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(London Evening Standard)   "The word Viking is not an ethnic term: it indicates a lifestyle. No sensible modern Scandinavian need feel demeaned by the enthusiasms of their ancestors"   (standard.co.uk) divider line 114
    More: Stupid, Vikings, David Dumville, Scandinavian, ethnic term, Scandinavian countries, University of Aberdeen, Viking Age  
•       •       •

4204 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Feb 2014 at 9:59 AM (21 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



114 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-02-25 11:04:02 AM

albatros183: God Is My Co-Pirate: Cerebral Ballsy: What? Vikings weren't all sweet and cuddly? I had just recovered from the idea that pirates weren't all sweet and cuddly, and now you tell me this??

There actually was a movement a few years back to try and "rehabilitate" the Vikings as misunderstood basically peaceful traders.

Sure the Norse did run many peaceful trading missions, but the word Viking was originally a verb...meaning to go a-pillaging.

"From the fury of the Northmen, good Lord, deliver us" - common European prayer, c. 800 - 1000 A.D.

Well that seem to have worked out well, I guess god was there co-pirate as well

/Maybe the church should not have horded so much wealth and left themselves so open to attack
//Standing army's are the result


*hoarded
*armies

/the church also preserved much of Western knowledge and learning.
//the Vikings loved to burn books. And the monks who protected them.
///but go on about it was all the Church's fault.
////preferably, with spellcheck on
 
2014-02-25 11:04:05 AM
 
2014-02-25 11:04:20 AM

Infernalist: BFletch651: "Enthusiasm of they're ancestors"  meaning "Don't hold my ancestors mass murders against me".

Which pretty much applies to everyone.

Pretty much.  I wonder if there's a single regional and/or ethnic group that doesn't have something of the sort somewhere back in their history.

Honestly, I'm amused that this is a thing, this white-washing of Viking history.  I mean, they're pretty much defined by their motivations and methods.  This revisionist crap regarding their behavior is akin to suggesting that the Soviet gulags weren't prisons but rather wilderness resorts for Soviet survivalist types there voluntarily.


And the Nazis didn't hate the Jews, they loved them. They were just trying to prevent Jerusalem from becoming overpopulated.
 
2014-02-25 11:07:47 AM
I like rape
 
2014-02-25 11:07:54 AM
Unfortunately, the fark mobile doesn't like pics.

Someone needs to interpose a Hagar the Horrible comic with the Northmen comic.

/have fun storming the castle.
//think it will work?
/// it will take a miracle.
 
2014-02-25 11:08:10 AM
fanart.tv

Approves.
 
2014-02-25 11:08:37 AM

Prof. Frink: I'm okay with what they do in private, but I'd rather my children didn't have to be constantly exposed to their flamboyant viking lifestyle. School shouldn't be a place for liberals to indoctrinate our kids that being viking is normal.


Lord I wish there was a "funny" button on the mobile site.

+1
 
2014-02-25 11:08:59 AM

Jim_Callahan: ArkPanda: A lifestyle of robbery, murder, rape, and enslavement.

So... basically the same as the warrior/landowner class of every other human civilization at the time.

The Vikings, as they're kinda pointing out here, weren't the entire civilization, they were the subset dedicated to conquest and the acquisition of spoils.  It's not like the Christendom didn't have an entire estate dedicated to rape and pillage, too, it just mostly pointed it at the muslims and had too shiatty a navy to operate well over the water.

Oh, wait, Christianity's version of slavery was totally not slavery because you were attached to and sold with the land and not directly, except when you were, and because your role was to farm and you wouldn't have to fight 'cause the second estate had your back... except when you were.  And you could even marry who you wanted!  ... except when you couldn't.  I know it's nothing alike because the Church said so.


The warrior class constantly fighting each other was a prime consideration for the crusade by the papacy
 
2014-02-25 11:10:59 AM
Rex Kramer - Danger Seeker
That said, this group was good at war and exploring, not so much arts and sciences.

Arts? Have you read any Sagas or poetry? Sciences? They invented longships, open-sea navigation, and cold/wet clothing as insulative as modern gear made of space-age plastics.
 
2014-02-25 11:15:09 AM
"Approves."

Typical band, one guy in shape the rest lard asses except for the requisite twerp.
Is the camera down low so you can't see how short they are?
/see Cruise do that before.
 
2014-02-25 11:18:43 AM
upload.wikimedia.org  www.jugglingcats.com
 
2014-02-25 11:22:37 AM
i46.photobucket.com
 
2014-02-25 11:23:04 AM
i.imgur.com
 
2014-02-25 11:23:27 AM

Rex Kramer - Danger Seeker: I am reading a book called The Norman Conquest and I am getting some early background, it's around 1050 in the book. It's amazing the extent that the "vikings" had on England (Normandy) in the early years, did you know that the title "earl" is derived from "jarl"?


I think since Earl was an Anglo-Saxon term it's more likely that they both share the same root, rather than Earl being derived from the "Jarl" imported by Vikings.

I agree with you that it is all very interesting and very amazing.
 
2014-02-25 11:23:54 AM

kbronsito: When I was a kid I owned a whole bunch of stuff to dress up as viking and I wanted to be one when I grew up. I was very disappointing when I found out there isn't much demand for vikings in today's job market and even if there were, apparently 5'6" Hispanic guys probably can't be vikings.
:(


Yeah, that was kind of tough for you, but, when Hollywood makes a new Viking movie (since Vikings are hot right now, and they have no other ideas, it seems), there willl be at least one wise-cracking African-American sounding guy, with the Vikings. I know America didn't exist yet and they will provide no explanation how he came to be one of the Vikings, but, he will be required to be there. Maybe, in our rapidly change, more diverse society, Hollywood will work a Hispanic guy into the cast, but, they will probably make him wear a sombrero instead of a horned helmet, so that the audience is fully aware that, "Hey, there were Vikings who sound like they're from East L.A. and make a lot of wise-cracks, too!"
 
2014-02-25 11:25:58 AM
I always thought there was some sort of confusion considering Vikings.
One one hand, they are known as great explorers, inventors, and settlers.  On the other hand, they seemed pretty willing to commit murderous atrosities in order to achieve their ends.

Many of us here in the US that are descended from much of Europe are descended from them.  I don't think that the Scandanavians alone could claim they are descendents.  The Vikings settled all over the damn place.

I don't think that history wants to paint them as just black or white, or good or evil, if you prefer.
They may be among the few groups in history that really can't claim one distinction over the other.
 
2014-02-25 11:26:50 AM

RanDomino: Arts? Have you read any Sagas or poetry? Sciences? They invented longships, open-sea navigation, and cold/wet clothing as insulative as modern gear made of space-age plastics.


You could just have said mead. Both an art and a science.

albatros183: We didn't start the fire?

/No clue must be obscure
//No one kill anyone!



True Blood isn't obscure
 
2014-02-25 11:33:25 AM

zimbomba63: kbronsito: When I was a kid I owned a whole bunch of stuff to dress up as viking and I wanted to be one when I grew up. I was very disappointing when I found out there isn't much demand for vikings in today's job market and even if there were, apparently 5'6" Hispanic guys probably can't be vikings.
:(

Yeah, that was kind of tough for you, but, when Hollywood makes a new Viking movie (since Vikings are hot right now, and they have no other ideas, it seems), there willl be at least one wise-cracking African-American sounding guy, with the Vikings. I know America didn't exist yet and they will provide no explanation how he came to be one of the Vikings, but, he will be required to be there. Maybe, in our rapidly change, more diverse society, Hollywood will work a Hispanic guy into the cast, but, they will probably make him wear a sombrero instead of a horned helmet, so that the audience is fully aware that, "Hey, there were Vikings who sound like they're from East L.A. and make a lot of wise-cracks, too!"


Eddie Murphy will play the wisecracking animated animal sidekick.
 
2014-02-25 11:34:16 AM

kbronsito: When I was a kid I owned a whole bunch of stuff to dress up as viking and I wanted to be one when I grew up. I was very disappointing when I found out there isn't much demand for vikings in today's job market and even if there were, apparently 5'6" Hispanic guys probably can't be vikings.
:(


Join the SCA!  We don't mind 5'6" Hispanic vikings.  You should see our 6'5" 400 lb samurai and our ghostly pale Arabs.
Plus, if Antonio Banderas can do it, so can you!
 
2014-02-25 11:43:14 AM
We're well known for the fightin' and what else boys?
And the stealin'.
And the drinkin'.
And what else boys?
And the fightin' AND the drinkin'.

/Nae king
//Nae quin
///Nae laird
////We will nae be fooled agin!
 
2014-02-25 11:43:35 AM

kbronsito: When I was a kid I owned a whole bunch of stuff to dress up as viking and I wanted to be one when I grew up. I was very disappointing when I found out there isn't much demand for vikings in today's job market and even if there were, apparently 5'6" Hispanic guys probably can't be vikings.
:(



Antonio Banderas got in

cdn.buzznet.com
 
2014-02-25 11:44:33 AM
The Vikings discovered America.
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2014-02-25 11:48:02 AM
Gather 'round, gather 'round, it's CSB time.

So I've a relative who was absolutely crazy about tracing the family history, and holy damn... it's... storied to say the least.

The oldest verifiable ancestor I've got is this guy:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olof_Tr%C3%A4t%C3%A4lja (When your family history starts with "Burned to death as a sacrifice to Odin", you've got a bit of work ahead of you.

Other highlights include  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harald_Fairhair who famously strapped on his sword and said "BRB, putting new kingdom together." to impress the ladies.   Whichever details of his life you believe, just know that I have an ancestor named Eric Bloodaxe.

Another who did some pillaging, some burning, and hoo boy you better believe some raping.  Took a wife on a raid, came home, caroused, etc... wife waited until she had a kid, then arranged for his death after a night of drinking and when the young son took the throne led as the power behind it.

Then there's this guy...  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_Barefoot. Decided he wanted some redheads.  By Odin he went out and got some.

So... if it's to be believed, my family history includes the first and last Viking kings of Norway, along with many many more stories after that.  Of them though, the first line of my great great great (possibly one more great) grandfather's funeral announcement in staunchly Lutheran North Iowa says a lot:

"One of Kensett's oldest citizens answered the summons of the wise all-father last Monday, April 2 and passed from this life into a brighter and better one beyond. "

Seems that my family kept a bit more of the Old Country than expected.

/House of Yngling represent!
 
2014-02-25 11:48:45 AM

WeenerGord: kbronsito: When I was a kid I owned a whole bunch of stuff to dress up as viking and I wanted to be one when I grew up. I was very disappointing when I found out there isn't much demand for vikings in today's job market and even if there were, apparently 5'6" Hispanic guys probably can't be vikings.
:(


Antonio Banderas got in

[cdn.buzznet.com image 500x293]


I just googled it and he is 5'9"... taller than me... but would still be below average for a Viking.
 
2014-02-25 11:50:35 AM

Infernalist: BFletch651: "Enthusiasm of they're ancestors"  meaning "Don't hold my ancestors mass murders against me".

Which pretty much applies to everyone.

Pretty much.  I wonder if there's a single regional and/or ethnic group that doesn't have something of the sort somewhere back in their history.


i.imgur.com

Maybe? Otherwise there's nobody I'd wager equal odds on.
 
2014-02-25 11:51:31 AM
 
2014-02-25 11:52:20 AM
Are they demeaned by the new theme music?  Because, I have to tell you, we wince every time we hear that thing. . .sounds like a group of little preteens got together and made it up for their favorite boy band.
 
2014-02-25 11:57:59 AM
too many Viking threads this week...  Vikings are the main star of all my dark fantasies .  6 and a half foot of blonde dominant .... just daym
 
2014-02-25 11:59:55 AM

RanDomino: Rex Kramer - Danger Seeker
That said, this group was good at war and exploring, not so much arts and sciences.

Arts? Have you read any Sagas or poetry? Sciences? They invented longships, open-sea navigation, and cold/wet clothing as insulative as modern gear made of space-age plastics.


No I have not read any sagas or poetry. I could be wrong, but with my layman's knowledge it seems as though other cultures contributed a lot more.
 
2014-02-25 12:01:20 PM

God Is My Co-Pirate: Sure the Norse did run many peaceful trading missions, but the word Viking was originally a verb


i.imgur.com
 
2014-02-25 12:05:45 PM

kbronsito: WeenerGord: kbronsito: When I was a kid I owned a whole bunch of stuff to dress up as viking and I wanted to be one when I grew up. I was very disappointing when I found out there isn't much demand for vikings in today's job market and even if there were, apparently 5'6" Hispanic guys probably can't be vikings.
:(


Antonio Banderas got in

[cdn.buzznet.com image 500x293]

I just googled it and he is 5'9"... taller than me... but would still be below average for a Viking.


Those Hollywood guys always lie about their height. Nobody believes Tom Cruise is really 5'7".

Just put a 3" spike on your helmet.
 
2014-02-25 12:23:54 PM

SlashW: too many Viking threads this week...  Vikings are the main star of all my dark fantasies .  6 and a half foot of blonde dominant .... just daym


This being Fark, I'm sure you'll receive many fine offers from those willing to pickle your herring.
 
2014-02-25 12:33:36 PM
deadhomersociety.files.wordpress.com

/click
 
2014-02-25 12:45:16 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: I was going to go with a "it our culture not a costume" joke. But then I saw this:

[img811.imageshack.us image 236x340]

That's just too much awesome not to share.

ckellingc: Murder, rape, robery, enslavement, rape.

Everyone messes this up!! Pillage! Burn! then Rape!

Cause chicks dig a rich guy, and fires are romantic


Makes a lot of sense actually on all counts.  TIL
 
2014-02-25 12:45:20 PM

illannoyin: BFletch651: "Enthusiasm of they're ancestors"  meaning "Don't hold my ancestors mass murders against me".
Which pretty much applies to everyone.
Came in to say this. Apparently enthusiasm is now a euphemism for raping and pillaging.


Why a little pillaging makes the rape go down easier.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJqEKYbh-LU
 
2014-02-25 12:46:31 PM
Rex Kramer - Danger Seeker
No I have not read any sagas or poetry. I could be wrong, but with my layman's knowledge it seems as though other cultures contributed a lot more.

Perhaps you have heard of this thing called "The Lord of the Rings". Maybe kind of obscure.
 
2014-02-25 12:54:21 PM

Rex Kramer - Danger Seeker: RanDomino: Rex Kramer - Danger Seeker
That said, this group was good at war and exploring, not so much arts and sciences.

Arts? Have you read any Sagas or poetry? Sciences? They invented longships, open-sea navigation, and cold/wet clothing as insulative as modern gear made of space-age plastics.

No I have not read any sagas or poetry. I could be wrong, but with my layman's knowledge it seems as though other cultures contributed a lot more.


Warning: Layman's knowledge is not actual knowledge.
 
2014-02-25 01:01:00 PM
You hear that Johnny Reb? It's not racism because being a cracker is a lifestyle choice not an ethnicity!

Now get your cracker ass back to your cracker barrel or we'll beat you with tire-irons until you pine for the fiords of Norway and sing with the Choir Celestial.

Extra white people problems.

I inherit my skin from my Danish ancestors. It's not so much white as transluscent. I got more colours than the Visible Man(TM). Shine a bright light behind me and it's like X-ray glasses work.
 
2014-02-25 01:08:48 PM

Rex Kramer - Danger Seeker: I am reading a book called The Norman Conquest and I am getting some early background, it's around 1050 in the book. It's amazing the extent that the "vikings" had on England (Normandy) in the early years, did you know that the title "earl" is derived from "jarl"?
That said, this group was good at war and exploring, not so much arts and sciences.


Scandinavia is scattered with runestones. Today they just look like runes chisseled into large rocks. But they were actually painted at the time of creating.

Maybe its unfair to the Greeks and Romans, as they came quite a bit earlier than the vikings. But the vikings build boats that they couldn't at all, they also build boats that could cross open stretches of sea (rather than creeping along the coast line, looking for waypoints), because, besides their boats being far superiour, they had also figured out how to navigate. AFAIK something noone else had before, so that's quite a scientific achievement.
 
2014-02-25 01:10:26 PM
This is why I get pissy when people say the "Vikings" team is the reason sports teams named "Indians" or "Redskins" should be allowed. "Viking" is not an ethnic term. "Redskin" is a racial slur, and "Indian" is a misnomer that became an ethnic term to describe indigenous Americans. They're not remotely the same as "Viking" which is a positive term, doesn't describe ethnicity, and represents a people who no longer actually exist, while Native Americans most definitely do exist.

Call the team the "Chippewa" or "Fighting Cherokee" if you have to use the name of a group of people-- That's certainly better. My problem is when you use a racial SLUR like "Redskin" or a word that is used in a negative manner, like "Indians" is.

Additionally, if you have a mascot for your Native American-themed team, PLEASE don't make him a big-nosed, red-skinned, tomahawk-wielding racist characterization... Not unless you're also going to have a team named the Jews with a big-nosed Hacidic-looking mascot carrying bags of gold, and a team of Negros with giant cartoon lips, huge afros, and comic spears.

Making a cartoon mascot of a Spartan, Viking, or even a Fighting Irishman is different. The Irish mascot isn't represented as a drunk cop. The Spartan and Viking are portraying people who no longer exist (and again, not ethnic groups). When an actual Spartan or Viking come from the past to say they're offended, we'll talk.

...And the "Tomahawk Chop" is just as racist as a "Negro Spearchuck" would be.

Here's an idea: How about instead of making groups of people into mascots and team names, schools and pro teams just choose from animals and machines. Even when it's complimentary, I think it's just plain dumb to name a team after a group of people, unless that team is actually  made up of  those people.
 
2014-02-25 01:14:41 PM
The modern Scandinavian thinks he's racist because his shadow is black. They're pretty much dead as a culture.
 
2014-02-25 01:21:35 PM
I've read Njal's Saga, and the story seem to revolve around petty feuds, with the occasional killing and ends with a mass killing.  Not much concerning cultural contributions.

Liked the part, where if you killed somebody, you simply had to tell the first person you met, "I killed Louie down by the ford in the stream." and everything was cool.  Sure, you would have to pay the weregild at the annual All-thing, but, that was negotiated between the families involved.

/Skarp Hedin was a bad MF'er, don't cross him.
// Don't remember where I read it, but, Christianity came to Iceland via some "saint", who when confronted by an Icelandic chief, who wasn't eager to give up his pagan ways, put a battle-ax upside his head, and the conversion proceed without any further problems.
 
2014-02-25 01:22:54 PM

This text is now purple: generallyso: As if anyway would be ashamed of the wanton murder, rape, pillaging and jaywalking committed by their ancestors.

I've long wondered just how crazy pre-Christian Scandinavian women must have been, that so many of their men fled to the relative sanity of Irish women.


They weren't fleeing the crazy, my son. They were fleeing sexual equality, the filthy bastards.

Irish women can out-pull Irish horses and cattle. Even the tiny ones are as good as a Morgan horse. And they aren't half as difficult to deal with as a Scandinavian woman.

In many if not all primitive societies, the women do most of the heavy work (agriculture is part of the housework because kitchen gardens, and commerce, (selling the produce is part of the housework too).

If you've ever watched the Dukes of Hazard, you will notice that Daisy is the only person with a job and the only one who ever does a lick of work except for automotive work on the General Lee. And I bet she's still the only one who puts oil and water into the car, let alone gasoline.

The Irish-Scots hillbillies of the South are no different in this than their ancestors were 1,000 years ago, or than many Africans, native Americans or others are today. Women's work: 95% including all the unpleasant chores such as birthing and burying. Men's work: hunting, fishing, talking politics, fighting, and the other 5% of the work.

If I'm hard on the Scots-Irish and the Scandinavians it is because they're my cousins and ancestors. As the French say, je parle en connaissance de cause. (I know whereof I speak.)

Still, hillbillies can be surprisingly liberal. After all, they didn't own a half dozen slaves between them and most of their ancestors fled to the hills because they couldn't stand low land society for one reason or another. A man was a man, and a woman was a slightly more attractive form of the mule.

They're the type of brigands and misfits that gathered around Romulus or the young David, son of Jesse, when he hid from Saul and harassed the Philistines from the Cave of Macpelah. A suspiciously Scottish sounding name, that.

Democrats born and bred in the bone.
 
2014-02-25 01:40:59 PM
5-10 record

shame
 
2014-02-25 01:49:39 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: I was going to go with a "it our culture not a costume" joke. But then I saw this:

[img811.imageshack.us image 236x340]

That's just too much awesome not to share.

ckellingc: Murder, rape, robery, enslavement, rape.

Everyone messes this up!! Pillage! Burn! then Rape!

Cause chicks dig a rich guy, and fires are romantic


Looks like I need to make a road trip to Norsitania.
 
2014-02-25 01:53:57 PM
"enthusiasms of their ancestors"

New euphemism for rape?
 
2014-02-25 02:25:55 PM

The Green Intern: Gather 'round, gather 'round, it's CSB time.

So I've a relative who was absolutely crazy about tracing the family history, and holy damn... it's... storied to say the least.

The oldest verifiable ancestor I've got is this guy:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olof_Tr%C3%A4t%C3%A4lja (When your family history starts with "Burned to death as a sacrifice to Odin", you've got a bit of work ahead of you.

Other highlights include  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harald_Fairhair who famously strapped on his sword and said "BRB, putting new kingdom together." to impress the ladies.   Whichever details of his life you believe, just know that I have an ancestor named Eric Bloodaxe.

Another who did some pillaging, some burning, and hoo boy you better believe some raping.  Took a wife on a raid, came home, caroused, etc... wife waited until she had a kid, then arranged for his death after a night of drinking and when the young son took the throne led as the power behind it.

Then there's this guy...  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_Barefoot. Decided he wanted some redheads.  By Odin he went out and got some.

So... if it's to be believed, my family history includes the first and last Viking kings of Norway, along with many many more stories after that.  Of them though, the first line of my great great great (possibly one more great) grandfather's funeral announcement in staunchly Lutheran North Iowa says a lot:

"One of Kensett's oldest citizens answered the summons of the wise all-father last Monday, April 2 and passed from this life into a brighter and better one beyond. "

Seems that my family kept a bit more of the Old Country than expected.

/House of Yngling represent!



Unless your family is really in to incest, you`ll pretty much be related to everybody if you go back 1000 years...
 
2014-02-25 02:58:09 PM

Slaxl: Rex Kramer - Danger Seeker: I am reading a book called The Norman Conquest and I am getting some early background, it's around 1050 in the book. It's amazing the extent that the "vikings" had on England (Normandy) in the early years, did you know that the title "earl" is derived from "jarl"?

I think since Earl was an Anglo-Saxon term it's more likely that they both share the same root, rather than Earl being derived from the "Jarl" imported by Vikings.

I agree with you that it is all very interesting and very amazing.


Gonna grab some Jarlsberg cheese on the way home from work now thanks to you guys.
 
2014-02-25 03:27:44 PM

Marine1: [fanart.tv image 850x478]

Approves.


Saw them with Enslaved and Skeletonwitch a couple weeks ago.  It was a superb show.
 
2014-02-25 03:30:20 PM
A good read on this sort of thing is The Long Ships, by Frans Bengtsson. It's an early historical fiction novel about Red Orm, who leaves Sweden to go a-viking. He ends up in the Mediterranean, specifically around Spain; the British Isles, where he fights Saxons; and concludes with a trip down the Volga River in search of treasure.

The writing style is almost completely in a stilted third person and it takes some getting used to, but the story itself is a fairly good examination of what the Vikings were actually doing around the world at their height. You see the main character as a slave in Muslim country, a warrior in England, a chief in Sweden, and a raider in Russia, which covers about everything they did.

Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Chronicles also does a good job of conveying exactly what it meant to be a Viking, specifically one who was raiding England during the reign of Alfred the Great. Everything from danegeld, to religious beliefs, to battle tactics, sailing skills, and conversion to Christianity is included in there somewhere along the way.

Basically, the Vikings were unparalleled warriors and sailors who were motivated almost entirely by greed. They could easily have conquered more territory than the Romans if they'd all gotten pointed the same way. But their society wasn't organized on a national or communal basis - it was essentially a democracy, and not even a republican democracy (in the strict classic sense of those terms). There was no unifying principle to unite "the Vikings" as a whole, except they all wanted to get rich. And anybody who could round up a boat and thirty or so guys to row it could go about getting rich in whatever way he could manage.
 
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