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About this time, a Frenchman, named Lolonnois, (born at Sable d'Olonne, near Basque Roads,) appeared on the scene of action. He had been banished when a youth, and sold as a slave in the West Indies; but after passing through various gradations in villainy, he was considered as qualified to superintend the rest, and, accordingly, was made governor of Tortuga. Still he continued his predatory excursions ; but his ship being wrecked upon the Spanish main, his crew was attacked by the Spaniards, and the greater part of them killed. Lolonnois was severely wounded, and would have shared the fate of the rest, had he not smeared his face with sand, gunpowder, and blood, and concealed himself among the slain till the Spaniards, satiated with the work of destruction, quitted the field. When they were gone, he bound up his wounds as well as he could, and in a Spanish disguise entered the town of Campeachy. Here all were rejoicing for his supposed death*. Bonfires and fêtes abounded, congratulations were heard on every side for the defeat and slaughter of the pirates, particularly of their leader, who had the satisfaction of being an eye-witness of their exultation. By the agency of some slaves, who naturally disliked their condition, a canoe was procured, in which, with nis sable companions, he reached Tortuga, and once more embarked in fresh designs; but having lost all his property when his ship was wrecked, he
* We observe a similar and very remarkable anecdote of a pirate, in Captain Hall's very amusing and instructive Journal, written on the coasts of Chili, Peru, and Mexico, in the years
1820-21-22. “ The history of Benavides is curious. He was a native of Conception, and served for some time in the Chilian army, from which he deserted to the Royalists, but was retaken at the battle of Maypo, in 1818. He was of a ferocious character; and as, in addition to the crime of desertion, he had committed several murders, he was sentenced to death, along with his brother and other delinquents. Accordingly, the whole party were brought forth in the Plaza of Santiago, and shot. Benavides, who, though terribly wounded, was not killed, had sufficient fortitude to feign himself dead. The bodies, being dragged off, were left without burial to be destroyed by the gallinazos, a species of vulture. The sergeant, who superintended this last part of the ceremony, was personally inimical to Benavides, for murdering some of his relations; and, to gratify his revenge, drew his sword, and, while they were dragging the body of his foe to the pile, gave it a severe gash across the neck. The resolute Benavides bore this also without flinching, and lay like a dead man amongst the others, until it became dark; he then contrived to extricate himself from the heap, and in a most miserable plight crawled to a neighbouring cottage, the generous inhabitants of which received and attended him with the greatest care.”-P. 283, Vol. I.
was obliged to be content with two canoes. With these, he took post on the north side of Cuba, for the purpose of intercepting the trade. The inhabitants of De los Cayos immediately gave information to the Governor of Havanna, who could scarcely credit the intelligence, believing Lolonnois to be dead; yet, as they strongly importuned him for assistance, he sent a ship mounting ten guns, with orders to the captain not to return until he had destroyed the pirates, (and for this purpose a negro was taken on board to officiate as executioner); Lolonnois himself was to be brought to Havanna to grace the triumph of the victor, and to suffer severer tortures. Nothing daunted this daring marauder; understanding that the ship lay at anchor in the river of Estera, he resolved to attack her. To effect his purpose, he seized some fishermen, and compelled them to pilot him in. On nearing the ship they were challenged by the watch, who inquired" from whence they came, and whether they had seen any pirates ?" Lolonnois constrained the fishermen to answer, that They had seen no pirates, nor anything like a pirate,” which induced the Spaniards to imagine, that they had frightened the pirates away. But the next morning they discovered their mistake, for Lolonnois assailed the vessel so vigorously that, notwithstanding all the resistance they could make, they were compelled to surrender, and, one by one, suffered the fate intended for his crew. Among the rest, the negro hangman appeared, who begged hard for his life,-but, after gaining from him the intelligence of the whole affair, his head rolled after the rest. One only was reserved, to carry the tidings to the Governor of Havanna, with a note, telling him—
“ That he (Lolonnois) had only retaliated the kindness which he had intended for himself and his friends, and that he hoped to execute the same sentence upon his Donship which he had designed for his (Lolonnois's) punishment; assuring him, that all the mercy which he should hereafter shew to any Spaniard whatever, that fell into his hands, should be, to give him no quarter."
Being now provided with a stout vessel, fit for his purpose, he steered for Maracaibo, and captured a large ship laden with plate and merchandize. With this he returned to Tortuga, and was received by the inhabitants with every demonstration of joy, as they well knew into whose hands his riches would soon pass.
Elevated with success, he now contemplated greater projects, and designed to equip an army as well as a fleet, with every requisite to carry on his operations by land. In the course of short time, eight vessels, with six hundred and sixty persons, were collected, and sailed for the Spanish main. În their passage they took two valuable ships, one
laden with money, seven thousand weight of powder, and a great quantity of muskets,—the other mounted sixteen guns, and became a formidable addition to their squadron. Maracaibo was fixed on as the place of their destination. This city was considered both rich and populous, containing between three and four thousand persons, of whom nearly one thousand were able to bear arms. Gibraltar was about forty leagues higher up in the country, with fifteen hundred inhabitants, including four hundred able to carry arms : both places were likewise defended by batteries. Setting the danger of the enterprize at defiance, the Buccaneers boldly advanced upon the city, and, after several hours'sharp contest, obtained possession; but the principal part of the inhabitants made their escape to Gibraltar, carrying the best of their goods along with them. The remainder were doomed to undergo the hellish cruelty of their conquerors. The rack and the fames were in constant requisition, and Lolonnois, whose demoniacal spirit did not fail to glut itself with blood, cut several to pieces with his own hand. After remaining fifteen days at Maracaibo, they determined to attack Gibraltar, where they imagined the Spaniards to have concealed their wealth. This place was now defended by several batteries and eight hundred soldiers, nor had any thing been omitted which was calculated to oppose the progress of the invaders. But nothing could daunt the spirits of the Buccaneers--they shook hands with each other, and solemnly swore to live or die together. A desperate battle ensued; the Spaniards fought with bravery, but were compelled, at last, to retreat, leaving behind nearly five hundred slain; while the loss on the part of the pirates amounted to eighty killed and wounded-of the last, not one recovered. The pirates entered Gibraltar, and commenced their system of plunder and brutality. Many of the prisoners perished through hunger and wanton cruelty ; others were sacrificed to the caprice of their inhuman conquerors, who continued four entire weeks collecting the wealth of the surrounding country, and then demanded ten thousand pieces of eight for the ransom of the town. This sum not being immediately paid, they set the place on fire ; but the Spaniards bringing the ransom, it was extinguished, after doing considerable mischief. With their booty they now returned to Maracaibo, and agreed to preserve the city for twenty thousand pieces of eight, which was accordingly paid, as well as a supply of five hundred head of cattle. They had now been two months in these towns; when, to the great joy of the inhabitants, they took their departure. On calculating the amount of plunder, they found in money two hundred and sixty thousand pieces of eight, and vast quantities of plate, jewels, silks, and other articles, most of which, in the course
of a few weeks, was expended on the rude pleasures of the pirate-sailor.
It would be a painful and disgusting task to follow this leader, further than merely to state, that his robberies and plunderings continued for some time, attended with acts of remorseless barbarity, (for instance, he cut open the breast of a Spaniard, and, tearing out the heart, actually gnawed it between his teeth with the savage ferocity of a wolf;) at last, he was himself taken by the Indians, and, with many of his comrades, burnt alive. The remainder were reduced to extreme distress, --some perished in the woods by famine, and the few who escaped were rendered incapable of further exertion through the remainder of their lives, and died, at last, of disease and misery.
Such was the commencement, progress, and termination, of the earliest among the Buccaneers. Men, whose extraordinary acts of valour excite wonder and admiration, while their abandoned villainies and atrocious cruelties fill the mind with horror and disgust. Yet even the lives of these desperate adventurers were not unproductive of advantages. The treasures they had from time to time obtained, began to spread over the West Indies, and laid the foundation of that prosperity which many of these islands afterwards enjoyed. Nor must we omit to mention another advantage derived from these pirates. To them, we are, in a great measure, indebted for the earliest of our discoveries in the New World, as the Spaniards, with their habitual jealousy, endeavoured to keep every nation in ignorance respecting its history and numerous productions. It is true, Sir Walter Raleigh sailed up the Orinoco, and signalized himself in his endeavours to obtain every information that could prove of service to his country, and promote the extension of knowledge. The Buccaneers, without being aware of the importance of their communications, were constantly spreading reports of the various places they had visited, and giving tolerably accurate descriptions of the manners and customs of the inhabitants, with the nature of the soil and the animal and vegetable productions of the country. There were but few spots left unvisited by them, either among the islands or on the continent.
The time of Elizabeth appears to have been the age of enterprize and heroism. The New World presented a vast theatre for bold undertakings, offering fame and riches to the intrepid mariner. The increasing greatness of England, as a maritime power, was viewed with envy by the other nations of Europe, and they would have gladly degraded her aspiring flag; but Elizabeth, aware how much the defence of her kingdom depended on its naval armament, liberally encouraged every
attempt to increase its force, and promote navigation and commerce. Nor were her efforts confined to Europe alone. She fitted out respectable fleets to attack the Spanish colonies, and her example was followed by the merchants. Though no mention is made, in the history of the Buccaneers, of this queen, yet she was much concerned in their enterprizes, aiding the privateering expeditions, and sharing the spoils. It is a curious circumstance, and displays a striking picture of the state of religion among the Roman Catholics of that day, that in one Spanish ship, captured by White, an Englishman, there were found no less than two millions of papal bulls for granting indulgences to the Spaniards in their settlements. These were royal trade, and had been purchased by the King of Spain for three hundred thousand florins, prime cost, and by him designed to be retailed for five millions ;-indeed, the gross darkness in which the priests kept the people contributed, in a great measure, to the success of the pirates. The clergy rioted in voluptuous ease, and at the same time holding a powerful influence over the minds and actions of their flocks, they found it to their advantage to increase ignorance and encourage superstition ; nor was this confined to the earlier period of their missions to the colonies, it has continued, through succeeding generations, down to the very time of the late declaration of independence :-but more of this hereafter.
We now proceed to speak of the next leader among these lawless ravagers ; a man, whose very name spread such terror, that the old women frightened the children to sleep with it, and then lay awake themselves through fear. Henry Morgan was a native of Wales, and the son of a wealthy farmer, but having no inclination to pursue his father's occupation he quitted home and sailed to Barbadoes, where the captain immediately sold him according to the practice of the times. After serving his time, he obtained his freedom, and went to Jamaica. The temptations held out of valuable plunder, and the rapid acquirement of wealth, induced him to join the Buccaneers; and such was his success, intrepidity, and judgment, that, in a short time, he was enabled, with his comrades, to subscribe to a jointstock and purchase a ship. And so highly was he esteemed by his companions, that they conferred upon him the command, and agreed to submit to him as their captain. In this ship they cruized on the coast of Campeachy, and then returned to Jamaica with several rich prizes. About this time, Mansvelt, an old and daring chief among the pirates, was fitting out a considerable fleet, with a design to land upon the continent, and make booty of all that came in his way. He rightly judged that Morgan was a man of undaunted courage and ready skill, and consequently chose him for his vice-admiral. Fifteen