THE PIRATE by Sir Walter Scott, Bart.
Edinburgh, Adam and Charles Black.
Introduction to the pirate. "Quoth he there was a ship"This brief preface may begin like the tale of the Ancient Mariner, since it was on shipboard that the author acquired the very moderate degree of local knowledge and information, both of people and scenary, which he has endeavoured to embody in the romance of the pirate.
In the summer and autumn of 1814, the author was invited to join a party of Commissioners for the Northern Light -House Service, who proposed making a voyage round the coast of Scotland, and through its various groups of islands, chiefly for the purpose of seeing the condition of the many light- houses under their direction, - edifices so important, whether regarding them as benevolent or political institutions.
The nature of the important business which was the principal purpose of the voyage, was connected with the amusement of visiting the leading object of a traveller's curiosity; for the wild cape, or formidable shelve, which requires to be marked out by a light-house, is generally at no great distance from the most magnificent scenary of rocks, caves, and billows. Our time, too, was at our own disposal, and, as most of us were fresh-water sailors, we could at any time make a fair wind out of a foul one, and run before the gale in quest of some object of curiosity which lay under our lee.