The march to Rhegium was accomplished; but the corsairs, perhaps terrified by the coastguards established in Sicily by the praetor Gaius Verres, perhaps also bribed by the Romans, took from Spartacus the stipulated hire without performing the service for which it was given.
The term "buccaneer," though usually applied to the corsairs who in the seventeenth century ravaged the Spanish possessions in the West Indies and the South Seas, should really be restricted to these cattle-hunters of west and north-west Hispaniola. The flesh of the wild-cattle was cured by the hunters after a fashion learnt from the Caribbee Indians.
As to the vow of celibacy, you know that ere now knights have been absolved from their vows, and methinks that, after the service you have rendered to Italy by ridding the sea of those corsairs, his Holiness would make no difficulty in granting any request that you might make him in that or any other direction.
A similar report was given at Lunasei; there were certainly no corsairs lying behind Cape Bellavista, or news would assuredly have reached the village. At Orosei, next day, the report was the same; there were no strange ships at Cape Comino.
To the Grand Turk the corsairs were Moslems who were prepared to fight on his side, and who, taking it all in all, really cost him hardly anything; in fact, at this date, owing to the magnificent gifts made to the Sultan by Kheyr-ed-Din, the Padishah must have made something out of his association with the sea-wolves.
The Corsairs were not content with merely attacking ships at sea: they made raids on the Spanish, Italian, and Sicilian sea-boards, burning and looting for many miles inland. The inhabitants of these parts were driven off as captives to fill the bagnios of Algiers, Tunis, Bizerta, and other North African towns.
You sent him to the galleys; and I I, too, have been condemned to the galleys, and chained to a felon for life. Well I know that he covered my indiscretions with his name for a stipulated sum, which my generous brother paid to save my reputation, and he gambled it away before the expiration of a year. Our palace resembles a ship that has been visited by corsairs.
Just then one of the crowd cried out, "Señors, this young man is the great English corsair. It is not much more than two years since he took from the Algerine corsairs the great Portuguese galleon from the Indies.
By turns a commercial voyager, an explorer, a privateer's-man, or an admiral of war-fleets, in days when sharp distinctions between the merchant service and the public service, corsairs' work and cruisers' work, did not exist, he had ever proved himself equal to any emergency a man incapable of fatigue, of perplexity, or of fear.
At last Dom Fernando, the youngest of the brothers, a lad of fourteen, proposed that their knighthood should be earned by an expedition to take Ceuta from the Moors. A war with the infidel never came amiss, and was in fact regarded as a sacred duty; moreover, Ceuta was a nest of corsairs who infested the whole Mediterranean coast.