actually began the dreadful work ;-this was the signal for revolt. The officers rushed forward to quell the tumult, and the man with

the hatchet was the first that fell-the stroke of a sabre terminated his existence.

The passengers joined the officers, but the mutineers were still the greater number; luckily they were but badly armed, or the few bayonets and sabres of the opposite party could not have kept them at bay. One fellow was detected secretly cutting the ropes, and immediately flung overboard; others destroyed the shrouds and halyards, and the mast, deprived of support, fell on a captain of infantry, and broke his thigh; he was instantly seized by the soldiers, and thrown into the sea, but was saved by the opposite party. A furious charge was now made upon the mutineers, many of whom were cut down at length this fit of desperation subsided into egregious cowardice; they cried out for mercy, and asked forgiveness on their knees. It was now midnight, and order appeared to be restored; but after an hour of deceitful tranquillity, the insurrection burst forth anew the mutineers ran upon the officers like desperate men, each having a knife or a sabre in his hand, and such was the fury of the assailants, that they tore their flesh and even their clothes with their teeth: there was no time for hesitation; a general slaughter took place, and the raft was strewed with dead bodies.

On the return of day it was found that in the course of the preceding night of horror, sixty-five of the mutineers had perished, and two of the small party attached to the officers. One cask of

wine only remained. Before the allowance was served out they contrived to get up their mast afresh; but having no compass, and not knowing how to direct their course, they let the raft drive before the wind, apparently indifferent whither they went. Enfeebled with hunger, they now tried to catch fish, but could not succeed, and abandoned the attempt. At length, what is horrible to relate, the unhappy men, whom death had spared in the course of the night, fell upon the carcases of the dead and began to devour them; some tried to eat their sword-belts and cartridge-boxes; others devoured their linen, and others the leathers of their hats; but all these expedients, and others of a still more loathsome nature, were of no avail.

A third night of horror now approached; but it proved to be a night of tranquillity, disturbed only by the piercing cries of those whom hunger and thirst devoured. In the morning a shoal of flying fish, in passing the raft, left nearly three hundred entangled between the spars. By means of a little gunpowder and linen, and by erect, ing an empty cask, they contrived to make a fire; and mixing with the fish the flesh of a deceased comrade, they all partook of a meal, which, by this means, was rendered less revolting.

The fourth night was marked by another massacre. Their numbers were at length reduced to twenty-eight, fifteen of whom only ap peared to be able to exist for a few days; the other thirteen were so reduced, that they had nearly lost all sense of existence; as their case was hopeless, and as while they lived they would consume a part of the little that was left, a council was held, and, after a

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