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3 Centuries Of Naval History In Shanties & Sea Songs With Lyrics & Notes

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INTRODUCTION                   xxi
and Moors to become men of war.' Because the peace threw them out of employment, and because ' they grew hateful to all Christian princes,' they retired to Barbary, and made its harbours their headquarters. Even before that the Barbary coast was a perilous one for richly laden merchantmen, and armed ships that met a likely prize did not always inquire whether their nations were at war. The ballad entitled The Sailor's Only Delight tells how two English merchantmen sailed for the coast of Barbary (p. 23). The Sweepstake was taken by a French man-of-war, but her consort the George-Aloe captured the French ship later, and made heu> crew suffer the fate they had inflicted on the crew of the Sweepstake.
' We laid them aboard on the starboard side And threw them into the sea so wide.'
Two centuries before, Chaucer's shipman, who had no very scrupulous conscience, as Chaucer owns, used to dispose of the crews of the ships he took in the same fashion.
' If that he fought and hadde the heigher hand By water he sent hem hoom to every land.'
There are other references to this practice in early seventeenth century ballads, but it was now beĀ­coming confined to pirates.
Some of the English adventurers who took shelter in the Barbary ports gave up their trade after a time, made their peace, and returned to England: for instance, Sir Henry Mainwaring. Others became renegades and ended their days there. The two most famous were John Ward and a Dutchman called Simon Danzer or Danseker. Two pamphlets on their misdeeds were published in 1609, and also a tragedy by Robert Daborne