Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter IV >> Page 42

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History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
have delivered himself up, on any terms, to a wretch so
bigoted and sanguinary. The exposure of the mangled
corses of his countrymen, slain as captives, and under an
assurance of mercy, should have provoked in the surviving
French, a resolution to incur any hazards, not merely in
maintaining the possession of their arms, but in revenging
their slaughtered brethren. But fatigue and starvation sub-
due in time the boldest natures, and nothing, surely, but
the sheer exhaustion of spirit and frame, could have re-
conciled the unfortunate Ribault to the course which he
subsequently adopted. Perhaps, indeed, he had some hope
from the very audacity of Melendez. He fancied that
the object of the Spaniard was to make the merit of his
mercy the more�that he was already sated with blood,
and simply insisted upon the hard terms which he pro-
posed, for the gratification of a tenacious pride, which
nothing short of unqualified surrender could well satisfy.
Whatever may have been the reasonings of the French
commander, he resolved to submit himself, with one hun-
dred and fifty others, to his enemy ; but the remainder of
his men, two hundred in number, determined more wisely
to brave every form of danger rather than yield to one who
had shown himself so merciless. A melancholy separation
of this forlorn band took place. Ribault led his division
into the hands of Melendez, and being tied with ten oth-
ers suffered with the rest. The two hundred who retained
their arms, met with a milder fate. Returning to the
wrecks of their vessels, they raised a temporary fortress
for their defence, and proceeded to build a vessel to
assist their escape. But their inhuman enemy was not
willing to leave his work unfinished. He pursued them