Page:A Mainsail Haul - Masefield - 1913.djvu/74

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Pepwell, writing in 1608, tells us that he "rose through all ranks of the (naval) service in our wars with Spain."

His buccaneering and naval service, if he ever indulged in any, failed to make his fortune; for he was a fisherman at Feversham, owning a single small fishing-boat, in the year 1602. In that year his pride grew to such a height that he could brook the fishery no longer. "Nothing would serve him but the wide Ocean to walke in." He went aboard his ketch one morning, and crept along the coast to Plymouth, where he seems to have sold his vessel for a fair sum. His wife he left behind him at Feversham.

For the next few months he lived in the Plymouth taverns, drinking the wondrous Plymouth ale, which was "stronger than sack," and cheap, and so full of alcohol that "an halfe bowle" would make a sailor's wits like a merry-go-round. Plymouth at that time was full of wastrels and rogues. The chief clients of the ale-houses were runaway sailors, who, after entering for a voyage, and drawing an advance, or bounty, lay perdu till the ship had sailed. The society of the long-shore