Words attributed to the great pirate "Black Sam" Bellamy, who went down with the ship in a storm on April 26, 1717...
Supposedly, as the story goes, Black Sam offered the Captain of a merchant vessel (that he had just robbed, torched, and sunk) a chance to join up and become part of his crew of pirates:
"..You are a sneaking puppy, and so are all those who will submit to be governed by laws which rich men have made for their own security; for the cowardly whelps have not the courage otherwise to defend what they get by knavery; but damn ye altogether: damn them for a pack of crafty rascals, and you, who serve them, for a parcel of hen-hearted numbskulls. They vilify us, the scoundrels do, when there is only this difference, they rob the poor under the cover of law, forsooth, and we plunder the rich under the protection of our own courage. Had you not better make [yourself] then one of us, than sneak after these villains for employment?"
When the captain replied that his conscience would not let him break the laws of God and man, Black Sam bellowed back:
"I am a free prince, and I have as much authority to make war on the whole world as he who has a hundred sail of ships at sea and an army of 100,000 men in the field; and this my conscience tells me! But there is no arguing with such snivelling puppies, who allow superiors to kick them about deck at pleasure."
Damn, Sam. Quite a self-determined soliloquy for a pirate. So much for "Arrrr, Matey, shiver me timbers." Don't hoist anchor just yet, Cap'n, I'll join ye! Just let me run get my tricorne hat and my bottle of Kraken.
- - JSH