Happy Talk-like-a-pirate Day!

Yargh! Hoist the sails and grab yur ales, to-day's the day we be talkin' like be roam the barmy seven seas!

While pirates still exists, and are somewhat less lovable than literature and films would recommend, our idea of pirates with heavy Bristolian accent came from Dorset actor Robert Newton, who played both Long John Silver (fictional) and Blackbeard (actual pirate). Historians say that Blackbeard was born and lived in Bristol, and Silver was a parody of Gloucester author William Henley, further perpetuating the idea that pirates had West Country accents, but pirates during the Golden Age of Piracy in the 1600-1700s could have come from anywhere. GrĂ¡inne was from Ireland, Lady Mary Killigrew was from Suffolk, Christina Anna Skytte was from Sweden, etc., but no matter whence your favourite pirates hail, on thess day we all be talkin' like we love the swalloky lasses and rue the landlovers!

And now, a story about pirates from Damson's Distress:

Rannig then arrived on deck with Bartleby, the latter of whom was deposited at the captain’s feet, glenching in irritation, his arms folded, declaring “Do not joss me” to the giant who set him down. He had been snoring and snuffling happily away during the first ringing of the bell, the plangent tones doing little to disturb his sialiolent sleep, but when Danaco began giving orders, bringing with it the brontide of feet running rataplan across the deck above him, and the second bell was rung, the old man gave a rasp and kicked awake, demanding that the “confounded bell be cut from the gimbal and smothered in the sea,” and was very well resigned to continue his sonorous sloom when a familiar and immense shadow poured over him and plucked him from his bed.
“Gotta get up, Bartleby,” said the shadow. “Danaco says he wants us on deck.”
“Whatever for?” the old man flouted, trying to slap a giant hand away from him.
“Ship’s bein’ attacked.”
“That may very well be, but what business is it of yours to wake me at such an atrocious hour?”
“Ship’s being attacked by pirates, Bartleby.”
“But we are the pirates, dear boy.”
“We’re only pirates when other pirates attack us, and now we’re bein’ attacked by other pirates what are more pirates than us.”
“Very well,” the old man huffed. “One cannot sleep with all this gardylooing and clattering besides. Let me dress myself.”
“Danaco said if you didn’t come right away, I’d get to drag you to the deck by your nightcap.”
“You cannot drag me by my nightcap, dear boy, as it is not attached to my head.”
“It sure stays on when yer chewin’ the end of it whilst yer asleep.”
The old man scowled. “You are not to touch my nightcap. You’ve been eating brined capers. The brackish stench on your fingers is more than offensive.”
“If you won’t come right away, I’m carryin’ ye.”
“Have I been talking to myself? I said you are not to touch me and that I must dress first. A man cannot present himself in his underclothes--” but the old man was being guddled from his bed, was being lifted,was being taken up the steps and through the hatch, and was set in a ruckle at the Lucentian’s feet, his nightgown in dissarry, his velvet slippers dangling from his bent toes, his spectacles canted over one ear, and his nightcaop folded over his face.
“You look more than ready for a fight, my old friend,” said the Lucentian, inspecting the old man, “though somewhat miscomfrumpled.”
Bartleby said something about decency—or the want thereof it, Danaco could not make out which—lauded him for the use of a rare and delicious word, remarked the rest of the crew flying about the deck, and fixed his robe about him.
“You did well, Rannig,” said the captain. “I believe that was a record. You were gone all of two mintues.”
“I had to carry him up the steps,” said Rannig. He made a pout. “I didn’t get to drag him by his cap.”   
“Another time, my dear boy, another time,” said the captain, patting the giant’s arm.
Standing and adjusting his nightcap, the old man, his robes covered in culf, looked about in grim confusion. “Why am I on this wretched deck before the sun is fully up?”
The Lucentian pointed to the ship across the way, which was now sailing toward them bow forward  “In about three minutes, that vessel shall be at our larboard side. We are going to indulge in a little deceit. The gangway is ready, and when it is laid down, I will need both of your services to confuse our adversaries.”
The giant saluted and said “Aye, boss,” and Bartleby straightened and pushed his spectacles farther up the bridge of his nose.
“Rannig, take the helm. Be my excellent boatswain and put us directly in line with their starboard.”
“Aye, boss,” the giant nodded, and away he went to claim the wheel.
“Bartleby, make your powders. I want a screen when that plank is laid.”
The old man, teeming with a sudden glee, tripped off to the hatch and vanished into the hold, laughing—Damson heard—maniacally to himself.
“Damson,” said the Lucentian, turning to the knight and knocking another arrow carelessly away, “do something with yourself.”
 “I would, sir, but,” glancing at his crutches, “what shall I do, sir? I cannot very well take up my sword or don my armour, and I have little knowledge with regard to the outfitting and rigging of a frigate.”
“Stand there.” Danaco pointed toward the entrance to the captain’s cabin. “It is your job to make certain that absolutely no one enters my quarters.”
“I will do my best, sir.”
“I am certain that as a champion of Marridon your best is well enough.”
Another arrow sailed toward the deck. It glanced off the flat of Danaco’s blade, fell into the sea, and the captain watched the arrow sink with a glower.
“That one almost singed my hair,” he seethed. “It has taken me twenty years to grow this. I will not have it tarnished by some slipshod sailor with poor aim. I have just about done with these arrows. Damson, to your place.”
“Yes, sir,” said the knight, crambling across the deck, the crew-members weaving out of his way.
“Rannig, ready the casks once we are in line.”
“Aye, boss!” the giant shouted, from across the deck.
The old man hobbled on deck, his robes lined with various concoctions, a few vials of something swilling in his robe pockets, a few metal spheres with wicks rising out of them weighing down his nightgown, and a few linen sachets stuffed with a grey cretaceous substance in his hands.
Danco spied him with a smile. “You look well-furnished.”
“You did ask me to ready my powders, and here they are.”
“Quite so. Bartleby, smoke before fulmination, if you please. Shroud the ship, and when they begin filing in, toss another of your screens across the way. We will blind them, and when they think they have overpowered us, we will break their masts and breach their hull.” Another arrow sailed toward him, but it came too close to be deflected into the sea,and instead, to make certain it would not touch his luxuriant mane, he stepped quickly aside and sliced the shaft in two. The fletching and head fell to the deck, and Danaco stamped his heel on the head to extinguish the flame. “If that arrow has left a mark…” He moved his foot and looked down, and under the arrowhead was a scorch mark, small but enough to incite him. His lips pursed in violent anger, his eyes smoldered with restrained rage, and his hand shook as he tightened the clasp around the grip of his sword. “They have singed you,” he croodled to the ship, kneeling and browsing the scorch mark with his fingertips, “they have marred you, my beauteous cosset. They have tinged your varnish and scarred your mahogany complexion, have not they? Well, I shall destroy them. Yes, I shall. You will like that, will not you, my pulchritudinous pet? Yes, you will like to see me disembowel them,” and standing again and resuming his usual air, he said, his aspect alight with notions of terrific reprisal, “Feed the gangway. They are nearly beside us. Rannig, hoist the sails. Bartleby, the smoke. And Damson,” raising a brow at the knight, “do not make a sound.”
Damson made no promises or whimpers; he only shook his head and looked severe.

The gangway was let down and fed across, the old man tossed his sachets into the waters below, and strange quietness fell over the ship. The lapping waters frothed and hissed, and whence the chalk-like substance in the sachets seeped out into the sea rose a cloud of grey mist. The enemy vessel made its approach at a crawl, the smoke rose and shrouded the seas, the brume rising in weltering steam, and as the enemy vessel measured its pace, both ships were obscured by a nebulous cloak.