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 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Chapter I
 Chapter II
 Advertising
 Back Cover
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Title: Think before you act
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00001673/00001
 Material Information
Title: Think before you act
Physical Description: 64 p. : ill. ; 15 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Appleton, George Swett, 1821-1878 ( Publisher )
D. Appleton and Company ( Publisher )
Publisher: Geo. S. Appleton
D. Appleton & Co.
Place of Publication: Philadelphia
New York
Publication Date: 1850
 Subjects
Subject: Hand-colored illustrations -- 1850   ( local )
Robinsonades -- 1850   ( rbgenr )
Biographies -- 1850   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1850   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1850
Genre: Hand-colored illustrations   ( local )
Robinsonades   ( rbgenr )
Biographies   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Mrs. Sherwood.
General Note: Some illustrations are hand-colored.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00001673
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002237440
oclc - 05887171
notis - ALH7927
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Frontispiece
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Chapter I
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Chapter II
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
    Advertising
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text

















4 I I I I 1 II

9oll
.YS








THINK




BEFORE YOU ACT.


BY


MRS. SHERWOOD,


AUTHOR OF


"SOCIAL TALES," "HENRY AND HIS BEARER," "UNCLE MANNERS,
"FRANK BEAUCHAMP," GRANDMAMMA PARKER,
"SISTERLY LOVE," ETC. ETC. ETC.


9=:--42-


PHILADE LPHIA:
GEO. S. APPLETON, 164 CHESTNUT STREET.
NEW YORK:
D. APPLETON & CO., 200 BROADWAY
1850.







THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


DEAR grandfather, said George Montague, what
shall we do all this long evening now mother is
gone out ?
What shall we do, George! replied his elder
brother Robert, I should think we might find many
things to do, for after all, mother and father will
ohly be absent six hours.
Six hours is a very long time, cried Clara.
Yet they are soon past, said Maria, her eldest
sister, very soon past.
In pleasant company, you mean, added Clara.
But not at lesson time, eh! Clara, inquired
Robert, laughing.
Clara laughed too, then putting her arm round
her grandfather's neck, she whispered, Dear grand-
father, have you not got a story to tell us--a use-
ful and pretty story; for though I like to learn, 1
like to be amused better.
C(5)





THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


That's right, Clara, cried Robert, I like to hear
persons honest enough to say the truth when they
speak-let them be silent, if they cannot say what
they think.
I like to speak truth, said little George, gravely;
and so, dear grandfather, will you tell us a story
that is true, quite true ?
My dear George, replied grandfather, do not
suppose that I am clever enough to tell you a
story that is quite true, I mean every word of it,
but I know some stories in which all the things
did happen, and happened one after another; such
a one I could tell you, and yet many parts must
be fancied not quite true.
I do not understand you, grandfather, said
George.
Then I must explain myself more clearly I sup-
pose, my little man, replied grandfather. Now
look here at this book I have brought for you, it
is full of pictures, and all these pictures that I
hold in my hand, are about a fact that happened
in the years 1212 and 1215. IT you like I will
tell you a story about them.
Oh do, cried the children all together, dear
grandfather, pray do.






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


Many years ago, before any of you were born,
continued Mr. Montague, a gentleman wrote a
long poem on the fact I am going to tell you by
these pictures. Now you see both our stories are
the same, both are true, and yet that gentleman
gave a different account of the particulars of the
story to what I am going to give; and as it hap-
pened six hundred years ago; who shall say which
is right. But this I wish you to learn, that when
you take up a book which says in the first page
"a true story," you must understand that the cir-
cumstances are correct, but that I may tell them
one way, and you may tell them another. This
is not only in books, but in real life also, and I
have seen many rude children contradict each
other, because they do not agree in particulars;
just for instance, if I held an egg in my hand be-
tween Clara and George, and asked what shape
it was at the ends, Clara would say, round, and
George, almost pointed; both would be right at
their own ends, but not so if speaking of the oth-
ers; and therefore if you hear persons describing
anything that passed when you were present, and
you don't quite agree with what they say, remem-


7





THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


ber that it may have appeared differently to them,
or that they had the round part of the egg to-
wards them, and you the pointed. But now
attend to these pictures, and I will show you each
as we come to it in my story.
Once upon a time, said grandfather, there was
a great prince in Wales, who for his valour and
bravery, was called Llewelyn the Great. He lived
in a fine old castle in the vale of Llanberis, amidst











the mountains of Snowdon; built of stone and
slate, from the neighboring slate quarries, and
surrounded by a ditch or fosse.





THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


The castle in which Llewelyn lived, is now fallen
to ruins, and there only remains of it a round
tower on an eminence, which was the strongest
part in the building, and kept for the household to
retire to in case of attack.
0, grandfather, said George, do tell us some-
thing about Snowdon, before you go on with Lle-
welyn. I have read about Snowdon in the history
of Merlin. Did not Merlin live on Snowdon ?
But the history of Merlin cannot be true, said
Robert. Was there ever such a person ?
Merlin, answered grandfather, really lived. He
was a learned, clever man, and was the bard and
the friend of Vortigern, and his successor Ambro-
sius, two ancient kings of Britain. Learned per-
sons in those dark ages were often thought to be
magicians, and very strange stories were set down
to them, as if they had dealings with evil spirits,
and were helped by them.
I understand that, said Robert, for when very
ignorant people see anything they do not under-
stand, they always set it down to something
miraculous.
It was only a very few years ago, added grand-






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


father, that the first steam-boat went up the
Ganges, and at the sight of it, all the poor villa-
gers cried out, The boat of Satan! The boat of
Satan!
But Merlin, grandfather, said George; you for-
get Merlin.
And you, George, replied grandfather, forget
the story of Llewelyn, which I was going to tell
you, and have run off after Merlin. But I will
tell you a little more about your favourite before
I return to my own story. About a mile up the
valley of Nant Gwynant, said to be the most
beautiful in Snowdon, there is a lofty rock, where
Vortigern is said to have resided awhile, and
which he is also said to have given to Merlin.
There are the remains of a castle at the top of
this rock, and stories have gone abroad of won-
derful things seen there. Merlin is said to have
foretold many coming events from the top of this
rock.
Is Snowdon a single mountain, or has it many
heads, grandfather? asked Maria.
Where I saw it in the direction I went up it,
answered grandfather, it seemed to have four prin-


10






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


cipal heads, separated by tremendous rocky
chasms. These summits are so often surrounded
by clouds, that when a person has laboured up to
any one of them, he can see nothing but the mist
about him.
But then, said George, he can have the pleasure
of thinking that he is in the clouds.
And the delight also of feeling very wet, and
very cold, after having heated himself by climbing
four or more miles, answered grandfather.
What can be seen from Snowdon, grandfather,
when it is quite clear? asked Robert.
There may be seen with a glass, answered
grandfather, the high hills of Yorkshire, part of
Scotland and Ireland, and the Isle of Man very
clearly.
I should like, said George, to go to Snowdon,
and ramble all over it.
And perhaps you might happen to break your
neck, my child, answered grandfather, over its
steep precipices. I think you are safer at home,
at present; but before we go back to Llewelyn, I
must tell you that the Welsh, in former days, al-
most worshipped Snowdon; they accounted it to






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


be quite sacred. We find from the Bible, how
apt ignorant people have always been to pay
superstitious honours to mountains.
I suppose, remarked George, it is because they
are so grand, and because it is so hard to get to
the top of them.
Now, George, said Clara, will you let us go
back to grandfather's story?
I will, answered George, but I want to hear
more about Merlin.
Another time, replied grandfather; you must
learn, my little boy, to give up your own whims to
your elders; or if the company be more in num-
ber, though younger than yourself, you must give
way to them in all innocent things. So now for
Llewelyn again.
Dolbadarn castle stands on a piece of high
land, and separates the two lakes of Llanberis,
which are here joined by a stream. Dolbadarn
tower, which now alone remains of this once
strong castle, is built partly of slate; its walls are
immensely thick, and it has four stories. Moun-
tains surround it on all sides the valley not be-
ing very wide, and much of it seems too marshy
for cultivation.


12






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


Now, that I have described to you the castle of
the Prince Llewelyn, continued grandfather, I
must try to give you some idea of the great man
himself.
Llewelyn did not spend all his time in his strong
castle of Dolbadarn, for he loved to mount his
noble horse, and with his attendants hunt the wolf
or wild stag, in his royal forest of Snowdonia;
sleeping on the mountains under rude sheds, or
sometimes having no roof over his head. At











other times he lived in tents upon the plain, and
then his dress was of stout armour, and his heart


13






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


was full of care, for he had to defend his faithful
subjects against their neighbours, the Normans,
who dwelt in England.
If Llewelyn had been content only to defend
his Welsh followers against the Normans, all
would have been well, but on one occasion, when
John, king of England, was in Ireland, Llewelyn
passed over the Welsh border, and made an at
tack upon some of the towns and villages of Eng-
land, killing and plundering all that fell in his way.
When King John returned from Ireland, you
may suppose, continued grandfather, he was very
angry with Llewelyn and the Welsh; so he assem-
bled a large army, and went to Wales to be re-
venged on the Prince and his subjects.
Here you may see a picture of King John and
his Normans attacking the city of Conway; and
from this you may judge what a fierce thing war
is, when two brave nations are fighting against
each other.
King John suffered so much from this attack,
that he was obliged to return to England for a
few months, but then he came back again with a
more powerful army. This time too, he went


14






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


into Caernarvonshire, and reached it before Lle-
welyn had time to assemble his troops.











And from Conway, John sent a part of his
army to burn the town of Bangor, and to take
prisoner the bishop of that city.
The bishop, however, escaped to the cathedral.
For people in those days were allowed to go to
the altars in churches for places of refuge, and
even a thief or murderer was permitted to remain
untouched, if he stood by an altar.
King John, however, paid no heed to this cus-
tom, but made his soldiers take the bishop pri-
soner, though standing by the high altar.


15






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


Llewelyn was obliged to fly with his wife and
children to Dolbadarn castle, as the only place of
safety, but even here sad news reached him daily,
of how King John was destroying the towns of
Wales, killing the people, and plundering their
houses.
What is to become of us ? said the Princess of
Wales to her husband. King John will soon be
here, and then you, my husband, will be taken
prisoner, perhaps our children also.
The lady wept bitterly at the thought; and her
husband knew not what to say to comfort her.
At last he asked, Are you not a daughter of this
great king, Joan ? then what have you to fear from
him? he will spare you, and the children, because
they are yours.
I do not fear for myself, Llewelyn, she answered;
King John has always been a kind father to me,
nor for my children do I fear, nor perhaps even
for you, but I grieve when I think of your sub-
jects, Llewelyn, and the misery my royal parent
is inflicting upon them. All along the western
coast, I hear the Welsh are in trouble; parents
mourning the loss of their grown-up sons-infants


16





THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


dying for want of a mother's care, and many a
widow lamenting the cruel and untimely fate of
her husband.
Alas! cried Llewelyn, what can we do, Joan ?
Who can stop your royal father in his bloody
march? It is too late for hope. I could do
nothing for them at Conway, at Bangor, or at
Diganwy. I should have died with my people,
Joan; I ought not to have left them, but in death;
I will go now and die for them if I cannot save
them.
No, Llewelyn, replied the Princess Joan, that
must not be, your life is too valuable to your sub-
jects; our son Edwal is but a boy, too young to
govern this nation. You shall then remain at
Dolbadarn, and I will go to my royal father with
my child; and he shall plead for Wales-unhappy
Wales.
At first, Llewelyn opposed his wife's plan; but a
messenger arriving with fresh news of a most sad
description to Dolbadarn castle, the Prince of
Wales was now as anxious for the Princess's
departure, as she was herself.
So the Princess and her son left the castle, and


17






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


with a very small train of attendants, they tra
veiled rapidly towards that part of Wales where
the English king had stationed himself with his
troops.
The lady Joan was not a daughter of either
of the Queens Isabel, the two wives of King
John; and not being a child of either, she could
never succeed to the English throne, but she was
the daughter of King John, by lady Agatha,
daughter of Robert, Earl of Ferrers.
The English King had seized upon one of the
Welsh palaces, and had guarded it with his own
soldiers; and there was he, resting from the
fatigues of war, when the Lady Joan and her son
stopped before the gates, and asked permission
for an interview with him.
The guards knew the Princess, and they knew
too, that the King was very angry with her hus-
band, and probably with her also, so they knew
not what to do; but seeing that the party were
very tired, and aware that the King loved his
daughter very much, and might afterwards be very
angry at any rudeness shown to her-they permit-
ted her to enter over the drawbridge.


18






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


The King has retired to his chamber, they said,
and must not be disturbed; if then you will pro-
mise not to intrude into his presence, we will ven-
ture to allow you and your son to enter the castle,
but the Welsh attendants must wait without.
The lady Joan hesitated a moment, for she
remembered that King John had some years be-
fore sent for some of the sons of the Welsh nobles
to England, and had kept them there to make
their parents unwilling to oppose his wishes: for,
how dared they to do anything to displease the
English King? knowing if they did, he would cut
off the heads of their sons, or put them into
prison.
And should he take my little Edwal from me,
thought the lady Joan, how could I bear to part
from him, perhaps forever? But then, how many
mothers may be made childless, if I do not ear-
nestly implore King John to have pity upon us ?
and if he chooses to take my boy to England,
why even from the fortress of Dolbadarn, may
my child be sent to him: I will not keep my
Edwal with me, at the expense of human blood.
So the lady Joan took her son from the stout


19






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


scent and he escaped us. We should have had
Gelert with us, boy. Gelert never was turned
aside from the right. Gelert is worth untold gold ;
no hound so sure as he. But to-morrow he goes
with us to the chase.
And take me, too, father, said Edwal; I love
the chase as much as Gelert does. Take me,
too, father.
Again Llewelyn smiled, as he replied: When
the hair covers that smooth cheek, Edwal, then
shall you go with us to the chase, that your brow
may become darkened in the sun, and that you
may lose that womanlybeauty your mother now
cherishes so carefully. But what is this ? Here
is Gelert coming to meet us, his mouth and limbs
besmeared and dripping with blood.
As Llewelyn spoke, the dog sprang upon him,
fawningly wagging his tail, and showing, by dumb
signs, his welcome to his master.
What's the matter with the brute ? inquired
Llewelyn; he seems as if he would tell us strange
news, if he could speak. But look, the blood is
not his own; it has come off on my hand, showing
there is no wound beneath.


35






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


Our child! our child! exclaimed the lady Joan,
what can have befallen our child ? Gelert was
with him. Alas! Alas! what evil can have hap-
pened to him?
The father stayed but to ask where the infant
had been laid, and whilst the lady Joan was
stayed by her fear of leaving Edwal when some
secret danger lurked, she knew not what; Lle-
welyn, calling Gelert after him, sprang forwards,
determined to know the worst. The faithful
animal seemed to be at once aware of what the
afflicted father sought, for he led the way to the
apartment where he had been left with the child.
But what a sight met the parents' eyes! The
cradle overturned, and the babe nowhere visible;
but there were stains of purple gore on the satin
quilt and clots of blood on the stone pavement.
Llewelyn stood aghast; a cold and dreadful shud-
dering stole over his limbs. His eye was fixed on
Gelert, whose mouth and nostrils were still stained
with blood; and now for the first time he perceived
that his delicate coat was disordered, and his
sides were heaving like one just come out from
some dreadful contest. Yet his eye was meek


36






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


and tender, as it ever was, when looking up to his
lord; and by his manner it might have been thought,
that he felt he had merited his caresses.
But the heart of Llewelyn was with his child;
in his haste he believed that Gelert had destroyed
him, and that it was the blood of his own babe
which stained the fangs of the hound. In his


rage and his madness he pointed his hunting
sword at the breast of the greyhound, and pierced
him to the heart.
The dying animal raised his soft eyes, in whict


37






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


the tears seemed to stand, in kind rebuke, then
drawing his body with pain towards his cruel
master, he licked his foot in token of forgiveness,
and with one gentle moan expired.
Still Llewelyn stood over the greyhound, unable
to move, and undecided what next to do, for his
heart smote him; but the next moment the lady
Joan and Edwal were by his side, and the painful
scene but too plainly told them that something
was dreadfully amiss.
There lay the lifeless greyhound; and there
the cradle: the first impulse of the mother was to
find, what she expected to be, the mangled remains
of her child; so, passing her husband, she drew
aside the clothes which had covered him, and
there she found her boy alive, indeed, but hurt by
the paw of a large wolf, killed by the faithful
Gelert on its attacking the babe.
The lady Joan screamed fearfully on beholding
the senseless form of her child, and the horrid
monster which lay beside him; but she recovered
herself immediately, for the babe wanted attention,
and where is the mother who does not forget her-
self for her sucking child ?


38






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT


Hastening, then, into the palace, proper remedies
were applied, and the infant was so soon himself
again, that even the lady Joan had leisure to think
of how the affair had happened.
Gelert, the faithful Gelert, had saved the babe
from the fierce wolf, the very same which Llewelyn
had roused that morning in the chase. The
enraged creature had taken to the valley, and,
ravenous for food he had entered the palace, and
would have destroyed the child, if Gelert had not
risked his own life in its defence. And how was
the faithful hound rewarded by the impetuous
father? He was slain within sight of the very
spot where he had saved his master's child; and
who shall say what were the feelings of Llewelyn,
as he looked upon the dead body of the greyhound,
his head laid upon the lap of Edwal, who weeping-
ly fondled his loved companion, now for the first
time insensible to his caresses ?
Llewelyn was so much shocked at his own
hasty conduct, that he caused the faithful creature
to be buried within sight of his hunting seat; and
to this day is the place known as the grave or bed
of Gelert, or Bedd Gelert; a spot in which the


39






40 THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.
eye-bright loves to grow, within sight of the mur-
muring Colwyn.
And now, said grandfather, I have told you a
story, which I hope will amuse and instruct you.
The lesson to be learned from it, is this:-Be
not too hasty in acting; for by this over-haste
Llewelyn lost much to his father-in-law King
John; and by it, too, he lost the only present ever
sent to him by that King.
He lost that faithful and attached friend, poor
Gelert, only a few moments after he had endanger-
ed his own life for the infant committed to his care,
and he lost him through-but it is time for tea,
said grandfather, and, you see I have put down
my hat and stick, and Fido has made himself very
comfortable, so you must give us some tea, and
after tea we will talk about some of the other
pictures in my book.











CHAPTER II.


THE little party made haste with their tea, for
they longed to hear another story from the pictures
in grandfather's book.
Oh! that is just what I wanted, cried Robert,
on opening the volume and seeing a picture.
I have a hundred questions at least, grandfather,
to ask you about it.
* That is a picture of Robinson Crusoe, exclaim-
ed George; I have read that book through very
often; I have got it on my own book-shelf. What
can you want to know about it, Robert?
I want to ask grandfather, said Robert, who
could have invented such a story ? I own that it
is very amusing, George, and I have read it over
and over again; but yet I should like to know if
(41)






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


there is any truth in it,-can you tell us the true
story, grandfather, if there is one ?
It is not altogether a fanciful story, replied Mr.
Montague; and indeed in some respects Robinson
Crusoe was better off than the person on whose
adventures the story is built,-in other things he
was not so well provided for.
Oh! grandfather, cried Clara, if I had thought
Robinson Crusoe had been a real man, I think I
must have cried over his troubles. I am so very
sorry for him, to have been shut up all round by
water, so that he could not get away, and not a
person to speak to when he was ill or unhappy.
But, should you not like to hear the true story,
interrupted Robert, as you see that grandfather
knows it ? Let us then sit round him, as we did
before tea, if grandfather will be so good as to tell
it to us.
Here are the pictures of Robinson Crusoe, as
well as of the true story, my children, said Mr.
Montague, so now let us begin with the first.
You all know that Robinson Crusoe was said to
have been shipwrecked on an uninhabited island,
and here he is on his raft, going backwards and


42






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


forwards to the ship for what he can get. In this
Robinson Crusoe was more fortunate than the man
in the true story, as you shall hear. So we will
pass over that picture, and I will show you the
true hero as a boy, with his father and mother, in
their comfortable home.
Alexander Selkirk, for so he was called, was
born at Largo, in the county of Fife, which I hope
you know, my children, added grandfather, to be
one of the eastern counties of Scotland.
From his earliest childhood he took to the sea,
and a very good sailor he was, which proved very
fortunate to him, as you will hear.
He was about twenty-seven years old when he
left England, as sailing-master of a vessel, called
the Cinque Ports galley, and at that time a person
of the name of Charles Pickering was captain.
This vessel had sixty-three men on board, and
sixteen guns; and when she sailed out of Cork,
another vessel went with her, called the St. George,
commanded by a very famous navigator, named
William Dampier.
These two ships went to the South Seas in
company, intending to cruise about or attack the


43






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


Spaniards in those seas. On their way out Cap-
tain Pickering died, and the next in command was
made Captain.
This person, whose name was Thomas Strad-
ling, did not agree so well with Dampier as Picker-
ing had done, and at last the quarrel between them
arose so high, that on arriving at Juan Fernandez,
they determined to separate.
This happened in the month of May, and in the
September following, Stradling came again to the
Island of Juan Fernandez. His ship wanted
repair, and he hoped they should be able to do
something in that Island towards making it fit for
the long voyage home. It was whilst staying on
shore that this quarrelsome Captain and Selkirk
fell out, and that so seriously, that they could not
make up the affair.
The ship is a bad one, said Selkirk, and our
Captain so disagreeable, that there is no submit
ting to him, so I shall stay upon the Island.
Stay upon the Island by yourself? cried his
companions, truly! you would never do it.
Never do it! replied Selkirk, but you shall see
that I will, for I cannot put up with the Captain's


44






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


ways, so I am off to fetch my things from the
ship. Alexander's companions at first thought he
was jesting, and next that he was mad, and they
did all in their power to persuade him to return
home with them; but Selkirk laughed at their
arguments, and brought his things on shore.
These things consisted of his clothes and bed-
ding, some sail-cloth, a gun, some powder and
balls, a hatchet, a knife, a kettle, books, and his
mathematical and nautical instruments.
Captain Stradling was very glad to think that
he should so easily get rid of Selkirk, and there-
fore took no measures to turn him from his
purpose. But the ship being mended or patched
up for the voyage, the Captain gave his sailing
orders.
It was then that Selkirk began to repent of his
hasty determination, and would gladly then have
carried his goods on board again.
The Captain, however, refused to take either
himself or his goods, saying, that he was only too
happy to get rid of him.
Selkirk now begged in vain not to be left in that
dreadful solitude. The revengeful Captain would


45






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


not listen to his entreaties, and the ship set sail
from the Island.
Selkirk bore up pretty well till he saw the vessel
set sail, and then, as he said afterwards, he could
not restrain his feelings any longer; but he threw
himself on the earth, and gave full vent to his
misery.
He was alone, alone in the world, with only one
living creature with him which knew him, or on
which he could look to a friend-this was his dog.
Neither could he expect ever to see any other men
besides energies in the Island. No nation but
Spaniards frequented it, and they were great ene-
mies at that time to the English.
Though monarch of all he saw around him,
poor Selkirk was thoroughly wretched, and though
he had more than enough of the necessaries of
life, he would gladly have given some of these up,
to have a friend to whom he could speak.
Selkirk had plenty of fish for food, also goat's
flesh in abundance, with turnips and other vegeta-
bles; but what were these to a man so unhappily
situated as he was ? At last he became so deject-
ed, that he would have gladly died.


46






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


But now, said grandfather, I am coming to a
pleasant part of my story. One day Selkirk, after
bewailing his miserable condition, seized. hold of
his hatchet, and began to strike the rocks which
formed the side of his cave or sleeping apartment.


1 am weary of never-ending silence, he said, let
me at least arouse the echo!


47






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


With his blows he so shook the rocks, that the
loose stones came thundering down upon him,
and so great was his danger, that he was forced
to throw himself on the earth with his face down-
wards. How sinful I am, he cried, thus to peril
my life? Can I find no other pastime ? Where-
fore do I yield to despair?
Look at poor Selkirk, and tell me, said grand-
father, can we do otherwise than pity him, though
he has brought on his own difficulties ? See the
ladder by which he climbs in and out of the place
he has chosen for his refuge, should the Spaniards
land on the Island. There are few stones still
falling from the rocks, but he has thrown his
hatchet from him, for a thought has struck him-
he is thinking of the books which he brought on
shore in the small cask, which you see near
the tent. He had never yet turned to these
books for amusement. He thought that he would
then have recourse to them, and when he had
recovered from his shock, he put his hand into
the cask, and brought out the volume that was
uppermost.
God was good to this poor solitary, for that book


48






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


proved to be the Bible, which he had but too long
neglected.


Selkirk was now no longer unhappy, and yet
eighteen months had passed since he had seen the
face of a fellow-creature; but with the Bible for
D


49






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


his chief support, he looked forwards to a joyful
meeting with those he loved in another world, and
he set himself to make his present situation more
agreeable.
As the second summer came on, he made him-
self such a tent as Robinson Crusoe describes.
Amongst his own goods he possessed some sail-
cloth, having been the sailing-master on board ship,
and though such things were provided by the Cap-
tain, yet Selkirk always liked to have a stock in
case of necessity, and now how useful he found it!
And now no longer moody and melancholy, he
had formed acquaintance with the living crea-
tures which inhabited the Island, and here in his
summer tent, he is talking to one of his favourites, a
bird of the parrot kind,which he has taught to speak,
as you may see in the picture on preceding page.
Poor Selkirk was obliged to let his hair grow
about his face, for he had no razors; and his
single knife was so precious an article, that he
never used it but on the most important occasions.
When his clothes began to wear out, he found
it necessary to get others, and this he did by
killing a goat, of which there were plenty in the


50






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


Island, and sewing up for himself a rude coat, cap,
and trousers of the skin.
He possessed also some linen, which he made into
shirts; and if you would like, Miss Clara, added
grandfather, to know how he put them together,
I can tell you. He used a nail to make the holes
instead of a needle, and his thread was the grey
worsted of his stockings, which he carefully
unravelled.
Oh, grandfather! cried Clara, how very long it
must have taken him to make a shirt with such
needles and thread!
All the better, replied grandfather, for when he
was thus employed, he had less time to ponder on
his troubles; for if youhave ever seen a man at
work, even with a good needle and thread, Clara,
you will say that poor Selkirk had a hard task of
it with his nail and worsted.
Indeed I should think so, said Clara, laughing;
but, grandfather, you have not told us what were
Selkirk's pet animals.
Why, first and foremost was his dog, which he
had brought from England, continued Mr. Monta-
gue, then came his goats, and then his birds of the


51






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


parrot kind, and lastly a little regiment of tame
cats.
Cats! cried George; did you say cats, grand-
father ?
Yes, cats, my boy, answered the old gentleman;
for there were so many cats in his cave or sleep-
ing apartment, that being tame, they formed quite a
little regiment of guards to defend him from the rats.
But how did he catch the goats ? asked Robert,
These animals, when wild, are so swift of foot, and
generally frequent such high and dangerous places.
Robert, replied Mr. Montague, Selkirk reckoned
that he caught, during his stay on the island, no
less than one thousand goats, which is about two
a week; so you may guess he was a very quick
runner, and clever in the pursuit. Five hundred
of these he let loose, marking them by a slit in
the ear, that he might know them again. But to
prove that the chase was not always safe, I must
tell you of the worst accident which befel Selkirk
whilst on the Island.
One morning he set out, with his gun on his
shoulder, and his faithful dog by his side, in pursuit
of some birds as a change of food.





THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


He had scarcely left the sea side, to ascend a
little hill in the heart of the Island, where he knew
he should find some game, when a peculiarly large
goat, with branching horns, peeped forth from



-]-









amidst the bushes above his head, keenly regard-
ing him. The day was cold for the time of the
year, and the extraordinary size of the goat tempt-


53






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


ed Selkirk to lay down his gun, and with his small
pistol in his hand, he ascended the steep in chase
of the fine creature.
The goat, perceiving his intention, at once
started forwards, and most eagerly did Selkirk
pursue him. On, on they went, the agile creature
springing from rock to rock, followed by Selkirk,
as daring and as swift as himself, whilst the faith-
ful dog kept pace with his master.
They had reached the summit of the mountain,
there Selkirk, putting forth his hand, firmly grasp-
ed one horn of the animal, for he would not for its
struggles loose his hold.
For a moment the strife lasted; the next,
Selkirk was aware that he was falling down a
precipice, the height of which he knew not. When
he came to himself, for he was stunned by the fall,
he found himself lying upon the dead goat, which
circumstance had most probably saved his life, and
his faithful dog was watching by his side. Selkirk
reckoned, by his observation on the moon, that he
had lain in that senseless state full twenty-four
hours; and now he was so bruised and hurt by the
fall, that it was with difficulty he contrived to crawl


541






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


to his home, which he did not leave again for ten
days.
Selkirk afterwards found out, on examining the
place from whence he had fallen, that the goat had
climbed to the "edge of the precipice, which was so
covered with bushes, that he had not perceived the
danger of the place on which he was struggling
with the animal.
To have seen Selkirk amongst his goats and
cats, must have been a very curious sight, for he
would dance and sing amongst them for amuse-
ment; and the tame creatures were so accustomed
to his ways, that they would sit or lie round him
in a circle, whilst he capered and shouted out his
songs for his own diversion.
One morning, whilst seated by the sea shore,
with his goats and kids at his feet, he perceived in
the far distance a ship with her sails spread making
towards the Island.
0, how joyfully did his heart beat as the vessel
approached, and with what haste did he drive
home his goats, that he might go to that part of
the shore, now called the Bay of Cumberland,
which is the safest part in the Island for landing





0 0 THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.
upon, and for which point he saw the vessel
making.
They are French, he thought, but what of that ?
They are near neighbours of England, and they
will be my friends, though enemies to the English
nation. Selkirk was quite determined to give
himself up to them, even at the chance of being
taken as a prisoner to France; for he most ardently
longed once again to hear the human voice.
He was doomed to be disappointed this time;
and happy was it for him that he suddenly con-
sidered, that it would be wiser for him to find out
what these visitors were, before showing himself.
He therefore concealed himself behind a rock, and
saw the ship's crew land; but they were too far
off for him to distinguish what country people
they were.
He followed them cautiously as they moyed
inland. They went on in a body for a while; but
some of the party began at length to lag behind,
and the foremost had seated themselves to rest on
a grassy spot, before he came near enough to see
them through the tall trees which shaded the place.
One glance then convinced him that these





THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


persons were Spaniards, and he soon discovered
also, by their manners and conversation, that they
were Buccaneers or pirates, that is sea robbers.










When Selkirk made this discovery how glad he
was that he had not shown himself to them; for
they were his country's bitterest enemies, and
persons with whom no man's life is safe.
Selkirk thought that the man who is seen stand-
ing up in the picture was the Captain, added grand-
father; and that one who shows only his back, he
supposed to'be a Jesuit Priest; and he judged
rightly. This Roman Catholic Priest was on his
way to the Spanish colonies of South America,


57






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


when he had fallen into the hands of the Bucca-
neers; but they had used him well, and even hand-
somely, being themselves Roman Catholics.
A rustling which Selkirk made among the
bushes caused the pirates to turn in that direction;
and some of them, not knowing what might have
caused the sound, seized their firelocks, and ran
towards that part of the wood from whence the
alarm had come.
It was no easy matter to escape these men; but
Selkirk had learned to run like a goat, and like
that animal also to climb the steepest crags. He
knew every corner of the Island well, and contri-
ved to keep beyond the sight of his pursuers.
He was, however, so hard pressed at last, that
he was obliged to climb into a tree for safety, and
there to remain a long time without moving. Many
were the random shots sent by the Buccaneers
into the bushes; but Providence guarded the poor
solitary. Yet his fears were not over when he
was in the tree, for the Spaniards passed and re-
passed beneath it, and killed some goats within
sight of his hiding-place.
IIowdelighted was Selkirk when he found himself





THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


once again sole tenant of the Island; and how
gaily did he dance and sing among his goats and
cats the evening after he had watched the Spanish
ship sailing away in the far distance.

















He was aroused fromTf s sleep that night, how-
ever, by a noise outside his cave, and rising from


59





THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


his couch, he soon discovered that it was one of
his goats which he then remembered he had not
seen since the morning before.
The animal seemed to be in pain, and Selkirk
hastened to strike a light, for he had made himself
some torches of pine-tree wood; but before he
could succeed, the goat had ceased to utter any
sound.
Selkirk hastened to seek the poor creature, to
see if he could do it any good; and with his load-
ed pistol in one hand, and his pine torch in the
other, he came out from his cave.
He found to his sorrow, that the goat was
already dead, having been wounded by the Bucca-
neers. The poor creature, it seemed, had just
had strength enough left to crawl to the spot where
Selkirk had been in the habit of feeding it when in
health.
This was the only real mischief done to Selkirk
by the Buccaneers; but by it he was made to feel,
that his situation might have been far worse than
it was, and thus he became more happy and con
tented after this visit.
It was on the morning of the second of Februa


60






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


ry 1709, that Selkirk, who had climbed to a con-
siderable height which overlooked the sea, saw two
ships coming into the bay, and as they approached,
he joyfully discovered that they bore the English
colours.
Calling his dog to him, Selkirk hastily collect-
ed as much wood as he could, to make a large
fire, by which to attract the attention of the
mariners.
The signal was understood, and the vessels at
once entered the bay.
On welcoming his countrymen to his Island,
Selkirk thought he spoke quite distinctly; but the
Englishmen looked at him with astonishment; for
though he spoke English, it was scarcely intelligi-
ble. The sailors crowded round him, wondering to
find a human being in such a solitary abode; whilst
they could not enough admire his goat-skin dress,
so rudely made and yet so comfortable.
Selkirk told his story, but, as I have said before,
his words were not clearly chosen; for though he
had said his prayers.and read his Bible aloud, and
sung his songs too, yet for want of some friend


61






THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


with whom to converse, he had lost many words,
and used others in the wrong places.
Selkirk found that the two ships were called the
Duke and the Duchess, and they were privateers
from Bristol, and he discovered also an acquain-
tance on board the Duke; this was Dampier, in
whose company he had left England.
Dampier gave Selkirk such a good name as a
sailor, that the Captain of the Duke offered him
the place of master's mate to his vessel; and you
may be sure, that Selkirk joyfully accepted the
appointment.
But I am hurrying over this part of my story,
said grandfather, and have forgotten to tell you
how Selkirk welcomed the two ships' companies
to his Island.
They had been out at sea some time, and they
entreated to stay for a fortnight at Juan Fernandez.
After the sea-fare, who shall say how highly
they relished the goats' flesh and vegetables which
Selkirk provided for them!
He took them to see his two habitations, but
the cave which he called his sleeping abode was


62





THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.


so difficult of access, that only one of the ships'
officers would go with him along the .ladder to
see it.
The Duke and the Duchess privateers, being sup-
plied with freshwater, theirCaptains thought it time
to leave Juan Fernandez, and to proceed on their
cruize against the Spaniards. Selkirk was much
pained in parting with his favourites; but yet not
even for their sakes could he endure the thought
of being again left in solitude. So, taking with
him all such things as he could, he went on board
Captain Rogers's ship, to take his part in fighting
against the Spanish pirates who infested those
seas.
For eighteen months the Duke and the Duchess
were sailing from one port to another, but on the
first of October 1711, Selkirk once more stood
upon English ground.
Here he found many people so interested in his
adventures, that they begged him to write them
down, that they might be printed for the amuse-
ment of all those wishing to read them; and it is
said, that from these very papers, written by


63





64 THINK BEFORE YOU ACT,
Selkirk, Defoe wrote his interesting story of
Robinson Crusoe.


Alexander Selkirk was buried at Largo, and his
nephew, Mr. John Selkirk, loved to show his grave
to strangers, and the very chest and musket used
by Alexander in the Island of Juan Fernandez.




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Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs