Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The man who wrote Robinson...
 Part I
 Part II

Group Title: Robinson Crusoe
Title: The Life and surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, mariner
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073608/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Life and surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, mariner
Uniform Title: Robinson Crusoe
Physical Description: xvi, 595, 32 p., <8> leaves of plates : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Browne, Gordon ( Illustrator )
Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731
Blackie & Son ( Publisher )
Publisher: Blackie & Son
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1885
Copyright Date: 1885
Subject: Castaways -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imaginary voyages -- 1885   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1885   ( rbgenr )
Genre: Imaginary voyages   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Glasgow
Scotland -- Edinburgh
Ireland -- Dublin
Citation/Reference: NUC Pre-1956
Citation/Reference: Lovett, R.W. Robinson Crusoe,
Citation/Reference: BM Daniel Defoe,
General Note: Cover col. and gilt illustration with title: Robinson Crusoe; spine title: Robinson Crusoe; caption title, p. 317: Further adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
General Note: On t.p.: Giving an account of his twenty-eight years' residence on a desert uninhabited island, and how he was strangely delivered. Also an account of his further adventures and subsequent travels in France, Persia, India, China, Tartary, and Russia.
General Note: At head of title: Reprinted from the author's edition 1719.
General Note: Imprint also has publisher's location in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dublin.
General Note: Includes publishers's catalog (32 p.) at end.
General Note: Parts I-II of Robinson Crusoe, with a brief biographical sketch. Pt. II originally published under title: Farther adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
Statement of Responsibility: by Daniel Defoe ; illustrated by above 100 designs by Gordon Browne.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073608
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 26873644

Table of Contents
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    The man who wrote Robinson Crusoe
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
    Part I
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
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    Part II
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Full Text





P IP 1

No -














IN this edition of Robinson Crusoe the text of the original has
been carefully followed, and no attempt has been made to polish
the strong unstudied diction of the author, or to improve on his
homely vigorous language. In only a few instances, and those
very few and unimportant, has the original text been departed
from: namely, where there occur in that text (in five or six places)
evident misprints, or sentences uncorrected by the author and
standing meaningless or contradictory till the obvious corrections
were made; and also where, in as few instances, names of places
were so misspelt (according to modern usage) as to present an
almost insuperable geographical difficulty to youthful readers.
For the sake of youthful readers also there have been omitted in
three or four places certain gross or profane expressions, which,
though characteristic of the persons supposed to use them, were
quite superfluous to the text, and formed no essential or desirable
part of the dialogue.
These alterations are so slight and unimportant as hardly to
form actual departures from the original text, and it may there-
fore be claimed that the present edition of De Foe's immortal
work (unlike many that have been published) is a faithful repro-
duction of the original, and that the following pages contain
"the Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe," as
they were written nearly a hundred and seventy years ago.
The Work (as here published) being mainly intended for the
younger class of readers, many obscure expressions and obsolete
words have their meaning explained in brief footnotes.

LONDON, September, 1884.



The original edition of this masterpiece of De Foe was published
in 1719, and contained the adventures of Robinson Crusoe up to
the time of his leaving the island on which he was so long com-
pelled to reside. Its title was: "The Life and Strange Surprizing
Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: who lived eight
and twenty Years all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the
Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River Oroonoque;
having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men
perished but himself: With an Account how he was at last as
strangely delivered by Pyrates. Written by himself." The work
was not put forth under De Foe's name, but had prefixed to it a
short preface, in which "the editor" expresses his high opinion
of the narrative, as both entertaining and instructive, and gravely
states that he "believes the thing to be a just History of Fact;
neither is there any Appearance of Fiction in it." The success of
this volume was very great (there being four editions of it in the
same year), and in a few months a second volume was published,
with the following title: "The farther Adventures of Robinson
Crusoe, being the Second and last Part of his Life, and strange,
surprising Accounts of his Travels round Three Parts of the
Globe. Written by himself." The present edition comprises the
whole of these two volumes. A sort of supplementary volume
was published in 1720, consisting of "Serious Reflections" by
Robinson Crusoe, together with his "Vision of the Anglick
World." This volume seems never to have had any popularity,
and is long since utterly forgotten. It has, indeed, no real con-
nection with the history of Crusoe, nor any interest for readers
in general.




Biographical Notice of the Author, pp. xi-xvi
My birth and parentage-Early education-Desire to go to sea-My
father's wise counsel and warnings-A mother's displeasure-I leave
home-Sail from Hull to London-A great storm-My fear and
repentance drowned in punch-The storm renewed-The ship.springs
a leak and founders-The crew saved and reach Yarmouth-Another
warning despised-I travel to London, pp. 1-14
I make a voyage to Guinea-Am successful in a trading venture-Death
of the honest captain, who had taught me mathematics and navigation
-Sail again for Guinea-The ship is captured by Turkish pirates-
I am in slavery at Sallee-My new master-Make my escape with the
boy Xury in a longboat, pp. 15-28
We steer south and reach land-Adventure with a lion-See savages on
the shore-A leopard shot-We are picked up by a Portuguese ship-
The captain takes Xury-We arrive at the Brazils-The captain's
wholesome advice-I purchase a small plantation-My increasing pros-
perity, pp. 23-88
My passion for wandering-Receive a tempting offer from my neighbour
planters-I sail for the African coast-We are caught in a tornado-



The ship strikes on a sandbank-Loss of all the crew-I am cast ashore
half-dead, .. .. pp. 38-46
My sad condition-First night on the island-In the morning I swim to
the wreck-Construct a raft and bring ashore many useful things-
View the country, and seek a proper place of habitation-The island
appears barren and uninhabited by men-My other visits to the wreck
-A storm blows the wreck farther off the land, pp. 47-59
I fix on a spot for my tent, and proceed to fortify it-Anxiety about my
powder-I see goats on the island-A dismal prospect of my condition
-Hopeful considerations, pp. 60-65
I resolve to keep a calendar-Secure a dog and two cats-Reflections on
my condition-Begin to furnish my house-I feel the want of many
necessary articles-Copy of my Journal-God's goodness to me in
sending seed-corn-A terrible earthquake and hurricane, pp. 66-87
The storm drives the wreck farther in-shore-I visit it daily-Find a
turtle-I fall ill of fever and ague-A frightful dream-Wholesome
thoughts, leading to prayer-I find a Bible, the reading whereof gives
me great comfort, pp. 87-98
I begin to recover, and feel thankful and repentant-Make a survey of the
island-Find tobacco, melons, grapes, and other fruits-Build a summer
bower-My daily dietary-Observe the first anniversary of my coming
to the island-I learn to divide the seasons-My attempts at basket-
making, pp. 93-113
I travel across the island-Catch a parrot-Bring home a young goat-My
second anniversary-Reflections upon my condition, pp. 113-119
I begin my third year on the island-The want of tools-Reap my crop of
corn-I at last succeed in making tolerable earthenware vessels-How
I milled and baked-I set about making a boat, but fail to get it
into the water, pp. 119-135
My fourth anniversary-Wise and profitable reflections-Fatal and fortu-
nate days-My new clothing and umbrella-How five years have
passed over, pp. 135-143
I start on a voyage of discovery, and am blown out to sea-My narrow
escape-An unexpected visit from Poll, pp. 144-151
My improvement in the mechanic exercises--I trap some goats-A descrip-
tion of my own appearance, and of my family and estates-My alarm
at seeing the print of a man's foot on the shore-Look to God for
deliverance-I adopt new means for defence, pp. 152-172


I come upon the horrible remains of a cannibal feast-My plans against
the savages-A better disposition afterwards possesses me-Discover a
cave or grotto, into which I remove my ammunition-My diversions and
amusements-See a party of savages on the shore-Find proofs of their
cannibalism-My distress of mind and indignation, pp. 172-194
A Spanish ship lost with all hands off the island-I go on board the wreck
and obtain new supplies-Find some useless money-A few profitable
reflections, pp. 194-206
A strange dream-A new resolve-Another landing of the savages-I
rescue one of their victims, and name him Friday-A description of my
new servant-Remains of the cannibals' feast buried, pp. 206-216
I make clothes for Friday-He becomes much attached to me-His alarm
on hearing my gun fired-My efforts to teach him-Friday's reasoning
and notions of religion-Reflections on the uselessness of religious con-
troversy, .. pp. 216-230
Friday tells me of the white mans in his country-I set about making a
canoe-Keep another anniversary-The savages again land-We attack
them and rescue a Spaniard-Friday finds his father, pp. 230-249
My island now peopled-My converse with the Spaniard-We make pre-
parations for sending the Spaniard and Friday's father on a voyage to
the mainland, pp. 249-257
A ship appears off the island-The captain and two others landed as
prisoners-We attack and overcome the mutinous crew-The ship
secured, pp. 257-281
I make preparations for leaving the island-Part of the ships' crew are left
behind-I bring away some relics of my long imprisonment-My
arrival in England after thirty-five years' absence, . pp. 281-287
I visit Yorkshire, and find greater part of my family dead-Afterwards
sail for Lisbon-Receive news about my Brazil plantation-The old
captain's honesty and kindness-My sudden increase of wealth-Con-
siderations concerning my future course, pp. 287-296
I set out by land from Lisbon for England-We meet with severe weather,
and are attacked by wolves-Friday's adventure with a bear-We are
again attacked by wolves-I arrive safe in England-My Brazil planta-
tion sold-I marry and try to settle in England, pp 296-815




My strong inclination to go abroad again-A strange dream-My wife's
devotion to me-I buy a farm in Bedfordshire-My wife's death-I
sail with my nephew for the East Indies-The supplies I carried out
for the colony in my island-We save the people on board a burning
ship-We transfer the passengers to another ship-A young priest
remains with us, .pp. 317-338
We steer for the West Indies-Fall in with a disabled ship, and relieve the
crew-Sad condition of the poor passengers-The lady found dead, and
we take on board her son and her maid--I reach my old habitation on
the island, pp. 338-346
My landing on the island-Friday's meeting with his father-My reception
by the Spaniards, pp. 347-351
A retrospective view of the state of the island when I first left it-The
Spaniard's narrative-He returns to the island with his countrymen-
The villanous conduct of three of the Englishmen I left on the island-
They are disarmed and reduced to order for a time, pp. 352-365
The narrative continued-Two bands of savages land on the island-A
fierce battle between them-The Spaniards capture three of the
savages, pp. 365-371
The colonists make new arrangements about their dwellings-Another
broil with the three Englishmen-Will Atkins' murderous plot-The
three are banished from their comrades-They set sail for the main-
land-Their unexpected return with three native men and five native
women-A strange kind of lottery-Some reflections on diligence and
slothfulness, pp. 372-388
Another landing of savages-Three of them are left behind, one of whom
afterwards escapes-The savages return and burn some of the huts-
They are beaten back for the time, pp. 388-399
A larger band of armed savages land-After a fierce fight they are routed-
Their canoes are burned, and the remnant of the men are confined to
one part of the island-How they were taught to plant and to make
useful articles, pp. 399-409
Will Atkins' wonderful tent of basket-work-Improvement I observed in
the colony-An account of the life of the Spaniards whilst among the
savages, pp. 410-417


My intercourse with the people on the island, and presents I made to them
of things likely to be useful-The island divided into three colonies or
settlements, pp. 417-422
The character of the French priest-A diverting account of his life-His
serious discourse with me concerning the marrying of the Englishmen
to the native women-He urges on me the sin of neglecting to teach all
the natives on the island the truths of religion-He asks to remain on
the island as a teacher, pp. 422-436
My discourse with the Englishmen about marrying the women-The priest's
scruples against marrying unbaptized persons-Will Atkins' confession-
He becomes truly penitent-The priest's candour and Christian charity-
We catechize Will Atkins-He relates the discourse he had with his wife
concerning religion-They are married, and also the young woman
Susan, pp. 436-460
My final arrangements before leaving the island-Will Atkins gladly re-
ceives a Bible-Susan's story of her dreadful sufferings on shipboard-
I bid farewell to the island, . pp. 460-470
Three days after leaving we are attacked by savages, and Friday is killed-
We arrive at the Brazils-I send more supplies to the island, pp. 470-478
My passion for further wandering-I proceed to the East Indies-We touch
at Madagascar-A desperate fray with the natives there-My opposition
to the massacre brings on me the ill-will of the crew-I am left alone
in Bengal, .. pp. 478-501
I have thoughts of returning to England-An English merchant proposes
to me a voyage to China-I make another voyage to the Spice Islands
and Manillas, pp. 501-505
My partner and I purchase a Dutch ship, and start on another voyage-We
put into the river of Cambodia to repair a leak, and receive a warning
that our new ship had been pirated-We put to sea again and are chased
by boats-We make for the coast of Tonquin-We lay the ship ashore
for repair, and are attacked by the natives, . pp. 505-521
We get out to sea again, and take on board an old Portuguese pilot-His
story about the pirates-His advice to go to China-We come to Quin-
chang-We are tormented by the fear of falling in with the Dutch and
being treated by them as pirates-We meet with three Romish mission-
aries, pp. 521-533
Father Simon the friar or missionary-My dealings with a Japan merchant
-We part with the ship-Visit the city of Nanquin-A dissertation on
the Chinese-We travel to Peking, .. pp. 534-545


We leave Peking, and travel in a large caravan-Some of the wonders that
we saw, including the great wall of China-We are threatened by Tartars
-I am set on by five ruffans, and only saved by the bravery of the old
pilot-We are again threatened by the Tartars-We reach Argun in
the dominions of the Czar of Muscovy, pp. 546-560

My satisfaction at having reached a Christian country-The geography of
this part of Muscovy-We destroy the great Tartar idol Cham-Chi-
Thaungu-Fury of the Tartars, who pursue us-We reach Jarawena
safely, .. pp. 560-573

We pass through a frightful desert-A description of the people of the
country-We reach Tobolski-Life at this place-The story of an
exiled Russian noble-He refuses to escape, pp. 573-588

We start from Tobolski-Are attacked by roving bands-We reach Arch-
angel and then Hamburg-I arrive safely in London in 1705: "resolving
to harass myself no more," pp. 589-595


For more than a century and a half the story of Robinson
Crusoe has been the most popular narrative ever written. Its
fascinations have attracted old and young.
At the time that it was first published (in 1719) it gained such
a reputation that it was bought by all classes, and it is still a fore-
most favourite not only with those who read it for amusement,
but with literary critics, who appreciate the consummate skill of
the writer, who describes every circumstance and each detail with
such an easy simplicity as to give the whole story an air of truth
which at once arrests the attention and controls the imagination.
Our great-great-grandfathers when they were boys had an
intimate acquaintance with Robinson Crusoe. To them he was a
real character; and boys still regard him not so much as the hero
of a fiction as an historical person, and talk of his adventures as
events which really happened.
Dr. Johnson speaking of this remarkable story asks, "Was
there ever anything written by mere man that the reader wished
longer except Robinson Crusoe, Don Quixote, and the Pilgrim's
Progress I"
One of De Foe's numerous opponents, who endeavoured to
ridicule and to ruin him at the time that the book was first issued,
wrote, "There is not an old woman that can go to the price of it
but buys the Life and Adventures,' and leaves it as a legacy with
the Pilgrim's Progress." This was rare praise 'though it was
meant for a snarl, and shows how great must have been the popu-
larity of the tale, for, if the old folks bought it, we may be sure


the young folks either bought or borrowed it, and they have con-
tinued to do so ever since.
Perhaps now that you take this book into your hand you may
like to hear something about the man who wrote it. He played
a conspicuous part in several of the most exciting occurrences of
the time in which he lived, and some of his own adventures and
vicissitudes were of a very extraordinary kind, especially as he
began life in a commonplace and humble manner, and might never
have been heard of but for his courage and industry and for the
determination with which he constantly opposed tyranny and
DANIEL DE FOE was born in the year 1661. He was the son
of James Foe, who was a tradesman in London, and it is not
known for what reason he placed the "De" before his name,
unless he discovered that his family was of foreign extraction.
As his father was a dissenter from the Church of England, Daniel
was sent to a school kept by a member of the same community at
Newington Green, where he appears to have studied well. He was
an assiduous reader, and it is. believed learnt Latin, Dutch, and
Italian; but he was also a keen observer, and retained in his
memory nearly everything that he saw or heard, so that as he
went a great deal into the company of various kinds of people he
acquired a great deal of information, which he was able to put to
good account in the large number of essays, pamphlets, and stories
which he afterwards wrote.
It was intended that he should be a Nonconformist minister,
and perhaps his studies and his strong religious convictions were
in favour of the choice; but for.some reason he did not carry out
this design. At nineteen he wrote his first pamphlet, and soon
afterwards became known as a satirical writer and a bold opponent
of the tyrannical measures which the government and the church
were at that time putting in force against the liberties and the
consciences of the people. The persecution of the Nonconformists
and Dissenters naturally excited his indignation, and afterwards
(when James II. came to the throne), his detestation of the principles


of the government and his strong desire to support Protestantism
led him foolishly to join the rebellion which was attempted by the
Duke of Monmouth.
On the failure of this attempt De Foe, more fortunate than
many others, escaped with life and liberty. He then went into
business as a hosier or dealer in wool in Freeman's Yard, Corn-
hill, but he continued to write and publish political pamphlets, in
which he satirized the government and advocated justice and
constitutional laws. He also wrote on public events and on com-
mercial and financial subjects. His industry was extraordinary,
and his caustic satire and humorous reasoning made numerous
and powerful enemies at the court. While he was in business he
went on more than one journey to Spain, but he did not succeed
very well with his trade, possibly because he devoted too much
attention to politics. Though the number of pamphlets and essays
which he wrote could have left him little leisure, he had a project
for making the kind of bricks and tiles which at that time were
brought to this country from Holland, and accordingly he com-
menced a manufactory on the banks of the Thames. But while
he thus introduced a new industry to England he did not profit
by it, for the persecutions of his opponents prevented him from
pursuing the enterprise, and he became bankrupt. He then devoted
his energies to the payment of his creditors in full, and in this he
When William of Orange came to the throne De Foe's position
was improved. As a friend to civil and religious liberty and a
firm Protestant, William III. had his loyal support. Early in 1700
he published a pamphlet in answer to a libel on the king, and
called it "The True Born Englishman." It was in verse, and was
a defence of William and a satirical attack on his enemies. The
effect of it was that De Foe was invited to court and received
a present of a considerable sum of money, which, with the large
sale of the book, placed him for a time in easy circumstances.
He hoped to obtain some .employment from the government, but
the death of William III., the accession of Anne, and the influence


of the adherents of the House of Stuart frustrated his expectations.
Once more he began to write diligently, and his enemies sought
for an opportunity to ruin him. That opportunity he soon gave
them by publishing an ironical pamphlet entitled "The Shortest
Way with the Dissenters," which offended many people and so
enraged the High Church party that they issued an indictment.
The House of Commons ordered the book to be burned by the
common hangman, and a warrant was issued for the apprehension
of De Foe, with the proclamation of a reward of 50 for any one
who should bring him to justice.
This proclamation gives us a description of De Foe's personal
appearance--" A middle-sized, spare man, about forty years old,
of a brown complexion and dark brown-coloured hair, but wears
a wig, a hooked nose, sharp chin, gray eyes, and a large mole near
his mouth." He was soon arrested, and the sentence upon him
was that he should stand in the pillory, be fined 200 marks, to
find sureties for his good behaviour for seven years, and should be
imprisoned in Newgate till all this was done. The pillory was a
kind of raised platform set up on the open street, and the prisoner,
whose hands were secured to a beam at about the height of his
head, stood there to be the object of the jeers and abuse of the
mob, who pelted him with filth. There were three principal
pillories in London: one in front of the Royal Exchange, one at
the Conduit in Cheapside, and one at Temple Bar. The govern-
ment made a great mistake in De Foe's case, for the populace,
regarding him as the champion of religious liberty, attended him
in a kind of triumphal procession from Newgate to the places
where the pillories stood. It was in the month of July that he
first mounted one of these platforms, and as there were plenty of
flowers to be had, the pillory was hung with garlands, and refresh-
ments were brought to him during the time that he stood there,
the crowd accompanying him back to Newgate with acclamations
when the penance was over. This was in 1703, and while he was in
prison his courage and industry did not desert him; he continued to
write, and among other things published an ode to the pillory. He


also planned a journal called the Review, written entirely by himself,
and afterwards published two or three times a week for some years.
After he had been in prison more than a year, Harley, who became
Secretary of State, interceded with Queen Anne for his release,
and the queen kindly sent money to his wife and shortly after
set him at liberty. He retired to the country with his wife and
children and continued to write, and for some time, though his
enemies were always on the watch to entrap him, he contrived
to live in peace.
His character and abilities must have been highly esteemed
whatever opposition there may have been to his outspoken
expressions in politics, for in 1706, when the Union of Scotland
and England in one government was proposed, Lord Godolphin
recommended him to the queen as a proper person to send to
Edinburgh to promote that union.
He was engaged in this undertaking for more than a year, and
on his return his efforts were rewarded by a pension; but a
change in the government soon deprived him of it, and he was
again obliged to gain a living by writing. In fact he had never
left off writing. The number of pamphlets and essays that came
from his pen was astonishing. Altogether above 400 are known
to have been published, besides his later stories, essays, biographies,
and narratives of adventure. Again he was attacked for his
political declarations; again he was fined and imprisoned in New-
gate; but again he was liberated by the queen.
This was in November, 1713, and in the following year the
queen died. The enemies of De Foe then endeavoured to crush
him, and he felt compelled to write an account of his political
conduct and of the sufferings which had been inflicted on him.
His health gave way for a time, and when he recovered he
abandoned political writing and satirical pamphlets and devoted
his talents to narratives and stories of fiction, of which the Life
and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe is the earliest and the most
permanently popular. It has been hinted that this story was
taken from the narrative of Alexander Selkirk, a man who some


years previously had given an account of his being cast away
on an uninhabited island; but there is little or no resemblance
between the adventures of Selkirk and the story of Robinson
Crusoe. De Foe was above fifty years old when he commenced
his new career as a story-teller, and he lived till he was seventy.
He died on the 24th of April, 1731, and was buried in the parish
of St. Giles, Cripplegate, leaving a widow and several children.
De Foe was a man of true genius and of indomitable pluck.
Nothing daunted him or prevented him from denouncing oppres-
sion or upholding the right of liberty of conscience; but time has
proved that his greatest ability lay in what may be called the art
of story-telling. The book that is now before you is a proof that
in this he was a consummate master. There is no need to enter
into any description of the merits or the style of the story itself,
but as in this special edition the original language of the author
has been preserved, it may be well to remind the young reader,
first, that where that language is not in grammatical accordance
with modern rules, it is such as was used at the period in which
Robinson Crusoe was supposed to have lived; and secondly that
De Foe was such an accomplished narrator, that he would use
just the modes of expression that a man like Robinson Crusoe
would have used at that time. This latter particular is one of the
reasons why De Foe's story is so real, and therefore so attractive.


I WAS born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good
family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner
of Bremen, who settled first at Hull: he got a good estate by
merchandise, and leaving off his trade, lived afterward at York,
from whence he had married my mother, whose relations were
named Robinson, a very good family in that country, and from
whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but, by the usual cor-
ruption of words in England, we are now called, nay, we call our-
selves, 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
e (248) A


S. AII 11"'rme'
__ofm Qii0


I never knew, any more than my father or 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
satisfied 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
propension 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-
tune 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
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
consequences of being born to great things, and wish 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 nor riches.1
He bid me observe it, and I should always find, that the cala-
mities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of

. '* ,. . '1 '

SMy father expostulated very warmly with me."
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-
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
1 Solomon. Proverbs xxx. 8.


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
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;
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 observed the tears run down his face very plenti-
fully, 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 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 any such thing so much for my hurt, and that she
wondered how I could think of any such thing, after such a
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 most miserable 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
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 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 pro-
digal, 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 saw.
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 frighted, wasn'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
think nothing of such a squall of wind as that. But you're but a

I warrant you were frighted, want you?"
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.
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

0 4.1


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-I 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
them off, and roused myself from them as it were from a distemper,
and applying myself to drinking 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 com-
mon harbour where the ships might wait for a wind for the river.
We had not, however, rid here so long, but we 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;2 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 weit
very high indeed, and our ship rid forecastle3 in, shipped several
1 Anchors, cables, &c. 2 i.e. of sailors.
3 The forward part of the ship, where the foremast stands. It was separated
from the rest of the deck by a bulkhead.


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 ahead, and the cables veered out to the
better1 end.
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 in the business of pre-
serving the ship, yet, as he went in and out of his cabin by me,
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 reassume 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
rid near us we found had cut their masts by the board, being
deep laden; and our men cried out that a ship which rid about a
mile ahead 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
clear deck
1 Complete.


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-
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
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
to myself.
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 rid 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
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 norward, sloping towards the shore almost as far as
Winterton Ness.
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 horror 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 boat,
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;
for, hearing the ship I went away in was cast away in Yarmouth
Road, it was a great while before he had any assurance that I was
not drowned.
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 overruling decree that hurries us on
to be the instruments of our own destruction, even though it be
before us, and that we push 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 call-
ing, 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 has 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 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
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 the
entreaties and even command of my father-I say, the same in-
fluence, whatever it was, presented the most unfortunate of all
enterprises 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
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 foremast 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 unguided
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,
1 The Gold Coast. The coins called guineas were so named because numbers of
them were made from gold brought from the Guinea Coast" of Africa.


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 some 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
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 former 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 ter-
rible 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 in the
gray of the morning by a Turkish rover of Sallee, who gave chase
to us with all the sail she could make. We crowded also as much
canvas as our yards would spread or our masts carry to have got
clear; but finding the pirate gained upon us, and would certainly

wI- "li,%

He entered sixty men upon our decks."

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,1 instead of athwart out 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
two hundred men which he had on board. However, we had not
a man touched, all our men keeping close. He prepared to attack
1 That part of the ship that lies toward the stern.


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
decks, who immediately fell to cutting and hacking the decks 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, and were carried all prisoners into Sallee, a port belong-
ing to the Moors.
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 that
then I should be set at liberty. But this hope of mine was soon
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, or
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-
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 him.
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 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
longboat, like that of a barge, with a place to stand behind it to
steer and hale 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 him
to lie, with a slave or two; and a table to eat on, with some small
1 Stark" is here used for quite or thoroughly.


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

: , ___-

.--:z.--- T
"He sent on board a larger store of provisions."

for pleasure or for fish, with two or three Moors of some distinc-
tion 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
I got all things ready as he had directed, and waited the next
morning with the boat washed clean, her ancient1 and pendants
1 Flag at the stern.


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
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 pound, 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

': ^s sij


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 contrary 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 that horrid place where I was, and leave the rest to
After we had fished some time and catched 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 farther off." He, thinking
no harm, agreed; and being in the head of the boat, set the sails:
and as I had the helm, I run the boat out near a league farther,
and then brought her to, as if I would fish; when, giving the
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
over the world 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-
self about and swam for the 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
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

"If you come near Ill shoot you through the head."
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, re-
solving to swim on shore as soon as it was dark, and discover the
country; 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
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.
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 to 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 haled the boat in
as near the shore as we thought was proper, and 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
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 mans.
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 to 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 farther
south, for fear of the Moors; and the Moors not thinking it worth
inhabiting, by reason of its barrenness. And, indeed, both forsak-
ing it because of the prodigious numbers 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 uninhabited country by day, and heard nothing but howling
and roaring of wild beasts by night.
Once or twice in the daytime, I thought I saw the Pico1 of
Teneriffe, being the high top of the mountain Teneriffe in the
Canaries; and had a great mind to venture out in hopes of reach-
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 farther in.
Xury, whose eyes were more about him than it seems mine were,
calls softly to me and tells me that we had best go farther off the
shore:-"For," 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 bad 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.
He 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
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
1 Peak or Point.


make but little noise, but lay 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 shot upon 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 be 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 hopes to meet with some European
ship; and if I did not, I knew not what course I had to take, but
to seek 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 single point, either that I must meet with some ship or must
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 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 again.
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
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 other. 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 moun-
tains from whence they came, nor 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 brought me a great deal more of their pro-
vision, 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 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!" 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
make any signal to them. But after I had crowded to the utmost
and began 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;
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

N --_:

I -.--

" Master, master, a ship with a sail!"

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 anyone 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
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, you will be starved there, and then I only take away that
life I have given. No, no, Seignor Inglese," says he, Mr. English-
man, 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 to 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 would 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
The generous treat-
ment the captain gave
me I can never enough
remember. He would
take nothing of me
for my passage, gave
me twenty ducats for
the leopard's skin and
forty for the lion's
skin which I had in
my boat, and caused
everything I had in
/ the ship to be punc-
tually delivered me;
and what I was will-
ing to sell he bought,
such as the case of
bottles, two of my
4" f. guns, and a piece of
the lump of bees'-wax,
He offered also for my boy Xury." for I had made candles
of the rest. In a word,
I made about two hundred and twenty pieces of eight of all my
cargo; and with this stock I went on shore in the Brazils.
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 him
some time, and acquainted myself by that means with the manner
of their planting and making of sugar. And seeing how well the
planters 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 this purpose,
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
suitable 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 circumstances
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 alas! 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,
and broke through all his good advice; nay, I was coming into
the very middle 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 know-
ledge 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 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 friend 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 to 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 safe you may order the rest the same way, and if it mis-
carry you may have the other half to have recourse to for your
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 captain's widow a full account of all my
adventures; my slavery, escape, and how I had met with the
Portugal 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; whereupon
she not only delivered the money, but out of her own pocket sent
the Portugal 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 writ 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 infinitely beyond my
poor neighbour-I mean in the advancement of my plantation;
for the first thing I did I bought me a negro slave, and an European
servant also-I mean another besides that which the captain
brought me from Lisbon.
But 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
SBaize; serge; soft woollen cloth.



undertakings 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 adhering 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 pur-
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, then, by the just degrees to the particulars of this
part of my story. You may suppose that having 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
was our port; and that, in my discourses among them, I had
frequently given them an account of my two voyages to the coast
of Guinea, the manner of trading with the negroes 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, but especially to that part which related to the buying
negroes; which was a trade at that time not only not far entered
into, but, as far as it was, had been carried on by the assiento, or
permission of the Kings of Spain and Portugal, and engrossed in
the public;1 so that few negroes were brought, and those exces-
sively dear.
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
much as servants; that as it was a trade that could not be carried
on, because they could not publicly sell the negroes when they
came 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 I would
go their supercargo in the ship to manage the trading part upon
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 must be confessed, had it been made
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 pound 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
I Monopolized: the negroes were all bought by speculators to enhance their price
to the planters.


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

" The question was, whether I would go their supercargo."

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-being the same day eight year1 that I went from my
father and mother at Hull in order to act the rebel to their
authority and the fool to my own interest.
Our ship was about 120 ton burthen; 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 looking-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 farther 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
11st of September, 1659.


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,1 or the north part of Brazil, beyond the River Amazones,
toward that of the River Oronoque,2 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 Carribbe 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!" and we had no
sooner run out of the cabin to look out in hopes of seeing where-
abouts in the world we were, but the ship struck upon a sand,
1 De Foe spells it Guiney." 2 Orinoco.


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
It is not easy for any one who has not been in the like condition

"One of our men cried out Land!'"
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 winds by a kind of miracle should turn im-
mediately about. In a word, we sat looking one upon another,


and expecting death every moment, and every man acting accor-
dingly 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 rudder,
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 should be 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.
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
word, it took us with such a fury, that it overset the boat at once,
and separating us as well from the boat aa from one another, gave
us not time hardly to say, 0 God! 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 rise 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 began 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,
and then took to my heels and ran with what strength I had
farther 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 forwards
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
dashed me against a piece of a rock, and that with such force, as
it left me senseless, and indeed helpless, as to my own deliverance:
for the blow taking my side and breast, beat the breath as it were
quite out of my body, and had it 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.
I 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 impos-
sible 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 blood1 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 of
my deliverance, making a thousand gestures and motions which
I 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
comforts 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 noth-
ing 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, and for a while I ran about like a
Si.e. to bleed him in the arm; a common practice in old-fashioned medical


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,

"I fell fast asleep."

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 done in my condition, and found myself the most refreshed
with it that I think I ever was on such an occasion.
When I waked it was broad day, the weather clear, and the
storm abated, so that the sea did not rage and swell as before;
but that which surprised me most was, that the ship was lifted
off in the night from the sand where she lay by the swelling of
the tide, and was driven up almost as far as the rock which I
first mentioned, where I had been so bruised by the dashing me
against it; this being within about a mile from the shore where
I was, and the ship seeming to stand upright still, I wished
myself on board, that at least I might have some necessary things
for my use.
When I came down from my apartment in the tree, I looked
about me again, and the first thing I found was the boat, which
lay as the wind and the sea had tossed her up upon the land,
about two miles on my right hand. I walked as far as I could
upon the shore to have got to her, but found a neck or inlet of
water between me and the boat which was about half a mile
broad; so I came back for the present, being more intent upon
getting at the ship, where I hoped to find something for my
present subsistence.
A little after noon I found the sea very calm and the tide
ebbed so far out that I could come within a quarter of a mile of
the ship. And here I found a fresh renewing of my grief; for
I saw evidently that if we had kept on board we had been all safe
-that is to say, we had all got safe on shore, and I had not been
so miserable as to be left entirely destitute of all comfort and
company as I now was. This forced tears from my eyes again,
but as there was little relief in that, I resolved, if possible, to get
to the ship; so I pulled off my clothes, for the weather was hot
to extremity, and took the water. But when I came to the ship,
my difficulty was still greater to know how to get on board; for
(248) D


as she lay aground and high out of the water, there was nothing
within my reach to lay hold of. I swam round her twice, and
the second time I spied a small piece of a rope, which I wondered
I did not see at first, hang down by the fore-chains so low as that
with great difficulty I got hold of it, and by the help of that rope
got up into the forecastle of the ship. Here I found that the ship
was bulged,' and had a great deal of water in her hold, but that
she lay so on the side of a bank of hard sand, or rather earth,
and her stern lay lifted up upon the bank, and her head low
almost to the water. By this means all her quarter was free,
and all that was in that part was dry; for you may be sure my
first work was to search and to see what was spoiled and what was
free. And first I found that all the ship's provisions were dry
and untouched by the water, and being very well disposed to eat,
I went to the bread-room and filled my pockets with biscuit, and
eat it as I went about other things, for I had no time to lose.
I also found some rum in the great cabin, of which I took a large
dram, and which I had indeed need enough of to spirit me for
what was before me. Now I wanted nothing but a boat to
furnish myself with many things which I foresaw would be very
necessary to me.
It was in vain to sit still and wish for what was not to be had,
and this extremity roused my application. We had several spare
yards, and two or three large spars of wood, and a spare top-mast
or two in the ship. I resolved to fall to work with these, and
flung as many of them overboard as I could manage of their
weight, tying every one with a rope that they might not drive
away. When this was done, I went down the ship's side, and
pulling them to me, I tied four of them fast together at both
ends as well as I could, in the form of a raft, and laying two or
three short pieces of plank upon them crossways, I found I could
walk upon it very well, but that it was not able to bear any
great weight, the pieces being too light. So I went to work, and
with the carpenter's saw I cut a spare top-mast into three lengths,
and added them to my raft, with a great deal of labour and pains;
but hope of furnishing myself with necessaries encouraged me to
1 Some of the timbers struck off so as to cause a leak.


go beyond what I should have been able to have done upon
another occasion.
My raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable weight.
My next care was what to load it with, and how to preserve
what I laid upon it from the surf of the sea. But I was not long
considering this. I first laid all the planks or boards upon it that
I could get, and having considered well what I most wanted, I
first got three of the seamen's chests, which I had broken open
and emptied, and lowered them down upon my raft. The first
of these I filled with provisions-namely, bread, rice, three Dutch
cheeses, five pieces of dried goat's flesh, which we lived much
upon, and a little remainder of European corn which had been
laid by for some fowls which we brought to sea with us; but the
fowls were killed. There had been some barley and wheat to-
gether, but to my great disappointment I found afterwards that
the rats had eaten or spoiled it all. As for liquors, I found several
cases of bottles belonging to our skipper, in which were some
cordial waters, and in all about five or six gallons of rack.1 These
I stowed by themselves, there being no need to put them into the
chest, nor no room for them. While I was doing this I found the
tide began to flow, though very calm, and I had the mortification
to see my coat, shirt, and waistcoat, which I had left on shore
upon the sand, swim away; as for my breeches, which were only
linen and open-kneed, I swam on board in them and my stockings.
However, this put me upon rummaging for clothes, of which
I found enough, but took no more than I wanted for present use,
for I had other things which my eye was more upon-as, first,
tools to work with on shore, and it was after long searching that
I found out the carpenter's chest, which was indeed a very useful
prize to me, and much more valuable than a ship loading of gold
would have been at that time. I got it down to my raft even
whole as it was, without losing time to look into it, for I knew
in general what it contained.
My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There
were two very good fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two
pistols; these I secured first, with some powder-horns, and a
1 Arrack, a spirit distilled from rite or other grain, resembling gin or whisky.


small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I knew there were
three barrels of powder in the ship, but knew not where our
gunner had stowed them; but with much search I found them,
two of them dry and good, the third had taken water. Those
two I got to my raft with the arms; and now I thought myself
pretty well freighted, and began to think how I should get to

I guided my raft as well as I could."

shore with them, having neither sail, oar, nor rudder, and the
least capful of wind would have overset all my navigation.
I had three encouragements-first, a smooth calm sea; second,
the tide rising and setting in to the shore; third, what little wind
there was blew me towards the land. And thus, having found
two or three broken oars belonging to the boat, and besides the
tools which were in the chest, I found two saws, an axe, and a
hammer, and with this cargo I put to sea. For a mile or there-


. 1

about my raft went very well, only that I found it drive a little
distant from the place where I had landed before; by which
I perceived that there was some indraught of the water, and
consequently I hoped to find some creek or river there,
which I might make use of as a port to get to land with my
As I imagined, so it was. There appeared before me a little
opening of the land, and I found a strong current of the tide set
into it; so I guided my raft as well as I could to keep in the
middle of the stream. But here I had like to have suffered a
second shipwreck, which if I had, I think verily would have broken
my heart; for, knowing nothing of the coast, my raft ran aground
at one end of it upon a shoal, and not being aground at the other
end, it wanted but a little that all my cargo had slipped off
towards that end that was afloat, and so fallen into the water. I
did my utmost, by setting my back against the chests, to keep
them in their places, but could not thrust off the raft with all my
strength, neither durst I stir from the posture I was in, but hold-
ing up the chests with all my might, stood in that manner near
half an hour, in which time the rising of the water brought me a
little more upon a level; and a little after, the water still rising,
my raft floated again, and I thrust her off with the oar I had into
the channel, and then driving up higher, I at length found myself
in the mouth of a little river, with land on both sides, and a strong
current or tide running up. I looked on both sides for a proper
place to get to shore, for I was not willing to be driven too high
up the river, hoping in time to see some ship at sea, and therefore
resolve to place myself as near the coast as I could.
At length I spied a little cove on the right shore of the creek,
to which with great pain and difficulty I guided my raft, and at
last got so near as that, reaching ground with my oar, I could
thrust her directly in. But here I had like to have dipped all my
cargo in the sea again; for that shore lying pretty steep-that is
to say, sloping-there was no place to land, but where one end of
my float if it ran on shore, would lie so high, and the other sink
lower as before, that it would endanger my cargo again. All that
I could do was to wait till the tide was at the highest, keeping the


raft with my oar like an anchor to hold the side of it fast to the
shore, near a flat piece of ground, which I expected the water
would flow over; and so it did. As soon as I found water enough
-for my raft drew about a foot of water-I thrust her on upon
that flat piece of ground, and there fastened or moored her by
sticking my two broken oars into the ground, one on one side near
one end, and one on the other side near the other end; and thus
I lay till the water ebbed away, and left my raft and all my cargo
safe on shore.
My next work was to view the country, and seek a proper place
for my habitation, and where to stow my goods to secure them
from whatever might happen. Where I was I yet knew not,
whether on the continent or on an island, whether inhabited or
not inhabited, whither in danger of wild beasts or not. There
was a hill not above a mile from me, which rose up very steep and
high, and which seemed to overtop some other hills which lay as
in a ridge from it northward. I took out one of the fowling-pieces
and one of the pistols, and a horn of powder, and thus armed I
travelled for discovery up to the top of that hill, where, after I
had with great labour and difficulty got to the top, I saw my fate
to my great affliction-namely, that I was in an island environed
every way with the sea, no land to be seen, except some rocks
which lay a great way off, and two small islands, less than this,
which lay about three leagues to the west.
I found also that the island I was in was barren, and, as I saw
good reason to believe, uninhabited, except by wild beasts-of
whom, however, I saw none; yet I saw abundance of fowls, but
knew not their kinds, neither when I killed them could I tell
what was fit for food, and what not. At my coming back, I shot
at a great bird which I saw sitting upon a tree on the side of
a great wood. I believe it was the first gun that had been fired
there since the creation of the world. I had no sooner fired, but
from all the parts of the wood there arose an innumerable number
of fowls of many sorts, making a confused screaming, and crying
every one according to his usual note; but not one of them of any
kind that I knew. As for the creature I killed, I took it to be a
kind of a hawk, its colour and beak resembling it, but had no


talons or claws more than common; its flesh was carrion, and fit
for nothing.
Contented with this discovery, I came back to my raft, and fell
to work to bring my cargo on shore, which took me up the rest
of that day. And what to do with myself at night I knew not,
nor indeed where to rest; for I was afraid to lie down on the
ground, not knowing but some wild beast might devour me,
though, as I afterwards found, there was really no need for those
However, as well as I could, I barricadoed myself round with
the chests and boards that I had brought on shore, and made a
kind of hut for that night's lodging. As for food, I yet saw not
which way to supply myself, except that I had seen two or three
creatures like hares run out of the wood where I shot the fowl
I now began to consider that I might yet get a great many
things out of the ship which would be useful to me, and particu-
larly some of the rigging and sails, and such other things as might
come to land; and I resolved to make another voyage on board
the vessel, if possible; and as I knew that the first storm that
blew must necessarily break her all in pieces, I resolved to set all
other things apart, till I got everything out of the ship that I
could get. Then I called a council-that is to say, in my thoughts
-whether I should take back the raft; but this appeared imprac-
ticable. So I resolved to go as before, when the tide was down;
and I did so, only that I stripped before I went from my hut,
having nothing on but a checkered shirt, and a pair of linen
drawers, and a pair of pumps on my feet. I got on-board the
ship as before, and prepared a second raft; and having had ex-
perience of the first, I neither made this so unwieldy nor loaded
it so hard, but yet I brought away several things very useful to
me. At first, in the carpenter's stores, I found two or three bags
full of nails and spikes, a great screw-jack, a dozen or two of
hatchets, and, above all, that most useful thing called a grind-stone.
All these I secured together, with several things belonging to the
gunner, particularly two or three iron crows, and two barrels of
musket bullets, seven muskets, and another fowling-piece, with
some small quantity of powder more, a large bag full of small

shot, and a great roll of sheet lead. But this last was so heavy I
could not hoist it up to get it over the ship's side.
Besides these things, I took all the men's clothes that I could
find, and a spare fore-topsail, a hammock and some bedding; and
with this I loaded my second raft, and brought them all safe on
shore, to my very great comfort.
I was under some apprehensions during my absence from the
land that at least my provisions might be devoured on shore; but
when I came back I found no sign of any visitor, only there sat a
creature like a wild cat upon one of the chests, which, when I
came towards it, ran away a little distance, and then stood still.
She sat very composed and unconcerned, and looked full in my
face, as if she had a mind to be acquainted with me. I presented
my gun at her, but as she did not understand it, she was perfectly
unconcerned at it, nor did she offer to stir away. Upon which I
tossed her a bit of biscuit-though, by the way, I was not very
free of it, for my store was not great. However, I spared her a
bit, I say, and she went to it, smelled of it, and ate it, and looked,
as pleased, for more; but I thanked her, and could spare no more.
So she marched off.
Having got my second cargo on shore, though I was fain to
open the barrels of powder, and bring them by parcels-for they
were too heavy, being large casks-I went to work to make me a
little tent with the sail and some poles which I cut for that pur-
pose; and into this tent I brought everything that I knew would
spoil either with rain or sun, and I piled all the empty chests and
casks up in a circle round the tent, to fortify it from any sudden
attempt either from man or beast.
When I had done this, I blocked up the door of the tent with
some boards within, and an empty chest set up on end without,
and spreading one of the beds upon the ground, laying my two
pistols just at my head, and my gun at length by me, I went to
bed for the first time, and slept very quietly all night, for I was
very weary and heavy; for the night before I had slept little, and
had laboured very hard all day, as well to fetch all those things
from the ship as to get them on shore.
I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that ever were laid


up, I believe, for one man; but I was not satisfied still, for while
the ship sat upright in that posture, I thought I ought to get
everything out of her that I could; so every day at low water I
went on board, and brought away some thing or other. But par-
ticularly the third time I went I brought away as much of the
rigging as I could, as also all the small ropes and rope-twine I

"I piled the empty chests round the tent."

could get, with a piece of spare canvas, which was to mend the
sails upon occasion, the barrel of wet gunpowder; in a word, I
brought away all the sails first and last, only that I was fain to
cut them in pieces, and bring as much at a time as I could,
for they were no more useful to be sails, but as mere canvas only.
But that which comforted me more still was, that at last of all,
after I had made five or six such voyages as these, and thought I
had nothing more to expect from the ship that was worth my
meddling with-I say, after all this, I found a great hogshead of
bread,' and three large runlets of rum or spirits, and a box of sugar,
1 Biscuits are called ship's "bread."


and a barrel of fine flour. This was surprising to me, because I
had given over expecting any more provisions, except what was
spoiled by the water. I soon emptied the hogshead of that bread.
and wrapped it up parcel by parcel in pieces of the sails, which I
cut out; and in a word, I got all this safe on shore also.
The next day I made another voyage, and now having plundered
the ship of what was portable and fit to hand out, I began with
the cables; and cutting the great cable into pieces such as I could
mgve, I got two cables and a hawser on shore, with all the iron-
work I could get; and having cut down the spritsail-yard, and
the mizzen-yard, and everything I could to make a large raft, I
loaded it with all those heavy goods, and came away. But my
good luck began now to leave me; for this raft was so unwieldy
and so overloaden, that after I was entered the little cove where I
had landed the rest of my goods, not being able to guide it so
handily as I did the other, it overset, and threw me and all my
cargo into the water. As for myself it was no great harm, for I
was near the shore; but as to my cargo, it was great part of it lost,
especially the iron, which I expected would have been of great use
to me. However, when the tide was out, I got most of the pieces
of cable ashore and some of the iron, though with infinite labour:
for I was fain to dip for it into the water, a work which fatigued
me very much. After this I went every day on board, and brought
away what I could get.
I had been now thirteen days on shore, and had been eleven
times on board the ship, in which time I had brought away all
that one pair of hands could well be supposed capable to bring;
though I believe verily, had the calm weather held, I should have
brought away the whole ship piece by piece. But preparing the
twelfth time to go on board, I found the wind begin to rise. How-
ever, at low water I went on board; and though I thought I had
rummaged the cabin so effectually as that nothing more could be
found, yet I discovered a locker with drawers in it, in one of which
I found twp or three razors and one pair of large scissors, with
some ten or a dozen of good knives and forks; in another I found
about thirty-six pounds value in money, some European coin, some
Brazil, some pieces of eight, some gold, some silver.


I smiled to myself at the sight of this money. "0 drug!" said
I aloud, "what art thou good for? Thou art not worth to me, no
not the taking off of the ground; one of those knives is worth all
this heap. I have no manner of use for thee; even remain where
thou art, and go to the bottom as a creature whose life is not worth
saving." However, upon second thoughts, I took it away, and
wrapping all this in a piece of canvas, I began to think of making
another raft; but while I was preparing this, I found the sky over-
cast, and the wind began to rise, and in a quarter of an hour it
blew a fresh gale from the shore. It presently occurred to me
that it was in vain to pretend to make a raft with the wind off
shore, and that it was my business to be gone before the tide of
flood began, otherwise I might not be able to reach the shore at
all. Accordingly I let myself down into the water, and swam across
the channel which lay between the ship and the sands, and even that
with difficulty enough, partly with the weight of the things I had
about me, and partly the roughness of the water, for the wind rose
very hastily, and before it was quite high water it blew a storm.
But I was gotten home to my little tent, where I lay with all
my wealth about me very secure. It blew very hard all that night;
and in the morning when I looked out, behold, no more ship was
to be seen! I was a little surprised, but recovered myself with
this satisfactory reflection, namely, that I had lost no time nor
abated any diligence to get everything out of her that could be
useful to me, and that indeed there was little left in her that I
was able to bring away, if I had had more time.
I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, or of anything
out of her, except what might drive on shore from her wreck, as
indeed divers pieces of her afterwards did; but those things were
of small use to me.
My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing myself
against either savages, if any should appear, or wild beasts, if any
were in the island; and I had many thoughts of the method how
to do this, and what kind of dwelling to make, whether I should
make me a cave in the earth, or a tent upon the earth. And, in
short, I resolved upon both, the manner and description of which
it may not be improper to give an account of.


I soon found the place I was in was not for my settlement, par-
ticularly because it was upon a low moorish ground near the sea.
and I believed could not be wholesome, and more particularly, be-
cause their was no fresh water near it; so I resolved to find a more
healthy and more convenient spot of ground.
I consulted several things in my situation which I found would
be proper for me. First, health, and fresh water I just now men-
tioned. Secondly, shelter from the heat of the sun. Thirdly, se-
curity from ravenous creatures, whether men or beasts. Fourthly,
a view to the sea, that if God sent any ship in sight I might not
lose any advantage for my deliverance, of which I was not willing
to banish all my expectation yet.
In search of a place proper for this, I found a little plain on the
side of a rising hill, whose front towards this little plain was steep
as a house-side, so that nothing could come down upon me from
the top. On the side of this rock there was a hollow place worn
a little way in like the entrance or door of a cave; but there was
not really any cave or way into the rock at all.
On the flat of the green, just before this hollow place, I resolved
to pitch my tent. This plain was not above an hundred yards
broad, and about twice as long, and lay like a green before my
door, and at the end of it descended irregularly every way down
into the low grounds by the sea-side. It was on the north-north-
west side of the hill, so that I was sheltered from the heat every
day till it came to a west and by south sun, or thereabouts, which
in those countries is near the setting.
Before I set up my tent, I drew a half-circle before the hollow
place, which took in about ten yards in its semi-diameter from the
rock, and twenty yards in its diameter from its beginning and
In this half-circle I pitched two rows of strong stakes, driving
them into the ground till they stood very firm like piles, the big-
gest end being out of the ground about five foot and a half, and
sharpened on the top. The two rows did not stand above six
inches from one another.
Then I took the pieces of cable which I had cut in the ship, and
laid them in rows one upon another within the circle, between


these two rows of stakes, up to the top, placing other stakes in
the inside, leaning against them, about two foot and a half high,
like a spur to a post; and this fence was so strong that neither
man nor beast could get into it or over it. This cost me a great
deal of time and labour, especially to cut the piles in the woods,
bring them to the place, and drive them into the earth.

Mia 'I --

I pitched two rows of strong stakes."
The entrance into this place I made to be, not by a door, but by
a short ladder to go over the top; which ladder, when I was in, I
lifted over after me. And so I was completely fenced in and forti-
fied, as I thought, from all the world, and consequently slept
secure in the night, which otherwise I could not have done; though,
as it appeared afterward, their was no need of all this caution from
the enemies that I apprehended danger from.
Into this fence or fortress, with infinite labour, I carried all my
riches, all my provisions, ammunition, and stores, of which you


have the account above. And I made me a large tent, which, to
preserve me from the rains that in one part of the year are very
violent there, I made double-namely one smaller tent within, and
one larger tent above it, and covered the uppermost with a large
tarpaulin which I had saved among the sails.
And now I lay no more for a while in the bed which I had
brought on shore, but in a hammock; which was indeed a very
good one, and belonged to the mate of the ship.
Into this tent I brought all my provisions and everything that
would spoil by the wet; and having thus enclosed all my goods I
made up the entrance, which till now I had left open, and so
passed and repassed, as I said, by a short ladder.
When I had done this, I began to work my way into the rock,
and bringing all the earth and stones that I dug down out through
my tent, I laid them up within my fence in the nature of a terrace,
that so it raised the ground within about a foot and a half; and
thus I made me a cave just behind my tent, which served me like
a cellar to my house.
It cost me much labour and many days before all these things
were brought to perfection, and therefore I must go back to some
other things which took up some of my thoughts. At the same
time it happened after I had laid my scheme for the setting up my
tent, and making the cave, that a storm of rain falling from a thick
dark cloud, a sudden flash of lightning happened, and after that a
great clap of thunder, as is naturally the effect of it. I was not
so much surprised with the lightning as I was with a thought
which darted into my mind as swift as the lightning itself-6
my powder! My very heart sank within me when I thought that
at one blast all my powder might be destroyed, on whish not my
defence only, but the providing me food, as I thought, entirely
depended. I was nothing near so anxious about my own danger,
though had the powder taken fire, I had never known who had
hurt me.
Such impression did this make upon me, that after the storm
was over I laid aside all my works, my building and fortifying,
and applied myself to make bags and boxes to separate the powder
and keep it a little and a little in a parcel, in hope that whatever


might come it might not all take fire at once, and to keep it so
apart that it should not be possible to make one part fire another.
I finished this work in about a fortnight; and I think my
powder, which in all was about two hundred and forty pounds
weight, was divided in not less than a hundred parcels. As to the

"I discovered there were goats in the island."

barrel that had been wet, I did not apprehend any danger from
that; so I placed it in my new cave, which in my fancy I called
my kitchen, and the rest I hid up and down in holes among the
rocks, so that no wet might come to it, marking very carefully
where I laid it.
In the interval of time while this was doing I went out once
at least every day with my gun as well to divert myself as to
see if I could kill anything fit for food, and as near as I could to

acquaint myself with what the island produced. The first time I
went out I presently discovered that there were goats in the island
-which was a great satisfaction to me; but then it was attended
with this misfortune to me, namely, that they were so shy, so
subtile, and so swift of foot, that it was the difficultest thing in
the world to come at them. But I was not discouraged at this,
not doubting but I might now and then shoot one, as it soon
happened; for after I had found their haunts a little, I laid wait
in this manner for them: I observed if they saw me in the valleys,
though they were upon the rocks, they would run away as in a
terrible fright; but if they were feeding in the valleys, and I was
upon the rocks, they took no notice of me; from whence I con-
cluded that by the position of their optics their sight was so
directed downward that they did not readily see objects that were
above them. So afterward I took this method, I always climbed
the rocks first, to get above them, and then had frequently a fair
mark. The first shot I made among these creatures I killed a
she-goat which had a little kid by her which she gave suck to, which
grieved me heartily. But when the old one fell the kid stood
stock-still by her till I came and took her up; and not only so,
but when I carried the old one with me upon my shoulders, the
kid followed me quite to my enclosure: upon which I laid down
the dam and took the kid in my arms, and carried it over my
pale, in hopes to have it bred up tame; but it would not eat, so I
was forced to kill it and eat it myself. These two supplied me
with flesh a great while, for I ate sparingly, and saved my pro-
visions (my bread especially) as much as possibly I could.
Having now fixed my habitation, I found it absolutely neces-
sary to provide a place to make a fire in, and fuel to burn; and
what I did for that, as also how I enlarged my cave and what
conveniences I made, I shall give a full account of in its place.
But I must first give some little account of myself and of my
thoughts about living, which it may well be supposed were not
a few.
I had a dismal prospect of my condition; for as I was not cast
away upon that island without being driven, as is said, by a
violent storm quite out of the course of our intended voyage, and


a great way, namely, some hundreds of leagues, out of the
ordinary course of the trade of mankind I had great reason to
consider it as a determination of Heaven that in this desolate
place and in this desolate manner I should end my life. The
tears would run plentifully down my face when I made these
reflections; and sometimes I would expostulate with myself why
Providence should thus completely ruin its creatures and render
them so absolutely miserable, so without help abandoned, so
entirely depressed, that it could hardly be rational to be thankful
for such a life.
But something always returned swift upon me to check these
thoughts and to reprove me; and particularly one day, walking
with my gun in my hand by the sea-side, I was very pensive upon
the subject of my present condition, when reason, as it were, ex-
postulated with me the other way, thus: Well, you are in a deso-
late condition it is true, but pray remember, where are the rest of
you Did you not come eleven of you into the boat,-where are
the ten? Why were not they saved and you lost? Why were
you singled out? Is it better to be here or there ?-and then I
pointed to the sea. All evils are to be considered with the good
that is in them, and with what worse attends them.
Then it occurred to me again how well I was furnished for my
subsistence, and what would have been my case if it had not
happened, which was an hundred thousand to one, that the ship
floated from the place where she first struck, and was driven so
near to the shore that I had time to get all these things out of
her. What would have been my case if I had been to have lived
in the condition in which I at first came on shore, without
necessaries of life, or necessaries to supply and procure them
Particularly, said I aloud (though to myself), what should I have
done without a gun, without ammunition; without any tools to
make anything, or to work with; without clothes, bedding, a tent
or any manner of covering; and that now I had all these to a
sufficient quantity, and was in a fair way to provide myself in
such a manner, as to live without my gun when my ammunition
was spent; so that I had a tolerable view of subsisting without
any want as long as I lived: for I considered from the beginning
(248) E


how I would provide for the accidents that might happen, and
for the time that was to come, even not only after my ammu-
nition should be spent, but even after my health or strength
should decay.
I confess I had not entertained any notion of my ammuni-
tion being destroyed at one blast-I mean my powder being
blown up by lightning-and this made the thoughts of it so
surprising to me when it lightened and thundered, as I observed
just now.
And now being to enter into a melancholy relation of a scene
of silent life, such, perhaps, as was never heard of in the world
before, I shall take it from its beginning, and continue it in its
order. It was, by my account, the 30th of September when, in the
manner as above said, I first set foot upon this horrid island, when
the sun being, to us, in its autumnal equinox, was almost just over
my head; for I reckoned myself, by observation, to be in the
latitude of 9 degrees 22 minutes north of the line.
After I had been there about ten or twelve days it came into
my thoughts that I should lose my reckoning of time for want of
books and pen and ink, and should even forget the Sabbath days
from the working days; but, to prevent this, I cut it with my
knife upon a large post, in capital letters, and making it into a
great cross, I set it up on the shore where I first landed-namely,
the sides of this square post I cut every day a notch with my
knife, and every seventh notch was as long again as the rest, and
every first day of the month as long again as that long one, and
thus I kept my calendar, or weekly, monthly, and yearly reckoning
of time.
In the next place we are to observe, that among the many
things which I brought out of the ship in the several voyages
which, as above mentioned, I made to it, I got several things of
less value, but not all less useful to me, which I omitted setting
down before; as, in particular, pens, ink, and paper, several
parcels in the captain's, mate's, gunner's, and carpenter's keeping,
three or four compasses, some mathematical instruments, dials,
perspectives, charts, and books of navigation; all which I huddled


together, whether I might want them or no. Also, I found three
very good Bibles, which came to me in my cargo from England,
and which I had packed up among my things; some Portuguese
books also, and among them two or three Popish prayer-books,

"I set it up on the shore where I first landed."
and several other books; all which I carefully secured. And I
must not forget that we had in the ship a dog and two cats, of
whose eminent history I may have occasion to say something in
its place: for I carried both the cats with me; and as for the dog,
he jumped out of the ship of himself, and swam on shore to me
the day after I went ofj shore with my fistt cargo, and waA


a trusty servant to me many years. I wanted nothing that ho
could fetch me, nor any company that he could make up to me;
I only wanted to have him talk to me, but that would not do.
As I observed before, I found pen, ink, and paper, and I hus-
banded them to the utmost; and I shall show that, while my ink
lasted, I kept things very exact; but after that was gone I could
not, for I could not make any ink by any means that I could
And this put me in mind that I wanted many things, notwith-
standing all that I had amassed together; and of these, this of ink
was one; as also spade, pick-axe, and shovel, to dig or remove the
earth; needles, pins, and thread; as for linen, I soon learned to
want that without much difficulty.
This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily, and it
was near a whole year before I had entirely finished my little pale
or surrounded habitation. The piles or stakes, which were as
heavy as I could well lift, were a long time in cutting and pre-
paring in the woods, and more by far in bringing home; so that
I spent sometimes two days in cutting and bringing home one of
those posts, and a third day in driving it into the ground: for
which purpose I got a heavy piece of wood at first, but at last be-
thought myself of one of the iron crows; which, however, though
I found it, yet it made driving those posts or piles very laborious
and tedious work.
But what need I have been concerned at the tediousness of any-
thing I had to do, seeing I had time enough to do it in, nor had
I any other employment if that had been over, at least that I
could foresee, except the ranging the island to seek for food, which
I did more or less every day.
I now began to consider seriously my condition, and the circum-
stance I was reduced to, and I drew up the state of my affairs in
writing, not so much to leave them to any that were to come after
me, for I was like to have but few heirs, as to deliver my thoughts
from daily poring upon them, and afflicting my mind; and as my
reason began now to master my despondency, I began to comfort
myself as well as I could, and to set the good against the evil, that
I might have something to distinguish my case from worse; and I


stated it very impartially, like debtor and creditor, the comforts I
enjoyed against the miseries I suffered, thus:-

I am cast upon a horrible desolate
island, void of all hope of recovery.
I am singled out and separated, as
it were, from all the world, to be mis-

I am divided from mankind, a soli-
taire, one banished from human so-
I have not clothes to cover me.

I am without any defence or means
to resist any violence of man or beast.

I have no soul to speak to, or relieve

But I am alive, and not drowned, as
all my ship's company was.
But I am singled out, too, from all
the ship's crew to be spared from
death; and He that miraculously saved
me from death can deliver me from
this condition.
But I am not starved and perish-
ing on a barren place, affording no
But I am in a hot climate, where,
if I had clothes, I could hardly wear
But I am cast on an island where I'
see no wild beasts to hurt me, as I saw
on the coast of Africa; and what if I
had been shipwrecked there?
But God wonderfully sent the ship
in near enough to the shore, that I
have gotten out so many necessary
things as will either supply my wants,
or enable me to supply myself even as
long as I live.

Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony that there
was scarce any condition in the world so miserable, but there was
something negative or something positive to be thankful for in it;
and let this stand as a direction from the experience of the most
miserable of all conditions in this world, that we may always find
in it something to comfort ourselves from, and to set in the de-
scription of good and evil, on the credit side of the account.
Having now brought my mind a little to relish my condition,
and given'over looking out to sea, to see if I could spy a ship; I
say, giving over these things, I began to apply myself to accommo-
date my way of living, and to make things as easy to me as I
I have already described my habitation, which was a tent under
the side of a rock, surrounded with a strong pale of posts and
cables; but I might now rather call it a wall, for I raised a kind


Sof wall up against it of turfs, about two foot thick on the outside;
and after some time, I think it was a year and a half, I raised
rafters from it leaning to the rock, and thatched or covered it with
boughs of trees, and- such things as I could get to keep out the
rain, which I found at some times of the year very violent.
I have already observed how I brought all my goods into this
pale, and into the cave which I had made behind me; but I must
observe, too, that at first this was a confused heap of goods, which,

d, .' .

"I set myself to enlarge my cave."
as they lay in no order, so they took up all my place. I had no
room to turn myself, so I set myself to enlarge my cave and works
farther into the earth; for it was a loose sandy rock, which yielded
easily to the labour I bestowed on it: and so, when I found I
was pretty safe as to beasts of prey, I worked sideways to the
right hand into the rock; and then, turning to the right again,
worked quite out, and made me a door to come out, on the outside
of my pale or fortification.
This gave me not only egress and regress, as it were, a back-way
to my tent and to my storehouse, but gave me room to stow my


And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary things
as I found I most wanted, as particularly a chair and a table; for
without these I was not able to enjoy the few comforts I had in
the world-I could not write or eat, or do several things with so
much pleasure without a table.
So I went to work; and here I must needs observe, that as
reason is the substance and original of the mathematics, so by
stating and squaring everything by reason, and by making the
most rational judgment of things, every man may be in time
master of every mechanic art. I had never handled a tool in my
life, and yet in time, by labour, application, and contrivance, I
found at last that I wanted nothing but I could have made it,
especially if I had had tools; however, I made abundance of things,
even without tools, and some with no more tools than an adze
and a hatchet, which perhaps were never made that way before,
and that with infinite labour. For example, if I wanted a board,
I had no other way but to cut down a tree, set it on an edge
before me, and hew it flat on either side with my axe, till I had
brought it to be thin as a plank, and then dubb it smooth with
my adze. It is true, by this method I could make but one board
out of a whole tree, but this I had no remedy for but patience,
any more than I had for the prodigious deal of time and labour
which it took me up to make a plank or board. But my time or
labour was little worth, and so it was as well employed one way
as another.
However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed above,
in the first place, and this I did out of the short pieces of boards
that I brought on my raft from the ship. But when I had
wrought out some boards, as above, I made large shelves of the
breadth of a foot and a half one over another, all along one side
of my cave, to lay all my tools, nails, and iron-work, and, in a
word, to separate everything at large in their places, that I might
come easily at them. I knocked pieces into the wall of the rock
to hang my guns and all things that would hang up.
So that had my cave been to be seen, it looked like a general
magazine of all necessary things; and I had everything so ready at
my hand that it was a great pleasure to me to see all my goods in


such order, and especially to find my stock of all necessaries so
And now it was when I began to keep a journal of every day's
employment-for indeed at first I was in too much hurry, and not
only hurry as to labour, but in too much discomposure of mind-

"I made me a table and a chair."

and my journal would have been full of many dull things. For
example, I must have said thus:-September 30. After I got to
shore and had escaped drowning, instead of being thankful to God
for my deliverance-having first vomited with the great quantity
of salt water which was gotten into my stomach, and recovering
myself a little-I ran about the shore, wringing my hands and
beating my head and face, exclaiming at my misery, and crying
out I was undone, undone I till, tired and faint, I was forced to lie




~~ ~Fb~ /


down on the ground to repose, but durst not sleep for fear of
being devoured."
Some days after this, and after I had been on board the ship
and got all that I could out of her, yet I could not forbear getting
up to the top of a little mountain and looking out to sea in hopes
of seeing a ship, then fancy at a vast distance I spied a sail, please
myself with the hopes of it, and then after looking steadily till I
was almost blind, lose it quite, and sit down and weep like a child,
and thus increase ny misery by my folly.
But having gotten over these things in some measure, and
having settled my household stuff and habitation, made me a table
and a chair, and all as handsome about me as I could, I began to
keep ihy journal, of which I shall here give you the copy (though
in it will be told all these particulars over again) as long as it
lasted, for, having no more ink, I was forced to leave it off.


September 30, 1659. I, poor, miserable Robinson Crusoe, being
shipwrecked during a dreadful storm in the offing, came on shore
on this dismal unfortunate island, which I called the Island of
Despair, all the rest of the ship's company being drowned, and
myself almost dead.
All the rest of that day I spent in afflicting myself at the dismal
circumstances I was brought to-namely, I had neither food, house,
clothes, weapon, nor place to fly to, and, in despair of any relief,
saw nothing but death before me-either that I should be devoured
by wild beasts, murdered by savages, or starved to death for want
of food. At the approach of night I slept in a tree for fear of wild
creatures, but slept soundly though it rained all night.
October 1. In the morning I saw, to my great surprise, the ship
had floated with the high tide, and was driven on shore again
much nearer the island; which as it was some comfort, on one
hand, for, seeing her sit upright, and not broken to pieces, I
hoped, if the wind abated, I might get on board and get sofa
food and necessaries out of her for my relief; so, on the other
hand, it renewed my grief at the loss of my comrades, whop -I

imagined, if we had all stayed on board, might have saved the
ship, or at least that they would not have been all drowned as
they were; and that, had the men been saved, we might perhaps
have built us a boat out of the ruins of the ship to have carried
us to some other part of the world. I spent great part of this
day in perplexing myself on these things; but at length, seeing
the ship almost dry, I went upon the sand as near as I could, and
then swam on board; this day also it continued raining, though
with no wind at all.
From the 1st of October to the 24th. All these days entirely spent
in many several voyages to get all I could out of the ship, which
I brought on shore, every tide of flood, upon rafts. Much rain
also in these days, though with some intervals of fair weather;
but, it seems, this was the rainy season.
October 20. I overset my raft, and all the goods I had got upon
it; but being in shoal water, and the things being chiefly heavy, I
recovered many of them when the tide was out.
October 25. It rained all night and all day, with some gusts of
wind, during which time the ship broke in pieces, the wind blow-
ing a little harder than before, and was no more to be seen, except
the wreck of her, and that only at low water. I spent this day
in covering and securing the goods which I had saved, that the
rain might not spoil them.
October 26. I walked about the shore almost all day to find out
a place to fix my habitation, greatly concerned to secure myself
from an attack in the night either from wild beasts or men. To-
wards night I fixed upon a proper place under a rock, and marked
out a semicircle for my encampment, which I resolved to strengthen
with a work, wall, or fortification made of double piles, lined
within with cables and without with turf.
From the 26th to the 30th I worked very hard in carrying all
my goods to my new habitation, though some part of the time it
rained exceeding hard.
The 31st in the morning I went out into the island with my
gun to see for some food, and discover the country, when I killed
a she-goat, and her kid followed me home, which I afterwards
killed also, because it would not feed.


November 1. I set up my tent under a rock, and lay there for
the first night, making it as large as I could with stakes drive in
to swing my hammock upon. *
November 2. I set up all my chests and boards, and the pieces
of timber which made my rafts, and with them formed a fence

Crsoe writing his Journal

round me, a little within the place I had marked out for my for-
November 3. I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls like
ducks, which were very good food. In the afternoon went to
work to make me a table.
November 4. This morning I began to order my times of work,
of going out with my gun, time of sleep and time of diversion-
namely every morning I walked out with my gun for two or tee
hours if it did not rain, then employed myself to work till about
eleven o'clock, then ate what I had to live on; and from twelve to
two I lay down to sleep, the weather being excessive hot; ad


then in the evening to work again. The working part of this day
and of the next were wholly employed in making my table; for I
was yet but a very sorry workman, though time and necessity
made me a complete natural mechanic soon after, as I believe it
would do any one else.
November 5. This day went abroad with my gun and my dog,
and killed a wild cat, her skin pretty soft, but her flesh good for
nothing. Every creature I killed I took off the skins and pre-
served them. Coming back by the sea-shore, I saw many sorts of
sea-fowls which I did not understand; but was surprised and
almost frightened with two or three seals, which while I was
gazing at, not well knowing what they were, got into the sea, and
escaped me for that time.
November 6. After my morning walk I went to work with my
table again, and finished it, though not to my liking; nor was it
long before I learned to mend it.
November 7. Now it began to be settled fair weather. The 7th,
8th, 9th, 10th, and part of the 12th (for the 11th was Sunday),
I took wholly up to make me a chair, and with much ado brought
it to a tolerable shape, but never to please me; and even in the
making I pulled it in pieces several times. Note.-I soon ne-
glected my keeping Sundays; for, omitting my mark for them on
my post, I forgot which was which.
November 13. This day it rained, which refreshed me exceed-
ingly, and cooled the earth; but it was accompanied with terrible
thunder and lightning, which frightened me dreadfully for fear of
my powder. As soon as it was over I resolved to separate my
stock of powder into as many little parcels as possible, that it
might not be in danger.
November 14, 15, 16. These three days I spent in making little
square chests or boxes, which might hold about a pound, or two
pound at most, of powder; and so putting the powder in, I stowed
it in places as secure and remote from one another as possible.
On one of these three days I killed a large bird that was good to
eat, but I know not what to call it.
November 17. This day I began to dig behind my tent into the
rock, to make room for my farther conveniency. Note.-Three


things I wanted exceedingly for this work-namely, a pick-axe, a
shovel, and- a wheelbarrow or basket. So I desisted from my
work, and began to consider how to supply that want, and make
me some tools. As for a pick-axe I made use of the iron crows,
which were proper enough though heavy. But the next thing
was a shovel or spade; this was so absolutely necessary, that
indeed I could do nothing effectually without it. But what kind
of one to make I knew not.
November 18. The next day, in searching the woods, I found a
tree of that wood, or like it, which in the Brazils they call the
iron tree, for its exceeding hardness. Of this, with great labour
and almost spoiling my axe, I cut a piece, and brought it home
too with difficulty enough, for it was exceeding heavy.
The excessive hardness of the wood, and having no other.way,
made me a long while upon this machine; for I worked it effec-
tually by little and little into the form of a shovel or spade, the
handle exactly shaped like ours in England, only that the broad
part having no iron shod upon it at bottom, it would not last me
so long. However, it served well enough for the uses which I
had occasion to put it to; but never was a shovel, I believe, made
after that fashion, or so long a-making.
I was still deficient, for I wanted a basket or a wheelbarrow.
A basket I could not make by any means, having no such things
as twigs that would bend to make wicker ware, at least none yet
found out. And as to a wheelbarrow, I fancied I could make all
but the wheel, but that I had no notion of, neither did I know
how to go about it; besides, I had no possible way to make the
iron gudgeons for the spindle or axis of the wheel to run in, so I
gave it over. And so, for carrying away the earth which I dug
out of the cave, I made me a thing like a hod, which the labourers
carry mortar in when they serve the bricklayers.
This was not so difficult to me as the making the shovel; and
yet this and the shovel, and the attempt which I made in vain to
make a wheelbarrow, took me up no less than four days-I mean
always excepting my morning walk with my gun, which I seldom
failed, and very seldom failed also bringing home something fit to


November 23. My other work having now stood still because of
my making these tools, when they were finished I went on, and
working every day as my strength and time allowed, I spent
eighteen days entirely in widening and deepening my cave, that
it might hold my goods commodiously.
Note.-During all this time I worked to make this room or
cave spacious enough to accommodate me as a warehouse or maga-
zine, a kitchen, a dining-room, and a cellar. As for my lodging,
I kept to the tent, except that sometimes, in the wet season of the
year, it rained so hard that I could not keep myself dry; which
caused me afterwards to cover all my place within my pale with
long poles in the form of rafters, leaning against the rock, and load
them with flags and large leaves of trees like a thatch.
December 10. I began now to think my cave or vault finished,
when on a sudden (it seems I had made it too large) a great quan-
tity of earth fell down from the top and one side, so much that,
in short, it frightened me; and not without reason too, for if I
had been under it, I had never wanted a grave-digger. Upon this
disaster I had a great deal of work to do over again; for I had
the loose earth to carry out, and, which was of more importance,
I had the ceiling to prop up, so that I might be sure no more
would come down.
December 11. This day I went to work with it accordingly, and
got two shores or posts pitched upright to the top, with two pieces
of boards across over each post. This I finished the next day,
and setting more posts up with boards, in about a week more I
had the roof secured; and the posts, standing in rows, served me
for partitions to part off my house.
December 17. From this day to the 20th I placed shelves, and
knocked up nails on the posts to hang everything up that
could be hung up; and now I began to be in some order within
December 20. Now I carried everything into the cave and began
to furnish my house, and set up some pieces of boards, like a
dresser, to order my victuals upon; but boards began to be very
scarce with me. Also I made me another table.
December 24. Much rain all night and all day. No stirring out.


December 25. Rain all day.
December 26. No rain, and the earth much cooler than before
and pleasanter.
December 27. Killed a young goat, and lamed another so that
I caught it, and led it home in a string. When I had it home I

"I caught it, and led it home in a string."

bound and splintered up its leg, which was broken. NB.-I took
such care of it that it lived, and the leg grew well and as strong
as ever; but by my nursing it so long it grew tame, and fed upon
the little green at my door, and would not go away. This was
the first time that I entertained a thought of breeding up some
tame creatures, that I might have food when my powder and shot
was all spent.
December 28, 29, 30. Great heats and no breeze, so that there


was no stirring abroad, except in the evening, for food. This
time I spent in putting all my things in order within doors.
January 1. Very hot still, but I went abroad early and late
with my gun, and lay still in the middle of the day. This even-
ing, going farther into the valleys which lay towards the centre
of the island, I found there was plenty of goats, though exceed-
ing shy and hard to come at. However, I resolved to try if I
could not bring my dog to hunt them down.
January 2. Accordingly, the next day I went out with my dog,
and set him upon the goats; but I was mistaken, for they all
faced about upon the dog, and he knew his danger too well, for
he would not come near them.
January 3. I began my fence or wall, which, being still jealous
of my being attacked by somebody, I resolved to make very thick
and strong.
N.B. This wall being described before, I purposely omit what
was said in the journal. It is sufficient to observe that I was no
less time than from the 3rd of January to the 14th of April work-
ing, finishing, and perfecting this wall, though it was no more than
about twenty-four yards in length, being a half circle from one
place in the rock to another place about eight yards from it, the
door of the cave being in the centre behind it.
All this time I worked very hard, the rains hindering me many
days, nay, sometimes weeks together; but I thought I should
never be perfectly secure till this wall was finished. And it is
scarce credible what inexpressible labour everything was done
with, especially the bringing piles out of the woods and driving-
them into the ground, for I made them much bigger than I need
to have done.
When this wall was finished, and the outside double fenced with
a turf wall raised up close to it, I persuaded myself that if any
people were to come on shore there, they would not perceive any-
thing like a habitation. And it was very well I did so, as may
be observed hereafter upon a very remarkable occasion.
During this time I made my rounds in the woods for game
every day when the rain admitted me, and made frequent dis-
coveries in these walks of something or other to my advantage.


Particularly I found a kind of wild pigeons, who built not as
wood-pigeons, in a tree, but rather as house-pigeons in the holes
of the rocks; and taking some young ones, I endeavoured to
breed them up tame, and did so; but when they grew older they
flew all away, which perhaps was at first for want of feeding
them, for I had nothing to give them. However, I frequently
found their nests, and got their young ones, which were very good
And now, in the managing my household affairs, I found my-
self wanting in many things, which I thought at first was impos-
sible for me to make, as indeed as to some of them it was. For
instance, I could never make a cask to be hooped. I had a small
runlet or two, as I observed before, but I could never arrive to the
capacity of making one by them, though I spent many weeks
about it. I could neither put in the heads, nor joint the staves
so true to one another as to make them hold water. So I gave
that also over.
In the next place, I was at a great loss for candle, so that as
soon as ever it was dark, which was generally by seven o'clock, I
was obliged to go to bed. I remembered the lump of bees-wax
with which I made candles in my African adventure, but I had
none of that now. The only remedy I had was, that when I had
killed a goat, I saved the tallow; and with a little dish made of
clay, which I baked in the sun, to which I added a wick of some
oakum, I made me a lamp, and this gave me light, though not a
clear, steady light, like a candle. In the middle of all my labours
it happened that, rummaging my things, I found a little bag,
which, as I hinted before, had been filled with corn for the feeding
of poultry, not for this voyage, but before, as I suppose, when
the ship came from Lisbon. What little remainder of corn had
been in the bag was all devoured with the rats, and I saw nothing
in the bag but husks and dust; and being willing to have the bag
for some other use (I think it was to put powder in, when I
divided it for fear of the lightning, or some such use), I shook the
husks of corn out of it on one side of my fortification under the
It was a little before the great rains just now mentioned that I
(248) F


threw this stuff away, taking no notice of anything, and not so
much as remembering that I had thrown anything there; when,
about a month after, or thereabout, I saw some few stalks of some-
thing green shooting out of the ground, which I fancied might be
some plant I had not seen; but I was surprised and perfectly


"I was surprised when I saw about ten or twelve ears come out."
astonished when, after a longer time, I saw about ten or twelve
ears come out, which were perfect green barley, of the same kind
as our European, nay, as our English barley.
It is impossible to express the astonishment and confusion of my
thoughts on this occasion. I had hitherto acted upon no religious
foundation at all; indeed, I had very few notions of religion in my
head, nor had entertained any sense of anything that had befallen
me otherwise than as a chance, or, as we lightly say, what pleases
God; without so much as inquiring into the end of Providence in


these things, or his order in governing events in the world. But
after I saw barley grow there, in a climate which I know was not
proper for corn, and especially that I knew not how it came there,
it startled me strangely, and I began to suggest that God had
miraculously caused this grain to grow without any help of seed
sown, and that it was so directed purely for my sustenance on that
wild miserable place.
This touched my heart a little, and brought tears out of my
eyes; and I began to bless myself that such a prodigy of nature
should happen upon my account. And this was the more strange
to me, because I saw near it still all along by the side of the rock
some other straggling stalks, which proved to be stalks of rice,
and which I knew because I had seen it grow in Africa, when I
was ashore there.
I not only thought these the pure productions of Providence for
my support, but not doubting but that there was more in the place,
I went all over that part of the island where I had been before,
peering in every corner and under every rock, to see for more of
it; but I could not find any. At last it occurred to my thoughts
that I had shaken a bag of chickens' meat out in that place, and
then the wonder began to cease; and I must confess my religious
thankfulness to God's providence began to abate too upon the dis-
covering that all this was nothing but what was common; though
I ought to have been as thankful for so strange and unforeseen
providence as if it had been miraculous: for it was really the work
of Providence as to me, that should order or appoint that ten or
twelve grains of corn should remain unspoiled (when the rats had
destroyed all the rest), as if it had been dropped from heaven; as
also that I should throw it out in that particular place, where, it
being in the shade of a high rock, it sprang up immediately;
whereas, if I had thrown it anywhere else at that time, it had been
burned up and destroyed.
I carefully saved the ears of this corn, you may be sure, in their
season, which was about the end of June; and laying up every
corn, I resolved to sow them all again, hoping in time to have
some quantity sufficient to supply me with bread. But it was not
till the fourth year that I could allow myself the least grain of this

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