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IT will scarcely be expected that one should be able to offer an authentic narrative of the life and transactions of this extraordinary personage. The times in which he lived, the mode of life he adopted, and the silence or loss of contemporary writers, are circumstances sufficiently favourable, indeed, to romance, but altogether inimical to historical truth. The reader must, therefore, be contented with such a detail, however scanty or imperfect, as a zealous pursuit of the subject enables one to give; and which, though it may fail to satisfy, may possibly serve to amuse. No assistance has been derived from the labours of his professed biographers; and even the industrious Sir John Hawkins, from whom the public might have expected ample gratification upon the subject, acknowledges that “the history of this popular hero is but little known, and all the scattered fragments concerning him, could they be brought together, would fall far short of satisfying such an inquirer as none but real and authenticated facts will content. We must,” he says, “take his story as we find it.” He accordingly gives us nothing but two or three trite and trivial extracts, with which every one at all curious about the subject was as well acquainted as himself. It is not, at the same time, pretended, that the present attempt promises more than to bring together the scattered fragments to which the learned historian alludes. This, however, has been done, according to the best of the compiler’s information and abilities; and the result is, with a due sense of the deficiency of both, submitted to the reader’s candour.