A Forbidden Love
An Upcoming Swashbuckling Romance
by: Ted Anthony Roberts
Early eighteenth century Europe was a place of romantic intrigue . . . but only for a few! On the dirty London streets, the best a poor lad could hope for was to become a secretary for some great lord; but that wasn’t always forthcoming, and many people continued to be poor and hungry throughout their lives. A seaman’s life was attractive, therefore, to a great many of them, but open robbery upon the sea was even better – for it allowed one to become rich, when there, otherwise, would not be an opportunity to become so. But even further stretched from a normal lad’s thoughts – and, indeed, from reality – was the chance for one of them to not only become a feared, courageous, and famous pirate (of whom most Londoners imagined to be some sort of hero), but also to become involved in a romantic love entanglement with a nobleman’s daughter! Sure, a successful pirate could, in all probability, just take the lady and have his way with her (despite the piratical code which forbade such a horrible act), but for the lady to actually fall in love with one of these rouges was a thing not heard of too often. So, add all this together with the fact that the young lady in question happens to belong to the royal household of England’s finest, and you have a noble father who cannot believe his bad luck, and who will stop at nothing to get her back from the thieving pirate’s hand! All the while not believing, even for a second, that his daughter can actually fall in love with, in his opinion, a piece of street trash!
Such a thing happened with dear Isabella; royal in her manners; royal in her sweetness; and certainly royal in her lineage! Quiet little Isabella, of whom nobody in the entire royal family ever paid much attention to – had not only fallen in love with a notorious pirate (who was known to be the scourge of the seven seas!), but also had the pirate fall in love with her as well; whom she found to actually be a gentleman, and not terrible as the rumors had said him to be. This was not enough for her father, the royal navy commander, who never gave up hope of finding her, and of whom he felt was in constant danger . . . ah, love! How strange it sometimes can be . . . ah, love! How surprising you sometimes are . . . ah, love! How forbidden you have become to many a young couple!
He, whom I met
The Royal family sits down in a medium sized sitting room; they all sit on whatever is available: small chairs and small couches, having beautiful upholstery laid upon their exteriors. The king's daughter, the beautiful Princess ——, announces from her seat that she wishes for everyone to relate an interesting story that has happened to each one of them; and adds, laughingly, not to tell a story that they have already heard. They all agree, and each one in turn stands up and tells a tale that is, no doubt, bent greatly from the actual truth! And all would laugh at the amusing stories. Some told stories of the peasants, hungry and begging as usual, and others said of things pertaining to dirty politics. It is an amusing pass of time for the otherwise bored Royal family.
"Well, uncle," says the beautiful Princess ——, to a middle-aged gentleman, who sits motionless in his chair, having a rather grim frown upon his face. "You are the only one left who has not told an amusing story."
The grey-haired man looks at his niece in an uneasy manner. "I suppose it's because I have nothing amusing to say." he comments, hoping to end the matter quickly.
"Oh, come on, uncle," says the Princess, with a most gracious smile, not wanting it to end so fast. "I know something interesting had to happen to you that we know nothing about."
"Interesting, yes," the uncle comments, "amusing, no! There is only one story that keeps jumping into my head that I cannot forget about - but it is far from amusing. And I know, dear child," he adds, looking the girl right in the eyes, "that you do not want to hear about it."
"Oh, but you are mistaken, uncle!" the Princess eagerly replies, "Amusing, or not, I want to hear it."
This only increases the uncle's agitation.
"Is it at least adventurous?" she asks, wide-eyed, and acting like a much younger child.
"Extremely so." he merely remarks, returning to his brooding.
"Well, by all means, uncle, please relate it to us!" she again says, clapping her hands excitedly.
"Oh, yes, let us hear it!" the others cry in their turn, urging the royal individual on.
"Very well," the old royal naval-admiral finally says, disgusted at his pampered relatives. "But you will be sorry that you pushed me on like this."
"Nonsense, uncle!" insists the Princess.
He does not stand, as the others had done, to relate his story, but remains seated. And he sits in silence for a slight moment, pulling all his thoughts together.
The others also sit in silence, anxiously awaiting the story, and nervously twitching in their seats.
"I met him ten years ago . . . ." the admiral began.
At this, he stops, sitting in silence but again, and staring out an open window - seeing nothing but him whom he met ten years ago.
"Who, uncle?" asked a nephew of his. "Whom did you meet?"
Ignoring this question, the uncle continues . . . .
"He took my darling girl." he replies, while still looking out the window, and allowing a tear to shine upon his cheek.
"Are you speaking of Isabella, uncle?" asks the princess.
"Yes." he answers, mournfully. "Isabella."
"I have always wondered what happened to her." she says, interrupting the man. "No one ever told us."
Without replying directly to this statement, the uncle suddenly looks toward her with fire in his eyes: "He was a bloody Pirate, that man!"
At this, the room falls extremely silent - A bit frightened at his countenance! The Princess, taking in a deep breath, ventures to ask: "Who, uncle? Who was a bloody Pirate?"
The uncle looks back out the window.
"Yes," he continues, speaking to no-one in particular, with another tear glittering on his other cheek. "He took my darling girl."
Everyone in the room looks anxiously at each other in astonishment. What was this old sailor talking about?
Another nephew daringly asks: "Are you alright, uncle?"
Again, ignoring this direct question, the old sea-man continues in a low tone: "It was only ten years ago when we met . . . Oh, I already said that!" he quickly corrects himself. "We were sailing toward the African Continent when our ships met. I stupidly allowed Isabella to come along. Of course I thought our Man-O-War would never have dared been attacked - but how wrong I was!
"And he attacked! That bloody Pirate attacked!" continues the Admiral, spinning around suddenly toward all the royal occupants of the room, and again raising his voice to a rather frightening tone. "Yes! That blood-thirsty Pirate!"
Not daring to even breathe, everyone in the room listens with all their might as the story-teller continues his tale . . . .
To be continued . . . .