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Great Pirate Stories

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Piracy embodies the romance of the sea at its highest expression. It isa sad but inevitable commentary on our civilization, that, so far as thesea is concerned, it has developed from its infancy down to a century orso ago, under one phase or another of piracy. If men were savages onland they were doubly so at sea, and all the years of maritimeadventure--years that added to the map of the world till there waslittle left to discover--could not wholly eradicate the piratical germ.It went out gradually with the settlement and ordering of the far-flungBritish colonies. Great Britain, foremost of sea powers, must becredited with doing more both directly and indirectly for the abolitionof crime and disorder on the high seas than any other force. But theconquest was not complete till the advent of steam which chased thesea-rover into the farthest corners of his domain. It is said that hesurvives even today in certain spots in the Chinese waters,--but he iscertainly an innocuous relic. A pirate of any sort would be as great acuriosity today if he could be caught and exhibited as a fabulousmonster.(Summary from text)
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