The King of Pirates / Being an Account of the Famous Enterprises of Captain Avery, the Mock King of Madagascar
ONE of the particular Advantages of the following Letters from Captain Avery, is, the Satisfaction they will give the Readers how much they have been impos’d upon in the former ridiculous and extravagant Accounts which have been put upon the World in what has been publish’d already.
It has been enough to the Writers of this Man’s Life, as they call it, that they could put any Thing together, to make a kind of monstrous unheard of Story, as romantick as the Reports that have been spread about of him; and the more those Stories appear’d monstrous and incredible, the more suitable they seem’d to be to what the World would have been made to expect of Captain Avery.
There is always a great Deference between what Men say of themselves, and what others say for them, when they come to write Historically of the Transactions of their Lives.
The Publisher of these Letters recommends this Performance to the Readers, to make their Judgment of the Difference between them and the extravagant Stories already told, and which is most likely to be genuine; and, as they verily believe these Letters to be the best and truest Account of Captain Avery’s Piracies, that ever has or ever will come to the Knowledge of the World, they recommend them as such, and doubt not but they will answer for themselves in the Reading.
The Account given of Captain Avery’s taking the Great Mogul’s Daughter, ravishing and murdering her, and all the Ladies of her Retinue, is so differently related here, and so extravagantly related before, that it cannot but be a Satisfaction to the most unconcern’d Reader, to find such a horrible Piece of Villainy as the other was suppos’d to be, not to have been committed in the World.
On the contrary, we find here, that except plundering that Princess of her Jewels and Money to a prodigious Value, a Thing which, falling into the Hands of Freebooters, every one that had the Misfortune to fall into such Hands would expect: But, that excepting this, the Lady was used with all the Decency and Humanity, and, perhaps, with more than ever Women, falling among Pirates, had found before; especially considering that, by Report, she was a most beautiful and agreeable Person herself, as were