3tife anb Abbenturtc
The author of that book which has imparted to most
of us the greatest delight of any, was also the earliest
teacher of political economy, the first propounder of free
trade. He planted that tree which, stationary and stunted
for nearly two centuries, is now spreading its shadow by
degrees over all the earth. \He was the most far-sighted
of our staesmen, and the most worthily trusted by the
wisest of our kings."
WALTER SAVAGE LANDOB.
/3 ti5 ~)~Z/I~-L/Lh
"i TOOK UP THE BIBLE AND BEGAN TO READ"
THE HOUSEHOLD JOBINSON FRUSOE.
CAREFULLY REPRINTED FROM THE ORIGINAL EDITION.
Strangt Surpriiiirg Abentures
OF YORK, MARINER.
WRITTEN BY HIMSELF.
WTTH AN INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR,OF DANIEL DE FOE.
A MEMOIR OF ALEXANDER SELKIRK, AN ACCOUNT OF PETER SERRA O,
AND OTHER INTERESTING ADDITIONS.
ILLUSTRATED WITH UPWARDS OF BEVENTY ENGRAVINGS BY KEELEY HALWELLtB
A PORTRAIT OF DE FOE, A MAP'OF BOBINSON CRUSOE'S ISLAND, DE FOE'M
TOMB, FACSIMILES OF ORIGINAL TITLE-PAGES, ETC., ETC.
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;
EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.
O formal introduction is necessary to a book which
for nearly two centuries has been the favourite
of young and old, and which is now ranked, by
common consent, among the classic master-
pieces of English literature.
All then that remains for the Editor to do, is to justify
the appearance of this new edition by pointing out in
what respects it differs from its predecessors.
1st,-It has been carefully printed from the first
edition; though it has not been thought advisable to adopt
the pedantic fashion of reproducing the original ortho-
graphy. We might as well use the old spelling in our
" Authorized Version of the Bible; and we are unable to
see how it can interest any but a very limited class of
students. For the same reason, we have by no means
literally followed the original punctuation, which, perhaps,
was not De Foe's, but his printers'. In all other respects
the present edition is a faithful transcript of the Robinson
Crusoe" which delighted English boys when first pub-
S2nd,-A Memoir of De Foe, carefully based on the
most trustworthy authorities, has been prefixed.
3rd,-In the Appendix will be found a Memoir of
Alexander Selkirk, who, whether rightly or wrongly, is
inseparably connected with De Foe's fiction; a Narrative
of his Residence on the Island of Juan Fernandez;
Cowper's Poem, suggested by Selkirk's narrative; and a
Brief Account of the Famous Spanish Crusoe, Peter
4th,-The Illustrations have been expressly designed
for this edition by Mr. Keeley Halswelle, with the excep-
tion, of course, of the Facsimiles occasionally introduced
of the Title-pages and Engravings in the original work.
The Head-pieces are by Clark Stanton, A.R.A. In a
word, no pains have been spared to render the present
edition complete in every detail; and worthy, it is hoped,
of a place in the library of all good English boys.
W. H. D. A.
(g content s.
1. ORIGINAL TITLE-PAGES .. .. .. .. ..
I DANIEL DE FOE: A BIOGRAPHY-
CHAPTER I.-HIs EARLY YEARS .. .. .. .. 9
I-A LIFE OF STRUGGLE .. .. 15
SIIL-DE FOE AS A WRITER OF FICTION .. 28
,, IV.-LAsT YEARS AND DEATH 4.. .. .. 44
3. ROBINSON CRUSOr-
PART THE FIRST .. .. ** ** 49
PART THE SECOND .. .. 61
I.-ALEXANDEB SELKIRK: A MEMOIB .. .. .. 29
II.-NARRATIVE OF SELKIRK'S RESIDENCE ON THE ISLAND OF JUAN
FERNANDEZ .. .. .. 640
III.--VEBES SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY ALEXANDER SELKIRK .. 644
IV.-A SPANISH ROBINSON CRUSOE .. 45
.. .. 649
5. ANALYTICAL INDEX ..
original titless do "1btbiuzrn Ctrasot."
"THE Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of
York, Mariner; Who lived eight and twenty Years all alone, on an unin-
habited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River
of Oroonoque; Having been Cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the
Men perished but Himself. With an Account how he was at last Strangely
delivered by Pyrates. Written by Himself. London. Printed for W.
Taylor, at the Ship, in Paternoster Row." (1st Edition, 25 April, 1719.)
"The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. Being the Second and
Last Part of his Life, and of the Strange Surprizing Accounts of his Travels
round Three Parts of the Globe. Written by Himself. To which is added
a Map of the World, in which is Delineated the Voyages of Robinson Crusoe.
London. Printed for W. Taylor, at the Ship, in Paternoster Row." (1st
Edition, 20 August, 1719.)
"Serious Reflections during the Life and Surprizing Adventures of
Robinson Crusoe. With his Vision of the Angelick World. Written by
Himself. London. Printed for W. Taylor, at the Ship, in Paternoster
Row." (1st Edition, 6 August, 1720.)
DANIEL DE FOE:
HIS EARLY YEARS.
e N the preface to the third part of his immortal fiction (" Serious
Reflections on Morals and Religion "), Daniel De Foe bids the
reader trace a parallelism between the fiction and the biography
of its author. There is a man alive, he says, and well known
too, the actions of whose life are the first subject of these volumes,
and to whom all or most part of the story most directly alludes
this, he adds, may be depended upon for truth. In a word,
there's not a circumstance in the imaginary story but has its just allusion to
a real story, and chimes part for part, and step for step, with the inimitable
"Life of Robinson Crusoe."
Notwithstanding this assertion, I am inclined to think that much of the
pretended allegory was an after-thought of De Foe's, and that between his
active career and that of the solitary in the wave-washed island there exists
no more resemblance than between Macedon and Monmouth in Fluellen's
famous comparison. We may see, perhaps, some degree of likeness in the
loneliness of De Foe in the world which he buffeted so stoutly, and the caged
condition of the castaway may remind us of his creator's imprisonment; but
we refuse to carry the allegory any further, or to identify every incident in
the romance with every event in the real life. For the rest, De Foe was a
greater, a braver, and a more self-controlled man than Robinson Creoe,"
as the following brief biographical sketch will, I hope, abundantly prove.
Daniel Defoe, or De Foe, was born in the parish of St. Giles, Cripplegate,
in 1660; the son of James Foe, citizen and butcher, of London; and the
HIS EARLY YEARS AND EDUCATION.
grandson of Daniel Foe, a gentleman of good estate in Northamptonshire,
who kept a pack of hounds. Nothing more than this can be said of Daniel
De Foe's grandfather; of his father some particulars are recorded. That
he was an excellent father," says Mr. Lee,* may be concluded from the
affectionate reverence with which his son alludes to him; that he was pros-
perous is evident from his ability to give that son the best education then
open to Dissenters. No doubt can be entertained that he was a good man,
and a sincere Christian. He had, in all probability, been a constant attend-
ant at his parish church during the ministry of the pious and reverend
Samuel Annesley, LL.D.; and when that divine was ejected, under the Act
of Uniformity, James Foe accompanied his beloved pastor, and became a
Nonconformist. He died about 1706-7, full of years, and the last act re-
corded of him (though not by his son) is his giving a testimonial to the
character of a female domestic who had formerly lived two years in his ser-
vice. He says he should not have recommended her to Mr. Cave, that godly
minister, had not her conversation been becoming the gospel.'"
Under such auspices passed the earliest years of the life of De Foe, and
his mind seems to have been carefully imbued with religious sentiments. He
was a bold, generous, vivacious boy, who, as he himself tells us, never
struck an enemy when he was down. His perseverance was of no ordinary
description, and when the poor Nonconformists had reason to fear that the
Government would deprive them of their printed copies of the Bible, he set
to work on the difficult task of transcribing the Old Testament, and never
abandoned it until he had completed the whole of the Pentateuch.
At the age of fourteen this bright, enthusiastic boy-whom his parents
designated for the ministry-was sent to the celebrated Dissenting Academy
at Newington Green, kept by a ripe scholar and able man, the Rev. Charles
Morton. Here he made rapid progress in the various departments of learn-
ing; and here, too, as his mind developed and his intellect matured, his
moral sense of responsibility grew stronger, so that he was induced to ask
himself whether he was suited for a clerical career, and whether it was suited
for him, replying to both questions in the negative. Nevertheless, he went
through a course of theology, which, in truth, was incumbent on all Mr.
Morton's pupils; he also studied the rudiments of political science; he ac-
quired a satisfactory knowledge of mathematics, logic, natural philosophy,
history, geography; something considerable he knew, too, of Latin, Greek,
Hebrew, French, and Italian; and-not least useful accomplishment-he
learned to write his mother tongue with ease, accuracy, and vigour.
That he profited by his studies at school, and that he afterwards improved
to the uttermost the scanty leisure of a busy life, is abundantly proved by
the variety and erudition of his writings.
Soon after he had completed his education, he was placed in the ware-
house of a wholesale hose-factor, to be instructed, perhaps, in book-keeping
Lee, "Daniel De Foe, his Life," &c., voL i p. 5.
A CHARACTERISTIC ANECDOTE.
and business management. Such details were little in accordance with.his
tastes, and we do not wonder that, with his strong Protestant principles and
enlarged sympathies, he early plunged into the fierce joys of political con-
test. He was no bigot, however-no fanatical exponent of his own views;
and though a sound Protestant, he was little inclined to join in the unreason-
ing persecution of Roman Catholics which characterized the closing years
of Charles the Second's reign. At a later time he wrote: I never blame
men who, professing principles destructive of the Constitution they live
under, and believing it their just right to supplant it, act in conformity to
the principles they profess. I believe, if I were a Papist, I should do the
same. Believing the merit of it would carry me to heaven, I doubt not I
should go as far as another. But when we ran up that plot to general
massacres, fleets of pilgrims, bits and bridles, knives, handcuffs, and a thou-
sand such things, I confess, though a boy, I could not then, nor can now,
come up to them. And my reasons were, as they still are, because I see no
cause to believe the Papists to be fools, whatever else we had occasion to
think them. A general massacre, truly! when the Papists are not five to a
hundred, in some countries not one, and within the city hardly one to a
This liberal and tolerant spirit De Foe preserved throughout his career,
and few of his contemporaries, if any, more thoroughly comprehended the
true principles of civil and religious freedom. For bigotry, whether Protest-
ant or Roman Catholic, he had a great contempt. On one occasion he
entered a crowd of listeners who, with mouths and ears open, were devour-
ing the latest scandal against "the Papishes." An itinerant spouter was
retailing an invention in reference to the newly-erected Monument. Last
night," said he, unblushingly, six Frenchmen came up and stole it away;
and but for the watch, who stopped them as they went over the bridge, and
made them carry it back again, they might, for aught we know, have carried
it over into France. These Papishes will never have done." Some of the
bystanders looked incredulous at this very bold assertion, and Mr. Daniel
Foe stepped forward, with grave satirical air, to clench the monstrous
absurdity. He repeated the story, but added a touch of characteristic
realism; for, said he, if you do but hasten to the spot, you will see the work-
men employed in making all fast again!*
Seven years later, De Foe, or Foe, as he then called himself, started in
business on his own account. He became a liveryman of London, and
established himself as hose-factor in Freeman's Court, Cornhill. His interest
in politics, however, was of so deep and absorbing a kind that his commer-
cial speculations must greatly have suffered by it. He could not serve two
masters-he was too earnest a patriot to attain success as a man of business,
Now-a-days, it is quite possible for any one of us to combine both capacities
The political questions which demand attention may well be considered in
Forater, Historical and Biographical Essays," ii. &
DE FOE AS A POLITICIAN.
the intervals of our leisure, and they are seldom of that order on which the
safety of an empire depends. But in De Foe's time it was quite otherwise.
He who plunged into the raging strife was compelled to throw aside every
impediment, and to fight, if he fought at all, with arms and hands unen-
cumbered. The seven years of his apprenticeship had been seven most
eventful years, and De Foe, with his far-seeing sagacity, could not but
rightly estimate the importance of the issue. He was too courageous and
too wise to fear that issue. As Mr. Forster eloquently and truly says, hope
would brighten in his sensible, manly heart, when it most deserted weaker
men's. When the King, alarmed at last for the safety of the crown he dis-
honoured, flung off his licentious negligence for crueller enjoyments; when
the street ballads and lampoons against his shameless court grew daily
bitterer and more daring; when a Sidney and a, Russell were brought to the
block for advocating such a measure of liberty as would now-a-days be con-
sidered moderate by the most slavish partisan of Osesarism; no alarm was
likely to depress De Foe's clear, calm, and unshaken intellect. And the end
of that Saturnalia of license and shame, of foul cruelty, of fouller luxurious-
ness, of tyranny at home and disgrace abroad, which we call the reign of
Charles II., came at length-Charles II. was dead, and caps were thrown in
the air for James II.
This is not the place for an historical summary, and yet in the history ot
his time De Foe played so prominent a part that an occasional glance at its
leading events must be permitted us. The intentions of James II. he fully
understood and appreciated. He saw that he aimed at the establishment of
Popery as his end in religion, and the absolutism of the Crown as the goal
of his policy. He heard bishops preach of the divine right and infallibility
of Kings; he heard it publicly asserted, that if the King commanded his
head, and sent his messengers to fetch it, he was bound to submit, and stand
still while it was cut off. We need not wonder that, under such circum-
stances, De Foe gladly hailed the so-called rebellion of the Duke of Mon-
mouth as affording a prospect of deliverance for his country. Its religion and
its freedom seemed to him to be intimately bound up with the success of the
Duke's expedition; and mounting his horse, he rode away to enlist under
his standard. He was with the invaders at Bath and Bristol; but-how or
why I know not-he was absent from the great fight at Sedgemoor, when
the King's cause was so nearly lost. On learning of Monmouth's disastrous
defeat, he would seem to have gained the sea-shore and taken ship to the
Continent. With his usual energy he turned his self-banishment to advan-
tage, traversing Spain, and Germany, and France, and gathering a vast fund
of experience and information, which in due time proved to him of the
It was probably in the following year that he returned to Freeman's
Court, Cornhill. Thenceforth he wrote himself De Foe. Whether, says
Mr. Forster, the change was a piece of innocent vanity picked up in his
WHAT'S IN A NAME ?
travels, br had any more serious motive, it would now be idle to inquire.
He was known both as Foe and De Foe to the last; but it is the latter name
which he inscribed on the title-page of almost every one of his books, and it
is the name by which he has become immortal.
Mr. Lee, De Foe's latest biographer, differs from all preceding authorities
in dating the change of name as late as 1703. I am inclined to think,"
he says, "it began accidentally, or was adopted for convenience, to dis-
tinguish him from his father." But surely such a distinction was unneces-
sary, when the son was called Daniel and the father James! I think the
change far more likely to have been a foreign affectation, adopted during
the exile's Continental travels, and afterwards persevered in from habit;
but the reader shall have an opportunity of following up the chain of Mr.
Lee's reasoning, which is ingenious, if unsatisfactory.
The father," he says, "from his age and experience, and the son from
his commanding ability, were both influential members of the Dissenting
interest in the city. They would respectively be spoken of and addressed,
orally, as Mr. Foe, and Mr. D. Foe. The name as spoken would in writing
become Mr. De Foe,* and thus what originated in accident might be used for
convenience, and become more or less settled by time. This simple expla-
nation is favoured by the following proofs of De Foe's indifference in the
matter. His initials and name appear in various forms in his works, sub-
scribed to dedications, prefaces, &c., and this may be presumed to have been
done by himself. Before 1703 I find only D. F. In that year Mr. De Foe,
and Daniel De Foe. In the following year, D. D. F.; De Foe; and Daniel
De Foe. In 1705, D. F.; and three autograph letters, all addressed to the
Earl of Halifax, are successively signed D. Foe; De Foe; Daniel De Foe. In
1706, D. F.; D. Foe; De Foe; Daniel De Foe. And in 1709, D. F.; De Foe;
and Daniel De Foe."
The first printed production from De Foe's pen was a political pamphlet,
the precursor of a legion of similar writings, entitled A Letter, containing
some Reflections on His Majesty's Declaration for Liberty of Conscience,"
dated the 4th of April 1687.
In the following year William of Orange landed at Torbay, and De Foe,
zealous as ever in the noble cause of civil and religious liberty, hastened to
welcome The Deliverer," in whose success lay the only hope of the release
of England from the thraldom of bigotry and absolutism. Armed, and on
horseback, he joined the second line of William's army at Henley-on-Thames.
He probably accompanied the Prince on his entry into London. At the
stirring debates of the Convention he was unquestionably present, aid his
heart must have leaped with joy when he heard the famous resolution passed,
on the 13th of February, that no King had reigned in England since the day
of James's flight. Gallantly mounted and accoutred, he was one of the
Surely not! There is a great difference in sound between the English D. and the
14 DE FOE AND HIS SOVEREIGN.
royal regiment of volunteer horse, made up of the chief citizens," who at-
tended William and Mary on their first visit to Guildhall. Between William
and the sturdy political Dissenter there was a striking resemblance of char-
acter. Both were self-reserved, self-controlled men, masters of their emo-
tions, able to preserve silence and to stand alone." Both had a sincere
respect for the principles of an enlightened toleration. Both shared the
same opinions on the necessity of counter-checking the preponderant power
of France. Even in religious matters the views and thoughts of the Luth-
eran King must have closely approximated to those of his Nonconformist
subject. Certain it is that the sympathy between the two was considerable.
William honoured De Foe with his confidence, and De Foe looked up to his
King with esteem and admiration. To the close of his life he celebrated as
a festival the memorable 4th of November, the day on which William landed
at Torbay,--" a day," he exultingly wrote, famous on various accounts, and
every one of them dear to Britons who love their country, value the Pro-
testant interest, or have an aversion to tyranny and oppression. On this
day he was born; on this day he married the daughter of England; and on
this day he rescued the nation from a bondage worse than that of Egypt-
a bondage of soul as well as bodily servitude-a slavery to the ambition and
raging lust of a generation set on fire by pride, avarice, cruelty, and blood." *
Review, voL iv. p. 453.
A LIFE OF STRUGGLE.
E FOE celebrated the first anniversary of the Day of Deliverance
at a country house in the pleasant village of Tooting. He
resided here for some time, forming the Dissenters of the neigh-
bourhood into a regular congregation, and supplying them
with a devout and learned man for minister. He afterwards
removed to the neighbourhood of Mickleham, "the Happy
Valley," as it has not unjustly been called, in allusion to the
rich and cultivated loveliness of its landscapes.
In 1689 and 1690 we hear but little of DeFoe, exceptthat hestill attempted,
and, as we shall see, with but little success, to combine the pursuit of poli-
tics with that of business. In 1691 appeared his first effort in verse, entitled
" A New Discovery of an Old Intrigue: a Satire level'd at Treachery and
Ambition; calculated to the Nativity of the Rapparee Plott, and the Modesty
of the Jacobite Clergy." Like all De Foe's productions in metre, it contains
much solid sense, and many vigorous lines; but it is utterly destitute of
imagination and fancy, and not less destitute of all melody of language and
harmony of rhythm.
In the following year began the series of distressing commercial difficulties
which finallyterminated in De Foe's insolvency. There can be no reasonable
doubt that they were due to his own want of business habits. A politician
and a wit, he was wholly unsuited for the proper management of commercial
speculations. In his book, The Compleat Tradesman," he shows that he
perfectly understood the causes of his ill-success. A wit turned trades-
man!" he exclaims, what an incongruous part of nature is there brought
together, consisting of direct contraries! No apron strings will hold him;
'tis in vain to lock him in behind the compter-he's gone in a moment:
instead of journal and ledger, he runs away to his Virgil and Horace; his
journal entries are all Pindaricks, and his ledger all Heroicks: he is truly
dramatic from one end to the other, through the whole scene of his trade;
and as the first part is all comedy, so the two last acts are all made up with
tragedy; a statute of bankrupt is his Exeunt omes, and he generally speaks
the epilogue in the Fleet Prison or the Mint."
An angry creditor took out against De Foe a commission of bankruptcy,
" AN ESSAY ON PROJECTS."
which, however, was soon superseded at the request of his other creditors;
and De Foe's proposal of composition was accepted on his single bond. It
should be added, to his honour, that this he punctually paid by the most
indefatigable exertion of industry and self-denial. And afterwards, when
misfortune overtook some of these more lenient creditors, De Foe, whom King
William's favour had meanwhile raised to a position of comparative afflu-
ence, voluntarily paid the whole amount of their claims.
While his proposal was being debated by his creditors, De Foe, to avoid
imprisonment, had taken refuge in Bristol; and here, it is said, he was
known as the Sunday gentleman," because, from fear of the bailiffs, he
could not appear in public on any other day. But on these public appear-
ances he was gaily dressed, in a fine flowing wig, lace ruffles, and with a
sword by his side. His enforced leisure he occupied in the composition of
his admirably practical Essay on Projects;" which, however, was not pub-
lished until two years afterwards.
Forster describes it as a most shrewd, wise, and memorable piece of
writing." It suggested various reforms in the English system of banking,
and a plan for central county banks; it demonstrated the immense advan-
tages of an efficient improvement of the public roads, as a source of public
benefit and revenue ; it recommended, for the security of trade, a mitigation
of the severities of the law against the honest bankrupt, and a more effect-
ual system of check against practised knavery; it proposed the general
establishment of offices for insurance in every case of risk;" it enforced
in impressive language the expediency of friendly societies, and of a kind of
savings' bank, among the poor; and, with a sagacity far in advance of the
age, urged the solemn necessity of a more humane custody of lunatics, which
was aptly described as "a particular rent-charge on the great family of
His banishment at Bristol being terminated by his creditors' frank accept-
ance of his proposal of composition, De Foe returned to London, where he was
soon afterwards concerned, with some eminent persons at home," in pro-
posing financial ways and means to the English Government for conducting
the great war with France. This service led to his appointment as account-
ant to the Commissioners of the Glass Duty (1694-1699); and this appoint-
ment probably furnished him with resources for the establishment of exten-
sive tile-kiln and brick-kiln works at Tilbury,* on the Thames, where, for
several years, he gave employment to upwards of a hundred poor workmen,
and where, among the rough and daring men who frequented the banks of
the great river, he probably gathered much of that nautical knowledge and
information about strange countries which he afterwards turned to so
excellent an advantage.t
He appears, at first, to have been one of a company, but, after a while, became sole
t Mr. Lee describes an interesting visit which he paid to the site of these works. "In
" THE TRUE-BORN ENGLISHMAN."
He now began to pay off his debts rapidly, and yearly to increase in
worldly prosperity. He supported with indefatigable pen the principal
measures of William III.; advocated the formation of a small standing
army; defended the great principle of religious toleration; and lent his
powerful influence to the creation in England of an enlightened public opin-
ion on these and other important subjects. His second poetical satire,
" The Pacificator," appeared in 1700, and is superior to the first in cogency
and point. Early in the following year he published the best of his poems,
" The True-born Englishman;" which, more than any of his previous works,
tended to attract the attention of the public. It was designed as a reply to
" a vile abhorred pamphlet, in very ill verse, written by one Mr. Tutchin, and
called The Foreigners; in which the author fell personally upon the King
himself, and then upon the Dutch nation." The satire is strong and
trenchant, and commanded such general popularity that it passed through
nine genuine editions in a twelvemonth, and through twelve pirated editions
in less than three years. Its object was to show the composite character of
the English race-
Saxon, and Norman, and Dane are we ;"
and to prove that its success was owing to its very admixture of blood. The
first four lines have become familiar as household words-
"Wherever God erects a house of prayer,
The Devil always builds a chapel there ;
And 'twill be found, upon examination,
The latter has the largest congregation."
But the satire itself has now fallen into oblivion, simply because, clever
the year 1860," he says, when the London, Tilbury, and Southend Railway was com-
pleted, thinking that the excavations might discover some remains of De Foe's tile-works,
I made a day's excursion to the locality. Immediately on the west side of the Tilbury
Station a large plot of land was being dug over to form potato-ground for the railway
servants; and a deep trench had been previously cut through the same to the river to
drain the company's estate. In this way the whole of De Foe's brick and pan-tile works
had been laid open, including the clay-pits, drying-floors, foundations of kilns, and other
buildings. Large quantities of bricks and tiles had been excavated, and thrown into
heaps, to clear the land for its intended purpose. The pan-tiles appear to have attracted
very little notice; but the narrowness of the bricks, and the peculiar forms of certain
tobacco-pipes, found mixed with both, had excited some little wonderment among the
labourers. I asked several how they thought these things came there, and was answered
by an ignorant shake of the head. But when I said, 'These bricks and tiles were made
a hundred and sixty years since, by the same man that made Robinson Crusoe I' Itouched
a chord that connected these railway navviess' with the shipwrecked mariner, and that
bounded over the intervening period in a single moment. Every eye brightened, every
tongue was ready to ask or give information, and every fragment became interesting.
Porters, inspector, and station-master soon gathered round me, wondering at what was
deemed an important historical revelation. The pan-tiles made at Tilbury were of
excellent manufacture, and still retain a fine red colour, close texture, and are quite
sonorous. Neither the Dutch nor any other tiles could have driven them out of the
market, and the maker would have been able, from proximity to London and facilities of
conveyance, either to undersell the foreign dealer or to realize a proportionately larger
proflt."--L, "Daniel De Foe," L 82.
18 A PLEA FOR CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT.
and incisive, and shrewd though it
is, it lacks the elements of genuine
King William deeply felt the value
of the service which De Foe had ren-
Sdered him. He sent for him to the
palace; received him with marked
kindness; employed him in con-
Sfidential commissions; and from
that time accorded him free access
to his cabinet. In these inter-
views the great questions of the
day were frankly discussed, and
especially that all-important ques-
tion, the union of England and
Scotland. On this point De Foe
t, \ D D t pressed the King closely: "It shall
PORTRAIT OF KIrG WILLIAM II. be done," said William, but not
Cheered and encouraged by the royal confidence, De Foe resumed his pen
with more energy than ever. In the limits to which we are confined it
would be impossible to record even the titles of the numerous forcible and
well-reasoned pamphlets produced by his indefatigable industry. It is a
significant mark of the fulness of his mind and the versatility of his intellect
that not one of them is below mediocrity, while many rise far above it. The
most interesting and the ablest of those which appeared prior to the death
of William is the celebrated pamphlet entitled The Original Power of the
Collective Body of the People of England, Examined and Asserted. With
a Double Dedication to the King and to the Parliament." Mr. Chalmers
rightly says of it, Every lover of liberty must be pleased with the perusal
of a treatise which vies with Mr. Locke's famous tract in power of reasoning,
and is superior to it in the graces of style." Mr. Forster, a still more com-
petent judge, describes it as distinguished for its plain and nervous diction.
The grounds of popular representation, he says, are so happily condensed
and so clearly stated in it, that it became the text-book of political disput-
ants from the days of the expulsion of Walpole and of Wilkes to those of
the Reform Bill. It may be briefly described, he continues, as a demonstrate,
In this composition the satire was strong, powerful, and manly, upbraiding the
English Tories for their unreasonable prejudice against foreigners; the rather that there
were so many nations blended in the mass now called Englishmen. The verse was rough
and mistuned, for De Foe never seems to have possessed an ear for the melody of language,
whether in prose or verse. But though wanting 'the long resounding verse and energy
divine' of Dryden, he had often masculine expressions and happy turns of thought not
unworthy of the author of Absalom and Achitophel, though, upon the whole, his style
seems rather to have been formed on that of Hall, Oldham, and the elder satirists."-
Sir Walter Scott, "Biographies: Daniel De Foe" (edit. 1847) p. 397.
DE FOE LOSES A PATRON. 19
tion of the predominance of the ori-
ginal (the People's) over the dele-
gated authority (that of King and
Parliament); and remains still, as it
was when first written, the ablest,
plainest, and most courageous ex-
position in our language of the doc-
trine on which our own and all free
political constitutions rest.
Oni the 8th of March 1702 Eng-
land lost a great ruler, and De Foe
a wise patron, by the death of
William III. It was a signal loss
to the nation and the individual;
but nations outlive such losses; to
De Foe it was irreparable. Had
William reigned a few years longer, I
we can hardly doubt that his ad- POBTBIF UEEN ANE.
herent would have risen to some
high office in the State. But then, we should probably have lost Robin-
son Crusoe and "Colonel Jack." So true it is that the public generally
profit by private sufferings.
The attitude assumed by the Tory faction at the death of the King was in
every sense unbecoming. That they should rejoice at the accession of Anne,
and the restoration of the Stuart line to the throne, was not wonderful; but
to lampoon the memory of the great sovereign who had saved their country
from a mean and narrow tyranny was unworthy of a powerful party. De
Foe poured out the vial of his wrath on these traducers in a poem, entitled
" The Mock Mourners: a Satire, by way of Elegy on King William;" which
is remarkable for its earnestness and dignity of tone. It passed through seven
large editions in a twelvemonth. To the last De Foe preserved his affec-
tionate respect for the memory of William, and spoke of him as the best
King England ever saw." And once, when suffering from unjust persecution,
he pathetically exclaimed, I shall never forget his goodness to me. It was
my honour and advantage to call him master as well as sovereign. I never
patiently heard his memory slighted, nor ever can do so. Had he lived, he
would never have suffered me to be treated as I have been in this world."
With the accession of Queen Anne the political atmosphere changed
mightily. Whig principles went out of fashion; Whig politicians were but
coldly received at the new sovereign's cabinet; a Tory Government was
appointed; all the old doctrines of divine right and passive obedience were
preached from High Church pulpits; and the necessity of conformity to the
doctrines and liturgy of the English Church was urged with uncompromising
violence. De Foe was no blind antagonist of the Church of England, but he
A SATIRE MISUNDERSTOOD.
was honestly and conscientiously a Dissenter, and he could not refrain from
coming forward at the call of duty to awaken the eyes of his brethren to
their dangerous position. He knew that argument or expostulation or en-
treaty in such a crisis would be of little value, and therefore he determined
to resort to the weapon of irony. He wrote and published-without his name,
of course-his Shortest Way with the Dissenters," in which he gravely
recommended, as the only effectual method of dealing with them, their
extermination. 'Tis in vain," he writes, to trifle in this matter. We
can never enjoy a settled, uninterrupted union in this nation, till the spirit
ofWhiggism, faction, and schism, is melted down like the old money. Here
is the opportunity to secure the Church, and destroy her enemies. I do not
prescribe fire and fagot, but Delenda eat Carthago. They are to be rooted out
of this nation, if ever we will live in peace or serve God. The light foolish
handling of them by fines is their glory and advantage. If the gallows
instead of the computer, and the galleys instead of the fines; were the reward
of going to a conventicle, there would not be so many sufferers."
So ably and so seriously was this piece of bitter sarcasm written, that at
first the whole nation was taken in; Dissenters went wild with apprehen-
sion. Jacobites and High Churchmen with delight. Then, all of a sudden,
people awoke to the author's true intention. It was discovered that that
author was a Dissenter, and that his satire was directed against the advocates
of conformity. A loud cry for vengeance immediately went up to heaven;
and, to the disgrace of the Dissenters, they joined in it. They had been
deceived, and in a fit of cowardly fury they turned upon the man who had
deceived them, though the deception was wholly intended for their advantage.
The House of Commons took up the matter. The tract was declared a
libel, and ordered to be burned by the hands of the common hangman. The
Government was advised to prosecute its author. When he saw what a terrible
storm was rising De Foe fled; but a reward of 50 was offered for his appre-
hension. In the proclamation in the London Gazette," he was described
as a middle-sized, spare man, about forty years old, of a brown complexion,
but wears a wig; a hooked nose, a sharp chin, gray eyes, and a large mole
near his month." At first he escaped detection. The Government then
flung into prison the printer and the bookseller, and De Foe immediately sur-
rendered himself. He would allow no man to suffer the consequences of any
action of his; for this he was too brave, too manly, and too honourable. He
surrendered; was imprisoned; was indicted at the Old Bailey in July 1703;
was entangled by a promise of royal mercy into an admission of the libel;
was declared guilty; and sentenced to pay a fine of 500 marks, to stand
three times in the pillory, to be imprisoned during the Queen's pleasure,
and to find sureties for good behaviour for seven years. Such was the ini-
quitous sentence which power pronounced upon a man for daring to be
wittier than his fellows!
Twenty days were allowed him to prepare for the pillory. He occupied
DE FOE IN THE PILLORY.
them characteristically; first, by composing a pamphlet, "The Shortest
Way to Peace and Union," in which the heroic man endeavoured to mediate
between Dissenters on the one hand, and High Churchmen on the other; and,
secondly, by writing his celebrated satire, "A Hymn to the Pillory," in which
a just indignation has almost made him a poet.* Addressing the intended
instrument of his shame, he nobly says:-
"Hail! hieroglyphic State-machine,
Contrived to punish Fancy in;
Men that are men, in thee can feel no pain,
And all thy insignificant disdain.
Contempt, that false new word for shame,
Is, without crime, an empty name;
A shadow to amuse mankind,
But ne'er to fright the wise or well-fixed mind-
Virtue despises human scorn!"
On the 29th of July 1703, the author of this daring hymn was exposed in
the pillory before the Royal Exchange in Cornhill; on the day following,
near the Conduit in Cheapside; and on the 31st, at Temple Bar.t What,
however, was meant for his shame and humiliation proved to be for his great
honour and renown. The multitude felt that the pilloried hero was a man who
had fought steadfastly and bravely their own battles, and instead of loading
him with insults, they greeted him with shouts of welcome. They wreathed
garlands of flowers about the State-machine," and passed from hand to
hand the rough but manly and vigorous ode in which he had flung defiance
at his oppressors. The people were expected to treat me very ill," he
says, "but it was not so. On the contrary, they were with me, wished
those who had set me there were placed in my room; and expressed their
affections by loud shouts and acclamations when I was taken down."
His persecutors, nevertheless, though foiled in this particular measure of
persecution, were more successful in others. De Foe retired from the pillory
to Newgate, and his long imprisonment was necessarily the ruin of his busi-
ness. He was obliged, at a loss of upwards of 3500, to abandon his large and
prosperous works at Tilbury, and for the support of a wife and six children,
to fall back upon his pen. With a courage which could not be shaken, and
a perseverance that could not be abated, he plied that pen indefatigably.
He issued a collection of his works, prefixing his portrait to the first volume:,
it represents him with a resolute countenance, a massive chin, firm and
well-set mouth, and eyes full of intellect and energy. Meanwhile, a very
Ishmael in politics, he defended himself against the attacks of a cloud of
enemies. Like Harry of the Wynd, in Scott's romance, he fought for his own
hand, and he fought gallantly. Under his heavy and incessant blows, the
stoutest assailant reeled. But he did not confine himself to political pam-
"Indignatio facit versus"--Horace.
t Every one remembers Pope's paltry allusion to this incident:-
"Earless on high stood unabashed De Foe,
And Tutchin flagrant from the scourge below."
THE FIRST ENGLISH REVIEW."
phlets. With a remarkable versatility, he discussed the deepest theological
questions; he wrote against a proposed censorship of the press; he advocated
the claims of authors to a protection of their copyright; he compiled a
wonderfully graphic account of the Great Storm of 1704; and finally, in
the February of that year he began his famous Review.
This was a complete novelty in English literature, and may be regarded
as the true precursor of some celebrated periodicals of the present day. It
was at first a quarto sheet, published weekly, at the price of a penny. After
the fourth number it was reduced to half a sheet, but printed in closer type
and in double columns, and sold for twopence. After the eighth number it was
published twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. In due time monthly
supplements were issued, and finally it appeared on Tuesdays, Thursdays,
and Saturdays. So it continued, written solely by De Foe, for nine years
(February 19, 1704, to June 11, 1713).
Such was its form. Its contents were of the most miscellaneous description.
It dealt largely with politics, but scarcely less largely with morals. It com-
bined both public and personal questions; it corrected the vices, it ridiculed
the follies of the age. As a general indication of its character, we may
summarize the contents of the first volume, omitting those of a political
It condemns the prevalent practice of excessive drinking; it ridicules the
not less prevalent practice of excessive swearing; it censures the laxity
which had crept into the relations of married life; it denounces in no measured
terms the licentiousness of the stage; it discusses the various questions
affecting trade and pauperism; it inveighs against the mania for gambling
speculations; and it boldly reprobates the barbarous custom of duelling.
All these widely different topics are treated by De Foe unaided, and
the sagacity and vigour evident in every article fill the reader with
wonder at the man's genius, industry, and multifarious information. The
machinery he adopted for the discussion of non-political matters was a so-
called Scandal Club," organized to receive complaints and to decide upon
them. It acted in the following manner:-" A gentleman appears before the
club, and complains of his wife. She is a bad wife; he cannot exactly tell
why. There is a long examination, proving nothing; when suddenly a
member of the club begs pardon for the question, and asks if his worship
was a good husband. His worship, greatly surprised at such a question, is
again at a loss to answer. Whereupon the club pass these resolutions:-
1. That most women that are bad wives are made so by bad husbands.
2. That this society will hear no complaints against a virtuous bad wife,
from a vicious good husband. 3. That he that has a bad wife, and can't
find the reason of it in her, 'tis ten to one that he finds it in himself. And
the decision finally is, that the gentleman is to go home, and be a good
husband for at least three months; after which, if his wife is still uncured
*John Forster, "Biographical Essays," ii. 55, 56.
AN INDUSTRIOUS MAN OF LETTERS.
they will proceed against her as they shall find cause. In this way pleas
and defences are heard on the various points that present themselves in the
subjects named, and not seldom with a lively dramatic interest."
In August 1704, De Foe, at the instance of the statesman Harley, who
was now in power, received his release from Newgate. Harley, always
anxious to secure the assistance of able and moderate writers, had sent a
message "by word of mouth" to the author of The True-born Englishman:"
" Pray, ask Mr. De Foe what I can do for him." De Foe took a piece of
paper and wrote in reply: Lord, dost thou see that I am blind, and yet
ask me what thou shalt do for me! My answer is plain in my misery-
'Lord, that I may receive my sight!'" *
With his health much injured by his long imprisonment, De Foe retired
to a small house at Bury in Suffolk. He did not desist, however, from his
literary labours. Marlborough had commenced his wonderful career with
the great victory of Blenheim, and De Foe celebrated it in a Hymn to
Victory." Then followed replies to High Church and Tory pamphlets; a
wise and earnest invective against indiscriminate alms-giving (" Giving Alms
in Charity"); The Double Welcome," a poem to the Duke of Marlborough
(1705), as prosaic as most of his poems; and an admirable prose satire on
the follies of the times, entitled The Consolidator; or, Memoirs of Sundry
Transactions from the World in the Moon. Translated from the Lunar
De Foe by this time had returned to London, and, as an avowed supporter
of the Harley or Whig Government, had again plunged into the thick of the
political fray. For his own happiness he had better have kept out of it, and
only a strong sense of duty could have supported him under the afflictions
he endured. His enemies employed every artifice of annoyance, and the
whole machinery of persecution. He was harassed with false warrants of
arrest; with sham actions; with claims for pretended debts. His life was
threatened in anonymous letters; the foullest slanders assailed his morals;
he was subjected to the grossest misrepresentation of his principles. Yet,
bating not one jot of heart or hope, he pursued the even tenor of his way,
advocating whatever he thought would advance the cause of truth and
liberty, fiercely denouncing the intolerance of bigots and the dishonesty of
faction. In his Hymn to Peace" (1706), he forcibly describes his con-
Storms of men,
Voracious and unsatisfied as Death,
Spoil in their hands, and poison in their breath,
With rage of devils hunt me down."
But De Foe was not the man to be hunted down, and he turned on his
hunters with a daring and a resolution that effectually brought them to bay.
The first example of that marvellous realism which is the special charac-
De Foe, "Appeal to Honour and Justice p. 12.
DE FOE'S POWER AS A REALIST.
toristic of his works of fiction, he gave in his celebrated True Relation ot
the Apparition of one Mrs. Veal, the next day after her death, to one Mrs.
Bargrave, at Canterbury" (published in July 1706). Being prefixed to the
fourth edition of a somewhat dreary work, Drelincourt on "Death," it
raised the latter on the flood-tide of popularity, while its own merits as a
masterly piece of narrative were acknowledged by the best judges. The
incidents it relates are utterly improbable; yet are they told with such
exquisite simplicity, and with so subtle an accumulation of details, that he
who reads is almost forced to believe, in spite of his own judgment.* The
power which afterwards secured the fame of Robinson Crusoe is visible
on every page.
Of all the fictions, says an able writer,t which De Foe has succeeded in
palming off as truths, none is more instructive than that admirable ghost, Mrs.
Veal. It is, as it were, a hand-specimen, in which we may study his modus
operandi on a convenient scale. Like the sonnets of some great poets, it
contains in a few lines all the essential peculiarities of his art. The first
device which strikes us is his ingenious plan for manufacturing corrobora-
tive evidence. The ghost appears to Mrs. Bargrave. The story of the
apparition is told by a very sober and understanding gentlewoman, who
lives within a few doors of Mrs. Bargrave;" and the character of this
sober gentlewoman is supported by the testimony of a justice of peace at
Maidstone, a very intelligent person." This elaborate chain of evidence
is intended to divert our attention from the obvious circumstance that the
whole story rests upon the authority of the anonymous person who tells us
of the sober gentlewoman, who supports Mrs. Bargrave, and is informed by
the intelligent justice.
Another stratagem, carried out with equal success, is the apparent im-
partiality of the narrator.
The author, says the writer already quoted, affects to take us into his
confidence, to make us privy in regard to the pros and cons in regard to his
own characters, till we are quite disarmed. The sober gentlewoman
vouches for Mrs. Bargrave; but Mrs. Bargrave is by no means allowed to
have it all her own way. Mr. Veal is brought in, apparently to throw dis-
credit on her character; but his appearance is so well managed, that its
effect is to render us readier than before to accept Mrs. Bargrave's story.
The argument is finally clenched by a decisive coincidence. The ghost
wears a silk dress. In the course of a long conversation, she incidentally
mentioned to Mrs. Bargrave that this was a scoured silk, newly made up.
When Mrs. Bargrave reported this remarkable circumstance to a certain
Mrs. Wilson, You have certainly seen her,' exclaimed that lady, for
It is by no means impossible that De Foe himself accredited the possibility of such
a visitation, and that he advocated many of the theories now put forward as new by the
t "Cornhill Magazine," voL xvii. pp. 295, 296.
THE UNION OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND.
none knew but Mrs. Veal and myself that the gown had been scoured.'
To this crushing piece of evidence, it seems that neither Mr. Veal (nor any
other assailant of Mrs. Bargrave) could invent any sufficient reply. One
can almost fancy De Foe chuckling as he concocted the refinements of this
most marvellous narrative.
We pass from the "Apparition of Mrs. Veal" to the poem of Jure
Divino," published on the 20th of July 1706. The reasoning in it, as
Forster says, is better than the poetry; but much of the verse is vigorous,
and its forcible advocacy of constitutional principles made it popular with
large masses of the people. In this, as in other works, De Foe lays claim
to be considered as the real founder of the Moderate Whigs-of the political
party represented at a later period by Fox, Huskisson, Russell, and Grey.
The year 1706 was rendered remarkable in English history by the legis-
lative movement in favour of a union between England and Scotland. As I
have already stated, this was a favourite idea of De Foe's, which he had
pressed upon King William; and it was his good fortune now to be con-
cerned in its realization. By the advice of the ministers Harley and
Godolphin he was despatched on a mission to Scotland; and he rendered
effectual service in bringing to a successful issue the greatest measure of
statesmanship which for years had been submitted to an English Parliament.
He seems to have gained the esteem and good-will of all the Scotch officials
and illustrious Scotchmen with whom his duties brought him into contact;
and he certainly learned to admire the Scotch character, becoming thence-
forth a warm and vigorous advocate of the Scottish people. The Act of
Union was ratified by the Scotch Parliament on the 16th of January 1707;
by the English, on the 6th of March. Probably no measure ever concluded
between two allied nations has proved more fruitful in the happiest results
for both. Well might De Foe regard with honest pride his share in a
work so noble; and well may both England and Scotland love and honour
the memory, not only of the great novelist, but of the generous and sagacious
There are few better, and certainly no more interesting, narratives of the
circumstances attending this memorable event than that which is embodied
in De Foe's own History of the Union," published some years afterwards,
and written with unusual care.
In 1708 Harley was dismissed from the Cabinet; but .as Godolphin con-
tinued in it, De Foe did not cease to give it his active support, though he
deeply felt the unmerited disgrace in which his liberal patron was involved.
He was at this time specially favoured by the Queen, and was again sent to
Scotland on a particular service, whose details do not seem certainly known
to any of his biographers. Soon afterwards the Godolphin Ministry fell, and
Harley formed an Administration, of which he became the acknowledged
head. De Foe supported him, so far as he approved of his measures, with
characteristic energy; but with equally characteristic honesty, he did not
THE RECOMPENSE OF A VETERAN.
hesitate to oppose him, when his actions were contrary to true liberal prin-
ciples. As I have before said, I cannot enumerate all the pamphlets which
issued from his prolific pen. They are marked by his peculiar qualities of
mind and intellect, but to a great extent deal with temporary topics, and,
consequently, have no value except for the historical student. His warm
advocacy of a Protestant Succession to the throne procured him the honour
of a second imprisonment in Newgate; but Harley interfered, and procured
his release. Then came, in 1714, the end of the political crisis which had
marked the last years of Queen Anne. The Tories and Jacobites were defeated
with unexpected ease, and instead of a Stuart, who had learned nothing
by exile, George I. reigned on the throne of Great Britain, representing in his
person, however inadequately, the triumph of the principles of constitutional
government. For the present, therefore, Do Foe's work as a politician was
done. He had fought the battle, almost unaided, for two and thirty years,
and retired from it with nothing to show but honourable scars. Less
earnest men, such as Addison, and Steele, and Rowe, and Tickell, came in for
places and pensions; but the foremost soldier, the truest and most enthusi-
astic patriot, reaped nothing but the consciousness of having done his duty.
In surveying the long struggle of his matured manhood, he was able to
I was, from my first entering into the knowledge of public matters, and
have ever been to this day, a sincere lover to the constitution of my country-
zealous for liberty and the Protestant interest; but a constant follower of
moderate principles, and a vigorous opposer of hot measures in all. I never
once changed my opinion, my principles, or my party; and, let what will
be said of changing sides, this I maintain, that I never once deviated from
the Revolution principles, nor from the doctrine of liberty and property on
which it was founded."
Pausing here, at the close of the first period of De Foe's career, I venture
to adopt some remarks by Mr. Forster as fairly descriptive of the character
of the man:-*
After all the objections that may justly be made to his opinions, on the
grounds of short-coming or excess, we believe that in the main features of
his history will be recognized a noble English example of the qualities
most prized by Englishmen. De Foe is our only famous politician and man
of letters, who represented, in its inflexible constancy, sturdy dogged resolu-
tion, unwearied perseverance, and obstinate contempt of danger and of
tyranny, the great middle-class English character. We believe it to be no
mere national pride to say, that, whether in its defects or its surpassing
merits, the world has had none other to compare with it. He lived in the
thickest stir of the conflict of the four most violent party reigns of English
history; and if we have at last entered into peaceful possession of most
John Forster Biographical Essays," ii. 90, 91.
THE CHARACTER OF AN HONEST MAN.
part of the rights at issue in those party struggles, it the more becomes us
to remember such a man with gratitude, and with wise consideration for
what errors we may find in him. He was too much in the constant heat ot
the battle to see all that we see now. He was not a philosopher himself,
but he helped philosophy to some wise conclusions. He did not stand at
the highest point of toleration,* or of moral wisdom; but with his masculine,
active arm, he helped to lift his successors over obstructions which had
stayed his own advance. He stood, in his opinions and his actions, alone
and apart from his fellow-men; but it was to show his fellow-men of later
times the value of a juster and larger fellowship, and of more generous modes
of action. And when he now retreated from the world Without to the
world Within,t in the solitariness of his unrewarded service and integrity,
he had assuredly earned the right to challenge the higher recognition of
posterity. He was walking towards History with steady feet; and might
look up into her awful face with a brow unabashed and undismayed.
Yet I am inclined to think he better understood and more ardently advocated the
great doctrine of toleration than any man of his time, or any man since the Protector
Cromwell and his Latin secretary, John Milton.
t Mr. Forster here shares the belief common to all De Foe's biographers before Mr.
Lee's researches revealed the truth, that De Foe retired from political warfare after the
accession of George I. We shall see that such was not the case.
DE FOE'S HOUSE AT NEWINGTON.
DE FOE AS A WRITER OF FICTION.
ESERVING for our next chapter a brief summary of De Foe's later
political writings, I propose in the present to examine his career
as a novelist; to regard him in the capacity in which, despite his
valuable services to the cause of freedom and constitutional
government, he is best known and most admired by posterity.
Early in 1715 De Foe was visited with an attack of apoplexy;
the result, perhaps, of his severe and incessant labours, added to the storm
of undeserved obloquy which constantly assailed him. After his recovery,
which was slow and gradual, he produced a work entitled The Family
Instructor, in Three Parts"
-a work of nearly 450
pages, probably written be-
fore his illness, and revised
and published on his restora-
tion to health. It is a book
of admirable wisdom, epn-
taining much devout and
zealous counsel to fathers
and children, to masters and
servants, to husbands and
wives; and to me it illus-
trates, in a very forcible and
N striking mannerithe genuine
nature of the man, his
simple earnestness and un-
affected piety. Passing over,
as I have intimated my in-
tention 'to do, his minor
DANIEL DE FOE. pamphlets and flying sheets,
I must notice, as published in 1717, his "'History of the Wars of Charles
XII., King of Sweden;" and his second series (1718) of "The Family
Instructor, in Two Parts: Part I., Relating to Family Breaches, and their
Obstructing Religious Duties; II., To the Great Mistake of Mixing the
THE FIRST PART OF ROBINSON CRUSOE."
Passions in the Managing and Correcting of Children." Thus I am
brought to 1719, in which year, on the 25th of April, first appeared "TKx
LIFE AND STRANGE SURPRISING ADVENTURES OF ROBINBON CBRSO."
iuere canI e no doubt
that the foundation of
this fascinating romance,
which for a century and
a half has been the
favourite companion not
only of English boys but
of English men, was
afforded by the narrative
of Alexander Selkirk's
experiences, as recorded
by Captain Woodes Rogers
in his account of "A
Cruising Voyage Round
the World: first to the
South Seas, thence to the
East Indies, and home-
ward by the Cape of Good
Hope; begun in 1708, and
finished in 1711." Alex-
ander Selkirk was a native
of Largo, in the county
of Fife, where he was
born in 1676. In Dam-
pier's expedition to the
South Seas he served as
a sailor on board Captain
Stradling's ship; but quar-
relling with his officer,
deserted from the vessel
at the island of Juan
Fernandez in September
1704, and there lived alone
Of TO.RK, MARINER;
Who lived Eight and Twenty Years,
allalone In an un-inhabited Ifland on the
Coaft of AMrERcA, near the Month of
theGreatRiver of Oao o O. ca ;
Having been oal on Shareby Shipwreck, where-
in all th Menperilhed but himfrlf
An Account how was at fa as fhangely deli-
vrefby PR ATES
Wrinm by ARmfeif
L 0 D DON
uatiedf tW TAYxo at.iheC iraParNfleT-
REDUCED FAC-SIMILE OF TITLE PAGE TO VOL. L OF THE
I T EDITION OF ROBINBON CRUBOE."
until released by Captain Woodes Rogers in February 1709.
Selkirk returned to England in 1711. In the following year his extra-
ordinary story was published by Captain Woodes Rogers, from whose
" Cruising Voyage" it was reprinted, in a quarto tract of twelve pages,
shortly afterwards. Another account appeared in Captain Edward Cooke's
"Voyage (1712); and on the 3rd December 1713, in the 26th number of
"The Englishman," it was again related by Sir Richard Steele, who had
seen and conversed with its hero in London.
INVENTION VERSUS IMAGINATION.
In whatever form De Foe met with this curious instance of truth stranger
than fiction," it certainly suggested to him the groundwork of Robinson
Crusoe; "-that is, he borrowed from it the idea of the island solitude (and
much of the charm
of the work is owing
to the circumstance
that its scenes tran-
spire in a lonely, sea-
girdled, remote, and
isle*); the construe-
tion of the two huts;
the abundance of
goats; and the cloth-
ing made out of their
skins. All the rest
he owed to his own
fertile and inventive
For it is invention
that is the character-
istic of the book
rather than imagina-
tion. There is more
imagination shown in
the island-episode of
Mr. Charles Reade's
"Foul Play than in
all Robinson Cru-
soe," from the be-
ginning to the end;
but in reading the
modern novel the
REDUCED FAC-SIMILE SPECIMEN OF ILLUSTRATIONS TO THE reader cannot once
FIRST EDITION OF ROBeINSON CRUSOE." believe it is true; in
reading De Foe's, the
thought never crosses his mind that it is untrue. Its very prosaism renders
the impression it produces greater; were it more poetical in form and spirit,
it would necessarily be less real. Yet it is difficult to understand how De
Foe could so absolutely ignore the poetical in his treatment of so poetical a
It is worth notice that all the imitations of "Robinson Crusoe" have placed their
heroes in lonely islands, from "Philip Quarll" down to "Masterman Ready" and "Foul
Play." Tennyson wrecks his Enoch Arden" on an island, though for all practical pur-
poses the coast of the mainland would have answered quite as well. But the very idea of
an island seems to be surrounded with a halo of romance.
DE FOE'S REAL STRENGTH.
conception; how he was never tempted to indulge in any glowing delinea-
tion of tropical landscapes; how, from first to last, Fancy, with its many-
coloured gleams, should be so wholly absent from the picture. Almost the
only dramatic stroke in the romance-and its effect is so great that we
wonder its inventor refrained from further employment of a power which
he evidently possessed-is Crusoe's discovery of the unknown footprint on
the sandy shore. Otherwise, the narrative flows on with an evenness, a
method, and a prosaic regularity which are absolutely wonderful, and which
so impose upon the reader that he accepts the most startling adventures as
if they were the ordinary events of life.
It seems to us that all De Foe's strength lay in this inventiveness. His was
not the power of analyzing character. He was incapable of any psychological
development of passion or emotion. Not one of his heroes or heroines lives
in our recollection-except, indeed, Crusoe and Friday; and these, not
because they are boldly drawn, but from their association with certain
romantic circumstances. If we speak of Fielding, we immediately recall, with
all the sharpness and freshness of well-known portraits, Joseph Andrews,
and Parson Adams, and Lady Bellasis; Richardson reminds us of Lovelace,
and Grandison, and Clarissa; Scott, of Dandie Dinmont, Lucy Ashton,
Nicol Jarvie, Counsellor Pleydel, Dirck Hatteraick, Amy Robsart, and a
hundred other characters, who have become the familiar friends of genera-
tions of readers. But when we think of De Foe, it is to remember the
striking incidents which make up his stories, and to admire the vraisem-
blance with which his minute genius has invested them. Thus, then, he
stands wholly apart from the other illustrious names of English fiction,
occupying a field which-but for the labours of a recent follower, William
Gilbert-he would occupy alone.
An immense mass of criticism has been accumulated in reference to
"Robinson Crusoe;" and as it is always interesting to observe how a fine
work of art is regarded by competent judges, I shall select from it a few
specimens. First, I propose to condense Sir Walter Scott's admirable
FROM SIR WALTER SCOTT.
The style of probability with which De Foe invested his narratives was
perhaps ill bestowed, or rather wasted, upon some of the works which he
thought proper to produce, and cannot recommend to us their subject; but,
on the other hand, the same talent throws an air of truth about the delightful
history of Robinson Crusoe," which we never could have believed it pos-
sible to have united with so extraordinary a situation as is assigned to the
hero. All the usual scaffolding and machinery employed in composing
fictitious history are carefully discarded. The early incidents of the tale,
which in ordinary works of invention are usually thrown out as pegs to hang
the conclusion upon, are in this work only touched upon, and suffered to drop
SIR WALTER SCOTT'S CRITICISM
out of sight. Robinson, for example, never hears anything more of his elder
brother, who enters Lockhart's Dragoons in the beginning of the work, and
who, in any common romance, would certainly have appeared before the
conclusion. We lose sight at once and for ever of the interesting Xury;
and the whole earlier adventures of our voyager vanish, not to be recalled
to our recollection by the subsequent course of the story. His father-the
good old merchant of Hull-all the other persons who have been originally
active in the drama-vanish from the scene, and appear not again.
Our friend Robinson, thereafter, in the course of his roving and restless
life, is at length thrown upon his desert island-a situation in which, exist-
ing as a solitary being, he became an example of what the unassisted
energies of an individual of the human race can perform; and the author
has, with wonderful exactness, described him as acting and thinking pre-
cisely as such a man must have thought and acted in such an extra-
Pathos is not De Foe's general characteristic; he had too little delicacy
of mind: when it comes, it comes uncalled, and is created by the circum-
stances, not sought for by the author. The excess, for instance, of the
natural longing for human society which Crusoe manifests while on board
of the stranded Spanish vessel, by falling into a sort of agony, as he repeated
the words, "Oh, that but one man had been saved!--oh, that there had
been but one! is in the highest degree pathetic. The agonizing reflections
of the solitary, when he is in danger of being driven to sea in his rash
attempt to circumnavigate his island, are also affecting.
In like manner we may remark, that De Foe's genius did not approach
the grand or terrific. The battles, which he is fond of describing, are told
with the indifference of an old bucanier, and probably in the very way in
which he may have heard them recited by the actors. His goblins, too, are
generally a commonplace sort of spirits, that bring with them very little of
supernatural terror; and yet the fine incident of the print of the naked foot
on the sand, with Robinson Crusoe's terrors in consequence, never fails to
leave a powerful impression upon the reader.
The supposed situation of his hero was peculiarly favourable to the cir-
cumstantial style of De Foe. Robinson Crusoe was placed in a condition
where it was natural that the slightest event should make an impression on
him; and De Foe was not an author who would leave the slightest event
untold. When he mentions that two shoes were driven ashore, and adds
that they were not neighbours, we feel it to be an incident of importance to
The continuation of Robinson Crusoe's history, after he obtains the society
of his man Friday, is less philosophical than that which turns our thoughts
upon the efforts which a solitary individual may make for extending his
own comforts in the melancholy situation in which he is placed, and upon
the natural reflections suggested by the progress of his own mind. The
ON ROBINSON CRUSOE."
character of Friday is, nevertheless, extremely pleasing; and the whole sub-
sequent history of the shipwrecked Spaniards and the pirate vessel is highly
interesting. Here certainly the Memoirs of Robinson Crusoe ought to
have stopped. The Second Part, though containing many passages which dis-
play the author's genius, does not rise high in character above the Memoirs
of Captain* Singleton," or the other imaginary voyages of the author.
There scarce exists a work so popular as Robinson Crusoe." It is read
eagerly by young people; and there is hardly an elf so devoid of imagination
as not to have supposed for himself a solitary island in which he could act
" Robinson Crusoe," were it but in the corner of the nursery. To many it
has given the decided turn of their lives, by sending them to sea. For the
young mind is much less struck with the hardships of the anchorite's situa-
tion than with the animating exertions which he makes to overcome them;
and Robinson Crusoe" produces the same impression upon an adventurous
spirit which the Book of Martyrs would do on a young devotee, or the
" Newgate Calendar upon an acolyte of Bridewell-both of which students
are less terrified by the horrible manner in which the tale terminates, than
animated by sympathy with the saints or depredators who are the heroes of
their volume. Neither does a reperusal of Robinson Crusoe," at a more
advanced age, diminish our early impressions. The situation is such as
every man may make his own; and, being possible in itself, is, by the
exquisite art of the narrator, rendered as probable as it is interesting. It
has the merit, too, of that species of accurate painting which can be looked
at again and again with new pleasure.
Neither has the admiration of the work been confined to England, though
Robinson Crusoe himself-with his rough good sense, his prejudices, and
his obstinate determination not to sink under evils which can be surpassed
by exertion-forms no bad specimen of the True-born Englishman." The
rage for imitating a work so popular seems to have risen to a degree of
frenzy; and, by a mistake not peculiar to this particular class of the servwu
pecus, the imitators did not attempt to apply De Foe's manner of managing
the narrative to some situation of a different kind, but seized upon and cari-
catured the principal incidents of the shipwrecked mariner and the solitary
island. It is computed that within forty years from the appearance of the
original work, no less than forty-one different "Robinsons" appeared,
besides fifteen other imitations, in which other titles were used. Finally-
though, perhaps, it is no great recommendation-the anti-social philosopher
Rousseau will allow no other book than Robinson Crusoe in the hands
of Emilius. Upon the whole, the work is as unlikely to lose its celebrity
as it is to be equalled in its peculiar character by any other of similar
The reader will not be displeased; perhaps, to see what Rousseau's opinion
CRITICISMS ON ROBINSON CRUSOE."
Since we must have books, this is one which, in my opinion, is a most
excellent treatise on natural education. This is the first my Emilius shall
read; his whole library shall long consist of this work only, which shall
preserve an eminent rank to the very last. It shall be the text tb which all
our conversations on natural science are to serve only as a comment. It
shall be a guide during our progress to maturity of judgment; and so long
as our taste is not adulterated, the perusal of this book will afford us
pleasure. And what surprising book is this? Is it Aristotle? is it Pliny?
is it Buffon? No; it is" Robinson Crusoe." The value and importance of the
various arts are ordinarily estimated, not according to their real utility, but
by the gratification which they administer to the fantastic desires of man-
kind. But Emilius shall be taught to view them in a different light:
" Robinson Crusoe shall teach him to value the stock of an ironmonger above
that of the most magnificent toy shop in Europe.
My third quotation is less extravagant in its eulogy, and therefore more
discriminating.* I believe it, moreover, to approach much nearer to a true
estimate of De Foe's real merits. It is taken from a very able article on De
Foe's Novels," in the seventeenth volume of the Cornhill Magazine:" -
FROM THE CORNHILL MAGAZINE."
The horrors of abandonment on a desert island can be appreciated by the
simplest sailor or schoolboy. The main thing is to bring out the situation
plainly and forcibly, to tell us of the difficulties of making pots and pans, of
catching goats, and sowing corn, and of avoiding audacious cannibals. This
task De Foe performs with unequalled spirit and vivacity. In his first dis-
covery of a new art he shows the freshness so often conspicuous in first
novels. The scenery was just that which had peculiar charms for his fancy;
it was one of those half-true legends of which he had heard strange stories
from seafaring men, and possibly from the acquaintances of his hero himself.
He brings out the shrewd, vigorous character of the Englishman thrown
upon his own resources, with evident enjoyment of his task. Indeed, De
Foe tells us himself that in Robinson Crusoe he saw a kind of allegory of his
own fate. He had suffered from solitude of soul. Confinement in his
prison is represented in the book by confinement in an island; and even
particular incidents, such as the fright he receives one night from something
in his bed, was word for word a history of what happened." In other
words, this novel too, like many of the best ever written, has in it something
of the autobiographical element, which makes a man speak from greater
depths of feeling than in a purely imaginary story.
It would indeed be easy to show that the story, though in one sense
We have considerably abridged the original.
BY A RECENT WRITER.
marvellously like truth, is singularly wanting as a psychological study.
Friday is no real savage, but a good English servant without plush. He
says muchee and speakee," but he becomes at once a civilized being,
and in his first conversation puzzles Crusoe terribly by that awkward
theological question, Why God did not kill the Devil; for, characteristically
enough, Crusoe's first lesson includes a little instruction upon the enemy of
mankind. Selkirk's state of mind may be inferred from two or three facts. He
had almost forgotten how to talk; he had learned to catch goats by running
on foot; and he had acquired the exceedingly difficult art of making fire by
rubbing two sticks. In other words, his whole mind was absorbed in pro-
viding a few physical necessities, and he was rapidly becoming a savage;
for a man who can't speak, and can make fire, is very near the Australian.
We may infer, what is probable from other cases, that a man living fifteen
years by himself, like Crusoe, would either go mad or sink into that semi-
savage state. De Foe really describes a man in prison, not in solitary con-
finement. We should not be so pedantic as to call for accuracy in such
matters; but the difference between the fiction and what we believe would
have been the reality is significant. De Foe, even in Robinson Crusoe,"
gives a very inadequate picture of the mental torments to which his hero is
exposed. He is frightened by a parrot calling him by his name, and by the
strangely picturesque incident of the footmark on the sand; but, on the
whole, he takes his imprisonment with preternatural stolidity. His stay on
the island produces the same state of mind as might be due to a dull Sunday
in Scotland. For this reason-the want of power in describing emotion as
compared with the amazing power of describing facts-" Robinson Crusoe"
is a book for boys rather than for men; and, as Lamb says, rather for the
kitchen than for higher circles. It falls short of any high intellectual
interest. When we leave the striking situation, and get to the Second Part,
with the Spaniards and Will Atkins talking natural theology to his wife, it
sinks to the level of the secondary stories. But for people who are not too
proud to take a rather low order of amusement, Robinson Crusoe will
always be one of the most charming of books. We have the romantic and
adventurous incidents upon which the most unflinching realism can be set
to work without danger of vulgarity. Here is precisely the story suited to
De Foe's strength and weakness. Ho is forced to be artistic in spite of
himself. He cannot lose the thread of the narrative and break it into dis-
jointed fragments, for the limits of the island confine him as well as his
hero. He cannot tire us with details, for all the details of such a story
are interesting. It is made up of petty incidents as much as the life of a
prisoner reduced to taming flies, or making saws out of penknives. The
island does as well as the Bastille for making trifles valuable to the sufferer
and to us. The facts tell the story of themselves, without any demand for
romantic power to press them home to us; and the efforts to give an air of
authenticity to the story, which sometimes make us smile, and sometimes
BY W. CALDWELL ROSCOE.
rather bore us in other novels, are all to the purpose; for there is a real
point in putting such a story in the mouth of the sufferer, and in giving us
for the time an illusory belief in his reality. When we add that the whole
book shows the freshness of a writer employed on his first novel-though at
the mature age of fifty-eight-seeing in it an allegory of his own experiences
embodied in the scenes which most interested his imagination, we see some
reasons why "Robinson Crusoe should hold a distinct rank by itself
amongst his works.
To have pleased all the boys in Europe for nearly a hundred and fifty years
is, after all, a remarkable feat.
This, indeed, is the best panegyric that can be pronounced upon De Foe's
most celebrated fiction. It has been unapproached for a century and a half
as a boy's book, and still holds its own in the face of a thousand competitors.
Of all its imitators, The Swiss Family Robinson" alone has drawn near to
it in popularity, though the two, so far as their literary character is con-
cerned, remain separated long intervallo.
The following able estimate, by William Caldwell Roscoe,* will probably
be new to most of my readers:-
FROM W. CALDWELL ROSCOE.
It would be to impugn the verdict of all mankind to say that Robinson
Crusoe was not a great work of genius. It is a work of genius-a most
remarkable one-but of a low order of genius. The universal admiration it
has obtained may be the admiration of men; but it is founded on the liking
of boys. Few educated men or women would care to read it for the first
time after the age of five-and-twenty. Even Lamb could say it only holds
its place by tough prescription." The boy revels in it. It furnishes him
with food for his imagination in the very direction in which, of all others, it
loves to occupy itself. It is not that he cares for Robinson Crusoe-that
dull, ingenious, seafaring creature, with his strange mixture of cowardice
and boldness, his unleavened, coarsely sagacious, mechanic nature, his keen
trade-instincts, and his rude religious experiences. The boy becomes his
own Robinson Crusoe. It is little Tom Smith himself, curled up in a
remote corner of the playground, who makes those troublesome voyages on
the raft, and rejoices over the goods he saves from the wreck; who contrives
his palisades and twisted cables to protect his cave; clothes himself so
quaintly in goat skins; is terrified at the savages; and rejoices in his
jurisdiction over the docile Friday, who, he thinks, would be better than a
dog, and almost as good as a pony. He does not care a farthing about
Crusoe as a separate person from himself. This is one reason why he
rejects the religious reflections as a strange and undesirable element in a
work otherwise so fascinating. He cannot enter into Crusoe's sense of
W. Caldwell Roscoe, "Poems and Essays," ii. 237, 238.
BY PROFESSOR MASSON.
wickedness, and does not feel the least concern for his soul. If a grown
man reads the book in after years, it is to recall the sensations of youth, or
curiously to examine the secret of the unbounded popularity it has enjoyed.
How much this popularity is due to the happy choice of his subject, we may
better estimate when we remember that the popular Robinson Crusoe "
is in reality only a part of the work, and the work itself only one of many
others, not less well executed, from the same hand. No other man in the
world could have drawn so absolutely living a picture of the desert-island
life; but the same man has exercised the same power over more complex
incidents, and the works are little read.
Professor Masson looks upon De Foe as the founder of the modern Fiction.
He was a great reader, he says, and a tolerable scholar, and he may have
taken the hint of his method from the Spanish picaresque novel. On the
whole, however, it was his own robust sense of reality that led him to his
style. There is more of the sly humour of the foreign picaresque novel
(such as Gil Blas) in his representations of English ragamuffin life; there
is nothing of allegory, poetry, or even of didactic purpose; all is hard,
prosaic, and matter-of-fact, as in newspaper paragraphs, or the pages of the
" Newgate Calendar." In reference to his greatest work of fiction, Pro-
fessor Masson adds:-*
FROM PROFESSOR MASSON.
It is a happy accident that the subject of one of his fictions, and that the
earliest on a great scale, was of a kind in treating which his genius in
matter-of-fact necessarily produced the effect of a poem. The conception of
a solitary mariner thrown on an uninhabited island was one as really
belonging to the fact of that time as those which formed the subject of De
Foe's less-read fictions of coarse English life. Dampier and the bucaniers
were roving the South Seas; and there yet remained parts of the land-
surface of the Earth of which man had not taken possession, and on which
sailors were occasionally thrown adrift by the brutality of captains. Seizing
this text, more especially as offered in the story of Alexander Selkirk, De
Foe's matchless power of inventing circumstantial incidents made him more
a master even of its poetic capabilities than the rarest poet then living could
have been; and now that, all round our globe, there is not an unknown
island left, we still reserve in our mental charts one such island, with the
sea breaking round it, and we would part any day with two of the heroes
of antiquity rather than with Robinson Crusoe and his man Friday.
Our critical quotations shall conclude with one from De Foe's most brill-
iant biographer :-t
Masson, "British Novelists and their Styles," pp. 96-98.
t Forster, "Historical and Biographical Essays," i. 94-9.
BY MR. JOHN FORSTER.
FROM JOHN FORSTER.
"Robinson Crusoe" is a standard piece in every European language; its
popularity has extended to every civilized nation. The traveller Burck-
hardt found it translated into Arabic, and heard it read aloud among the
wandering tribes in the cool hours of evening. It is devoured by every boy;
and, as long as a boy remains in the world, he will clamour for Robinson
Crusoe." It sinks into the bosom while the bosom is most capable of plea-
surable impressions from the adventurous and the marvellous; and no
human work, we honestly believe, has afforded such great delight. Neither
the "Iliad" nor the Odyssey," in the much longer course of ages, has
incited so many to enterprise, or to reliance on their own powers and capa-
cities. It is the romance of solitude and self-sustainment; and could only
so perfectly have been written by a man whose own life had for the most
part been passed in the independence of unaided thought, accustomed to great
reverses, of inexhaustible resource in confronting calamities, leaning ever on
his Bible in sober and satisfied belief, and not afraid at any time to find
himself alone, in communion with nature and with God. Nor need we here
repeat, what has been said so well by many critics, that the secret of its
fascination is its reality. This, and the History of the Plague," are the
masterpieces of De Foe. These are the works wherein his power is at the
highest, and which place him not less among the practical benefactors than
among the great writers of our race. Why, this man could have founded
a colony as well as governed it," said a statesman of the succeeding century,
amazed at the knowledge of various kinds, and at the intimate acquaintance
with all useful arts displayed in Robinson Crusoe."
Leaving the reader to compare and consider these criticisms, and to form
an opinion for himself, which will, I trust, be equally free from inordinate
praise and undue depreciation, I resume my narrative of De Foe's labours.
The success of Robinson Crusoe was immediate and unquestionable.
The second edition was published only seventeen days after the first; the
third edition, twenty-five days later; and the fourth on the 8th of August.
The mine which De Foe had thus opportunely discovered, he proceeded to
work with his accustomed vigour. On the 20th of August he published a
continuation of his immortal fiction, under the title of The Farther Adven-
tures of Robinson Crusoe; being the Second and Last Part of his Life, and
of the Strange Surprizing Accounts of his Travels round Three Parts of
In the preface to this sequel-which like most sequels is inferior in inter-
est and literary merit to the preceding part, though many passages are
admirably conceived and carried out-he pretends, as before, to be only the
editor of Crusoe's story, and alludes with apparent impartiality to its well
deserved good fortune. As a specimen of his quiet matter-of-fact style, it
DE FOE AS A PREFACE WRITER.
Tie success the former
part of this work has met
with in the world, has yet
been no other than is ac-
knowledged to be due to
the surprising variety of
the subject, and to the
agreeable manner of the
performance. All the en-
deavours of envious people
to reproach it with being
a romance, to search it for
errors in geography, in-
consistency in the rela-
tion, and contradictions in
the fact, have proved abor-
tive, and as impudent as
malicious. The just ap-
plication of everyincident,
the religious and useful
inferences drawn from
Bcing the Second and Laft Part
And of th STRaslK SUR RIZknt
ACCOUNTS of his TRAVELS
Round threc Parts of the Globe.
i hittn h, Himfttf.
To which is sdded Mlp of the WorlJ, in whichis
Delineated the Voyages of RoBD IrNJ O CRISOt.
every part, are so many
testimonies to the good
design of making it pub-
lic, and must legitimate
all the part that may
be called invention, or
parable, in the story. The L 0 ND O N: Printed for W, T ArtLO at the
Second Part, if the editor's Ship in our..Nofle-Rs.. M ccLn.
opinion may pass, is (con-
trary to the usage of REDUCED FAC-SIMILE OF TITLE PAGE TO VOL. I. OF THE
second parts) every way FIRST EDITION OF ROBINSON CRUSOE."
as entertaining as the First. contains as strange and surprising incidents,
and as great a variety of them; nor is the application less serious, or
suitable; and doubtless will, to the sober, as well as ingenious reader,
be everyway as profitable and diverting. And this makes the abridging
this work* as scandalous as it is knavish and ridiculous, seeing, while
to shorten the book, that they may seem to reduce the value, they strip
it of all those reflections, as well religious as moral, which are not only
the greatest beauties of the work, but are calculated for the infinite
advantage of the reader. By this they leave the work naked of its
brightest ornaments; and if they would, at the same time, pretend that
An abridgment had been published by a bookseller named Cox.-See Lee's Life
of Daniel De Foe," i. 295.
INFERIORITY OF THE SEQUEL.
the author had supplied the story out of his invention, they take from it the
improvement which alone recommends that invention to wise and good
men. The injury these men do the proprietor of this work is a practice all
honest men abhor; and he believes he may challenge them to show the
difference between that and robbing on the highway, or breaking open a
house. If they can't show any difference in the crime, they will find it
hard to show any difference in the punishment. And he will answer for it
that nothing shall be wanting on his part to do them justice."
Notwithstanding this ingenious pleading, the public fully understood that
De Foe, and De Foe alone, was the author and inventor of Robinson
Crusoe," whose popularity became so extensive that a Tory pamphleteer,named
Gildon, availed himself of it to secure a reception for his scurrilous attack
on De Foe : The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Mr. D- De
F- of London, Hosier, who has lived above fifty years by himself, in the
Kingdoms of North and South Britain. The various Shapes he has appeared
in, and the Discoveries he has made for the Benefit of his Country. In a
Dialogue between Him, Robinson Crusoe, and his Man Fridgy. With
remarks, Serious and Comical, upon the Life of Crusoe." But neither
Gildon nor any other assailant could prevent the public from reading and
admiring the narrative of the Solitary in his island fastness, and his later ad-
ventures in many lands; and its reception continued to be so enthusiastic that
De Foe ventured, in August 1720, on once more appearing before the public
under the old familiar colours, drawing, as it were, the moral to the story, in
a book which he entitled Serious Reflections during the Life and Surpris-
ing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe: With his Vision of the Angelick World."
As the second part was inferior to the first, so was the third inferior to the
second; and it has so entirely dropped out of public favour that I believe to
most readers of Robinson Crusoe its existence is wholly unknown. A
recent biographer asserts that it contains profound thought, great wisdom,
morality of the highest character, an extensive acquaintance with metaphysi-
cal subtleties, and is pervaded with a solemn tone of religious instruction,
doctrinal and practical." I confess that my estimate of it is not so high.
I admit its devout and earnest tone; but in a work of this kind, De Foe's
plain, homely, matter-of-fact style palls upon the reader; and as his reflec-
tions are neither very deep nor very broad, and do not come to us recom-
mended by any beauty of imagery or subtlety of fancy, I cannot but think the
third part of Robinson Crusoe very dreary reading.
In October 1719, De Foe published The Dumb Philosopher; or, Great
Britain's Wonder,"-an account of an ideal Cornishman, one Dickory Cronke,
who "was born dumb, and continued so for fifty-eight years." The subject
seems to have had a peculiar attraction for our author, since, in 1720, he
came before the public with the History of the Life and Adventures of Mr.
Duncan Campbell;" who, however, was not only dumb but deaf. It was
founded on the career of a celebrated fortune-teller of the time, who laid
" MEMOIRS OF A CAVALIER."
claim to the faculty of
second-sight, and was un-
doubtedly a man of great
In the same year De
Foe produced his second
great novel-in some re-
spects superior to Rob-
inson Crusoe itself, but
inferior in plot, scenery,
and motive. I refer to
the book which imposed
on the great Earl of Chat-
ham as an authentic his-
torical narrative : "Me-
moirs of a Cavalier; or, a
Military Journal of the
Wars in Germany, and
the Wars in England;
from the year 1632 to the
year 1648. Written," con-
tinues De Foe, who was
partial to lengthy title-
pages, Threescore Years
ago by an English Gentle-
man, who served first in
the Army of Gustavus
Adolphus, the glorious
King of Sweden, till his
death; and after that, in
the Royal Army of King
Charles the First, from the
Beginningof the Rebellion
to the End of that War."
L I F E
i Algeick WORL D.
Vrittei Hty imfdf
LONDON: Printed for W. TA* Tn At the Ship
and flazc Swa ina Paer-nofler-Ros. 17zo.
REDUCED FAC-SIMILE OF TITLE PAGE TO VOL. III. OF
THE FIRST EDITION OF "ROBINSON CRUSOE."
These Memoirs furnish the reader with one of the most spirited Nar-
ratives of the Great Civil War which our language possesses. It exhibits
all De Foe's characteristic excellences, and few of his defects; and its sub-
ject lifts it out of that low atmosphere of thieves and harlots in which too
many of his secondary fictions are plunged. Its chief and most obvious
deficiency is in its style. De Foe does not write as a well-bred and well-
born Cavalier would have written. Nevertheless, it is full of fire and spirit,
Mr. Lee is of opinion that it was actually founded on a genuine manuscript memoir;
but in this he is opposed to our ablest critics. His reasons in support of its authenticity
would equally well apply to the authenticity of Robinson Crusoe."
DE FOE'S SECONDARY NOVELS.
and, as Scott suggests, is probably enriched with anecdotes which De Foe
had heard from the lips of greybeards who had themselves been out in
the Great Rebellion.
Such a work might well be supposed sufficient for one twelvemonth's toil;
but De Foe's fertility was as inexhaustible as his industry, and the same
year which produced the Memoirs of a Cavalier," also gave birth to the
" Life, Adventures, and Pyracies of the famous Captain Singleton; "* a book
which is perfectly wonderful in the minute knowledge it displays of the
geography of Central Africa, and the manner in which it positively anti-
cipates some of the discoveries of Baker, Speke, and Livingstone.
I shall notice in quick succession the later novels of our author.
On the 27th of January, 1722, appeared The Fortunes and Misfortunes
of the Famous Moll Flanders. Written from her own Memorandums."
On the 17th of March was produced "A Journal of the Plague Year:
Being Observations or Memorials of the most Remarkable Occurrences, as
well Publick as Private, which happened in London during the last Great
Visitation in 1665. Written by a Citizen who continued all the while in
London. Never made public before."
The Journal" is full of ghastly pictures, which are almost horrible in
their photographic fidelity; a fidelity so conspicuous and so remarkable
that it induced the eminent physician Dr. Mead to refer to De Foe's ficti-
tious narrative as to an authority of weight. It exhibits his marvellous
realistic art in its utmost perfection; and, even at the present day, cannot
be read without interest.
Ranking Robinson Crusoe as its author's greatest work of fiction, and
his Memoirs of a Cavalier" as second in merit, I cannot but ascribe the
third place to the Life of Colonel Jack,"t which appeared in December
1722, and which dealt with the career of a male criminal, as Moll Flanders "
had dealt with that of a female. The value of what has been emphatically
called Thieves' Literature may reasonably be doubted, and I question much
whether any work of this class has morally benefited a single reader. Yet
it must be admitted that De Foe, unlike many of our modem novelists,
always paints vice as it is-in all its filth and all its degradation-and
The full title runs :-" The Life, Adventures, and Pyracies of the famous Captain
Singleton: Containing an Account of his being set on Shore in the Island of Madagascar,
his Settlement there, with a Description of the Place and Inhabitants : Of his Passage
from thence in a Paraguay (periagua) to the main Land of Africa, with an Account of the
Customs and Manners of the People. His great Deliverances from the barbarous Natives
and Wild Beasts: Of his Meeting with an Englishman, a Citizen of London, among the
Indians, the great Riches he acquired, and his Voyage Home to England: As also Cap-
tain Singleton's Return to Sea, with an Account of his many Adventures and Pyracies
with the famous Captain Avery and Others. London: J. Brotherton, &c. 1720."
t The full title runs:-" The History and Remarkable Life of the Truly Honourable
Colonel Jacque, vulgarly called Colonel Jack; who was Born a Gentleman, put 'Pren-
tice to a Pickpocket, was Six and Twenty Years a Thief, and then Kidnapp'd to Vir-
ginia. Came back a Merchant; went into the Wars, behav'd bravely, got Preferment;
was made a Colonel of a Regiment; came over, and fled with, the Chevalier; is still
abroad completing a Life of Wonders, and resolves to dye a General. London 1722."
CHARLES LAMB'S CRITICISM.
without any attempt to disguise it, or to render it attractive by meretricious
colouring. For the rest, the fiction to which I am alluding contains some
of its author's finest touches; is instinct in many passages with a very
powerful pathos; and everywhere exhibits an extraordinary knowledge of
The last of De Foe's novels appeared in March 1724, under the title of
"The Fortunate Mistress: or, a History of the Life and Vast Variety of
Fortunes of Mademoiselle de' Belau; afterwards called the Countess of
Windelsheim in Germany. Being the Person known by the name of the
Lady Roxana, in the Time of King Charles II." This story of the life of
an abandoned woman is doubtlessly written in all honesty of purpose; but
assuredly it is not the book a father would put into the hands of his
daughters, and again I doubt whether such a method of attacking vice is
All that can be said of the secondary fictions of De Foe has, however, been
said with excellent force and humour by Charles Lamb ; and his defence
of them I may leave to the consideration of my readers:-
FROM CHARLES LAMB.
The narrative manner of De Foe has a naturalness about it beyond that
of any other novel or romance writer. His fictions have all the air of true
stories. It is impossible to believe, while you are reading them, that a real
person is not narrating to you everywhere nothing but what really happened
to himself. To this the extreme homeliness of their style mainly contributes.
We use the word in its best and heartiest sense-that which comes home to
the reader. The narrators everywhere are chosen from low life, or have had
their origin in it; therefore they tell their own tales, as persons in their
degree are observed to do, with infinite repetition, and an overacted exact-
ness, lest the hearer should not have minded, or have forgotten, some things
that had been told before......The heroes and heroines of De Foe can never
again hope to be popular with a much higher class of readers than that of
the servant-maid or the sailor. Crusoe keeps its rank only by tough pre-
scription. Singleton, the pirate; Colonel Jack, the thief; Moll Flanders,
both thief and harlot; Roxana, harlot, and something worse-would be
startling ingredients in the bill of fare of modern literary delicacies.f But,
then, what pirates, what thieves, and what harlots, is the thief, the harlot,
and the pirate of De Foe! We would not hesitate to say, that in no other
book of fiction, where the lives of such characters are described, is guilt
and delinquency made less seductive, or the suffering made more closely to
follow the commission, or the penitence more earnest or more bleeding, or
the intervening flashes of religious visitation upon the rude and uninstructed
soul more meltingly and fearfully painted.
Charles Lamb, Eliana": De Foe's Secondary Novels.
t It must be remembered that Charles Lamb wrote before English literature had been
enriched (?) with "sensational novels."
LAST YEARS AND DEATH.
*T has always been represented by De Foe's biographers that his
political life virtually terminated at the accession of George I.
to the throne of Great Britain; and that thenceforward he de-
voted himself to the cultivation of his astonishing genius as a
writer of fiction. Others, indeed, have gone somewhat further.
Admitting that he wrote but little, politically, after the fall of his
patron Harley, they have asserted that what he did write was
in open contradiction of the principles he had formerly espoused, and that
he, the great Whig pamphleteer, wrote Tory pamphlets for Tory money.
Mr. Lee, however, has recently proved two important facts: first, that
De Foe continued to labour as a politician while busiest as a novelist; and
that, second, he was still in the service of, and remunerated by, the King's
Government. His position was a curious one: he was paid by the Ministry
to write in the Tory papers--more particularly in the so-called Mist's
Journal-and to write in them, not in avowed advocacy of Government
measures, yet, as it were, in mitigation and defence of them. It must be
owned that this was an ingenious method of turning an enemy's arms
against himself, but it cannot be considered altogether worthy of a man of
honour and sincerity.
The following account of this curious transaction is given by Mr. Lee,*
who founds it upon letters written by De Foe himself:-
De Foe says, that with the approbation of Lord Sunderland, one of the
Whig Ministry, he introduced himself to the proprietor of Mist's Journal,
with the view of keeping it in the circle of a secret management, so that it
might pass as a Tory paper, and yet be disabled and enervated of its trea-
sonable character, so as to do no mischief, or give any offence to the
Government." De Foe had no share in the property of this paper, and had
therefore no absolute power to reject improper communications; but he
trusted to the moral influence he should be able to acquire and maintain
over Mist, the proprietor, who had no suspicion that the Government was
indirectly concerned in the matter. This Journal was the organ of the Pre-
tender's interest, and, according to De Foe, its correspondents and supporters
Lee, "Life of Daniel De Foe," i 271, 272
A DOUBTFUL POSITION.
were, he tells us, Papists, and Jacobites, and High Tories-" a generation
whom, I profess, my very soul abhors." In the performance of his peculiar
and delicate task he was compelled to hear traitorous outbursts against the
King and Government, and to receive scandalous and villanous papers,"
keeping'them by him-ostensibly for the purpose of gathering materials, but
really with a view to their total suppression.
In Mr. Lee's opinion this was no system of espionage;" but I confess
it seems to me something closely resembling it, and I could wish De Foe
had never been involved in, still less had originated, a scheme so questionable,
and, moreover, of such doubtful advantage.
I continue, however, to quote Mr. Lee's defence :-
The rebellion (of 1715-16) was yet smouldering, though subdued; and
the laws, liberties, and religion of the country were threatened. This weekly
journal, inspired from the Court of the Pretender, and supported by the
money and intelligence of attainted nobles abroad, and their adherents at
home, had laboured to keep alive the spirit of treason until circumstances
should be favourable for again spreading the flames of rebellion through the
land. If, therefore, moral persuasion is more effectual than legal repression,
and prevention better than cure, then no stigma, beyond that of concealment,
attaches to the character of De Foe on account of his connection with Mist's
Journal. Rather should we admire the intellectual power capable of hold-
ing in check such men as Ormond, Atterbury, Bolingbroke,* Mar, Wharton,
and their satellites, among the Jacobite and Nonjuring writers. It required
a large amount of patriotic courage to place himself as an impassable barrier
between the invectives of such men and the reading public; and no less
reservation and tact in exercising this influence in such a manner as to
avoid suspicion. He closes one of his letters with a favourite expression
from Scripture, frequently cited in his writings, showing the sensitiveness
of his mind, even as to the concealment necessary to the efficient service of
his country. His words evince that he was conscious of the danger and
difficulties of his duties; and also that his position was a questionable one;
-but there is no invidious self-reflection involved when he says: "Thus
I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, and most humbly recommend myself
to his lordship's protection, or I may be undone the sooner, by how much
the more faithfully I execute the commands I am under."
De Foe's connection with Mist's Journal commenced in 1717, and continued,
with various interruptions, until 1724. During this period he also mingled
in the political mel6e as proprietor and conductor of The Whitehall Evening
Post. From 1719 to 1725 he was connected with the Daily Post,t while his
fertile pen not only produced the works of fiction whose characteristics we
have been examining, throughout this busy period. hut, with ceaseless in-
But could such men as these have been hoodwinked, even by De Foe ?
t Also with Applebie's Original Weekly Journal, 1720 to 1726 ; and The Director,
DE FOE'S LATEST WORKS.
dustry and extraordinary spirit, dealt with things human and divine in a
variety of manuals, treatises, and essays.
Among these it is especially desirable we should notice a rhymed transla-
tion of Du Fresnoy's Compleat Art of Painting," published in 1720; Re-
ligious Courtship : being Historical Discourses on the Necessity of Marrying
Religious Husbands and Wives only," 1722; "The Life and Actions of
Lewis Dominique Cartouche," a notorious French desperado, 1722;* "An
Impartial History of the Life and Actions of Peter Alexowitz, Czar of Mus-
covy," 1723;* "The Highland Rogue, or the Memorable Actions of the
Celebrated Robert Macgregor; commonly called Rob Roy," 1723;* "A
Tour Thro' the whole Island of Great Britain "-a book full of lively ob-
servation and accurate description, the result of journeys undertaken by the
author in 1724-1726; "A New Voyage Round the World," 1725; "The
Compleat English Tradesman," 2 vols., 1725-1727-an excellent manual,
containing many shrewd reflections, and much valuable counsel for the
young beginner; The Political History of the Devil," 1726; A System
of Magick; or, a History of the Black Art," 1726; The Secrets of the
Invisible World Disclosed; or, an Universal History of Apparitions, Sacred
and Profane, under all Denominations," 1728; A New Family Instructor;
in Familiar Discourses between a Father and his Children, on the most
Essential Points of the Christian Religion "-a book whose every page is
illustrative of De Foe's manly and unaffected religious sentiments; and
"The Compleat English Gentleman "-a tractate on education, which, like
everything that De Foe wrote, is instinct with good sense, and which, with
the exception of a small pamphlet on Street Robberies," terminated his long
and multifarious literary labours.
Of his industry the reader may judge from the fact that a complete list of
his works enumerates no less than 254; of his versatility, the varied sub-
jects of those to which we have more particularly alluded is a satisfactory
On the whole, De Foe's career was a successful one. He met with great
trials, but he had also great rewards. It is true that he was twice bankrupt,
but his first misfortune was due to his own imprudence in attempting to
combine the politician with the man of business. His second was owing to
the severe sentence passed upon him at the instigation of a vindictive
Government; but then, it must be acknowledged, that he had provoked its.
wrath by a satire of more than ordinary bitterness. He elected to plunge
into the stormy sea of politics, and if he occasionally met with a terrible
buffeting, he did but pay the penalty of his deliberate choice. In many of
his views he was in advance of his age, and, accordingly, he was not always
popular: but a man who enjoyed the confidence of King William and Queen
Anne, of Harley and Godolphin, of Sunderland and Townshend; whose
These are ascribed to De Foe by Mr. Lee.
t Including those recently attributed to him by Mr. Lee.
HIS LAST YEARS AND DEATH.
assistance was thought so valuable that it was regularly retained by the
Government; whose books commanded a large and ready sale; who could
dower his daughters at their marriage, could purchase land, and build for
himself a handsome house; "-such a man cannot surely be considered an
example of the ill-fortune that sometimes assails the politician and the
litterateur. Political opponents loaded him with calumny and abuse; but
De Foe lived in times when hard hitting was the rule, and not the excep-
tion, when no such standard of courtesy was recognized by political writers
as common consent of late years has established. We think, therefore, that
the pity poured out upon De Foe by sentimental biographers. is, to a great
extent, unnecessary; and we believe that his life affords a favourable ex-
ample of the success which attends unflagging industry, indefatigable per-
severance, and honourable consistency.
One bitter sorrow, indeed, overclouded the later years of this great-hearted
man, but that came from within, not from without-from his own family
hearth, and not from his political foes. The misconduct of his second son
was a thorn in his side which wounded deeply. His father had placed large
confidence in him; he violated it; and by violating it temporarily deprived
his mother and sisters of considerable resources. The evil was magnified
by the timidity and apprehension natural to old age, and De Foe wrote
of it in exaggerated language:-" I depended upon him, I trusted him, I
gave up my two dear unprovided children into his hands: but he has no
compassion, and suffers them and their poor dear dying mother [she out-
lived her husband some eighteen months] to beg their bread at his door,
and to crave, as if it were an alms, what he is bound, under hand and seal,
besides the most sacred promises, to supply them with; himself, at the same
time, living in a profusion of plenty."
The money, however, was recovered, and De Foe's family left in comfortable
Our brief summary of a life of action must here conclude. We have traced
the politician and the man of letters through the chief phases of his history,
to that final limit" where all labour, and sorrow, and disappointment end.
Towards the close of the year 1730 he removed from his house at Stoke New-
ington, a commodious mansion in about four acres of ground," to London,
and took lodgings in what was then a pleasant and reputable locality, Rope-
maker's Alley, Moorfields. Here he died of a lethargy, on the evening of
Monday, the 26th of April 1731, in the seventy-first year of his age. He
was buried in Bunhill Fields, where his tomb will ever be regarded with
interest by all admirers of manly genius and incorruptible integrity.
W. H. D. A.
The principal aulhoritlies in reference to the life of DE FOE are :--
"Daniel De Foe: His Life, and Hitherto Unknown Writings," by William Lee, 3 vole.
Historical and Biographical Essays," by John Forster, vol ii., 185S.
"Novels and Miscellaneous Works of De Foe," 20 vols., Oxford, 1842.
"Miscellaneous Prose Works: Life of Daniel De Foe," edited by Sir Walter Scott,
published by Cadell, 1847.
De Foe's Works," with Life by Clalmers, 1820.
Robinson Crusoe," with Life by Roscoe, 1831.
Memoirs of the Life and Times of Daniel De Foe," by Walter lTilsn,, 3 vols., 1830.
De Foe's Works," with Memoir by William Hazlitt, 3 vols., 1840-43.
TOMB OF DE FOE IN BUNHILL FIELDS.
[N'rE.-A monument to De Foe, erected, by the voluntary subscriptions of seventeen
hundred English boys and girls, in Bunhill-fields burial-ground, was unveiled" by Mr.
Charles Reed, M P. for Hackney, on Friday, September 16, 1870. It consists of an
Egyptian column of fine Italian marble, 17 feet high, and at the base 8 feet by 4 feet.
The sculptor is Mr. IIorner, of Bournemouth. The pillar bears the following inscrip
tion:-" Daniel De Foe. Born 1661, died 1731. Author of 'Robinson Crusoe.'"]
'~" \.-c12' .kd
MAP OF ROBINSON ORUSOE'S ISLAND.
[Facsimile from the Map in the Serious Reflectidns" (or 3rd Part), published by W. Taylor in 72to.i
gife anb Abbcntures
Rich, but the loneliest in a lonely sea.
No want was there of human sustenance,
Soft fruitage, mighty nuts, and nourishing roots;
Nor save for pity was it hard to take
The helpless life so wild that it was tame.
There in a seaward-gazing mountain gorge
He' built, and thatched with leaves of palm, a hut,
Half hut, half native cavern.
FART THE FIRST.
|' .~ .ij, :. _I I ni l y, ti, .-i:A l not of
Sri.,I .;i. 1, lny .h L f... i ;gner
,' .. r.. i l..i -,:ttl .l ti -t at H ull: he
--..t i *." I l...,. I ,. , i ll.-;, and
York, from whence he had married my mother, whose relations
were named Robinson, a very good family in that country, and
A ROVING DISPOSITION.
from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but, by the usual
corruption of words in England, we are now called, nay, we call
ourselves, and write our name Crusoe, and so my companions
always called me.
I had two elder brothers, one of which was lieutenant-colonel
to an English regiment of foot in Flanders, formerly commanded
by the famous Colonel Lockhart, and was killed at the battle near
Dunkirk against the Spaniards: what became of my second brother
I never knew, any more than my father and mother did know what
was become of me.
Being the third son of the family, and not bred to any trade,
my head began to be filled very early with rambling thoughts.
My father, who was very ancient, had given me a competent share
of learning, as far as house education and a country free school
generally goes, and designed me for the law; but I would be satis-
fied with nothing but going to sea, and my inclination to this led
me so strongly against the will, nay, the commands of my father,
and against all the entreaties and persuasions of my mother and
other friends, that there seemed to be something fatal in that pro-
pension of nature tending directly to the life of misery which was
to befall me.
My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent
counsel against what he foresaw was my design. He called me
one morning into his chamber, where he was confined by the gout,
and expostulated very warmly with me upon this subject. He
asked me what reasons more than a mere wandering inclination I
had for leaving my father's house and my native country, where I
might be well introduced, and had a prospect of raising my for-
tunes by application and industry, with a life of ease and pleasure.
He told me it was for men of desperate fortunes on one hand, or
of aspiring, superior fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon
adventures, to rise by enterprise, and make themselves famous in
undertakings of a nature out of the common road; that these
things were all either too far above me, or too far below me; that
mine was the middle state, or what might be called the upper
station of low life, which he had found by long experience was the
best state in the world, the most suited to human happiness, not
WISE WORDS AND SAGE COUNSEL.
SMY FATHER GAVE ME SERIOUS AND EXCELLENT COUNSEL."
exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labour and sufferings of
the mechanic part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride,
luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper part of mankind. He
told me I might judge of the happiness of this state by this one
thing-namely, that this was the state of life which all other people
envied; that kings have frequently lamented the miserable con-
sequences of being born to great things, and wished they had been
placed in the middle of the two extremes,-between the mean and
the great; that the wise man gave his testimony to this as the just
standard of true felicity, when he prayed to have neither poverty
He bid me observe it, and I should always find that the calami-
ties of life were shared among the upper and lower part of
mankind; but that the middle station had the fewest disasters,
and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or lower
part of mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so many dis-
A FATHER'S EXPOSTULATION.
tempers and uneasinesses either of body or mind, as those were
who, by vicious living, luxury, and extravagancies on one hand,
or by hard labour, want of necessaries, and mean or insufficient
diet on the other hand, bring distempers upon themselves by the
natural consequences of their way of living; that the middle
station of life was calculated for all kind of virtues and all kind of
enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the handmaids of a
middle fortune; that temperance, moderation, quietness, health,
society, all agreeable diversions, and all desirable pleasures, were
the blessings attending the middle station of life; that this way
men went silently and smoothly through the world, and comfort-
ably out of it, not embarrassed with the labours of the hands or of
the head, not sold to the life of slavery for daily bread, or harassed
with perplexed circumstances, which rob the soul of peace and
the body of rest; not enraged with the passion of envy, or secret
burning lust of ambition for great things; but in easy circum-
stances sliding gently through the world, and sensibly tasting the
sweets of living, without the bitter; feeling that they are happy,
and learning by every day's experience to know it more sensibly.
After this, he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affectionate
manner, not to play the young man, not to precipitate myself into
miseries which nature and the station of life I was born in seemed
to have provided against; that I was under no necessity of seek-
ing my bread; that he would do well for me, and endeavour to
enter me fairly into the station of life which he had been just
recommending to me; and that if I was not very easy and happy
in the world, it must be my mere fate or fault that must hinder
it, and that he should have nothing to answer for, having thus
discharged his duty in warning me against measures which he
knew would be to my hurt. In a word, that as he would do very
kind things for me if I would stay and settle at home as he
directed, so he would not have so much hand in my misfortunes,
as to give me any encouragement to go away. And, to close all,
he told me I had my elder brother for an example, to whom he
had used the same earnest persuasions to keep him from going
into the Low Country wars, but could not prevail, his young
desires prompting him to run into the army, where he was killed;
CRUSOE AN) HIS MOTHER.
and though, he said, he would not cease to pray for me, yet he.
would venture to say to me that, if I did take this foolish step, God
would not bless me, and I would have leisure hereafter to reflect
upon having neglected his counsel when there might be none to
assist in my recovery.
I observed in this last part of his discourse, which was truly
prophetic, though I suppose my father did not know it to be so
himself, I say I saw the tears run down his face very plentifully,
and especially when he spoke of my brother who was killed; and
that when he spoke of my having leisure to repent, and none to
assist me, he was so moved that he broke off the discourse, and
told me his heart was so full he could say no more to me.
I was sincerely affected with this discourse-as indeed who could
be otherwise?-and I resolved not to think of going abroad any
more, but to settle at home according to my father's desire. But,
alas' a few days wore it all off; and, in short, to prevent any of
my father's further importunities, in a few weeks after I resolved
to run quite away from him. However, I did not act so hastily
neither as my first heat of resolution prompted; but I took my
mother, at a time when I thought her a little pleasanter than
ordinary, and told her that my thoughts were so entirely bent
upon seeing the world, that I should never settle to anything with
resolution enough to go through with it, and my father had better
give me his consent than force me to go without it; that I was
now eighteen years old, which was too late to go apprentice to a
trade, or clerk to an attorney; that I was sure if I did, I should
never serve out my time, and I should certainly run away from
my master before my time was out, and go to sea; and if she
would speak to my father to let me go but one voyage abroad, if
I came home again and did not like it, I would go no more, and I
would promise by a double diligence to recover that time I had
This put my mother into a great passion. She told me she
knew it would be to no purpose to speak to my father upon any
such subject; that he knew too well what was my interest to give
his consent to anything so much for my hurt, and that she
wondered how I could think of any such thing, after-such a
CRUSOE GOES TO SEA.
discourse as I had had with my father, and such kind and tender
expressions as she knew my father had used to me; and that, in
short, if I would ruin myself, there was no help for me; but I
might depend I should never have their consent to it. That, for
her part, she would not have so much hand in my destruction;
and I should never have it to say that my mother was willing
when my father was not.
Though my mother refused to move it to my father, yet, as I
have heard afterwards, she reported all the discourse to him, and
that my father, after showing a great concern at it, said to her
with a sigh,-" That boy might be happy if he would stay at
home; but if he goes abroad he will be the miserablest wretch
that was ever born. I can give no consent to it."
It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose,
though in the meantime I continued obstinately deaf to all pro-
posals of settling to business, and frequently expostulating with
my father and mother about their being so positively determined
against what they knew my inclinations prompted me to. But
being one day at Hull, where I went casually, and without any
purpose of making an elopement that time; but, I say, being
there, and one of my companions being going by sea to London
in his father's ship, and prompting me to go with them, with the
common allurement of seafaring men-namely, that it should cost
me nothing for my passage-I consulted neither father nor mother
any more, nor so much as sent them word of it; but leaving them
to hear of it as they might, without asking God's blessing, or my
father's; without any consideration of circumstances or conse-
quences, and in an ill hour, God knows, on the 1st of September
1651, I went on board a ship bound for London. Never any young
adventurer's misfortunes, I believe, began sooner, or continued
longer than mine. The ship was no sooner gotten out of the
Humber but the wind began to blow, and the waves to rise in a
most frightful manner; and, as I had never been at sea before, I
was most inexpressibly sick in body, and terrified in my mind. I
began now seriously to reflect upon what I had done, and how
justly I was overtaken by the judgment of Heaven for my wicked
leaving my father's house, and abandoning my duty; all the good
SICK IN MIND AND BODY.
I WAS MOST [NEXPRIESSIBLY SICK IN BODY."
counsel of my parents, my father's tears and my mother's entrea-
ties, came now fresh into my mind; and my conscience, which
was not yet come to the pitch of hardness to which it has been
since, reproached me with the contempt of advice, and the breach
of my duty to God and my father.
All this while the storm increased, and the sea, which I had
.never been upon before, went very high, though nothing like
58 A CAPFUL OF WIND.
what I have seen many times since; no, nor like what I saw
a few days after. But it was enough to affect me then, who
was but a young sailor, and had never known anything of the
matter. I expected every wave would have swallowed us up, and
that every time the ship fell down, as I thought, in the trough or
hollow of the sea, we should never rise more; and in this agony
of mind I made many vows and resolutions, that if it would please
God here to spare my life this one voyage, if ever I got once my
foot upon dry land again, I would go directly home to my father,
and never set it into a ship again while I lived; that I would
take his advice, and never run myself into such miseries as these
any more. Now I saw plainly the goodness of his observations
about the middle station of life; how easy, how comfortably he
had lived all his days, and never had been exposed to tempests at
sea, or troubles on shore; and I resolved that I would, like a true
repenting prodigal, go home to my father.
These wise and sober thoughts continued all the while the
storm continued, and indeed some time after; but the next day
the wind was abated and the sea calmer, and I began to be a little
inured to it. However, I was very grave for all that day, being
also a little sea-sick still; but towards night the weather cleared
up, the wind was quite over, and a charming fine evening followed;
the sun went down perfectly clear, and rose so the next morning;
and having little or no wind, and a smooth sea, the sun shining
upon it, the sight was, as I thought, the most delightful that ever
I had slept well in the night, and was now no more sea-sick
but very cheerful, looking with wonder upon the sea that was so
rough and terrible the day before, and could be so calm and so
pleasant in so little time after. And now, lest my good resolutions
should continue, my companion, who had indeed enticed me away,
comes to me,-" Well, Bob," says he, clapping me on the shoulder,
"how do you do after it ? I warrant you were frightened, wa'n't
you, last night, when it blew but a capful of wind ? "-" A capful,
d'you call it? said I; 'twas a terrible storm."-" A storm, you
fool you," replies he; do you call that a storm ? Why, it was
nothing at all! Give us but a good ship and sea-room, and we
HASTY VOWS SOON REPENTED.
think nothing of such a squall of wind as that. But you're but a
fresh-water sailor, Bob. Come, let us make a bowl of punch, and
we'll forget all that. D'ye see what charming weather 'tis now ?"
To make short this sad part of my story, we went the old way of
all sailors. The punch was made, and I was made drunk with it.
THE PUNCH WAS MADE, AND I WAS MADE DRUNK WITH IT."
And in that one night's wickedness I drowned all my repentance,
all my reflections upon my past conduct, and all my resolutions
for my future. In a word, as the sea was returned to its smooth-
ness of surface and settled calmness by the abatement of that
storm, so--the hurry of my thoughts being over, my fears and
apprehensions of being swallowed up by the sea being forgotten,
and the current of my former desires returned-1 entirely forgot
the vows and promises that I made in my distress. I found,
indeed, some intervals of reflection, and the serious thoughts did,
as it were, endeavour to return again sometimes; but I shook
A GREAT STORM ARISES.
them off, and roused myself from them as it were from a distemper,
and applying myself to drink and company, soon mastered the
return of those fits-for so I called them-and I had in five or six
days got as complete a victory over conscience as any young fellow,
that resolved not to be troubled with it, could desire. But I was
to have another trial for it still; and Providence, as in such cases
generally it does, resolved to leave me entirely without excuse.
For if I would not take this for a deliverance, the next was to be
such a one as the worst and most hardened wretch among us would
confess both the danger and the mercy.
The sixth day of our being at sea we came into Yarmouth Roads;
the wind having been contrary and the weather calm, we had
made but little way since the storm. Here we were obliged to
come to an anchor, and here we lay, the wind continuing contrary-
namely, at south-west-for seven or eight days, during which time
a great many ships from Newcastle came into the same roads, as
the common harbour where the ships might wait for a wind for
We had not, however, rid here so long, but should have tided it
up the river, but that the wind blew too fresh; and after we had
lain four or five days, blew very hard. However, the roads being
reckoned as good as a harbour, the anchorage good, and our
ground-tackle very strong, our men were unconcerned, and not in
the least apprehensive of danger, but spent the time in rest and
mirth, after the manner of the sea; but the eighth day, in the
morning, the wind increased, and we had all hands at work to
strike our top-masts, and make everything snug and close, that
the ship might ride as easy as possible. By noon the sea went
very high indeed, and our ship rode forecastle in, shipped several
seas, and we thought once or twice our anchor had come home,
upon which our master ordered out the sheet-anchor; so that we
rode with two anchors a-head, and the cables veered out to the
By this time it blew a terrible storm indeed, and now I began
to see terror and amazement in the faces even of the seamen
themselves. The master, though vigilant to the business of pre-
serving the ship, yet, as he went in and out of his cabin by me,
A YOUNG SAILOR'S DISTRESS.
I could hear him softly to himself say several times, "Lord be
merciful to us; we shall be all lost, we shall be all undone," and
the like. During these first hurries I was stupid, lying still in my
cabin, which was in the steerage, and cannot describe my temper.
I could ill re-assume the first penitence, which I had so apparently
trampled upon and hardened myself against. I thought the
bitterness of death had been past, and that this would be nothing,
too, like the first. But when the master himself came by me, as
I said just now, and said we should be all lost, I was dreadfully
frighted. I got up out of my cabin and looked out; but such a
dismal sight I never saw. The sea went mountains high, and
broke upon us every three or four minutes. When I could look
about, I could see nothing but distress round us. Two ships that
rode near us we found had cut their masts by the board, being
deeply laden; and our men cried out that a ship which rode about
a mile a-head of us was foundered. Two more ships being driven
from their anchors, were run out of the roads to sea at all adven-
tures, and that with not a mast standing. The light ships fared
the best, as not so much labouring in the sea; but two or three of
them drove, and came close by us, running away with only their
sprit-sail out before the wind.
Towards evening the mate and boatswain begged the master of
our ship to let them cut away the foremast, which he was. very
unwilling to; but the boatswain protesting to him that if he did
not the ship would founder, he consented; and when they had cut
away the foremast, the main-mast stood so loose and shook the
ship so much, they were obliged to cut her away also, and make a
Any one may judge what a condition I must be in at all this,
who was but a young sailor, and who had been in such a fright
before at but a little. But if I can express at this distance the
thoughts I had about me at that time, I was in tenfold more
horror of mind upon account of my former convictions, and the
having returned from them to the resolutions I had wickedly taken
at first, than I was at death itself; and these, added to the terror
of the storm, put me into such a condition that I can by no words
describe it. But the worst was not come yet. The storm con-
ALL HANDS TO THE PUMP.
tinued with such fury, that the seamen themselves acknowledged
they had never known a worse. We had a good ship; but she
was deep laden, and wallowed in the sea, that the seamen every
now and then cried out she would founder. It was my advantage
in one respect that I did not know what they meant by founder
till I inquired. However, the storm was so violent, that I saw
what is not often seen-the master, the boatswain, and some
others more sensible than the rest, at their prayers, and expecting
every moment when the ship would go to the bottom. In the
middle of the night, and under all the rest of our distresses, one of
the men that had been down on purpose to see, cried out we had
sprung a leak; another said there was four foot water in the hold.
Then all hands were called to the pump. At that very word
my heart, as I thought, died within me, and I fell backwards upon
the side of my bed where I sat, into the cabin. However, the men
roused me, and told me that I that was able to do nothing before
was as well able to pump as another, at which I stirred up and
went to the pump, and worked very heartily. While this was
doing, the master, seeing some light colliers, who, not able to ride
out the storm, were obliged to slip and run away to sea, and would
come near us, ordered to fire a gun as a signal of distress. I, who
knew nothing what that meant, was so surprised, that I thought
the ship had broke, or some dreadful thing had happened. In a
word, I was so surprised, that I fell down in a swoon. As this
was a time when everybody had his own life to think of, nobody
minded me, or what was become of me; but another man stepped
up to the pump, and thrusting me aside with his foot, let me lie,
thinking I had been dead; and it was a great while before I came
We worked on; but the water increasing in the hold, it was
apparent that the ship would founder; and though the storm
began to abate a little, yet, as it was not possible she could swim
till we might run into a port, so the master continued firing guns
for help, and a light ship, who had rode it out just ahead of us,
ventured a boat out to help us. It was with the utmost hazard
the boat came near us; but it was impossible for us to get on
board, or for the boat to lie near the ship's side, till at last, the men
SAFE ON SHORE.
rowing very heartily, and venturing their lives to save ours, our
men cast them a rope over the stern with a buoy to it, and then
veered it out a great length, which they, after great labour and
hazard, took hold of, and we hauled them close under our stern,
and got all into their boat. It was to no purpose for them or us
after we were in the boat to think of reaching to their own ship,
so all agreed to let her drive, and only to pull her in towards shore
as much as we could; and our master promised them, that if the
boat was staved upon shore, he would make it good to their
master; so, partly rowing and partly driving, our boat went away
to the northward, sloping towards the shore almost as far as
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of our
ship when we saw her sink, and then I understood for the first time
what was meant by a ship foundering in the sea. I must acknow-
ledge I had hardly eyes to look up when the seamen'told me she
was sinking; for from that moment they rather put me into the
boat than that I might be said to go in. My heart was, as it
were, dead within me, partly with fright, partly with hoiror of
mind and the thoughts of what was yet before me.
While we were in this condition, the men yet labouring at the
oar to bring the boat near the shore, we could see, when our bo,
mounting the waves, we were able to see the shore, a great many
people running along the shore to assist us when we should come
near; but we made but slow way towards the shore, nor were we
able to reach the shore, till, being past the lighthouse at Winter-
ton, the shore falls off to the westward towards Cromer, and so the
land broke off a little the violence of the wind. Here we got in,
and though not without much difficulty, got all safe on shore, and
walked afterwards on foot to Yarmouth, where, as unfortunate
men, we were used with great humanity, as well by the magistrates
of the town, who assigned us good quarters, as by particular
merchants and owners of ships, and had money given us sufficient
to carry us either to London or back to Hull, as we thought fit.
Had I now had the sense to have gone back to Hull, and Have
gone home, I had been happy, and my father, an emblem of our
blessed Saviour's parable, had even killed the fatted calf for me;
CRUSOE LOOKED UPON AS A JONAH.
for, hearing the ship I went away in was cast away in Yarmouth
Roads, it was a great while before he had any assurance that I was
But my ill fate pushed me on now with an obstinacy that
nothing could resist; and though I had several times loud calls
from my reason and my more composed judgment to go home,
yet I had no power to do it. I know not what to call this, nor
will I urge that it is a secret over-ruling decree that hurries us on
to be the instruments of our own destruction, even though it be
before us, and that we rush upon it with our eyes open. Certainly
nothing but some such decreed unavoidable misery attending, and
which it was impossible for me to escape, could have pushed me
forward against the calm reasoning and persuasions of my most
retired thoughts, and against two such visible instructions as I
had met with in my first attempt.
My comrade, who had helped to harden me before, and who was
the master's son, was now less forward than I. The first time he
spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth, which was not till two or
three days, for we were separated in the town to several quarters;
I say, the first time he saw me, it appeared his tone was altered,
and looking very melancholy, and shaking his head, asked me how
I did, and telling his father who I was, and how I had come this
voyage only for a trial, in order to go further abroad. His father,
turning to me with a very grave and concerned tone, Young
man," says he, you ought never to go to sea any more; you
ought to take this for a plain and visible token that you are not to
be a seafaring man."-" Why, sir," said I; will you go to sea no
more ?"-" That is another case," said he. It is my calling, and
therefore my duty; but as you made this voyage for a trial, you
see what a taste Heaven has given you of what you are to expect
if you persist. Perhaps this is all befallen us on your account,
like Jonah in the ship of Tarshish. Pray," continues he, what
are you? and on what account did you go to sea ?" Upon that I
told him some of my story, at the end of which he burst out with
a strange kind of passion, What had I done," says he, "that
such an unhappy wretch should come into my ship ? I would not
set my foot in the same ship with thee again for a thousand
RELUCTANCE TO GO HOME.
pounds." This, indeed, was, as I said, an excursion of his spirits,
which were yet agitated by the sense of his loss, and was further
than he could have authority to go. However, he afterwards
talked very gravely to me; exhorted me to go back to my father,
and not tempt Providence to my ruin; told me I might see a
visible hand of Heaven against me; And, young man," said he,
" depend upon it, if you do not go back, wherever you go you will
meet with nothing but disasters and disappointments, till your
father's words are fulfilled upon you."
We parted soon after, for I made him little answer, and I saw
him no more. Which way he went, I know not. As for me,
having some money in my pocket, I travelled to London by land;
and there, as well as on the road, had many struggles with myself
-what course of life I should take, and whether I should go
home or go to sea.
As to going home, shame opposed the best motions that offered
to my thoughts; and it immediately occurred to me how I should
be laughed at among the neighbours, and should be ashamed to
see, not my father and mother only, but even everybody else, from
whence I have since often observed how incongruous and irrational
the common temper of mankind is, especially of youth, to that
reason which ought to guide them in such cases-namely, that they
are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent:; not
ashamed of the action for which they ought justly to be esteemed
fools, but are ashamed of the returning, which only can make them
be esteemed wise men.
In this state of life, however, I remained some time, uncertain
what measures to take and what course of life to lead. An irre-
sistible reluctance continued to going home; and as I stayed a
while, the remembrance of the distress I had been in wore off;
and as that abated, the little motion I had in my desires to a
return wore off with it, till at last I quite laid aside the thoughts
of it, and looked out for a voyage.'
That evil influence which carried me first away from my father's l.
house, that hurried me into the wild and indigested notion of
raising my fortune, and that impressed those conceits so forcibly
upon me, as to make me deaf to all good advice, and to theo
A VOYAGE TO GUINEA.
entreaties and even command of my father-I say, the same in-
fluence, whatever it was, presented the most unfortunate of all enter-
prises to my view, and I went on board a vessel bound to the coast
of Africa, or, as our sailors vulgarly call it, a voyage to Guinea.
It was my great misfortune that in all these adventures I did
not ship myself as a sailor, whereby, though I might indeed have
worked a little harder than ordinary, yet at the same time I had
learned the duty and office of a fore-mast man, and in time might
have qualified myself for a mate or lieutenant, if not for a master.
But as it was always my fate to choose for the worse, so I did
here; for, having money in my pocket, and good clothes upon my
back, I would always go on board in the habit of a gentleman. And
so I neither had any business in the ship, or learned to do any.
It was my lot first of all to fall into pretty good company in
London, which does not always happen to such loose and misguided
young fellows as I then was, the devil generally not omitting to
lay some snare for them very early. But it was not so with me.
I first fell acquainted with the master of a ship who had been on
the coast of Guinea; and who, having had very good success there,
was resolved to go again; and who, taking a fancy to my conver-
sation, which was not at all disagreeable at that time, hearing me
say I had a mind to see the world, told me if I would go the
voyage with him I should be at no expense; I should be his mess-
mate and his companion; and if I could carry anything with me,
I should have all the advantage of it that the trade would admit,
and perhaps I might meet with some encouragement.
I embraced the offer, and, entering into a strict friendship with
this captain, who was an honest and plain-dealing man, I went the
voyage with him, and carried a small adventure with me, which,
by the disinterested honesty of my friend the captain, I increased
very considerably; for I carried about 40 in such toys and trifles
as the captain directed me to buy. This 40 I had mustered
together by the assistance of soine of my relations whom I corre-
sponded with, and who, I believe, got my father, or at least my
mother, to contribute so much as that to my first adventure.
This was the only voyage which I may say was successful in all
my adventures, and which I owe to the integrity and honesty of
. ATTACKED BY A TURKISH PIRATE.
my friend the captain, under whom also I got a competent
knowledge of the mathematics and the rules of navigation, learned
how to keep an account of the ship's course, take an observation,
and, in short,'to understand some things that were needful to be
understood by a sailor. For, as he took delight to introduce me,
I took delight to learn; and, in a word, this voyage made me both
a sailor and a merchant; for I brought home five pounds nine
ounces of gold dust for my adventure, which yielded me in London
at my return almost 300, and this filled me with those aspiring
thoughts which have since so completed my ruin.
Yet even in this voyage I had my misfortunes too, particularly
that I was continually sick, being thrown into a violent calenture
by the excessive heat of the climate, our principal trading being
upon the coast, from the latitude of fifteen degrees north even to
the line itself.
I was now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to my
great misfortune, dying soon after his arrival, I resolved to go the
same voyage again, and I embarked in the same vessel with one
who was his mate in the fornier voyage, and had now got the
command of the ship. This was the unhappiest voyage that ever
man made; for though I did not carry quite 100 of my new
gained wealth, so that I had 200 left, and which I lodged with
my friend's widow, who was very just to me, yet I fell into
terrible misfortunes in this voyage; and the first was this-namely,
our ship making her course towards the Canary Islands, or rather
between those islands and the African shore, was surprised i ie
gray of the morning by a Turkish rover of Sallee, who gave
to us with all the sail she could make. We crowded also as
canvas as our yards would spread or our masts carry to havy*
clear; but finding the pirate gained upon us, and would certainly
come up with us in a few hours, we prepared to fight, our ship
having twelve guns and the rogue eighteen. About three in the
afternoon he came up with us, and bringing to by mistake just
athwart our quarter, instead of athwart our stern, as he intended,
we brought eight of our guns to bear on that side, and poured in
a broadside upon him, which made him sheer off again, after
returning our fire and pouring in also his small shot from near
A GALLANT DEFENCE.
two hundred men which he had on board. However, we had not
a man touched, all our men keeping close. He prepared to attack
us again, and we to defend ourselves; but laying us on board the
next time upon our other quarter, he entered sixty men upon our
a I K I L'' F
deck wh,, imnme-liatly f .11 t.. .
cutting and h.l~it the J'< -
and rigging. We plied them
with small-shot, half-pikes, powder-chests, and such like, and
cleared our deck of them twice. However, to cut short this
melancholy part of our story, our ship being disabled, and three
of our men killed and eight wounded, we were obliged to yield,
CRUSOE AS A SLAVE.
and were carried all prisoners into Sallee, a port belonging to the
The usage I had there was not so dreadful as at first I appre-
hended, nor was I carried up the country to the Emperor's court,
as the rest of our men were, but was kept by the captain of the
rover as his proper prize, and made his slave, being young and
nimble, and fit for his business. At this surprising change of my
circumstances, from a merchant to a miserable slave, I was perfectly
overwhelmed; and now I looked back upon my father's prophetic
discourse to me, that I should be miserable, and have none to
relieve me, which I thought was now so effectually brought to
pass, that it could not be worse; that now the hand of Heaven
had overtaken me, and I was undone without redemption. But,
alas! this was but a taste of the misery I was to go through, as
will appear in the sequel of this story.
As my new patron or master had taken me home to his house,
so I was in hopes that he would take me with him when he went
to sea again, believing that it would some time or other be his
fate to be taken by a Spanish or Portugal man-of-war; and t4t
then I should be set at liberty. But this hope of mine was scon
taken away; for when he went to sea he left me on shore to -look
after his little garden, and do the common drudgery of slaves
about his house; and when he came home again from his cruise,
he ordered me to lie in the cabin to look after the ship.
Here I meditated nothing but my escape, and what method I
might take to effect it, but found no way that had the least pro-
bability in it. Nothing presented to make the supposition of it
rational; for I had nobody to communicate it to that-would
embark with me, no fellow-slave, no Englishman, Irishman, of
Scotsman there but myself; so that for two years, though I often
pleased myself with the imagination, yet I never had the least
encouraging prospect of putting it in practice.
After about two years an odd circumstance presented itself,
which put the old thought of making some attempt for my liberty
again in my head. My patron lying at home longer than usual
without fitting out his ship, which, as I heard, was for want of
money, he used constantly, once or twice a-week, sometimes
oftener, if the weather was fair, to take the ship's pinnace, and go
out into the road a-fishing; and as he always took me and a young
Maresco with him to row the boat, we made him very merry, and
I proved very dexterous in catching fish, insomuch that some-
",HE ALWAYS TOOK ME AND A YOUNG MARESCO TO ROW THE BOAT."
times he would send me with a Moor, one of his kinsmen, and the
youth-the Maresco, as they called him-to catch a dish of fish for
It happened one time. that going a-fishing in a stark calm
morning, a fog rose so thick, that though we were not half a
league from the shore we lost sight of it; and rowing we knew
not whither or which way, we laboured all day and all the next
night, and when the morning came we found we had pulled off
to sea instead of pulling in for the shore; and that we were at
least two leagues from the shore. However, we got well in
again, though with a great deal of labour and some danger; for
the wind began to blow pretty fresh in the morning: but particu-
larly we were all very hungry.
But our patron, warned by this disaster, resolved to take more
care of himself for the future; and having lying by him the long-
boat of our English ship which he had taken, he resolved he would
not go a-fishing any more without a compass and some provision.
So he ordered the carpenter of his ship, who also was an English
slave, to build a little state-room or cabin in the middle of the
A PLAN OF ESCAPE.
longboat, like that of a barge, with a place to stand behind it to
steer and haul home the main-sheet; and room before for a hand
or two to stand and work the sails. She sailed with what we call
a shoulder-of-mutton sail; and the boom gibed over the top of the
cabin, which lay very snug and low, and had in it room for hini
to lie, with a slave or two; and a table to eat on, with some small
lockers to put in some bottles of such liquor as he thought fit to
drink; particularly his bread, rice, and coffee.
We went frequently out with this boat a-fishing. And as I was
most dexterous to catch fish for him, he never went without me.
It happened that he had appointed to go out in this boat, either
for pleasure or for fish, with two or three Moors of some distinction
in that place, and for whom he had provided extraordinarily, and
had therefore sent on board the boat overnight a larger store of
provisions than ordinary; and had ordered me to get ready three
fuzees with powder and shot, which were on board his ship, for
that they designed some sport of fowling as well as fishing.
I got all things ready as he had directed, and waited the next
morning with the boat washed clean, her ancient and pendants
out, and everything to accommodate his guests. When by-and-by
my patron came on board alone, and told me his guests had put
off going, upon some business that fell out, and ordered me with
the man and boy as usual to go out with the boat and catch them
some fish, for that his friends were to sup at his house; and com-
manded that as soon as I had got some fish, I should bring it home
to his house; all which I prepared to do.
This moment my former notions of deliverance darted into
my thoughts, for now I found I was like to have a little ship at
my command; and my master being gone, I prepared to furnish
myself, not for a fishing business, but for a voyage; though I
knew not, neither did I so much as consider, whither I should
steer; for anywhere to get out of that place was my way.
My first contrivance was to make a pretence to speak'to this
Moor, to get something for our subsistence on board; for I told
him we must not presume to eat of our patron's bread. He said
that was true; so he brought a large basket of rusk or biscuit of
their kind, and three jars with fresh water into the boat. I knew
CRUSOE AND MOELY.
where my patron's case of bottles stood, which it was evident by
the make were taken out of some English prize, and I conveyed
them into the boat while the Moor was on shore, as if they had
been there before for our master. I conveyed also a great lump
of bees'-wax into the boat, which weighed above half a hundred-
weight, with a parcel of twine or thread, a hatchet, a saw, and a
hammer, all which were of great use to us afterwards, especially
the wax to make candles. Another trick I tried upon him, which
he innocently came into also. His name was Ismael, who they call
Muly or Moely; so I called to him-" Moely," said I, our patron's
guns are on board the boat; can you not get a little powder and
shot? It may be we may kill some alcamies (a fowl like our curlews)
for ourselves, for I know he keeps the gunner's stores in the ship."
" Yes," says he, I'll bring some." And accordingly he brought a
great leather pouch, which held about a pound and a half of powder,
or rather more, and another with shot, that had five or six pounds,
with some bullets, and put all into the boat. At the same time, I
had found some powder of my master's in the great cabin, with
which I filled one of the large bottles in the case, which was
almost empty, pouring what was in it into another; and thus
furnished with everything needful, we sailed out of the port to
fish. The castle, which is at the entrance of the port, knew who
we were, and took no notice of us; and we were not above a mile
out of the port before we hauled in our sail, and set us down to
fish. The wind blew from the north-north-east, which was con-
trary to my desire; for had it blown southerly, I had been sure
to have made the coast of Spain, and at least reached to the Bay
of Cadiz; but my resolutions were, blow which way it would, I
would be gone from the horrid place where I was, and leave the
rest to fate.
After we had fished some time and caught nothing-for when
I had fish on my hook, I would not pull them up, that he might
not see them-I said to the Moor, This will not do; our master
will not be thus served; we must stand further off." He, thinking
no harm, agreed; and being in the head of the boat, set the sails:
and as I had the helm, I ran the boat out near a league further,
and then brought her to, as if I would fish; when, giving the
THE MOOR OVERBOARD.
boy the helm, I stepped forward to where the Moor was, and
making as if I stooped for something behind him, I took him by
surprise with my arm under his twist, and tossed him clear over-
board into the sea. He rose immediately, for he swam like a cork,
and called to me, begged to be taken in; told me he would go all
the world over with me. He swam so strong after the boat that
he would have reached me very quickly, there being but little
wind; upon which I stepped into the cabin, and fetching one of
the fowling-pieces, I presented it at him, and told him I had done
him no hurt, and if he would be quiet I would do him none. But,"
said I, "you swim well enough to reach to the shore, and the sea
is calm; make the best of
your way to shore, and I will
do you no harm, but if you
come near the boat I'll shoot
you through the head; for I
am resolved to have my
liberty." So he turned him-
m self about and swam for the
HE TURNED HIMSELF ABOUT AND SWANM FO THE 8HORBE
shore; and I make no doubt but he reached it with ease, for he
was an excellent swimmer.
I could have been content to have taken this Moor with me
and have drowned the boy, but there was no venturing to trust
him. When he was gone I turned to the boy, who they called
MAKING FOR THE COAST.
Xury, and said to him, Xury, if you will be faithful to me, I'll
make you a great man; but if you will not stroke your face to be
true to me-that is, swear by Mahomet and his father's beard-I
must throw you into the sea too." The boy smiled in my face, and
spoke so innocently, that I could not mistrust him; and swore to
be faithful to me, and go all over the world with me.
While I was in view of the Moor that was swimming, I stood
out directly to sea with the boat, rather stretching to windward,
that they might think me gone towards the strait's mouth (as in-
deed any one that had been in their wits must have been supposed
to do); for who would have supposed we were sailed on to the
southward, to the truly barbarian coast, where-whole nations of
negroes were sure to surround us with their canoes, and destroy
us; where we could never once go on shore but we should be
devoured by savage beasts, or more merciless savages of human
But as soon as it grew dusk in the evening I changed my
course, and steered directly south and by east, bending my course
a little toward the east, that I might keep in with the shore;
and having a fair fresh gale of wind and a smooth, quiet sea, I
made such sail that I believe by the next day at three o'clock
in the afternoon, when I first made the land, I could not be less
than 150 miles south of Sallee; quite beyond the Emperor of
Morocco's dominions, or, indeed, of any other king thereabouts, for
we saw no people.
Yet such was the fright I had taken at the Moors, and the
dreadful apprehensions I had of falling into their hands, that I
would not stop, or go on shore, or come to an anchor, the wind
continuing fair, till I had sailed in that manner five days; and
then the wind shifting to the southward, I concluded also that if
any of our vessels were in chase of me, they also would now give over.
So I ventured to make to the coast, and came to an anchor in the
mouth of a little river, I knew not what, or where; neither what
latitude, what country, what nation, or what river. I neither saw,
nor desired to see, any people; the principal thing I wanted was
fresh water. We came into this creek in the evening, resolving
to swim on shore as soon as it was dark, and discover the country;
MONSTERS OF THE DEEP.
but as soon as it was'quite dark we heard such dreadful noises of
the barking, roaring, and howling of wild creatures, of we knew
not what kinds, that the -poor boy was ready to die with fear,
and begged of me not to go on shore till day. Well, Xury," said I,
" then I won't; but it may be we may see men by day, who will be
as bad to us as those lions."- Then we give them the shoot gun,"
says Xury, laughing; make them run way." Such English Xury
spoke by conversing among us slaves. However, I was glad to
see the boy so cheerful, and I gave him a dram (out of our patron's
case of bottles) to cheer him up. After all, Xury's advice was
good, and I took it. We dropped our little anchor, and lay still
all night-I say still, for we slept none-for in two or three hours
we saw vast great creatures (we knew not what to call them) of
many sorts come down to the sea-shore, and run into the water,
wallowing and washing themselves for the pleasure of cooling
themselves; and they made such hideous howlings and yelling,
that I never indeed heard the like.
Xury was dreadfully frightened, and indeed so was I too. But
we were both more frightened when we heard one of these mighty
creatures come swimming towards our boat. We could not see
him, but we might hear him by his blowing to be a monstrous,
huge, and furious beast. Xury said it was a lion, and it might be
so for aught I know; but poor Xury cried to me to weigh the
anchor, and row away. No," says I; "Xury, we can slip our
cable with the buoy to it, and go off to sea. They cannot follow
us far." I had no sooner said so but I perceived the creature
(whatever it was) within two oars' length, which something sur-
prised me. However, I immediately stepped to the cabin-door,
and taking up my gun, fired at him, upon which he immediately
turned about, and swam towards the shore again.
But it is impossible to describe the horrible noises, and hideous
cries and howlings, that were raised as well upon the edge of the
shore as higher within the country, upon the noise or report of
the gun-a thing I have some reason to believe those creatures
had never heard before. This convinced me that there was no
going on shore for us in the night upon that coast; and how to'
venture on shore in the day was another question too, for to have
CRUSOE AND XURY ASHORE.
fallen into the hands of any of the savages had been as bad as to
have fallen into the hands of lions and tigers; at least we were
equally apprehensive of the danger of it.
'TAKING UP MY GUN, I FIRED AT HIM."
Be that as it would, we were obliged to go on shore somewhere
or other for water, for we had not a pint left in the boat. When
or where to get it was the point. Xury said, if I would let him
go on shore with one of the jars, he would find if there was any
water, and bring some to me. I asked him why he would go-
why I should not go and he stay in the boat ? The boy answered
with so much affection that made me love him ever after. Says
he, If wild mans come, they eat me; you go way." Well,
Xury," said I, we will both go; and if the wild mans come, we
will kill them. They shall eat neither of us." So I gave Xury
a piece of rusk-bread to eat, and a dram out of our patron's case
of bottles which I mentioned before; and we hauled in the boat
as near the shore as we thought was proper, and so waded on shore,
carrying nothing but our arms and two jars for water.
I did not care to go out of sight of the boat, fearing the coming
of canoes with savages down the river; but the boy seeing a low
place about a mile up the country, rambled to it; and by-and-by I
saw him come running towards me. I thought he was pursued by
some savage, or frightened with some wild beast, and I ran forward
towards him to help him; but when I came nearer to him, I saw
something hanging over his shoulders-which was a creature that
A COASTING VOYAGE.
he had shot, like a hare, but different in colour and longer legs.
However, we were very glad of it, and it was very good meat; but
the great joy that poor Xury came with, was to tell me he had
found good water and seen no wild men.
But we found afterwards that we need not take such pains for
water, for a little higher up the creek where we were, we found the
water fresh when the tide was out, which flowed but a little way
up. So we filled our jars, and feasted on the hare we had killed,
and prepared to go on our way, having seen no footsteps of any
human creature in that part of the country.
As I had been one voyage to this coast before, I knew very well
that the islands of the Canaries, and the Cape de Verd islands also,
lay not far off from the coast. But as I had no instruments to take
an observation to know what latitude we were in, and did not
exactly know, or at least remember, what latitude they were in,
I knew not where to look for them, or when to stand off to sea
towards them; otherwise I might now easily have found some of
these islands. But my hope was, that if I stood along this coast
till I came to that part where the English traded, I should find
some of their vessels upon their usual design of trade, that would
relieve and take us in.
By the best of my calculation, that place where I now was must
be that country which, lying between the Emperor of Morocco's
dominions and the negroes, lies waste and uninhabited, except by
wild beasts-the negroes having abandoned it and gone further
south, for fear of the Moors; and the Moors not thinking it worth
inhabiting, by reason of its barrenness. And, indeed, both forsaking
it because of the prodigious number of tigers, lions, leopards, and
other furious creatures which harbour there; so that the Moors
use it for their hunting only, where they go "like an army, two or
three thousand men at a time. And, indeed, for near a hundred
miles together upon this coast, we saw nothing but a waste unin-
habited country by day, and heard nothing but howlings and roar-
-ing of wild beasts by night.
Once or twice in the day-time, I thought I saw the Pico of
Teneriffe, being the high top of the mountain of Teneriffe in the
Canaries; and had a great mind to venture out in hopes"of reach-
ADVENTURE WITH A LION.
ing thither; but having tried twice, I was forced in again by con-
trary winds, the sea also going too high for my little vessel, so I
resolved to pursue my first design and keep along the shore.
Several times I was obliged to land for fresh water after we had
left this place; and once in particular, being early in the morning,
we came to an anchor under a little point of land which was pretty
high, and the
tide beginning to
flow, we lay still
to go further in.
Xury, whose eyes
were more about
that hillock t he im than it seems
Sine were, calls
So t si o t s u t s softly to me, ant
hl, tt h g as it we a le or him. tellX sas me that we
------ -- .. had best go
WE CAME TO AN ANCHOR UNDER A LITTLE POINT OF LAND." further off the
says he, "look, yonder lies a dreadful monster on the side of
that hillock fast asleep." I looked where he pointed, and saw
a dreadful monster indeed; for it was a terrible great lion that
lay on the side of the shore, under the shade of a piece of the
hill, that hung as it were a little over him. Xury," says I, "you
shall go on shore and kill him." Xury looked frightened, and said,
" Me kill! he eat me at one mouth "-one mouthful, he meant.
However, I said no more to the boy, but bade him lie still; and I
took our biggest gun, which was almost musket-bore, and loaded
it with a good charge of powder and with two slugs, and laid it
down; then I loaded another gun with two bullets; and the third
-for we had three pieces-I loaded with five smaller bullets. I
took the best aim I could with the first piece to have shot him
into the head, but he lay so with his leg raised a little above his
nose, that the slugs hit his leg about the knee, and broke the bone.
Hie started up, growling at first; but finding his leg broke, fell
down again; and then got up upon three legs, and gave the most
hideous roar that ever I heard. I was a little surprised that I had
BEATING TO THE SOUTHWARD.
not hit him on the head. However, I took up the second piece
immediately; and though he began to move off, fired again, and
shot him into the head, and had the pleasure to see him drop, and
make but little noise, but lie struggling for life. Then Xury took
heart, and would have me let him go on shore. Well, go," said I.
So the boy jumped into the water, and taking a little gun in one
hand, swam to shore with the other hand, and coming close to the
creature, put the muzzle of the piece to his ear, and shot him into
the head again, which despatched him quite.
This was game indeed to us, but this was no food; and I was
very sorry to lose three charges of powder and shotupon a creature
that was good for nothing to us. However, Xury said he would
have some of him; so he comes on board, and asked me to give him
the hatchet. "For what, Xury ? said I. "Me cut off his head,"
said he. However, Xury could not cut off his head; but he cut off
a foot and brought it with him-and it was a monstrous great one.
I bethought myself, however, that perhaps the skin of him might
one way or other lie of some value to us; and I resolved to take
off his skin if I could. So Xury and I went to work with him;
but Xury was much the better workman at it-for I knew very ill
how to do it. Indeed, it took us up both the whole day; but at
last we got off the hide of him, and spreading it on the top of our
cabin, the sun effectually dried it in two days' time, and it after-
wards served me to lie upon.
After this stop we made on to the southward continually for ten
or twelve days, living very sparing on our provisions, which began
to abate very much, and going no oftener into the shore than we
were obliged to for fresh water.. My design in this was to make
the river Gambia or Senegal-that is to say, anywhere about the
Cape de Verd, where I was in hop to meet with some European
ship; and if r did not, I knew not what course I had to take, but
to seek out for the islands or perish there among the negroes.
I knew that all the ships from Europe-which sailed either to the
coast of Guinea, or to Brazil, or to the East Indies-made this
cape or those islands-; and in a word, I put the whole of my fortune
upon this singleipeint, either that I must meet with some ship or
CRUSOE AWD THE SAVAGES.
When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer, as I
have said, I began to see that the land was inhabited; and in two
or three places, as we sailed by, we saw people stand upon the
shore to look at us. We could also perceive they were quite black
and stark naked. I was once inclined to have gone on shore to
them. But Xury was my better counsellor, and said to me, "No
go, no go." However, I hauled in nearer the shore that I might
talk to them, and I found they ran along the shore by me a good
way. I observed they had no weapons in their hands-except
one, who had a long slender stick, which Xury said was a lance,
and that they would throw them a great way with good aim. So
I kept at a distance, but talked with them by signs as well as I
could; and particularly made signs for something to eat. They
beckoned to me to stop my boat, and that they would fetch me
some meat. Upon this I lowered the top of my sail and lay by;
and two of them ran up into the country, and in less than half an
hour came back and brought with them two pieces of dry flesh
and some corn, such as is the produce of their country-but we
neither knew what the one or the other was. However, we were
willing to accept it, but how to come at it was our next dispute;
for I was not for venturing on shore to them, and they were as
much afraid of us. But they took a safe way for us all-for they
brought it to the shore and laid it down, and went and stood a
great way off till we fetched it on board, and then came close to us
We made signs of thanks to them, for we had nothing to make
them amends. But an opportunity offered that very instant to
oblige them wonderfully-for while we were lying by the shore,
came two mighty creatures, one pursuing the other (as we took it)
with great fury, from the mountains towards the sea. Whether it
was the male pursuing the female, or whether they were in sport
or in rage, we could not tell, any more than we could tell whether
it was usual or strange; but I believe it was the latter-because, in
the first place, those ravenous creatures seldom appear but in the
night; and, in the second place, we found the people terribly
frightened, especially the women. The man that had the lance or
dart did not fly from them, but the rest did. However, as the
AN OPPORTUNE EXPLOIT.
two creatures ran directly into the water, they did not seem to
offer to fall upon any of the negroes, but plunged themselves into
the sea, and swam about as if they had come for their diversion.
At last one of them began to come nearer our boat than at first I
expected, but I lay ready for him; for I had loaded my gun with
all possible expedition, and bade Xury load both the others. As
soon as he came fairly within my reach I fired, and shot him
directly into the head. Immediately he sank down into the water,
but rose instantly and plunged up and down as if he was struggling
for life. And so indeed he was. He immediately made to the
shore; but between the wound, which was his mortal hurt, and
the strangling of the water, he died just before he reached the
It is impossible to express the astonishment of these poor
creatures at the noise and the fire of my gun; some of them were
even ready to die for fear, and fell down as dead with the very
terror. But when they saw the creature dead and sunk in the
water, and that I made signs to them to come to the shore, they took
heart and came to the shore, and began to search for the creature.
I found him by his blood staining the water; and by the help of a
rope which I slung round him, and gave the negroes to haul, they
dragged him on shore, and found that it was a most curious
leopard, spotted and fine to an admirable degree; and the negroes
held up their hands with admiration to think what it was I had
killed him with.
The other creature, frightened with the flash of fire and the noise
of the gun, swam on shore, and ran up directly to the mountains
from whence they came, nbr could I at that distance know what it
was. I found quickly the negroes were for eating the flesh of this
creature, so I was willing to have them take it as a favour from
me; which, when I made signs to them that they might take him,
they were very thankful for. Immediately they fell to work with
him; and though they had no knife, yet with a sharpened piece of
wood they took off his skin as readily-and much more readily
than we could have done with a knife. They offered me some of
the flesh, which I declined, making as if I would give it them;
but made signs for the skin, which they gave-me very freely, and
" A SAIL! A SAIL !"
brought me a great deal more of their provision, which, though I
did not understand, yet I accepted. Then I made signs to them
for some water, and held out one of my jars to them, turning it
bottom upward, to show that it was empty, and that I wanted to
have it filled. They called immediately to some of their friends;
and there came two women, and brought a great vessel made of
earth, and burned as I suppose in the sun. This they set down for
me as before; and I sent Xury on shore with my jars, and filled
them all three. The women were as stark naked as the men.
I was now furnished with roots and corn-such as it was-and
water; and leaving my friendly negroes, I made forward for about
eleven days more without offering to go near the shore, till I saw
the land run out a great length into the sea, at about the distance
of four or five leagues before me, and the sea being very calm, I
kept a large offing to make this point. At length, doubling the
point at about two leagues from the land, I saw plainly land on the
other side to seaward. Then I concluded, as it was most certain
indeed, that this was the Cape de Verd, and those the islands,
called from thence Cape de Verd Islands. However, they were at
a great distance; and I could not well tell what I had best to do,
for if I should be taken with a fresh of wind, I might neither
Reach one nor the other.
In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stepped into the cabin
and sat me down, Xury having the helm, when on a sudden the
boy cried out, Master, master, a ship with a sail I and the foolish
boy was frightened out of his wits, thinking it must needs be some
of his master's ships sent to pursue us, when I knew we were
gotten far enough out of their reach. I jumped out of the cabin,
and immediately saw not only the ship, but what she was-namely,
that it was a Portuguese ship, and, as I thought, was bound to the
coast of Guinea for negroes. But when I observed the course she
steered, I was soon convinced they were bound some other way,
and did not design to come any nearer to the shore. Upon which
I stretched out to sea as much as I could, resolving to speak with
them if possible.
With all the sail I could make, I found I should not be able to
come in their way, but that they would be gone by before I could
THE PORTUGUESE SHIP.
make any signal to them. But after I had crowded to the utmost
and begun to despair, they, it seems, saw me by the help of their
perspective-glasses, and that it was some European boat, which, as
they supposed, must belong to some ship that was lost; so they
shortened sail to let me come up. I was encouraged with this;
I WAS SOON CONVINCED THEY WERE BOUND SOME OTBER WAY."
and as I had my patron's ancient on board, I made a waft of it to
them for a signal of distress, and fired a gun-both which they
saw, for they told me they saw the smoke, though they did not
hear the gun. Upon these signals they very kindly brought to,
and lay by for me, and in about three hours' time I came up with
They asked me what I was, in Portuguese and in Spanish and
in French, but I understood none of them; but at last a Scotch
sailor who was on board called to me; and I answered him, and
told him I was an Englishman, that I had made my escape out of
slavery from the Moors at Sallee. Then they bade me come on
board, and very kindly took me in and all my goods.
It was an inexpressible joy to me, that any one will believe, that
I was thus delivered, as I esteemed it, from such a miserable and
almost hopeless condition as I was in, and I immediately offered
all I had to the captain of the ship as a return for my deliverance;
but he generously told me he would take nothing from me, but
that all I had should be delivered safe to me when I came to the
Brazils. "For," says he, "I have saved your life on no other
84 AN HONEST SEA-CAPTAIN.
terms than I would be glad to be saved myself, and it may one time
or other be my lot to be taken up in the same condition; besides,"
said he, when I carry you to the Brazils, so great a way from
your own country, if I should take from you what you have, yea
will be starved there, and then I only take away that life I have
given. No, no, Seignor Inglese," says he, Mr. Englishman, I
will carry you thither in charity, and those things will help you to
buy your subsistence there and your passage home again."
As he was charitable in his proposal, so he was just in the
performance to a tittle; for he ordered the seamen that none
should offer t6 touch anything I had. Then he took everything
into his own possession, and gave me back an exact inventory of
them, that I might have them, even so much as my three earthen
As to my boat it was a very good one, and that he saw, and told
me he would buy it of me for the ship's use, and asked me what I
would have for it? I told him he had been so generous to me in
everything, that I could not offer to make any price of the boat,
but left it entirely to him; upon which he- told me he would give me
a note of his hand to pay me eighty pieces of eight for it at Brazil,
and when it came there, if any one offered to give more he wo;ld
make it up. He offered me also sixty pieces of eight more for my
boy Xury; which I was loath to take: not that I was not willing to
let the captain have him, but I was very loath to sell the poor boy's
liberty, who had assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own.
However, when I let him know my reason, he owned it to be
just, and offered me this medium-that he would give the boy
an obligation to set him free in ten years, if he turned Christian.
Upon this, and Xury saying he was willing to go to him, I let the
captain have him.
We had a very good voyage to the Brazils, and arrived in the
Bay de Todos los Santos, or All-Saints' Bay, in about twenty-two
days after. And now I was once more delivered from the most
miserable of all conditions of life; and what to do next with
myself I was now to consider.
The generous treatment the captain gave me I can never enough
remember. He would take nothing of me for my passage, gave
ON SHORI1lI TIFlXE BRAZILS.
me twenty dueats for the leopard's skin and forty for the lion's
skin which I had in my boat, and caused everything I had it the
ship to be panet~ally delivered me; and what I was willing to
sell he bought, such as the ease of bottles, two of my guns, and a
piece of the lump of bees-war, for I had made candles of the rest.
In a word, I made about two hundred and twenty pieces of eight
of all my eargo; and with this stock I went on shore in the
I had not been long here, but being recommended to the house
of a good honest man like himself, who had an ingeino," as they
call it-that is, a plantation and a sugar-house-I lived with hirn
some time, and acquainted myself by that means with the manner
of their planting and making of sugar. And seeing how well the
planted lived, and how they grew rich suddenly, I resolved, if I
could get license to settle there, I would turn planter among them;
resolving in the meantime to find out some way to get my money
which I had left in London remitted to me. To thii pfrpose,
getting a kind of a letter of naturalization, I purchased as much
land that was uncured as my money would reach, and formed a plan
for my plantation and settlement, and such a one as might be suit-
able to the stock which I proposed to myself to receive from
I had a neighbour-a Portuguese of Lisbon, but born of English
parents-whose name was Wells, and in much such eircumstanees
as I was. I call him my neighbour, because his plantation lay
next to mine, and we went on very sociably together. My stock.
was but low as well as his; and we rather planted for food than
anything else for about two years. However, we began to increase,
and our land began to come into order; so that the third year we
planted some tobacco, and made each of us a large piece of ground
ready for planting canes in the year to come. But we both wanted
help; and now I found, more than before, I had done wrong in
parting with my boy Xury.
But as t for me to do wrong that never did right was no great
wonder. I had no remedy but to go on. I was gotten into an
employment quite remote to my genius, and directly contrary to
the life I delighted in, and for which I forsook my father's house,
86 A TRUE -RIEND.
and broke through all his good advice; nay, I was coming into
the very riddle station, or upper degree of low life, which my
father advised me to before, and which, if I resolved to go on with,
I might as well have stayed at home, and never have fatigued myself
in the world as I had done. And I used often to say to myself, I
could have done this as well in England among my friends as have
gone five thousand miles off to do it among strangers and savages
in a wilderness, and at such a distance as never to hear from any
part of the world that had the least knowledge of me.
In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the
utmost regret. I had nobody to converse with but now and then
this neighbour-no work to be done but by the labour of my
hands; and I used to say I lived just like a man cast away upon
some desolate island that had nobody there but himself. But how
just has it been, and how should all men reflect that when they
compare their present conditions with others that are worse,
Heaven may oblige them to make the exchange, and be convinced
of their former felicity by their experience,--I say how just has it
been that the truly solitary life I reflected on, in an island of mere
desolation, should be my lot, who had so often unjustly compared
it with the life which I then led; in which, had I continued, I
had in all probability been exceeding prosperous and rich I
I was in some degree settled in my measures for carrying on
the plantation, before my kind friend, the captain of the ship that
took me up at sea, went back-for the ship remained there in
providing his loading and preparing for his voyage near three
months-when, telling him what little stock I had left behind
me in London, he gave me this friendly and sincere advice.
" Seignor Inglese," says he,-for so he always called me,-" if you
will give me letters, and a procuration here in form to me, with
orders to the person who has your money in London, to send your
effects to Lisbon to such persons as I shall direct, and in such
goods as are proper for this country, I will bring you the produce
of them, God willing, at my return. But since human affairs are
all subject to changes and disasters, I would have you give orders
but for one hundred pounds sterling, which you say is half your
stock, and let the hazard be run for the first; so that if it come
A PROFITAWlJ, INVESTMENT.
safe you may order the rest the same way, and if it miscarry you
may have the other half to have recourse to for your supply."
This was so wholesome advice, and looked so friendly, that I
could not but be convinced it was the best course I could take; so
I accordingly prepared letters to the gentlewoman with whom I
had left my money, and a procuration to the Portuguese captain,
as he desired.
I wrote the English cap&iPs~awidow a full account of all my
adventures; my slavery, escape, and how I had met with the.
Portuguese captain at sea, the humanity of his behaviour, and in
what condition I was now in, with all other necessary directions
for my supply. And when this honest captain came to Lisbon, he
found means, by some of the English merchants there, to send ..
over, not the order only, but a full account of my story, to a mer-,.-.
chant at London, who represented it effectually to her; wherepron
she not only delivered the money, but out of her own pocket sent-
the Portuguese captain a very handsome present for his humanity .
and charity to me.
The merchant in London, vesting this hundred pounds in
English goods such as the captain had written for, sent them
directly to him at Lisbon, and he brought them all safe to me to
the Brazils; among which, without my direction-for I was too
young in my business to think of them-he had taken care to
have all sorts of tools, iron-work, and utensils necessary for my
plantation, and which were- of great use to me.
When this cargo arrived I thought my fortune made, for I was
surprised with joy of it; and my good steward the captain had
laid out the five pounds, which my friend had sent him for a
present for himself, to purchase and bring me over a servant under
bond for six years' service, and would not accept of any considera-
tion except a little tobacco, which I would have him accept, being
of my own produce.
Neither was this all. But my goods being all English manu-
factures, such as cloth, stuffs, bays, and things particularly valuable
and desirable in the country, I found means to sell them to a very
great advantage; so that I may say I had more than four times
the value of my first cargo, and was now ifinitely beyond my
A ROLLING S1ONX G9 ATUU T0O MOSS.
poor neighbour-I mean in the advranement of my plantation;
for the first thing I did I bought me a negro slave, and, European
servant also-I mean another besides that whieh the captain
brought me from Lisbon.
Bet as abused prosperity is oftentimes made the very means of
our greatest adversity, so was it with me. I went on the next
year with great success in my plantation. I raised fifty great rolls
of tobacco on my own ground, more than I had disposed of for
necessaries among my neighbours; and these fifty rolls being each
of above a hundredweight, were well cured and laid by against the
return of the fleet from Lisbon. And now, increasing in business
and in wealth, my head began to be full of projects and under-
takings beyond my reach-such as are indeed often the ruin of
the best heads in business.
Had I continued in the station I was now in, I had room for all
the happy things to have yet befallen me for which my father so
earnestly recommended a quiet, retired life, and of which he had
so sensibly described the middle station of life to be full of. But
other things attended me, and I was still to be the wilful agent of
all my own miseries, and particularly to increase my fault and
double the reflections upon myself, which in my future sorrows I
should have leisure to make. All these miscarriages were pro-
cured by my apparent obstinate adherence to my foolish inclination
of wandering abroad, and pursuing that inclination in contradiction
to the clearest views of doing myself good in a fair and plain pwr-
suit of those prospects and those measures of life which Nature
and Providence concurred to present me with and to make my
As I had once done thus in my breaking away from my parents,
so I could not be content now, but I must go and leave the happy
view I had of being a rich and thriving man in my new plantation,
only to pursue a rash and immoderate desire of rising faster than
the nature of the thing admitted; and thus I cast myself down
again into the deepest gulf of human misery that ever man fell
into, or perhaps could be consistent with life and a state of health
in the world.,
To come, thernby the just degrees to the particulars of this
TRLIADIW IN N1EGROE
part lo my story. You may suppose that ring now lived almost
four years in the Brazils, and beginning to thrive and prosper very
well upon my plantation I had not only learned the language, but
had contracted acquaintance and friendship among my fellow-
planters, as well as among the merchants at St. Salvadore, which wa
our port; and that, in my discoursesamong them, I had frequently
given them an account of my two voyages to the coast of Guinea,
the manner of trading with the negroese there, and how easy it was
to purchase upon the coast for trifles-such as beads, toys, knives,
scissors, hatchets, bits of glass, and the like-not only gold dust,
Guinea grains, elephants' teeth, &c., but negroes for the service of
the Brazils in great numbers.
They listened always very attentively to my discourses on these
heads, hbt especially to that part which related to the buying of
negroes; which was a trade at that time not only not far etered
into, but, as far as it was, had been carried on by the asient, or
permission of the Kings of Spain and Portugal, and engrossed in
the public; so that few negroes were brought, and those excessively
It happened, being in company with some merchants and planters
of my acquaintance, and talking of those things very earnestly,
three of them came to me the next morning, and told me they
had been musing very much upon what I had discoursed with
them of the last night, and they came to make a secret proposal
to me. And after enjoining me secrecy, they told me that they
had a mind to fit out a ship to go to Guinea; that they had all
plantations as well as I, and were straitened for nothing so- mai
as servants; that as it was a trade that could not be carried o~
because they could not publicly sell the negroes when they eane
home, so, they desired to make but one voyage, to bring the
negroes on shore privately, and divide them among their own
plantations; and, in a word, the question was, whether 1 would
go their supercargo in. the: ship to manage the trading part upeo
the coast of Guinea. And they offered me that I should have
my equal share of the negroes, without providing any part of the
This was a fair proposal, it most be confessed, had it been made
CRUSOE AT SEA ONCE MORE.
to any one that had not had a settlement and plantation of his
own to look after, which was in a fair way of coming to be very
considerable, and with a good stock upon it. But for me that was
thus entered and established, and had nothing to do but go on as
I had begun for three or four years more, and to have sent for the
other hundred pounds from England, and who in-that time, and
with that little addition, could scarce have failed of being worth
three or four thousand pounds sterling, and that increasing too,-
for me to think of such a voyage was the most preposterous thing
that ever man in such circumstances could be guilty of.
But I, that was born to be my own destroyer, could no more
resist the offer than I could restrain my first rambling designs
when my father's good counsel was lost upon me. In a word, I
told them I would go with all my heart if they would undertake
to look after my plantation in my absence, and would dispose of
it to such as I should direct if I miscarried. This they all
engaged to do, and entered into writings or covenants to do so;
and I made a formal will, disposing of my plantation and effects,
in case of my death, making the captain of the ship that had saved
my life, as before, my universal heir, but obliging him to dispose
of my effects as I had directed in my will-one-half of the pro-
duce being to himself, and the other to be shipped to England.
In short, I took all possible caution to preserve my effects and
keep up my plantation. Had I used half as much prudence to
have looked into my own interest, and have made a judgment of
what I ought to have done and not to have done, I had certainly
never gone away from so prosperous an undertaking-leaving all
the probable views of a thriving circumstance, and gone upon a
voyage to sea, attended with all its common hazards, to say
nothing of the reasons I had to expect particular misfortunes to
But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of my
fancy rather than my reason. And accordingly, the ship being
fitted out and the cargo furnished, and all things done as by
agreement by my partners in the voyage, I went on board in an
evil hour-the 1st of September 1659, being the same day eight
years that I went from my father and mother at Hull in order
PERILS OF THE DEEP.
to act the rebel to their authority and the .fool to my own
Our ship was about 120 tons burden ; carried six guns and
fourteen men, besides the master, his boy, and myself. We had'
on board no large cargo of goods, except of such toys as were fit
for our trade with the negroes-such as beads, bits of glass, shells
and odd trifles, especially little loaking-glasses, knives, scissors,
hatchets, and the like.
The same day I went on board we set sail, standing away to
the northward upon our own coast, with design to stretch over for
the African coast when they came about 10 or 12 degrees of
northern latitude; which, it seems, was the manner of their course
in those days. We had very good weather, only excessively hot,
all the way upon our own coast, till we came the height of Cape
St. Augustino; from whence, keeping further off at sea, we lost
sight of land, and steered as if we were bound for the isle Fernand
de Noronha, holding our .course north-east by north, and leaving
those isles on the east. In this course we passed the line in about
twelve days' time; and were by our last observation in 7 degrees
22 minutes northern latitude, when a violent tornado or hurricane
took us quite out of our knowledge. It began from the south-
east, came about to the north-west, and then settled into the
north-east; from whence it blew in such a terrible manner .that
for twelve days together we could do nothing but drive, and scud-
ding away before it, let it carry us whither ever fate and the fury
of the winds directed. And during these twelve days I need not
say that I expected every day to be swallowed up; nor, indeed,
did any in the ship expect to save their lives.
In this distress, we had, besides the terror of the storm, one of
our men died of the calenture, and one man and the boy washed
overboard. About the twelfth day, the weather abating a little,
the master made an observation as well as he could, and found
that he was in about 11 degrees north latitude, but that he
was 22 degrees of longitude difference west from Cape St.
Augustino; so that he found he was gotten upon the coast of
Guiana, or the north part of Brazil, beyond the River Amazon,
toward that of the River Orinoco, commonly called the Great
River, and began to consult with me what course he should take,
for the ship was leaky and very much disabled, and he was going
directly back to the coast of Brazil.
I was positively against that; and looking over the charts of the
sea-coast of America with him, we concluded there was no inhabited
country for us to have recourse to till we came within the circle of
the Caribbean Islands, and therefore resolved to stand away for
Barbadoes; which, by keeping off at sea, to avoid the indraught of
the Bay or Gulf of Mexico, we might easily perform, as we hoped,
in about fifteen days' sail; whereas we could not possibly make our
voyage to the coast of Africa without some assistance both to our
ship and to ourselves.
With this design we changed our course, and steered away
north-west by west, in order to reach some of our English islands,
where I hoped for relief. But our voyage was otherwise deter-
mined; for, being in the latitude of 12 degrees 18 minutes, a
second storm came upon us, which carried us away with the same
impetuosity westward, and drove us so out of the very way of all
human commerce, that had all our lives been saved as to the sea,
we were rather in danger of being devoured by savages than ever
returning to our own country.
In this distress, the wind still blowing very hard, one of our men
early in the morning cried out "Land I" and we had no sooner
run out of the cabin to look out in hopes of seeing whereabouts in
the world we were, but the ship struck upon a sand, and in a
moment, her motion being so stopped, the sea broke over her in
such a manner, that we expected we should all have perished
immediately, and we were immediately driven into our close
quarters to shelter us from the very foam and spray of the sea.
It is not easy for any one who has not been in the like condition
to describe or conceive the consternation of men in such circum-
stances. We knew nothing where we were, or upon what land it
was we were driven, whether an island or the main, whether in-
habited or not inhabited; and as the rage of the wind was still
great, though rather less than at first, we could not so much as
hope to have the ship hold many minutes without breaking in
pieces, unless the wind by a kind of miracle should turn im-
A LONG PVLL.POR LIFE.
mediately about. In a word, we sat looking one upon another,
and expecting death every moment, and every man acting aecord-
ingly as preparing for another world, for there was little or
nothing more for us to do in this. That which was our present
comfort, and all the comfort we had, was that, contrary to our
expectation, the ship did not break yet, and that the master said
the wind began to abate.
Now, though we thought that the wind .did a little abate, yet
the ship having thus struck upon the sand, and sticking too fast
for us to expect her getting off, we were in a dreadful condition
indeed, and had nothing to do but to think of saving our lives as
well as we could. We had a boat at our stern just before the
storm, but she was first staved by dashing against the ship's redder,
and in the next place she broke away, and either sunk or was
driven off to sea; so there was no hope from her. We had another
boat on board; but how to get her off into the sea was a doubtful
thing. However, there was no room to debate, for we fancied the
ship would break in pieces every minute, and some told us she was
actually broken already.
In this distress the mate of our vessel lays hold of the boat, and
with the help of the rest of the men, they got her slung over the
ship's side, and getting all into her, let go, and committed our-
selves, being eleven in number, to God's mercy and the wild sea:
for though the storm was abated considerably, yet the sea went
dreadfully high upon the shore, and might well be called "den
wild zee," as the Dutch call the sea in a storm.
And now our case was very dismal indeed; for we all saw
plainly that the sea went so high that the boat could not live, and
that we shouldbe inevitably drowned. As to making sail, we had
none; nor, if we had, could we have done anything with it: so we
worked at the oar towards the land, though with heavy hearts,
like men going to execution; for we all knew that when the boat
came nearer the shore she would be dashed in a thousand pieces by
the breach of the sea. However, we committed our souls to God
in the most earnest manner, and the wind driving us towards the
shore, we hastened our destruction with our own hands, pulling
as well as we could towards land.
A MOUNTAIN WAVE.
THE SEA WENT SO HIGH THAT THE BOAT COULD NOT LIVE."
What the shore was-whether rock or sand, whether steep or
shoal-we knew not; the only hope that could rationally give us
the least shadow of expectation, was if we might happen into some
bay or gulf, or the mouth of some river, where by great chance we
might have run our boat in, or got under the lee of the land, and
perhaps made smooth water. But there was nothing of this
appeared; but as we made nearer and nearer the shore, the land
looked more frightful than the sea.
After we had rowed or rather driven about a league and a half,
as we reckoned it, a raging wave, mountain-like, came rolling
astern of us, and plainly bade us expect the coup-de-grace. In a
CAST UPON THE ROCKS.
word, it took us with such a fury, that it overset the boat at once,
and separating us as well from the boat as from one another, gave
us not time hardly to say, 0 God I for we were all swallowed up
in a moment.
. Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt when
I sunk into the water; for though I swam very well, yet I could
not deliver myself from the waves so as to draw breath, till that a
wave, having driven me or rather carried me a vast way on towards
the shore, and having spent itself, went back, and left me upon
the land almost dry, but half dead with the water I took in. I
had so much presence of mind as well as breath left that, seeing
myself nearer the mainland than I expected, I got upon my feet,
and endeavoured to make on towards the land as fast as I could
before another wave should return and take me up again. But I
soon found it was impossible to avoid it; for I saw the sea come
after me as high as a great hill, and as furious as an enemy which
I had no means or strength to contend with. My business was to
hold.my breath and raise myself upon the water if I could, and
so by swimming to preserve my breathing and pilot myself towards
the shore if possible; my greatest concern now being that the
sea, as it would carry me a great way towards the shore when it
came on, might not carry me back again with it when it gave back
towards the sea.
The wave that came upon me. again buried me at once twenty
or thirty feet deep in its own body; and I could feel myself carried
with a mighty force and swiftness towards the shore a very great
way; but I held my breath, and assisted myself to swim still
forward with all my might. I was' ready to burst with holding
my breath, when, as I felt myself rising up, so to my immediate
relief I found my head and hands shoot out above the surface of
the water; and though it was not two seconds of time that I could
keep myself so, yet it relieved me greatly, gave me breath and
new courage. I was covered again with water a good while, but
not so long but I held it out; and finding the water had spent
itself and begun to return, I struck forward against the return of
the waves, and felt ground again with my feet. I stood still a few
moments to recover breath, and till the water went from me, anid
96 A NARROW ESCAPE.
then took to my heels and ran with what strength I had further
towards the shore. But neither would this deliver me from the
fury of the sea, which came pouring in after me again, and twice
more I was lifted up by the waves and carried forward as before,
the shore being very flat.
The last time of these two had well near been fatal to me; for
the sea having hurried me along as before, landed me, or rather
dashE ,l ,..iut a p,;.,:, .' a
rock, -,i l l i.t i. I t l..r:... it
left m e i, I D..llP.-,
breast, .,, t t-,,:- ,. ,th a. it r, -
quite out of my body, and had it -
CRUSOE IN SAFETY.
returned again immediately, I must have been strangled in the
water; but I recovered a little before the return of the waves,
and seeing I should be covered again with the water, I resolved
to hold fast by a piece of the rock, and so to hold my breath, if
possible, till the wave went back. Now as the waves were not
so high as at first, being near land, I held my hold till the wave
abated, and then fetched another run, which brought me so near
the shore, that the next wave, though it went over me, yet did not
so swallow me up as to carry me away; and the next run I took I
got to the mainland, where, to my great comfort, I clambered up
the cliffs of the shore and sat me down upon the grass, free from
danger, and quite out of the reach of the water.
WAS now landed, and safe on shore, and began
to look up and thank God that my life was
saved in a case wherein there was some minutes
before scarce any room to hope. I believe it
is impossible to express to the life what the
ecstasies and transports of the soul are when
it is so saved, as I may say, out of the very
grave; and I do not wonder now at that custom, namely, that
when a malefactor, who has the halter about his neck, is tied up,
and just going to be turned off, and has a reprieve brought to him
-I say, I do not wonder that they bring a surgeon with it, to let
him bleed that very moment they tell him of it, that the surprise
may not drive the animal spirits from the heart and overwhelm
"For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first"
I walked about on the shore lifting up my hands, and my whole
being, as I may say, wrapped up in the contemplation" or my
deliverance, making a. thousand gestures and motions which I
A REFUGE FOR THE NIGHT.
cannot describe, reflecting upon all my comrades that were drowned,
and that there should not be one soul saved but myself; for, as for
them, I never saw them afterwards, or any sign of them, except
three of their hats, one cap, and two shoes that were not fellows.
I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel, when the breach and froth
of the sea being so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far off,
and considered, Lord, how was it possible I could get on
After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part of my
condition, I began to look round me to see what kind of place I
was in, and what was next to be done, and I soon found my com-
forts abate, and that in a word I had a dreadful deliverance; for I
was wet, had no clothes to shift me, nor anything either to eat or
drink to comfort me, neither did I see any prospect before me
but that of perishing with hunger, or being devoured by wild
beasts. And that which was particularly afflicting to me was, that
I had no weapon either to hunt and kill any creature for my
sustenance, or to defend myself against any other creature that
might desire to kill me for theirs;-in a word, I had nothing
about me but a knife, a tobacco-pipe, and a little tobacco in a box.
This was all my provision, and this threw me into terrible agonies
of mind, that for a while I ran about like a madman. Night
coming upon me, I began with a heavy heart to consider what
would be my lot if there were any ravenous beasts in that country,
seeing at night they always come abroad for their prey.
All the remedy that offered to my thoughts at that time was,
to get up into a thick bushy tree like a fir, but thorny, which grew
near me, and where I resolved to sit all night, and consider the
next day what death I should die; for as yet I saw no prospect of
life. I walked about a furlong from the shore to see if I could find
any fresh water to drink, which I did, to my great joy; and
having drunk, and put a little tobacco in my mouth to prevent
hunger, I went to the tree, and getting up into it, endeavoured to
place myself so as that if I should sleep I might not fall; and
having cut me a short stick like a truncheon for my defence, I
took up my lodging, and having been excessively fatigued, I fell
fast asleep, and slept as comfortably as, I believe, few could have