• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Preface
 Introduction
 Chapter I
 Chapter II
 Chapter III
 Chapter IV
 Chapter V
 Chapter VI
 Chapter VII
 Chapter VIII
 Chapter IX
 Chapter X
 Chapter XI
 Chapter XII
 Chapter XIII
 Chapter XIV
 Chapter XV
 Chapter XVI
 Chapter XVII
 Chapter XVIII
 Chapter XIX
 Chapter XX
 Chapter XXI
 Chapter XXII
 Chapter XXIII
 Chapter XXIV
 Chapter XXV
 Chapter XXVI
 Chapter XXVII
 Chapter XXVIII
 Chapter XXIX
 Chapter XXX
 Chapter XXXI
 Chapter XXXII
 Chapter XXXIII
 Chapter XXXIV
 Chapter XXXV
 Chapter XXXVI
 Chapter XXXVII
 Chapter XXXVIII
 Chapter XXXIX
 Chapter XL
 Chapter XLI
 Chapter XLII
 Chapter XLIII
 Chapter XLIV
 Chapter XLV
 Chapter XLVI
 Chapter XLVII
 Chapter XLVIII
 Chapter XLIX
 Chapter L
 Chapter LI
 Chapter LII
 Chapter LIII
 Chapter LIV
 Chapter LV
 Chapter LVI
 Chapter LVII
 Conclusion
 Postscript two years after
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Schweizerische Robinson
Title: The Swiss family Robinson, or Adventures in a desert island
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00001866/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Swiss family Robinson, or Adventures in a desert island
Uniform Title: Schweizerische Robinson
Alternate Title: Adventures in a desert island
Physical Description: 410, <14> p., <8> leaves of plates : ill. ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wyss, Johann David, 1743-1818
Westley, Josiah ( Binder )
Gilbert, John, 1810-1889 ( Illustrator )
Dalziel, George, 1815-1902 ( Engraver )
G. Routledge & Co ( Publisher )
Cox (Brothers) and Wyman ( Printer )
Publisher: George Routledge and Co.
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Cox (Brothers and Wyman
Publication Date: 1851
Edition: New ed., complete in one vol., entirely rev. and corr.
 Subjects
Subject: Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Robinsonades   ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Robinsonades -- 1851   ( rbgenr )
Josiah Westley -- Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1851   ( rbbin )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1851   ( rbgenr )
Josiah Westley -- Binders' tickets (Binding) -- 1851   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1851
Genre: Robinsonades   ( rbgenr )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
Binders' tickets (Binding)   ( rbbin )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
 Notes
General Note: "With eight illustrations by John Gilbert."
General Note: Illustrations engraved and signed: G. Dalziel.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text: <14> p.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00001866
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002240142
oclc - 45617261
notis - ALJ0685
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Preface
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Introduction
        Page v
        Page vi
    Chapter I
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Chapter II
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Chapter III
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 24a
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Chapter IV
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Chapter V
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Chapter VI
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    Chapter VII
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Chapter VIII
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    Chapter IX
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    Chapter X
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    Chapter XI
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
    Chapter XII
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
    Chapter XIII
        Page 80
        Page 80a
        Page 81
        Page 82
    Chapter XIV
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
    Chapter XV
        Page 86
        Page 87
    Chapter XVI
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
    Chapter XVII
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
    Chapter XVIII
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
    Chapter XIX
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
    Chapter XX
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    Chapter XXI
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 114a
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
    Chapter XXII
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
    Chapter XXIII
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Chapter XXIV
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
    Chapter XXV
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
    Chapter XXVI
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
    Chapter XXVII
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
    Chapter XXVIII
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
    Chapter XXIX
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 168a
        Page 169
        Page 170
    Chapter XXX
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
    Chapter XXXI
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
    Chapter XXXII
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Postscript
            Page 191
            Page 192
            Page 193
    Chapter XXXIII
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
    Chapter XXXIV
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
    Chapter XXXV
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
    Chapter XXXVI
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
    Chapter XXXVII
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
    Chapter XXXVIII
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
    Chapter XXXIX
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 236a
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
    Chapter XL
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
    Chapter XLI
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
    Chapter XLII
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
    Chapter XLIII
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
    Chapter XLIV
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 282a
        Page 283
    Chapter XLV
        Pages 284-285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
    Chapter XLVI
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
    Chapter XLVII
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
    Chapter XLVIII
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
    Chapter XLIX
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
    Chapter L
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
    Chapter LI
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
    Chapter LII
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 342a
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
    Chapter LIII
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
    Chapter LIV
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
        Page 369
    Chapter LV
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
    Chapter LVI
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
    Chapter LVII
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 394a
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
        Page 400
        Page 401
        Page 402
        Page 403
        Page 404
        Page 405
    Conclusion
        Page 406
        Page 407
        Page 408
    Postscript two years after
        Page 409
        Page 410
    Advertising
        Page 411
        Page 412
        Page 413
        Page 414
        Page 415
        Page 416
        Page 417
        Page 418
        Page 419
        Page 420
        Page 421
        Page 422
        Page 423
        Page 424
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text


















ITH,









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The Baldwin Library

University ud
RmBcrid,






















































































" Our first care, was to kneel down and thank God, to whom

we owed our lives."-P. 14.


-







THE


SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON;


OR,


ADVENTURES


IN


A DESERT ISLAND.




A NEW EDITION,
COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME, ENTIRELY REVISED AND CORRECTED.



WITH EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOHN GILBERT.





LONDON:
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND CO., SOHO SQUARE.
1851.














































PRINTED BY

COX (BROTHERS) AND WYMAN, GREAT QUEEN STREET,

LINCOLN'S-INN FIELDS.












PREFACE.



MANY years ago, an English translation of the
first part of this charming tale appeared; and
few books have obtained such deserved popu-
larity. The gradual progress of the family from
utter destitution and misery, to happiness and
abundance, arising from their own labour, perse-
verance, and obedience, together with the effect
produced on the different characters of the sons
by the stirring adventures they met with, created
a deep and absorbing interest. Every young
reader patronized either the noble Fritz, the stu-
dious Ernest, or the generous Jack, and regarded
him as a familiar personal acquaintance. The book
had but one defect-the death of the talented
author left it unfinished, and every reader regretted
its abrupt termination.
This conclusion was happily supplied by one of
the most accomplished and elegant writers of her
day, the Baroness de Montolieu; and, sanctioned
and approved by the son of the lamented author,
the entire work was published in France, and has
for many years held a distinguished rank in the






iv PREFACE.
juvenile libraries there. For the gratification of a
little family circle, this now appears in English;
and as, on examining the first part in the original,
it was found, that "some new discoveries might
be made," it was thought best to re-translate it,
subduing the tone of the whole to English taste.
The unanimous voices of the beloved circle, for
whom the pleasant task was undertaken, have pro-
nounced the result to be eminently successful, and
they generously wish, that the whole of the juve-
nile public of England should share in their satis-
faction, and possess a complete Swiss Robinson.











INTRODUCTION.

--^--c--

IT is very well known that, some years ago,
Counsellor Homer, a Swiss, made a voyage round
the world in the Russian vessel Le Podesda, com-
manded by Capt. Krusenstern. They discovered
many islands, and, amongst others, one very
large and fertile, till then unknown to naviga-
tors, to the S.W. of Java, near the coast of New
Guinea. They landed here, and to the great
surprise of Mr. Homer, he was received by a
family who spoke to him in German. They were a
father and mother, and four robust and hardy sons.
Their history was very interesting. The father
was a Swiss clergyman, who, in the Revolution of
1798, had lost all his fortune, and had determined
to emigrate, in order to seek elsewhere the means
of supporting his family. He went first to England,
with his wife and children, consisting of four sons,
between the ages of twelve and five. He there
undertook the office of missionary to Otaheite;
not that he intended to remain on that uncivilized
island, but he wished to proceed from thence to
Port Jackson as a free colonist. He invested his






INTRODUCTION.


little capital in seeds of every description, and
some cattle, to take out with him. They had a
prosperous voyage till they were near the coast of
New Guinea, when they were overtaken by a
frightful storm. At this period he commenced
his journal, which he afterwards committed to the
care of Mr. Horner, to be forwarded to his friends
in Switzerland.
Some time before, a boat from an English ves-
sel, the Adventurer, had visited them, and the
father had sent the first part of his journal by
Lieut. Bell to the captain, who remained in the
vessel. A violent tempest arose, which continued
some days, and drove the Adventurer from the
coast. The family concluded the ship was lost;
but this was not the case, as will be seen in the
conclusion.


vi










THE


SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.



CHAPTER I.
THE tempest had raged for six days, and on
the seventh seemed to increase. The ship had
been so far driven from its course, that no one on
board knew where we were. Every one was ex-
hausted with fatigue and watching. The shattered
vessel began to leak in many places, the oaths of
the sailors were changed to prayers, and each
thought only how to save his own life. "Chil-
dren," said I, to my terrified boys, who were
clinging round me, God can save us if he will.
To him nothing is impossible; but if he thinks it
good to call us to him, let us not murmur; we
shall not be separated." My excellent wife dried
her tears, and from that moment became more
tranquil. We knelt down to pray for the help of
our Heavenly Father; and the fervour and emo-
tion of my innocent boys proved to me that even
children can pray, and find in prayer consolation
and peace.
We rose from our knees strengthened to bear
the afflictions that hung over us. Suddenly we
heard amid the roaring of the waves the cry of
"Land! land!" At that moment the ship
B





2 THE SWISS
struck on a rock; the concussion threw us down.
We heard a loud cracking, as if the vessel was
parting asunder; we felt that we were aground,
and heard the captain cry, in a tone of despair,
"We are lost! Launch the boats !" These
words were a dagger to my heart, and the lamen-
tations of my children were louder than ever. I
then recollected myself, and said, Courage, my
darlings, we are still, above water, and the land
is near. God helps those who trust in him. Re-
main here, and I will endeavour to save us."
I went on deck, and was instantly thrown
down, and wet through by a huge sea; a se-
cond followed. I struggled boldly with the waves,
and succeeded in keeping myself up, when I saw,
with terror, the extent of our wretchedness. The
shattered vessel was almost in two; the crew had
crowded into the boats, and the last sailor was
cutting the rope. I cried out, and prayed them
to take us with them; but my voice was drowned
in the roar of the tempest, nor could they have
returned for us through waves that ran mountains
high. All hope from their assistance was lost;
but I was consoled by observing that the water
did not enter the ship above a certain height.
The stem, under which lay the cabin which con-
tained all that was dear to me on earth, was im-
movably fixed between two rocks. At the same
time I observed, towards the south, traces of land,
which, though wild and barren, was now the
haven of my almost expiring hopes; no longer
being able to depend on any human aid. I re-
turned to my family, and endeavoured to appear
calm. "Take courage," cried I, "there is yet
hope for us; 4,. vessel, in striking between the






FAMILY ROBINSON.


rocks, is fixed in a position which protects our
cabin above the water, and if the wind should
settle to-morrow, we may possibly reach the land."
This assurance calmed my children, and as
usual, they depended on all I told them; they
rejoiced that the heaving of the vessel had ceased,
as, while it lasted, they were continually thrown
against each other. My wife, more accustomed
to read my countenance, discovered my uneasi-
ness; and by a sign, I explained to her that I had
lost all hope. I felt great consolation in seeing
that she supported our misfortune with truly
Christian resignation.
"Let us take some food," said she; "with the
body, the mind is strengthened; this must be a
night of trial."
Night came, and the tempest continued its
fury; tearing away the planks from the devoted
vessel with a fearful crashing. It appeared abso-
lutely impossible that the boats could have out-
lived the storm.
My wife had prepared some refreshment, of
which the children partook with an appetite that
we could not feel. The three younger ones re-
tired to their beds, and soon slept soundly. Fritz,
the eldest, watched with me. I have been con-
sidering," said he, how we could save ourselves.
If we only had some cork jackets, or bladders,
for mamma and my brothers, you and I don't
need them, we could then swim to land."
"A good thought," said I, "I will try during
the night to contrive some expedient to secure our
safety." We found some small empty barrels in
the cabin, which we tied two together with our
handkerchiefs, leaving a space bep for each

B2


8





4 THE SWISS
child; and fastened this new swimming apparatus
under their arms. My wife prepared the same for
herself. We then collected some knives, string,
tinder-box, and such little necessaries as we could
put in our pockets; thus, in case the vessel should
fall to pieces during the night, we hoped we might
be enabled to reach land.
At length Fritz, overcome with fatigue, lay
down and slept with his brothers. My wife and
I, too anxious to rest, spent that dreadful night
in prayer, and in arranging various plans. How
gladly we welcomed the light of day, shining
through an opening. The wind was subsiding,
the sky serene, and I watched the sun rise with
renewed hope. I called my wife and children on
deck. The younger ones were surprised to find
we were alone. They inquired what had become
of the sailors, and how we should manage the ship
alone.
"Children," said I, "one more powerful than
man has protected us till now, and will still ex-
tend a saving arm to us, if we do not give way to
complaint and despair. Let all hands set to work.
Remember that excellent maxim, God helps those
who help themselves. Let us all consider what is
best to do now."
Let us leap into the sea," cried Fritz, and
swim to the shore."
Very well for you," replied Ernest, "who can
swim; but we should be all drowned. Would it
not be better to construct a raft and go all to-
gether ?"
That might do," added I, "ifwe were strong
enough for such a work, and if a raft was not
always so dangerous a conveyance. But away,






FAMILY ROBINSON. 0
boys, look about you, and seek for anything that
may be useful to us."
We all dispersed to different parts of the vessel.
For my own part I went to the provision-room, to
look after the casks of water and other necessaries
of life ; my wife visited the live stock and fed them,
for they were almost famished; Fritz sought for
arms and ammunition; Ernest for the carpenter's
tools. Jack had opened the captain's cabin, and
was immediately thrown down by two large
dogs, who leaped on him so roughly that he cried
out as if they were going to devour him. How-
ever, hunger had rendered them so docile that
they licked his hands, and he soon recovered his
feet, seized the largest by the ears, and mounting
his back, gravely rode up to me as I was coming
from the hold. I could not help laughing; I
applauded his courage; but recommended him
always to be prudent with animals of that kind,
who are often dangerous when hungry.
My little troop began to assemble. Fritz had
found two fowling-pieces, some bags of powder
and shot, and some balls, in horn flasks. Ernest
was loaded with an axe and hammer, a pair of
pincers, a large pair of scissors, and an auger
showed itself half out of his pocket.
Francis had a large box under his arm, from
which he eagerly produced what he called little
pointed hooks. His brothers laughed at his prize.
" Silence," said I, the youngest has made the
most valuable addition to our stores. These are
fish-hooks, and may be more useful for the pre-
servation of our lives than anything the ship con-
tains. However, Fritz and Ernest have not done
amiss."







For my part," said my wife, "I only contri-
bute good news; I have found a cow, an ass, two
goats, six sheep, and a sow with young. I have
fed them, and hope we may preserve them."
Very well," said I to my little workmen, "I
am satisfied with all but Master Jack, who, instead
of anything useful, has contributed two great
eaters, who will do us more harm than good."
They can help us to hunt when we get to
land," said Jack.
"Yes," replied I, "but can you devise any
means of our getting there ?"
It does not seem at all difficult," said the spi-
rited little fellow; put us each into a great tub,
and let us float to shore. I remember sailing capi-
tally that way on godpapa's great pond at S-."
"A very good idea, Jack; good counsel may
sometimes be given even by a child. Be quick,
boys, give me the saw and auger, with some nails,
we will see what we can do." I remembered
seeing some empty casks in the hold. We went
down and found them floating. This gave us less
difficulty in getting them upon the lower deck,
which was but just above the water. They were
of strong wood, bound with iron hoops, and exactly
suited my purpose; my sons and I therefore began
to saw them through the middle. After long
labour, we had eight tubs all the same height.
We refreshed ourselves with wine and biscuit,
which we had found in some of the casks. I then
contemplated with delight my little squadron of
boats ranged in a line; and was surprised that my
wife still continued depressed. She looked mourn-
fully on them. "I can never venture in one of
these tubs," said she.


6


THE SWISS





FAMILY ROBINSON.


"Wait a little, till my work is finished," replied
I, "and you will see it is more to be depended on
than this broken vessel."
I sought out a long flexible plank, and arranged
eight tubs on it, close to each other, leaving a piece
at each end to form a curve upwards, like the keel
of a vessel. We then nailed them firmly to the
plank, and to each other. We nailed a plank at
each side, of the same length as the first, and suc-
ceeded in producing a sort of boat, divided into
eight compartments, in which it did not appear
difficult to make a short voyage, over a calm sea.
But, unluckily, our wonderful vessel proved so
heavy, that our united efforts could not move it
an inch. I sent Fritz to bring me the jack-screw,
and, in the mean time, sawed a thick round pole
into pieces; then raising the fore-part of our work
by means of the powerful machine, Fritz placed
one of these rollers under it.
Ernest was very anxious to know how this small
machine could accomplish more than our united
strength. I explained to him, as well as I could,
the power of the lever of Archimedes, with which
he had declared he could move the world, if he
had but a point to rest it on; and I promised my
son to take the machine to pieces when we were
on shore, and explain the mode of operation. I
then told them that God, to compensate for the
weakness of man, had bestowed on him reason,
invention, and skill in workmanship. The result
of these had produced a science which, under the
name of Mechanics, taught us to increase and ex-
tend our limited powers incredibly by the aid of
instruments.
Jack remarked that the jack-screw worked very
slowly.


7






"Better slowly, than not at all," said I. "It
is a principle in mechanics, that what is gained in
time is lost in power. The jack is not meant to
work rapidly, but to raise heavy weights; and
the heavier the weight, the slower the operation.
But, can you tell me how we can make up for this
slowness?"
"Oh, by turning the handle quicker, to be
sure !"
Quite wrong; that would not aid us at all.
Patience and Reason are the two fairies, by whose
potent help I hope to get our boat afloat."
I quickly proceeded to tie a strong cord to the
after-part of it, and the other end to a beam in
the ship, which was still firm, leaving it long
enough for security; then introducing two more
rollers underneath, and working with the jack, we
succeeded in launching our bark, which passed
into the water with such velocity, that but for our
rope it would have gone out to sea. Unfortu-
nately, it leaned so much on one side, that none
of the boys would venture into it. I was in
despair, when I suddenly remembered it only
wanted ballast to keep it in equilibrium. I
hastily threw in anything I got hold of that was
heavy, and soon had my boat level, and ready for
occupation. They now contended who should
enter first; but I stopped them, reflecting that
these restless children might easily capsize our
vessel. I remembered that savage nations made
use of an out-rigger, to prevent their canoe over-
setting, and this I determined to add to my work.
I fixed two portions of a topsail-yard, one over
the prow, the other across the stern, in such a
manner that they should not be in the way in


8


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON. 9
pushing off our boat from the wreck. I forced the
end of each yard into the bunghole of an empty
brandy-cask, to keep them steady during our
progress.
It was now necessary to clear the way for our
departure. I got into the first tub, and managed
to get the boat into the cleft in the ship's side, by
way of a haven; I then returned, and, with the
axe and saw, cut away right and left all that could
obstruct our passage. Then we secured some
oars, to be ready for our voyage next day.
The day had passed in toil, and we were com-
pelled to spend another night on the wreck,
though we knew it might not remain till morning.
We took a regular meal, for during the day we
had scarcely had time to snatch a morsel of bread
and a glass of wine. More composed than on the
preceding night, we retired to rest. I took the
precaution to fasten the swimming apparatus across
the shoulders of my three younger children and
my wife, for fear another storm might destroy the
vessel, and cast us into the sea. I also advised
my wife to put on a sailor's dress, as more con-
venient for her expected toils and trials. She
reluctantly consented, and, after a short absence,
appeared in the dress of a youth who had served
as a volunteer in the vessel. She felt very timid
and awkward in her new dress; but I showed her
the advantage of the change, and, at last, she was
reconciled, and joined in the laughter of the chil-
dren at her strange disguise. She then got into
her hammock, and we enjoyed a pleasant sleep, to
prepare us for new labours.





THE SWISS


CHAPTER II.
AT break of day we were awake and ready, and
after morning prayer, I addressed my children
thus: We are now, my dear boys, with the help
of God, about to attempt our deliverance. Before
we go, provide our poor animals with food for
some days; we cannot take them with us, but if
our voyage succeed, we may return for them. Are
you ready? Collect what you wish to carry away,
but only things absolutely necessary for our actual
wants." I planned that our first cargo should
consist of a barrel of powder, three fowling-pieces,
three muskets, two pair of pocket pistols, and one
pair larger, ball, shot, and lead as much as we
could carry, with a bullet-mould; and I wished
each of my sons, as well as their mother, should
have a complete game-bag, of which there were
several in the officers' cabins. We then set apart
a box of portable soup, another of biscuit, an iron
pot, a fishing-rod, a chest of nails, and one of car-
penter's tools, also some sailcloth to make a tent.
In fact my boys collected so many things, we were
compelled to leave some behind, though I ex-
changed all the useless ballast for necessaries.
When all was ready, we implored the blessing
of God on our undertaking, and prepared to em-
bark in our tubs. At this moment the cocks
crowed a sort of reproachful farewell to us; we
had forgotten them; I immediately proposed to
take our poultry with us, geese, ducks, fowls and
pigeons, for, as I observed to my wife, if we could
not feed them, they would, at any rate, feed us.


10






FAMILY ROBINSON. .


We placed our ten hens and two cocks in a
covered tub; the rest we set at liberty, hoping
the geese and ducks might reach the shore by
water, and the pigeons by flight.
We waited a little for my wife, who came
loaded with a large bag, which she threw into the
tub that contained her youngest son. I con-
cluded it was intended to steady him, or for a
seat, and made no observation on it. Here follows
the order of our embarkation. In the first divi-
sion, sat the tender mother, the faithful and
pious wife. In the second, our amiable little
Francis, six years old, and of a sweet disposition.
In the third, Fritz, our eldest, fourteen or
fifteen years old, a curly-headed, clever, intelli-
gent and lively youth.
In the fourth, the powder-cask, with the fowls
and the sailcloth.
Our provisions filled the fifth.
In the sixth, our heedless Jack, ten years old,
enterprising, bold, and useful.
In the seventh, Ernest, twelve years of age, well-
informed and rational, but somewhat selfish and
indolent. In the eighth, myself, an anxious father,
charged with the important duty of guiding the
vessel to save my dear family. Each of us had
some useful tools beside us; each held an oar,
and had a swimming apparatus at hand, in case
we were unfortunately upset. The tide was rising
when we left, which I considered might assist my
weak endeavours. We turned our out-riggers
length-ways, and thus passed from the cleft of the
ship into the open sea. We rowed with all our
might, to reach the blue land we saw at a dis-
tance, but for some time in vain, as the boat kept


11







turning round, and made no progress. At last I
contrived to steer it, so that we went straight
forward.
As soon as our dogs saw us depart, they leaped
into the sea, and followed us; I could not let
them get into the boat, for fear they should upset
it. I was very sorry, for I hardly expected they
would be able to swim to land; but by occasionally
resting their forepaws on our out-riggers, they
managed to keep up with us. Turk was an
English dog, and Flora of a Danish breed.
We proceeded slowly, but safely. The nearer
we approached the land, the more dreary and un-
promising it appeared. The rocky coast seemed
to announce to us nothing but famine and misery.
The waves, gently rippling against the shore, were
scattered over with barrels, bales, and chests from
the wreck. Hoping to secure some good pro-
visions, I called on Fritz for assistance; he held a
cord, hammer, and nails, and we managed to seize
two hogsheads in passing, and fastening them
with cords to our vessel, drew them after us to
the shore.
As we approached, the coast seemed to improve.
The chain of rock was not entire, and Fritz's hawk
eye made out some trees, which he declared were
the cocoa-nut tree; Ernest was delighted at the
prospect of eating these nuts, so much larger and
better than any grown in Europe. I was regret-
ting not having brought the large telescope from
the captain's cabin, when Jack produced from his
pocket a smaller one, which he offered me with no
little pride.
This was a valuable acquisition, as I was now
enabled to make the requisite observations, and


12


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


direct my course. The coast before us had a wild
and desert appearance,-it looked better towards
the left; but I could not approach that part, for a
current which drove us towards the rocky and bar-
ren shore. At length we saw, near the mouth of a
rivulet, a little creek between the rocks, towards
which our geese and ducks made, serving us for
guides. This opening formed a little bay of
smooth water, just deep enough for our boat. I
cautiously entered it, and landed at a place where
the coast was about the height of our tubs, and
the water deep enough to let us approach. The
shore spread inland, forming a gentle declivity of
a triangular form, the point lost among the rocks,
and the base to the sea.
All that were able leaped on shore in a moment.
Even little Francis, who had been laid down in
his tub, like a salted herring, tried to crawl out,
but was compelled to wait for his mother's assist-
ance. The dogs, who had preceded us in landing,
welcomed us in a truly friendly manner, leaping
playfully around us; the geese kept up a loud
cackling, to which the yellow-billed ducks quacked
a powerful bass. This, with the clacking of the
liberated fowls, and the chattering of the boys,
formed a perfect Babel; mingled with these, were the
harsh cries of the penguins and flamingoes, which
hovered over our heads, or sat on the points of the
rocks. They were in immense numbers, and their
notes almost deafened us, especially as they did
not accord with the harmony of our civilized fowls.
However I rejoiced to see these feathered creatures,
already fancying them on my table, if we were
obliged to remain in this desert region.
Our first care, when we stepped in safety on


13







land, was to kneel down and thank God, to whom
we owed our lives; and to resign ourselves wholly
to his Fatherly kindness.
We then began to unload our vessel. How rich
we thought ourselves with the little we had saved!
We sought a convenient place for our tent, under
the shade of the rocks. We then inserted a pole
into a fissure in the rock; this, resting firmly on
another pole fixed in the ground, formed the frame
of the tent. The sailcloth was then stretched
over it, and fastened down at proper distances,
by pegs, to which, for greater security, we added
some boxes of provision; we fixed some hooks to
the canvas at the opening in front, that we
might close the entrance during the night. I
sent my sons to seek some moss and withered
grass, and spread it in the sun to dry, to form our
beds; and while all, even little Francis, were busy
with this, I constructed a sort of cooking-place,
at some distance from the tent, near the river
which was to supply us with fresh water. It was
merely a hearth of flat stones from the bed of the
stream, fenced round with some thick branches.
I kindled a cheerful fire with some dry twigs, put
on the pot, filled with water and some squares of
portable soup, and left my wife, with Francis for
assistant, to prepare dinner. He took the portable
soup for glue, and could not conceive how mamma
could make soup, as we had no meat, and there
were no butchers' shops here.
Fritz, in the mean time, had loaded our guns.
He took one to the side of the river; Ernest de-
clined accompanying him, as the rugged road was
not to his taste; he preferred the seashore. Jack
proceeded to a ridge of rocks on the left, which ran


14


THE SW188






FAMILY ROBINSON.


towards the sea, to get some muscles. I went to
try and draw the two floating hogsheads on shore,
but could not succeed, for our landing-place was
too steep to get them up. Whilst I was vainly
trying to find a more favourable place, I heard my
dear Jack uttering most alarming cries. I seized
my hatchet, and ran to his assistance. I found
him up to the knees in a shallow pool, with a large
lobster holding his leg in its sharp claws. It made
off at my approach; but I was determined it should
pay for the fright it had given me. Cautiously
taking it up, I brought it out, followed by Jack,
who, now very triumphant, wished to present it
himself to his mother, after watching how I held
it. But he had hardly got it into his hands, when
it gave him such a violent blow on the cheek with
its tail, that he let it fall, and began to cry again.
I could not help laughing at him, and, in his
rage, he seized a stone, and put an end to his
adversary. I was grieved at this, and recom-
mended him never to act in a moment of anger,
showing him that he was unjust in being so re-
vengeful; for, if he had been bitten by the lobster,
it was plain he would have eaten his foe if he had
conquered him. Jack promised to be more dis-
creet and merciful in future, and obtained leave to
bear the prize to his mother.
Mamma," said he, proudly, "a lobster I A
lobster, Ernest I Where is Fritz Take care it
does not bite you, Francis !" They all crowded
round in astonishment. "Yes," added he, tri-
umphantly, "here is the impertinent claw that
seized me; but I repaid the knave."
You are a boaster," said I. You would have
got indifferently on with the lobster, if I had not


15







come up; and have you forgotten the slap on the
cheek which compelled you to release him? Be-
sides, he only defended himself with his natural
arms; but you had to take a great stone. You
have no reason to be proud, Jack."
Ernest wished to have the lobster added to the
soup to improve it; but his mother, with a spirit
of economy, reserved it for another day. I then
walked to the spot where Jack's lobster was
caught, and, finding it favourable for my purpose,
drew my two hogsheads on shore there, and
secured them by turning them on end.
On returning, I congratulated Jack on being
the first who had been successful in foraging.
Ernest remarked, that he had seen some oysters
attached to a rock, but could not get at them
without wetting his feet, which he did not like.
"Indeed, my delicate gentleman !" said I, laugh-
ing, "I must trouble you to return and procure
us some. We must all unite in working for the
public good, regardless of wet feet. The sun will
soon dry us."
"I might as well bring some salt at the same
time," said he; I saw plenty in the fissures of
the rock, left by the sea, I should think, papa?"
"Doubtless, Mr. Reasoner," replied I; where
else could it have come from? the fact was so ob-
vious, that you had better have brought a bagful,
than delayed to reflect about it. But if you wish
to escape insipid soup, be quick and procure some."
He went, and returned with some salt, so mixed
with sand and earth, that I should have thrown it
away as useless; but my wife dissolved it in fresh
water, and, filtering it through a piece of canvas,
managed to flavour our soup with it.


16


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


Jack asked why we could not have used sea-
water; and I explained to him that the bitter and
nauseous taste of sea-water would have spoiled our
dinner. My wife stirred the soup with a little
stick, and, tasting it, pronounced it very good, but
added, We must wait for Fritz. And how shall
we eat our soup without plates or spoons ? We
cannot possibly raise this large boiling pot to our
heads, and drink out of it."
It was too true. We gazed stupified at our pot,
and, at last, all burst into laughter at our desti-
tution, and our folly in forgetting such useful
necessaries.
If we only had cocoa-nuts," said Ernest, "we
might split them, and make basins and spoons."
"If!" replied I -" but we have none! We
might as well wish for a dozen handsome silver
spoons at once, if wishes were of any use."
But," observed he, "we can use oyster-
shells."
"A useful thought, Ernest; go directly and get
the oysters; and, remember, gentlemen, no com-
plaints, though the spoons are without handles,
and you should dip your fingers into the bowl."
Off ran Jack, and was mid-leg in the water
before Ernest got to him. He tore down the
oysters, and threw them to his idle brother, who
filled his handkerchief, taking care to put a large
one into his pocket for his own use; and they
returned with their spoil.
Fritz had not yet appeared, and his mother was
becoming uneasy, when we heard him cheerfully
hailing us at a distance. He soon came up, with
a feigned air of disappointment, and his hands
behind him; but Jack, who had glided round him,


17







cried out, A sucking pig! a sucking pig !" And
he then, with great pride and satisfaction, pro-
duced his booty, which I recognized, from the
description of travellers, to be the agouti, common
in these regions, a swift animal, which burrows in
the earth, and lives on fruits and nuts; its flesh,
something like that of the rabbit, has an unplea-
sant flavour to Europeans.
All were anxious to know the particulars of the
chase; but I seriously reproved my son for his
little fiction, and warned him never to use the least
deceit, even in jest. I then inquired where he
had met with the agouti. He told me he had
been on the other side of the river, "a very dif-
ferent place to this," continued he. The shore
lies low, and you can have no idea of the number
of casks, chests, planks, and all sorts of things the
sea has thrown up; shall we go and take posses-
sion of them ? And to-morrow, father, we ought
to make another trip to the vessel, to look after
our cattle. We might, at least, bring away the
cow. Our biscuit would not be so hard dipped in
milk."
"And very much nicer," added the greedy
Ernest.
"Then," continued Fritz, "beyond the river
there is rich grass for pasturage, and a shady
wood. Why should we remain in this barren
wilderness?"
"Softly!" replied I, "there is a time for all
things. To-morrow, and the day after to-morrow
will have their work. But first tell me, did you
see anything of our shipmates ?"
Not a trace of man, living or dead, on land
or sea; but I saw an animal more like a hog than


18


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


this, but with feet like a hare; it leaped among
the grass, sometimes sitting upright, and rubbing
its mouth with its fore-paws; sometimes seeking
for roots, and gnawing them like a squirrel. If I
had not been afraid it would escape me, I would
have tried to take it alive, it seemed so very
tame."
As we were talking, Jack had been trying, with
many grimaces, to force an oyster open with his
knife. I laughed at his vain endeavours, and
putting some on the fire, showed him them open
of themselves. I had no taste for oysters myselfI
but as they are everywhere accounted a delicacy,
I advised my sons to try them. They all at first
declined the unattractive repast, except Jack,
who, with great courage, closed his eyes, and
desperately swallowed one as if it had been medi-
cine. The rest followed his examplI and then all
agreed with me that oysters were not good. The
shells were soon plunged into the pot to bring out
some of the good soup; but scalding their fingers,
it was who could cry out the loudest. Ernest
took his large shell from his pocket, cautiously
filled it with a good portion of soup, and set it
down to cool, exulting in his own prudence.
" You have been very thoughtful, my dear Er-
nest," said I; but why are your thoughts always
for yourself; so seldom for others? As a punish-
ment for your egotism, that portion must be
given to our faithful dogs. We can all dip our
shells into the pot, the dogs cannot. Therefore,
they shall have your soup, and you must wait,
and eat as we do." My reproach struck his
heart, and he placed his shell obediently on the
ground, which the dogs emptied immediately.
c2


19







We were almost as hungry as they were, and were
watching anxiously till the soup began to cool;
when we perceived that the dogs were tearing
and gnawing Fritz's agouti. The boys all cried
out; Fritz was in a fury, took his gun, struck
the dogs, called them names, threw stones at
them, and would have killed them if I had not
held him. He had actually bent his gun with
striking them. As soon as he would listen to me,
I reproached him seriously for his violence, and
represented to him how much he had distressed
us, and terrified his mother; that he had spoiled
his gun, which might have been so useful to us,
and had almost killed the poor animals, who
might be more so. "Anger," said I, leads to
every crime. Remember Cain, who killed his
brother in a fit of passion." Oh, father !"
said he, in a voice of terror; and, acknowledging
his error, he asked pardon, and shed bitter tears.
Soon after our repast the sun set, and the
fowls gathered round us, and picked up the
scattered crumbs of biscuit. My wife then took
out her mysterious bag, and drew from it some
handfuls of grain to feed her flock. She showed
me also many other seeds of useful vegetables. I
praised her prudence, and begged her to be very
economical, as these seeds were of great value,
and we could bring from the vessel some spoiled
biscuit for the fowls.
Our pigeons now flew among the rocks, the
cocks and hens perched on the frame of the tent,
and the geese and ducks chose to roost in a
marsh, covered with bushes, near the sea. We
prepared for our rest; we loaded all our arms,
then offered up our prayers together, thanking


20


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


God for his signal mercy to us, and commending
ourselves to his care. When the last ray of light
departed, we closed our tent, and lay down on
our beds, close together. The children had re-
marked how suddenly the darkness came on,
from which I concluded we were not far from the
equator; for I explained to them, the more per-
pendicularly the rays of the sun fall, the less their
refraction; and consequently night comes on sud-
denly when the sun is below the horizon.
Once more I looked out to see if all was quiet,
then carefully closing the entrance, I lay down.
Warm as the day had been, the night was so cold
that we were obliged to crowd together for
warmth. The children soon slept, and when I
saw their mother in her first peaceful sleep, my
own eyes closed, and our first night on the island
passed comfortably.



CHAPTER III.

AT break of day I was waked by the crowing
of the cock. I summoned my wife to council, to
consider on the business of the day. We agreed
that our first duty was to seek for our shipmates,
and to examine the country beyond the river
before we came to any decisive resolution.
My wife saw we could not all go on this expe-
dition, and courageously agreed to remain with
her three youngest sons, while Fritz, as the eldest
and boldest, should accompany me. I begged
her to prepare breakfast immediately, which she
warned me would be scanty, as no soup was pro-


21







vided. I asked for Jack's lobster; but it was not
to be found. Whilst my wife made the fire, and
put on the pot, I called the children, and asking
Jack for the lobster, he brought it from a crevice
in the rock, where he had hidden it from the
dogs, he said, who did not despise anything eat-
able.
"I am glad to see you profit by the misfor-
tunes of others," said I; and now will you give
up that large claw that caught your leg, and
which I promised you, to Fritz, as a provision for
his journey ?" All were anxious to go on this
journey, and leaped round me like little kids.
But I told them we could not all go. They must
remain with their mother, with Flora for a pro-
tector. Fritz and I would take Turk; with him
and a loaded gun I thought we should inspire
respect. I then ordered Fritz to tie up Flora,
and get the guns ready.
Fritz blushed, and tried in vain to straighten
his crooked gun. I let him go on for some time,
and then allowed him to take another; for I saw
he was penitent. The dogs, too, snarled, and
would not let him approach them. He wept, and
begged some biscuit from his mother, declaring he
would give up his own breakfast to make his peace
with the dogs. He fed them, caressed them, and
seemed to ask pardon. The dog is always grate-
ful; Flora soon licked his hands; Turk was more
unrelenting, appearing to distrust him. "Give
him a claw of the lobster," said Jack; for I
make you a present of the whole for your jour-
ney."
Don't be uneasy about them," said Ernest,
"they will certainly meet with cocoa-nuts, as


22


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


Robinson did, very different food to your wretched
lobster. Think of an almond as big as my head,
with a large cup full of rich milk."
Pray, brother, bring me one, if you find any,"
said Francis.
We began our preparation; we each took a
game-bag and a hatchet. I gave Fritz a pair of
pistols in addition to his gun, equipped myself in
the same way, and took care to carry biscuit and a
flask of fresh water. The lobster proved so hard
at breakfast, that the boys did not object to our
carrying off the remainder; and, though the flesh
is coarse, it is very nutritious.
I proposed before we departed, to have prayers,
and my thoughtless Jack began to imitate the
sound of church-bells--" Ding, dong! to prayers!
to prayers! ding, dong!" I was really angry,
and reproved him severely for jesting about sacred
things. Then, kneeling down, I prayed God's
blessing on our undertaking, and his pardon for
us all, especially for him who had now so grie-
vously sinned. Poor Jack came and kneeled by
me, weeping and begging for forgiveness from me
and from God. I embraced him, and enjoined
him and his brothers to obey their mother. I
then loaded the guns I left with them, and charged
my wife to keep near the boat, their best refuge.
We took leave of our friends with many tears, as
we 4id not know what dangers might assail us in
an unknown region. But the murmur of the
river, which we were now approaching, drowned
the sound of their sobs, and we bent our thoughts
on our journey.
The bank of the river was so steep, that we
could only reach the bed at one little opening,


23







near the sea, where we had procured our water;
but here the opposite side was guarded by a ridge
of lofty perpendicular rocks. We were obliged
to ascend the river to a place where it fell over
some rocks, some fragments of which having fallen,
made a sort of stepping-stones, which enabled us
to cross with some hazard. We made our way,
with difficulty, through the high grass, withered
by the sun, directing our course towards the sea,
in hopes of discovering some traces of the boats,
or the crew. We had scarcely gone a hundred
yards, when we heard a loud noise and rustling in
the grass, which was as tall as we were. We
imagined we were pursued by some wild beast,
and I was gratified to observe the courage of
Fritz, who, instead of running away, calmly
turned round and presented his piece. What
was our joy when we discovered that the formid-
able enemy was only our faithful Turk, whom we
had forgotten in our distress, and our friends had
doubtless dispatched him after us! I applauded
my son's presence of mind; a rash act might have
deprived us of this valuable friend.
We continued our way: the sea lay to our left;
on our right, at a short distance, ran the chain of
rocks, which were continued from our landing-
place, in a line parallel to the sea; the summits
clothed with verdure and various trees. Between
the rocks and the sea, several little woods ex-
tended, even to the shore, to which we kept as
close as possible, vainly looking out on land or
sea for any trace of our crew. Fritz proposed to
fire his gun, as a signal to them, if they should be
near us; but I reminded him that this signal
might bring the savages round us, instead of our
friends.


24


THE SWISS


















































I,


" We rested in the shade, near a clear stream, and took
some refreshment."-P. 25


4 -14.,
*J *. T r *





FAMILY ROBINSON.


He then inquired why we should search after
those persons at all, who so unfeelingly abandoned
us on the wreck.
First," said I, "we must not return evil for
evil. Besides, they may assist us, or be in need
of our assistance. Above all, remember, they
could save nothing but themselves. We have got
many useful things which they have as much
right to as we."
But we might be saving the lives of our
cattle," said he.
We should do our duty better by saving the
life of a man," answered I; "besides, our cattle
have food for some days, and the sea is so calm
there is no immediate danger."
We proceeded, and entering a little wood that
extended to the sea, we rested in the shade, near
a clear stream, and took some refreshment. We
were surrounded by unknown birds, more remark-
able for brilliant plumage than for the charm of
their voice. Fritz thought he saw some monkeys
among the leaves, and Turk began to be restless,
smelling about, and barking very loud. Fritz
was gazing up into the trees, when he fell over a
large round substance, which he brought to me,
observing that it might be a bird's nest. I thought
it more likely to be a cocoa-nut. The fibrous
covering had reminded him of the description he
had read of the nests of certain birds; but, on
breaking the shell, we found it was indeed a cocoa-
nut, but quite decayed and uneatable.
Fritz was astonished; where was the sweet
milk that Ernest had talked of ?
I told him the milk was only in the half-ripe
nuts; that it thickened and hardened as the


25







nut ripened, becoming a kernel. This nut had
perished from remaining above ground. If it had
been in the earth, it would have vegetated, and
burst the shell. I advised my son to try if he
could not find a perfect nut.
After some search, we found one, and sat down
to eat it, keeping our own provision for dinner.
The nut was somewhat rancid; but we enjoyed it,
and then continued our journey. We were some
time before we got through the wood, being fre-
quently obliged to clear a road for ourselves,
through the entangled brushwood, with our hat-
chets. At last we entered the open plain again,
and had a clear view before us. The forest still
extended about a stone's throw to our right, and
Fritz, who was always on the look-out for dis-
coveries, observed a remarkable tree, here and
there, which he approached to examine; and he
soon called me to see this wonderful tree, with
wens growing on the trunk.
On coming up, I was overjoyed to find this
tree, of which there were a great number, was
the gourd-tree, which bears fruit on the trunk.
Fritz asked if these were sponges. I told him to
bring me one, and I would explain the mystery.
There is one," said he, very like a pumpkin,
only harder outside."
Of this shell," said I, "we can make plates,
dishes, basins, and flasks. We call it the gourd-
tree."
Fritz leaped for joy. Now my dear mother
will be able to serve her soup properly." I asked
him if he knew why the tree bore the fruit on
its trunk, or on the thick branches only. He
immediately replied, that the smaller branches


26


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


would not bear the weight of the fruit. He asked
me if this fruit was eatable. Harmless, I be-
lieve," said I; "but by no means delicate. Its
great value to savage nations consists in the shell,
which they use to contain their food, and drink,
and even cook in it." Fritz could not comprehend
how they could cook in the shell without burning
it. I told him the shell was not placed on the
fire; but, being filled with cold water, and the
fish or meat placed in it, red-hot stones are, by
degrees, introduced into the water, till it attains
sufficient heat to cook the food, without injuring
the vessel. We then set about making our dishes
and plates. I showed Fritz a better plan of divi-
ding the gourd than with a knife. I tied a string
tightly round the nut, struck it with the handle of
my knife till an incision was made, then tightened
it till the nut was separated into two equally-sized
bowls. Fritz had spoiled his gourd by cutting it
irregularly with his knife. I advised him to try
and make spoons of it, as it would not do for
basins now. I told him I had learnt my plan
from books of travels. It is the practice of the
savages, who have no knives, to use a sort of
string, made from the bark of trees, for this pur-
pose. But how can they make bottles," said
he. "That requires some preparation," replied
I. They tie a bandage round the young gourd
near the stalk, so that the part at liberty expands
in a round form, and the compressed part remains
narrow. They then open the top, and extract the
contents by putting in pebbles and shaking it.
By this means they have a complete bottle."
We worked on. Fritz completed a dish and
some plates, to his great satisfaction, but we con-


27







sidered, that being so frail, we could not carry
them with us. We therefore filled them with
sand, that the sun might not warp them, and left
them to dry, till we returned.
As we went on, Fritz amused himself with cut-
ting spoons from the rind of the gourd, and I tried
to do the same with the fragments of the cocoa-nut;
but I must confess my performances were inferidr
to those I had seen in the museum in London, the
work of the South Sea islanders. We laughed at
our spoons, which would have required mouths
from ear to ear to eat with them. Fritz declared
that the curve of the rind was the cause of that
defect: if the spoons had been smaller, they would
have been flat; and you might as well eat soup
with an oyster-shell as with a shovel.
While we talked, we did not neglect looking
about for our lost companions, but in vain. At
last, we arrived at a place where a tongue of land
ran to some distance into the sea, on which was
an elevated spot, favourable for observation. We
attained the summit with great labour, and saw
before us a magnificent prospect of land and water;
but with all the aid our excellent telescope gave
us, we could in no direction discover any trace of
man. Nature only appeared in her greatest
beauty. The shore enclosed a large bay, which
terminated on the other side in a promontory.
The gentle rippling of the waves, the varied ver-
dure of the woods, and the multitude of novelties
around us, would have filled us with delight, but
for the painful recollection of those who, we now
were compelled to believe, were buried beneath
that glittering water. We did not feel less, how-
ever, the mercy of God, who had preserved us, and


28


THE SWISS







given us a home, with a prospect of subsistence
and safety. We had not yet met with any dan-
gerous animals, nor could we perceive any huts of
savages. I remarked to my son that God seemed
to have destined us to a solitary life in this rich
country, unless some vessel should reach these
shores. "And His will be done !" added I; "it
must be for the best. Now let us retire to that
pretty wood to rest ourselves, and eat our dinner,
before we return."
We proceeded towards a pleasant wood of palm-
trees; but before reaching it, had to pass through
an immense number of reeds, which greatly ob-
structed our road. We were, moreover, fearful of
treading on the deadly serpents who choose such
retreats. We made Turk walk before us to give
notice, and I cut a long, thick cane as a weapon of
defence. I was surprised to see a glutinous juice
oozing from the end of the cut cane; I tasted it, and
was convinced that we had met with a plantation
of sugar-canes. I sucked more of it, and found
myself singularly refreshed. I said nothing to
Fritz, that he might have the pleasure of making
the discovery himself. He was walking a few paces
before me, and I called to him to cut himself a
cane like mine, which he did, and soon found out
the riches it contained. He cried out in ecstasy,
"Oh, papa! papa syrup of sugar-cane! delicious !
How delighted will dear mamma, and my brothers
be, when I carry some to them!" He went on,
sucking pieces of cane so greedily, that I checked
him, recommending moderation. He was then
content to take some pieces to regale himself as
he walked home, loading himself with a huge
burden for his mother and brothers. We now


29


FAMILY ROBINSON.






o0 THE SWISS
entered the wood of palms to eat our dinner, when
suddenly a number of monkeys, alarmed by our
approach, and the barking of the dog, fled like
lightning to the tops of the trees; and then grinned
frightfully at us, with load cries of defiance. As
I saw the trees were cocoa-palms, I hoped to ob-
tain, by means of the monkeys, a supply of the
nuts in the half-ripe state, when filled with milk.
I held Fritz's arm, who was preparing to shoot at
them, to his great vexation, as he was irritated
against the poor monkeys for their derisive ges-
tures; but I told him, that though no patron of
monkeys myself, I could not allow it. We had
no right to kill any animal except in defence, or
as a means of supporting life. Besides, the monkeys
would be of more use to us living than dead, as I
would show him. I began to throw stones at the
monkeys, not being able, of course, to reach the
place of their retreat, and they, in their anger, and in
the spirit of imitation, gathered the nuts and hurled
them on us in such quantities, that we had some
difficulty in escaping from them. We had soon a
large stock of cocoa-nuts. Fritz enjoyed the suc-
cess of the stratagem, and, when the shower sub-
sided, he collected as many as he wished. We
then sat down, and tasted some of the milk through
the three small holes, which we opened with our
knives. We then divided some with our hatchets,
and quenched our thirst with the liquor, which has
not, however, a very agreeable flavour. We liked
best a sort of thick cream which adheres to the
shells, from which we scraped it with our spoons,
and mixing it with the juice of the sugar-cane, we
produced a delicious dish. Turk had the rest of the
lobster, which we now despised, with some biscuit.





FAMILY ROBINSON.


31


We then got up, I tied some nuts together by
their stems, and threw them over my shoulder.
Fritz took his bundle of canes, and we set out
homewards.


CHAPTER IV.

FRITZ groaned heavily under the weight of his
canes as we travelled on, and pitied the poor ne-
groes, who had to carry such heavy burdens of
them. He then, in imitation of me, tried to re-
fresh himself by sucking a sugar-cane, but was
surprised to find he failed in extracting any of the
juice. At last, after some reflection, he said, "Ah!
I remember, if there is no opening made for the
air, I can get nothing out." I requested him to
find a remedy for this.
I will make an opening," said he, above the
first knot in the cane. If I draw in my breath in
sucking, and thus make a vacuum in my mouth.
the outer air then forces itself through the hole I
have made to fill this vacuum, and carries the juice
along with it; and when this division of the cane
is emptied, I can proceed to pierce above the next
knot. I am only afraid that going on this way
we shall have nothing but empty canes to carry
to our friends." I told him, that I was more
afraid the sun might turn the syrup sour before
we got our canes home; therefore we need not
spare them.
"Well, at any rate," said he, "I have filled
my flask with the milk of the cocoa-nut to regale
them."






THE SWISS
I told him I feared another disappointment; for
the milk of the cocoa-nut, removed from the shell,
spoiled sooner than the sugar-cane juice. I warned
him that the milk, exposed to the sun in his tin
flask, was probably become vinegar.
He instantly took the bottle from his shoulder
and uncorked it; when the liquor flew out with a
report, foaming like champaign.
I congratulated him on his new manufacture,
and said, we must beware of intoxication.
"Oh, taste, papa!" said he, "it is delicious,
not at all like vinegar, but capital new, sweet,
sparkling wine. This will be the best treat, if it
remains in this state."
I fear it will not be so," said I. "This is the
first stage of fermentation. When this is over,
and the liquor is cleared, it is a sort of wine, or
fermented liquor, more or less agreeable, accord-
ing to the material used. By applying heat, a
second, and slower fermentation succeeds, and the
liquor becomes vinegar. Then comes on a third
stage, which deprives it of its strength, and spoils
it. I fear, in this burning climate, you will carry
home only vinegar, or something still more offen-
sive. But let us drink each other's health now,
but prudently, or we shall soon feel the effects of
this potent beverage." Perfectly refreshed,we went
on cheerfully to the place where we had left our
gourd utensils. We found them quite dry, and
hard as bone; we had no difficulty in carrying
them in our game-bags. We had scarcely got
through the little wood where we had breakfasted,
when Turk darted furiously on a troop of monkeys,
who were sporting about, and had not perceived
him. He immediately seized a female, holding a






FAMILY ROBINSON.


young one in her arms, which impeded her flight,
and had killed and devoured the poor mother
before we could reach him. The young one had
hidden itself among the long grass, when Fritz
arrived; he had run with all his might, losing his
hat, bottle, and canes, but could not prevent the
murder of the poor mother.
The little monkey no sooner saw him than it
leaped upon his shoulders, fastening its paws in his
curls, and neither cries, threats, nor shaking could
rid him of it. I ran up to him laughing, for I
saw the little creature could not hurt him, and
tried in vain to disengage it. I told him he must
carry it thus. It was evident the sagacious little
creature, having lost its mother, had adopted him
for a father.
I succeeded, at last, in quietly releasing him,
and took the little orphan, which was no bigger
than a cat, in my arms, pitying its helplessness.
The mother appeared as tall as Fritz.
I was reluctant to add another mouth to the
number we had to feed; but Fritz earnestly begged
to keep it, offering to divide his share of cocoa-nut
milk with it till we had our cows. I consented,
on condition that he took care of it, and taught it
to be obedient to him.
Turk, in the mean time, was feasting on the
remains of the unfortunate mother. Fritz would
have driven him off, but I saw we had not food
sufficient to satisfy this voracious animal, and we
might ourselves be in danger from his appetite.
We left him, therefore, with his prey, the little
orphan sitting on the shoulder of his protector,
while I carried the canes. Turk soon overtook
us, and was received very coldly; we reproached
D


33







him with his cruelty, but he was quite uncon-
cerned, and continued to walk after Fritz. The
little monkey seemed uneasy at the sight of him,
and crept into Fritz's bosom, much to his incon-
venience. But a thought struck him; he tied the
monkey with a cord to Turk's back, leading the
dog by another cord, as he was very rebellious at
first; but our threats and caresses at last induced
him to submit to his burden. We proceeded
slowly, and I could not help anticipating the mirth
of my little ones, when they saw us approach like
a pair of show-men.
I advised Fritz not to correct the dogs for
attacking and killing unknown animals. Heaven
bestows the dog on man, as well as the horse, for
a friend and protector. Fritz thought we were
very fortunate, then, in having two such faithful
dogs; he only regretted that our horses had died
on the passage, and only left us the ass.
"Let us not disdain the ass," said I; "I wish
we had him here; he is of a very fine breed, and
would be as useful as a horse to us."
In such conversations, we arrived at the banks
of our river before we were aware. Flora barked
to announce our approach, and Turk answered so
loudly, that the terrified little monkey leaped from
his back to the shoulder of its protector, and
would not come down. Turk ran off to meet his
companion, and our dear family soon appeared on
the opposite shore, shouting with joy at our happy
return. We crossed at the same place as we had
done in the morning, and embraced each other.
Then began such a noise of exclamations. "A
monkey! a real, live monkey! Ah! how delightful!
How glad we are! How did you catch him?"


34


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


He is very ugly," said little Francis, who was
almost afraid of him.
He is prettier than you are," said Jack; see
how he laughs! how I should like to see him eat !"
If we only had some cocoa-nuts," said Ernest.
"Have you found any, and are they good?"
"Have you had any unpleasant adventures?"
asked my wife.
It was in vain to attempt replying to so many
questions and exclamations.
At length, when we got a little peace, I told
them that, though I had brought them all sorts of
good things, I had, unfortunately, not met with
any of our companions.
"God's will be done!" said my wife; "let us
thank Him for saving us, and again bringing us
together now. This day has seemed an age.
But put down your loads, and let us hear your
adventures; we have not been idle, but we are
less fatigued than you. Boys, assist your father
and brother."
Jack took my gun, Ernest the cocoa-nuts, Fran-
cis the gourd-rinds, and my wife the game-bag.
Fritz distributed his sugar-canes, and placed the
monkey on Turk's back, to the amusement of the
children. He begged Ernest to carry his gun, but
he complained of being overloaded with the great
bowls. His indulgent mother took them from
him, and we proceeded to the tent.
Fritz thought Ernest would not have relin-
quished the bowls, if he had known what they
contained, and called out to tell him they were
cocoa-nuts.
"Give them to me," cried Ernest. "I will
carry them, mamma, and the gun too."
D2


35







His mother declined giving them.
I can throw away these sticks," said he, and
carry the gun in my hand."
I would advise you not," observed Fritz, for
the sticks are sugar-canes."
"Sugar-canes !" cried they all, surrounding
Fritz, who had to give them the history, and teach
them the art of sucking the canes.
My wife, who had a proper respect for sugar in
her housekeeping, was much pleased with this
discovery, and the history of all our acquisitions,
which I displayed to her. Nothing gave her so
much pleasure as our plates and dishes, which
were actual necessaries. We went to our kitchen,
and were gratified to see preparations going on
for a good supper. My wife had planted a forked
stick on each side the hearth; on these rested a
long thin wand, on which all sorts of fish were
roasting, Francis being intrusted to turn the spit.
On the other side was impaled a goose on another
spit, and a row of oyster-shells formed the dripping-
pan: besides this, the iron pot was on the fire,
from which arose the savoury odour of a good soup.
Behind the hearth stood one of the hogsheads,
opened, and containing the finest Dutch cheeses,
enclosed in cases of lead. All this was very tempt-
ing to hungry travellers, and very unlike a supper
on a desert island. I could not think my family
had been idle, when I saw such a result of their
labours; I was only sorry they had killed the
goose, as I wished to be economical with our
poultry.
Have no uneasiness," said my wife, "this is
not from our poultry-yard, it is a wild goose, killed
by Ernest."


36


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


It is a sort of penguin, I believe," said Ernest,
"distinguished by the name of booby, and so
stupid, that I knocked it down with a stick. It
is web-footed, has a long narrow beak, a little
curved downwards. I have preserved the head
and neck for you to examine; it exactly resembles
the penguin of my book of natural history."
I pointed out to him the advantages of study,
and was making more inquiries about the form
and habits of the bird, when my wife requested
me to defer my catechism of natural history.
"Ernest has killed the bird," added she; "I
received it; we shall eat it. What more would
you have? Let the poor child have the pleasure
of examining and tasting the cocoa-nuts."
Very well," replied I, Fritz must teach them
how to open them; and we must not forget the
little monkey, who has lost his mother's milk."
"I have tried him," cried Jack, and he will
eat nothing."
I told them he had not yet learnt to eat, and
we must feed him with cocoa-nut milk till we
could get something better. Jack generously
offered all his share, but Ernest and Francis were
anxious to taste the milk themselves.
But the monkey must live," said Jack, petu-
lantly.
"And so must we all," said mamma. "Supper
is ready, and we will reserve the cocoa-nuts for
dessert."
We sat down on the ground, and the supper was
served on our gourd-rind service, which answered
the purpose admirably. My impatient boys had
broken the nuts, which they found excellent, and
they made themselves spoons of the shell. Jack


87







had taken care the monkey had his share; they
dipped the corner of their handkerchiefs in the
milk, and let him suck them. They were going
to break up some more nuts, after emptying them
through the natural holes, but I stopped them,
and called for a saw. I carefully divided the nuts
with this instrument, and soon provided us each
with a neat basin for our soup, to the great com-
fort of my dear wife, who was gratified by seeing
us able to eat like civilized beings. Fritz begged
now to enliven the repast by introducing his cham-
paign. I consented; requesting him, however, to
taste it himself before he served it. What was his
mortification to find it vinegar! But we consoled
ourselves by using it as sauce to our goose; a
great improvement also to the fish. We had now
to hear the history of our supper. Jack and
Francis had caught the fish at the edge of the sea.
My active wife had performed the most laborious
duty, in rolling the hogshead to the place and
breaking open the head.
The sun was going down as we finished supper,
and, recollecting how rapidly night succeeded, we
hastened to our tent, where we found our beds
much more comfortable, from the kind attention
of the good mother, who had collected a large
addition of dried grass. After prayers, we all lay
down; the monkey between Jack and Fritz, care-
fully covered with moss to keep him warm. The
fowls went to their roost, as on the previous night,
and, after our fatigue, we were all soon in a pro-
found sleep.
We had not slept long, when a great commo-
tion among the dogs and fowls announced the


38


THE SWISS





FAMILY ROBINSON.


presence of an enemy. My wife, Fritz, and I,
each seizing a gun, rushed out.
By the light of the noon, we saw a terrible
battle going on: our brave dogs were surrounded
by a dozen jackals, three or four were extended
dead, but our faithful animals were nearly over-
powered by numbers when we arrived. I was
Sglad to find nothing worse than jackals; Fritz
and I fired on them; two fell dead, and the others
fled slowly, evidently wounded. Turk and Flora
pursued and completed the business, and then,
like true dogs, devoured their fallen foes, regard-
less of the bonds of relationship.
All being quiet again, we retired to our beds;
Fritz obtaining leave to drag the jackal he had
killed towards the tent, to save it from the dogs,
and to show to his brothers next morning. This
he accomplished with difficulty, for it was as big
as a large dog.
We all slept peacefully the remainder of the
night, till the crowing of the cock awoke my wife
and myself to a consultation on the business of
the day.



CHAPTER V.

"WELL, my dear," I began, "I feel rather
alarmed at all the labours I see before me. A
voyage to the vessel is indispensable, if we wish
to save our cattle, and many other things that
may be useful to us; on the other hand, I should


39







like to have a more secure shelter for ourselves
and our property than this tent."
"With patience, order, and perseverance, all
may be done," said my good counsellor; "and
whatever uneasiness your voyage may give me, I
yield to the importance and utility of it. Let it
be done to-day; and have no care for the mor-
row: sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof, as
our blessed Lord has said."
It was then agreed that the three youngest
children should remain with my wife; and Fritz,
the strongest and most active, should accompany
me.
I then arose, and woke my children for the im-
portant duties of the day. Fritz jumped up the
first, and ran for his jackal, which had stiffened in
the cold of the night. He placed it on its four
legs, at the entrance of the tent, to surprise his
brothers; but no sooner did the dogs see it erect,
than they flew at it, and would have torn it to
pieces, if he had not soothed them and called them
off. However, their barking effectually roused the
boys, who rushed out to see the cause. Jack
issued first with the monkey on his shoulder; but
no sooner did the little creature see the jackal,
than he sprang into the tent, and hid himself
among the moss, till only the tip of his nose was
visible. All were astonished to see this large
yellow animal standing; Francis thought it was
a wolf; Jack said it was only a dead dog, and
Ernest, in a pompous tone, pronounced it to be a
golden fox.
Fritz laughed at the learned professor, who
knew the agouti immediately, and now called a
jackal a golden fox!


40


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


I judged by the peculiar characteristics," said
Ernest, examining it carefully.
Oh! the characteristics!" said Fritz, ironically,
don't you think it may be a golden wolf?"
Pray don't be so cross, brother," said Ernest,
with tears in his eyes, "perhaps you would not
have known the name, if papa had not told you."
I reproved Fritz for his ridicule of his brother,
and Ernest for so easily taking offence; and, to
reconcile all, I told them that the jackal partook
of the nature of the wolf, the fox, and the dog.
This discussion terminated, I summoned them to
prayers, after which we thought of breakfast. We
had nothing but biscuit, which was certainly dry
and hard. Fritz begged for a little cheese with
it; and Ernest, who was never satisfied like other
people, took a survey of the unopened hogshead.
He soon returned, crying "If we only had a
little butter with our biscuit, it would be so good,
papa!"
I allowed it would be good, but it was no use
thinking of such a thing.
Let us open the other cask," said he, display-
ing a piece of butter he had extracted through a
small crack on the side.
Your instinct for good things has been for-
tunate for us," said I. Come, boys, who wants
bread and butter ?"
We began to consider how we should come at
the contents of the hogshead, without exposing
the perishable matter to the heat of the sun.
Finally, I pierced a hole in the lower part of the
cask, large enough for us to draw out the butter
as we wanted it, by means of a little wooden
shovel, which I soon made. We then sat down


41







to breakfast with a cocoa-nut basin filled with
good salt Dutch butter. We toasted our biscuit,
buttered it hot, and agreed that it was excellent.
Our dogs were sleeping by us as we breakfasted;
and I remarked that they had bloody marks of
the last night's fray, in some deep and dangerous
wounds, especially about the neck; my wife in-
stantly dressed the wounds with butter, well
washed in cold water; and the poor animals
seemed grateful for the ease it gave them. Ernest
judiciously remarked, that they ought to have
spiked collars, to defend them from any wild
beasts they might encounter.
"I will make them collars," said Jack, who
never hesitated at anything. I was glad to em-
ploy his inventive powers; and, ordering my chil-
dren, not to leave their mother, during our absence,
but to pray to God to bless our undertaking, we
began our preparations for the voyage.
While Fritz made ready the boat, I erected a
signal-post, with a piece of sailcloth for a flag, to
float as long as all was going on well; but if we
were wanted, they were to lower the flag, and fire
a gun three times, when we would immediately
return; for I had informed my dear wife it might
be necessary for us to remain on board all night;
and she consented to the plan, on my promising
to pass the night in our tubs, instead of the ves-
sel. We took nothing but our guns and ammu-
nition; relying on the ship's provisions. Fritz
would, however, take the monkey, that he might
give it some milk from the cow.
We took a tender leave of each other, and em-
barked. When we had rowed into the middle of


42


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FAMILY ROBINSON.


the bay, I perceived a strong current formed by
the water of the river which issued at a little dis-
tance, which I was glad to take advantage of, to
spare our labour. It carried us three parts of our
voyage, and we rowed the remainder; and enter-
ing the opening in the vessel, we secured our boat
firmly, and went on board.
The first care of Fritz was to feed the animals,
who were on deck, and who all saluted us after
their fashion, rejoiced to see their friends again,
as well as to have their wants supplied. We put
the young monkey to a goat, which he sucked
with extraordinary grimaces, to our infinite amuse-
ment. We then took some refreshment ourselves,
and Fritz, to my great surprise, proposed that we
should begin by adding a sail to our boat. He
said the current which helped us to the vessel,
could not carry us back, but the wind which blew
so strongly against us, and made our rowing so
fatiguing, would be of great service, if we had a
sail.
I thanked my counsellor for his good advice, and
we immediately set to the task. I selected a strong
pole for a mast, and a triangular sail, which was
fixed to a yard. We made a hole in a plank, to
receive the mast, secured the plank on our fourth
tub, forming a deck, and then, by aid of a block
used to hoist and lower the sails, raised our mast.
Finally, two ropes fastened by one end to the yard,
and by the other to each extremity of the boat,
enabled us to direct the sail at pleasure. Fritz
next ornamented the top of the mast with a little
red streamer. He then gave our boat the name
of the Deliverance, and requested it might hence-


43







forward be called the little vessel. To complete
its equipment, I contrived a rudder, so that I could
direct the boat from either end.
After signalling to our friends that we should
not return that night, we spent the rest of the day
in emptying the tubs of the stones we had used
for ballast, and replacing them with useful things.
Powder and shot, nails and tools of all kinds,
pieces of cloth; above all, we did not forget knives,
forks, spoons, and kitchen utensils, including a
roasting-jack. In the captain's cabin we found
some services of silver, pewter plates and dishes,
and a small chest filled with bottles of choice
wines. All these we took, as well as a chest of
eatables, intended for the officers' table, portable
soup, Westphalian hams, Bologna sausages, &c.;
also some bags of maize, wheat, and other seeds,
and some potatoes. We collected all the imple-
ments of husbandry we could spare room for, and,
at the request of Fritz, some hammocks and
blankets; two or three handsome guns, and an
armful of sabres, swords, and hunting-knives.
Lastly, I embarked a barrel of sulphur, all the cord
and string I could lay my hands on, and a large
roll of sailcloth. The sulphur was intended to
produce matches with. Our tubs were loaded to
the edge; there was barely room left for us to sit,
and it would have been dangerous to attempt our
return if the sea had not been so calm.
Night arrived, we exchanged signals, to an-
nounce security on sea and land, and, after prayers
for the dear islanders, we sought our tubs, not
the most luxurious of dormitories, but safer than
the ship. Fritz slept soundly; but I could not


44


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FAMILY ROBINSON.


close my eyes, thinking of the jackals. I was, how-
ever, thankful for the protection they had in the
dogs.


CHAPTER VI.

As soon as day broke, I mounted on deck, to
look through the telescope. I saw my wife look-
ing towards us; and the flag, which denoted their
safety, floating in the breeze. Satisfied on this
important point, we enjoyed our breakfast of
biscuit, ham, and wine, and then turned our
thoughts to the means of saving our cattle. Even
if we could contrive a raft, we could never get all
the animals to remain still on it. We might
venture the huge sow in the water, but the rest
of the animals we found would not be able to
swim to shore. At last Fritz suggested the swim-
ming apparatus. We passed two hours in con.
structing them. For the cow and ass it was
necessary to have an empty cask on each side,
well bound in strong sailcloth, fastened by
leather thongs over the back and under each
animal. For the rest, we merely tied a piece of
cork under their bodies; the sow only being un.
ruly, and giving us much trouble. We then
fastened a cord to the horns or neck of each
animal, with a slip of wood at the end, for a con-
venient handle. Luckily, the waves had broken
away part of the ship, and left the opening wide
enough for the passage of our troop. We first
launched the ass into the water, by a sudden


45







push; he swam away, after the first plunge, very
gracefully. The cow, sheep, and goats, followed
quietly after. The sow was furious, and soon
broke loose from us all, but fortunately reached
the shore long before the rest.
We now embarked, fastening all the slips of
wood to the stern of the boat, thus drawing our
train after us; and the wind filling our sail, car-
ried us smoothly towards the shore. Fritz ex-
ulted in his plan, as we certainly could never have
rowed our boat, loaded as we were. I once more
took out my telescope, and was remarking that
our party on shore seemed making ready for some
excursion, when a loud cry from Fritz filled me
with terror. "We are lost! we are lost! see,
what a monstrous fish!" Though pale with
alarm, the bold boy had seized his gun, and,
encouraged by my directions, he fired two balls
into the head of the monster, as it was preparing
to dart on the sheep. It immediately made its
escape, leaving a long red track to prove that it
was severely wounded.
Being freed from our enemy, I now resumed
the rudder, and we lowered the sail and rowed to
shore. The animals, as soon as the water became
low enough, walked out at their own discretion,
after we had relieved them from their swimming
girdles. We then secured our boat as before, and
landed ourselves, anxiously looking round for our
friends.
We had not long to wait, they came joyfully to
greet us; and, after our first burst of pleasure, we
sat down to tell our adventures in a regular foim.
My wife was overjoyed to see herself surrounded
by these valuable animals; and especially pleased


46


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FAMILY ROBINSON.


that her son Fritz had suggested so many useful
plans. We next proceeded to disembark all our
treasures. I noticed that Jack wore a belt of
yellow skin, in which were placed a pair of
pistols, and inquired where he had got his
brigand costume.
I manufactured it myself," said he; and
this is not all. Look at the dogs !"
The dogs wore each a collar of the same skin as
his belt, bristling with long nails, the points out-
wards-a formidable defence.
It is my own invention," said he; "only
mamma helped me in the sewing."
But where did you get the leather, the needle
and thread ?" inquired I.
Fritz's jackal supplied the skin," said my
wife, and my wonderful bag the rest. There is
still more to come from it, only say what you
want."
Fritz evidently felt a little vexation at his
brother's unceremonious appropriation of the skin
of the jackal, which displayed itself in the tone in
which he exclaimed, holding his nose, "Keep at a
distance, Mr. Skinner, you carry an intolerable
smell about with you."
I gave him a gentle hint of his duty in the posi-
tion of eldest son, and he soon recovered his good
humour. However, as the body as well as the
skin of the jackal was becoming offensive, they
united in dragging it down to the sea, while Jack
placed his belt in the sun to dry.
As I saw no preparation for supper, I told Fritz
to bring the ham; and, to the astonishment and
joy of all, he returned with a fine Westphalian
ham, which we had cut into in the morning.


47







I will tell you," said my wife, "why we have
no supper prepared; but first, I will make you an
omelet;" and she produced from a basket a dozen
turtle's eggs.
"You see," said Ernest, "they have all the
characteristics of those Robinson Crusoe had in
his island. They are white balls, the skin of
which resembles moistened parchment."
My wife promised to relate the history of the
discovery after supper, and set about preparing
her ham and omelet, while Fritz and I proceeded
in unloading our cargo, assisted by the useful
ass.
Supper was now ready. A tablecloth was laid
over the butter-cask, and spread with the plates
and spoons from the ship. The ham was in the
middle, and the omelet and cheese at each end;
and we made a good meal, surrounded by our sub-
jects,-the dogs, the fowls, the pigeons, the sheep,
and the goats, waiting for our notice. The geese
and ducks were more independent, remaining in
their marsh, where they lived in plenty on the
small crabs which abounded there.
After supper, I sent Fritz for a bottle of the
captain's Canary wine, and then requested my
wife to give us her recital.



CHAPTER VII.
I WILL spare you the history of the first day,"
said my good Elizabeth, spent in anxiety about
you, and attending to the signals; but this morn-
ing, being satisfied that all was going right, I


48


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FAMILY ROBINSON.


sought, before the boys got up, a shady place to
rest in, but in vain; I believe this barren shore
has not a single tree on it. Then I began to
consider on the necessity of searching for a more
comfortable spot for our residence; and deter-
mined, after a slight repast, to set out with my
children across the river, on a journey of dis-
covery. The day before, Jack had busied himself
in skinning the jackal with his knife, sharpened
on the rock; Ernest declining to assist him in
his dirty work, for which I reproved him, sorry
that any fastidiousness should deter him from a
labour of benefit to society.
Jack proceeded to clean the skin as well as he
was able; then procured from the nail-chest some
long flat-headed nails, and inserted them closely
through the long pieces of skin he had cut for
collars; he then cut some sailcloth, and made a
double lining over the heads of the nails; and
finished by giving me the delicate office of sewing
them together, which I could not but comply
with.
His belt he first stretched on a plank, nailing
it down, and exposing it to the sun, lest it should
shrink in drying.
Now for our journey: we took our game-
bags and some hunting-knives. The boys carried
provisions, and I had a large flask of water. I
took a small hatchet, and gave Ernest a carbine,
which might be loaded with ball; keeping his light
gun for myself. I carefully secured the opening
of the tent with the hooks. Turk went before,
evidently considering himself our guide; and we
crossed the river with some difficulty.
"As we proceeded, I could not help feeling
I


49







thankful that you had so early taught the boys
to use fire-arms properly, as the defence of my
youngest boy and myself now depended on the
two boys of ten and twelve years of age.
When we attained the hill you described to us,
I was charmed with the smiling prospect, and, for
the first time since our shipwreck, ventured to
hope for better things. I had remarked a beau-
tiful wood, to which I determined to make our
way, for a little shade, and a most painful pro-
gress it was, through grass that was higher than
the children's heads. As we were struggling
through it, we heard a strange rustling sound
among the grass, and at the same moment a bird
of prodigious size rose, and flew away, before the
poor boys could get their guns ready. They were
much mortified, and I recommended them always
to have their guns in readiness, for the birds
would not be likely to wait till they loaded them.
Francis thought the bird was so large, it must be
an eagle; but Ernest ridiculed the idea, and
added that he thought it must be of the bustard
tribe. We went forward to the spot from
which it had arisen, when suddenly another bird
of the same kind, though still larger, sprung up,
close to our feet, and was soon soaring above our
heads. I could not help laughing to see the look
of astonishment and confusion with which the
boys looked upwards after it. At last Jack took
off his hat, and, making t low bow, said, 'Pray,
Mr. Bird, be kind enough to pay us another visit,
you will find us very good children !' We found
the large nest they had left; it was rudely formed
of dry grass, and empty, but some fragments of
egg-shells were scattered near, as if the young had


50


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


been recently hatched; we therefore concluded
that they had escaped among the grass.
"Doctor Ernest immediately began a lecture.
'You observe, Francis, these birds could not be
eagles, which do not form their nests on the
ground. Neither do their young run as soon as
they are hatched. These must be of the gallina-
ceous tribe, an order of birds such as quails, par-
tridges, turkeys, &c.; and, from the sort of
feathered moustache which I observed at the
corner of the beak, I should pronounce that these
were bustards.'
But we had now reached the little wood, and
our learned friend had sufficient employment in
scrutinizing, and endeavouring to classify, the
immense number of beautiful, unknown birds,
which sung and fluttered about us, apparently
regardless of our intrusion.
We found that what we thought a wood was
merely a group of a dozen trees, of a height far
beyond any I had ever seen; and apparently
belonging rather to the air than the earth; the
trunks springing from roots which formed a series
of supporting arches. Jack climbed one of the
arches, and measured the trunk of the tree with
a piece of packthread. He found it to be thirty-
four feet. I made thirty-two steps round the
roots. Between the roots and the lowest branches,
it seemed about forty or fifty feet. The branches
are thick and strong, and the leaves are of a
moderate size, and resemble our walnut-tree. A
thick, short, smooth turf clothed the ground be-
neath and around the detached roots of the trees,
and everything combined to render this one of
the most delicious spots the mind could conceive.
E2


51








"Here we rested, and made our noon-day repast;
a clear rivulet ran near us, and offered its agree-
able waters for our refreshment. Our dogs soon
joined us; but I was astonished to find they did
not crave for food, but laid down to sleep at our
feet. For myself, so safe and happy did I feel,
that I could not but think that if we could con-
trive a dwelling on the branches of one of these
trees, we should be in perfect peace and safety.
We set out on our return, taking the road by the
sea-shore, in case the waves had cast up anything
from the wreck of the vessel. We found a quan-
tity of timber, chests, and casks; but all too
heavy to bring. We succeeded in dragging them,
as well as we could, out of the reach of the tide;
our dogs, in the mean time, fishing for crabs,
with which they regaled themselves, much to their
own satisfaction and to mine, as I now saw they
would be able to provide their own food. As we
rested from our rough labour, I saw Flora
scratching in the sand, and swallowing something
with great relish. Ernest watched, and then
said, very quietly, 'They are turtles' eggs.' We
drove away the dog, and collected about two
dozen, leaving her the rest as a reward for her
discovery.
While we were carefully depositing our spoil in
the game-bags, we were astonished at the sight of
a sail. Ernest was certain it was papa and Fritz,
and though Francis was in dread that it should be
the savages who visited Robinson Crusoe's island,
coming to eat us up, we were soon enabled to
calm his fears. We crossed the river by leaping
from stone to stone, and, hastening to the land-


52


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


ing-place, arrived to greet you on your happy
return."
And I understand, my dear," said I, that
you have discovered a tree sixty feet high, where
you wish we should perch like fowls. But how
are we to get up?"
"Oh! you must remember," answered she,
"the large lime-tree near our native town, in
which was a ball-room. We used to ascend to it
by a wooden staircase. Could you not contrive
something of the sort in one of these gigantic
trees, where we might sleep in peace, fearing
neither jackals nor any other terrible nocturnal
enemy."
I promised to consider this plan, hoping at
least that we might make a commodious and
shady dwelling among the roots. To-morrow we
were to examine it. We then performed our
evening devotions, and retired to rest.



CHAPTER VIII.
"Now, my dear Elizabeth," said I, waking
early next morning, "let us talk a little on this
grand project of changing our residence; to which
there are many objections. First, it seems wise
to remain on the spot where Providence has cast
us, where we can have at once means of support
drawn from the ship, and security from all
attacks, protected by the rock, the river, and the
sea on all sides."
My wife distrusted the river, which could not


53








protect us from the jackals, and complained of
the intolerable heat of this sandy desert, of her
distaste for such food as oysters and wild geese;
and, lastly, of her agony of mind, when we ven-
tured to the wreck; willingly renouncing all its
treasures, and begging we might rest content
with the blessings we already had.
"There is some truth in your objections," said
I, and perhaps we may erect a dwelling under
the roots of your favourite tree; but among these
rocks we must have a storehouse for our goods,
and a retreat in case of invasion. I hope, by
blowing off some pieces of the rock with powder,
to be able to fortify the part next the river,
leaving a secret passage known only to ourselves.
This would make it impregnable. But before we
proceed, we must have a bridge to convey our
baggage across the river.
A bridge," said she, in a tone of vexation;
"then when shall we get from here? Why can-
not we ford it as usual? The cow and ass could
carry our stores."
I explained to her how necessary it was for our
ammunition and provision to be conveyed over
without risk of wetting, and begged her to
manufacture some bags and baskets, and leave the
bridge to me and my boys. If we succeeded, it
would always be useful; as for fear of danger
from lightning or accident, I intended to make a
powder-magazine among the rocks.
The important question was now decided. I
called up my sons, and communicated our plans
to them. They were greatly delighted, though
somewhat alarmed, at the formidable project of
the bridge; besides, the delay was vexatious;


54


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


they were all anxious for a removal into the Land
of Promise, as they chose to call it.
We read prayers, and then thought of break-
fast. The monkey sucked one of the goats, as if
it had been its mother. My wife milked the cow,
and gave us boiled milk with biscuit for our
breakfast; part of which she put in a flask, for us
to take on our expedition. We then prepared
our boat for a voyage to the vessel, to procure
planks and timber for our bridge. I took both
Ernest and Fritz, as I foresaw our cargo would be
weighty, and require all our hands to bring it to
shore.
We rowed vigorously till we got into the cur-
rent, which soon carried us beyond the bay. We
had scarcely reached a little isle at the entrance,
when we saw a vast number of gulls and other
sea-birds, fluttering with discordant cries over it.
I hoisted the sail, and we approached rapidly;
and, when near enough, we stepped on shore, and
saw that the birds were feasting so eagerly on the
remains of a huge fish, that they did not even
notice our approach. We might have killed num-
bers, even with our sticks. This fish was the shark
which Fritz had so skilfully shot through the head
the night before. He found the marks of his three
balls. Ernest drew his ramrod from his gun, and
struck so vigorously right and left among the
birds, that he killed some, and put the rest to
flight. We then hastily cut off some pieces of the
skin of the monster, which I thought might be
useful, and placed them in our boat. But this
was not the only advantage we gained by landing.
I perceived an immense quantity of wrecked tim-
ber lying on the shore of the island, which would


55







spare us our voyage to the ship. We selected
such planks as were fit for our purpose; then,
by the aid of our jack-screw and some levers we
had brought with us, we extricated the planks
from the sand, and floated them; and, binding the
spars and yards together with cords, with the
planks above them, like a raft, we tied them to
the stern of our boat, and hoisted our sail.
Fritz, as we sailed, was drying the shark's skin,
which I hoped to convert into files. And Ernest,
in his usual reflective manner, observed to me,
"What a beautiful arrangement of Providence it
is, that the mouth of the shark should be placed
in such a position that he is compelled to turn
on his back to seize his prey, thus giving it a
chance of escape; else, with his excessive voracity,
he might depopulate the ocean."
At last, we reached our landing-place, and,
securing our boat, and calling out loudly, we soon
saw our friends running from the river; each
carried a handkerchief filled with some new ac-
quisition, and Francis had over his shoulder a
small fishing-net. Jack reached us first, and
threw down before us from his handkerchief some
fine crawfish. They had each as many, forming a
provision for many days.
Francis claimed the merit of the discovery.
Jack related, that Francis and he took a walk to
find a good place for the bridge.
Thank you, Mr. Architect," said I; then you
must superintend the workmen. Have you fixed
on your place?"
"Yes, yes!" cried he; "only listen. When we
got to the river, Francis, who was looking about,


56


THE SWISS





FAMILY ROBINSON.


called out, 'Jack! Jack! Fritz's jackal is covered
with crabs! Come! come!' I ran to tell
mamma, who brought a net that came from the
ship, and we caught these in a few minutes, and
could have got many more, if you had not come."
I commanded them to put the smaller ones
back into the river, reserving only as many as we
could eat. I was truly thankful to discover an-
other means of support.
We now landed our timber. I had looked at
Jack's site for the bridge, and thought my little
architect very happy in his selection; but it was
at a great distance from the timber. I recollected
the simplicity of the harness the Laplanders used
for their reindeer. I tied cords to the horns of
the cow-as the strength of this animal is in the
head-and then fastened the other ends round the
piece of timber we wanted moving. I placed a
halter round the neck of the ass, and attached the
cords to this. We were thus enabled, by degrees,
to remove all our wood to the chosen spot, where
the sides of the river were steep, and appeared of
equal height.
It was necessary to know the breadth of the
river, to select the proper planks; and Ernest
proposed to procure a ball of packthread from his
mother, to tie a stone to one end of the string,
and throw it across the river, and to measure it
after drawing it back. This expedient succeeded
admirably. We found the breadth to be eighteen
feet; but, as I proposed to give the bridge strength
by having three feet, at least, resting on each shore,
we chose some planks of twenty-four feet in length.
How we were to get these across the river was


57







another question, which we prepared to discuss
during dinner, to which my wife now sum-
moned us.
Our dinner consisted of a dish of crawfish, and
some very good rice-milk. But, before we began,
we admired her work. She had made a pair of
bags for the ass, sewed with packthread; but
having no large needles, she had been obliged to
pierce holes with a nail, a tedious and painful
process. Well satisfied with her success, we turned
to our repast, talking of our bridge, which the
boys, by anticipation, named the Nonpareil. We
then went to work.
There happened to be an old trunk of a tree
standing on the shore. To this I tied my main
beam by a strong cord, loose enough to turn round
the trunk. Another cord was attached to the
opposite end of the beam, long enough to cross
the river twice. I took the end of my rope over
the stream, where we had previously fixed the
block, used in our boat, to a tree, by the hook which
usually suspended it. I passed my rope, and
returned with the end to our own side. I then
harnessed my cow and ass to the end of my rope,
and drove them forcibly from the shore. The
beam turned slowly round the trunk, then ad-
vanced, and was finally lodged over the river,
amidst the shouts of the boys; its own weight
keeping it firm. Fritz and Jack leaped on it im-
mediately to run across, to my great fear.
We succeeded in placing four strong beams
in the same way; and, by the aid of my sons, I
arranged them at a convenient distance from each
other, that we might have a broad and good
bridge. We then laid down planks close toge-


58


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


their across the beams; but not fixed, as in time
of danger it might be necessary rapidly to re-
move the bridge. My wife and I were as much
excited as the children, and ran across with
delight. Our bridge was at least ten feet broad.
Thoroughly fatigued with our day of labour,
we returned home, supped, and offered thanks to
God, and went to rest.



CHAPTER IX.

THE next morning, after prayers, I assembled
my family. We took a solemn leave of our first
place of refuge. I cautioned my sons to be
prudent, and on their guard; and especially to
remain together during our journey. We then
prepared for departure. We assembled the cattle:
the bags were fixed across the backs of the cow
and the ass, and loaded with all our heavy baggage;
our cooking utensils; and provisions, consisting of
biscuits, butter, cheese, and portable soup; our
hammocks and blankets; the captain's service of
plate, were all carefully packed in the bags,
equally poised on each side the animals.
All was ready, when my wife came in haste
with her inexhaustible bag, requesting a place for
it. Neither would she consent to leave the poul-
try, as food for the jackals; above all, Francis
must have a place; he could not possibly walk all
the way. I was amused with the exactions of the
sex; but consented to all, and made a good place
for Francis between the bags, on the back of
the ass.


59






60 THE SWISS
The elder boys returned in despair,-they could
not succeed in catching the fowls; but the expe-
rienced mother laughed at them, and said she
would soon capture them.
If you do," said my pert little Jack, I will
be contented to be roasted in the place of the first
chicken taken."
Then, my poor Jack," said his mother, you
will soon be on the spit. Remember, that intel-
lect has always more power than mere bodily
exertion. Look here!" She scattered a few
handfuls of grain before the tent, calling the
fowls; they soon all assembled, including the
pigeons; then throwing more down inside the
tent, they followed her. It was now only neces-
sary to close the entrance; and they were all
soon taken, tied by the wings and feet, and, being
placed in baskets covered with nets, were added
to the rest of our luggage on the backs of the
animals.
Finally, we conveyed inside the tent all we
could not carry away, closing the entrance, and
barricading it with chests and casks, thus con-
fiding all our possessions to the care of God. We
set out on our pilgrimage, each carrying a game-
bag and a gun. My wife and her eldest son led
the way, followed by the heavily-laden cow and
ass; the third division consisted of the goats,
driven by Jack, the little monkey seated on the
back of its nurse, and grimacing, to our great
amusement; next came Ernest, with the sheep;
and I followed, superintending the whole. Our
gallant dogs acted as aides-de-camp, and were
continually passing from the front to the rear
rank.






FAMILY ROBINSON.


Our march was slow, but orderly, and quite
patriarchal. "We are now travelling across the
deserts, as our first fathers did," said I, and as
the Arabs, Tartars, ard other nomade nations do
to this day, followed by their flocks and herds.
But these people generally have strong camels to
bear their burdens, instead of a poor ass and cow.
I hope this may be the last of our pilgrimages."
My wife also hoped that, once under the shade of
her marvellous trees, we should have no tempta-
tion to travel further.
We now crossed our new bridge, and here the
party was happily augmented by a new arrival.
The sow had proved very mutinous at setting out,
and we had been compelled to leave her; she now
voluntarily joined us, seeing we were actually
departing; but continued to grunt loudly her
disapprobation of our proceedings. After we had
crossed the river, we had another embarrassment.
The rich grass tempted our animals to stray off to
feed, and, but for our dogs, we should never have
been able to muster them again. But, for fear of
further accident, I commanded my advanced
guard to take the road by the coast, which offered
no temptation to our troops.
We had scarcely left the high grass when our
dogs rushed back into it, barking furiously, and
howling as if in combat; Fritz immediately pre-
pared for action, Ernest drew near his mother,
Jack rushed forward with his gun over his shoul-
der, and I cautiously advanced, commanding
them to be discreet and cool. But Jack, with
his usual impetuosity, leaped among the high
grass to the dogs; and immediately returned,
clapping his hands, and crying out, Be quick,


61







papa! a huge porcupine, with quills as long as
my arm!"
When I got up, I really found a porcupine,
whom the dogs were warmly attacking. It made
a frightful noise, erecting its quills so boldly, that
the wounded animals howled with pain after every
attempt to seize it. As we were looking at them
Jack drew a pistol from his belt, and discharged
it directly into the head of the porcupine, which
fell dead. Jack was very proud of his feat, and
Fritz, not a little jealous, suggested that such
a little boy should not be trusted with pistols, as
he might have shot one of the dogs, or even one
of us. I forbade any envy or jealousy among the
brothers, and declared that all did well who
acted for the public good. Mamma was now
summoned to see the curious animal her son's
valour had destroyed. Her first thought was to
dress the wounds made by the quills which had
stuck in the noses of the dogs during their attack.
In the mean time, I corrected my son's notions on
the power of this animal to lance its darts when
in danger. This is a popular error; nature has
given it a sufficient protection in its defensive and
offensive armour.
As Jack earnestly desired to carry his booty
with him, I carefully imbedded the body in soft
grass, to preserve the quills; then packed it in
strong cloth, and placed it on the ass behind
Francis.
At last, we arrived at the end of our journey,
-and, certainly, the size of the trees surpassed
anything I could have imagined. Jack was cer-
tain they were gigantic walnut-trees; for my own
part, I believed them to be a species of fig-tree-


62


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


probably the Antilles fig. But all thanks were
given to the kind mother who had sought out
such a pleasant home for us; at all events, we
could find a convenient shelter among the roots.
And, if we should ever succeed in perching on the
branches, I told her we should be safe from all
wild beasts. I would defy even the bears of our
native mountains to climb these immense trunks,
totally destitute of branches.
We released our animals from their loads, tying
their fore legs together, that they might not stray;
except the sow, who, as usual, did her own way.
The fowls and pigeons we released, and left to
their own discretion. We then sat down on the
grass, to consider where we should establish our-
selves. I wished to mount the tree that very
night. Suddenly we heard, to our no slight alarm,
the report of a gun. But the next moment the
voice of Fritz re-assured us. He had stolen out
unnoticed, and shot a beautiful tiger-cat, which he
displayed in great triumph.
"Well done, noble hunter !" said I; "you de-
serve the thanks of the fowls and pigeons; they
would most probably have all fallen a sacrifice to-
night, if you had not slain their deadly foe. Pray
wage war with all his kind, or we shall not have a
chicken left for the pot."
Ernest then examined the animal with his cus-
tomary attention, and declared that the proper
name was the margay, a fact Fritz did not dispute,
only requesting that Jack might not meddle with
the skin, as he wished to preserve it for a belt. I
recommended them to skin it immediately, and
give the flesh to the dogs. Jack, at the same
time, determined to skin his porcupine,'to make


63








dog-collars. Part of its flesh went into the soup-
kettle, and the rest was salted for the next day.
We then sought for some flat stones in the bed of
the charming little river that ran at a little distance
from us, and set about constructing a cooking-
place. Francis collected dry wood for the fire;
and, while my wife was occupied in preparing
our supper, I amused myself by making some
packing-needles for her rude work from the quills
of the porcupine. I held a large nail in the fire
till it was red-hot, then, holding the head in wet
linen, I pierced the quills, and made several nee-
dles, of various sizes, to the great contentment of
our indefatigable workwoman.
Still occupied with the idea of our castle in the
air, I thought of making a ladder of ropes; but
this would be useless, if we did not succeed in
getting a cord over the lower branches, to draw it
up. Neither my sons nor myself could throw a
stone, to which I had fastened a cord, over these
branches, which were thirty feet above us. It
was necessary to think of some other expedient.
In the mean time, dinner was ready. The porcu-
pine made excellent soup, and the flesh was well-
tasted, though rather hard. My wife could not
make up her mind to taste it, but contented her-
self with a slice of ham and some cheese.



CHAPTER X.
AFTER dinner, as I found we could not ascend
at present, I suspended our hammocks under the
arched roots of our tree, and, covering the whole


64


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


with sailcloth, we had a shelter from the dew and
the insects.
While my wife was employed making harness
for the cow and ass, I went with my sons to the
shore, to look for wood fit for our use next day.
We saw a great quantity of wreck, but none fit
for our purpose, till Ernest met with a heap of
bamboo canes, half buried in sand and mud.
These were exactly what I wanted. I drew them
out of the sand, stripped them of their leaves, cut
them in pieces of about four or five feet long, and
my sons each made up a bundle to carry home. I
then set out to seek some slender stalks to make
arrows, which I should need in my project.
We went towards a thick grove, which appeared
likely to contain something for my purpose. We
were very cautious, for fear of reptiles or other
dangerous animals, allowing Flora to precede us.
When we got near, she darted furiously among
the bushes, and out flew a troop of beautiful
flamingoes, and soared into the air. Fritz, always
ready, fired at them. Two fell; one quite dead, the
other, slightly wounded in the wing, made use of
its long legs so well that it would have escaped, if
Flora had not seized it and held it till I came up
to take possession. The joy of Fritz was extreme,
to have this beautiful creature alive. He thought
at once of curing its wound, and domesticating it
with our own poultry.
What splendid plumage !" said Ernest; and
you see he is web-footed, like the goose, and has
long legs like the stork; thus he can run as fast
on land as he can swim in the water."
Yes," said I, and fly as quickly in the air.
These birds are remarkable for the power and


65







strength of their wings. Few birds have so many
advantages."
My boys occupied themselves in binding their
captive and dressing his wound; while I sought
some of the canes which had done flowering, to
cut off the hard ends, to point my arrows. These
are used by the savages of the Antilles. I then
selected the highest canes I could meet with, to
assist me in measuring, by a geometrical process,
the height of the tree. Ernest took the canes, I
had the wounded flamingo, and Fritz carried his
own game. Very loud were the cries of joy and
astonishment at our approach. The boys all
hoped the flamingo might be tamed, of which I
felt no doubt; but my wife was uneasy, lest it
should require more food than she could spare.
However, I assured her, our new guest would
need no attention, as he would provide for himself
at the river-side, feeding on small fishes, worms,
and insects. His wounds I dressed, and found
they would soon be healed; I then tied him to a
stake, near the river, by a cord long enough to
allow him to fish at his pleasure, and, in fact, in a
few days, he learned to know us, and was quite
domesticated. Meantime, my boys had been
trying to measure the tree with the long canes
I had brought, and came laughing to report to
me, that I ought to have got them ten times as
long to reach even the lowest branches. There
is a simpler mode than that," said I, "which
geometry teaches us, and by which the highest
mountains can be measured."
I then showed the method of measuring heights
by triangles and imaginary lines, using canes of
different lengths and cords instead of mathematical


66


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


instruments. My result was thirty feet to the
lowest branches. This experiment filled the boys
with wonder and desire to become acquainted with
this useful, exact science, which, happily, I was
able to teach them fully.
I now ordered Fritz to measure our strong cord,
and the little ones to collect all the small string, and
wind it. I then took a strong bamboo and made a
bow of it, and some arrows of the slender canes, fill-
ing them with wet sand to give them weight, and
feathering them from the dead flamingo. As soon
as my work was completed, the boys crowded
round me, all begging to try the bow and arrows.
I begged them to be patient, and asked my wife
to supply me with a ball of thick strong thread.
The enchanted bag did not fail us; the very ball
I wanted appeared at her summons. This, my
little ones declared, must be magic; but I ex-
plained to them, that prudence, foresight, and
presence of mind in danger, such as their good
mother had displayed, produced more miracles
than magic.
I then tied the end of the ball of thread to one
of my arrows, fixed it in my bow, and sent it di-
rectly over one of the thickest of the lower
branches of the tree, and, falling to the ground,
it drew the thread after it. Charmed with this
result, I hastened to complete my ladder. Fritz
had measured our ropes, and found two of forty
feet each,-exactly what I wanted. These I
stretched on the ground at about one foot dis-
tance from each other; Fritz cut pieces of cane
two feet long, which Ernest passed to me. I
placed these in knots which I had made in the
cords, at about a foot distance from each other,
P2


67








and Jack fastened each end with a long nail, to
prevent it slipping. In a very short time our
ladder was completed; and, tying it to the end of
the cord which went over the branch, we drew it
up without difficulty. All the boys were anxious
to ascend; but I chose Jack, as the lightest and
most active. Accordingly, he ascended, while his
brothers and myself held the ladder firm by the
end of the cord. Fritz followed him, conveying
a bag with nails and hammer. They were soon
perched on the branches, huzzaing to us. Fritz
secured the ladder so firmly to the branch, that I
had no hesitation in ascending myself. I carried
with me a large pulley fixed to the end of a rope,
which I attached to a branch above us, to enable
us to raise the planks necessary to form the
groundwork of our habitation. I smoothed the
branches a little by aid of my axe, sending the
boys down to be out of my way. After com-
pleting my day's work, I descended by the light
of the moon, and was alarmed to find that Fritz
and Jack were not below; and still more so, when
I heard their clear, sweet voices, at the summit
of the tree, singing the evening hymn, as if to
sanctify our future abode. They had climbed the
tree, instead of descending, and, filled with won-
der and reverence at the sublime view below them,
had burst out into the hymn of thanksgiving to
God.
I could not scold my dear boys, when they
descended, but directed them to assemble the
animals, and to collect wood, to keep up fires
during the night, in order to drive away any wild
beasts that might be near.
My wife then displayed her work,--complete


68


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


harness for our two beasts of burden, and, in return,
I promised her we would establish ourselves next
day in the tree. Supper was now ready, one piece
of the porcupine was roasted by the fire, smelling
deliciously; another piece formed a rich soup; a
cloth was spread on the turf; the ham, cheese,
butter, and biscuits, were placed upon it.
My wife first assembled the fowls, by throwing
some grain to them, to accustom them to the
place. We soon saw the pigeons fly to roost on
the higher branches of the trees, while the fowls
perched on the ladder; the beasts we tied to the
roots, close to us. Now, that our cares were over,
we sat down to a merry and excellent repast by
moonlight. Then, after the prayers of the even-
ing, I kindled our watch-fires, and we all lay
down to rest in our hammocks. The boys were
rather discontented, and complained of their
cramped position, longing for the freedom of their
beds of moss; but I instructed them to lie, as the
sailors do, diagonally, and swinging the hammock,
and told them that brave Swiss boys might sleep
as the sailors of all nations were compelled to
sleep. After some stifled sighs and groans, all
sank to rest except myself, kept awake by anxiety
for the safety of the rest.



CHAPTER XI.
MY anxiety kept me awake till near morning,
when, after a short sleep, I rose, and we were soon
all at work. My wife, after milking the cow and
goats, harnessed the cow and ass, and set out to


69








search for drift-wood for our use. In the mean
time, I mounted the ladder with Fritz, and we set
to work stoutly, with axe and saw, to rid ourselves
of all useless branches. Some, about six feet above
our foundation, I left, to suspend our hammocks
from, and others, a little higher, to support the
roof, which, at present, was to be merely sail-
cloth. My wife succeeded in collecting us some
boards and planks, which, with her assistance, and
Sthe aid of the pulley, we hoisted up. We then
arranged them on the level branches close to each
other, in such a manner as to form a smooth and
solid floor. I made a sort of parapet round, to
prevent accidents. By degrees, our dwelling began
to assume a distinct form; the sailcloth was
raised over the high branches, forming a roof; and,
being brought down on each side, was nailed to
the parapet. The immense trunk protected the
back of our apartment, and the front was open to
admit the breeze from the sea, which was visible
from this elevation. We hoisted our hammocks
and blankets by the pulley, and suspended them;
my son and I then descended, and, as our day was
not yet exhausted, we set about constructing a
rude table and some benches, from the remainder
of our wood, which we placed beneath the roots of
the tree, henceforward to be our dining-room.
The little boys collected the chips and pieces of
wood for fire-wood; while their mamma prepared
supper, which we needed much after the extra-
ordinary fatigues of this day.
The next day, however, being Sunday, we
looked forward to as a day of rest, of recreation,
and thanl"giving to the great God who had pre-
served us.


70


THE SWISS





FAMILY ROBINSON.


Supper was now ready, my wife took a large
earthen pot from the fire, which contained a good
stew, made of the flamingo, which Ernest had told
her was an old bird, and would not be eatable, if
dressed any other way. His brothers laughed
heartily, and called him the cook. He was, how-
ever, quite right, the stew, well seasoned, was ex-
cellent, and we picked the very bones. Whilst
we were thus occupied, the living flamingo, ac-
companying the rest of the fowls, and free from
bonds, came in, quite tame, to claim his share of
the repast, evidently quite unsuspicious that we
were devouring his mate; he did not seem at all
inclined to quit us. The little monkey, too, was
quite at home with the boys, leaping from one to
another for food, which he took in his forepaws,
and ate with such absurd mimicry of their actions,
that he kept us in continual convulsions of laugh-
ter. To augment our satisfaction, our great sow,
who had deserted us for two days, returned of her
own accord, grunting her joy at our re-union. My
wife welcomed her with particular distinction,
treating her with all the milk we had to spare;
for, as she had no dairy utensils to make cheese
and butter, it was best thus to dispose of our
superfluity. I promised her, on our next voyage
to the ship, to procure all these necessaries. This
she could not, however, hear of, without shud-
dering.
The boys now lighted the fires for the night.
The dogs were tied to the roots of the tree, as a
protection against invaders, and we commenced
our ascent. My three eldest sons soon ran up the
ladder, my wife followed, with more deliberation,
but arrived safely; my own journey waslnore diffi-


71







cult, as, besides having to carry Francis on my
back, I had detached the lower part of the ladder
from the roots, where it was nailed; in order to be
able to draw it up during the night. We were thus
as safe in our castle as the knights of old, when
their drawbridge was raised. We retired to our
hammocks free from care, and did not wake till
the sun shone brightly in upon us.



CHAPTER XII.
NEXT morning, all awoke in good spirits; I told
them that on this, the Lord's day, we would do
no work. That it was appointed, not only for a
day of rest, but a day when we must, as much as
possible, turn our hearts from the vanities of the
world, to God himself; thank him, worship him,
and serve him. Jack thought we could not do
this without a church and a priest; but Ernest
believed that God would hear our prayers under
his own sky, and papa could give them a sermon;
Francis wished to know if God would like to hear
them sing the beautiful hymns mamma had taught
them, without an organ accompaniment.
Yes, my dear children," said I, "God is every-
where; and to bless him, to praise him in all his
works, to submit to his holy will, and to obey
him,-is to serve him. But everything in its
time. Let us first attend to the wants of our
animals, and breakfast, and we will then begin
the services of the day by a hymn."
We descended, and breakfasted on warm milk,


72


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


fed our animals, and then, my children and their
mother seated on the turf, I placed myself on a
little eminence before them, and, after the service of
the day, which I knew by heart, and singing some
portions of the 119th Psalm, I told them a little
allegory.
There was once on a time a great king, whose
kingdom was called the Land of Light and Reality,
because there reigned there constant light and
incessant activity. On the most remote frontier
of this kingdom, towards the north, there was
another large kingdom, equally subject to his
rule, and of which none but himself knew the
immense extent. From time immemorial, an
exact plan of this kingdom had been preserved in
the archives. It was called the Land of Obscurity,
or Night, because everything in it was dark and
inactive.
"In the most fertile and agreeable part of the
empire of Reality, the king had a magnificent re-
sidence, called The Heavenly City, where he held
his brilliant court. Millions of servants executed
his wishes still more were ready to receive his
orders. The first were clothed in glittering robes,
whiter than snow-for white was the colour of the
Great King, as the emblem of purity. Others were
clothed in armour, shining like the colours of the
rainbow, and carried flaming swords in their hands.
Each, at his master's nod, flew like lightning to
accomplish his will. All his servants -faithful,
vigilant, bold, and ardent-were united in friend-
ship, and could imagine no happiness greater than
the favour of their master. There were some,
less elevated, who were still good, rich, and happy


73







in the favours of their sovereign, to whom all his
subjects were alike, and were treated by him as
his children.
"Not far from the frontiers, the Great King
possessed a desert island, which he desired to
people and cultivate, in order to make it, for a
time, the abode of those of his subjects whom he
intended to admit, by degrees, into his Heavenly
City-a favour he wished to bestow on the greatest
number possible.
This island was called Earthly Abode; and he
who had passed some time there, worthily, was to
be received into all the happiness of the heavenly
city. To attain this, the Great King equipped a
fleet to transport the colonists, whom he chose
from the kingdom of Night, to this island, where
he gave them light and activity-advantages they
had not known before. Think how joyful their
arrival would be! The island was fertile when
cultivated; and all was prepared to make the time
pass agreeably, till they were admitted to their
highest honours.
At the moment of embarkation, the Great
King sent his own son, who spoke thus to them in
His name:-
"'My dear children, I have called you from
inaction and insensibility to render you happy by
feeling, by action, by life. Never forget I am
your king, and obey my commands, by cultivating
the country I confide to you. Every one will
receive his portion of land, and wise and learned
men are appointed to explain my will to you. I
wish you all to acquire the knowledge of my laws,
and that every father should keep a copy,.to read
daily to his children, that they may never be for-


74


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


gotten. And on the first day of the week you
must all assemble, as brothers, in one place, to
hear these laws read and explained. Thus it will
be easy for every one to learn the best method of
improving his land, what to plant, and how to
cleanse it from the tares that might choke the
good seed. All may ask what they desire, and
every reasonable demand will be granted, if it be
conformable to the great end.
"' If you feel grateful for these benefits, and
testify it by increased activity, and by occupying
yourself on this day in expressing your gratitude
to me, I will take care this day of rest shall be a
benefit, and not a loss. I wish that all your use-
ful animals, and even the wild beasts of the plains,
should on this day repose in peace.
"' He who obeys my commands in Earthly
Abode, shall receive a rich reward in the Heavenly
City; but the idle, the negligent, and the evil-
disposed, shall be condemned to perpetual slavery,
or to labour in mines, in the bowels of the earth.
"' From time to time, I shall send ships, to
bring away individuals, to be rewarded or pu-
nished, as they have fulfilled my commands. None
can deceive me; a magic mirror will show me the
actions and thoughts of all.'
The colonists were satisfied, and eager to begin
their labour. The portions of land and instru-
ments of labour were distributed to them, with
seeds, and useful plants, and fruit-trees. They
were then left to turn these good gifts to profit.
"But what followed? Every one did as he
wished. Some planted their ground with groves
and gardens, pretty and useless. Others planted
wild fruit, instead of the good fruit the Great


75







King had commanded. A third had sowed good
seed; but, not knowing the tares from the wheat,
he had torn up all before they reached matu-
rity. But the most part left their land unculti-
vated; they had lost their seeds, or spoiled their
implements. Many would not understand the
orders of the great king; and others tried, by
subtlety, to evade them.
A few laboured with courage, as they had been
taught, rejoicing in the hope of the promise given
them. Their greatest danger was in the disbelief
of their teachers. Though every one had a copy
of the law, few read it; all were ready, by some
excuse, to avoid this duty. Some asserted they
knew it, yet never thought on it: some called
these the laws of past times; not of the present.
Other said the Great King did not regard the ac-
tions of his subjects, that he had neither mines
nor dungeons, and that all would certainly be
taken to the Heavenly City. They began to neg.
lect the duties of the day dedicated to the Great
King. Few assembled; and of these, the most
part were inattentive, and did not profit by the
instruction given them.
"But the Great King was faithful to his word.
From time to time, frigates arrived, bearing the
name of some disease. These were followed by a
large vessel called The Grave, bearing the terrible
flag of the Admiral Death; this flag was of two
colours, green and black; and appeared to the
colonists, according to their state, the smiling
colour of Hope, or the gloomy hue of Despair.
This fleet always arrived unexpectedly, and was
usually unwelcome. The officers were sent out,


76


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


by the admiral, to seize those he pointed out:
many who were unwilling were compelled to go;
and others whose land was prepared, and even the
harvest ripening, were summoned; but these went
joyfully, sure that they went to happiness. The
fleet being ready, sailed for the Heavenly City.
Then the Great King, in his justice, awarded the
punishments and recompenses. Excuses were now
too late; the negligent and disobedient were
sent to labour in the dark mines; while the faith-
ful and obedient, arrayed in bright robes, were
received into their glorious abodes of happiness.
I have finished my parable, my dear children;
reflect on it, and profit by it. Fritz, what do you
think of it?"
"I am considering the goodness of the Great
King, and the ingratitude of his people," answered
he.
And how very foolish they were," said Ernest,
"with a little prudence, they might have kept
their land in good condition, and secured a plea-
sant life afterwards."
"Away with them to the mines!" cried Jack,
"they richly deserved such a doom."
"How much I should like," said Francis, "to
see those soldiers in their shining armour!"
"I hope you will see them some day, my dear
boy, if you continue to be good and obedient." I
then explained my parable fully, and applied the
moral to each of my sons directly.
You, Fritz, should take warning from the people
who planted wild fruit, and wished to make them
pass for good fruit. Such are those who are proud
of natural virtues, easy to exercise,-such as bodily


77






strength, or physical courage; and place these
above the qualities which are only attained by
labour and patience.
You, Ernest, must remember the subjects who
laid out their land in flowery gardens; like those
who seek the pleasures of life, rather than the
duties. And you, my thoughtless Jack, and little
Francis, think of the fate of those who left their
land untilled, or heedlessly sowed tares for wheat.
These are God's people who neither study nor re-
flect; who cast to the winds all instruction, and
leave room in their minds for evil. Then let us
all be, like the good labourers of the parable, con-
stantly cultivating our ground, that, when Death
comes for us, we may willingly follow him to the
feet of the Great King, to hear these blessed
words: Good and faithful servants! enter into
the joy of your Lord!'
This made a great impression on my children.
We concluded by singing a hymn. Then my
good wife produced from her unfailing bag, a
copy of the Holy Scripture, from which I selected
such passages as applied to our situation; and ex-
plained them to my best ability. My boys re-
mained for some time thoughtful and serious, and
though they followed their innocent recreations
during the day, they did not lose sight of the
useful lesson of the morning, but, by a more gentle
and amiable manner, showed that my words had
taken effect.
The next morning, Ernest had used my bow,
which I had given him, very skilfully; bringing
down some dozens of small birds, a sort of ortolan,
from the branches of our tree, where they assem-
bled to feed on the figs. This induced them all


78


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


to wish for such a weapon. I was glad to comply
with their wishes, as I wished them to become
skilful in the use of these arms of our forefathers,
which might be of great value to us, when our
ammunition failed. I made two bows; and two
quivers, to contain their arrows, of a flexible piece
of bark, and, attaching a strap to them, I soon
armed my little archers.
Fritz was engaged in preparing the skin of the
margay, with more care than Jack had shown
with that of the jackal. I showed him how to
clean it, by rubbing it with sand in the river, till
no vestige of fat or flesh was left; and then ap-
plying butter, to render it flexible.
These employment filled up the morning till
dinner-time came. We had Ernest's ortolans, and
some fried ham and eggs, which made us a sump-
tuous repast. I gave my boys leave to kill as
many ortolans as they chose, for I knew that, half-
roasted, and put into casks, covered with butter,
they would keep for a length of time, and prove
an invaluable resource in time of need. As I con-
tinued my work, making arrows, and a bow for
Francis, I intimated to my wife that the abundant
supply of figs would save our grain, as the poultry
and pigeons would feed on them, as well as the
ortolans. This was a great satisfaction to her.
And thus another day passed, and we mounted to
our dormitory, to taste the sweet slumber that
follows a day of toil.


79





THE SWISS


CHAPTER XIII.
THE next morning, all were engaged in archery:
I completed the bow for Francis, and at his parti-
cular request made him a quiver too. The delicate
bark of a tree, united by glue, obtained from our
portable soup, formed an admirable quiver; this I
suspended by a string round the neck of my boy,
furnished with arrows; then taking his bow in
his hand, he was as proud as a knight armed at
all points.
After dinner, I proposed that we should give
names to all the parts of our island known to us,
in order that, by a pleasing delusion, we might
fancy ourselves in an inhabited country. My pro-
posal was well received, and then began the dis-
cussion of names. Jack wished for something
high-sounding and difficult, such as Monomotapa or
Zanguebar; very difficult words, to puzzle any one
that visited our island. But I objected to this, as
we were the most likely to have to use the names
ourselves, and we should suffer from it. I rather
suggested that we should give,in our own language,
such simple names as should point out some cir-
cumstance connected with the spot. I proposed
we should begin with the bay where we landed,
and called on Fritz for his name.
The Bay of Oysters," said he,--" we found so
many there."
"Oh, no!" said Jack, let it be Lobster Bay;
for there I was caught by the leg."
"Then we ought to call it the Bay of Tears,"


80






































MAP OF THE HAPPY ISLAND.


Tent House.
First Grotto.
Second Grotto.
Falcon's Nest.
Farm.
Family Bridge.
Bears.
Cascades.
Shark's Island.
Cabbage Palms.
Rice Marsh.
Arcadia.


M. Marsh.
N. Bamboos.
O. Sugar Canes.
P. Gourd Wood.
Q. Acorn Wood.
R. Monkey Wood.
S. Sand Hills.
T. Coral Reefs.
U. Cotton Wood.
V. Flamingo Marsh.
W. Palm Cocoa Wood.
X. Potatoe Plantation.

[To fac s8o.


A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.
H.
I.
J.
K.
L.






FAMILY ROBINSON.


said Ernest, "to commemorate those you shed on
the occasion."
My advice," said my wife, is, that in grati-
tude to God we should name it Safety Bay."
We were all pleased with this name, and pro-
ceeded to give the name of Tent House to our first
abode; Shark Island, to the little island in the
bay, where we had found that animal; and, at
Jack's desire, the marshy spot where we had cut
our arrows was named Flamingo Marsh. There
the height from which we had vainly sought traces
of our shipmates, received the name of Cape Dis-
appointment. The river was to be Jackal River,
and the bridge, Family Bridge. The most diffi-
cult point was, to name our present abode. At
last we agreed on the name of Falcon's Nest (in
German Falken-hoist). This was received with
acclamations, and I poured out for my young nest-
lings each a glass of sweet wine, to drink Prosperity
to Falcon's Nest. We thus laid the foundation of
the geography of our new country, promising to
forward it to Europe by the first post.
After dinner, my sons returned to their occupa-
tion as tanners, Fritz to complete his belt, and
Jack to make a sort of cuirass, of the formidable
skin of the porcupine, to protect the dogs. He
finished by making a sort of helmet from the head
of the animal, as strange as the cuirasses.
The heat of the day being over, we prepared to
set out to walk to Tent House, to renew our stock
of provisions, and endeavour to bring the geese and
ducks to our new residence; but, instead of going
by the coast, we proposed to go up the river till
we reached the chain of rocks, and continue under
G


81






their shade till we got to the cascade, where we
could cross, and return by Family Bridge.
This was approved, and we set out. Fritz, de-
corated with his beautiful belt of skin, Jack in
his porcupine helmet. Each had a gun and
game-bag; except Francis, who, with his pretty
fair face, his golden hair, and his bow and quiver,
was a perfect Cupid. My wife was loaded with a
large butter-pot for a fresh supply. Turk walked
before us with his coat of mail, and Flora fol-
lowed, keeping at a respectful distance from him,
for fear of the darts. Knips, as my boys called
the monkey, finding this new saddle very incon-
venient, jumped off, with many contortions, but
soon fixed on Flora, who, not being able to shake
him off, was compelled to become his palfrey.
The road by the river was smooth and pleasant.
When we reached the end of the wood, the country
seemed more open; and now the boys, who had
been rambling about, came running up, out of
breath; Ernest was holding a plant with leaves
and flowers, and green apples hanging on it.
Potatoes !" said he; I am certain they are
potatoes !"
God be praised," said I; "this precious plant
will secure provision for our colony."
Well," said Jack, if his superior knowledge
discovered them, I will be the first to dig them
up;" and he set to work so ardently, that we had
soon a bag of fine ripe potatoes, which we carried
on to Tent House.


82


THE SWISS





FAMILY ROBINSON.


CHAPTER XIV.

WE had been much delighted with the new and
lovely scenery of our road: the prickly cactus,
and aloe, with its white flowers; the Indian fig;
the white and yellow jasmine; the fragrant
vanilla, throwing round its graceful festoons.
Above all, the regal pine-apple grew in pro-
fusion, and we feasted on it, for the first time, with
avidity.
Among the prickly stalks of the cactus and
aloes, I perceived a plant with large pointed
leaves, which I knew to be the karata. I pointed
out to the boys its beautiful red flowers; the leaves
are an excellent application to wounds, and thread
is made from the filaments, and the pith of the
stem is used by the savage tribes for tinder.
When I showed the boys, by experiment, the
use of the pith, they thought the tinder-tree would
be almost as useful as the potatoes.
At all events," I said, it will be more useful
than the pine-apples; your mother will be thank-
ful for thread, when her enchanted bag is ex-
hausted."
How happy it is for us," said she, "that you
have devoted yourself to reading and study. In
our ignorance we might have passed this treasure,
without suspecting its value."
Fritz inquired of what use in the world all
the rest of these prickly plants could be, which
wounded every one that came near.
All these have their use, Fritz," said I; some
contain juices and gums, which are daily made
G2


83







use of in medicine; others are useful in the arts,
or in manufactures. The Indian fig, for instance,
is a most interesting tree. It grows in the most arid
soil. The fruit is said to be sweet and wholesome."
In a moment, my little active Jack was climb-
ing the rocks to gather some of these figs; but he
had not remarked that they were covered with thou-
sands of slender thorns, finer than the finest needles,
which terribly wounded his fingers. He returned,
weeping bitterly and dancing with pain. Having
rallied him a little for his greediness, I extracted
the thorns, and then showed him how to open the
fruit, by first cutting off the pointed end, as it lay
on the ground; into this I fixed a piece of stick,
and then pared it with my knife. The novelty of
the expedient recommended it, and they were soon
all engaged eating the fruit, which they declared
was very good.
In the mean time, I saw Ernest examining one
of the figs very attentively. Oh! papa!" said
he, "what a singular sight; the fig is covered
with a small red insect. I cannot shake them off.
Can they be the Cochineal?" I recognized at
once the precious insect, of which I explained to
my sons the nature and use. It is with this
insect," said I, "that the beautiful and rich
scarlet dye is made. It is found in America, and
the Europeans give its weight in gold for it."
Thus discoursing on the wonders of nature, and
the necessity of increasing our knowledge by
observation and study, we arrived at Tent House,
and found it in the same state as we left it.
We all began to collect necessaries. Fritz
loaded himself with powder and shot, I opened
the butter-cask, and my wife and little Francis


84


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


filled the pot. Ernest and Jack went to try and
secure the geese and ducks; but they had become
so wild that it would have been impossible, if
Ernest had not thought of an expedient. He
tied pieces of cheese, for bait, to threads, which
he floated on the water. The voracious creatures
immediately swallowed the cheese and were drawn
out by the thread. They were then securely tied,
and fastened to the game-bags, to be carried home
on our backs. As the bait could not be recovered,
the boys contented themselves with cutting off the
string close to the beak, leaving them to digest
the rest.
Our bags were already loaded with potatoes,
but we filled up the spaces between them with
salt; and, having relieved Turk of his armour, we
placed the heaviest on his back. I took the butter-
pot ; and, after replacing everything, and closing
our tent, we resumed our march, with our ludi-
crous incumbrances. The geese and ducks were
very noisy in their adieu to their old marsh; the
dogs barked; and we all laughed so excessively,
that we forgot our burdens till we sat down again
under our tree. My wife soon had her pot of
potatoes on the fire. She then milked the cow
and goat, while I set the fowls at liberty on the
banks of the river. We then sat down to a
smoking dish of potatoes, a jug of milk, and
butter and cheese. After supper we had prayers,
thanking God especially for his new benefits; and
we then sought our repose among the leaves.


85






THE SWISS


CHAPTER XV.
I HAD observed on the shore, the preceding day,
a quantity of wood, which I thought would suit to
make a sledge, to convey our casks and heavy
stores from Tent House to Falcon's Nest. At
dawn of day I woke Ernest, whose inclination to
indolence I wished to overcome, and leaving the
rest asleep, we descended, and harnessing the ass
to a strong branch of a tree that was lying near,
we proceeded to the shore. I had no difficulty in
selecting proper pieces of wood; we sawed them
the right length, tied them together, and laid
them across the bough, which the patient animal
drew very contentedly. We added to the load a
small chest we discovered half buried in the sand,
and we returned homewards, Ernest leading the
ass, and I assisted by raising the load with a lever
when we met with any obstruction. My wife had
been rather alarmed; but seeing the result of
our expedition, and hearing of the prospect of a
sledge, she was satisfied. I opened the chest,
which contained only some sailors' dresses and
some linen, both wetted with sea-water; but
likely to be very useful as our own clothes
decayed. I found Fritz and Jack had been shoot-
ing ortolans; they had killed about fifty, but had
consumed so much powder and shot, that I
checked a prodigality so imprudent in our situa-
tion. I taught them to make snares for the
birds of the threads we drew from the karata
leaves we had brought home. My wife and her


86






FAMILY ROBINSON.


two younger sons busied themselves with these,
while I, with my two elder boys, began to construct
the sledge. As we were working, we heard a
great noise among the fowls, and Ernest, looking
about, discovered the monkey seizing and hiding
the eggs from the nests; he had collected a good
store in a hole among the roots, which Ernest
carried to his mother; and Knips was punished
by being tied up, every morning, till the eggs
were collected.
Our work was interrupted by dinner, composed
of ortolans, milk, and cheese. After dinner, Jack
had climbed to the higher branches of the trees
to place his snares, and found the pigeons were
making nests. I then told him to look often to
the snares, for fear our own poor birds should be
taken; and, above all, never in future to fire into
the tree.
Papa," said little Francis, "can we not sow
some gunpowder, and then we shall have plenty?"
This proposal was received with shouts of laugh-
ter, which greatly discomposed the little innocent
fellow. Professor Ernest immediately seized the
opportunity to give a lecture on the composition
of gunpowder.
At the end of the day my sledge was finished.
Two long curved planks of wood, crossed by three
pieces, at a distance from each other, formed the
simple conveyance. The fore and hind parts
were in the form of horns, to keep the load from
falling off. Two ropes were fastened to the front,
and my sledge was complete. My wife was de-
lighted with it, and hoped I would now set out
immediately to Tent House for the butter-cask.


87






I made no objection to this; and Ernest and I
prepared to go, and leave Fritz in charge of the
family.



CHAPTER XVI.
WHEN we were ready to set out, Fritz presented
each of us with a little case he had made from the
skin of the margay. They were ingeniously con-
trived to contain knife, fork, and spoon, and a
small hatchet. We then harnessed the ass and
the cow to the sledge, took a flexible bamboo cane
for a whip, and, followed by Flora, we departed,
leaving Turk to guard the tree.
We went by the shore, as the better road for
the sledge, and crossing Family Bridge, were
soon at Tent House. After unharnessing the
animals, we began to load. We took the cask of
butter, the cheese, and the biscuit; all the rest of
our utensils, powder, shot, and Turk's armour,
which we had left there. These labours had so
occupied us, that we had not observed that our
animals, attracted by the pasturage, had crossed
the bridge, and wandered out of sight. I sent
Ernest to seek them, and in the mean time went
to the bay, where I discovered some convenient
little hollows in the rock, that seemed cut out for
baths. I called Ernest to come, and till he
arrived, employed myself in cutting some rushes,
which I thought might be useful. When my son
came, I found he had ingeniously removed the
first planks from the bridge, to prevent the
animals straying over again. We then had a


88


THE SWISS






FAMILY ROBINSON.


very pleasant bath, and Ernest being out first, I
sent him to the rock, where the salt was accumu-
lated, to fill a small bag, to be transferred to the
large bags on the ass. He had not been absent
long, when I heard him cry out, "Papa! papa!
a huge fish! I cannot hold it; it will break my
line." I ran to his assistance, and found him
lying on the ground on his face, tugging at his
line, to which an enormous salmon was attached,
that had nearly pulled him into the water. I let
it have a little more line, then drew it gently into
a shallow, and secured it. It appeared about fif-
teen pounds weight; and we pleased ourselves
with the idea of presenting this to our good cook.
Ernest said, he remembered having remarked
how this place swarmed with fish, and he took
care to bring his rod with him; he had taken
about a dozen small fishes, which he had in his
handkerchief, before he was overpowered by the
salmon. I cut the fishes open, and rubbed the
inside with salt, to preserve them; then placing
them in a small box on the sledge, and adding
our bags of salt, we harnessed our animals, and
set off homewards.
When we were about half-way, Flora left us, and,
by her barking, raised a singular animal, which
seemed to leap instead of run. The irregular bounds
of the animal disconcerted my aim, and, though
very near, I missed it. Ernest was more for-
tunate; he fired at it, and killed it. It was an
animal about the size of a sheep, with the tail of
a tiger; its head and skin were like those of a
mouse, ears longer than the hare; there was a
curious pouch on the belly; the fore legs were
short, as if imperfectly developed, and armed with


89




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