Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVIII / The Story of Blackbeard >> Page 450

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 450 SOUTHWARD HO
in hardihood and skill. Somewhere about 1713, a proclamation
had been issued by the king in council, promising a pardon
to all the pirates who should surrender themselves in twelve
months. Blackbeard was one of those who, either through a
cunning policy, meant to delude the powers which he feared be
should not so readily escape, or under a sudden uneasiness of
conscience, presented himself before Governor Eden, of North
Carolina, pleaded the king's pardon, and received the governor's
certificate. Eden, by the way, was one of those governors of
whom history speaks, as having received the bribes of the
pirates, and kept up a criminal but profitable connection with
Blackbeard in particular.
Blackbeard, the better to prove his resolve to demean him-
self for the future with Christian propriety, married his thirteenth
wife, a young girl of Pamplico. But he could not long forbear
his riotous habits, or forego his passion for adventures upon the
sea. He was soon again on board a smart cruiser, and reaping
the fields of ocean with the sword. He sailed upon a cruise,
carrying his new wife with him, and shortly returned with a
valuable prize, a French ship laden with sugar and cocoa, which
he had no difficulty in persuading the court of admiralty he
had found at sea, abandoned by her crew. She was adjudged
as a lawful prize to her unlawful captors. Here our narrative
begins. Thus far, our facts are strictly historical�except, per-
haps, in regard to the fact stated, that his new wife, the girl of
Pamplico, accompanied him on this cruise. But the fact, omit-
ted by history, is supplied by tradition, which asserts that the
girl herself figured somewhat in the incidents connected with
the capture of the French prize.
Blackbeard steered south when he left the river of Cape
Fear. The season was mild, late spring�the seas smooth
the winds fresh and favorable. Soon they espied the French
brigantine laying her course, due east from the tropical islands.
" As he beheld his new prey, the savage chief�who, in
taking the oath and receiving the king's pardon from the royal
governor, had not denuded himself of a single hair of that
enormous forest of beard which literally covered his face, head,
and breast, and from which he took his name�chucked his new
wife under the chin, and swore a terrible oath that the girl should