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berately till they all expired. I saw it myself.”—The pirates, in some instances, did the same by the Spaniards, to make them confess where their property was hidden, and often used a refinement in cruelty at which human nature shudders; but these acts were chiefly before the taking of Jamaica. When the English took the lead, and even freebooters began to get a little polished, their expeditions assumed an appearance of more honourable warfare, though often marked with brutal ferocity.

The discovery of the passage to the South Seas, through the Straits of Magellan, opened new sources of wealth ; and Sir Francis Drake, whose inveterate hatred of the Spaniards prompted him on all occasions to wreak his vengeance on them, sailed on a predatory excursion, bearing however the royal sanction*. After committing numerous depredations on the western coast of America, he returned to England with considerable treasure; and his example operating on the romantic and daring spirit of the times, prompted others to pursue the same track ; and thus the Buccaneering system became more strengthened and established.

Holland had long struggled for the mastery of the seas; and though her fleets sailed through the British Channel, and even up the Thames, with a broom at the mast-head, yet they were soon compelled to make a brush of it (as sailors say), and become literally flying Dutchmen. The sailors of the * olden times” were scarcely any of them seamen, and Columbus we may consider as the first deserving of the appellation; while in that recklessness of danger, that fearlessness of death, which characterized the Buccaneers, we mark the promise and foundation of those daring exploits, which, towards the close of the 17th century, were so powerfully displayed by the British navy. It may be asked, what is the difference between a sailor and a seaman? Any one who often goes to sea may be a sailor, but it requires years of intense observation and constant practice to become a seaman. Examine that beautiful structure, a ship of the line, equipped for sea, and ask a mere sailor, while pointing to the rigging, what this or that is ?-he will answer, " ropes.” Put the question to a seaman, and he instantly gives it a name, “ shrouds, stays, lifts, braces, sheets, ” or whatever else



be directed to. Both are arrayed in the" jacket and trowsers so blue,” yet notice the

* As a specimen of the nature of his equipment, we need only say

it consisted of five vessels, and that his own ship, the Admiral, was not bigger than one of our Newcastle colliers, and the smallest was only fifteen tons burden, not equal to a fishing-smack: yet with this insignificant armament he performed prodigies of valour.

From one Spanish bark alone he took four hundred weight of Baldivian gold.

manner in which these are worn. The sailor's have a certain stiffness about them approaching to the exact cut of the soldier. The seuman's, equally neat and trim, appear to be thrown on with easy negligence, as if he had just come down from reefing top-sails. The sailor displays a sort of unconcern in the hour of difficulty, but it proceeds from ignorance as to the extent of his danger; the seaman, fully sensible of it, watches with cool determination the eye of his superior-anticipates his orders, yet stands immoveable till the word is given, though life or death is on the event. To the sailor, all ships are alike; but a seaman is as much a part of his ship as Adam's detached rib was bone of his bone; there is a sort of affection and friendship which unites them: indeed, in more instances than one we have seen the hardy veteran, when discharged or drafted, even melt to tears. The seaman loves his ship, the trooper loves his horse, the foot-soldier loves himself. The seaman will never forsake his ship, while a hope of her safety remains; the trooper will share his last crust with the noble animal that bears him; the foot-soldier looks out for his billet, and takes care of his kit. Wherever a soldier marches, he is looked at with a sort of distrust; he places but little confidence in his comrade, who repays him in the same coin; unable, from the smallness of his pay, to entertain a friend, or enjoy a companion, he is lonely when off duty (though in the midst of his regiment), and when on duty, he is solitary, not unfrequently sad. When a land-battle ceases, the slaughter still continues, while the victorious army, pursuing the flying enemy, trample on the wounded and dying, regardless of their groans; they cut to pieces all that oppose their progress, for, while a remnant of the foe remains, they may rally again, and, chusing an advantageous position, bid defiance to their pursuers. When two fleets, or single ships of hostile nations meet, the principal dependence of their crews is in the gallant vessel that carries them : the seamen work at the same gun, and watch, with cool deliberation, the moment when they can pour in the most destructive fire to cripple their opponent: as soon as this is effected on one side or the other, the colours are hauled down, and animosity is over. In storms and tempests, the gallant ship sometimes rises on the topmost waves, and then plunges in the dark abyss of waters, that swell like mountains on either side: at such moments, it is the seaman's pride to see how she behaves—to watch her falling off, and coming up—to ease her to the seas, and tend her with the same care that a mother would her darling child.

The Buccaneers, in many instances, were a composition of all these characters, particularly in their land expeditions, under Sir Henry Morgan, and other leaders who came after him.

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The first pirate, whose name became celebrated at Tortuga, was a native of Dieppe, called Pierre le Grand. This desperado, taking advantage of the dusk of the evening, with twenty-eight men, boldly boarded the Vice-Admiral of the Spanish flota ; sinking his own boat alongside, as soon as they quitted it, that the pirates might have no place of retreat. Rushing into the cabin, where a party were assembled at cards, he commanded them to yield, an order which the astonished and terrified Spaniards immediately obeyed. They then proceeded to different parts of the ship, cutting down all that made opposition, and eventually gained possession of her. Pierre's success very soon produced a lively sensation in the island: ; every man became a pirate; and, treasuring up some of the property

obtained as a common stock, a body of them were in a short time enabled to purchase two ships, in which they cruized against the Spaniards, and captured, among others, some large vessels laden with plate for the Caraccas. These were carried to Tortuga, and their cargoes sold to merchant vessels bound to Europe. The fame of such exploits, and the desire of sharing the spoil, brought out fresh adventurers; so that the number of vessels, in the course of three or four years, amounted to upwards of twenty. Another, and yet more daring attack, made by one Peter Francis, who, having had a tedious cruise without success, ran down to the banks where the pearl-fishery was carried on by a number of vessels, with a man-of-war to protect them. In a boat, with twenty-six men, he dashed alongside the Vice-Admiral, of eight guns and sixty men; and, after a sanguinary contest, she surrendered. Flushed with victory, they now determined to attempt the man-of-war; but, by a sudden squall, they lost their mast, and in their turn became prisoners, and were compelled to yield up their prize, whose value in pearls alone was estimated at 100,000 pieces of eight.

About the same time, a Portuguese, in a boat with four guns and thirty men, engaged a large ship with twenty guns and seventy men, which, after a desperate conflict, struck to them. The pirate, in this action, lost ten of his crew : the remaining twenty endeavoured to carry their prize to a place of security, but, falling in with three other large ships, they were retaken, and carried to Campeachy, where the Portuguese was immediately recognized, and sentenced to suffer death, for the many robberies and murders he had committed on the coast. For the better security of his person (as he had made his escape when taken once before), it was deemed by the magistrates most prudent to leave him on-board, while they erected a gibbet for him on land. The prisoner, aware of their intention, and feeling no inclination for the exalted station they had assigned him, dexterously and secretly made his escape a second time, and


floated to the shore, with the help of two empty earthen jars, which supported him in swimming. After being nearly starved, and encountering severe hardships, he arrived, at the expiration of a fortnight, at a place about forty leagues from Campeachy, and once more joined the pirates. A fresh boat was now equipped, and, with twenty hands, the daring Portuguese returned to Campeachy, and, in the most undaunted manner, assaulted the very ship from which he had escaped, and once more became its master. Still, however, fortune persecuted him ; for, in attempting to reach Jamaica, she struck upon the rocks, and was wrecked.

Cruel and desperate as these men had been, there was yet another leader capable of surpassing them in brutal malice and blood-thirsty villainy. This was a Dutchman, who had been driven from the Brazils and came to Jamaica. Here he joined the pirates, and served as a private seaman till one party separated from their old commander; and, chusing the Dutchman (whose name was Brasilano) for their captain, they set out on an excursion for plunder. In the course of a few days, they fell in with and captured a large ship, in which they found a great quantity of plate, and carried vessel and cargo to Jamaica. This action caused him to be much esteemed among his class, and equally dreaded by the Spaniards, several of whom he roasted alive upon wooden spits, and committed such other horrid cruelties as make us shudder at the state of depravity to which human beings may be reduced. Brasilano at last fell into the power of his enemies; but such was their terror of the pirates, that they feared to put him and his companions to death. These marine banditti were, therefore, released, (under an oath to forsake their nefarious mode of life,) and sent to Old Spain. The folly of binding men by oath who acknowledged no laws, either human or divine, was very soon evinced by their immediate return to Jamaica, where they recommenced robbery and piracy with their old activity and cruelty. The Spaniards, finding that neither mercy nor punishment produced the desired effect, refrained, as much as possible, from trade, under the hope of starving the free-booters,—but the latter, having increased in boldness and force, resolved on more daring enterprizes, and prepared to attack the cities and towns. The constant risks to which these water-rats exposed their lives, inured them to every degree of hardship and difficulty on their own element, and prepared them for more desperate undertakings on shore, while the Spaniards, rendered listless and effeminate by indolence and luxury, offered but feeble resistance. Though possessing the advantage in numbers, yet they wanted the essential requisites of determination and courage, and contented themselves under the idea that they were not conquered

by men, but by infernal spirits. The pirates now began to assemble in bodies, and to frame à code of laws to regulate their conduct towards each other, which was rigorously enforced. Their first plan was to victual their fleet, but they disdained to purchase provisions, as inconsistent with their character and degrading to their profession, particularly as the Spanish cattle and swine yards were always well stocked; sometimes, however, they were glad to content themselves with bæuf de cheval.* The immense herds of wild cattle also furnished them with food.

The first land invader was an Englishman of the name of Scot, who sacked and pillaged the town of Campeachy, and obtained a large ransom to prevent its being burnt. To him succeeded Mansvelt, who attempted to penetrate through Granada to the South Seas, but want of provision compelled him to abandon the enterprize. After him came John Davis, a native of Jamaica, a man endowed with uncommon prudence and valour. With eighty out of his ninety men in three canoes he landed in Nicaragua, and on the third night reached the city. The citizens, not expecting such unceremonious visitors, were quietly reposing,—and great, indeed, was their consternation at finding the Buccaneers in possession of the town, ransacking and plundering with incredible diligence. The pirates did not forget to rifle the churches of every thing valuable, and with the whole of their booty returned in safety to the ship.

After this exploit, Davis was chosen admiral of the fleet, and pillaged St. Austin's, a town of Florida, notwithstanding it was strongly defended by a castle, garrisoned by two hundred men.

* This trick of victualling at the expense of the Spaniards was not confined to former times, but actually carried on till the late revolution in the New World. One instance is within our knowledge. At the time the British fleet sailed up the river Plate, and lay before Monte Video, a Bermudian, commanding a little brig, (he is now captain of a Brazilian frigate,) was compelled by the Spaniards to collect bullocks at a distant station and transport them in his vessel to a bay near the city. This he complied with, and having received payment, gave information to the English Admiral where the cattle might bé found, offering at the same time, if provided with

an armed party, to re-ship them for the service of the feet. His offers were accepted, and performed with such despatch, under cover of the night, that the whole were safely conveyed on-board, and proved truly acceptable to the seamen and troops after their long voyage. Of course, he received a second payment, and his vessel was hired as an armed transport by the admiral. Numerous licensed ships also were, till within these few years, pursuing a similar trade (though on a smaller scale) with the Buccaneers.

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