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BARRINGTOX ISLE AND THE BUCCANEERS.
tioning touching the Enchanted Isles:- anchorage, well sheltered from all winds Cowley, the buccaneer (1684); Colnet, by the high land of Albemarle, but it is the whaling-ground explorer (1798); Por- the least unproductive isle of the group. ter, the post captain (1813). Other than Tortoises good for food, trees good for these you have but barren, bootless allu- fuel, and long grass good for bedding, sions from some few passing voyagers or
abound here, and there are pretty natural compilers.
walks, and several landscapes to be seen. Indeed, though in its locality belonging to the Enchanted group, Barrington Isle is so unlike most of its neighbors, that it would hardly seem of kin to them.
“I once landed on its western side," " Let us all servile base subjection scorn,
says a sentimental voyager long ago, And as we be sons of the earth so wide,
6 where it faces the black buttress of Let us our father's heritage divide,
Albemarle. I walked beneath groves of And challenge to ourselves our portions dew trees; not very lofty, and not palm trees, Of all the patrimony, which a few
or orange trees, or peach trees, to be sure; Now hold on hugger-mugger in their hand."
but for all that, after long sea-faring “Lords of the world, and so will wander free, very beautiful to walk under, even though Where—so us listeth, uncontroll'd of any." they supplied no fruit. And here, in calm
spaces at the heads of glades, and on the “How bravely now we live, how jocund, how near
shaded tops of slopes commanding the the first inheritance, without fear, how free from little troubles!"
most quiet scenery–what do you think I saw ?
Seats which might have served NEAR two centuries ago Barrington Isle Brahmins and presidents of peace societies. was the resort of that famous wing of the Fine old ruins of what had once been West Indian buccaneers, which, upon symmetric lounges of stone and turf; their repulse from the Cuban waters, they bore every mark both of artificialness crossing the Isthmus of Darien, ravaged and age, and were undoubtedly made by the Pacific side of the Spanish colonies,
the buccaneers. One had been a long and, with the regularity and timing of a sofa, with back and arms, just such a sofa modern mail, waylaid the royal treasure as the poet Gray might have loved to ships plying between Manilla and Aca- throw himself upon, his Crebillon in hand. pulco. After the toils of piratic war, “ Though they sometimes tarried here here they came to say their prayers, enjoy for months at a time, and used the spot their free-and-easies, count their crackers for a storing-place for spare spars, sails, from the cask, their doubloons from the and casks; yet it is highly improbable keg, and measure their silks of Asia with that the buccaneers ever erected dwellinglong Toledos for their yard-sticks.
houses upon the isle. They never were As a secure retreat, an undiscoverable here except their ships remained, and hiding place, no spot in those days could they would most likely have slept on have been better fitted. In the centre of board. I mention this, because I cannot a vast and silent sea, but very little tra- avoid the thought, that it is hard to imversed ; surrounded by islands, whose pute the construction of these romantic inhospitable aspect might well drive away seats to any other motive than one of the chance navigator; and yet within a pure peacefulness and kindly fellowship few days' sail of the opulent countries with nature. That the buccaneers perpewhich they made their prey; the unmo- trated the greatest outrages is very true; lested buccaneers found here that tran- that some of them were mere cut-throats quillity which they fiercely denied to every is not to be denied ; but we know that civilized harbor in that part of the world. here and there among their host was a Here, after stress of weather, or a tem- Dampier, a Wafer, and a Cowley, and porary drubbing at the hands of their likewise other men, whose worst reproach vindictive foes, or in swift flight with was their desperate fortunes; whom pergolden booty, those old marauders came, secution, or adversity, or secret and unand lay snugly out of all harm's reach. avengeable wrongs, had driven from But not only was the place a harbor of Christian society to seek the melancholy safety, and a bower of ease, but for utility solitude or the guilty adventures of the in other things it was most admirable.
At any rate, long as those ruins of Barrington Isle is in many respects seats on Barrington remain, the most singularly adapted to careening, refitting, singular monuments are furnished to the refreshing, and other seamen's purposes. fact, that all of the buccaneers were not Not only has it good water, and good unmitigated monsters.
“But during my ramble on the isle I Spanish provinces from Old Spain, there was not long in discovering other tokens, fought on behalf of Peru a certain Creole of things quite in accordance with those adventurer from Cuba, who by his bravery wild traits, popularly, and no doubt truly and good fortune at length advanced himenough imputed to the freebooters at self to high rank in the patriot army. large. Had I picked up old sails and The war being ended, Peru found herself rusty hoops I would only have thought like many valorous gentlemen, free and of the ship's carpenter and cooper. But independent enough, but with few shot in I found old cutlasses and daggers reduced the locker. In other words, she had not to mere threads of rust, which doubtless wherewithal to pay off her troops. But had stuck between Spanish ribs ere now. the Creole—I forget his name—volunThese were signs of the murderer and teered to take his pay in lands. So they robber; the reveller likewise had left his told him he might have his pick of the trace. Mixed with shells, fragments of Enchanted Isles, which were then, as they broken jars were lying here and there, still remain, the nominal appanage of Peru. high up upon the beach. They were The soldier straightway embarks thither, precisely like the jars now used upon the explores the group. returns to Callao, and Spanish coast for the wine and Pisco says he will take a deed of Charles Isle. spirits of that country.
Moreover, this deed must stipulate that “With a rusty dagger-fragment in one thenceforth Charles' Isle is not only the hand, and a bit of a wine-jar in another, I sole property of the Creole, but is for ever sat me down on the ruinous green sofa I free of Peru, even as Peru of Spain. To have spoken of, and bethought me long be short, this adventurer procures himself and deeply of these same buccaneers. to be made in effect Supreme Lord of the Could it be possible, that they robbed Island, one of the princes of the powers and murdered one day, revelled the next, of the earth.* and rested themselves by turning medita- He now sends forth a proclamation intive philosophers, rural poets, and seat- viting subjects to his as yet unpopulated builders on the third ? Not very improb- kingdom. Some eighty souls, men and able, after all. For consider the vacilla- women, respond; and being provided by tions of a man. Still, strange as it may their leader with necessaries, and tools seem, I must also abide by the more of various sorts, together with a few cattle charitable thought; namely, that among and goats, take ship for the promised these adventurers were some gentlemanly, land; the last arrival on board, prior to companionable souls, capable of genuine sailing, being the Creole himself, accomtranquillity and virtue."
panied, strange to say, by a disciplined cavalry company of large grim dogs. These, it was observed on the passage, refusing to consort with the emigrants,
remained aristocratically grouped around CHARLES' ISLE AND THE DOG-KING.
their master on the elevated quarter-deck,
casting disdainful glances forward upon So with outragious cry,
the inferior rabble there ; much as from A thousand villeins round about him swarmed
the ramparts, the soldiers of a garrison Out of the rocks and caves adjoining nye;
thrown into a conquered town, eye the inVile caiuve wretches, ragged, rude, deformed;
glorious citizen-mob over which they are All threatning death, all in straunge mander armed; Some with anweldy clubs, some with long speares,
set to watch. Some rusty knives, some staves in fier warmd. Now Charles' Isle not only resembles
Barrington Isle in being much more inWo will not be of any occupation,
habitable than other parts of the group ; Let such vile vassals, born to base vocation, but it is double the size of Barrington; Drudge in the world, and for their living droyle, Which have no wit to live withouten toyle.
say forty or fifty miles in circuit.
Safely debarked at last, the company SOUTHWEST of Barrington lies Charles' under direction of their lord and patron, Isle. And hereby hangs a history which forth with proceeded to build their capital I gathered long ago from a shipmate city. They make considerable advance learned in all the lore of outlandish life. in the way of walls of clinkers, and lava
During the successful revolt of the floors, nicely sanded with cinders. On
* The Ainerican Spaniards have long been in the habit of making presents of islands to deserving individuala The pilot Juan Fernandez procured a deed of the isle named after bim, and for some years resided thero Defore Selkirk came. It is supposed, however, that he eventually contracted the blues upon his princely property, for after a time he returned to the main, and as report goes, became a very garrulous barber in the city of Lina
the least barren hills they pasture their His Majesty first hides them very carecattle, while the goats, adventurers by fully away, and then freely permits the nature, explore the far inland solitudes search. În consequence, the delinquents for a scanty livelihood of lofty herbage. are never found, and the ships retire withMeantime, abundance of fish and an in- out them. exhaustible tribe of tortoises, supply the Thus, by a two-edged policy of this adventurer's other wants.
crafty monarch, foreign nations were The disorders incident to settling all crippled in the number of their subjects, and primitive regions, in the present case were his own were greatly multiplied. He parheightened by the peculiarly untoward ticularly petted these renegado strangers. character of many of the pilgrims. His But alas for the deep-laid schemes of amMajesty was forced at last to proclaim bitious princes, and alas for the vanity of martial law, and actually hunted and shot glory. As the foreign-born Pretorians of with his own hand several of his rebellious the Roman state, unwisely introduced into subjects, who, with most questionable the commonwealth, and still more unwiseintentions, had clandestinely encamped in ly made favorites of the Emperors, at last the interior; whence they stole by night, insulted and overturned the throne, even to prowl barefooted on tiptoe round the so these lawless mariners, with all the precincts of the lava-palace. It is to be rest of the body-guard and all the popuremarked, however, that prior to such lace, broke out into a terrible mutiny, and stern proceedings, the more reliable men defied their master. He marched against had been judiciously picked out for an them with all his dogs. A deadly battle infantry body-guard, subordinate to the ensued upon the beach. It raged for cavalry body-guard of dogs. But the three hours, the dogs fighting with deterstate of politics in this unhappy nation mined valor, and the sailors reckless of may be somewhat imagined from the cir- every thing but victory. Three men and cumstance. that all who were not of the thirteen dogs were left dead npon the field, body-guard were downright plotters and many on both sides were wounded, and malignant traitors. At length the death the king was forced to fly with the repenalty was tacitly abolished, owing to mainder of his canine regiment. The the timely thought, that were strict sports- enemy pursued, stoning the dogs with man's justice to be dispensed among such their master into the wilderness of the subjects, ere long the Nimrod King would interior. Discontinuing the pursuit, the have little or no remaining game to shoot. victors returned to the village on the The human part of the life-guard was now shore, stove the spirit-casks, and prodisbanded, and set to work cultivating the claimed a Republic. The dead men were soil, and raising potatoes; the regular
interred with the honors of war, and the army now solely consisting of the dog- dead dogs ignominiously thrown into the regiment. These, as I have heard, were sea. At last, forced by stress of suffering, of a singularly ferocious character, though the fugitive Creole came down from the by severe training rendered docile to their hills and offered to treat for peace. But master. Armed to the teeth. the Creole the rebels refused it on any other terms now goes in state, surrounded by his than his unconditional banishment. Accanine janizaries, whose terrific bayings cordingly, the next ship that arrived prove quite as serviceable as bayonets in carried away the ex-king to Peru. keeping down the surgings of revolt. The history of the king of Charles'
But the census of the isle, sadly lessened Island furnishes another illustration of the by the dispensation of justice, and not difficulty of colonizing barren islands with materially recruited by matrimony, began unprincipled pilgrims. to fill his mind with sad mistrust. Some Doubtless for a long time the exiled way the population must be increased. monarch, pensively ruralizing in Peru, Now, from its possessing a little water, which afforded him a safe asylum in his and its comparative pleasantness of aspect, calamity, watched every arrival from the Charles' Isle at this period was occasion- Encantadas, to hear news of the failure ally visited by foreign whalers. These of the Republic, the consequent penitence His Majesty had always levied upon for of the rebels, and his own recall to royalty. port charges, thereby contributing to his Doubtless he deemed the Republic but a
But now he had additional de- miserable experiment which would soon signs. By insidious arts he from time to explode. But no, the insurgents had tiine cajoles certain sailors to desert their confederated themselves into a democracy ships and enlist beneath his banner. Soon neither Grecian, Roman, nor American. as missed, their captains crave permission Nay, it was no democracy at all, but a to go and hunt them up. Whereupon permanent Riotocracy, which gloried in
NORFOLK ISLE AND TIIE CIIOLA WIDOW.
“At last they in an island did espy
A seemly woman sitting by the shore, That with great sorrow and sad agony Seemed some great misfortune to deplore, And loud to them for succor called evermore." * Black his eye as the midnight sky, White his neck as the driven show, Red his cheek as the morning light ; Cold he lies in the ground below.
My love is dead,
Gone to his death-bed, All under the cactus tree."
having no law but lawlessness. Great inducements being offered to deserters, their ranks were swelled by accessions of scamps from every ship which touched their shores. Charles' Island was proclaimed the asylum of the oppressed of all navies. Each runaway tar was hailed as a martyr in the cause of freedom, and became immediately installed a ragged citizen of this universal nation. In vain the captains of absconding seamen strove to regain them. Their new compatriots were ready to give any number of ornamental eyes in their behalf. They had few cannon, but their fists were not to be trifled with. So at last it came to pass that no vessels acquainted with the character of that country durst touch there, however sorely in want of refreshment. It became Anathema-a sea Alsatia--the unassailed lurking-place of all sorts of desperadoes, who in the name of liberty did just what they pleased. They continually fluctuated in their numbers. Sailors deserting ships at other islands, or in boats at sea any where in that vicinity, steered for Charles' Isle, as to their sure home of refuge; while sated with the life of the isle, numbers from time to time crossed the water to the neighboring ones, and there presenting themselves to strange captains as shipwrecked seamen, often succeeded in getting on board vessels bound to the Spanish coast; and having a compassionate purse made up for them on landing there.
One warm night during my first visit to the group, our ship was floating along in languid stillness, when some one on the forecastle shouted “Light ho!” We looked and saw a beacon burning on some obscure land off the beam. Our third mate was not intimate with this part of the world. Going to the captain he said, “Sir, shall I put off in a boat? These must be shipwrecked men.”
The captain laughed rather grimly, as, shaking his fist towards the beacon, he rapped out an oath, and said—“No, no, you precious rascals, you don't juggle one of my boats ashore this blessed night. You do well, you thieves—you do benevolently to hoist a light yonder as on a dangerous shoal. It tempts no wise man to pull off and see what's the matter, but bids him steer small and keep off shorethat is Charles' Island ; brace up, Mr. mate, and keep the light astern."
Far to the northeast of Charles' Isle, sequestered from the rest, lies Norfolk Isle; and, however insignificant to most yoyagers, to me, through sympathy, that lone island has become a spot made sacred by the strongest trials of humanity.
It was my first visit to the Encantadas. Two days had been spent ashore in hunting tortoises. There was not time to capture many; so on the third afternoon we loosed our sails. We were just in the act of getting under way, the uprooted anchor yet suspended and invisibly swaying beneath the wave, as the good ship gradually turned her heel to leave the isle behind, when the seaman who heaved with me at the windlass paused suddenly, and directed my attention to something moving on the land, not along the beach, but somewhat back, fluttering from a height.
In view of the sequel of this little story, be it here narrated how it came to pass, that an object which partly from its being so small was quite lost to every other man on board, still caught the eye of my handspike companion. The rest of the crew, myself included, merely stood up to our spikes in heaving; whereas, unwontedly exhilarated at every turn of the ponderous windlass, my belted comrade leaped atop of it, with might and main giving a downward, thewey, perpendicular heave, his raised eye bent in cheery animation upon the slowly receding shore. Being high lifted above all others was the reason he perceived the object, otherwise unperceivable: and this elevation of his eye was owing to the elevation of his spirits; and this again-for truth must out-to a dram of Peruvian pisco, in guerdon for some kindness done, secretly administered to him that morning by our mulatto steward. Now, certainly, pisco does a deal of mischief in the world; yet seeing that, in the present case, it was the means, though indirect, of rescuing a human being from the most dreadful
fate, must we not also needs admit that four months' cruise in the westward seas; sometimes pisco does a deal of good ? which interval the three adventurers
Glancing across the water in the direc- deemed quite sufficient for their purtion pointed out, I saw some white thing poses. hanging from an inland rock, perhaps half On the isle's lone beach they paid him a mile from the sea.
in silver for their passage out, the stran"It is a bird ; a white-winged bird ; ger having declined to carry them at all perhaps a -no; it is—it is a hand- except upon that condition; though wilkerchief !”
ling to take every means to insure the due “ Aye, a handkerchief !” echoed my fulfilment of his promise. Felipe had comrade, and with a louder shout apprised striven hard to have this payment put off the captain.
to the period of the ship's return. But in Quickly now-like the running out and vain. Still, they thought they had, in training of a great gun—the long cabin another way, ample pledge of the good spy-glass was thrust through the mizzen faith of the Frenchman. It was arranged rigging from the high platform of the that the expenses of the passage home poop; whereupon a human figure was should not be payable in silver, but in torplainly seen upon the inland rock, eagerly toises; one hundred tortoises ready capwaving towards us what seemed to be thi
tured to the returning captain's hand. handkerchief.
These the Cholos meant to secure after Our captain was a prompt, good fellow. their own work was done, against the Dropping the glass, he lustily ran forward,
probable time of the Frenchman's coming ordering the anchor to be dropped again; back; and no doubt in prospect already hands to stand by a boat, and lower felt, that in those hundred tortoisesaway.
now somewhere ranging the isle's interior In a half-hour's time the swift boat re- —they possessed one hundred hostages. turned. It went with six and came with Enough: the vessel sailed; the gazing seven; and the seventh was a woman. three on shore answered the loud glee of
It is not artistic heartlessness, but I the singing crew ; and ere evening, the wish I could but draw in crayons ; for this French craft was hull down in the diswoman was a most touching sight; and tant sea, its masts three faintest lines crayons, tracing softly melancholy lines, which quickly faded from Hunilla's eye. would best depict the mournful image of The stranger had given a blithesome the dark-damasked Chola widow.
promise, and anchored it with oaths; but Her story was soon told, and though oaths and anchors equally will drag; given in her own strange language was as nought else abides on fickle earth but unquickly understood, for our captain from kept promises of joy. Contrary winds long trading on the Chilian coast was from out unstabled skies, or contrary well versed in the Spanish. A Cholo, or moods of his more varying mind, or shiphalf-breed Indian woman of Payta in wreck and sudden death in solitary waves; Peru, three years gone by, with her young whatever was the cause, the blithe strannew-wedded husband Felipe, of pure Cas- ger never was seen again. tilian blood, and her one only Indian bro- Yet, however dire a calamity was here ther, Truxill, Hunilla had taken passage in store, misgivings of it ere due time on the main in a French whaler, com- never disturbed the Cholos' busy mind, manded by a joyous man; which vessel, now all intent upon the toilsome matter bound to the cruising grounds beyond the which had brought them hither. Nay, Enchanted Isles, proposed passing close by swift doom coming like the thief at by their vicinity. The object of the little night, ere seven weeks went by, two of party was to procure tortoise oil, a fluid the little party were removed from all which for its great purity and delicacy is anxieties of land or sea. No more they held in high estimation wherever known; sought to gaze with feverish fear, or still and it is well known all along this part of more feverish hope, beyond the present's the Pacific coast. With a chest of clothes, horizon line ; but into the furthest future tools, cooking utensils, a rude apparatus their own silent spirits sailed. By persefor trying out the oil, some casks of bis- vering labor beneath that burning sun, cuit, and other things, not omitting two Felipe and Truxill had brought down to favorite dogs, of which faithful animal all their hut many scores of tortoises, and the Cholos are very fond, Hunilla and tried out the oil, when, elated with their her companions were safely landed at their good success, and to reward themselves chosen place; the Frenchman, according for such hard work, they, too hastily, to the contract made ere sailing, engaged made a catamaran, or Indian raft, much to take them off upon returning from a used on the Spanish main, and merrily