Happy Captain Blood Day!September 19, 2007
Today is September 19th, which means that it’s also Captan Blood Day, a holiday of my own invention.
See, a number of years ago, after a rereading of Captain Blood, the fact that Peter Blood is tried for treason on the 19th of September stuck in my mind, and I began to notice lots of other things that happened on the 19th. And, you know, the more things you remember in connection with a date, the easier it is to remember. So I figured, since I remember it, why shouldn’t I celebrate it? Captain Blood certainly deserves to be celebrated.
One of the other things that happens on September 19th, although it didn’t when I conceived of Captain Blood Day, is Talk Like a Pirate Day. I don’t particularly want to go around inserting “avast” and “matey” into random sentence, but I have no objection to speaking like a pirate — if that pirate is Peter Blood. And if I ever have a chance to tell someone who’s condemning me to death that they’re dying an a particularly slow and painful way themselves, I certainly will.
The best comeback ever:
“Faith, it’s in better case I am for mirth than your lordship. For
I have this to say before you deliver judgment. Your lordship sees
me – an innocent man whose only offence is that I practised charity
– with a halter round my neck. Your lordship, being the justiciar,
speaks with knowledge of what is to come to me. I, being a physician,
may speak with knowledge of what is to come to your lordship. And I
tell you that I would not now change places with you – that I would
not exchange this halter that you fling about my neck for the stone
that you carry in your body. The death to which you may doom me is
a light pleasantry by contrast with the death to which your lordship
has been doomed by that Great Judge with whose name your lordship
makes so free.”