In much the same manner and at the same time that John Gay was satirizing Walpole's government in The Beggar's Opera, Defoe began to use his pirates as a commentary on the injustice and hypocrisy of contemporary English society. Among Defoe's gallery of pirates are Captain White, who refused to rob from women and children; Captain Bellamy, the proletarian revolutionist; and captain North, whose sense of justice and honesty was a rebuke to the corruption of government under Walpole. But the fictional Captain Misson, the founder of a communist utopia, is by far the most original of these creations.
a Yard Arm, either to Hand or Reef, and very inquisitive in the different Methods of working a Ship: His Discourse was turn'd on no other Subject, and he would often get the Boatswain and Carpenter to teach him in their Cabbins the constituent Parts of a Ship's Hull, and how to rigg her, which he generously paid 'em for; and tho' he spent a great Part of his Time with these two Officers, yet he behaved himself with such Prudence that they never attempted at a Familiarity, and always paid the Respect due to his Family. The Ship being at Naples, he obtained Leave of his Captain to go to Rome, which he had a great Desire to visit. Hence we may date his Misfortunes; for, remarking the licentious Lives of the Clergy (so different from the Regularity observ'd among the French Ecclesiasticks,) the Luxury of the Papal Court, and that nothing but Hulls of Religion was to be found in the Metropolis of the Christian Church, he began to figure to himself that all Religion was no more than a Cur