dare-devil commanders were not only tolerated but welcomed as guests at the houses of many among the gentry and merchants, who had themselves in one way or another gained great profit from lawless ocean warfare. Their mad freaks and furious orgies and carouses made them the terror of quiet people; but their lavish extravagance with their stores of strange Spanish, Indian, and Arabian coin gave them also a certain popularity.
The goods brought from the far eastern lands by these men, and by their fellow sea-rovers of slightly stricter morality, gave a touch of quaint luxury, and their own presence added an air of dash and adventure, to the life of the growing town on Manhattan Island. There was a suggestion of the Orient and of hazardous fortunes, ill made and lightly lost, in the costly goods with which the rich burghers and manorial lords decked their roomy houses, and clothed themselves and their wives. The dress of the time was picturesque; and the small social world of New York, as haughty and exclusive after its own fashion as any, looked leniently on the men whose deeds made it possible for the titled Crown officials, and the untitled leaders of the local oligarchy, alike, to go clad in rich raiment. More than one sea-chief of doubtful antecedents held his head high among the New York people of position, on the infrequent occasions