THE LIFE, ADVENTURES, AND PIRACIES OF CAPTAIN SINGLETON by Daniel Defoe.




As it is usual for great persons, whose lives have been remarkable, and
whose actions deserve recording to posterity, to insist much upon their
originals, give full accounts of their families, and the histories of their
ancestors, so, that I may be methodical, I shall do the same, though I can
look but a very little way into my pedigree, as you will see presently.

If I may believe the woman whom I was taught to call mother, I was a little
boy, of about two years old, very well dressed, had a nursery-maid to
attend me, who took me out on a fine summer's evening into the fields
towards Islington, as she pretended, to give the child some air; a little
girl being with her, of twelve or fourteen years old, that lived in the
neighbourhood. The maid, whether by appointment or otherwise, meets with a
fellow, her sweetheart, as I suppose; he carries her into a public-house,
to give her a pot and a cake; and while they were toying in the house the
girl plays about, with me in her hand, in the garden and at the door,
sometimes in sight, sometimes out of sight, thinking no harm.

At this juncture comes by one of those sort of people who, it seems, made
it their business to spirit away little children. This was a hellish trade
in those days, and chiefly practised where they found little children very
well dressed, or for bigger children, to sell them to the plantations.

The woman, pretending to take me up in her arms and kiss me, and play with
me, draws the girl a good way from the house, till at last she makes a fine
story to the girl, and bids her go back to the maid, and tell her where she
was with the child; that a gentlewoman had taken a fancy to the child, and
was kissing of it, but she should not be frighted, or to that purpose; for
they were but just there; and so, while the girl went, she carries me quite
away.

From this time, it seems, I was disposed of to a beggar woman that wanted a
pretty little child to set out her case; and after that, to a gipsy, under
whose government I continued till I was about six years old. And this
woman, though I was continually dragged about with her from one part of the
country to another, yet never let me want for anything; and I called her
mother; though she told me at last she was not my mother, but that she
bought me for twelve shillings of another woman, who told her how she came
by me, and told her that my name was Bob Singleton, not Robert, but plain
Bob; for it seems they never knew by what name I was christened.

It is in vain to reflect here, what a terrible fright the careless hussy
was in that lost me; what treatment she received from my justly enraged
father and mother, and the horror these must be in at the thoughts of their
child being thus carried away; for as I never knew anything of the matter,
but just what I have related, nor who my father and mother were, so it
would make but a needless digression to talk of it here.

My good gipsy mother, for some of her worthy actions no doubt, happened in
process of time to be hanged; and as this fell out something too soon for
me to be perfected in the strolling trade, the parish where I was left,
which for my life I can't remember, took some care of me, to be sure; for
the first thing I can remember of myself afterwards, was, that I went to a
parish school, and the minister of the parish used to talk to me to be a
good boy; and that, though I was but a poor boy, if I minded my book, and
served God, I might make a good man.

I believe I was frequently removed from one town to another, perhaps as the
parishes disputed my supposed mother's last settlement. Whether I was so
shifted by passes, or otherwise, I know not; but the town where I last was
kept, whatever its name was, must be not far off from the seaside; for a
master of a ship who took a fancy to me, was the first that brought me to a
place not far from Southampton, which I afterwards knew to be Bussleton;
and there I attended the carpenters, and such people as were employed in
building a ship for him; and when it was done, though I was not above
twelve years old, he carried me to sea with him on a voyage to
Newfoundland.

I lived well enough, and pleased my master so well that he called me his
own boy; and I would have called him father, but he would not allow it, for
he had children of his own. I went three or four voyages with him, and grew
a great sturdy boy, when, coming home again from the banks of Newfoundland,
we were taken by an Algerine rover, or man-of-war; which, if my account
stands right, was about the year 1695, for you may be sure I kept no
journal.

I was not much concerned at the disaster, though I saw my master, after
having been wounded by a splinter in the head during the engagement, very
barbarously used by the Turks; I say, I was not much concerned, till, upon
some unlucky thing I said, which, as I remember, was about abusing my
master, they took me and beat me most unmercifully with a flat stick on the
soles of my feet, so that I could neither go or stand for several days
together.

But my good fortune was my friend upon this occasion; for, as they were
sailing away with our ship in tow as a prize, steering for the Straits, and
in sight of the bay of Cadiz, the Turkish rover was attacked by two great
Portuguese men-of-war, and taken and carried into Lisbon.

As I was not much concerned at my captivity, not indeed understanding the
consequences of it, if it had continued, so I was not suitably sensible of
my deliverance; nor, indeed, was it so much a deliverance to me as it would
otherwise have been, for my master, who was the only friend I had in the
world, died at Lisbon of his wounds; and I being then almost reduced to my
primitive state, viz., of starving, had this addition to it, that it was in
a foreign country too, where I knew nobody and could not speak a word of
their language. However, I fared better here than I had reason to expect;
for when all the rest of our men had their liberty to go where they would,
I, that knew not whither to go, stayed in the ship for several days, till
at length one of the lieutenants seeing me, inquired what that young
English dog did there, and why they did not turn him on shore.

I heard him, and partly understood what he meant, though not what he said,
and began then to be in a terrible fright; for I knew not where to get a
bit of bread; when the pilot of the ship, an old seaman, seeing me look
very dull, came to me, and speaking broken English to me, told me I must be
gone. "Whither must I go?" said I. "Where you will," said he, "home to your
own country, if you will." "How must I go thither?" said I. "Why, have you
no friend?" said he. "No," said I, "not in the world, but that dog,"
pointing to the ship's dog (who, having stolen a piece of meat just before,
had brought it close by me, and I had taken it from him, and ate it), "for
he has been a good friend, and brought me my dinner."

"Well, well," says he, "you must have your dinner. Will you go with me?"
"Yes," says I, "with all my heart." In short, the old pilot took me home
with him, and used me tolerably well, though I fared hard enough; and I
lived with him about two years, during which time he was soliciting his
business, and at length got to be master or pilot under Don Garcia de
Pimentesia de Carravallas, captain of a Portuguese galleon or carrack,
which was bound to Goa, in the East Indies; and immediately having gotten
his commission, put me on board to look after his cabin, in which he had
stored himself with abundance of liquors, succades, sugar, spices, and
other things, for his accommodation in the voyage, and laid in afterwards a
considerable quantity of European goods, fine lace and linen; and also
baize, woollen cloth, stuffs, &c., under the pretence of his clothes.

I was too young in the trade to keep any journal of this voyage, though my
master, who was, for a Portuguese, a pretty good artist, prompted me to it;
but my not understanding the language was one hindrance; at least it served
me for an excuse. However, after some time, I began to look into his charts
and books; and, as I could write a tolerable hand, understood some Latin,
and began to have a little smattering of the Portuguese tongue, so I began
to get a superficial knowledge of navigation, but not such as was likely to
be sufficient to carry me through a life of adventure, as mine was to be.
In short, I learned several material things in this voyage among the
Portuguese; I learned particularly to be an arrant thief and a bad sailor;
and I think I may say they are the best masters for teaching both these of
any nation in the world.

We made our way for the East Indies, by the coast of Brazil; not that it is
in the course of sailing the way thither, but our captain, either on his
own account, or by the direction of the merchants, went thither first,
where at All Saints' Bay, or, as they call it in Portugal, the Rio de Todos
los Santos, we delivered near a hundred tons of goods, and took in a
considerable quantity of gold, with some chests of sugar, and seventy or
eighty great rolls of tobacco, every roll weighing at least a
hundredweight.

Here, being lodged on shore by my master's order, I had the charge of the
captain's business, he having seen me very diligent for my own master; and
in requital for his mistaken confidence, I found means to secure, that is
to say, to steal, about twenty moidores out of the gold that was shipped on
board by the merchants, and this was my first adventure.

We had a tolerable voyage from hence to the Cape de Bona Speranza; and I
was reputed as a mighty diligent servant to my master, and very faithful. I
was diligent indeed, but I was very far from honest; however, they thought
me honest, which, by the way, was their very great mistake. Upon this very
mistake the captain took a particular liking to me, and employed me
frequently on his own occasion; and, on the other hand, in recompense for
my officious diligence, I received several particular favours from him;
particularly, I was, by the captain's command, made a kind of a steward
under the ship's steward, for such provisions as the captain demanded for
his own table. He had another steward for his private stores besides, but
my office concerned only what the captain called for of the ship's stores
for his private use.

However, by this means I had opportunity particularly to take care of my
master's man, and to furnish myself with sufficient provisions to make me
live much better than the other people in the ship; for the captain seldom
ordered anything out of the ship's stores, as above, but I snipt some of it
for my own share. We arrived at Goa, in the East Indies, in about seven
months from Lisbon, and remained there eight more; during which time I had
indeed nothing to do, my master being generally on shore, but to learn
everything that is wicked among the Portuguese, a nation the most
perfidious and the most debauched, the most insolent and cruel, of any that
pretend to call themselves Christians, in the world.

Thieving, lying, swearing, forswearing, joined to the most abominable
lewdness, was the stated practice of the ship's crew; adding to it, that,
with the most insufferable boasts of their own courage, they were,
generally speaking, the most complete cowards that I ever met with; and the
consequence of their cowardice was evident upon many occasions. However,
there was here and there one among them that was not so bad as the rest;
and, as my lot fell among them, it made me have the most contemptible
thoughts of the rest, as indeed they deserved.

I was exactly fitted for their society indeed; for I had no sense of virtue
or religion upon me. I had never heard much of either, except what a good
old parson had said to me when I was a child of about eight or nine years
old; nay, I was preparing and growing up apace to be as wicked as anybody
could be, or perhaps ever was. Fate certainly thus directed my beginning,
knowing that I had work which I had to do in the world, which nothing but
one hardened against all sense of honesty or religion could go through; and
yet, even in this state of original wickedness, I entertained such a
settled abhorrence of the abandoned vileness of the Portuguese, that I
could not but hate them most heartily from the beginning, and all my life
afterwards. They were so brutishly wicked, so base and perfidious, not only
to strangers but to one another, so meanly submissive when subjected, so
insolent, or barbarous and tyrannical, when superior, that I thought there
was something in them that shocked my very nature. Add to this that it is
natural to an Englishman to hate a coward, it all joined together to make
the devil and a Portuguese equally my aversion.

However, according to the English proverb, he that is shipped with the
devil must sail with the devil; I was among them, and I managed myself as
well as I could. My master had consented that I should assist the captain
in the office, as above; but, as I understood afterwards that the captain
allowed my master half a moidore a month for my service, and that he had my
name upon the ship's books also, I expected that when the ship came to be
paid four months' wages at the Indies, as they, it seems, always do, my
master would let me have something for myself.

But I was wrong in my man, for he was none of that kind; he had taken me up
as in distress, and his business was to keep me so, and make his market of
me as well as he could, which I began to think of after a different manner
than I did at first, for at first I thought he had entertained me in mere
charity, upon seeing my distressed circumstances, but did not doubt but
when he put me on board the ship, I should have some wages for my service.

But he thought, it seems, quite otherwise; and when I procured one to
speak to him about it, when the ship was paid at Goa, he flew into the
greatest rage imaginable, and called me English dog, young heretic, and
threatened to put me into the Inquisition. Indeed, of all the names the
four-and-twenty letters could make up, he should not have called me
heretic; for as I knew nothing about religion, neither Protestant from
Papist, or either of them from a Mahometan, I could never be a heretic.
However, it passed but a little, but, as young as I was, I had been
carried into the Inquisition, and there, if they had asked me if I was a
Protestant or a Catholic, I should have said yes to that which came
first. If it had been the Protestant they had asked first, it had
certainly made a martyr of me for I did not know what.

But the very priest they carried with them, or chaplain of the ship, as we
called him, saved me; for seeing me a boy entirely ignorant of religion,
and ready to do or say anything they bid me, he asked me some questions
about it, which he found I answered so very simply, that he took it upon
him to tell them he would answer for my being a good Catholic, and he hoped
he should be the means of saving my soul, and he pleased himself that it
was to be a work of merit to him; so he made me as good a Papist as any of
them in about a week's time.

I then told him my case about my master; how, it is true, he had taken me
up in a miserable case on board a man-of-war at Lisbon; and I was indebted
to him for bringing me on board this ship; that if I had been left at
Lisbon, I might have starved, and the like; and therefore I was willing to
serve him, but that I hoped he would give me some little consideration for
my service, or let me know how long he expected I should serve him for
nothing.

It was all one; neither the priest nor any one else could prevail with him,
but that I was not his servant but his slave, that he took me in the
Algerine, and that I was a Turk, only pretended to be an English boy to get
my liberty, and he would carry me to the Inquisition as a Turk.

This frighted me out of my wits, for I had nobody to vouch for me what I
was, or from whence I came; but the good Padre Antonio, for that was his
name, cleared me of that part by a way I did not understand; for he came to
me one morning with two sailors, and told me they must search me, to bear
witness that I was not a Turk. I was amazed at them, and frighted, and did
not understand them, nor could I imagine what they intended to do to me.
However, stripping me, they were soon satisfied, and Father Antony bade me
be easy, for they could all witness that I was no Turk. So I escaped that
part of my master's cruelty.

And now I resolved from that time to run away from him if I could, but
there was no doing of it there, for there were not ships of any nation in
the world in that port, except two or three Persian vessels from Ormus, so
that if I had offered to go away from him, he would have had me seized on
shore, and brought on board by force; so that I had no remedy but patience.
And this he brought to an end too as soon as he could, for after this he
began to use me ill, and not only to straiten my provisions, but to beat
and torture me in a barbarous manner for every trifle, so that, in a word,
my life began to be very miserable.

The violence of this usage of me, and the impossibility of my escape from
his hands, set my head a-working upon all sorts of mischief, and in
particular I resolved, after studying all other ways to deliver myself, and
finding all ineffectual, I say, I resolved to murder him. With this hellish
resolution in my head, I spent whole nights and days contriving how to put
it in execution, the devil prompting me very warmly to the fact. I was
indeed entirely at a loss for the means, for I had neither gun or sword,
nor any weapon to assault him with; poison I had my thoughts much upon, but
knew not where to get any; or, if I might have got it, I did not know the
country word for it, or by what name to ask for it.

In this manner I quitted the fact, intentionally, a hundred and a hundred
times; but Providence, either for his sake or for mine, always frustrated
my designs, and I could never bring it to pass; so I was obliged to
continue in his chains till the ship, having taken in her loading, set sail
for Portugal.

I can say nothing here to the manner of our voyage, for, as I said, I kept
no journal; but this I can give an account of, that having been once as
high as the Cape of Good Hope, as we call it, or Cabo de Bona Speranza, as
they call it, we were driven back again by a violent storm from the W.S.W.,
which held us six days and nights a great way to the eastward, and after
that, standing afore the wind for several days more, we at last came to an
anchor on the coast of Madagascar.

The storm had been so violent that the ship had received a great deal of
damage, and it required some time to repair her; so, standing in nearer the
shore, the pilot, my master, brought the ship into a very good harbour,
where we rid in twenty-six fathoms water, about half a mile from the shore.

While the ship rode here there happened a most desperate mutiny among the
men, upon account of some deficiency in their allowance, which came to that
height that they threatened the captain to set him on shore, and go back
with the ship to Goa. I wished they would with all my heart, for I was full
of mischief in my head, and ready enough to do any. So, though I was but a
boy, as they called me, yet I prompted the mischief all I could, and
embarked in it so openly, that I escaped very little being hanged in the
first and most early part of my life; for the captain had some notice that
there was a design laid by some of the company to murder him; and having,
partly by money and promises, and partly by threatening and torture,
brought two fellows to confess the particulars, and the names of the
persons concerned, they were presently apprehended, till, one accusing
another, no less than sixteen men were seized and put into irons, whereof I
was one.

The captain, who was made desperate by his danger, resolving to clear the
ship of his enemies, tried us all, and we were all condemned to die. The
manner of his process I was too young to take notice of; but the purser and
one of the gunners were hanged immediately, and I expected it with the
rest. I do not remember any great concern I was under about it, only that I
cried very much, for I knew little then of this world, and nothing at all
of the next.

However, the captain contented himself with executing these two, and some
of the rest, upon their humble submission and promise of future good
behaviour, were pardoned; but five were ordered to be set on shore on the
island and left there, of which I was one. My master used all his interest
with the captain to have me excused, but could not obtain it; for somebody
having told him that I was one of them who was singled out to have killed
him, when my master desired I might not be set on shore, the captain told
him I should stay on board if he desired it, but then I should be hanged,
so he might choose for me which he thought best. The captain, it seems, was
particularly provoked at my being concerned in the treachery, because of
his having been so kind to me, and of his having singled me out to serve
him, as I have said above; and this, perhaps, obliged him to give my master
such a rough choice, either to set me on shore or to have me hanged on
board. And had my master, indeed, known what good-will I had for him, he
would not have been long in choosing for me; for I had certainly determined
to do him a mischief the first opportunity I had for it. This was,
therefore, a good providence for me to keep me from dipping my hands in
blood, and it made me more tender afterwards in matters of blood than I
believe I should otherwise have been. But as to my being one of them that
was to kill the captain, that I was wronged in, for I was not the person,
but it was really one of them that were pardoned, he having the good luck
not to have that part discovered.

I was now to enter upon a part of independent life, a thing I was indeed
very ill prepared to manage, for I was perfectly loose and dissolute in my
behaviour, bold and wicked while I was under government, and now perfectly
unfit to be trusted with liberty, for I was as ripe for any villainy as a
young fellow that had no solid thought ever placed in his mind could be
supposed to be. Education, as you have heard, I had none; and all the
little scenes of life I had passed through had been full of dangers and
desperate circumstances; but I was either so young or so stupid, that I
escaped the grief and anxiety of them, for want of having a sense of their
tendency and consequences.

This thoughtless, unconcerned temper had one felicity indeed in it, that it
made me daring and ready for doing any mischief, and kept off the sorrow
which otherwise ought to have attended me when I fell into any mischief;
that this stupidity was instead of a happiness to me, for it left my
thoughts free to act upon means of escape and deliverance in my distress,
however great it might be; whereas my companions in the misery were so sunk
by their fear and grief, that they abandoned themselves to the misery of
their condition, and gave over all thought but of their perishing and
starving, being devoured by wild beasts, murdered, and perhaps eaten by
cannibals, and the like.

I was but a young fellow, about seventeen or eighteen; but hearing what was
to be my fate, I received it with no appearance of discouragement; but I
asked what my master said to it, and being told that he had used his utmost
interest to save me, but the captain had answered I should either go on
shore or be hanged on board, which he pleased, I then gave over all hope of
being received again. I was not very thankful in my thoughts to my master
for his soliciting the captain for me, because I knew that what he did was
not in kindness to me so much as in kindness to himself; I mean, to
preserve the wages which he got for me, which amounted to above six dollars
a month, including what the captain allowed him for my particular service
to him.

When I understood that my master was so apparently kind, I asked if I might
not be admitted to speak with him, and they told me I might, if my master
would come down to me, but I could not be allowed to come up to him; so
then I desired my master might be spoke to to come to me, and he
accordingly came to me. I fell on my knees to him, and begged he would
forgive me what I had done to displease him; and indeed the resolution I
had taken to murder him lay with some horror upon my mind just at that
time, so that I was once just a-going to confess it, and beg him to forgive
me, but I kept it in. He told me he had done all he could to obtain my
pardon of the captain, but could not and he knew no way for me but to have
patience, and submit to my fate; and if they came to speak with any ship of
their nation at the Cape, he would endeavour to have them stand in, and
fetch us off again, if we might be found.

Then I begged I might have my clothes on shore with me. He told me he was
afraid I should have little need of clothes, for he did not see how we
could long subsist on the island, and that he had been told that the
inhabitants were cannibals or men-eaters (though he had no reason for that
suggestion), and we should not be able to live among them. I told him I was
not so afraid of that as I was of starving for want of victuals; and as for
the inhabitants being cannibals, I believed we should be more likely to eat
them than they us, if we could but get at them. But I was mightily
concerned, I said, we should have no weapons with us to defend ourselves,
and I begged nothing now, but that he would give me a gun and a sword, with
a little powder and shot.

He smiled, and said they would signify nothing to us, for it was impossible

for us to pretend to preserve our lives among such a populous and desperate
nation as the people of this island were. I told him that, however, it
would do us this good, for we should not be devoured or destroyed
immediately; so I begged hard for the gun. At last he told me he did not
know whether the captain would give him leave to give me a gun, and if not,
he durst not do it; but he promised to use his interest to obtain it for
me, which he did, and the next day he sent me a gun, with some ammunition,
but told me the captain would not suffer the ammunition to be given us till
we were set all on shore, and till he was just going to set sail. He also
sent me the few clothes I had in the ship, which indeed were not many.

Two days after this, we were all carried on shore together; the rest of my
fellow-criminals hearing I had a gun, and some powder and shot, solicited
for liberty to carry the like with them, which was also granted them; and
thus we were set on shore to shift for ourselves.

At our first coming into the island we were terrified exceedingly with the
sight of the barbarous people, whose figure was made more terrible to us
than it really was by the report we had of them from the seamen; but when
we came to converse with them awhile, we found they were not cannibals, as
was reported, or such as would fall immediately upon us and eat us up; but
they came and sat down by us, and wondered much at our clothes and arms,
and made signs to give us some victuals, such as they had, which was only
roots and plants dug out of the ground for the present, but they brought us
fowls and flesh afterwards in good plenty.

This encouraged the other four men that were with me very much, for they
were quite dejected before; but now they began to be very familiar with
them, and made signs, that if they would use us kindly, we would stay and
live with them; which they seemed glad of, though they knew little of the
necessity we were under to do so, or how much we were afraid of them.

However, upon second thoughts we resolved that we would only stay in that
part so long as the ship rid in the bay, and then making them believe we
were gone with the ship, we would go and place ourselves, if possible,
where there were no inhabitants to be seen, and so live as we could, or
perhaps watch for a ship that might be driven upon the coast as we were.

The ship continued a fortnight in the roads, repairing some damage which
had been done her in the late storm, and taking in wood and water; and
during this time, the boat coming often on shore, the men brought us
several refreshments, and the natives believing we only belonged to the
ship, were civil enough. We lived in a kind of a tent on the shore, or
rather a hut, which we made with the boughs of trees, and sometimes in the
night retired to a wood a little out of their way, to let them think we
were gone on board the ship. However, we found them barbarous, treacherous,
and villainous enough in their nature, only civil from fear, and therefore
concluded we should soon fall into their hands when the ship was gone.

The sense of this wrought upon my fellow-sufferers even to distraction; and
one of them, being a carpenter, in his mad fit, swam off to the ship in the
night, though she lay then a league to sea, and made such pitiful moan to
be taken in, that the captain was prevailed with at last to take him in,
though they let him lie swimming three hours in the water before he
consented to it.

Upon this, and his humble submission, the captain received him, and, in a
word, the importunity of this man (who for some time petitioned to be taken
in, though they hanged him as soon as they had him) was such as could not
be resisted; for, after he had swam so long about the ship, he was not able
to reach the shore again; and the captain saw evidently that the man must
be taken on board or suffered to drown, and the whole ship's company
offering to be bound for him for his good behaviour, the captain at last
yielded, and he was taken up, but almost dead with his being so long in the
water.

When this man was got in, he never left importuning the captain, and all
the rest of the officers, in behalf of us that were behind, but to the very
last day the captain was inexorable; when, at the time their preparations
were making to sail, and orders given to hoist the boats into the ship, all
the seamen in a body came up to the rail of the quarter-deck, where the
captain was walking with some of his officers, and appointing the boatswain
to speak for them, he went up, and falling on his knees to the captain,
begged of him, in the humblest manner possible, to receive the four men on
board again, offering to answer for their fidelity, or to have them kept in
chains till they came to Lisbon, and there to be delivered up to justice,
rather than, as they said, to have them left to be murdered by savages, or
devoured by wild beasts. It was a great while ere the captain took any
notice of them, but when he did, he ordered the boatswain to be seized, and
threatened to bring him to the capstan for speaking for them.

Upon this severity, one of the seamen, bolder than the rest, but still with
all possible respect to the captain, besought his honour, as he called him,
that he would give leave to some more of them to go on shore, and die with
their companions, or, if possible, to assist them to resist the barbarians.
The captain, rather provoked than cowed with this, came to the barricade of
the quarter-deck, and speaking very prudently to the men (for had he spoken
roughly, two-thirds of them would have left the ship, if not all of them),
he told them, it was for their safety as well as his own that he had been
obliged to that severity; that mutiny on board a ship was the same thing as
treason in a king's palace, and he could not answer it to his owners and
employers to trust the ship and goods committed to his charge with men who
had entertained thoughts of the worst and blackest nature; that he wished
heartily that it had been anywhere else that they had been set on shore,
where they might have been in less hazard from the savages; that, if he had
designed they should be destroyed, he could as well have executed them on
board as the other two; that he wished it had been in some other part of
the world, where he might have delivered them up to the civil justice, or
might have left them among Christians; but it was better their lives were
put in hazard than his life, and the safety of the ship; and that though he
did not know that he had deserved so ill of any of them as that they should
leave the ship rather than do their duty, yet if any of them were resolved
to do so unless he would consent to take a gang of traitors on board, who,
as he had proved before them all, had conspired to murder him, he would not
hinder them, nor for the present would he resent their importunity; but, if
there was nobody left in the ship but himself, he would never consent to
take them on board.

This discourse was delivered so well, was in itself so reasonable, was
managed with so much temper, yet so boldly concluded with a negative, that
the greatest part of the men were satisfied for the present. However, as it
put the men into juntos and cabals, they were not composed for some hours;
the wind also slackening towards night, the captain ordered not to weigh
till next morning.

Posted by Under The Black Flag on 4:52 μ.μ.. Filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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