Qd ~t i
ROLINSUN CRUSOE AT DINNER.
LIFE AND ADVENTURES
OF YORK, MARINER.
AN ACCOUNT OF HIS TRAVELS ROUND THREE
PARTS OF THE GLOBE.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY ZWECKER.
JAMES BLACKWOOD AND CO., 8, LOVELL'S COURT,
L" ever the story of any private man's adventures in the world were worth making public, and
were acceptable when published, the Editor or this account thinks this will be so.
The wonders of this man's life exceed all that (he thinly) is to be found extant; the life
of one man being scarce capable of a greater variety.
The story is told with modesty, with seriousness, anfl with a religious application of events
to. the uses to which wise men always apply them, viz. to the instruction of others, by this
example, and to justify and honour the wisdom of Providence in all the variety of oar circum-
stances, let them happentow they will.
The Editor believes the thing to be a just history of facts, neither is there any appearance
of fiction in it; and however thinks, because all such things are disputed, that the improve-
ment of it, as well to the diversion as to the instrnuctn.. of the reader, will be the same; and as
such, he thinks, without further compliment to the world, he does them a great service in
LIFE AND ADVENTURES +
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. e got a good estateby
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 corruption of words m
England, we are now called, nay we call ourselves, and write our name Crusoe; and so my
companions always called me.
I had two elder brothers, one of which was lieutenant-colonel to an English regiment of foot
in Flanders, formerly commanded by the famous Colonel Lockhart, and was killed at the
battle near Dunkrk against the Spanards. What became of my second brother I neverknew,
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 filed
very early with rambling thoughts. My father, who was very ancient, had given me a com-
petent share of learning as far as house education and a country free-school generally goe
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 con-
fined 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 leavig my fathers
house and my native country, where I might be well introduced, and had a prospect of
raising my fortune by application and industry, with a life of ease and pleasure. He told
Sme 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 alfw.the .
too far above me, or too far below me; that mine was the middle tate, or what might be
called the upper station of low life,which he had found by long experience was the be
state in the world, the most suited to human happiness, not e to the miseries
hardships, the labour and sufferings of the meclunic part of ma and nt embarrassed
with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy, of the upper part of mankind. He told me r
might judge of the happiness of this state by this one thing, viz. that this was the state o .
life which a other people envied; that kings have quen laented the mi
sequences of being borto great things, and wish they had been played in the middle o
extremes, between the mean and the great; that the wise man gave his testimony toe
the just standard of true felicity, when he prayed to have neither poverty or riches. .
6 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crsoe.
He bid me observe it, and I should always find, that the calamities of life were shared
among the upper and lower part of mankind; but that the middle station had the fewest
disasters, and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or lower part of mankind;
nay, they were not subjected to so many distempers and uneasinesses either of body or mind,
as those were who by vicious living, luxury, and extravagancies on one hand, or by hard
labour, want of necessaries, and mean or insufficient diet on the other hand, bring distempers
upon themselves by the natural consequences of their way of living; that the middle station
of life was calculated for all kind of virtues, and all kind of enjoyments; that peace and
plenty were the handmaids of a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation, quietness,
health, society, all agreeable diversions, and all desirable pleasures, were the blessings
attending the middle station of life; that this way men went silently and smoothly through
the world, and comfortably 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 circum-
stances, 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 circumstances, sliding
gently through the world, and sensibly tasting the sweets of living, without the bitter, feeling
that they are happy, and learning by every day's experience to know it more sensibly.
After this, he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affectionate manner, not to play the
young man, not to precipitate myself into miseries which nature and the station of life I
was born in seemed to have provided against; that I was under no necessity of seeking 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 plentifully, and especially when he spoke of my brother who was killed; and that
when he spoke of my having leisure to repent, and none to assist me, he was so moved
that he broke off the discourse, and told me his heart was so full he could say no more to me.
I was sincerely affected with this discourse, as indeed who could be otherwise; and I resolved
not to think of going abroad any more, but to settle at home according to my father's desire.
But alas! a few days wore it all off; and in short, to prevent any of my father's further
importunities, in a few weeks after I resolved to run quite away from him. However, I did
not act so hastily neither as my first heat of resolution prompted, but I took my mother, at a
time when I thought her a little pleasanter than ordinary, and told her that my thoughts
were so entirely bent upon seeing the world that I should never settle to anything with re-
solution enough to go through with it, and my father had better give me his consent than
force me to go without it: that I was now eighteen years old, which was too late to go
apprentice to a trade, or clerk to an attorney; that I was sure, if I did, I should never
serve out my time, and I should certainly run away from my master before my time
was out, and go to sea: and if she would speak to my father to let me go but one voyage
abroad, if I came home again and did not like it, I would go no more, and I would promise
by a double diligence to recover that time I had lost.
This put my mother into a great passion; she told me, she knew it would be to no purpose
to speak to pny father upon any such subject; that he knew too well what was my interest to
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 7 '4
give his consent to any 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 con-
tinued obstinately deaf to all proposals 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, viz.:-that it should cost me nothing
for my passage, I consulted neither father or mother any more, not 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 consequences, and in an ill hour, God
knows, on the first 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 got 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 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 entreaties 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 ife, 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 1 would, like a true
repenting prodigal, go home to my father.
These wise and sober thoughts continued all the while the storm continued, and, indeed,
some time after; but the next day the wind was abated and the sea calmer, and I began to be
a little inured to it; however I was very grave for all that day, being also a little sea-sick still;
but towards night the weather cleared up, the wind was quite over, and a charming fine evening
followed; the sun went down perfectly clear, and rose so the next morning; and having little
or no wind, and a smooth sea, the sun shining upon it, the sight was, as I thought, the most
delightful that ever I 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
8 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
upon the shoulder, "How do you do after it? I warrant you were frighted, want you, last
night, when it blew but a cap full of wind? A cap full, do you call it? said I. It was 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 fresh-water sailor, Bob: come, let us make a bowl of punch,
and we'll forget all that: do you see what charming weather it is 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 smoothness of surface and settled calmness by the abatement of that storm, so
the hurry of my thoughts being over, my fears and apprehensions of being swallowed up by
the sea being forgotten, and the current of my former desires returned, 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
drink and company, soon mastered the return of those fits, for so I called them, and I had in
five or six days got as complete a victory over conscience as any young fellow-that resolved
not to be troubled with it could desire. But I was to have another trial for it still; and
Providence, as in such cases generally it does, resolved to leave me entirely without excuse.
For if I would not take this for a deliverance, the next was to be such a one as the worst
and most hardened wretch among us would confess both the danger and the mercy.
The sixth day of our being at sea we came into Yarmouth Roads; the wind having been
contrary, and the weather calm, we had made but little way since the storm. Here we were
obliged to come to an anchor, and here we lay, the wind continuing contrary, viz.:-at south-
west, for seven or eight days, during which time a great many ships from Newcastle came into
the same roads, as the common harbour where the ships might wait for a wind for the river.
We had not however rode here so long, but should have tided it up the river, but that the
wind blew too fresh; and after we had lain four or five days, blew very hard. However, the
roads being reckoned as good as a harbour, the anchorage good, and our ground tackle very
strong, our men were unconcerned, and not in the least apprehensive of danger, but spent the
time in rest and mirth, after the manner of the sea; but the eighth day in the morning, the
wind increased, and we had all hands at work to strike our top-masts, and make every thing
snug and close, that the ship might ride as easy as possible. By noon the sea went very high
indeed, and our ship rode forecastle in, shipped several seas, and we thought once or twice our
anchor had come home; upon which our master ordered out the sheet anchor; so that we rode
with two anchors a-bead, and the cables veered out to the better 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
preserving 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 hurrie;, I was stupid, lying still in my cabin, which was in the
steerage, and cannot describe my temper: I could ill re-assume the first penitence which I had
so apparently trampled upon, and hardened myself against; I thought the bitterness of death
had been past, and that this would be nothing, 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 frightened; I
got up out of my cabin, and looked out; but such a dismal sight I never saw: the sea went
mountains high, and broke upon us every three or four minutes: when I could look about, I
could see nothing but distress round us: two ships that rode near us, we found, had cut their
masts by the board,being deep laden; and our men cried out, that a ship which rode about a
mile a-head of us was foundered. Two more ships being driven from their anchors, were run
out of the roads to sea at all adventures, 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 spritsail out before the wind.
Towards evening the mate and boatswain begged the master of our ship to let them cut away
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 9
the foremast, which he was very unwilling to do: 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 mainmast stood so loose, and shook the ship so much, they were obliged to cut her away
also, and make a clear deck.
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 continued 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 hole. 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
not 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
happened. In a word, I was so surprised, that I fell down in a swoon. As this was a time
when every body 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 rode it out just a-head 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 the buoy to it, and then veered it out
a great length, which they, after great labour and hazard, took hold of, and we hauled them
close under our stern and got all into their boat. It was to no purpose for them or us after we
were in the boat to think of reaching to their own ship, so all agreed to let her drive, and only
to pull her in towards shore as much as we could, and our master promised them, that if the
boat was staved upon shore he would make it good to their master: so partly rowing and
partly driving, our boat went away to the northward, sloping towards the shore almost as far
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of our ship before we saw her sink,
and then I understood for the first time what was meant by a ship foundering in the sea; I
must acknowledge 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 light-house
o1 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
at Winterton, 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.
HadI now had the sense to have gone back to Hall, 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 rush upon it with our eyes open. Certainly nothing but some
such decreed unavoidable misery attending, and which it was impossible for me to escape,
could have pushed me forward against the calm reasoning and persuasions of my most retired
thoughts, and against two such visible instructions as I 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 farther abroad. His father, turning to me with a very
grave and concerned tone, Young man," says he, you ought never to go to sea any more,
you ought to take this for a plain and visible token that you are not to be a seafaring man."
Why, sir," said I, will you go to sea no more ? That is another case," said he, "it is my
calling, and therefore my duty; but as you made this voyage for a trial, you see what a taste
heaven has given you of what you are to expect if you persist; perhaps this is all befallen
us on your account, like Jonah in the ship of Tarshish." Pray," continued 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 farther 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, viz., 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 irresistible reluctance continued to going home; and as I
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. iz
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 the
command of my father: I say, the same influence, whatever it was, presented the most unfor-
tunate 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 Guinea.
It was my great misfortune that in all these adventures I did not ship myself as a sailor,
whereby, though I might indeed have worked a little harder than ordinary, yet at the same
time I had learned the duty and office of a 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 omit-
ting 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 conversation,
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 messmate
and his companion, and if I could carry anything with me I should have all the advantage of it
that the trade would admit; and perhaps I might meet with some encouragement.
I embraced the offer, and entering into a strict friendship with this captain, who was an
honest and plain-dealing man, I went the voyage with him, and carried a small adventure with
me, which by the disinterested honesty of my friend the captain, I increased very considerably;
for I carried about 401. in such toys and trifles as the captain directed me to buy. This 401. I
had mustered together by the assistance of some of my relations whom I corresponded with,
and who, I believe, got my father, or at least, my mother to contribute so much as that to my
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 instruct 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 3001., and this filled me with those aspiring thoughts which have since so com-
pleted my ruin.
Pet 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 1001. of
my new gained wealth, so that I had 2001. left, and which I lodged with my friend's widow,
who was very just to me, yet I fell into terrible misfortunes in this voyage; and the first was
islands and the African shore, was surprised in the grey 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; bt finding the
turn- .oat. t .wI.i ^h
12 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
pirate gained upon us, and would certainly come up with us in a few hours, we prepared to
fight, our ship having twelve guns and the rogue eighteen. About three in the afternoon he
came up with us; and bringing to, by mistake, just athwart our quarter instead of athwart
our stern, as he intended, we brought eight of our guns to bear on that side, and poured in a
broadside upon him which made him sheer off again, after returning our fire, and pouring in
also his small shot from near 200 men which he had on board. However, we had not a man
touched, all our men keeping close. He prepared to attack us again and we to defend ourselves;
but laying us on board the next time upon our other quarter, he entered sixty men upon our
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. How-
ever, 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 belonging to the Moors.
The usage I had there was not so dreadful as at first I apprehended, 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 I 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 the 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 Portuguese 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
Here I meditated nothing but my escape, and what method I might take to effect it: but
found no way that had the least probability 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 Scotchman, 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 con-
stantly, 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 sometimes 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, particularly, 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 Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoc. 13
the long boat, 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 called 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 lockers to put in some bottles of such liquor as he thought fit to drink;
particularly, his bread, rice and coffee.
We went frequently out with this boat a fishing, and as I was most dexterous to catch fish
for him, he never went without me. It happened that he had appointed to go out in this boat,
either for pleasure or for fish, with two or three Moors of some distinction in that place, and
for whom he had provided extraordinarily; and had therefore sent on board the boat over night
a larger store of provisions than ordinary; and had ordered me to get ready three fusees with
powder and shot, which were on board his ship, for that they designed some sport of fowling as
well as fishing.
I got all things ready as he had directed, and waited the next morning with the boat washed
clean, her ancient and pendants out, and every thing 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 commanded that
soon as I 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 any where 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 beeswax into the boat, which weighed about 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 Moley; so I called to
him, Moley," 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'llbring some;" and,
accordingly, he brought a great leather pouch which held about a pound and a half of powder,
or rather more; and another with shot that had five or six pounds, with some bullets, and put
all into the boat. At the same time I had found some powder of my master's in the great
cabin, with which I filled one of the large bottles in the case, which was almost empty, pouring
what was in it into another; and thus furnished with everything needful we sailed out of the
port to fish. The castle which is at the entrance of the port knew who we were, and took no
notice of us; and we were not above a mile out of the port before we hauled in our sail, and set
us down to fish. The wind blew from the N.N.E., 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 plage where I was, and leave the rest to fate.
After we had fished some time and catched nothing, for when I had fish on my hook 1 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 overboard into the sea. He
14 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
rose immediately, for he swam like a cork, and calling 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 Iwould 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 himself 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 out directly to sea with the
boat, rather stretching to windward, that they might think me gone towards the Straits mouth
(as indeed 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 kind.
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 month of a little
river, I knew not what, or where; neither what latitude, what country, what nation, or what
river: I neither saw, or desired to see any people, the principal thing I wanted was fresh water.
We came into this creek in the evening, resolvig 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 wey." Such
English Xury spoke by conversing among us slaves. However I was glad to see the boy so
cheerful, and I gave him a drachm (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 a buoy to it
and go off to sea, they cannot follow us far." I had no sooner said so, but I perceived the
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 15
creature (whatever it was) within two oars length, which something surprised 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 cowlings, 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 P The
boy answered with so much affection that made me love him ever after. ays he, "If wild
mans come, they eat me, you go wey." 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 drachm out of our patron's case of bottles which I mentioned before;
and we hauled 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 bare, 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
As I had been one voyage to this coast before, I knew very well that the islands of the
Canaries, and the Cape de Verd islands also, lay not far off from the coast. But as I had no
instruments to take an observation to know what latitude we were in, and did not exactly
know, or at least remember, what latitude they were in, I knew not where to look for them, or
when to stand off to sea towards them; otherwise I might now easily have found some of these
islands. But my hope was, that if I stood along this coast till I came to that part where the
English traded, I should find some of their vessels upon their usual design of trade, that would
relieve and take us in.
By the best of my calculation, that place where I now was, must be that country, which lying
between the Emperor of Morocco's dominions and the Negroes, lies waste, and uninhabted,
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 forsaking it because of the prodigious number of tigers, lions, leopards, and other furious
creatures which harbour there; so that the Moors use it for their hunting only, where they go
like an army, two or three thousand men at a time; and, indeed, for near a hundred miles
together upon this coast, we saw nothing but a waste uninhabited country by day; and heard
nothing but cowlings and roaring of wild beasts by night.
Once or twice in the day-time I thought I saw the Pico of Teneriffe, being the high top of the
mountain Tenerife in the Canaries; and had a great mind to venture out m hopes of reaching
thither; but having tried twice, I was forced in again by contrary winds, the sea also going too
high for my little vessel, so I resolved to pursue my first design and keep along the shore :
16 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
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. "Xnry," says I, "you shall go on shore and kill him."
Xury looked frightened, and said, Me kill! he eat me at one mouthh" one mouthful he meant.
However, I said no more to the boy, but bade him lie still; and 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 in 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 in
the head, and had the pleasure to see him drop, and 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 in 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 -..- l ... 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 1 1 .,i at last we got off the hide of him, and spreading it on the
top of our cabin, the sun t r,, ll, dried it in two days' time, and it afterwards served me to
After this stop, we made on to the southward continually for ten or twelve days, living very
sparingly 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, any where 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 perish.
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
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 17
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 nor 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 ven-
turing 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 oppor-
tunity 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 others. As soon as he came fairly
within my reach, I fired, and shot him directly in the head. Immediately he sunk 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 shore.
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 mad
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; andby the help of a rope, which I
slung round him, and gave the Negroes to haul, they dragged him on shore, and found that it
was a most curious leopard, spotted and fine to an admirable degree, and the Negroes held up
their hands with admiration to think what it was I had killed him with.
The other creature, frightened with the flash of fire and the noise of the gun, swam on shore,
and ran up directly to the mountains from whence they came, 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 provision, which though I
did not understand, yet I accepted; then I made signs to them for some water, and held out
one of my jars to them, turning it bottom upward, to show that it was empty, and that I
wanted to have it filled. They called immediately to some of their friends, and there came two
women, and brought a great vessel made of earth, and burnt, 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
till I saw the land run out a great length into the sea, at about the distance of four or five
leagues before me; and, the sea being very calm, I kept a large offing to make this point: at
length, doubling the point at about two leagues from the land, I saw plainly land on the other
side to seaward; then I concluded, as it was most certain indeed, that this was the Cape de
Verd, and those the islands, called from thence Cape de Verd Islands. However, they were at a
18 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
great distance, and I could not well tell what I had best to do, for if I should be taken with a
fresh gale of wind I might neither reach one nor the other.
In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stepped into the cabin and set 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, viz.
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
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 them.
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
It was an inexpressible joy to me, that any one would believe, that I was thus delivered, as
I esteemed it, from such a miserable and almost hopeless condition as I was in, and imme-
diately 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, Seignior Inglese," says
he, "Mr. Englishman, I will carry you thither in charity, and those things will help you to
buy your subsistence there, and your passage home again."
Ae 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 jars.
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 loth to take; not that I was not willing to let the captain have
him, but I was very loth to sell the poor boy's liberty, who had assisted me so faith-
fully 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
m 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 Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 19
the most miserable of all conditions of life, and what to do next with myself I was now to
The generous treatment 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 punctually
delivered me; and what I was willing to sell he bought, such as the case of bottles, two of my
guns, and a piece of the lump of bees-wax,for I had made candles of the rest; in a word, I made
about 220 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 Ingenio, 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 sud-
denly, I resolved, if I could get licence to settle there, I would turn planter among them, resolg
in the mean time 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 settle-
ment, and such a one as might be suitable to the stock which I proposed to myself to receive
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 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 sayto 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 distance
as never to hear from any part of the world that had the least knowledge of me.
In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the utmost regret. I had nobody to
converse with but now and then this neighbour, no work to be done but by the labour of my
hands; and I used to say, I lived just like a man cast away upon some desolate island, that
had nobody there but himself. But how just has it been, and how should all men reflect that,
when they compare their present conditions with others that are worse, Heaven may oblige them
to make the exchange, and be convinced of their former felicity, by their experience. I say how
just has it been, that the truly solitary life I reflected on in an island of mere desolation should
be my lot, who had so often unjustly compared it with the life which I then led, in which,hadI
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 friendly and sincere advice:
"Seignor Inglese," says he (for so he always called me), "if you willgive me letters, and a pro-
curation 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 win bring you the produce of them, God willing, at my return; but since human
affairs are all subject to changes and disasters, I would have you give orders but for one hundred
pounds sterling, which you say is half your stock, and let the hazard be run for the first; so
20 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
that if it come safe, you may order the rest the same way; and if it miscarry, you may have
the other half to have recourse to for your supply."
This was so wholesome advice, and looked so friendly, that I could not but be convinced it
was the best course I could take; so I accordingly prepared letters to the gentlewoman with
whom I had left my money, and a procuration to the Portuguese captain, as he desired.
I wrote the English 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
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 merchant 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
The merchant in London vesting this hundred pounds in English goods, such as the cap-
tain had written for, sent them directly to him at Lisbon, and he brought them all safe to me
to the Brazils; among which, without my direction, (for I was too young in my business to
think of them) he had taken careto 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 consideration, 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 manufactures, such as cloth, stuffs,
baize, 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 hundred weight, 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 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 fall; 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 procured by my apparent obstinate
adhering to my foolish inclination of wandering abroad, and pursuing that inclination in con-
tradiction to the clearest views of doing myself good in a fair and plain pursuit of those pro-
spects and those measures of life, which nature and Providence concurred to present me with,
and to make my duty.
As I had done thus in 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
To come then by the just degrees to the particulars of this part of my story; you may sup-
pose, that having now lived almost four years in the Brazils, and beginning to thrive and prosper
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 21
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 thebuying 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 Assientos, or permission of the
kings of Spain and Portugal, and engrossed in the public, so that few negroes were bought, and
those excessive 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 cold 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 stock.
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 pounds from England, and who in that time,
and with that little addition, could scarce have failed of being worth three or four thousand
pounds sterling, and that increasing too; for me to think of such a voyage, was the most
preposterous thing that ever man in such circumstances could be guilty of.
But I, that was born to be my own destroyer, could no more resist the offer, than I
could restrain my first rambling designs, when my father's good counsel was lost upon
me. In a word, I told them I would go with all my heart, if they would undertake to
look after my plantation in my absence, and would dispose of it to such as I should direct
if I miscarried. This they all engaged to do, and entered into writings or covenants to do so;
and I made a formal will, disposing of my plantation and effects, in case of my death,
making the captain of the ship that had saved my life as before, my universal heir, but
obliging him to dispose of my effects as I had directed in my will, one half of the produce
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 cir-
cumstance, 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 myself.
But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of my fancy rather than my reason:
and accordingly the ship being fitted out, and the cargo furnished, and all things done as
by agreement by my partners in the voyage, I went on board in an evil hour, the 1st of
September,being the same day eight years 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 tons 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
22 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
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 excessive 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 N.E.
by N. 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 min. 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
scudding away before it, let it carry us whither ever fate and the fury of the winds directed;
and during these twelve days I need not say that I expected every day to be swallowed up,
nor indeed did any in the ship expect to save their lives.
In this distress, we had, besides the terror of the storm, one of our men died of the calenture,
and one man and the boy washed overboard. About the twelfth day, the weather abating
a little, the master made an observation as well as he could, and found that he was in about
11 degrees north latitude, but that he was 22 degrees of longitude difference west from Cape
St. Augustino; so that he found he was gotten upon the coast of Guinea, or the north part of
Brazil, beyond the river Amazones, toward that of the river Oronoque, 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 Caribbee 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 N.W. by W. 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 min., 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 see-
ing whereabouts in the world we were, but the ship struck upon a sand, and in a moment,
her motion being so stopped, the sea broke over her in such a manner, that we expected we
should all have perished immediately; and we were immediately driven into our close quarters,
to shelter us from the very foam and spray of the sea.
It is not easy for any one, who has not been in the like condition, to describe or conceive
the consternation of men in such circumstances: we knew nothing where we were, or upon
what land it was we were driven, whether an island or the main, whether inhabited 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 immediately about. In a word, we sat
looking one upon another, and expecting death every moment, and every man acting accord-
ingly as preparing for another world, for there was little or nothing more for us to do in this:
that which was our present comfort, and all the comfort we had, was, that contrary to our
expectation the ship did not break yet, and that the master said the wind began to abate.
Now though we found 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
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 23
indeed, and had nothing to do but to think of saving our lives as well as wo 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 offto 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
ourselves, being eleven in number, to God's mercy, and the wild sea; for though the storm was
abated considerably, yet the sea went dreadful 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 as 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 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 laud almost dry, but half dead with the
water I took in. I had so much presence of mind as well as breath left, that seeing myself
nearer the mainland than I expected, I got upon my feet, and endeavoured to make on towards
the land as fast as I could, before another wave should return and take me up again. But I
soon found it was impossible to avoid it; for I saw the sea come after me as high as a great
hill, and as furious as an enemy which I had no means or strength to contend with; my
business was to hold my breath, and raise myself upon the water, if I could: and so by swim-
ming 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 cared 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
24 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
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 not
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 clifts of
the shore, and sat me down upon the grass, free from danger, and quite out of the reach of the
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 impossible to express to the life what the ecstasies and transports of the soul are, when it is
so saved, as I may say, out of the very grave: and I do not wonder now at that custom, viz.
that when a malefactor, who has the halter about his neck, is tied up, and just going to be
turned off, and has a reprieve brought to him: I say, I do not wonder that they bring a surgeon
with it, to let him bleed that very moment they tell him of it, that the surprise may not drive
the animal spirits from the heart, and overwhelm him:-
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 after-
wards, or any sign of them, except three of their hats, one cap, and two shoes that were not
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 nothing about me but a knife, a tobacco-pipe,
and a little tobacco in a box; this was all my provision, and this threw me into terrible agonies
of mind, that for a while I ran about like a madman; night coming upon me, I began with a
heavy heart to consider what would be my lot if there were any ravenous beasts in that
country, seeing at night they always come abroad for their prey.
All the remedy that offered to my thoughts at that time, was, to get up into a thick bushy
tree like a fir, but thorny, which grew near me, and where I resolved to sit all night, and con-
sider 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
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 25
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 woke 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 ahe dashing me
against it; this beitg 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 save 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 as she lay a-ground, 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, that 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 ate 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 for 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 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 provi-
sions, viz., bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses, five pieces of dried goat's flesh, which we lived much
26 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
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
together, 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; 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 mortifitation 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,
whichwas indeed a very useful prize to me, and much more valuable than a ship-load 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 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 shore
with them, having neither sail, oar, or rudder, and the least capfull of wind would have overset
all my navigation.
I had three encouragements: 1. A smooth, calm sea: 2. The tide rising and setting into the
shore: 3. 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-
abouts, 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 indraft of the water, and con-
sequently I hoped to find some creek or river there, which I might make use of as a port to get
to land with my cargo.
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 I could to keep in the middle
of the stream: but here I had liked 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 run a-ground at
one end of it upon a shoal, and not being a-ground 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
holding 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 resolved 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 the float, if it run 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
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 27
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, whether in danger of
wild beasts or not; there was a hill not above a mile from me, which rose up very steep andhigh,
and which seemed to over-top 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, viz. 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; Ibelieve it was the first gun that had been fired there since the creation
of the world. I had no sooner fired, but from all 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 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 barricaded myself round with the chests and boards that I
had brought on shore, and made a kind of a 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 particularly 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 every thing 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
impracticable; 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 chequered shirt, and a pair of
linen trousers, and a pair of pumps on my feet.
I got on board the ship, as before, and prepared a second raft; and having had experience 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; as 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 grindstone: 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 foretop-sail,
hammock, and some bedding; and with this I loaded my second raft, and brought them all safe
on shore, to my very great comfort.
28 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
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 it, ate
it, and looked, as pleased, for more: but I thanked her, and could spare no more; so she
Having got my second cargo on shore, though I was fain to open the barrels of powder, and
bring them ly 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 purpose; and into this tent I
brought every thing 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 an-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 something or other; but particularly 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 could get, with a
piece of spare canvas, which was to mend the sails upon occasion, and the barrel of wet gun-
powder: 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, 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 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 move, I got two cables and a hawser on shore, with all the ironwork I could get;
and having cut down the spritsail-yard, and the mizen-yard, and every thing 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 overladen, that after I had 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
The Life aad Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 29
hip, piece by piece; but preparing the twelfth time to go on board, I found the wind begin to
rise; however, 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 two 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. drug!" said I, aloud, "what art thou
good for P 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, pon second thoughts,
I took it awa, 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 overcast, 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 esen that with difficulty enough, partly with the
weight of 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, viz. 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, of the manner
and description of which it may not be improper to give an account.
I soon found the place I was in was not for my settlement, particularly because it was upon
a low moorish ground near the sea, and I believed would not be wholesome, and more parti-
cularly because there 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 mentioned; secondly, shelter from the heat of the sun;
thirdly, security from ravenous creatures, whether man or beast; 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
On the fiat of the green, just before this hollow place, I resolved to pitch my tent: this
plain was not above a 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 N.N.W. side of the hill, so that I was sheltered from
the heat every day, till it came to a W. and by S. 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
*. .I .
30 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
ten yards in its semi-diameter from the rock, and twenty yards in its diameter, from its
beginning and ending.
In this half circle f pitched two rows of strong stakes, driving them into the ground till they
stood very firm, like piles, the biggest end being out of the ground about five feet 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 feet 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.
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 fortified, 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 afterwards, there 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, viz. 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: O my powder my very heart sank within me, when I thought,
that at one blast all my powder might be destroyed; on which, 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 took 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, mybuilding, and fortifying, and applied myself to make bags and boxes to separate the
powder, andto 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 240 pounds weight, was divided in not less than a hundred parcels: as
to the barrel that had been wet, I didn't 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 any thing 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, viz.:-that they were so shy, so subtle, and so
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
swift of foot, that it was the most difficult 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, i
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 concluded, 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 afterwards
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 tq 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 bred it 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 provisions (my
bread especially) as much as possibly I could.
Having now fixed my habitation, I found it absolutely necessary 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
I had a dismal prospect of my condition; for as I was not cast away upon that island with.
out being driven, as is said, by a violent storm quite out of the course of our intended voyage,
and a great way, viz. some hundreds of leagues out of the ordinary course of the trade of man-
kind, I had great reason to consider it as a determination of Heaven, that in thi4 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 Pro-
vidence should thus completely ruin His 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 expostulated with me the other
way, thus: Well, you are in a desolate condition, it is true; but pray remember, where are the
rest of you P Did not you come eleven of you into the boat P Where are the ten P Why were
they not saved and you lost ? Why were you singled out P 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 a hundred thousand to one, that the
ship floated from the place where she first struck, and was driven so near 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 neces-
saries to supply and procure themP 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 cover: and that now
I had all these to a sufficient quantity, and was in a fair way to provide myself in such a man
ner, as to live without my gun when my ammunition was spent; so that Ihad a tolerable view
of subsisting, without any want, as long as I lived; for I considered from the beginning how I
should provide for the accidents that might happen and for the time that was to come, even
not only after my ammunition shouldbe spent, but even after myhealth or strength should decay.
I confess I had not entertained any notion of my ammunition 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.
32 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
And now being about 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 i
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 and 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, viz. "I came on shore here on the 30th Sept. 1659." Upon 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 calen-
dar, 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 car-
penter's keeping; three or four compasses, some mathematical instruments, dials, perspec-
tives, 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 Eng-
land, and which I had packed up among my things; some Portuguese books also, and among
them two or three popish prayer-books, 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 on shore with my first cargo, and was a trusty
servant to me many years; I wanted nothing that he could fetch me, or any company that he
could make up to me; I only wanted to have him talk to me, but that he could not do. As I
observed before, I found pen, ink, and paper, and I husbanded 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 devise.
And this put me in mind that I wanted many things, notwithstanding 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
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 lft, were a long time in cutting and preparing 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 Igot a
heavy piece of wood at first, but at last bethought myself of one of the iron crows, which how-
ever, though I found it, yet it made driving those posts or piles very laborious and tedious
But what need I have been concerned at the tediousness of anything 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 circumstance 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 despond-
ency, 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:
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
I am cast upon a horrible desolate island, But I am alive, and not drowned, as all my
void of all hope of recovery ship's company was.
I am singled out and separated, as it were, But I am singled out too from all the ship's
from all the world, to be miserable. crew to be spared from death; and He that
miraculously saved me from death can de-
liver me from this condition.
I am divided from mankind, a solitaire, But I am not starved and perishing on
one banished from human society. a barren place, affording no sustenance.
I have not clothes to cover me. But I am in a hot climate where if I
had clothes I could hardly wear them.
I am without any defence or means to But I am cast on an island, where I see
resist any violence of man or beast. no wild beasts to hurt me, as I saw on the
coast of Africa; and what if I had been
I have no soul to speak to, or relieve me. 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 description 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 accommodate my way of living, and to make things as easy to me as I could.
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 of wall up against it of turfs, about two feet 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 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
This gave me not only egress and regress, as it were, a back way to my tent and to my
store-house, but gave me room to stow my goods.
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 every thing by reason, and by making
the most rational judgment of things, every man may be m 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
34 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
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 as thin as a plank, and then dub 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 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 which 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 every thing 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 every thing 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 great.
And now it was that 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, and my journal would have been full of many dull things. For example, I must
have said thus:-Sept. the 30th, 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; till, tired and faint, I was forced to lie 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 my 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 my 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.
Sept. 30, 1659.
I, roo 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, viz. I had neither food, house, clothes, weapon, or 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 some food or necessaries out of her for my relief; so, on the
other hand, it renewed my grief at the loss of my comrades, who I imagined if we had all
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 35
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 making 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.
Oct. 20. I overset my raft, and all the goods I had got upon it; but being in shoal water,
and the things ingng chiefly heavy, I recovered many of them when the tide was out.
Oct. 25. It rained all night and all day, with some gusts of wind, during which time the ship
broke in pieces, the wind blowing 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.
Oct. 26. I walked about the shore almost all day, to find out a place to fix my habitation,
greatly concerned to secure myself from any attack in the night, either from wild beasts or
men. Towards night I fixed upon a proper place under a rock, and marked out a semi-circle
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 habita-
tion, though some part of the time it rained exceeding hard.
The 31st, in the morning, I went out into the island with my gn, to see for some food, and
discover the country; when I killed a she-goat, and her kid followed me home; which I after-
wards 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 driven in to swing my hammock upon.
Nov. 2. I set up all my chests and boards, and the pieces of timber which made my rafts, and
with them formed a fence round me, a little within the place I had marked out for my
Nov. 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.
Nov. 4. This morning I began to order my times of work, of going out with my gun, time of
sleep, and time of diversion; viz. every morning I walked out with my gun for two or three
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, and 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
Nov. 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 preserved
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.
Nov. 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.
Nov. 7. Now it began to be settled fair weather. The 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and part of the 12th
(for the llth 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 neglected my keeping Sundays, for omitting my mark for them on
my post, I forgot which was which.
Nov. 13. This day it rained, which refreshed me exceedingly, and cooled the earth, but it was
36 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
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.
Nov. 14, 15, 16. These three days I spent in making little square chests or boxes, which
might hold about a pound, or two pounds, 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.
Nov. 17. This day I began to dig behind my tent into the rock, to make room for my farther
convenience. Note, three things I wanted exceedingly for this work, viz. a pick-axe, a shovel,
and a wheel-barrow 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 pickaxe, 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.
Nov. 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 diiculty enough, for it was
The excessive hardness of the wood, and having no other way, made me a long while upon
this machine; for I worked it effectually 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 wheel-barrow: 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 to eat.
Nov. 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 accom-
modate me as a warehouse or magazine, 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 quantity 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.
Dec. 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.
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 37
Dec. 17. From this day to the twentieth I placed shelves, and knocked up nails on the
posts to hang every thing up that could be hung up; and now I began to be in some order
Dec. 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.
Dec. 24. Much rain all night and all day; no stirring out.
Dec. 25. Rain all day.
Dec. 26. No rain, and the earth much cooler than before, and pleasanter.
Dec. 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 bound and splintered up its leg, which was broke. N.B.-I
took such care of it that it lived, and the leg grew well, and as strong as ever; but by
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.
Dec. 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 evening, going farther into the valleys, which lay towards the centre
of the island, I found there was plenty of goats, though exceeding shy and hard to come at;
however I resolved to try if I could not bring my dog to hunt them down.
Jan. 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.
Jan. 3. I began my fence or wall; which, being still jealous of my being attacked by some-
body, 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, working, finishing, and perfecting this wall, though it was no more than about
24 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 until this wall was finished; and
it is scarcely 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 per-
ceive anything 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 discoveries 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 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 meat.
And now, in the managing my household affairs, I found myself wanting in many things,
which I thought at first it was impossible 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 Ispent
many weeks about it; I could neither put in the heads, or 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,
"t jon _P i te h d r4
38 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
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 rock.
It was a little before the great rains, just now mentioned, that I 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 thereabouts, I saw some few stalks of something green
shooting out of the ground, which I fancied might be some plant I had not seen; but I was
surprised and perfectly astonished, when after a little 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, or 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 knew 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
struggling 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, peeping 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 thought, that I had shook 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 discovering that all this was
nothing but what was common; though I ought to have been as thankful for so strange and
unforeseen a providence as if it had been miraculous; for it was really the work of Providence
as to me, that should order or appoint ten or twelve grains of corn to 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
burnt 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 corn to eat, and even then but sparingly, as I shall
say afterwards in its order; for I lost all that I sowed the first season, by not observing the
proper time; for I sowed it just before the dry season, so that it never came up at all, at least
not as it would have done: of which in its place.
Besides this barley, there were, as above, twenty or thirty stalks of rice, which I preserved
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 39
with the same care, and whose use was of the same kind or to the same purpose, viz. to make
me bread, or rather food; for I found ways to cook it up without baking, though I did that
also after some time. But to return to my journal.
I worked excessive hard these three or four months to get my wall done; and the 14th of
April I closed it up, contriving to go into it, not by a door, but over the wall by a ladder,
that there might be no sign in the outside of my habitation.
April 16. I finished the ladder, so I went up with the ladder to the top, and then pulled it
up after me, and let it down on the inside: this was a complete enclosure to me; for within
I had room enough, and nothing could come at me from without, unless it could first mount
The very next day after this wall was finished, I had almost had all my labour overthrown
at once, and myself killed; the case was thus: As I was busy in the inside of it, behind my
tent, just in the entrance into my cave, I was terribly frightened with a most dreadful
surprising thing indeed; for on a sudden I found the earth come crumbling down from the
roof of my cave, and from the edge of the hill, over my head, and two of the posts I had setup
in the cave cracked in a frightful manner: I was heartily scared, but thought nothing of
what was really the cause, only thinking that the top of my cave was falling in, as some of it
had done before; and for fear I should be buried in it, I ran forward to my ladder; and not
thinking myself safe there neither, I got over my wall for fear of the pieces of the hill which
I expected might roll down upon me: I was no sooner stepped down upon the firm ground,
but I plainly saw it was a terrible earthquake, for the ground I stood on shook three times
at about eight minutes distance, with three such shocks as would have overturned the strongest
building that could be supposed to have stood on the earth; and a great piece of the top of a
rock, which stood about half a mile from me next the sea, fell down with such a terrible
noise as I never heard in all my life: I perceived also the very sea was put into violent motion
by it; and I believe the shocks were stronger under the water than on the island.
I was so amazed with the thing itself, having never felt the like, or discoursed with any
one that had, that I was like one dead or stupefied; and the motion of the earth made my
stomach sick, like one that was tossed at sea; but the noise of the falling of the rock
awoke me, as it were, and rousing me from the stupified condition I was in, filled me
with horror, and I thought of nothing then but the hill falling upon my tent, and all my
household goods, and burying all at once; and this sunk my very soul within me a second
After the third shock was over, and I felt no more for some time, I began to take courage,
and yet I had not heart enough to get over my wall again, for fear of being buried alive,
but sat still upon the ground, greatly cast down and disconsolate, not knowing what to do:
all this while I had not the least serious religious thought, nothing but the common, "Lord,
have mercy upon me :" and when it was over, that went away too.
While I sat thus, I found the air overcast, and grow cloudy, as if it would rain; soon after
that the wind rose by little and little, so that in less than half an hour it blew a most dreadful
hurricane: the sea was all on a sudden covered over with foam and froth, the shore was
covered with the breach of the water, the trees were torn up by the roots, and a terrible storm
it was; and this held about three hours, and then began to abate, and in two hours more it was
stark calm, and began to rain very hard.
All this while I sat upon the ground, very much terrified and dejected, when on a sudden
it came into my thoughts, that these winds and rain being the consequences of the earthquake,
the earthquake itself was spent and over, and I might venture into my cave again: with
this thought my spirits began to revive, and the rain also helping to persuade me, I went in
and sat down in my tent, but the rain was so violent, that my tent was ready to be beaten
down with it; and I was forced to go into my cave, though very much afraid and uneasy,
for fear it should fall on my head.
This violent rain forced me to a new work, viz. to cut a hole through my new fortification
like a sink to let water go out, which would else have drowned my cave. After I had been in
my cave some time, and found still no more shocks of the earthquake follow, I began to be
40 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
more composed; and now, to support my spirits, which indeed wanted it very much, I went
to my little store, and took a small sup of rum, which, however, I did then, and always, very
sparingly, knowing I could have no more when that was gone.
It continued raining all that night, and great part of the next day, so that I could not stir
abroad; but my mind being more composed, I began to think of what I had best do, concluding
that if the island was subject to these earthquakes, there would be no living for me in a cave,
but I must consider of building me some little hut in an open place, which I might surround
with a wall as I had done here, and so make myself secure from wild beasts or men: but con-
cluded if I stayed where I was, I should certainly, one time or other, be buried alive.
With these thoughts I resolved to remove my tent from the place where it stood, which was
just under the hanging precipice of the hill, and which, if it should be shaken again, would cer-
tainly fall upon my tent: and I spent the next two days, being the 19th and 20th of April, in
contriving where and how to remove my habitation.
The fear of being swallowed up alive, made me that I never slept in quiet: and yet the
apprehension of lying abroad, without any fence, was almost equal to it; but still, when I
looked about and saw how everything was put in order, how pleasantly concealed I was, and how
safe from danger, it made me very loth to remove.
In the meantime it occurred to me that it would require a vast deal of time for me to do
this, and that I must be contented to run the venture where I was, till I had formed a camp
for myself, and had secured it so as to remove to it; so with this resolution I composed myself
for a time, and resolved that I would go to work with all speed to build me a wall with piles
and cables, &c., in a circle as before; and set my tent up in it when it was finished, but that
I would venture to stay where I was till it was finished and fit to remove to. This was the
April 22. The next morning I began to consider of means to put this resolve in execution,
but I was at a great loss about my tools; I had three large axes and abundance of hatchets
(for we carried the hatchets for traffic with the Indians), but with much chopping and cutting
knotty hard wood, they were all full of notches and dull, and though I had a grindstone, I
could not turn it and grind my tools too: this cost me as much thought as a statesman would
have bestowed upon a grand point of politics, or a judge upon the life and death of a man. At
length I contrived a wheel with a string, to turn it with my foot, that I might have both my
hands at liberty. Note, I had never seen any such thing in England, or at least not to take
notice how it was done, though since, I have observed it is very common there; besides that,
my grindstone was very large and heavy. This machine cost me a full week's work to bring it
April 28, 29. These two whole days I took up in grinding my tools, my machine for
turning my grindstone performing very well.
April 30. Having perceived my bread had been low a great while, now I took a survey of it,
and reduced myself to one biscuit cake a day, which made my heart very heavy.
May 1. In the morning, looking towards the sea-side, the tide being low, I saw something lie
on the shore bigger than ordinary, and it looked like a cask. When I came to it, I found a
small barrel, and two or three pieces of the wreck of the ship, which were driven on shore by the
late hurricane; and looking towards the wreck itself, I thought it seemed to lie higher out of
the water than it used to do: I examined the barrel which was driven on shore, and soon found
it was a barrel of gunpowder, but it had taken water, and the powder was caked as hard as a
stone; however, I rolled it farther on shore for the present, and went on upon the sands as
near as I could to the wreck of the ship, to look for more.
When I came down to the ship, I found it strangely removed: the forecastle which lay before
buried in sand, was heaved up at least six foot; and the stern, which was broken to pieces
and parted from the rest by the force of the sea, soon after I had left rummaging her, was
tossed, as it were, up, and cast on one side, and the sand was thrown so high on that side
next her stern, that whereas there was a great place of water before, so that I could not come
within a quarter of a mile of the wreck without swimming, I could now walk quite up to her
'when the tide was out. I was surprised with this at first, but soon concluded it must be done
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 41
by the earthquake: and as by this violence the ship was more broken open than formerly, so
many things came daily on shore, which the sea had loosened, and which the winds and water
rolled by degrees to the land.
This wholly diverted my thoughts from the design of removing my habitation; and I busied
myself mightily that day especially, in searching whether I could make any way into the ship;
but I found nothing was to be expected of that kind, for that all the inside of the ship was
Choked up with sand: however, as I had learnt not to despair of anything, I resolved to pull
everything to pieces that I could of the ship, concluding, that everything I could get from her
would be of some use or other to me.
May 3. I began with my saw, and cut a piece of a beam through, which I thought held
some of the upper part or quarter-deck together; and when I had cut it through, I cleared away
the sand as well as I could from the side which lay highest; but the tide coming in, I was
obliged to give over for that time.
ay 4. I went a fishing, but caught not one fish that I durst eat of, till I was weary of
my sport; when just going to leave off, I caught a young dolphin. I had made alone
line of some rope yarn, but I had no hooks, yet I frequently caught fish enough, as muc
as I cared to eat; all which I dried in the sun, and ate them dry.
May 5. Worked on the wreck, cut another beam asunder, and brought three great fir
planks off from the decks, which I tied together, and made swim on shore when the tide
of flood came on.
May 6. Worked on the wreck, got several iron bolts out of her, and other pieces of iron-
work; worked very hard, and came home very much tired, and had thoughts of giving it over.
May 7. Went to the wreck again, but with an intent not to work, but found the weight of
the wreck had broken itself down, the beams being cut, that several pieces of the ship seemed
to lie loose: and the inside of the hole lay so open, that I could see into it, but almost full of
water and sand.
May 8. Went to the wreck, and carried an iron crow to wrench up the deck, which lay now
quite clear of the water or sand; I wrenched open two planks, and brought them on shore also
with the tide: I left the iron crow in the wreck for next day.
May 9. Went to the wreck, and with the crow made way into the body of the wreck, and
felt several casks, and loosened them with the crow, but could not break them up; I felt also
the roll of English lead, and could stir it, but it was too heavy to remove.
May 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. Went every day to the wreck, and got a great many pieces of
timber, and boards, or plank, and two or three hundred weight of iron.
May 15. I carried two hatchets, to try if I could not cut a piece off the roll of lead, by
placing the edge of one hatchet, and driving it with the other; but as it lay about a foot and
a half in the water, I could not make any blow to drive the hatchet.
May 16. It had blown hard in the night, and the wreck appeared more broken by the force
of the water: but I stayed so long in the woods to get pigeons for food, that the tide prevented
me going to the wreck that day.
May 17. I saw some pieces of the wreck blown on shore, at a great distance, near two miles
off me, but resolved to see what they were, and found it was a piece of the head, but too
heavy for me to bring away.
May 24. Every day to this day I worked on the wreck, and with hard labour I loosened
some things so much with the crow, that the first blowing tide several casks floated out, and
two of the seamen's chests, but the wind blowing from the shore, nothing came tolandthat day
but pieces of timber, and a hogshead, which had some Brazil pork in it, but the salt water and
sand had spoiled it.
I continued this work every day to the 15th of June, except the time necessary to get food,
which I always appointed, during this part of my employment, to be when the tide was up,
that I might be ready when it was ebbed out; and by .this time I had got timber, and
plank, and iron-work enough to have built a good boat, if Ihad known how; and also, I got at
several times, and in several pieces, near 100 weight of the sheet-lead.
June 16. Going down to the sea side, I found a large tortoise or turtle, this was the first
42 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
I had seen, which it seems was only my misfortune, not any defect of the place, or scarcity, for
had I happened to be on the other side of the island, I might have had hundreds of them
every day, as I found afterwards, but perhaps had paid dear enough for them.
June 17. I spent in cooking the turtle. I found in her three-score eggs, and her flesh was
to me at that time the most savoury and pleasant that ever I tasted in my life, having had no
flesh, but of goats and fowls, since I landed in this horrid place.
June 18. Rained all day, and I stayed within. I thought at this time the rain felt cold,
and I was something chilly, which I knew was not usual in that latitude.
June 19. Very ill, and shivering, as if the weather had been cold.
June 20. No rest all night, violent pains in my head and feverish.
June 21. Very ill, frightened almost to death with the apprehensions of my sad condition,
to be sick and no help. Prayed to God for the first time since the storm off Hull, but scarce
knew what I said, or why, my thoughts being all confused.
June 22. A little better, but under dreadful apprehensions of sickness.
June 23. Very bad again, cold and shivering, and then a violent head-ache.
June 24. Much better.
June 25. An ague very violent, the fit held me seven hours, cold fit and hot, with faint sweats
June 26. Better; and having no victuals to eat, took my gun but found myself very weak,
however I killed a she-goat, and with much difficulty got it home, and broiled some of it, and
ate. I would fain have stewed it, and made some broth, but had no pot.
June 27. The ague again so violent, that I lay a-bed all day, and neither ate or drank. I
was ready to perish for thirst, but so weak I had not strength to stand up, or to get myself
any water to drink: prayed to God again, but was light-headed; and, when I was not, I was
so ignorant that I knew not what to say; only I lay and cried, Lord, look upon me; Lord
pity me; Lord, have mercy upon me." I suppose I did nothing else for two or three hours till
the fit wearing off, I fell asleep, and did not wake till far in the night. When I awoke, I found
myself much refreshed, but weak and exceeding thirsty. However, as I had no water in my
whole habitation, I was forced to lie till morning, and went to sleep again. In this second
sleep I had this terrible dream:-
I thought that I was sitting on the ground on the outside of my wall, where I sat when the
storm blew after the earthquake, and that I saw a man descend from a great black cloud, in a
bright flame of fire, and alight upon the ground. He was all over as bright as a flame, so
that I could but just bear to look towards him. His countenance was most inexpressibly
dreadful; impossible for words to describe. When he stepped upon the ground with his feet,'I
thought the earth trembled just as it had done before in the earthquake, and all the air looked to
my apprehension as if it had been filled with flashes of fire.
He was no sooner landed upon the earth, but he moved forward towards me, with a long
spear or weapon in his hand, to kill me; and when he came to a rising ground, at some distance,
he spoke to me, or I heard a voice so terrible that it is impossible to express the terror of it; all
that I can say I understood was this, Seeing all these things have not brought thee to repen-
tance, now thou shalt die;" at which words I thought he lifted up the spear that was in his
hand to kill me.
No one that shall ever read this account will expect that I should be able to describe the
horrors of my soul at this terrible vision. I mean that, even while it was a dream, I even
dreamed of those horrors; nor is it any more possible to describe the impression that remained
upon my mind when I awoke and found it was but a dream.
I had, alas! no divine knowledge; what I had received by the good instruction of my father
was then worn out by an uninterrupted series, for eight years, of sea-faring wickedness, and a
constant conversation with nothing but such as were, like myself, wicked and profane to the last
degree. I do not remember that I had in all that time one thought that so much as tended either
to looking upwards towards God, or inwards towards a reflection upon my own ways; but a
certain stupidity of soul, without desire of good or conscience of evil, had entirely overwhelmed
me, and I was all that the most hardened, unthinking, wicked creature among our common
T7e Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 43
sailors can be supposed to be, not having the least sense either of the fear of God in danger,
or of thankfulness to God in deliverances.
In the relating what is already past of my story, this will be the more easily believed when
I shall add that, through all the variety of miseries that had to this day befallen me, I never
had so much as one thought of it being the hand of God, or that it was a just punishment for
my sin, my rebellious behaviour against my father, or my present sins, which were great; or so
much as a punishment for the general course of my wicked life. When I was on the desperate
expedition on the desert shores of Africa, I never had so much as one thought of what would
become of me; or one wish to God to direct me whither I should go, or to keep me from the
danger which apparently surrounded me, as well from voracious creatures as cruel saavges:
but I was merely thoughtless of a God, or a Providence; acted like a mere brute, from the prin-
ciples of Nature, and by the dictates of common sense only, and indeed hardly that.
When I was delivered, and taken up at sea by the Portugal captain, well used, and dealt
justly and honourably with, as well as charitably, I had not the least thankfulness on my
thoughts: when again I was shipwrecked, ruined, and in danger of drowning on this island, I
was as far from remorse, or looking on it as a judgment; I only said to myself often, that I was
an unfortunate dog, and born to be always miserable.
It is true, when I got on shore first here, and found all my ship's crew drowned, and myself
spared, I was surprised with a kind of ecstasy, and some transports of soul, which, had the
grace of God assisted, might have come up to true thankfulness; but it ended where it began,
in a mere common flight of joy, or, as I may say, being glad I was alive, without the least
reflection upon the distinguishing goodness of the hand which had preserved me, and had
singled me out to be preserved, when all the rest were destroyed; or an inquiry why Providence
had been thus merciful to me; even just the same common sort of joy which seamen generally
have, after they have got safe on shore from a shipwreck, which they drown all in the next bowl
of punch, and forget, almost as soon as it is over; and all the rest of my life was like it.
Even when I was afterwards, on due consideration, made sensible of my condition; how I
was cast on this dreadful place, out of the reach of human kind, out of all hope of relief, or
prospect of redemption; as soon as I saw but a prospect of living, and that I should not starve
and perish for hunger, all the sense of my affliction wore off, and I began to be very easy,
applied myself to the works proper for my preservation and supply, and was far enough from being
afflicted at my condition, as a judgment from heaven, or as the hand of God against me: these
were thoughts which very seldom entered into my head.
The growing up of the corn, as is hinted in my journal, had at first some little influence
upon me, and began to affect me with seriousness, as long as I thought it had something
miraculous in it; but as soon as ever that part of thought was removed, all the impression
which was raised from it wore off also, as I have noted already.
Even the earthquake, though nothing could be more terrible in its nature, or more imme-
diately directing to the invisible power, which alone directs such things; yet no sooner was the
first fright over, but the impression it had made went off also; I had no more sense of God,
or His judgments, much less of the present fiction of my circumstances being from His hand,
than if I had been in the most prosperous condition of life.
But now, when I began to be sick, and a leisurely view of the miseries of death came to
place itself before me; when my spirits began to sink under the burden of a strong distemper,
and nature was exhausted with the violence of the fever; conscience, that had slept so long,
began to awake, and I began to reproach myself with my past life, in which I had so evidently,
by uncommon wickedness, provoked the justice of God to lay me under uncommon strokes, and
to deal with me in so vindictive a manner.
These reflections oppressed me from the second or third day of my distemper, and in the
violence, as well of the fever as of the dreadful reproaches of my conscience, extorted some words
from me, like praying to God, though I cannot say they were either a prayer attended with
desires, or with opes; it was rather the voice of mere fright and distress: my thoughts were
confused, the convictions great upon my mind, and the horror of dying in such a miserable
condition, raised vapours into my head with the mere apprehensions; and, in these hurries of
44 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
my soul, I know not what my tongue might express. But it was rather exclamation; such as,
" Lord! what a miserable creature am I! If I should be sick, I shall certainly die for want of
help, and what will become of me? Then the tears burst out of my eyes, and I could say no
more for a good while.
In this interval the good advice of my father came to my mind, and presently his prediction,
which I mentioned in the beginning of this story: viz. 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. Now, said I aloud, my dear
father's words are come to pass: God's justice has overtaken me, and I have none to help or
hear me; I rejected the voice of Providence, which had mercifully put me in a posture or
station of life wherein I might have been happy and easy; but I would neither see it myself, nor
learn to know the blessing of it from my parents; I left them to mourn over my folly, and
now I am left to mourn under the consequences of it; I refused their help and assistance, who
would have lifted me into the world, and would have made everything easy to me; and now
I have difficulties to struggle with, too great for even nature itself to support, and no assistance,
no help, no comfort, no advice. Then I cried out, Lord, be my help, for I am in great distress !"
This was the first prayer, if I may call it so, that I had made for many years. But I return
to my journal.
June 28. Having been somewhat refreshed with the sleep I had had, and the fit being entirely
off, I got up; and though the fright and terror of my dream was very great, yet I considered,
that the fit of the ague would return again the next day, and now was my time to get some-
thing to refresh and support myself when I should be ill; and the first thing I did, I filled a
large square case bottle with water, and set it upon my table, in reach of my bed; and to take
off the chill or aguish disposition of the water, I put about a quarter of a pint of rum into it,
and mixed them together: then I got me a piece of the goat's flesh, and broiled it on the coals,
but could eat very little. I walked about, but was very weak, and, withal, very sad and heavy-
hearted under a sense of my miserable condition, dreading the return of my distemper the next
day: at night I made my supper of three of the turtle's eggs, which I roasted in the ashes, and
ate, as we call it, in the shell; and this was the first bit of meat I had ever asked God's blessing
to, even, as I could remember, in my whole life.
After I had eaten I tried to walk; but found myself so weak, that I could hardly carry the
gun (for I never went out without that); so I went but a little way, and sat down upon the
ground, looking out upon the sea, which was just before me, and very calm and smooth. As
I sat here, some such thoughts as these occurred to me :
What is the earth and sea, of which I have seen so much? Whence is it produced P And
what am I, and all the other creatures, wild and tame, human and brutal; whence are we ?
Sure we are all made by some secret power, who formed the earth and sea, the air and sky;
and who is that?
Then it followed most naturally: it is God that has made it all. Well, but then it came on
strangely; if God has made all these things, He guides and governs them all, and all things
that concern them; for the Being that could make all things, must certainly have power to
guide and direct them.
If so, nothing can happen in the great circuit of His works, either without His knowledge or
And if nothing happens without His knowledge, He knows that I am here, and am in this
dreadful condition; and if nothing happens without His appointment, He has appointed all
this to befall me.
Nothing occurred to my thoughts to contradict any of these conclusions; and therefore it
rested upon me with the greater force, that it must needs be, that God had appointed all this
to befall me; that I was brought to this miserable circumstance by His direction, He having
the sole power, not of me only, but of everything that happened in the world. Immediately
Why has God done this to me ? What have I done to be thus used ?
My conscience presently checked me in that inquiry, as if I had blasphemed; and methought
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 45
it spoke to me, like a voice: Wretch! dostthon ask what thou hast done P Look back upon a
dreadful misspent life, and ask thyself what thou hast not done ? Ask, why is it that thou wert
not long ago destroyed? Why wert thou not drowned in Yarmouth Roads P killed in the fight
when the ship was taken by the SaUlee man-of-war; devoured by the wild beasts on the coast
of Africa or, drowned HERE, when all the crew perished but thyself P Dost thou ask What
have I done P
I was struck with these reflections as one astonished, and had not a word to say, no, not to
answer to myself; but rose up pensive and sad, walked back to my retreat, and went up over
my wall, as if I had been going to bed; but my thoughts were sadly disturbed, and I had no
inclination to sleep; so I sat down in my chair, and lighted my lamp, for it began to be *
dark. Now, as the apprehension of the return of my distemper terrified me very much, it
occurred to my thought, that the Brazilians take no physic but their tobacco, for almost all
distempers; and I had a piece of a roll of tobacco in one of the chests, which was quite cured,
and some also that was green, and not quite cured.
I went, directed by Heaven, no doubt! for in this chest I found a cure both for soul and body !
I opened the chest, and found what I looked for, viz. the tobacco; and as the few books I had
saved lay there too, I took out one of the Bibles which I mentioned before, and which, to this
time, I had not found leisure, or so much as inclination, to look into; I say I took it out, and
brought both that and the tobacco with me to the table.
What use to make of the tobacco I knew not, as to my distemper, or whether it was good for
it or no: but I tried several experiments with it, as if I resolved it should hit one way or
other: I first took a piece of a leaf, and chewed it in my mouth, which, indeed, at first almost
stupified my brain, the tobacco being green and strong, and that I had not been much used
to it; then I took some, and steeped it an hour or two in some rum, and resolved to take a
dose of it when I lay down; and lastly, I burnt some upon a pan of coals, and held my nose
close over the smoke of it, as long as I could bear it, as well for the heat as the virtue of it, and
I held almost to suffocation.
In the interval of this operation, I took up the Bible, and began to read; but my head was
too much disturbed with the tobacco to bear reading, at least at that time; only having opened
the book casually, the first words that occurred to me were these, "Call on Me in the day of
trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me."
The words were very apt to my case, and made some impression upon my thoughts at the
time of reading them, though not so much as they did afterwards; for, as for being delivered,
the word had no sound, as I may say, to me; the thing was so remote, so impossible in my
apprehension of things, that I began to say as the children of Isreal did when they were pro-
mised flesh to eat, "Can God spread a table in the wilderness P" so I began to say, Can God
Himself deliver me from this place? And as it was not for many years that any hope
appeared, this prevailed very often upon my thoughts; but, however, the words made a
very great impression upon me, and I mused upon them very often. It grew now late, and
the tobacco had, as I said, dozed my head so much, that I inclined to sleep; so I left my lamp
burning in the cave, lest I should want anything in the night, and went to bed: but before
I lay down, I did what I never had done in all my life; I kneeled down and prayed to God
to fulfil the promise to me, that if I called upon Him in the day of trouble, He would deliver me.
After my broken and imperfect prayer was over, I drank the rum in which I had steeped the
tobacco, which was so strong and rank of the tobacco, that indeed I could scarce get it down.
Immediately upon this I went to bed, and I found presently it flew up into my head violently;
but I fell into a sound sleep, and woke no more, till by the sun it must necessarily be near
three o'clock in the afternoon the next day; nay, to this hour I am partly of the opinion, that
I slept all the next day and night, and till almost three the day after; for otherwise I knew not
how I should lose a day out of my reckoning in the days of the week, as it appeared some
years after I had done; for if I had lost it by crossing and recrossing the line, I should have
lost more than one day: but certainly I lost a day in my account, and never knew which way.
Be that however one way or other, when I woke I found myself exceedingly refreshed, and
my spirits lively and cheerful When I got up I was stronger than I was the day before, and
1 - ~ `
46 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
my stomach better, for I was hungry, and, in short, I had no fit the next day, but continued
much altered for the better. 'This was the 29th.
The 30th was my well day, of course; and I went abroad with my gun, but did not care to
travel too far. I killed a sea-fowl or two, something like a brand goose, and brought them
home, but was not very forward to eat them, so I ate some more of the turtle's eggs, which
were very good. This evening I renewed the medicine which I had supposed did me good the
day before, viz. the tobacco steeped in rum, only I did not take so much as before, nor did I
chew any of the leaf, or hold my head over the smoke; however, I was not so well the next
day, which was the first of July, as I hoped I should have been, for I had a little spice of the
cold fit, butit was not much.
July 2. I renewed the medicine all the three ways, and dosed myself with it at first, and
doubled the quantity which I drank.
July 3. I missed the fit for good and all, though I did not recover my full strength for some
weeks after. While I was thus gathering strength, my thoughts ran exceedingly upon the
scripture, "I will deliver thee;" and the impossibility of my deliverance lay much upon my
mind, in bar of my ever expecting it, but as I was discouraging myself with such thoughts, it
occurred to my mind, that Ipored so much upon my deliverance from the main affliction, that I
disregarded the deliverance I had received, and I was, as it were, made to ask myself such
questions as these:-Have I not been delivered, and wonderfully too, from sickness ? from
the most distressed condition that could be, and that was so frightful to me ? And what
notice had I taken of it Had I done my part ? God had delivered me, but 1 had not
glorified Him; that is to say, I had not owned and been thankful for that as a deliverance;
and how could I expect greater deliverance P
This touched my heart very much, and immediately I kneeled down, and gave God thanks
aloud for my recovery from my sickness.
July 4. In the morning I took the Bible, and, beginning at the New Testament, I began
seriously to read it, and imposed upon myself to read awhile every morning and every night,
not tying myself to the number of chapters, but as long as my thoughts should engage me.
It was not long after I set seriously to this work, but I found my heart more deeply and sin-
cerely affected with the wickedness of my past life; the impression of my dream revived, and
the words, "All these things have not brought thee to repentance," ran seriously in my
thoughts. I was earnestly begging of God to give me repentance, when it happened provi-
dentially the very day that, reading the Scripture, I came to these words: "He is exalted a
Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance, and to give remission." I threw down the Book, and
with my heart as well as my hands lifted up to heaven, in a kind of ecstasy of joy, I cried out
aloud, "Jesus, Thou Son of David, Jesus, Thou exalted Prince and Saviour, give me repentance!"
This was the first time that I could say, in the true sense of the words, that I prayed in all
my life; for now I prayed with a sense of my condition, and with a true Scripture view of hope,
founded on the encouragement of the Word of God; and from this time, I may say, I began to
have hope that God would hear me.
Now I began to construe the words mentioned above-" Call on Me, and I will deliver thee "-
in a different sense from what I had ever done before; for then I had no notion of anything
being called deliverance, but my being delivered from the captivity I was in; for though I was
indeed at large in the place, yet the island was certainly a prison to me, and that in the worst
sense in the world; but now I learned to take it in another sense. Now I looked back upon
my past life with such horror, and my sins appeared so dreadful, that my soul sought nothing
of God, but deliverance from the load of guilt that bore down all my. comfort. As for my
solitary life, it was nothing; I did not so much as pray to be delivered from it, or think of it;
it was all of no consideration in comparison of this: and I add this part here to hint to who-
ever shall read it, that, whenever they come to a true sense of things, they will find deliverance
from sin a much greater blessing than deliverance from affliction.
But, leaving this part, I return to my journal.
My condition began now to be, though not less miserable as to my way of living, yet much
easier to my mind; and my thoughts being directed by a constant reading the Scripture, and
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 47
praying to God, to things of a higher nature, I had a great deal of comfort within, which till
now I knew nothing of; also, as my health and strength returned, I bestirred myself to furnish
myself with everything that I wanted, and make my way of living as regular as I could.
From the 4th of July to the 14th, I was chiefly employed in walking about with my gun in
my hand, a little and a little at a time, as a man that was gathering up his strength after a fit
of sickness; for it is hardly to be imagined how low I was, and to what weakness I was reduced.
The application which I made use of was perfectly new, and perhaps what had never cured an
ague before; neither can I recommend it to any one to practise by this experiment; and though
it did carry off the fit, yet it rather contributed to weaken me; for I had frequent convulsions
in my nerves and limbs for some time.
I learnt from it also this in particular, that being abroad in the rainy season was the most
pernicious thing to my health that could be, especially in those rains which came attended with
storms and hurricanes of wind; for as the rain which came in a dry season was nearly always
accompanied with such storms, so I found this rain was much more dangerous than the rain
which fell in September and October.
I had been now in this unhappy island above ten months; all possibility of deliverance from
this condition seemed to be entirely taken from me, and I firmly believed that no human shape
had ever set foot upon that place. Having now secured my habitation, as I thought, fully to my
mind, I had a great desire to make a more perfect discovery of the island, and to see what
other productions I might find, which I yet knew nothing of.
It was the 15th of July that I began to take a more particular survey of the island itself; I
went up the creek first, where, as I hinted, I brought my rafts on shore. I found, after I came
about two miles up, that the tide did not flow any higher, and that it was no more than a
little brook of running water, and very fresh and good; but, this being the dry season, there
was hardly any water in some parts of it, at least not enough to run in any stream, so as it
could be perceived.
On the bank of this brook I found many pleasant savannas or meadows, plain, smooth, and
covered with grass; and on the rising parts of them next to the higher grounds, where the water,
as it might be supposed, never overflowed, I found a great deal of tobacco, green, and growing
to a great and very strong stalk. There were divers other plants, which I had no notion of, or
understanding about, and might perhaps have virtues of their own, which I could not find out
I searched for the cassava root, which the Indians in all that climate make their bread of,
but I could find none. I saw large plants of aloes, but did not then understand them: I saw
several sugar-canes, but wild and, for want of cultivation, imperfect. I contented myself with
these discoveries for this time, and came back musing with myself what course I might take to
know the virtue and goodness of any of the fruits or plants which I should discover, but could
bring it to no conclusion; for, in short, I had made so little observation while I was in the
Brazils, that I knew little of the plants of the field-at least very little that might serve me to
any purpose now in my distress.
The next day, the 16th, I went up the same way again; and, after going something farther
than I had done the day before, I found the brook and the savannas began to cease, and the
country became more woody than before. In this part I found different fruits, and particularly
I found melons upon the ground in great abundance, and grapes upon the trees; the vines had
spread indeed over the trees, and the clusters of grapes were just now in their prime, very ripe
and rich. This was a surprising discovery, and I was exceedingly glad of them, but I was
warned by my experience to eat sparingly of them, remembering that, when I was ashore in
Barbary, the eating of grapes killed several of our Englishmen who were slaves there, by
throwing them into fluxes and fevers: but I found an excellent use for these grapes, and that
was to cure or dry them in the sun and keep them as dried grapes or raisins are kept, which
I thought would be, as indeed they were, as wholesome, and as agreeable to eat, when no grapes
might e had.
I spent all that evening there, and went not back to my habitation, which, by the way, was
the first night, as I might say, I had lain from home. In the night I took my first contrivance,
and got up into a tree, where I slept well, and the next morning proceeded upon my discovery,
48 Tle Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
travelling nearly four miles, as I might judge by the length of the valley, keeping still due
north, with a ridge of hills on the south and north side of me.
At the end of this march I came to an opening, where the country seemed to descend to the
west; and a little spring of fresh water, which issued out of the side of the hill by me, ran the
other way-that is, due east-and the country appeared so fresh, so green, so flourishing, every-
thing being in a constant verdure or flourishing of spring, that it looked like a planted garden.
I descended a little on the side of that delicious valley, surveying it with a secret kind of
pleasure (though mixed with other afflicting thoughts) to think that this was all my own, that I
was king and lord of all this country indefeasibly, and had a right of possession; and if I could
convey it, I might have it in inheritance, as completely as any lord of a manor in England. I
saw here abundance of cocoa-trees, orange and lemon and citron trees, but all wild, and few
bearing any fruit-at least not then. However, the green limes that 1 gathered were not only
pleasant to eat, but very wholesome; and I mixed their juice afterwards with water, which made
it very wholesome, and very cool and refreshing.
I found now I had business enough to gather and carry home; and resolved to lay up a store,
as well of grapes as limes and lemons, to furnish myself for the wet season, which I knew was
In order to do this I gathered a great heap of grapes in one place, and a lesser heap in
another place, and a great parcel of limes and lemons in another place; and taking a few of
each with me, I travelled homeward, and resolved to come again, and bring a bag or sack, or
what I could make, to carry the rest home.
Accordingly, having spent three days in this journey, I came home (so I must now call my
tent and my cave); but, before I got thither, the grapes were spoiled; the richness of the fruit
and the weight of the juice having broken them and bruised them, they were good for little or
nothing. As to the limes, they were good, but I could bring but a few.
The next day, being the 19th, I went back, having made two small bags to bring home my
harvest. But I was surprised when, coming to my heap of grapes, which were so rich and fine
when I gathered them, I found them all spread abroad, trod to pieces, and dragged about, some
here, some there, and abundance eaten and devoured. By this I concluded there were some wild
creatures thereabouts which had done this; but what they were I knew not.
However, as I found there was no laying them up in heaps, and no carrying them away in a
sack, but that one way they would be destroyed, and the other way they would be crushed with
their own weight, I took another course; for I gathered a large quantity of the grapes, and hung
them upon the outer branches of the trees, that they might cure and dry in the sun; and as for
the limes and lemons, I carried as many back as I could well stand under.
When I came home from this journey, I contemplated with great pleasure on the fruitfulness
of that valley, and the pleasantness of the situation, the security from storms on that side of the
water, and the wood; and concluded that I had pitched upon a place to fix my abode which was
by far the worst part of the country. Upon the whole, I began to consider of removing my
habitation, and to look out for a place equally safe as where I now was situated, if possible, in
that pleasant, fruitful part of the island.
This thought ran long in my head, and I was exceedingly fond of it for some time, the plea-
santness of the place tempting me; but when I came to a nearer view of it, and to consider that
I was now by the sea-side, where it was at least possible that something might happen to my
advantage, and that the same ill-fate that brought me hither might bring some other unhappy
wretches to the same place; and though it was scarcely probable that any such thing would
ever happen, yet to enclose myself among the hills and woods, in the centre of the island, was to
anticipate my bondage, and to render such an affair not only improbable, but impossible, and
that therefore I ought not by any means to remove.
However, I was so enamoured of this place that I spent much of my time there for the whole
remaining part of the month of July; and though, upon second thoughts, I resolved as above,
not to remove, yet I built a little kind of a bower, and surrounded it at a distance with a strong
fence, being a double hedge, as high as I could reach, well staked and filled between with brush-
wood; and here I lay very secure, sometimes two or three nights together, always going over it
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 49
with a ladder, as before; so that I fancied now I had my country house and my sea-coast
house: and this work took me up to the beginning of August.
I had but newly finished my fence, and began to enjoy my labour, when the rains came on,
and made me stick close to my first habitation; for though I had made a tent like the other,
with a piece of a sail, and spread it very well, yet I had not the shelter of a hill to keep me
from storms, nor a cave behind me to retreat into when the rains were extraordinary.
About the beginning of August, as I said, I had finished my bower and began to enjoy my-
self. The third of August I found the grapes I had hung up were perfectly dried, and indeed
were excellent good raisins of the sun: so I began to take them down from the trees, and it was
very happy that I did so, for the rains which followed would have spoiled them, and I had lost
the best part of my winter food, for I had above two hundred large bunches of them. No sooner
had I taken them all down, and carried most of them home to my cave, than it began to rain;
and from thence, which was the fourteenth of August, it rained more or less every day till the
middle of October, and sometimes so violently that I could not stir out of my cave for several days.
In this season I was much surprised with the increase of my family. I had been concerned
for the loss of one of my cats, who ran away from me, or, as I thought, had been dead, and I
heard no more tale or tidings of her till, to my astonishment, she came home about the end of
August with three kittens! This was the more strange to me, because, though I had killed a
wild cat, as I called it, with my gun, yet I thought it was quite a different kind from our
European cats; yet the young cats were the same kind of house-breed like the old one; and both
my cats being females, Ithought it very strange: but from these three cats I afterwards came
to be so pestered with cats that I was forced to kill them like vermin or wild beasts, and to
drive them from my house as much as possible.
From the fourteenth of August to the twenty-sixth, incessant rain, so that I could not stir,
and was now very careful not to be much wet. In this confinement I began to be straitened for
food; but, venturing out twice, I one day killed a goat; and the last day, which was the twenty-
sixth, found a very large tortoise, which was a treat to me; and my food was regulated thus: I
ate a bunch.of raisins for my breakfast, a piece of the goat's flesh, or of the turtle, for my
dinner, broiled (for, to my great misfortune, I had no vessel to boil or stew anything), and two
or three of the turtle's eggs for supper.
During this confinement in my cover by the rain, I worked daily two or three hours at
enlarging my cave, and, by degrees, worked it on towards one side till I came to the outside of
the hill, and made a door or way out, which came beyond my fence or wall; and so I came in
and out this way: but I was not perfectly easy at lying so open, for, as I had managed myself
before, I was in a perfect enclosure, whereas now I thought I lay exposed; and yet I could
not perceive that there was any living thing to fear, the biggest creature that I had seen upon
the island being a goat.
September the thirtieth. I was now come to the unhappy anniversary of my landing. I cast
up the notches on my post, and found I had been on shore three hundred and sixty-five days.
I kept this day as a solemn fast, setting it apart to a religious exercise, prostrating myself on
the ground with the most serious humiliation, confessing my sins to God, acknowledging His
righteous judgments upon me, and praying to Him to have mercy on me, through Jesus Christ;
and having not tasted the least refreshment for twelve hours, even to the going down of the
sun, I then ate a biscuit-cake and a bunch of grapes, and went to bed, finishing the day as I
I had all this time observed no Sabbath-day; for as at first I had no sense of religion upon
my mind, I had after some time omitted to distinguish the weeks, by making a longer notch
than ordinary for the Sabbath-day, and so did not really know what any of the days were; but
now, having cast up the days as above, I found I had been there a year; so I divided it into
weeks, and set apart every seventh day for a Sabbath, though I found at the end of my
account I had lost a day or two in my reckoning.
A little after this my ink began to fail me, and so I contented myself to use it more spar-
ingly, and to write down only the most remarkable events of my life, without continuing a daily
memorandum of other things.
50 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
The rainy season and the dry season began now to appear regular to me, and I learned to
divide them so as to provide for them accordingly. But I bought all my experience before I
had it; and this I am going to relate was one of the most discouraging experiments that
I made at all. I have mentioned that I had saved the few ears of barley and rice which I had
so surprisingly found spring up, as I thought, of themselves, and believe there were about
thirty stalks of rice, and about twenty of barley; and now I thought it a proper time to sow it
after the rains, the sun being in its southern position going from me.
Accordingly I dug up a piece of ground, as well as I could, with my wooden spade, and,
dividing it into two parts, I sowed my grain; but as I was sowing, it casually occurred to my
thought that I would not sow it all at first, because I did not know when was the proper time
for it; so I sowed about two-thirds of the seeds, leaving about a handful of each. It was a
great comfort to me afterwards that I did so, for not one grain of that I sowed this time came
to anything; for the dry months following, the earth having had no rain after the seed was
sown, it had no moisture to assist its growth, and never came up at all, till the wet season had
come again, and then it grew as if it had been newly sown.
Finding my first seed did not grow, which I easily imagined was by the drought, I
sought for a moister piece of ground to make another trial in; and I dug up a piece of ground
near my new bower, and sowed the rest of my seed in February, a little before the vernal
equinox; and this, having the rainy months of March and April to water it, sprung up very
pleasantly, and yielded a very good crop; but having part of the seed left only, and not daring
to sow all that I had yet, I had but a small quantity at last, my whole crop not amounting
to above half a peck of each kind.
But by this experience I was made master of my business, and knew exactly when the
proper season was to sow, and that I might expect two seed-times and two harvests every
While this corn was growing, I made a little discovery, which was of use to me afterwards.
As soon as the rains were over, and the weather began to settle, which was about the month
of November, I made a visit up the country to my bower, where, though I had not been
some months, yet I found all things just as I left them. The circle or double hedge that I
had made was not only firm and entire, but the stakes which I had cut off of some trees
that grew thereabouts were all shot out, and grown with long branches, as much as a willow-
tree usually shoots the first year after lopping its head. I could not tell what tree to call it
that these stakes were cut from. I was surprised, and yet very well pleased, to see the young
trees grow; and I pruned them, and led them up to grow as much alike as I could, and it is
scarcely credible how beautiful a figure they grew into in three years; so that, though the
hedge made a circle of about twenty-five yards in diameter, yet the trees-for such I might
now call them-soon covered it; and it was a complete shade, sufficient to lodge under all the
This made me resolve to cut some more stakes, and make a hedge like this in a semicircle
round my wall-I mean that of my first dwelling-which I did; and placing the trees or
stakes in a double row, at about eight yards' distance from my first fence, they grew presently,
and were at first a fine cover to my habitation, and afterwards served for a defence also, as I
shall observe in its order.
I found now that the seasons of the year might generally be divided, not into summer
and winter, as in Europe, but into the rainy seasons and the dry seasons, which were generally
March, Rainy, the sun being then on or near the equinox.
June, Dry, the sun being then to the north of the line.
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 51
September, Rainy, the sun being then come back.
December, Dry, the sun being then to the south of the line.
The rainy season sometimes held longer or shorter, as the winds happened to blow; but
this was the general observation I made. After I had found, by experience, the ill-con-
sequence of being abroad in the rain, I took care to furnish myself with provision beforehand,
that I might not be obliged to go out; and I sat within doors as much as possible during the
In this time I found much employment (and very suitable also to the time), for I found
great occasion of many things which I had no way to furnish myself with, but by hard labour
and constant application: particularly I tried many ways to make myself a basket; but all
the twigs I could get for the purpose proved so brittle that they would do nothing. It
proved of excellent advantage to me now, that, when I was a boy, I used to take great delight
in standing at a basket-maker's in the town where my father lived, to see them make their
wicker-ware; and being, as boys usually are, very officious to help, and a great observer of
the manner how they worked those things, and sometimes lending a hand, I had by this means
so full knowledge of the methods of it, that I wanted nothing but the materials; when it
came into my mind that the twigs of that tree, from whence I cut my stakes that grew, might
possibly be as tough as the sallows and willows and osiers in England, and I resolved to try.
Accordingly, the next day I went to my country house, as I called it, and, cutting some of
the smaller twigs, I found them to my purpose as much as I could desire; whereupon I came
the next time prepared with a hatchet to cut down a quantity, which I soon found, for there
was a great plenty of them: these I set up to dry within my circle or hedges; and when they
were fit for use, I carried them to my cave; and here during the next season I employed
myself in making (as well as I could) a great many baskets, both to carry earth, or to carry
or lay up anything as I had occasion; and though I did not finish them very handsomely,
yet I made them sufficiently serviceable for my purpose; and thus afterwards I took care
never to be without them; and as my wicker-ware decayed, I made more; especially I made
strong deep baskets to place my corn in, instead of sacks, when I should come to have any
quantity of it.
Having mastered this difficulty, and employed a world of time about it, I bestirred myself to
see, if possible, how to supply two wants. I had no vessels to hold anything that was liquid,
except two rundlets, which were almost full of rum, and some glass bottles, some of the
common size, and others which were case-bottles square, for the holding of waters, spirits, &c.
I had not so much as a pot to boil anything in, except a great kettle which I saved out of-the
ship, and which was too big for such uses as I desired for it, viz., to make broth, and stew a
bit of meat by itself. The second thing I would fain have had was a tobacco-pipe, but it was A
impossible for me to make one; however, I found a contrivance for that too at last.
I employed myself in planting my second rows of stakes or piles, and in this wicker-work,
all the summer or dry season, when another business took me up more time than it could
be imagined I could spare.
I mentioned before, that I had a great mind to see the whole island, and that I had
travelled up the brook, and so on to where I built my bower, and where I had an opening
quite to the sea, on the other side of the island. I now resolved to travel quite across to the
sea-shore on that side: so, taking my gun and hatchet and my dog, and a larger quantity
of powder and shot than usual, with two biscuit-cakes and a great bunch of raisins in my
pouch for my store, I began my journey. When I had passed the vale where my bower stood,
as above, I came within view of the sea, to the west; and it being a very clear day, I fairly
described land-whether an island or continent I could not tell-but it lay veryhigh, extend-
52 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
ing from the West to the W.S.W. at a very great distance. By my guess it could not be less
than fifteen or twenty leagues off.
I could not tell what part of the world this might be, otherwise than that I knew it must
be part of America, and, as I concluded by all my observations, must be near the Spanish
dominions, and perhaps was all inhabited by savages, where, if I should have landed, I had
been in a worse condition than I was now; and therefore I acquiesced in the dispositions
of Providence, which I began now to own, and to believe, ordered everything for the best. I say
I quieted my mind with this, and left afflicting myself with fruitless wishes of being there.
Besides, after some pause upon this affair, I considered that, if this land was the Spanish
coast, I should certainly, one time or other, see some vessels pass or repass one way or other;
but if not, then it was the savage coast between the Spanish country and Brazil, which are
indeed the worst of savages; for they are cannibals, or men-eaters, and fail not to murder
and devour all the human bodies that fall into their hands.
With these considerations I walked very leisurely forward. I found that side of the island
where I now was much pleasanter than mine, the open or savanna fields sweet, adorned with
flowers and grass, and full of very fine woods. I saw abundance of parrots, and fain would I
have caught one, if possible, to have kept it to be tame, and taught it to speak to me. I
did, after some pains taken, catch a young parrot, for I knocked it down with a stick, and,
having recovered it, I brought it home, but it was some years before I could make him
speak. However, at last I taught him to call me by my name, very familiarly; but the
accident that followed, though it be a trifle, will be very diverting in its place.
I was exceedingly diverted with this journey. I found, in the low grounds, hares, as I
thought them to be, and foxes, but they differed greatly from all the other kinds I had met
with; nor could I satisfy myself to eat them, though I killed several. But I had no need to be
venturous, for I had no want of food, and of that which was very good too, especially these
three sorts, viz., goats, pigeons, and turtle or tortoise, which, added to my grapes, Leadenhall
market could not have furnished a better table than I, in proportion to the company; and,
though my case was deplorable enough, yet I had great cause for thankfulness that I was
not driven to any extremities for food, but rather plenty, even to dainties.
I never travelled in this journey above two miles outright in a day, or thereabouts; but I
took so many turns and returns, to see what discoveries I could make, that I came weary
enough to the place where I resolved to sit down for all night, and then either reposed
myself in a tree, or surrounded myself with a row of stakes set upright in the ground, either
from one tree to another, or so as no wild creature could come at me without waking me.
As soon as I came to the sea-shore, I was surprised to see that I had taken up my lot on
the worst side of the island; for here indeed the shore was covered with innumerable turtles,
whereas on the other side I had found but three in a year and a half. Here was also an infinite
number of fowls of many kinds, some of which I had not seen before, and many of them very
good meat; but such as I knew not the names of, except those called penguins.
I could have shot as many as I pleased, but was very sparing of my powder and shot, and
therefore had more mind to kill a she-goat, if I could, which I could better feed on; and though
there were many more goats here than on the other side of the island, yet it was with much more
difficulty that I could come near them, the country being flat and even, and they saw me much
sooner than when I was on the hills.
I confess this side of the country was much pleasanter than mine,but yet I had not the least
inclination to remove, for as I was fixed in my habitation, it became natural to me, and I seemed,
all the while I was here, to be, as it were, upon a journey, and from home. However, I travelled
along the shore of the sea towards the east, I suppose about twelve miles, and then, setting up a
great pole upon the shore for a mark, I concluded I would go home again, and the next journey
I took should be on the other side of the island, east from my dwelling, and so round, till I came
to my post again, of which in its place.
I took another way to come back than that I went, thinking I could easily keep all the island
so much in my view, that I could not miss finding my first dwelling by viewing the country;
but I found myself mistaken, for, being come about two or three miles, I found myself descended
I V -
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 53
into a very large valley, but so surrounded with hills, and those hills covered with'woods, that
I could not see which was my way by any direction but that of the sun, nor even then, unless I
knew very well the position of the sun at that time of the day.
It happened, to my further misfortune, that the weather proved hazy for three or four days,
while I was in this valley, and, not being able to see the sun, I wandered about very uncom-
fortably, and at last was obliged to find out the sea-side, look for my post, and come back the
same way I went, and then by easy ourneys I burned homeward, the weather being exceedingly
hot, and my gun, ammunition, hatchet, and other things, very heavy.
In this journey my dog surprised a young kid, and seized upon it; and I, running into take
hold of it, caught it, and saved it alive from the dog. I had a great mind to bring it home if I
could, for I had often been musing whether it might not be possible to get a kid or two, and so
raise a breed of tame goats which might supply me when my powder and shot should be spent.
I made a collar for this little creature, and with a string which I made of some rope-yarn,
which I always carried about me, I led him along, though with some difficulty, till I came to my
bower, and there I enclOsed him and left him, for I was very impatient to be at home, from
whence I had been absent above a month.
I cannot express what a satisfaction it was to me to come into my old hutch, and lie down in
my hammock-bed. This little wandering journey, without a settled place of abode, had been so
unpleasant to me, that my own house, as I called it to myself, was a perfect settlement to me,
compared to that; and it rendered everything about me so comfortable that I resolved I would
never go a great way from it again, while it should be my lot to stay on the island.
I reposed myself here a week, to rest and regale myself after my long journey, during which
most of the time was taken up in the weighty affair of making a cage for my Poll, who
began now to be a mere domestic, and to be mighty well acquainted with me. Then I began to
think of the poor kid, which I had pent in within my little circle, and resolved to go and fetch
it home, and give it some food. Accordingly I went, and found it where I left it; for indeed it
could iot get out, but was almost starved for want of food. I went and cut boughs of trees and
branches of such shrubs as I could find, and threw it over, and having fed it, I tied it as I did
before to lead it away, but it was so tame with being hungry, that I had no need to have tied
it, for it followed me like a dog; and as I continually fed it, the creature became so loving, so
gentle, and so fond, that it became from that time one of my domestics also, and would never
leave me afterwards.
The rainy season of the autumnal equinox was now come, and I kept the 30th of September in
the same solemn manner as before, being the anniversary of my landing on the island, having
now been there two years, and no more prospect of being delivered than the first day I came
there. I spent the whole day in humble and thankful acknowledgments Bf the many wonderful
mercies which my solitary condition was attended with, and without which it might have been
infinitely more miserable. I gave humble and hearty thanks that God had been pleased to
discover to me, even that it was possible I might be more happy in this solitary condition than
I should have been in a liberty of society, and in all the pleasures of the world: that He could
fully make up to me the deficiencies of my solitary state and the want of human society by His
presence, and the communications of His grace to my soul, supporting, comforting, and
encouraging me to depend upon His providence here, and hope for His eternal presence hereafter.
It was now that I began sensibly to feel how much more happy the life I now led was, with
all its miserable circumstances, than the wicked, cursed, abominable life I led all the past part
of my days: and now, having changed both my sorrows and my joys, my very desires altered,
my affections changed their gust, and my delights were perfectly new from what they were at
first coming, or indeed for two years past.
Before, as I walked about, either on my hunting, or for viewing the country, the anguish of
my soul at my condition would break out upon me on a nsddenr and my very heart would
die within me, to think of the woods, the mountains, the deserts I was in; and how I was a
prisoner, locked up with the eternal bolts and bars of the ocean, in an uninhabited wilderness,
without redemption. In the midst of the greatest composure of my mind, this would break out
upon me like a storm, and made me wring my hands and weep like a child. Sometimes it
*i..;:-**, --.i *- J -r^ a
54 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
would take me in the middle of my work, and I would immediately sit down and sigh and look
upon the ground for an hour or two together; and this was still worse to me; for if I could
burst out into tears, or vent myself by words, it would go off, and the grief, having exhausted
itself, would abate.
But now I began to exercise myself with new thoughts; I daily read the Word of God, and
applied all the comforts of it to my present state. One morning, being very sad, I opened the
Bible upon these words: "I will never, never leave thee, nor forsake thee !" Immediately it
occurred that these words were to me; why else should they be directed in such a manner, just at
the moment when I was mourning over my condition, as one forsaken of God and man ? Well,
then, said I, if God does not forsake me, of what ill-consequence can it be, or what matters it,
though the world should all forsake me-seeing, on the other hand, if I had all the world, and
should lose the favour and blessing of God, there would be no comparison in the loss?
From this moment I began to conclude in my mind that it was possible for me to be more
happy in this forsaken, solitary condition, than it was probable I should ever have been in any
other particular state in the world; and with this thought I was goingto give thanks to God for
bringing me to this place.
I know not what it was, but something shocked my mind at that thought, and I dnrst not
speak the words. How canst thou be such an hypocrite (said I, even audibly), to pretend to be
thankful for a condition which, however thou mayest endeavour to be contented with, thou
wouldest rather pray heartily to be delivered from ? So I stopped there; but though I could
not say I thanked God for being there, yet I sincerely gave thanks to God for opening my
eyes, by whatever afflicting providence, to see the former condition of my life, and to mourn for
my wickedness and repent. I never opened the Bible, or shut it, but my very soul within me
blessed God for directing my friend in England, without any order of mine, to pack it up among
my goods, and for assisting me afterwards to save it out of the wreck of the ship.
Thus, and in this disposition of mind, I began my third year; and though I have not given
the reader the trouble of so particular an account of my works this year as at the first, yet in
general it may be observed that I was very seldom idle, having regularly divided my time
according to the several daily employment that were before me-such as, first, my duty to God,
and reading the Scriptures, which I constantly set apart some time for, thrice every day.
Secondly, the going abroad with my gun for food, which generally took me up three hours every
morning when it did not rain. Thirdly, the ordering, curing, preserving, and cooking what
I had killed or caught for my supply. These took up great part of the day. Also it is to be
considered that, in the middle of the day, when the sun was in the zenith, the violence of the heat
was too great to stir out; so that about four hours in the evening was all the time I could be
supposed to work in; with this exception, that sometimes I changed my hours of hunting and
working, and went to work in the morning, and abroad with my gun in the afternoon.
To this short time allowed for labour, I desire may be added the exceeding laboriousness of
my work; the many hours which, for want of tools, want of help, and want of skill, everything
that I did took up out of my time: for example, I was full two-and-forty days making a board
for a long shelf which I wanted in my cave, whereas two sawyers, with their tools and saw-
pit, would have cut six of them out of the same tree in half a day.
My case was this: It was to be a large tree which was to be cut down, because my board
was to be a broad one. The tree I was three days a cutting down, and two more cutting off the
boughs, and reducing it to a log, or piece of timber. With inexpressible hacking and hewing,
I reduced both the sides of it into chips, till it began to be light enough to move; then I turned
it, and made one side of it smooth and flat as a board from end to end: then, turning that
side downward, cut the other side till I brought the plank to be about three inches thick, and
smooth on both sides. Any one may judge the labour of my hands in such a piece of work;
but labour and patience carried me through that and many other things. I only observe this
in particular to show the reason why so much of my time went away with so little work, viz.,
that what might be a little to be done with help and tools was a vast labour, and required a
prodigious time to do alone and by hand.
Butj notwithstanding this, with patience and labour I went through many things, and, indeed,
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 55
everything that my circumstances made necessary for me to do, as will appear by what
I was now in the months of November and December, expecting my crop of barley and rice.
The ground I had manured or dug up for them was not great; for, as I observed my seed of
each was not above the quantity of half a peck, for I had lost one whole crop by sowing in the
dry season; but now my crop promised very well, when on a sudden I found I was in danger
of losing it all again by enenmes of several sorts, which it was scarce possible to keep from it.
At first, the goats, and wild creatures which I called hares, which, tasting the sweetness of the
blade, lay in it night and day, as soon as it came up, and ate it so close that it could get no time
to shoot up into stalks.
This I saw no remedy for, but by making an enclosure about it with a hedge, which I did with
a g-eat deal of toil; and the more because it required a great deal of speed, the creatures daily
spoiling my corn. However, as my arable land was but small, suited to my crop, I got it totally
well fenced in about three weeks' time; and, shooting some of the creatures m the daytime, I
set my dog to guard it in the night, tying him up to a stake at the gate, where he would stand
and bark all eight long: so in a little time the enemies forsook the place, and the corn grew
very strong and well, and began to ripen apace.
But as the beasts ruined me before, while my corn was in the blade so the birds were as like
to ruin me now, when it was in the ear; for going along by the place to see how it throve, I
saw my little crop surrounded with fowls of I know not how many sorts, which stood as it were
watching till I should be gone. I immediately let fly among them (for I always had my gnn
with me). I had no sooner shot than there rose up a little cloud of fowls, which I had not seen
at all, from among the corn itself.
This touched me sensibly, for I foresaw that, in a few days, they would devour all my hopes,
that I should be starved, and never be able to raise a crop at all, and what to do I could not tell.
However, I resolved not to lose my corn, if possible, though I should watch it night and day.
In the first place, I went among it to see what damage was already done, and found they had
spoiled a good deal of it, but that, as it was yet too green for them, the loss was not so great,
but the remainder was like to be a good crop, if it could be saved.
I stayed by itto load my gun, and then, coming away, I could easily see the thieves sitting upon
all the trees about me, as if they only waited till I was gone away, and the event proved it to be
so; for as I walked off, as if I was gone, I was no sooner out of their sight than they dropped
down one by one into the corn again. I was so provoked that I could not have patience to
stay till more came on, knowing that every grain that they ate now was, as it might be said,
a peck loaf to me in the consequence; but, coming up to the hedge, I fired again, and killed
three of them. This was what I wished for; so I took them up and served them as we serve
notorious thieves in England, viz., hanged them in chains for a terror to others. It is im-
possible to imagine almost thatthhis should have such an effect as it had, for the fowls would
not only not come at the corn, but, in short, they forsook all that part of the island, and I could
never see a bird near the place as long as my scarecrows hung there.
This I was very glad of, you may be sure; and about the latter end of December, which was
our second harvest of the year, I reaped my corn.
I was sadly put to it for a scythe or a sickle to cut it down, and all I could do was to make
one as well as Icould, out of one of the broad-swords or cutlasses which I saved among the arms
out of the ship. However, as my crop was but small, I had no great difficulty to cut it down:
in short, I reaped it my way, for I cut nothing off but the ears, and carried it away in a great
basket which I had made, and so rubbed it out with my hands: and at the end of all my
harvesting I found that, out of my half-peck of seed, I had near two bushels of rice, and above
two bushels and a half of barley-that is to say, by my guess, for I had no measure at that
However, this was a great encouragement to me, and I foresaw that, in time, it would
please God to supply me with bread. And yet here I was perplexed again, for I neither knew
how to grind or make meal of my corn, or indeed how to clean it and part it; nor, if made into
meal, how to make bread of it; and if how to make it, yet I knew not how to bake it. These
56 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
things being addedto my desire of having a good quantity for store, and to secure a constant
supply, I resolved not to taste any of this crop, but to preserve it all for seed against the next
season, and in the meantime to employ all my study and hours of working to accomplish this
great work of providing myself with corn and bread.
It might be truly said that now I worked for my bread. It is a little wonderful, and what
I believe few people have thought much upon, viz., the strange multitude of little things
necessary in the providing, producing, curing, dressing, making, and finishing this one article of
I, that was reduced to a mere state of nature, found this to be my daily discouragement,
and was made more and more sensible of it every hour, even after I got the first handful of
seed-corn, which, as I have said, came up unexpectedly, and indeed to a surprise.
First, I had no plough to turn the earth, no spade or shovel to dig it. Well, this I conquered
by making a wooden spade, as I observed before, but this did my work in but a wooden manner;
and though it cost me a great many days to make it, yet, for want of iron, it not only wore
out the sooner, but made my work the harder, and made it be performed much worse.
However, this I bore with too, and was content to work it out with patience, and bear with
the badness of the performance. When the corn was sowed, I had no harrow, but was forced to
go over it myself, and drag a great heavy bough of a tree over it, to scratch the earth, as it may
be called, rather than rake or harrow it.
When it was growing or grown, I have observed already how many things I wanted to fence
it, secure it, mow or reap it, cure or carry it home, thresh, part it from the chaff, and save it.
Then I wanted a mill to grind it, sieves to dress it, yeast and salt to make it into bread,
and an oven to bake it in; and all these things I did without, as shall be observed; and yet
the corn was an inestimable comfort and advantage to me too. But all this, as I said, made
everything laborious and tedious to me, but that there was no help for; neither was my time
so much loss to me, because I had divided it. A certain part of it was every day appointed to
these works; and as I resolved to use none of the corn for bread till I had a greater quantity
by me, I had the next six months to apply myself, wholly by labour and invention, to furnish
myself with utensils proper for the performing all the operations necessary for the making
the corn, when I had it, fit for my use.
But first I was to prepare more land, for I had now seed enough to sow above an acre of
ground. Before I did this, I had a week's work at least to make a spade, which, when it was
done, was a very sorry one indeed, and very heavy, and required double labour to work with it.
However, I went through that, and sowed my seeds in two large flat pieces of ground, as near
my house as I could find them to my mind, and fenced them in with a good hedge, the stakes
of which were all cut off that wood which I had set before, which I knew would grow; so that
in one year's time I knew I should have a quick or living hedge that would want but little
repair. This work was not so little as to take me up less than three months, because great part
of that time was in the wet season, when I could not go abroad.
Within door-that is, when it rained, and I could not go out-I found employment on the
following occasion, always observing that, all the while I was at work, I diverted myself with
talking to my parrot, and teaching him to speak; and I quickly learnt him to know his own
name; at last to speak it out pretty loud, Poll, which was the first word I ever heard spoken
in the island by any mouth but my own. This, therefore, was not my work, but an assistant to
my work; for now, as I said, I had a great employment upon my hands, as follows: viz., I had
long studied, by some means or other, to make myself some earthen vessels, which indeed I
wanted sorely, but knew not where to come at them. However, considering the heat of the
climate, I did not doubt but, if I could find out any such clay, I might botch up some such pot
as might, being dried by the sun, be hard enough and strong enough to bear handling, and to
hold anything that was dry, and required to be kept so; and as this was necessary in preparing
corn, meal, &c., which was the thing I was upon, I resolved to make some as large as I could,
and fit only to stand like jars to hold what should be put into them.
It would make the reader pity me, or rather laugh at me, to tell how many awkward ways I
took to raise this paste-what odd, mis-shapen, ugly things I made-how many of them fell in,
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 57
and how many fell out, the clay not being stiff enough to bear its own weight-how many
cracked by the over-violent heat of the sun, being set out too hastily, and how many fell to
pieces with only removing, as well before as after they were dried, and, in a word, how, after
having laboured hard to find the clay, to dig it, to temper it, to bring it home and work it, I
could not make above two large earthen ugly things-I cannot call them jars-in about two
However, as the sun baked these two very dry and hard, I lifted them very gently up, and
set them down again in two greater wicker baskets, which I had made on purpose for them that
they might not break; and as between the pot and the basket there was a little room to spare,
I stuffed it full of the rice and barley straw; and these two pots, being to stand always dry, I
thought would hold my dry corn, and perhaps the meal when the corn was bruised.
Though I miscarried so much in my design for large pots, yet I made several smaller things
with better success, such as little round pots, flat dishes, pitchers, and pipkins, and anything my
hand turned to, and the heat of the sun baked them strangely hard.
But all this would not answer my end, which was to get an earthen pot to hold what was
liquid and bear the fire, which none of these could do. It happened after some time, making a
pretty large fire for cooking my meat, when I went to put it out after I had done with it, I
found a broken piece of one of my earthenware vessels in the fire, burnt as hard as a stone and
red as a tile. I was agreeably surprised to see it, and said to myself that certainly they might
be made to burn whole if they would burn broken.
This set me to study how to order my fire, so as to make it burn me some pots. I had no
notion of a kiln, such as the potters burn in, or of glazing them with lead, though I had some
lead to do it with; but I placed three large pipkins, and two or three pots, in a pile one upon
another, and placed my firewood all round it, with a great heap of embers under them: I
plied the fire with fresh fuel round the outside, and upon the top, till I saw the pots in the inside
red-hot quite through, and observed that they did not crack at all: when I saw them clear
red, I let them stand in that heat about five or six hours, till I found one of them, though it did
not crack, did melt or run; for the sand which was mixed with the clay, melted by the vio-
lence of the heat, and would have run into glass, if I had gone on; so I slacked my fire
gradually, till the pots began to abate of the red colour; and watching them all night, that I
might not let the fire abate too fast, in the morning I had three very good, I wll not say
handsome pipkins, and two other earthen pots, as hard burnt as could be desired; and one of
them perfectly glazed with the running of the sand.
After this experiment I need not say that I wanted no sort of earthenware for my use;
but I must needs say, as to the shapes of them, they were very indifferent, as any one may
suppose, when I had no way of making them, but as the children make dirt-pies, or as a woman
would make pies that never learnt to raise paste.
No joy at a thing of so mean a nature was ever-equal to mine, when I found I had made an
earthen pot that would bear the fire; and I had hardly patience to stay till they were cold
before I set one upon the fire again, with some water in it, to boil me some meat, which it did
admirably well; and with a piece of a kid I made some very good broth, though I wanted
oatmeal and several other ingredients requisite to make it so good as I would have had it.
My next concern was to get me a stone mortar to stamp or beat some corn in; for, as to the
mill, there was no thought of arriving to that perfection of art with one pair of hands. To
supply this want I was at a great loss; for, of all trades in the world, I was as perfectly
unqualified for a stone-cutter as for any whatever; neither had I any tools to go about it with.
I spent many a day to find out a great stone big enough to cut hollow, and make fit for a
mortar, and could find none at all, except what was in the solid rock, and which I had no way
to dig or cut out; nor, indeed, were the rocks in the island of hardness suicient, but were all
of a sandy, crumbling stone, which would neither bear the weight of a heavy pestle, nor would
break the corn without filling it with sand; so, after a great deal of time lost in searching for
a stone, I gave it over, and resolved to look out for a great block of hard wood, which I found
indeed much easier; and, getting one as big as I had strength to stir,I rounded it, and formed
it on the outside with my axe and hatchet; and then, with the help of fire and infinite labour,
58 Tie Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
made a hollow place in it, as the Indians in Brazil make their canoes. After this, I made a
great heavy pestle or beater of the wood called the iron-wood; and this I prepared and laid by
against I had my next crop of corn, when I proposed to myself to grind, or rather pound, my
corn or meal to make my bread.
My next difficulty was to make a sieve, or searce, to dress my meal and part it from the bran
and the husk, without which I did not see it possible I could have any bread. This was a most
difficult thing, so much as but to think on; for, to be sure, I had nothing like the necessary
things to make it with-I mean fine thin canvas, or stuff, to scarce the meal through. And
here I was at a full stop for many months, nor did I really know what to do. Linen I had none
left bnt what was mere rags; I had goat's hair, but neither knew I how to weave or spin it,
and, had I known how, here were no tools to work it with. All the remedy that I found for
this was that at last I did remember I had, among the seamen's clothes which were saved out
of the ship, some neckcloths of calico or muslin; and with some pieces of these I made three
small sieves, but proper enough for the work: and thus I made shift for some years; how I
did afterwards I shall show in its place.
The baking part was the next thing to be considered, and how I should make bread when
I came to have corn; for, first, I had no yeast. As to that part, as there was no supplying
the want, so I did not concern myself much about it. But for an oven I was indeed in great
pain. At length I found out an experiment for that also, which was this: I made some earthen
vessels, very broad, but not deep; that is to say, about two feet diameter, and not above nine
inches deep. These I burnt in the fire, as I had done the other, and laid them by; and when
I wanted to bake I made a great fire upon the hearth, which I had paved with some square tiles
of my own making and burning also; but I should not call them square.
When the firewood was burnt pretty much into embers or live coals, I drew them forward
upon this hearth, so as to cover it all over, and there I let them lie till the hearth was very
hot; then, sweeping away all the embers, I set down my loaf or loaves, and, whelming down the
earthen pot upon them, drew the embers all round the outside of the pot, to keep in and add to
the heat; and thus, as well as in the best oven in the world, I baked my barley-loaves, and
became in a little time a mere pastry-cook into the bargain; for I made myself several cakes
of the rice, and puddings; indeed, I made no pies, neither had I anything to put into them,
supposing I had, except the flesh either of fowls or goats.
It need not be wondered at, if all these things took me up most part of the third year of my
abode here; for it is to be observed, that in the intervals of these things, I had my new harvest
and husbandry to manage: for I reaped my corn in its season, and carried it home as well as I
could, and laid it up in the ear, in my large baskets, till I had time to rub it out; for I had no
floor to thrash it on, or instrument to thrash it with.
And now indeed, my stock of corn increasing, I really wanted to build my barns bigger. I
wanted a place to lay it up in, for the increase of the corn now yielded me so much, that I had
of the barley about twenty bushels, and of the rice as much, or more; insomuch that I now
resolved to begin to use it freely, for my bread had been quite gone a great while; also I
resolved to see what quantity would be sufficient for me a whole year, and to sow but once a
Upon the whole I found that the forty bushels of barley and rice were much more than I
could consume in a year, so I resolved to sow just the same quantity every year that I sowed
the last, in hopes that such a quantity would fully provide me with bread, &c.
All the while these things were doing, you may be sure my thoughts ran many times upon
the prospect of land which I had seen from the other side of the island; and I was not without
secret wishes that I was on shore there, fancying that seeing the main land, and in an inhabited
country, I might find some way or other to convey myself farther, and perhaps at last find some
means of escape.
But all this while I made no allowance for the dangers of such a condition, and how I
might fall into the hands of savages, and perhaps such as I might have reason to think far
worse than the lions and tigers of Africa: that if I once came into their power, I should run
a hazard more than a thousand to one of being killed, and perhaps of being eaten; for I had
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 59
heard that the people of the Caribean coasts were cannibals, or min-eaters, and I knew by the
latitude that I could not be far off from that shore: that, suppose they were not cannibals, yet
they might kill me, as many Europeans who had fallen into their hands had been served, even
when they had been ten or twenty together; much more I that was but one, and could make
little or no defence. All these things, I say, which I ought to have considered well of, and I
did cast up in my thoughts afterwards, yet took none of my apprehensions at first; and my
head ran mightily upon the thoughts of getting over to that shore.
Now I wished for my boy Xury, and the long boat with the shoulder-of-mutton sail, with
which I sailed above a thousand miles on the coast of Africa, but this was in vain. Then I
thought I would go and look on our ship's boat, which, as I have said, was blown up upon the
shore a great way in the storm, when we were first cast away. She lay almost where she did
at first, but not quite, and was turned, by the force of the waves, and the winds, almost bottom
upwards, against the high ridge of a beachy rough sand, but no water about her as before.
If I had hands to have refitted her, and have launched her into the water, the boat would
have done well enough, and I might have gone back into the Brazils with her easily enough, but
I might have easily foreseen that I could no more turn her and set her upright upon her bottom,
than I could remove the island. However I went to the wood, and cut levers and rollers, and
brought them to the boat, resolving to try what I could do, suggesting to myself, that if I could
but turn her down, I might easily repair the damage she had received, and she would be a
very goodboat, and I might goto sea in her very easily.
I spared no pains indeed in this piece of fruitless toil, and spent, I think, three or four weeks
about it: at last finding it impossible to heave it up with my little strength, I fell to digging
away the sand to undermine it; and so to make it fall down, setting pieces of wood to thrust
and guide it right in the fall
But when I had done this, I was unable to stir it up again, or to get under it, much less to
move it forwards towards the water; so I was forced to give it over: and yet, though I gave
over hopes of the boat, my desire to venture over for the main increased, rather than decreased,
as the means for it seemed impossible.
This at length set me upon thinking whether it was not possible to make myself a canoe or
periagua, such as the natives of those climates make, even without tools, or as I might say,
without hands, viz. of the trunk of a great tree. This I not only thought possible, but easy;
and pleased myself extremely with my thoughts of making it, and with my having much more
convenience for it than any of the Negroes or Indians; but not at all considering the particular
inconveniences which I lay under more than the Indians did, viz. want of hands to move it into
the water, when it was made; a difficulty much harder for me to surmount than all the conse-
quences of want of tools could be to them; for what was it to me, that when I had chosen a vast
tree in the woods, I might with great trouble cut it down, if, after I might be able with my
tools to hew and dub the outside into a proper shape of a boat, and burn or cut out the inside
to make it hollow, so to make a boat of it; if, after all this, I must leave it just there where I
found it, and was not able to launch it into the water P
One would have thought, I could not have had the least reflection upon my mind of my
circumstances, while I was making my boat, but I should have immediately thought how
should get it into the sea; but my thoughts were so intent upon my voyage over the sea in it,
that I never once considered how I should get it off the land; and it was really in its own
nature more easy for me to guide it over forty-five miles of sea, than about forty-five fathom of
land, where it lay, to set it afloat in the water.
I went to work upon this boat the most like a fool that ever man did, who had any of his
senses awake. I pleased myself with the design, without determining whether I was ever able
to undertake it; not but that the difficulty of launching my boat came often into my head; but
I put a stop to my own inquiries into it by this foolish answer which I gave myself; "Let me
first make it, I will warrantI will find some way or other to get it along when it is done."
This was a most preposterous method; but the eagerness of my fancy prevailed, and to work
I went, and felled a cedar tree; I question much whether Solomon ever had such a one for the
building the temple of Jerusalem; it was five feet ten inches diameter at the lower part next
'~. *'*' ' .r nfJSSS*S
~ ; "1` r--;.-~rl---~a
60 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crisoe.
the stump, and four feet eleven inches diameter at the end of twenty-two feet, after which it
lessened for awhile, and then parted into branches. It was not without infinite labour that I
felled this tree; I was twenty days hacking and hewing at it at the bottom; I was fourteen
more getting the branches and limbs and the vast spreading head of it cut off, which I hacked
and hewed through with my axe and hatchet, with inexpressible labour; after this it cost me a
month to shape it and dub it to a proportion, and to something like the bottom of a boat, that
it might swim upright as it ought to do. It cost me near three months more to clear the
inside, and work it out so as to make an exact boat of it; this I did indeed without fire, by
mere mallet and chisel, and by the dint of hard labour; till I had brought it to be a very hand-
some periagua, and big enough to have carried six-and-twenty men, and, consequently, big
enough to have carried me and all my cargo.
When I had gone through this work, I was extremely delighted with it: the boat was really
much bigger than I ever saw a canoe or periagua, that was made of one tree, in my life; many
a weary stroke it had cost, you may be sure, for there remained nothing but to get it into the
water; and had I gotten it into the water, I make no question but I should have begun the
maddest voyage, and the most unlikely to be performed, that ever was undertaken.
But all my devices to get it into the water failed me, though they cost infinite labour too; it
lay about one hundred yards from the water, and not more; but the first inconvenience was, it
was up hill towards the creek. Well, to take away this discouragement, I resolved to dig into
the surface of the earth, and so make a declivity; this I began, and it cost me a prodigious
deal of pains; but who grudge pains that have their deliverance in view P But when this was
worked through, and this difficulty managed, it was still much at one; for I could no more stir
the canoe than I could the other boat.
Then I measured the distance of ground, and resolved to cut a. dock, or canal, to bring the
water up to the canoe, seeing I could not bring the canoe down to the water. Well, I began
this work, and when I began to enter into it, and calculated how deep it was to be dug, how
broad, how the stuff to be thrown out, I found that by the number of hands I had, being none
but my own, it must have been ten or twelve years before I should have gone through with
it; for the shore lay high, so that at the upper end it must have been at least twenty feet deep;
so at length, though with great reluctancy, I gave this attempt over also.
This grieved me heartily; and now I saw, though too late, the folly of beginning a work
before we count the cost, and before we judge rightly of our own strength to go through
In the middle of this work I finished my fourth year in this place, and kept my anniversary
with the same devotion, and with as much comfort, as ever before; for by a constant study, and
serious application of the word of God, and by the assistance of His grace, I gained a different
knowledge from what I had before: I entertained different notions of things; I looked now
upon the world as a thing remote; which I had nothing to do with, no expectation from, and
indeed no desires about: in a word, I had nothing indeed to do with it, nor was ever like to
have; so I thought it looked, as we may perhaps look upon it hereafter, viz. as a place I had
lived in, but was come out of it; and well I might say, as father Abraham to Dives, Between
me and thee there is a great gulf fixed."
In the first place, I was removed from all the wickedness of the world here: I had neither
the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, or the pride of life:" I had nothing to covet, for I
had all I was now capable of enjoying: I was lord of the whole manor; or, if I pleased, I might
call myself king or emperor over the whole country which I had possession of: there were no
rivals: I had no competitor, none to dispute sovereignty or command with me; I might have
raised ship-loadings of corn, but I had no use for it; so I let as little grow as I thought enough
for my occasion: I had tortoises, or turtles enough; but now and then one was as much as I
could put to any use: I had timber enough to have built a fleet of ships; I had grapes enough
to have made wine, or to have cured into raisins, to have loaded that fleet when they had been
But all I could make use of, was all that was valuable: I had enough to eat, and to supply
my wants, and what was all the rest to me P If I killed more flesh than I could eat, the dog
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 61
must eat it, or the vermin; if I sowed more corn than I could eat, it must be spoiled: the trees
that I cut down were lying to rot on the ground, I could make no more use of them than for
fuel; and that I had no occasion for, but to dress my food.
In a word, the nature and experience of things dictated to me, upon just reflection, that all
the good things of this world are no farther good to us than as they are for our use: and that
whatever we may heap up indeed to give to others, we enjoy as much as we can use, and no
more. The most covetous griping miser in the world would have been cured of the vice of
covetousness, if he had been in my case; for I possessed infinitely more than I knew what to
do with. I had no room for desire, except it was of things which I had not, and they were
but trifles, though indeed of great use to me. I had, as I hinted before, a parcel of money, as
well gold as silver, about thirt-six pounds sterling; alas there the nasty, sorry, useless
stuff lay; I had no manner of business for it; and I often thought with myself, that I would
have given a handful of it for a gross of tobacco-pipes, or for a hand-mill to grind my corn; nay,
I would have given it all for six-penny worth of turnip and carrot seed out of England, or for
a handful of peas and beans, and a bottle of ink: as it was, I had not the least advantage by
it, or benefit from it; but there it lay in a drawer, and grew mouldy with the damp of the
cave in the wet season; and if I had had the drawer full of diamonds, it had been the same
case; and they had been of no manner of value to me, because of no use.
I had now brought my state of life to be much easier in itself than it was at first, and much
easier to my mind, as well as to my body. I frequently sat down to my meat with thankfulness,
and admired the hand of God's providence, which had thus spread my table in the wilderness.
I learned to look more upon the bright side of my condition, and less upon the dark side; and
to consider what I enjoyed, rather than what I wanted; and this gave me sometimes such
secret comforts, that I cannot express them; and which I take notice of here, to put those
iscontented people in mind of it, who cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them,
because they see and covet something that He has not given them: all our discontents about
what we want appeared to me to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.
Another reflection was of great use to me, and doubtless would be so to any one that should
fall into such distress as mine was; and this was, to compare my present condition with
what I at first expected it should be; nay, with what it would certainly have been, if the good
providence of God had not wonderfully ordered the ship to be cast up nearer to the shore, where
Inot only could come at her, but could bring what I got out of her to the shore for my relief
and comfort; without which I had wanted tools to work, weapons for defence, or gunpowder
and shot for getting my food.
I spent whole hours, I may say whole days, in representing to myself in the most lively
colours how I must have acted, if I had got nothing out of the ship; how I could not have
so much as got any food, except fish and turtles; and that, as it was long before I found any
of them, I must have perished first: that I should have lived, if I had not perished, like a mere
savage: that if I had killed a goat or a fowl by any contrivance, I had no way to slay or open
them, or part the flesh from the skin and the bowels, or to cut it up; but must gnaw it with my
teeth, and pull it with my claws, like a beast.
These reflections made me very sensible of the goodness of Providence to me, and very
thankful for my present condition, with all its hardships and misfortunes: and this part also
I cannot but recommend to the reflection of those who are apt in their misery to say, "Is any
affliction like mine P Let them consider, how much worse the cases of some people are, and
what their case might have been, if Providence had thought fit.
I had another reflection which assisted me also to comfort my mind with hopes; and this
was, comparing my present condition with what I had deserved, and had therefore. reason to
expect from the hand of Providence; I had lived a dreadful life, perfectly destitute of the
knowledge and fear of God: I had been well instructed by my father and mother; neither had
they been wanting to me in their early endeavors, to nfse a eligious awe o God into my
mind, a sense of my duty, and of what the nature and end of my bemg required of me. But,
alas! falling early into the seafaring life, which of all the lives is the most destitute of the fear
of God, though His terrors are always before them; I say, falling early into the seafaring life,
Sd. .. .. d,. _, .. '-. ,
62 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
and into seafaring company, all that little sense of religion which I had entertained, was
laughed out of me by my messmates; by a hardened despising of dangers, and the views of
death, which grew habitual to me; by my long absence from all manner of opportunities to
converse with anything but what was like myself, or to hear anything of what was good, or
tended towards it.
So void was I of every thing that was good, or of the least sense of what I was, or was to be,
that in the greatest deliverances I enjoyed, such as my escape from Sallee, my being taken up
by the Portuguese master of the ship, my being planted so well in Brazil, my receiving the
cargo from England, and the like, I never once had the words "Thank God," so much as on
my mind, or in my mouth; nor in the greatest distress, had I so much thought as to pray to
Him; nor so much as to say, Lord, have mercy upon me!" No, nor to mention the name
of God, unless it was to swear by, and blaspheme it.
I had terrible reflections upon my mind for many months, as I have already observed,
on the account of my wicked and hardened life past; and when I looked about me, and con-
sidered what particular providence had attended me, since my coming into this place, and
how God had dealt bountifully with me; had not only punished me less than my iniquity
deserved, but had so plentifully provided for me; this gave me great hopes that my repentance
was accepted, and that God had yet mercies in store for me.
With these reflections I worked my mind up, not only to resignation to the will of- God in
the present disposition of my circumstances, but even to a sincere thankfulness for my condi-
tion; and that I, who was yet a living man, ought not to complain, seeing I had not the due
punishment of my sins; that I enjoyed so many-mercies, which I had no reason to have expected
in that place; that I ought never more to repine at my condition, but to rejoice, and to give
daily thanks for that daily bread which nothing but a cloud of wonders could have brought:
that I ought to consider I had been fed even by a miracle, even as great as that of feeding
Elijah by ravens; nay, by a long series of miracles; and that I could hardly have named a place
in the uninhabited part of the world, where I could have been cast more to my advantage: a
place where, as I had no society, which was my affliction on one hand, so I found no ravenous
beasts, no furious wolves or tigers, to threaten my life; no venomous creatures, or poisonous,
which I might have fed on to my hurt; no savages to murder and devour me.
In a word, as my life was a life of sorrow one way, so it was a life of mercy another: and I
wanted nothing to make it a life of comfort, but to be able to make my sense of God's goodness
to me, and care over me in this condition, be my daily consolation; and after I did make a
just improvement of these things, I went away, and was no more sad.
I had now been here so long, that many things which I brought on shore for my help, were
either quite gone, or very much wasted, and near spent.
My ink, as I observed, had been gone for some time, all but a very little, which I eked out
with water a little and a little, till it was so pale it scarce left any appearance of black upon
the paper: as long as it lasted, I made use of it to minute down the days of the month on
which any remarkable thing happened to me; and first, by casting up times past, I remem-
bered that there was a strange concurrence of days, in the various providence which befell me,
and which, if I had been superstitiously inclined to observe days as fatal or fortunate, I might
have had reason to have looked upon with a great deal of curiosity.
First, I had observed that the same day that I broke away from my father and my friends,
and ran away to Hull in order to go to sea, the same day afterwards I was taken by the Sallee
man-of-war and made a slave.
The same day of the year that I escaped out of the wreck of that ship in Yarmouth Roads,
that same day of the year afterwards I made my escape from Sallee in the boat.
The same day of the year I was born on, viz., the 30th of September, the same day I had my
life so miraculously saved twenty-six years after, when I was cast on shore in this island; so
that my wicked life and solitary life both began on a day.
The next thing to my ink's being wasted, was that of my bread; I mean the biscuit which
I brought out of the ship. This I had husbanded to the last degree, allowing myself but one
cake of bread a day for above a year; and yet I was quite without bread for near a year before
*- -* .rwujujf
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 63
I got any corn of my own; and great reason I had to be thankful that I had any at all, the
getting it being, as has been already observed, next to miraculous.
My clothes too began to decay mightily: as to linen, I had had none a good while, except
some chequered shirts which I found n the chests of the other seamen, and which I carefully
preserved, because many times I could bear no other clothes on but a shirt; and it was a very
great help to me, that I had among all the men's clothes of the ship almost three dozen of
shirts. There were also several thick watch-coats of the seamen's, which were left indeed, but
they were too hot to wear; and though it is true, that the weather was sb violently hot that
there was no need of clothes, yet I could not go quite naked; no, though I had been inclined to
it, which I was not; nor could I abide the thoughts of it, though I was all alone.
One reason why I could not go quite naked, was, I could not bear the heat of the sun so well
when quite naked, as with some clothes on; nay, the very heat frequently blistered my skin;
whereas, with a shirt on, the air itself made some motion, and whistling under the shirt, was
twofold cooler than without it: no more could I ever bring myself to go out in the heat of the
sun without a cap or a hat; the heat of the sun beating with such violence as it does in that
place, would give me the headache presently, by darting so directly on my head, without a cap
or hat on, so that I could not bear it; whereas, if I put on my hat, it would presently go away.
Upon these views I began to consider about putting the few rags I had, which I called clothes,
into some order; I had worn out all the waistcoats I had, and my business was now to try if I
could not make jackets out of the great watch-coats which I had by me, and with such other ma-
terials as I had; so I set to work a tailoring, or rather indeed a botching; for I made most
piteous work of it. However, I made shift to ake two or three waistcoats, which I hoped
would serve me a great while; as for breeches or drawers, I made but a very sorry shift indeed,
I have mentioned that I saved the skins of all the creatures that I killed, I mean four-footed
ones; and I had hung them up stretched out with sticks in the sun; by which means some of
them were so dry and hard, that they were fit for little; but others, it seems, were very useful.
The first thing I made of these was a great cap for my head, with the hair on the outside to
shoot off the rain; and this I performed so well, that after this I made a suit of clothes wholly
of those skins; that is to say, a waistcoat and breeches open at the knees, and both loose; for
they were rather wanted to keep me cool, than to keep me warm. I must not omit to acknow-
ledge, that they were wretchedly made; for if I was a bad carpenter, I was a worse tailor:
however, they were such as I made very good shift with; and when I was abroad, if it happened
to rain, the hair of the waistcoat and cap being outmost, I was kept very dry.
After this I spent a deal of time and paint make means an umbrella. I was indeedin great want
of one, and had greatmind tomake one. I had seen them made in the Brazils, where they are
very useful in the great heats which are there, and I felt the beats every jot as great here,
and greater too, being nearer the equinox; besides, as I was obliged to be much abroad, it
was a most useful thing to me, as well for the rains as the heats. I took a world of pains at
it, and was a great while before I could make anything likely to hold; nay, after I thought I
had hit the way, I spoiled two or three before I made one to my mind; but at last I made one that
answered indifferently well; the main difficulty I found was to make it to let down. I could
make itto spread; but if it did not let down too, and draw in, it would not be portable for
me any way, but just over my head, which would not do. However, at last, as I said, I made
one to answer; I covered it with skins, the hair upwards, so that it cast off the rain like a pent-
house, and kept off the sun so effectually that I could walk out in the hottest of the weather,
with greater advantage than I could before in the coolest, and when I had no need of it I
could close it and carry it under myarm.
Thus I lived mighty comfortably, my mind being entirely composed by resigning to the will of
God, and throwing myself wholly upon the disposal of His Providence: this made my life better
than sociable; for when I began to regret the want of conversation,I would ask myself, whether
thus conversing mutually with my own thoughts, and, as I hope, I may say, with even God
Himself, by ejaculations, was not better than the utmost enjoyment of human society in the
T e c y b r s ij
Godandthrwingmyslf holl upn te diposl o HisProidece :thi mae ra lie btte
thansocabl; fo whn Ibega toreget te wnt f coveraii, Iwoud ak myelf whthe
64 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
I cannot say, that after this, for five years, any extraordinary thing happened to me; but I
lived on in the same course, in the same posture and place just as before. The chief thing I
was employed in, besides my yearly labour of planting my barley and rice, and curing my
raisins, of both which I always kept up just enough to have sufficient stock of the year's provi-
sions beforehand; I say, besides this yearly labour,and my daily labour of goingout with my
gun, Ihad one labour to make me a canoe, which at last I finished: so that by digging a canal to
it, six feet wide, and four feet deep, I brought it into the creek, almost half a mile. As for
the first, that was so vastly big, as I made it without considering beforehand, as I ought to
do, how I should be able to launch it; so never being able to bring it to the water or bring the
water to it, I was obliged to let it lie where it was, as a memorandum to teach me to be wiser
next time. Indeed the next time, though I could not get a tree proper for it, and was in a
place were I could not get the water to it, at any less distance than, as I have said, of near
half a mile; yet as I saw it was practicable at last, I never gave it over; and though I was
near two years about it, yet I never grudged my labour, in hopes of having a boat to go off to
sea at last.
However, though my little periagua was finished, yet the size of it was not at all answerable
to the design which I had in view when I made the first; I mean of venturing over to the terra
firma, where it was above forty miles broad; accordingly, the smallness of my boat assisted to put
an end to that design, and now I thought no more of it. But as I had a boat, my next design
was to make a tour round the island; for as I had been on the other side, in one place, crossing,
as I have already described it, over the land, so the discoveries I made in that journey, made me
very eager to see other parts of the coast; and now I had a boat, I thought of nothing but
sailing round the island.
For this purpose, and that I might do everything with discretion and consideration, I fitted
up a little mast to my boat, and made a sail to it out of some of the pieces of the ship's sails,
which lay in store, and of which I had a great store by me.
Having fitted my mast and sail, and tried the boat, I found she would sail very well. Then
I made little lockers and boxes at each end of my boat, to put provisions, necessaries, and
ammunition, &c., into, to be kept dry, either from rain, or the spray of the sea; and a little long
hollow place I cut in the inside of the boat, where I could lay my gun, making a flap to hang
down over it to keep it dry.
I fixed my umbrella also in a step at the stern, like a mast, to stand over my head, and keep
the heat of the sun off me, like an awning; and thus I every now and then took a little voyage
upon the sea, but never went far out, nor far from the little creek; but at last, being eager to
view the circumference of my little kingdom, I resolved upon my tour, and accordingly I
victualled my ship for the voyage; putting in two dozen of my loaves (cakes I should rather call
them) of barley-bread; an earthen pot full of parched rice, a food I ate a great deal of; a little
bottle of rum, half a goat, and powder with shot for killing more, and two large watch-coats, of
those which, as I mentioned before, I had saved out of the seamen's chests; these I took, one to
lie upon, and the other to cover me in the night.
It was the sixth of November, in the sixth year of my reign, or my captivity, which you
please, that I set out on this voyage, and I found it much longer than I expected: for
though the island itself was not very large, yet when I came to the east side of it, I found a
great ledge of rocks lie out about two leagues into the sea, some above water, some under it; and
beyond this a shoal of sand, lying dry half a league more; so that I was obliged to go a great
way out to sea to double that point.
When I first discovered them, I was going to give over my enterprise, and come back again,
not knowing how far it might oblige me to go out to sea, and above all, doubting how I should
get back again; so I came to an anchor, for I had made me a kind of an anchor, with a piece
of broken grappling which I got out of the ship.
Having secured my boat, I took my gun, and went on shore, climbing up a hill, which seemed
to overlook that point, where I saw the full extent of it, and resolved to venture.
In my viewing the sea from that hill where I stood, I perceived a strong, and indeed, a most
furious current, which ran to the east, and even came close to the point; and I took the more
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, 65
noticeof it, because I saw there might be some danger that when I came-into it, I might be
carried oat to sea by the strength of it, and not be able to make the island again. And indeed,
had I not gotten first upon this hill, I believe it would have been so; for there was the same
current on the other side of the island, only that it set it off at a farther distance; and I saw
there was a strong eddy under the shore; so I had nothing to do but to get out of the first cur-
rent, and I should presently be in an eddy.
I lay here, however, two days; because the wind blowing pretty fresh (E. at S.E. and that
being just contrary to the said current) made a great breach of the sea upon the point; so that
it was not safe for me to keep too close to the shore for the breach, nor to go too far off because
of the stream.
The third day in the morning, the wind having abated over night, the sea was calm, and I
ventured; but I am a warning-piece again to all rash and ignorant pilots; for no sooner was I
come to the point, when I was not my boat's length from the shore, but I found myself in a
great depth of water, and a current like the sluice of a mill. It carried my boat along with it
with such violence, that all I could do could not keep her so much as on the edge of it: but I
found it hurried me farther and farther out from the eddy, which was on the left hand. There
was no wind stirring to help me, and all that I could do with my paddles signified nothing;
and now I began to give myself over for lost; for, as the current was on both sides the island,
I knew in a few leagues distance they must join again, and then I was irrecoverably gone; nor
did I see any possibility of avoiding it: so that I had no prospect before me but of perishing;
not by the sea, for that was calm enough, but of starving for hunger. I had indeed found a
tortoise on the shore, as big almost as I could lift, and had tossed it into the boat; and I had a
great jar of fresh water, that is to say, one of my earthen pots; but what was all this to being
driven into the vast ocean, where, to be sure, there was no shore, no mainland or island, for a
thousand leagues at least!
And now I saw how easy it was for the providence of God to make the most miserable condi-
tion that mankind could be in worse. Now I looked back upon my desolate solitary island, as
the most pleasant place in the world, and all the happiness my heart could wish for, was to
be there again. I stretched out my hands to it with eager wishes. 0 happy desert," said
I, "I shall never see thee more! 0 miserable creature said I, "whither am I goingP"
Then I reproached myself with my unthankful temper, and how I had repined at my solitary
condition; and now what would I give to be on shore there again! Thus we never see the true
state of our condition, till it is illustrated to us by its contraries; nor know how to value what
we enjoy, but by the want of it. It is scarce possible to imagine the consternation I was
now in, being driven from my beloved island (for so it appeared to me now to be) into the wide
ocean, almost two leagues, and in the utmost despair of ever recovering it again: however, I
worked hard, till indeed my strength was almost exhausted; and kept my boat as much to the
northward, that is, towards the side of the current which the eddy lay on, as possibly I could;
when about noon, as the sun passed the meridian, I thought I felt a little breeze of wind in my
face, springing up from the S.S.E. This cheered my heart a little, and especially when in
about half an hour more, it blew a pretty small gentle gale. By this time I was gotten at a
frightful distance from the island; and, had the least cloud of hazy weather intervened, I had
been undone another way too; for I had no compass on board, and should never have known
how to have steered towards the island, if I had but once lost sight of it; but the weather
continuing clear, I applied myself to get up my mast again, and spread my sail, standing
away to the north as much as possible, to get out of the current.
Just as I had set my mast and sail, and the boat began to stretch away, I saw even by the
clearness of the water, some alteration of the current was near; for where the current was so
strong, the water was foul; but perceiving the water clear, I found the current abate, and pre-
sently I found to the east, at about half a mile, a breach of the sea upon some rocks; these
rocks I found caused the current to part again; and as the main stress of it ran away more
southerly, leaving the rocks to the north-east, so the other returned by the repulse of the
rock, and made a strong eddy, which ran back again to the north-west with a very sharp
66 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
They who know what it is to have a reprieve brought to them upon the ladder, or to be
rescued from thieves just going to murder them, or who have been in suchlike extremities, may
guess what my present surprise of joy was, and how gladly I put my boat into the stream of
this eddy; and the wind also freshening, how gladly I spread my sail to it, running cheerfully
before the wind, and with a strong tide or eddy under foot.
This eddy carried me about a league in my way back again directly towards the island,
but about two leagues more towards the northward than the current lay, which carried me
away at first; so that when I came near the island, I found myself open to the northern shore
of it, that is to say, the other end of the island, opposite to that which I went out from.
When I had made something more than a league of way by the help of this current or
eddy, I found it was spent, and served me no farther. However, I found, that being between
the two great currents, viz., that on the south side which had hurried me away, and that on
the north, which lay about two leagues on the other side; I say, between these two, in
the west of the island, I found the water at least still, and running no way; and having still a.
breeze of wind fair for me, I kept on steering directly for the island, though not making such
fresh way as I did before.
About four o'clock in the evening, being then within about a league of the island, I found
the point of the rocks which occasioned this distance, stretching out as is described before, to
the southward, and casting off the current more southerly, had of course made another eddy to
the north; and this I found very strong, but not directly setting the way my course lay, which
was due west, but almost full north. However, having a fresh gale, I stretched across this
eddy, slanting north-west, and in about an hour came within about a mile of the shore: it
being smooth water, I soon got to land.
When I was on shore, I fell on my knees, and gave God thanks for my deliverance, resolving
to lay aside all thoughts of my deliverance by my boat; and refreshing myself with such
things as I had, I brought my boat close to the shore, in a little cove that I had espied under
some trees, and laid me down to sleep, being quite spent with the labour and fatigue of the
I was now at a great loss which way to get home with my boat; I had run so much hazard,
and knew too much the case, to think of attempting it by the way I went out; and what might
be at the other side (I mean the west side) I knew not, nor had I any mind to run any more
ventures; so I only resolved in the morning to make my way westward along the shore, and
to see if there was no creek where I might lay up my frigate in safety, so as to have her
again if I wanted her. In about three miles, or thereabouts, coasting the shore, I came to a
very good inlet, or bay, about a mile over, which narrowed till it came to a very little rivulet,
or brook, where I found a convenient harbour for my boat, and where she lay as if she had
been in a little dock made on purpose for her: here I put in, and having stowed my boat
very safe, I went on shore to look about me, and see where I was.
I soon found I had but a little passed by the place where I had been before when I travelled
on foot to that shore; so taking nothing out of my boat but my gun and my umbrella, for it
was exceeding hot, I began my march: the way was comfortable enough after such a voyage
as I had been upon, and I reached my old bower in the evening, where I found everything
standing as I left it; for I always kept it in good order, being, as I said .before, my country-
I got over the fence, and laid me down in the shade to rest my limbs, for I was very
weary, and fell asleep: but judge you, if you can, that read my story, what a surprise I must be
in, when I was awoke out of my sleep by a voice calling me by my name several times,
"Robin, Robin, Robin Crusoe, poor Robin Crusoe! Where are you, Robin Crusoe Where
are you? Where have you been "
I was so dead asleep at first, being fatigued with rowing, or paddling, as it is called, the first
part of the day, and walking the latter part, that I did not awake thoroughly; and dozing
between sleeping and waking, thought I dreamed that somebody spoke to me: but as the voice
continued to repeat "Robin Crusoe, Robin Crusoe," at last I began to awake more perfectly,
and was at first dreadfully frightened, and started up in the utmost consternation; but no sooner
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 67
were my eyes open, but I saw my Poll sitting on the top of the hedge, and immediately knew
that this was he that spoke to me; for just in such bemoaning language I had used to talk to
him, and teach him; and he had learned it so perfectly, that he would sit upon my finger, and
lay his bill close to my face, and cry, Poor Robin Crusoe, Where are you Where have you
been? How came you here P "-and such things as I had taught him.
However, even though I knew it was the parrot, and that indeed it could be nobody else, it
was a good while before I could compose myself. First, I was amazed how the creature got
thither, and then how he should just keep about the place, and no where else: but as I was well
satisfied it could be nobody but honest Poll, I got it over; and holding out my hand, and calling
him by his name, Poll, the sociable creature came to me, and sat upon my thumb, as he used
to do, and continued talking to me, Poor Robin Crusoe, and how did I come here and
where had I been P just as if he had been overjoyed to see me again; and so I carried him home
along with me.
I had now had enough of rambling to sea for some time, and had enough to do for many
days to sit still, and reflect upon the danger I had been in. I would have been very glad to
have had my boat again on my side of the island, but I knew not how it was practicable to get
it about. As to the east-side of the island, which I had gone round, I knew well enough there
was no venturing that way; my very heart would shrink, and my very blood run chill, but to
think of it; and as to the other side of the island, I did not know how it might be there;
but supposing the current ran with the same force against the shore at the east, as it passed by
it on the other, I might run the same risk of being driven down the stream, and cared by the
island, as I had been before of being carried away from it: so with these thoughts I con-
tented myself to be without any boat, though it had been the product of so many months'
labour to make it, and of so many more to get it into the sea.
In this government of my temper I remained near a year, lived a very sedate, retired life,
as you may well suppose; and my thoughts being very much composed, as to my condition,
and fully comforted n resigning myself to the dispensations of Providence, I thought I lived
really very happily in all things except that of society.
I improved myself, in this time, in all the mechanic exercises which my necessities put me
upon applying myself to; and I believe could, upon occasion, have made a very good carpenter,
especially considering how few tools I had.
Besides this, I arnved at an unexpected perfection in my earthenware, and contrived well
enough to make them with a wheel, which I found infinitely easier and better, because I made
things round and shapeable, which before were filthy things indeed to look on. But I think I
never was more vain of my own performance, or more joyful for anything I found out, than
for my being able to make a tobacco-pipe; and though it was a very ugly, clumsy thing, when
it was done, and only burnt red like other earthenware, yet, as it was hard and firm, and would
draw the smoke, I was exceedingly comforted with it; for I had been always used to smoke, and
there were pipes in the ship, but I forgot them at first, not knowing there was tobacco in the
island; and afterwards when I searched the ship again, I could not come at any pipes at all.
In my wickerware I also improved much, and made abundance of necessary baskets, as well
as my invention showed me, though not very handsome, yet convenient for my laying things
up in, or fetching things home in. For example, ifI killed a goat abroad, I could hang it up
in a tree, flay it, and dress it, and cut it in pieces, and bring it home in a basket; and the like
by a turtle: I could cut it up, take out the eggs, and a piece or two of the flesh, which was
enough for me, and bring them home in a basket, and leave the rest behind me: also large
deep baskets were my receivers for my corn, which I always rubbed out as soon as it was dry,
and cured; and kept it in great baskets, instead of a granary.
I began now to perceive my powder abated considerably; and this was a want which it was
impossible for me to supply: then I began seriously to consider what I must do when I
should have no more powder; that is to say, how Ishould do to kill any goats. I had, as I
observed, in the third year of my being here, kept a young kid, and bred her tame; I was in
hopes of getting a he-kid, but I could not by any means bng it to pass, till my kid grew an
old goat; and I could never find in my heart to kill her, till she died at last of mere age.
of.. .. ... ...;... ,,....-. ..- i t. .... m h m, age.lw
68 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
But being now in the eleventh year of my residence, and, as I have said, my ammunition
growing low, I set myself to study some art to trap and snare the goats, to see whether I
could not catch some of them alive; and particularly I wanted a she-goat great with young.
To this purpose I made snares to hamper them; and believe they were more than once
taken in them; but my tackle was not good, for I had no wire, and always found them
broken, and my bait devoured.
At length I resolved to try a pit-fall; so I dug several large pits in the earth, in places
where I had observed the goats used to feed, and over these pits I placed hurdles of my own
making too, with a great weight upon them: and several times I put ears of barley, and dry
rice, without setting the trap; and I could easily perceive that the goats had gone in, and
eaten up the corn, for I could see the mark of their feet; at length, I set three traps in one
night, and going the next morning, I found them all standing, and yet the bait eaten and
gone. This was very discouraging; however, I altered my trap; and not to trouble you with
particulars, going one morning to see my traps, I found in one of them a large old he-goat;
and, in one of the others, three kids, a male and two females.
As to the old one, I knew not what to do with him; he was so fierce I durst not go into the
pit to him; that is to say, to go about to bring him away alive, which was what I wanted; I
could have killed him, but that was not my business, nor would it answer my end; so I e'en let
him out, and he ran away as if he had been frightened out of his wits; but I did not then know
what I afterwards learned, that hunger would tame a lion: if I had let him stay there three
or four days without food, and then have carried him some water to drink, and then a little
corn, he would have been as tame as one of the kids; for they are mighty sagacious, tractable
creatures, where they are well used.
However, for the present I let him go, knowing no better at that time; then I went to the
three kids; and taking them one by one, I tied them with strings together; and with some
difficulty brought them all home.
It was a good while before they would feed; but throwing them some sweet corn, it tempted
them, and they began to be tame: and now I found that if I expected to supply myself with
goat's flesh, when I had no powder or shot left, breeding some up tame was my only way, when
perhaps I might have them about my house like a flock of sheep.
But then it presently occurred to me, that I must keep the tame from the wild, or else
they would always run wild when they grew up; and the only way for this was to have some
enclosed piece of ground, well fenced either with hedge or pale, to keep them in so effectually,
that those within might not break out, or those without break in.
This was a great undertaking for one pair of hands; yet as I saw there was an absolute
necessity of doing it, my first piece of work was to find out a proper piece of ground; viz. where
there was likely to be herbage for them to eat, water for them to drink, and cover to keep
them from the sun.
Those who understand such enclosures, will think I had very little contrivance, when I pitched
upon a place very proper for all these, being a plain open piece of meadow-land, or savanna
(as our people call it in the western colonies), which had two or three little drills of fresh water
in it, and at one end was very woody; I say they will smile at my forecast, when I shall tell
them I began my enclosing of this piece of ground in such a manner, that my hedge, or pale,
must have been at least two miles about; nor was the madness of it so great as to the
compass; for if it was ten miles about, I was like to have time enough to do it in; but I did not
consider, that my goats would be as wild in so much compass, as if they had had the whole
island; and I should have so much room to chase them in, that I should never catch them.
My hedge was begun and carried on, I believe, about fifty yards, when this thought occurred
to me; so I presently stopped short, and for the first beginning I resolved to enclose a piece of
about 150 yards in length, and 100 yards in breadth, which as it would maintain as many as I
should have in any reasonable time, so, as my flock increased, I could add more ground to my
This was acting with some prudence, and I went to work with courage. I was about three
months hedging in the first piece; and, till I had done it, I tethered the three kids in the best
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 69
part of it, and used them to feed as near me as possible, to make them familiar; and very often
I would go and carry them some ears of barley, or a handful of rice, and feed them out of.my
hand; so that after my enclosure was finished, and I let them loose, they would follow me up
and down, bleating after me for a handful of corn.
This answered my end, and in about a year and a half I had a flock of about twelve goats,
kids and all; and m two years more I had three-and-forty, besides several that I took and
killed for my food; and after that I enclosed five several pieces of ground to feed them in, with
little pens to drive them into, to take them as I wanted them; and gates out of one piece of
ground into another.
But this was not all; for now I not only had goat's flesh to feed on, when I pleased, but milk
too, a thing which indeed in my beginning I did not so much as think of, and which, when
it .came into my thoughts, was really an agreeable surprise; for now I set up my dairy, and
had sometimes a gallon or two of milk in a day. And as Nature, who gives supplies of food
to every creature, dictates even naturally how to make use of it, so I, that had never milked
a cow, much less a goat, or seen butter or cheese made, very readily and handily, though
after a great many essays and miscarriages, made me both butter and cheese at last, and never
wanted it afterwards.
How mercifully can our great Creator treat His creatures, even in those conditions in which
they seemed to be overwhelmed in destruction! How can He sweeten the bitterest providence,
and give us cause to praise Him for dungeons and prisons! What a table was here spread
for me in a wilderness, where I saw nothing at first but to perish for hunger!
It would have made a stoic smile, to have seen me and my little family sit down to dinner:
there was my majesty, the prince and lord of the whole island; I had the lives of all my sub-
jects at absolute command; I could hang, draw, give liberty, and take it away, and no rebels
among all my subjects!
Then to see how like a king I dined too, all alone, attended by my servants! Poll, as if he
had been my favourite, was the only person permitted to talk to me; my dog, which was now
grown old and crazy, and found no species to multiply his kind upon, sat always at my right
hand; and two cats, one on one side the table, and one on the other, expecting now and then
a bit from my hand, as a mark of special favour.
But these were not the two cats which I brought on shore at first; for they were both of them
dead, and had been interred near my habitation by my own hands; but one of them having
multiplied by I know not what kind of creature, these were two which I preserved tame,
whereas the rest ran wild into the woods, and became indeed troublesome to me at last; for
they would often come into my house, and plunder me too, till at last I was obliged to shoot
them, and did kill a great many; at length they left me with this attendance, and in this
plentiful manner I lived; neither could I be said to want anything but society, and of that, in
some time after this, I was like to have too much.
I was something impatient, as I have observed, to have the use of my boat, though very loth
to run any more hazard; and, therefore, sometimes I sat contriving ways to get her about
the island, and at other times I sat myself down, contented enough without her. But I had a
strange uneasiness in my mind to go down to the point of the island, where, as I have said in
Smy last ramble, I went up the hill to see how the shore lay, and how the current set, that I
might see what I had to do. This inclination increased upon me every day, and at length I
resolved to travel thither by land, and, following the edge of the shore, I did so: but had any
one in England been to meet such a man as Iwas, it must either have frightened them, or
raised a great deal of laughter; and, as I frequently stood still to look at myself, I could not
but smile at the notion of my travelling through Yorkshire with such an equipage and in such
a dress. Be pleased to take a sketch of my figure, as follows:-
I had a great, high, shapeless cap, made of goat's-skin, with a flap hanging down behind, as
well to keep the sun from me as to shoot the rain off from running into my neck, nothing being
so hurtful in these climates as the rain upon the flesh under the clothes.
I had a short jacket of goat's-skin, the skirts coming down to about the middle of my thighs,
and a pair of open-kneed breeches of the same. The breeches were made of the skin of an
'. -- .., - y ., ''. .,".^ ". ^ *-."^.-^ '^ '"iaf^'- ~ i- ^ ...- ..J^ -'-s -.''.---.. . '.*-. .. f 71
70 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
old he-goat, whose hair hung down such a length on either side that, like pantaloons, it reached
to the middle of my legs. Stockings and shoes I had none; but I made me a pair of something,
I scarce know what to call them, like buskins, to flap over my legs, and lace on either side lik
spatterdashes; but of a most barbarous shape, as indeed were all the rest of my clothes.
I had on a broad belt of goat's-skin dried, which I drew together with two.thongs of the
same, instead of buckles; and in a kind of frog on either side of this, instead of a sword and
dagger, hung a little saw and hatchet, one on one side, one on the other. I had another belt,
not so broad, and fastened in the same manner, which hung over my shoulder; and at the end
of it, under my left arm, hung two pouches, both made of goat's-skin too, in one of which hung
my powder, in the other my shot. At my back I carried my basket, on my shoulder my gun,
and over my head a great, clumsy, ugly goat's-skin umbrella, but which, after all, was the most
necessary thing I had about me, next to my gun. As for my face, the colour of it was really
not so mulatto-like as one might expect from a man not at all careful of it, and living within nine
or ten degrees of the equinox. My beard I had once suffered to grow till it was about a quarter
of a yard long; but, as I had both scissors and razors sufficient, I had cut it pretty short, except
what grew on my upper lip, which I had trimmed into a large pair of Mahometan whiskers, such
as I had seen worn by some Turks whom I saw at Sallee; for the Moors did not wear such,
though the Turks did. Of these mustachios, or whiskers, I will not say they were long enough to
hang my hat upon them; but they were of length and shape monstrous enough, and such as in
England would have passed for frightful.
But all this is by-the-bye; for, as to my figure, I had so few to observe me that it was of no
manner of consequence; so I say no more to that part. In this kind of figure I went my new
journey, and was out five or six days. I travelled first along the sea-shore, directly to the place
where I first brought my boat to an anchor to get up upon the rocks; and, having no boat now to
take care of, I went over the land a nearer way, to the same height that I was upon before, when,
looking forward to the point of the rock which lay out, and which I was obliged to double with my
boat, as I said above, I was surprised to see the sea all smooth and quiet-no rippling, no motion,
no current, any more there than in other places.
I was at a strange loss to understand this, and resolved to spend some time in the observing
of it, to see if nothing from the sets of the tide had occasioned it; but I was presently convinced
how it was, viz. that the tide of ebb setting from the west, and joining with the current of waters
from some great river on the shore, must be the occasion of this current; and that according
as the wind blew more forcibly from the west, or from the north, this current came nearer,
or went farther from the shore; for, waiting thereabouts till evening, I went up to the rock
again, and then the tide of ebb being made, I plainly saw the current again as before, only that
it ran farther off, being near half a league from the shore; whereas in my case, it set close
upon the shore, and hurried me and my canoe along with it, which at another time it would
not have done.
This observation convinced me, that I had nothing to do but to observe the ebbing and the
flowing of the tide, and I might very easily bring my boat about the island again: but when I
began to think of putting it in practice, I had such a terror upon my spirits at the remem-
brance of the danger I had been in, that I could not think of it again with any patience; but
on the contrary, I took up another resolution, which was more safe, though more laborious; and
this was, that I would build, or rather make me another periagua, or canoe; and so have one
for one side of the island, and one for the other.
You are to understand, that now I had, as I may call it, two plantations in the island; one
my little fortification or tent, with the wall about it under the rock, with the cave behind me,
which by this time I had enlarged into several apartments or caves, one within another. One
of these, which was the driest and largest, and had a door yet beyond my wall or fortification,
that is to say, beyond where my wall joined to the rock, was all filled up with large earthen pots,
of which I have given an account, and with fourteen or fifteen great baskets, which would hold
five or six bushels each, where I laid up my stores of provision, especially my corn, some in the
ear cut off short from the straw, and the other rubbed out with my hands.
As for my wall, made as before, with long stakes or piles, those piles grew all like trees, and
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 71
were by this time grown so big, and spread so very much, that there was not the least appear-
ance, to any one's view, of any habitation behind them.
Near this dwelling of mine, but a little farther within the land, and upon lower ground, lay
my two pieces of corn ground; which I kept duly cultivated and sowed, and which duly yielded
me their harvest in its season; and whenever I had occasion for more corn, I had more land
adjoining as fit as that.
Besides this, I had my country-seat, and I had now a tolerable plantation there also; for
first, I had my little bower, as I called it, which I kept in repair; that is to say, I kept the
hedge which circled it in, constantly fitted up to its usual height, the ladder standing always
in the inside: I kept the trees, which at first were no more than my stakes, but were now grown
very firm and tall; I kept them always so cut, that they might spread and grow thick an wild,
ana make the more agreeable shade, which they did effectually to my mind. In the middle of this
I had my tent always standing, being a piece of a sail spread over poles set up for that purpose,
and which never wanted any repair or renewing; and under this I had made me a squab or
couch, with the skins of the creatures Ihad killed, and with other soft things, and a blanket laid
on them, such as belonged to our sea-bedding, which I had saved, and a great watch-coat to
cover me; and here, whenever I had occasion to be absent from my chief seat, I took up my
Adjoining to this I had my enclosures for ny cattle, that is to say, my goats; and as I had
taken an inconceivable deal of pains to fence and enclose this ground, I was so uneasy to see it
kept entire, lest the goats should break through, that I never left off till, with infinite labour, I
had stuck the outside of the hedge so full of small stakes, and so near to one another, that it
was rather a pale than a hedge, and there was scarce room to put a hand through between
them, which afterwards, when those stakes grew, as they all did in the next rainy season, made
the enclosure strong, like a wall; indeed, stronger than any wall.
This will testify for me that I was not idle, and that I spared no pains to bring to pass
whatever appeared necessary for my comfortable support; for I considered the keeping up a
breed of tame creatures thus at my hand, would be a living magazine of flesh, milk, butter, and
cheese, for me, as long as I lived in the place, if it were to be forty years; and that keeping
them in my reach, depended entirely upon my perfecting my enclosures to such a degree that
I might be sure of keeping them together; which by this method, indeed, I so effectually
secured, that when these little stakes began to grow, I had planted them so very thick, I was
forced to pull some of them up again.
In this place, also, I had my grapes growing, which I principally depended on for my winter
store of raisins, and which I never failed to preserve very carefully, as the best, and most
agreeable dainty of my whole diet; and, indeed, they were not only agreeable, but physical,
wholesome, nourishing, and refreshing to the last degree.
As this was also about half-way between my other habitation and the place where I had laid
up my boat, I generally stayed, and lay here in my way thither; for I used frequently to visit
my boat, and I kept all things about or belonging to her in very good order. Sometimes I went
out in her to divert myself, but no more hazardous voyages would I go, nor scarce ever above
a stone's cast or two from the shore, I was so apprehensive of being hurried ont of my know-
ledge again by the currents, or winds, or any other accident. But now I come to a new scene
of my life.
It happened one day about noon, going towards my boat, I was exceedingly surprised with
the prnt of a man's naked foot on the shore, which was very plain to be seen in the sand. I
stood like one thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an apparition. I listened; I looked round me,
I could hear nothing, nor see anything; I went up to a rising ground to look farther. I went
up the shore, and down the shore, but it was all one; I could see no other impression but that
one. I went to it again, to see if there were any more, and to observe if it might not be my
fancy, but there was no room for that, for there was exactly the very print of a foot, toes, heel,
and every part of a foot. How it came thither I knew not, nor could in the least imagine. But
after innumerable fluttering thoughts, like a man perfectly confused, and out of myself, I came
home to my fortification, not feeling, as we say, the ground I went on, but terrified to the last
72 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
degree, looking behind me at every two or three steps, mistaking every bush and tree, and
fancying every stump at a distance to be a man: nor is it possible to describe how many various
shapes an affrighted imagination represented things to me in; how many wild ideas were formed
every moment in my fancy, and what strange, unaccountable whimsies came into my thoughts by
When I came to my castle, for so I think I called it ever after this, I fled into it like one
pursued. Whether I went over by the ladder, as first contrived, or went in at the hole in the
rock, which I called a door, I cannot remember; no, nor could I remember the next morning, for
never frightened hare fled to cover, or fox to earth, with more terror of mind than I to this retreat.
I had no sleep that night. The farther I was from the occasion of my fright, the greater my
apprehensions were; which is something contrary to the nature of such things, and especially
to the usual practice of all creatures in fear. But I was so embarrassed with my own frightful
ideas of the thing, that I formed nothing but dismal imaginations to myself, even though I
now was a great way off it. Sometimes I fancied that it must be the devil; and reason joined
in with me upon this supposition. For how should any other thing in human shape come into
the place P Where was the vessel that brought them p What marks were there of any other
footsteps P And how was it possible a man should come there ? But then to think that Satan
should take human shape upon him in such a place where there could be no manner of occasion
for it, but to leave the print of his foot behind him, and that even for no purpose too-for he
could not be sure I should see it-this was an amazement the other way. I considered that
the devil might have found out abundance of other ways to have terrified me, than this of the
single print of a foot. That as I lived quite on the other side of the island, he would never
have been so simple to leave a mark in a place where it was ten thousand to one whether I
should ever see it or not-and in the sand, too, which the first surge of the sea upon a high
wind would have defaced entirely. All this seemed inconsistent with the thing itself, and with
all notions we usually entertain of the subtlety of the devil.
Abundance of such things as these assisted to argue me out of all apprehensions of its being
the devil. And Ipresently concluded that it must be some more dangerous creature; viz., That
it must be some of the savages of the main land over against me, who had wandered out to sea
in their canoes, and, either driven by the currents, or by contrary winds, had made the island;
and had been on shore, but were gone away again to sea, being as loth, perhaps, to have
stayed in this desolate island, as I would have been to have had them.
While these reflections were rolling upon my mind, I was very thankful in my thought,
that I was so happy as not to be thereabouts at that time, or that they did not see my boat, by
which they would have concluded, that some inhabitants had been in the place, and perhaps
have searched farther for me. Then terrible thoughts racked my imaginations about their
having found my boat, and that there were people here; and that if so, I should certainly have
them come again in greater numbers, and devour me; that if it should happen so that they
should not find me, yet they would find my enclosure, destroy all my corn, carry away all my
flock of tame goats, and I should perish at last for mere want.
Thus my fear banished all my religious hope: all that former confidence in God which
was founded upon such wonderful experience as I had had of His goodness, now vanished; as if
He that had fed me by miracle hitherto, could not preserve by His power the provision which
He had made for me by His goodness. I reproached myself with my easiness, that would not
sow any more corn one year, than would just serve me till the next season, as if no accident
could intervene to prevent my enjoying the crop that was upon the ground. And this I thought
so just a reproof, that I resolved for the future to have two or three years' corn beforehand, so
that whatever might come, I might not perish for want of bread.
How strange a chequer-work of Providence is the life of man! And by what secret differing
springs are the affections hurried about, as differing circumstances present To-day we love
what to-morrow we hate; to-day we seek what to-morrow we shun; to-day we desire what to-
morrow we fear, nay, even tremble at the apprehensions of. This was exemplified in me at
this time, in the most lively manner imaginable; for I, whose only affliction was, that I seemed
banished from human society, that I was alone, circumscribed by the boundless ocean, cut off
/ *.',-., "^.-i&*
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 73
from mankind, and condemned to what I call a silent life; that I was as one whom Heaven
thought not worthy to be numbered among the living, or to appear among the rest of his
creatures; that to have seen one of my own species, would have seemed to me a raising me
from death to life, and the greatest blessing that Heaven itself, next to the supreme blessing of
salvation, could bestow; I say, that I should now tremble at the very apprehensions of seeing a
man, and was ready to sink into the ground, at but the shadow, or silent appearance of a man's
having set his foot on the island!
Such is the uneven state of human life: and it afforded me a great many curious speculations
afterwards, when I had a little recovered my first surprise. I considered that this was the
station of life the infinitely wise and good providence of God had determined for me; that as I
could not foresee what the ends of divine wisdom might be in all this, so I was not to dispute
His sovereignty, who, as I was His creature, had an undoubted right, by creation, to govern and
dispose of me absolutely asHe thought fit; and who, as I was a creature who had offended Him,
had likewise a judicial right to condemn me to what punishment He thought fit; and that it was
my part to submit to bear His indignation, because I had sinned against Him.
I then reflected that God, who was not only righteous, but omnipotent, as He had thought
fit thus to punish and affect me, so He was able to deliver me; that if He did not think fit to do
it, it was my unquestioned duty to resign myself absolutely and entirely to His.will. And, on
the other hand, it was my duty also to hope in Him, pray to Him, and quietly to attend the
dictates and directions of His daily providence.
These thoughts took me up many hours, days, nay, I may say, weeks and months; and one
particular effect of my cogitations on this occasion I cannot omit; viz. one morning early, lying
in my bed, and filled with thoughts about my danger from the appearance of savages, I found it
discomposed me very much; upon which those words of the Scripture came into my thoughts,
"Call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me."
Upon this, rising cheerfully out of my bed, my heart was not only comforted, but I was
guided and encouraged to pray earnestly to God for deliverance. When I had done praying, I
took up my Bible, and opening it to read, the first words that presented to me, were, Wait on
the Lord, and be of good cheer, and He shall strengthen thy heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."
It is impossible to express the comfort this gave me; and in return, I thankfully laid down the
book, and was no more sad; at least, not on that occasion.
In the middle of these cogitations, apprehensions, and reflections, it came into my thoughts
one day, that all this might be a mere chimera of my own, and that this foot might be the print
of my own foot, when I came on shore from my boat. This cheered me up a little too, and I
began to persuade myself it was all a delusion; that it was nothing else but my own foot; and
why might not I come that way from the boat as well as I was going that way to the boat P
Again, I considered also, that I could by no means tell for certain where I had trod, and where
I had not; and that, if at last this was only the print of my own foot, I had played the part of
those fools, who strive to make stories of spectres and apparitions, and then are themselves
frightened at them more than anybody else.
Now I began to take courage, and to peep abroad again; for I had not stirred out of my
castle for three days and nights, so that I began to starve for provision; for I had little or
nothing within doors, but some barley-cakes and water. Then I knew that my goats wanted
to be milked too, which usually was my evening diversion: and the poor creatures were in great
pain and inconvenience for want of it; and indeed it almost spoiled some of them, and almost
dried up their milk.
Heartening myself, therefore, with the belief that this was nothing but the print of one of
my own feet (and so I might be truly said to start at my own shadow), I began to go abroad
again, and went to my country-house to milk my flock; but to see with what fear I went
forward, how often I looked behind me, how I was ready, every now and then, to lay down
my basket, and run for my life; it would have made any one have thought I was haunted
with an evil conscience, or that I had been lately most terribly frightened; and so, indeed, I
However, as I went down thus two or three days, and having seen nothing, I began to be a
74 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
little bolder, and to think there was really nothing in it but my own imagination; but I could
not persuade myself fully of this, till I should go down to the shore again, and see this print of a
foot, and measure it by my own, and see if there was any similitude or fitness, that I might be
assured it was my own foot. But when I came to the place first, it appeared evidently to me,
that when I laid up my boat, I could not possibly be on shore anywhere thereabouts. Secondly,
when I came to measure the mark with my own foot, I found my foot not so large by a great
deal. Both these things filled my head with new imaginations, and gave me the vapours again
to the highest degree; so that I shook with cold, like one in an ague, and I went home again,
filled with the belief that some man or men had been on shore there; or, in short, that the
island was inhabited, and I might be surprised before I was aware; and what course to take for
my security, I knew not.
O what ridiculous resolutions men take, when possessed with fear! It deprives them of the
use of those means which reason offers for their relief. The first thing I proposed to myself
was to throw down my enclosures, and turn all my tame cattle wild into the woods, that the
enemy might not find them, and then frequent the island in prospect of the same, or the like
booty; then to the simple thing of digging up my two corn-fields, that they might not find
such a grain there, and still to be prompted to frequent the island; then to demolish my bower
and tent, that they might not see any vestiges of my habitation, and be prompted to look
farther, in order to find out the persons inhabiting.
These were the subjects of the first night's cogitation, after I was come home again, while the
apprehensions which had so over-run my mind were fresh upon me, and my head was full of
vapours as above. Thus, fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger
itself, when apparent to the eyes; and we find the burden of anxiety greater by much than
the evil which we are anxious about; but, which was worse than all this, I had not that relief in
this trouble from the resignation I used to practise that I hoped to have. I looked, I thought,
like Saul, who complained not only that the Philistines were upon him, but that God had for-
saken him; for I did not now take due ways to compose my mind, by crying to God in my
distress, and resting upon His Providence, as I had done before, for my defence and deliver-
ance: which if I had done, I had at least been more cheerfully supported under this new sur-
prise, and, perhaps, carried through it with more resolution.
This confusion of my thoughts kept me waking all night; but in the morning I fell asleep,
and having by the amusement of my mind been, as it were, tired, and my spirits exhausted, I
slept very soundly, and awaked much better composed thanI had ever been before. And now I
began to think sedately; and, upon the utmost debate with myself, I concluded that this island,
which was so exceeding pleasant, fruitful, and no farther from the mainland than as I had seen,
was not so entirely abandoned as I might imagine. That although there were no stated in-
habitants who lived on the spot; yet, that there might sometimes come boats off from the
shore, who either with design, or, perhaps, never but when they were driven by cross winds,
might come to this place.
That I had lived here fifteen years now, and had not met with the least shadow or figure of
any people before; and that if at any time they should be driven here, it was probable they
went away again as soon as ever they could, seeing they had never thought fit to fix there upon
any occasion to this time.
That the most I could suggest any danger from was from any such casual accidental landing
of straggling people from the main, who, as it was likely, if they were driven hither, were here
against their wills; so they made no stay here, but went off again with all possible speed,
seldom staying one night on shore, lest they should not have the help of the tides and day-
light back again; and that, therefore, I had nothing to do but to consider of some safe retreat,
in case I should see any savages land upon the spot.
Now I began sorely to repent that I had dug my cave so large as to bring a door through
again, which door, as I said, came out beyond where my fortification joined to the rock. Upon
maturely considering this, therefore, I resolved to draw me a second fortification, in the manner
of a semicircle, at a distance from my wall, just where I had planted a double row of trees
about twelve years before, of which I made mention. These trees having been planted so thick
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 75
before, there wanted but a few piles to be driven between them that they should be thicker and
stronger, and my wall would be soon finished.
So that I had now a double wall, and my outer wall was thickened with pieces of timber, old
cables, and everything I could think of to make it strong, having in it seven little holes, about
as big as I might put my arm out at. In the inside of this I thickened my wall to about ten feet
thick, continually bringing earth out of my cave and laying it at the foot of the wall and walking
upon it; and through the seven holes I contrived to plant the muskets, of which I took notice
that I got seven on shore out of the ship; these, I say, I planted like my cannon, and fitted
them into frames that held them like a carriage, that so Icould fire all the seven guns in two
minutes' time. This wall I was many a weary month in finishing, and yet never thought myself
safe till it was done.
When this was done, I stuck all the ground without my wall, for a great way every way, as
full with stakes or sticks of the ozier-like wood, which I found so apt to grow, as they could well
stand; insomuch that I believe I might set in near twenty thousand of them, leaving a pretty
large space between them and my wall, that I might have room to see an enemy, and they might
have no shelter from the young trees, if they attempted to approach my outer wall.
Thus in two years' time I had a thick grove; and in five or six years' time I had a wood before
my dwelling, grown so monstrous thick and strong that it was indeed perfectly impassable; and
no man, of what kind soever, would ever imagine that there was anything beyond it, much
less a habitation. As for the way I proposed myself to go in and out (for I left no avenue), it
was by setting two ladders-one to a part of the rock which wias low, and then broke in, and
left room to place another ladder upon that; so, when the two ladders were taken down, no man
living could come down to me without mischiefing himself, and if they had come down, they were
still on the outside of my outer wall.
Thus I took all the measures human prudence could suggest for my own preservation; and
it will be seen at length that they were not altogether without just reason, though I foresaw
nothing at that time more than my mere fear suggested.
While this was doing, I was not altogether careless of my other affairs, for I had a great
concern upon me for my little herd of-goats; they were not only a present supply to me upon
every occasion, and began to be sufficient for me, without the expense of powder and shot, but
also abated the fatigue of my hunting after the wild ones, and I was loth to lose the advantage of
them, and to have them all to nurse up over again.
To this purpose, after long consideration, I could think but of two ways to preserve them:
one was to find another convenient place to dig a cave under ground, and to drive them into
it every night; and the other was to enclose two or three little bits of land, remote from one
another, and as much concealed as I could, where I might keep about half a dozen young goats
in each place; so that if any disaster happened to the flock in general, I might be able to raise
them again with little trouble and time: and this, though it would require a great deal of time
and labour, I thought was the most rational design.
Accordingly I spent some time to find out the most retired parts of the island; and I pitched
upon one, which was as private indeed as my heart could wish; for it was a little damp piece
of ground in the middle of the hollow and thick woods, where, as is observed, I almost lost
myself once before, endeavouring to come back that way from the eastern part of the island:
here I found a clear piece of land, near three acres, so surrounded with woods that it was
almost an enclosure by nature; at least it did not want near so much labour to make it so, as the
other pieces of ground I had worked so hard at.
I immediately went to work with this piece of ground, and in less than a month's time I had
so fenced it round, that my flock or herd, call it which yon please, which were not so wild now
as at first they might be supposed tobe, were well enough secured in it. So without any farther
delay, I removed ten she-goats and two he-goats to this piece; and when there, I continued
to perfect the fence, till I had made it as secure as the other, which, however, I did at more
leisure, and it took me up more time by a great deal.
All this labour I was at the expense of, purely from my apprehensions on the account
of the print of a man's foot which I had seen; for as yet, I never saw any human
1_1111V_.'1 MT1_1T_- .1 I I --x -
76 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
creature come near the island; and I had now lived two years under these uneasinesses,
which indeed made my life much less comfortable than it was before; as may well be
imagined, by any who know what it is to live in the constant snare of the fear of man;
and this I must observe with grief too, that the discomposure of my mind had too great
impressions also upon the religious part of my thoughts, for the dread and terror of falling
into the hands of savages and cannibals lay so upon my spirits that I seldom found myself in
a due temper for application to my Maker; at least not with the sedate calmness and
resignation of soul which I was wont to do. I rather prayed to God as under great affliction
and pressure of mind, surrounded with danger, and in expectation every night of being
murdered and devoured before the morning; and I must testify from my experience that a
temper of peace, thankfulness, love, and affection, is much more the proper frame for prayer
than that of terror and discomposure; and that under the dread of mischief impending, a
man is no more fit for a comforting performance of the duty of praying to God than he is
for repentance on a sick-bed; for these discomposures affect the mind as the others do the
body, and the discomposure of the mind must necessarily be as great a disability as that of
the body, and much greater, praying to God being properly an act of the mind, not of the body.
But to go on. After I had thus secured one part of my little living stock, I went about the
whole island, searching for another private place to make such another deposit, when wandering
more to the west point of the island than I had ever done yet, and looking out to sea, I
thought I saw a boat upon the sea at a great distance. I had found a perspective glass or
two in one of the seamen's chests which I saved out of our ship, but I had it not about me,
and this was so remote that I could not tell what to make of it, though I looked at it till my
eyes were not able to look any longer: whether it was a boat or not I do not know, but as I
descended from the hill I could see no more of it, so I gave it over, only I resolved to go no
more without a perspective glass in.my pocket.
When I was come down the hill, to the end of the island, where indeed I had never been
before, I was presently convinced, that the seeing the print of a man's foot, was not such a
strange thing in the island as I imagined; and, but that it was a special Providence that I
was cast upon the side of the island where the savages never came, I should easily have known
that nothing was more frequent than for the canoes from the main when they happened to
be a little too far out at sea, to shoot over to that side of the island for harbour; likewise, as
they often met and fought in their canoes, the victors, having taken any prisoners, would
bring them over to this shore, where, according to their dreadful customs, being all cannibals,
they would'kill and eat them: of which hereafter.
When I was come down the hill to the shore, as I said above, being the S.W. point of the
island, I was perfectly confounded and amazed; nor is it possible for me to express the horror
of my mind, at seeing the shore spread with skulls, hands, feet, and other bones of human
bodies; and particularly I observed a place where there had be~h a fire made, and a circle
dug in the earth, like a cock-pit, where it is supposed the savage wretches had sat down to
their inhuman feastings upon the bodies of their fellow-creatures.
I was so astonished with the sight of these things that I entertained no notions of any
danger to myself from it for a long while; all my apprehensions were buried in the thoughts
of such a pitch of inhuman, hellish brutality, and the horror of the degeneracy of human
nature; which, though I had heard often, yet I never had so near a view of before: in short,
I turned away my face from the horrid spectacle, my stomach grew sick, and I was just at
the point of fainting, when nature discharged the disorder from my stomach, and, having
vomited with an uncommon violence, I was a little relieved, but could not bear to stay in the
place a moment; so I got me up the hill again with all the speed I could, and walked on
towards my own habitation.
When I came a little out of that part of the island, I stood still awhile as amazed; and
then recovering myself, I looked up with the utmost affection of my soul, and,' with a flood
of tears in my eyes, gave God thanks, that had cast my first lot in a part of the world
where I was distinguished from such dreadful creatures as these; and that though I had
esteemed my present condition very miserable, had yet given me so many comforts in it,
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 77
that I had still more to give thanks for than to complain of; and this above all, that I had,
even in this miserable condition, been comforted with the knowledge of Himself, and the hope
of His blessing, which was a felicity more than sufficiently equivalent to all the misery which
I had suffered, or could suffer.
In this frame of thankfulness I went home to my castle, and began to be much easier now,
as to the safety of my circumstances, than ever I was before; for I observed, that these
wretches never came to this island in search of what they could get; perhaps not seeking, not
wanting, or not expecting anything here; and having often, no doubt, been up in the covered
woody part of it, without finding anything to their purpose. I knew I had been here now
almost eighteen years, and never saw the least footsteps of a human creature there before;
and might be here eighteen more as entirely concealed as I was now, if I did not discover
myself to them, which I had no manner of occasion to do, it being my only business to keep
myself entirely concealed where I was, unless I found a better sort of creatures than cannibals
to make myself known to.
Yet I entertained such an abhorrence of the savage wretches that I have been speaking of,
and of the wretched inhuman custom of their devouring and eating one another up, that I
continued pensive and sad, and kept close within my own circle for almost two years after
this: when I say my n circle, I mean by it my three plantations, viz., my castle, my
country seat, which I called my bower, and my enclosure in the woods; nor did I look after
this for any other use than as an enclosure for my goats; for the aversion which nature gave
me to these hellish wretches was such, that I was as fearful of seeing them as of seeing the
devil himself; nor did I so much as go to look after my boat in all this time, but began
rather to think of making me another; for I could not think of ever making any more
attempts to bring the other boat round the island to me, lest I should meet with some of those
creatures at sea, in which, if I had happened to have fallen into their hands, I knew what
would have been my lot.
Time, however, and the satisfaction I had, that I was in no danger of being discovered by
these people, began to wear off my uneasiness about them; and I began to live just in
the same composed manner as before; only with this difference, that I used more caution, and
kept my eyes more about me than I did before, lest I should happen to be seen by any of
them; and, particularly, I was more cautious of firing my gun, lest any of them being on
the island should happen to hear it; and it was therefore a very good providence to me,
that I had furnished myself with a tame breed of goats, that I had no need to hunt any
more about the woods, or shoot at them; and if I did catch any more of them after this, it was
with traps and snares, as I had done before: so that for two years after this, I believe I
never fired my gun once off, though I never went out without it; and, which was more, as I
had saved three pistols out of the ship, I always carried them out with me, or at least two of
them, sticking them in my goat-skin belt. I likewise furbished up one of the great cutlasses
that I had out of the ship, and made me a belt to put it in also; so that I was now a most
formidable fellow to look at when I went abroad, if you add to the former description of
myself, the particular of two pistols, and a great broad-sword hanging at my side in a belt, but
without a scabbard.
Things going on thus, as I have said, for some time, I seemed, excepting these cautions,
to be reduced to my former calm sedate way of living; all these things tended to show me more
and more how far my condition was from being miserable, compared to some others; nay, to
many other particulars of life, which it might have pleased God to have made my lot. It
put me upon reflecting, how little repining there would be among mankind, at any condition
of life, if people would rather compare their condition with those that are worse, in order
to be than kul, than be always comparing them with those which are better, to assist their
murmurings and complaining.
As in my present condition there were not really many things which I wanted, so indeed
I thought that the frights I had been in about these savage wretches, and the concern I had
been in for my own preservation, had taken off the edge of my invention for my own con-
veniences; and I had dropt a good design, which I had once bent my thoughts upon; and
78 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
that was, to try if I could not make some of my barley into malt, and then try to brew
myself some beer: this was really a whimsical thought, and I reproved myself often for the
simplicity of it; for I presently saw there would be the want of several things necessary
to the making my beer, that it would be impossible for me to supply; as, first, casks to
preserve it in, which was a thing that, as I have observed already, I could never compass; no,
though I spent not many days, but weeks, nay months, in attempting it, but to no purpose. In
the next place, I had no hops to make it keep, no yeast to make it work, no copper or kettle
to make it boil; and yet, had not all these things intervened, I mean the frights and terrors
I was in about the savages, I had undertaken it, and perhaps brought it to pass too; for I
seldom gave anything over without accomplishing it, when I once had it in my head enough
to begin it.
But my invention now ran quite another way; for night and day I could think of nothing
but how I might destroy some of these monsters in their cruel, bloody entertainment, and, if
possible, save the victim they should bring hither to destroy. It would take up a larger volume
than this whole work is intended to be to set down all the contrivances I hatched, or rather
brooded upon in my thoughts, for the destroying these creatures, or at least frightening them,
so as to prevent their coming hither any more; but all was abortive. Nothing could be
possible to take effect, unless I was to be there to do it myself; and what could one man do
among them, when perhaps there might be twenty or thirty of them together, with their
darts, or their bows and arrows, with which they could shoot as true to a mark as I could
with my gun ?
Sometimes I contrived to dig a hole under the place where they made their fire, and put in
five or six pounds of gunpowder, which, when they kindled their fire, would consequently take
fire, and blow up all that was near it; but as, in the first place, I should be very loth to waste
so much powder upon them, my store being now within the quantity of a barrel, so neither
could I be sure of its going off at any certain time, when it might surprise them; and, at best,
that it would do little more than just blow the fire about their ears and frighten them, but
not sufficient to make them forsake the place; so I laid it aside, and then proposed that I
would place myself in ambush, in some convenient place, with my three guns all double-loaded,
and in the middle of their bloody ceremony let fly at them, when I should be sure to kill or
wound perhaps two or three at every shot; and then, falling in upon them with my three
pistols and my sword, I made no doubt but that, if there were twenty, I should kill them all.
This fancy pleased my thoughts for some weeks, and I was so full of it that I often dreamt
of it, and sometimes that I was just going to let fly at them in my sleep.
I went so far with it in my indignation that I employed myself several days to find out
proper places to put myself in ambuscade, as I said, to watch for them; and I went frequently
to the place itself, which was now grown more familiar to me, and especially while my mind
was thus filled with thoughts of revenge, and of a bloody putting twenty or thirty of them to
the sword, as I may call it; but the horror I had at the place, and at the signals of the
barbarous wretches devouring one another, abated my malice.
Well, at length I found a place in the side of the hill where I was satisfied I might securely
wait till I saw any of the boats coming, and might then, before they would be ready to come on
shore, convey myself unseen into thickets of trees, in one of which there was a hollow large
enough to conceal me entirely, and where I might sit and observe all their bloody doings,
and take my full aim at their heads when they were so close together as that it would be
next to impossible that I should miss my shoot, or that I could fail wounding three or four of
them at the first shoot.
In this place, then, I resolved to fix my design, and accordingly I prepared two muskets
andmy ordinary fowling-piece. The two muskets I loaded with a brace of slugs each, and four
or five smaller bullets, about the size of pistol-bullets, and the fowling-piece I loaded with near
a handful of swan-shot of the largest size. I also loaded my pistols with about four bullets
each; and in this posture, well provided with ammunition for a second and third charge, I
prepared myself for my expedition.
After I had thus laid the scheme for my design, and in my imagination put it in practice,
Tle Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 79
I continually made my tour every morning up to the top of the hill, which was from my castle,
as I called it, about three miles or more, to see if I could observe any boats upon the sea,
coming near the island or standing over towards it; but I began to tire of this hard duty
after I had for two or three months constantly kept my watch, but came always back without
any discovery, there having not in all that time been the least appearance, not only on or near
the shore, but not on the whole ocean, so far as my eyes or glasses could reach every way.
As long as I kept up my daily tour to the hill to look out, so long also I kept np the vigour
of my design, and my spirits seemed to be all the while in a suitable frame for so outrageous
an execution, as the killing twenty or thirty naked savages, for an offence which I had not
at all entered into a discussion of in my thoughts, any further than my passions were at
first fired by the horror I conceived at the unnatural custom of the people of that country,
who, it seems, had been suffered by Providence, in His wise disposition o[ the world, to have
no dther guide than that of their own abominable and vitiated passions; and consequently
were left, and perhaps had been for some ages, to act such horrid things, and receive such
dreadful customs, as nothing but nature, entirely abandoned of Heaven, and actuated by some
hellish degeneracy, could have run them into; but now, when, as I have said, I began to be
weary of the fruitless excursion which I had made so long, and so far, every morning in vain;
so my opinion of the action itself began to alter, and I began, with cooler and calmer
thoughts, to consider what it was I was going to engage in; what authority or call I had
to pretend to be judge and executioner upon these men as criminals, whom Heaven had
thought fit for so many ages to suffer, unpunished, to go on, and to be, as it were, the
executioners of His judgments upon one another; also, how far these people were offenders
against me, and what right I had to engage in the quarrel of that blood which they shed
promiscuously one upon another. I debated this very often with myself thus: How do I know
what God Himself judges in this particular case P It is certain these people do not commit
this as a crime; it is not against their own consciences reproving, or theirlight reproaching
them. They do not know it to be an offence, and then commit it in defiance of divine justice,
as we do in almost all the sins we commit. They think it no more a crime to kill a captive
taken in war, than we do to kill an ox; nor to eat human flesh, than we do to eat mutton.
When I had considered this a little, it followed necessarily, that I was certainly in the wrong
in it; that these people were not murderers in the sense that I had before condemned them in
my thoughts, any more than those Christians were murderers, who often put to death the
prisoners taken m battle, or more frequently, upon many occasions, put whole troops of men
to the sword, without giving quarter, though they threw down their arms and submitted.
In the next place, it occurred to me, that albeit the usage they gave one another was thus
brutish and inhuman, yet it was really nothing to me; these people had done me no injury:
that if they attempted me, or I saw it necessary for my immediate preservation to fal upon
them, something might be said for it; but that I was yet out of their power, and they had
really no knowledge of me, and consequently no design upon me; and therefore it could not be
just for me to fall upon them: that this would justify the conduct of the Spaniards, in all their
barbarities practised in America, where they destroyed millions of these people, who, however
the were idolaters and barbarians, and had several bloody and barbarous ntes in their customs,
such as sacrificing human bodies to their idols, were yet, as to the Spaniards, very innocent
people; and that the rooting them out of the country is spoken of with the utmost abhorrence
and detestation, even by the Spaniards themselves, at this time, and by all other Christian
nations of Europe, as a mere butchery, a bloody and unnatural piece of cruelty, unjustifiable
either to God or man; and such, as for which the very name of a Spaniard is reckoned to
be frightful and terrible to all people of humanity, or of Christian compassion; as if the
kingdom of Spain were particularly eminent for the product of a race of men, who were without
principles of tenderness, or the common bowels of pity to the miserable, which is reckoned to
be a mark of a generous temper in the mind.
These considerations really put me to a pause, and to a kind of a full stop; and I began
by little and little to be off my design, and to conclude I had taken a wrong measure in my
resolutions to attack the savages; tat it was not my business to meddle with them, unless
8o The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoc.
they first attacked me, and this it was my business, if possible, to prevent; but that, if I
were discovered and attacked, then I knew my duty.
On the other hand, I argued with myself, that this really was the way, not to deliver myself,
but entirely to ruin and destroy myself; for unless I was sure to kill every one that not
only should be on shore at that time, but that should ever come on shore afterwards, if but
one of them escaped to tell their country-people what had happened, they would come over
again by thousands to revenge the death of their fellows; and I should only bring upon
myself a certain destruction, which at present I had no manner of occasion for.
Upon the whole, I concluded that neither in principles nor in policy, I ought one way or other
to concern myself in this affair: that my business was by all possible means to conceal myself
from them and not to leave the least signal to them to guess by, that there were any living
creatures upon the island-I mean of human shape.
Religion joined in with this prudential, and I was convinced now many ways that I was
perfectly out of my duty, when I was laying all my bloody schemes for the destruction of
innocent creatures, I mean innocent as to me; as to the crimes they were guilty of towards one
another, I had nothing to do with them; they were national, and I ought to leave them to the
justice of God, who is the governor of nations, and knows how, by national punishments, to
make a just retribution for national offences, and to bring public judgments upon those who
offend in a public manner, by such ways as best please Him.
This appeared so clear to me now, that nothing was a greater satisfaction to me, than that I
had not been suffered to do a thing which I now saw so much reason to believe would have
been no less a sin than that of wilful murder, if I had committed it; and I gave most humble
thanks on my knees to God, that had thus delivered me from blood-guiltiness, beseeching Him
to grant me the protection of His Providence, that I might not fall into the hands of barbarians;
or that I might not lay my hands upon them, unless I had a more clear call from Heaven to do
it in defence of my own life.
In this disposition I continued for near a year after this: and so far was I from desiring
an occasion for falling upon these wretches, that in all that time I never once went up the
hill to see whether there were any of them in sight, or to know whether any of them had been
on shore there or not; that I might not be tempted to renew any of my contrivances against
them, or be provoked by any advantage which might present itself, to fall upon them; only
this I did, I went and removed my boat, which I had on the other side the island, and carried
it down to the east end of the whole island, where I ran it into a little cove which I found
under some high rocks, and where I knew, by reason of the currents, the savages durst not,
at least would not, come with their boats upon any account whatsoever.
With my boat I carried away everything that I had left there belonging to her, though
not necessary for the bare going thither, viz. a mast and sail, which I had made for her, and
a thing like an anchor, but, indeed, which could not be called either anchor or grappling:
however, it was the best I could make of its kind. All these I removed that there might not
be the least shadow of any discovery, or any appearance of any boat, or of any habitation upon
Besides this, I kept myself, as I said, more retired than ever, and seldom went from my
cell, other than upon my constant employment, viz., to milk my she-goats, and manage my
little flock in the wood, which, as it was quite on the other part of the island, was quite out
of danger: for certain it is, that these savage people, who sometimes haunted this island, never
came with any thoughts of finding anything here, and consequently never wandered off from
the coast; and I doubt not but they might have been several times on shore, after my appre-
hensions of them had made me cautious, as well as before; and indeed I looked back with some
horror upon the thoughts of what my condition would have been, if I had chopped upon them,
and been discovered before that, when naked and unarmed, except with one gun, and that
loaded often only with small shot. I walked everywhere, peeping and peeping about tte
island, to see what I could get: what a surprise should I have been in, if, when I discovered
the print of a man's foot, I had instead of that seen fifteen or twenty savages, and found them
pursuing me, and, by the swiftness of their running, no possibility of my escaping them!
'"t; 'K r
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 81
The thoughts of this sometimes sunk my very soul within me, and distressed my mind so
much, that I could not soon recover it; to think what I should have done, and how I not
only should rot have been able to resist them, but even should not have had presence of mind
enough to do ihat I might have done; much less what now, after so much consideration and
preparation, I night be able to do. Indeed, after serious thinking of these things, I should be
very melancholy, and sometimes it would last a great while; but I resolved it at last all into
thankfulness to that Providence which had delivered me from so many unseen dangers, and had
kept me from those mischiefs, which I could in no way have been the agent in delivering
myself from; because I had not the least notion of any such thing depending, or the least
supposition of it being possible.
This renewed a contemplation, which often had come to my thoughts in former time, when
first I began to see the merciful dispositions of Heaven, in the dangers we run through in
this life; how wonderfully we are delivered when we know nothing of it: how, when we are
in a quandary (as we call it), a doubt or hesitation, whether to go this way or that way, a
secret hint shall direct as this way, when we intended to go that way; nay, when sense, our
own inclination, and perhaps business, has called to go the other way, yet a strange impression
upon the mind, from we know not what springs, and by we know not what power, shall
over-rule us to go this way; and it shall afterwards appear, that had we gone that way
wlich we should have gone, and even to our imagination ought to have gone, we should
have been ruined and lost. Upon these, and many like reflections, I afterwards made it a
certain rule with me, that whenever I found those secret hints, or pressings of my mind, to
doing or not doing anything that presented, or to going this way or that way, I never failed
to obey the secret dictate; thoughI knew no other reason for it, than that such a pressure, or
such a hint, hun upon my mind. I could give many examples of the success of this conduct
in the course of my life; but more especially in the latter part of my inhabiting this unhappy
island; besides many occasions which it is very likely I might have taken notice of, if I had
seen with the same eyes then that I saw with now. But it is never too late to be wise; and
I cannot but advise all considering men, whose lives are attended with such extraordinary
incidents as mine, or even though not so extraordinary, not to slight such secret intimations of
Providence, let them come from what invisible intelligence they will. That I shall not discuss,
and perhaps cannot account for; but certainly they are a proof of the converse of spirits, and
the secret communication between those embodied and those unembodied; and such a proof as
can never be withstood; of which I shall have occasion to give some very remarkable instances,
in the remainder of my solitary residence in this dismal place.
I believe the reader of this will not think it strange if I confess that these anxieties,
these constant dangers I lived in, and the concern that was now upon me, put an end to all
invention, and to all the contrivances that I had laid for my future accommodations and
conveniences. I had the care of my safety more now upon my hands than that of my
food. I cared not to drive a nail, or chop a stick of wood now, for fear the noise I should
make should be heard; much less would I fire a gun, for the same reason; and above
all, I was intolerably uneasy at making any fire, lest the smoke, which is visible at a
great distance in the day, should betray me: and for this reason I removed that part of my
business which required fire, such as burning of pots and pipes, &c., into my new apartment
in the woods; where, after I had been some time, I found, to my unspeakable consolation, a
mere natural cave in the earth, which went in a vast way, and where, I dare say, no savage,
had he been at the mouth of it, would be so hardy as to venture in, nor indeed, would any
man else, but one who, like me, wanted nothing so much as a safe retreat.
The month of this hollow was at the bottom of a great rock, where, by mere accident,
I would say-if I did not see an abundant reason to ascribe all such things now to Providence
-I was cutting down some thick branches of trees to make charcoal; and, before I go on, I
must observe the reason of my making this charcoal, which was thus:-
I was afraid of making a smoke about my habitation, as I said before; and yet I could
not live there without baking my bread, cooking my meat, &e., so I contrived to burn some
wood here, as I had seen done in England, under turf, till it became chark, or dry coal;
82 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
and then putting the fire out, I preserved the coal to carry home, and perform the other
services which fire was wanting for at home, without danger of smoke.
But this is by the bye. While I was cutting down some wood here, I perceived that
behind a very thick branch of low brushwood, or underwood, there was a kind of hollow place.
I was curious to look into it, and getting with difficulty into the mouth of it, I found it was
pretty large, that is to say, sufficient for me to stand upright in it, and perhaps another with
me; but I must confess to you, I made more haste out than I did in; when looking farther
into the place, and which was perfectly dark, I saw two broad shining eyes of some creature,
whether devil or man I knew not, which twinkled like two stars, the dim light from the cave's
mouth shining directly in, and making the reflection.
However, after some pause, I recovered myself, and began to call myself a thousand fools,
and tell myself, that he that was afraid to see the devil was not fit to live twenty years in
an island all alone, and that I durst to believe there was nothing in this cave that was
more frightful than myself. Upon this, plucking up my courage, I took up a great firebrand,
and in I rushed again, with the stick flaming in my hand. I had not gone three steps
in, but I was almost as much frightened as I was before; for I heard a very loud sigh,
like that of a man in some pain, and it was followed by a broken noise, as if of words half-
expressed, and then a deep sigh again. I stepped back, and was indeed struck with such a
surprise, that it put me into a cold sweat; and if I had had a hat on my head, I will not answer
for it that my hair might not have lifted it off. But still, plucking up my spirits as well as
I could, and encouraging myself a little with considering that the power and presence of God
was everywhere, and was able to protect me; upon this I stepped forward again, and by the
light of the firebrand, holding it up a little over my head, I saw lying on the ground a most
monstrous frightful old he-goat, just making his will, as we say, and gasping for life, and dying
indeed of mere old age.
I stirred him a little to see if I could get him out, and he essayed to get up, but was not able
to raise himself; and I thought with myself he might even lie there, for if he had frightened
me so he would certainly frighten any of the savages, if any of them should be so hardy as
to come in there while he had any life in him.
I was now recovered from my surprise, and began to look round me, when I found the cave
was but very small; that is to say, it might be about twelve foot over, but in no manner of
shape, either round or square, no hands ever having been employed in making it but those of
mere nature. I observed also that there was a place at the farther side of it that went in
farther, but was so low that it required me to creep upon my hands and knees to go into it,
and whither I went I knew not; so, having no candle, I gave it over for some time, but
resolved to come again the next day provided with candles and a tinder-box, which I had made
of the lock of one of the muskets, with some wild-fire in the pan.
Accordingly, the next day, I came provided with six large candles of my own making (for I
made very good candles now of goat's tallow), and going into this low place I was obliged
to creep upon all fours, as I have said, almost ten yards, which, by the way, I thought was a
venture bold enough considering that I knew not how far it might go, nor what was beyond
it. When I was got through the straight I found the roof rose higher up, I believe near
twenty foot: but never was such a glorious sight seen in the island, I dare say, as it was, to
look round the sides and roof of this vault or cave. The walls reflected a hundred thousand
lights to me from my two candles. What it was in the rock, whether diamonds, or any other
precious stones, or gold, which I rather suppose it to be, I knew not.
The place I was in was a most delightful cavity or grotto of its kind as could be expected,
though perfectly dark. The floor was dry and level, and had a sort of small loose gravel upon
it, so that there was no nauseous or venomous creature to be seen, neither was there any
damp or wet on the sides or roof; the only difficulty in it was the entrance, which, however, as
it was a place of security, and such a retreat as I wanted, I thought that was a convenience, so
that I was really rejoiced at the discovery, and resolved, without any delay, to bring some of
those things which I was most anxious about to this place; particularly I resolved to bring
hither my magazine of powder and all my spare arms, viz., two fowling-pieces (for I had three
7e Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 83
in all) and three muskets (for of them I had eight in all); so I kept at my castle only five,
which stood ready mounted, like pieces of cannon, on my outmost fence, and were ready also
to take out upon any expedition.
Upon this occasion of removing my ammunition I took occasion to open the barrel of powder
which I took up out of the sea, and which had been wet, and I found that the water had
penetrated about three or four inches into the powder on every side, which, caking and growing
hard, had preserved the inside like a kernel in a shell, so that I had near sixty pound of very
good powder in the centre of the cask, and this was an agreeable discovery to me at that
time, so I carried all away thither, never keeping above two or three pound of powder with me
in my castle for fear of a surprise of any kind. I also carriedthither all the lead I had left for
T fancied myself now like one of the ancient giants, which are said to live in caves and holes
in the rocks, where none could come at them, for I persuaded myself while I was here, if five
hundred savages were to hunt me, they could never find me out, or, if they did, they would not
venture to attack me here.
The old goat, who I found expiring, died in the mouth of the cave the next day after I made
this discovery; and I found it much easier to dig a great hole there, and throw him in, and
.cover him with earth, than to drag him out; so I interred him there, to prevent offence to my
I was now in my twenty-third year of residence in this island, and was so naturalized to the
place and to the manner of living that, could I have but enjoyed the certainty that no savages
would come to the place to disturb me, I could have been content to have capitulated for
spending the rest of my time there, even to the last moment, till I had laid me down and died,
like the old goat in the cave. I had also arrived to some little diversions and amusements,
which made the time pass more pleasantly with me a great deal than it did before; as, first, I
had taught my Poll, as I noted before, to speak, and he did it so familiarly, and talked so
articulately and plain, that it was very pleasant to me, and he lived with me no less than six-
and-twenty years. How long he might live afterwards I know not, though I know they have
a notion in the Brazils that they live a hundred years. Perhaps poor Poll may be alive there
still, calling after poor Robin Crusoe to this day; I wish no Englishman the ill-luck to come
there and hear him: but if he did, he would certainly believe it was the devil. My dog was a
very pleasant and loving companion to me for no less than sixteen years of my time, and then
died of mere old age; as for my cats, they multiplied, as I have observed, to that degree, that
I was obliged to shoot several of them at first, to keep them from devouring me and all I had.
But at length, when the two old ones I brought with me were gone, and after some time
continually driving them from me, and letting them have no provision with me, they all ran
wild into the woods, except two or three favourites, which I kept tame, and whose young, when
they had any, I always drowned, and these were part of my family. Besides these, I always
kept two or three household kids about me, which I taught to feed out of my hand; and I
ha also more parrots which talked pretty well, and would all call Robin Crusoe, but
none like my first; nor, indeed, did I take the pains with any of them that I had done with
him. I had also several tame sea fowls, whose names I know not, who I caught upon the
shore, and cut their wings; and the little stakes, which I had planted before my castle wall,
being now grown up to a good thick grove, these fowls all lived among these low trees, and bred
there, which was very agreeable to me, so that, as I said above, I began to be very well
contented with the life I led, if it might but have been secured from the dread of the savages.
But it was otherwise directed; and it may not be amiss for all people who shall meet
with my story to make this just observation from it viz. How frequently, in the course of our
lives, the evil which in itself we seek most to shun, and which, when we are fallen into, is the
most dreadful to us, is oftentimes the very means or door of our deliverance, by which alone
we can be raised again from the fiction we are fallen into. I could give many examples of
this in the course of my unaccountable life; but in nothing was it more particularly remarkable
than the circumsan thnces of my last years of solitary residence in this island.
It was now the month of December, as I said above, in my twenty-third year; and this being
Buti~PT;- ise dc at nb srpe s e
wit my^ S ^ story, to. make thsjs bevtinfo t i.Ho rqety n h oreo u
84 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
the southern solstice, for winter I cannot call it, was the particular time of my harvest, and
required my being pretty much abroad in the fields; when going out pretty early in the
morning, even before it was thorough daylight, I was surprised with seeing a light of some
fire upon the shore, at a distance from me of about two miles, towards the end of the island,
where I had observed some savages had been, as before; but not on the other side: but to my
great affliction, it was on my side of the island.
I was indeed terribly surprised at the sight, and stepped short within my grove, not daring
to go out, lest I might be surprised; and yet I had no more peace within, from the apprehensions
I had, that if these savages, in rambling over the island, should find my corn standing, or cut,
or any of my works and improvements, they would immediately conclude that there were
people in the place, and would then never give over till they had found me out. In this
extremity I went back directly to my castle, pulled up the ladder after me, having made
all things without look as wild and natural as I could.
Then I prepared myself within, putting myself in a posture of defence. I loaded all
my cannon, as I called them, that is to say, my muskets, which were mounted upon my
new fortification, and all my pistols, and resolved to defend myself to the last gasp; not
forgetting seriously to commend myself to the Divine protection, and earnestly to pray to
God to deliver me out of the hands of the barbarians; and in this posture I continued about
two hours, but began to be mighty impatient for intelligence abroad, for I had no spies to send
After sitting a while longer, and musing what I should do in this case, I was not able to
bear sitting in ignorance longer; so setting up my ladder to the side of the hill, where there
was a flat place, as I observed before, and then pulling the ladder up after me, I set it up
again, and mounted to the top of the hill; and pulling out my perspective glass, which I
had taken on purpose, I laid me down flat on my belly on the ground, and began to look for
the place. I presently found there was no less than nine naked savages sitting round a small
fire they had made; not to warm them, for they had no need of that, the weather being extreme
hot; but, as I supposed, to dress some of their barbarous diet of human flesh which they had
brought with them, whether alive or dead I could not know.
They had two canoes with them, which they had hauled up upon the shore; and as it was
then tide of ebb, they seemed to me to wait for the return of the flood to go away again. It is
not easy to imagine what confusion this sight put me into, especially seeing them come on my
side the island, and so near me too; but when I observed their coming must be always with the
current of the ebb, I began afterwards to be more sedate in my mmd, being satisfied that I
might go abroad with safety all the time of the tide of flood, if they were not on shore before;
and having made this observation, I went abroad about my harvest work with the more
As I expected, so it proved; for as soon as the tide made to the westward, I saw them all
take boat, and row (or paddle as we call it) all away. I should have observed, that for an
hour and more before they went off, they went to dancing, and I could easily discern their
postures and gestures by my glasses: I could not perceive, by my nicest observation, but
that they were stark naked, and had not the least covering upon them; but whether they
were men or women, that I could not distinguish.
As soon as I saw them shipped and gone, I took two guns upon my shoulders, and two pistols
at my girdle, and my great sword by my side, without a scabbard; and with all the speed I
was able to make, I went away to the hill, where I had discovered the first appearance of all.
And as soon as I got thither, which was not less than two hours (for I could not go apace,
being so loaded with arms as I was), I perceived there had been three canoes more of savages
on that place; and looking out farther, 1 saw they were all at sea together, making over for
This was a dreadful sight to me, especially when going down to the shore, I could see the
marks of horror which the dismal work they had been about had left behind it, viz. the blood,
the bones, and part of the flesh of human bodies, eaten and devoured by those wretches
with merriment and sport. I was so filled with indignation at the sight, that I began now
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 85
to prcmelitate the destruction of the next that I saw there, let them be who or how many
It seemed evident to me that the visits which they thus make to this island are not very
frequent; for it was above fifteen months before any more of them came on shore there again;
that is to say, I neither saw them, or any footsteps or signals of them, in all that time; for
as to the rainy seasons, then they are sure not to come abroad, at least not so far: yet all
this while I lived uncomfortably, by reason of the constant apprehension I was in of their
coming upon me by surprise; from whence I observe, that the expectation of evil is more
bitter than the suffering, especially if there is no room to shake off that expectation or those
During all this time, I was in the murdering humour; and took up most of my hours,
which should have been better employed, in contriving how to circumvent and fall upon
then the very next time I should see them; especially if they should be divided, as they
were the last time, into two parties; nor did I consider at all, that if I killed one party,
suppose ten or a dozen, I was still the next day, or week, or month, to kill another, and
so another, even ad infinitum, till I should be at length no less a murderer than they were
in being man-eaters, and perhaps much more so.
I spent my days now in great perplexity and anxiety of mind, expecting that I should
one day or other fall into the hands of these merciless creatures. And if I did at any time
venture abroad, it was not without looking round me with the greatest care and caution
imaginable; and now I found to my great comfort, how happy it was that I provided
for a tame flock or herd of goats; for I durst not, upon any account, fire my gun, especially
near that side of the island where they usually came, lest I should alarm the savages; and
if they had fled from me now, I was sure to have them come back again, with perhaps
two or three hundred canoes with them in a few days, and then I knew what to expect
However, I wore out a year and three months more before I ever saw any more of the
savages, and then I found them again, as I shall soon observe. It is true they might have
been there once or twice, but either they made no stay, or, at least, I did not hear them, but in
the month of May, as near as I could calculate, and in my four-and-twentieth year, I had a very
strange encounter with them, of which in its place.
The perturbation of my mind during this fifteen or sixteen months' interval was very great
I slept unquiet, dreamed always frightful dreams, and often started out of my sleep in the
night. In the day great troubles overwhelmed my mind; and in the night I dreamed often
of killing the savages, and the reasons why I might stify the doing of it. But to waive all
this for awhile, it was in the middle of May, on the sixteenth day, I think, as well as my poor
wooden calendar would reckon, for I markedall upon the post still; I say, it was the sixteenth
of May, that it blew a very great storm of wind all day, with a great deal of lightning and
thunder, and a very foul ght it was after it. I know not what was the particular occasion of
it; but as Ias s reading in the Bible, and taken up with very serious thoughts about my
present condition, I was surprised with the noise of a gun, as I thought, fired at sea.
This was, to be sure, a surprise of a quite different nature from any I had met with before;
for the notions this put into my thoughts were quite of another kind. I started up in the
greatest haste imaginable; and in a trice clapped my ladder to the middle place of the rock, and
pulled it after me, and mounting it the second time, got to the top of the hill; the very moment
that a flash of fire bade me listen for a second gun, which accordingly in about half a minute I
heard, and by the sound knew that it was from that part of the sea where I was driven out with
the current in my boat.
I immediately considered that this must be some ship in distress, and that they had some
comrade, or some other ship in company, and fired these guns for signals of distress, and to
obtain help. I had this presence of mmd at that minute as to think, that though I could
not help them, it may be they might help me; so I brought together all the dry wood I
could get at hand, and making a good handsome pile, I set it on fire upon the hill: the wood
was dry, and blazed freely, and though the wind blew very hard, yet it burnt fairly out
that I was certain, if there was any such thing as a ship, they must needs see it, and no doubt
._.. ..,_~n f
86 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
they did; for as soon as ever my fire blazed up, I heard another gun, and after that several
others, all from the same quarter. I plied my fire all night long, till day broke; and when
it was broad day, and the air cleared up, I saw something at a great distance at sea, full east of
the island; whether a sail or a hull I could not distinguish, no, not with my glasses, the distance
was so great, and the weather still something hazy alo ; at least it was so out at sea.
I looked frequently at it all that day, and soon perceived that it did not move ; so I
presently concluded that it was a ship at an anchor; and being eager, you may be sure, to be
satisfied, I took my gun in my hand, and run toward the south side of the island, to the rocks,
where I had been formerly carried away with the current; and getting up there, the weather by
this time being perfectly clear, I could plainly see, to my great sorrow, the wreck of a ship cast
away in the night upon those concealed rocks which I found when I was out in my boat; and
which rocks, as they checked the violence of the stream, and made a kind of counter-stream,
or eddy, were the occasion of my recovering then from the most desperate, hopeless condition,
that ever I had been in in all my life.
Thus, what is one man's safety is another man's destruction; for it seems these men, whoever
they were, being out of their knowledge, and the rocks being wholly under water, had been
driven upon them in the night, the wind blowing hard at E. and E.N.E. Had they seen the
island, as I must necessarily suppose they did not, they must, as I thought, have endeavoured
to have saved themselves on shore by the help of their boat; but their firing of their guns
for help, especially when they saw, as I imagined, my fire, filled me with many thoughts. First,
I magmed that, upon seeing my light, they might have put themselves into their boat, and
have endeavoured to make the shore; but that the sea going very high, they might have
been cast away: other times I imagined that they might have lost their boat before, as might
be the case many ways; as particularly, by the breaking of the sea upon their ship, which many
times obliges men to stave or take in pieces their boat; and sometimes to throw it over-board
with their own hands: other times I imagined they had some other ship or ships in company,
who, upon the signals of distress they had made, had taken them up and carried them off:
otherwhiles I fancied they were all gone off to sea in their boat, and being hurried away by
the current that I had been formerly in, were carried out into the great ocean, where there
was nothing but misery and perishing; and that perhaps they might by this time think of
starving, and of being in a condition to eat one another.
As all these were but conjectures at best, so, in the condition I was in, I could do no more
than look upon the misery of the poor men, and pity them; which had still this good effect
on my side, that it gave me more and more cause to give thanks to God, who had so happily
and comfortably provided for me in my desolate condition; and that of two ships' companies,
who were now cast away upon this part of the world, not one life should be spared but mine.
I learned here again to observe, that it is very rare that the providence of God casts us into
any condition of life so low, or any misery so great, but we may see something or other to be
thankful for, and may see others in worse circumstances than our own.
Such certainly was the case of these men, of whom I could not so much as see room to
suppose any of them were saved; nothing could make it rational, so much as to wish or expect
that they did not all perish there, except the possibility only of their being taken up by another
ship in company: and this was but mere possibility indeed; for I saw not the least signal or
appearance of any such thing.
I cannot explain, by any possible energy of words, what a strange longing or hankering of
desires I felt in my soul upon this sight; breaking out sometimes thus: 0 that there had
been but one or two-nay, or but one soul saved out of the ship, to have escaped to me, that
I might but have had one companion-one fellow-creature to have spoken to me, and to
have conversed with! In all the time of my solitary life I never felt so earnest, so strong
a desire after the society of my fellow-creatures, or so deep a regret at the want of it.
There are some secret moving springs in the affections, which, when they are set a going by
some object in view, or be it some object though not in view, yet rendered present to the
mind by the power of imagination, that motion carries out the soul by its impetuosity to
such violent eager embracings of the object, that the absence of it is insupportable.
Te Life and Aaventures of Robinson Crusoe. 87
Such were these earnest wishings, That but one man had been saved! "0 that it had
been but one !" I believe I repeated the words, 0 that it had been but one! a thousand
times; and my desires were so moved by it, that when I spoke the words, my hands would
clench together, and my fingers press the palms of myhands, haat if Ih had had any so thing
in my hand, it would have crushed it involuntarily; and my teeth in my head would strike
together, and set against one another so strong, that for some time I could not part them again.
Let the naturalists explain these things, and the reason and manner of them: all I can say to
tlem is, to describe the fact, which was even surprising to me when I found it, though I knew
not from what it should proceed; it was doubtless the effect of ardent wishes, and of strong
ideas formed in my mind, realizing the comfort which the conversation of one of my fellow-
Christians would have been to me.
But it was not to be; either their fate, or mine, or both, forbid it; for till the last year of my
being on this island, I never knew whether any were saved out of that ship or no; and had only
the affliction some days after to see the corpse of a drowned boy come on shore, at the end of the
island which was next the shipwreck. He had on no clothes but a seaman's waistcoat, a pair
of open-kneed lined drawers, and a blue linen shirt; but nothing to direct me so much as to
guess what nation he was of. He had nothing in his pocket but two pieces of eight, and a
tobacco-pipe: the last was to me often times more value than the first.
It was now calm, and I had a great mind to venture out in my boat to this wreck, not
doubting but I might find something on board that might be useful to me; but that did
not altogether press me so much, as the possibility that there might be yet some living creature
on board, whose life I might not only save, but might, by saving that life, comfort my own to
the last degree: and this thought clung so to my heart, that I could not be quiet mght nor
day, but I must venture out in my boat on board this wreck; and committing the rest to
God's providence, I thought the impression was so strong upon my mind, that it could not be
resisted, that it must come from some invisible direction, and that I should be wanting to
myself if I did not go.
Under the power of this impression, I hastened back to my castle, prepared everything for
my voyage, took a quantity of bread, a great pot for fresh water, a compass to steer by, a bottle
of rum (for I had still a great deal of that left), a basket-full of raisins: and thus loading myself
with everything necessary, I went down to my boat, got the water out of her, and got her afloat,
loaded all my cargo in her, and then went home again for more. My second cargo was a great
bag-full of rice, the umbrella to set up over my head for shade, another large pot-full of
fresh water, and about two dozen of my small loaves, or barley cakes, more than before,.with
a bottle of goat's milk, and a cheese; all which, with great labour and sweat, I brought to my
boat; and praying to God to direct my voyage, I put out, and rowing or paddling the canoe
along the shore, I came at last to the utmost point of the island on that side, viz. N.E. And
now I was to launch out into the ocean, and either to venture or not to venture. I looked on
the rapid currents which ran constantly on both sides of the island, at a distance, and which
were very terrible to me, from the remembrance of the hazard I had been in before, and my
heart began to fail me; for I foresaw, that if I was driven into either of those currents, I
should be carried a vast way out to sea, and perhaps out of my reach or sight of the island
again; and that then, as my boat was but small, if any little gale of wind should rise, I should
be inevitably lost.
These thoughts so oppressed my mind, that I began to give over my enterprise; and having
hauled my boat into a little creek on the shore, I stepped out, and sat me down upon a little
rising bit of ground, very pensive and anxious, between fear and desire, about my voyage;
when, as Ias s musing, I could perceive that the tide was turned, and the flood come on,
upon which my going was for so many hours impracticable. Upon this it presently occurred
to me, that I should go up to the highest piece of ground I could find, and observe, if I could,
how the sets of the tide or currents lay, when the flood came in, that I might judge whether, if
I was driven one way out, I might not expect to be driven another way home, with the same
rapidness of the currents. This thought was no sooner in my head, but I cast my eye upon a
little hill which sufficiently overlooked the sea both ways, and frm whence I had a clear view
how ,.. ; th See of th curet ly w n h
88 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
of the currents, or sets of the tide, and which way I was to guide myself in my return. Here
I found, that as the current of the ebb set out close by the south point of the island, so
the current of the flood set in close by the shore of the north side; and that I had nothing
to do but to keep to the north of the island in my return, and I should do well enough.
Encouraged with this observation, I resolved the next morning to set out with the first of the
tide; and reposing myself for the night in the canoe, under the great watch-coat I mentioned,
I launched out. I made first a little out to sea, full north, till I began to feel the benefit
of the current, which set eastward, and which carried me at a great rate, and yet did not so
hurry me as the southern-side current had done before, and so as to take from me all govern-
ment of the boat; but having a strong steerage with my paddle, I went at a great rate
directly for the wreck, and in less than two hours I came up to it.
It was a dismal sight to look at; the ship, which by its building was Spanish, stuck fast,
jammed in between two rocks: all the stern and quarter of her was beaten to pieces with the
sea; and as her forecastle, which stuck in the rocks, had run on with great violence, her main-
mast and foremast were brought by the board, that is to say, broken short off, but her bow-
sprit was sound, and the head and bow appeared firm. When I came close to her, a dog
appeared upon her, who, seeing me coming, yelped and cried, and as soon as I called him,
jumped into the sea to come to me; and I took him into the boat, but found him almost
dead for hunger and thirst. I gave him a cake of my bread, and he ate like a ravenous wolf
that had been starving a fortnight in the snow. I then gave the poor creature some fresh
water, with which, if I would have let him, he would have burst himself.
After this I went on board; but the first sight I met with was two men drowned in the cook-
room, or forecastle of the ship, with their arms fast about one another. I concluded, as is
indeed probable, that when the ship struck, it being in a storm, the sea broke so high, and so
continually over her, that the men were not able to bear it, and were strangled with the constant
rushing in of the water, as much as if they had been under water; besides the dog, there was
nothing left in the ship that had life, nor any goods that I could see, but what were spoiled by
the water; there were some casks of liquor, whether wine or brandy I knew not, which lay
lower in the hold, and which, the water being ebbed out, I could see; but they were too big to
meddle with. I saw several chests, which I believe belonged to some of the seamen, and I
got two of them into the boat without examining what was in them.
Had the stern of the ship been fixed, and the fore-part broken off, I am persuaded I might
have made a good voyage; for by what I found in these two chests, I had room to suppose
the ship had a great deal of wealth on board; and if I may guess by the course she steered,
she must have been bound from the Buenos Ayres, or the Rio de la Plata, in the south part of
America, beyond the Brazils, to the Havanna, in the gulf of Mexico, and so perhaps to
Spain. She had, no doubt, a great treasure in her, but of no use at that time to anybody;
and what became of the rest of her people I then knew not.
I found, besides these chests, a little cask full of liquor, of about twenty gallons, which I
got into my boat with much difficulty: there were several muskets in a cabin, and a great
powder-horn, with about four pounds of powder in it; as for the muskets, I had no occasion
for them, so I left them, but took the powder-horn; I took a fire-shovel and tongs, which I
wanted extremely; as also two little brass kettles, a copper pot to make chocolate, and a grid-
iron; and with this cargo, and the dog, I came away, the tide beginning to make home again:
and the same evening about an hour within night, I reached the island again, weary and
fatigued to the last degree.
I reposed that night in the boat, and in the morning I resolved to harbour what I had
gotten in my new cave, not to carry it home to my castle. After refreshing myself, I got all
my cargo on shore, and began to examine the particulars; the cask of liquor I found to be a
kind of rum, but not such as we had at the Brazils; and, in a word, not at all good; but when
I came to open the chests, I found several things of great use to me: for example, I found in
one a fine case of bottles, of an extraordinary kind, and filled with cordial waters, fine, and
very good; the bottles held about three pints each, and were tipped with silver. I found
two pots of very good succades, or sweetmeats, so fastened also on the top, that the salt water
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 89
had not hurt them; and two more of the same, which the water had spoiled. I found some very
good shirts, which were very welcome to me, and about a dozen and half of white linen handker-
chiefs, and coloured neckcloths; the former were also very welcome, being exceedingly refreshing
to wipe my face in a hot day; besides this, when I came to the till in the chests, I found there
three great bags of pieces of eight, which held about eleven hundred pieces in all; and in
one of them, wrapt up in a paper, six doubloons of gold, and some small bars or wedges of gold;
I suppose they might all weigh near a pound.
The other chest I found had some clothes in it, but of little value; but by the circumstances,
it must have belonged to the gunner's mate, though there was no powder in it, but about two
pounds of glazed powder in the three flasks, kept, I suppose, for charging their fowling-pieces
on occasion. Upon the whole, I got very little by this voyage that was of any use to me; for
as to the money, I had no manner of occasion for it; it was to me as the dirt under my feet;
and I would have given it for three or four pair of English shoes and stockings, which were
things I greatly wanted, but had not had on my feet now for many years. I had, indeed,
gotten two pair of shoes now, which I took off the feet of the two drowned men whom I saw in
the wreck; and I found two pair more in one of the chests, which were very welcome to me;
but they were not like our English shoes, either for ease or service, being rather what we call
pumps than shoes. I found in this seaman's chest about fifty pieces of eight in royals, but no
gold; I suppose this belonged to a poorer man than the other, which seemed to belong to some
Well, however, I lugged this money home to my cave, and laid it up, as I had done that
before which I brought from our own ship; but it was great pity, as I said, that the other part
of the ship had not come to my share, for I am satisfied I might have loaded my canoe several
times over with money, which, if I had ever escaped to England, would have lain here safe
enough till I might have come again aud fetched it.
Having now brought all my things on shore, and secured them, I went back to my boat, and
rowed or paddled her along the shore to her old harbour, where I laid her up, and made the best
of my way to my old habitation, where I found everything safe and quiet; so I began to repose
myself, live after my old fashion, and take care of my family affairs; and for a while I lived
easy enough, only that I was more vigilant than I used to be, looked out oftener, and did not go
abroad so much; and if at any time Idid stir with any freedom, it was always to the eastpart
of the island, where I was pretty well satisfied the savages never came, and where I coldgo
without so many precautions, and such a load of arms and ammunition, as I always carried with
me, if I went the other way.
I lived in this condition near two years more; but my unlucky head, that was always to let
me know it was born to make my body miserable, was all these two years filled with projects
and designs, how, if it were possible, I might get away from this island; for sometimes I was
for making another voyage to the wreck, though my reason told me, that there was nothing left
there worth the hazard of my voyage; sometimes for a ramble one way, sometimes another;
and I believe verily, if I had the boat that I went from Sallee in, I should have ventured to
sea, bound anywhere, I knew not whither.
I have been, in all my circumstances, a memento to those who are touched with that general
plague of mankind, whence, for aught I know, one half of their miseries flow; I mean, that of
not being satisfied with the station wherein God and nature has placed them; for, not to look
back upon my primitive condition, and the excellent advice of my father, the opposition to
which was, as I may call it, my original sin, my subsequent mistakes of the same kind had been
the means of my coming into this miserable condition; for had that Providence, which so
happily had seated me at the Brazils as a planter, blessed me with confined desires, and I could
have been contented to have gone on gradually, I might have been by this time, I mean in the
time of my being in this island, one of the most considerable planters in the Brazils; nay, I am
persuaded, that by the improvements I had made in that little time I lived there, and the in-
crease I should probably have made if I had stayed, I might have been worth a hundred thou-
sand moidores; and what business had I to leave a settled fortune, well-stocked plantation, im-
proving and increasing, to turn supercargo to Guinea, to fetch Negroes, when patience and time
90 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
would so have increased our stock at home, that we could have bought them at our own doors,
from those whose business it was to fetch them P And though it had cost us something more,
yet the difference of that price was by no means worth saving at so great a hazard.
But as this is ordinarily the fate of young heads, so reflection upon the folly of it is as
ordinarily the exercise of more years, or of the dear-bought experience of time; and so it was
with me now; and yet, so deep had the mistake taken root in my temper, that I could not
satisfy myself in my station, but was continually poring upon the means and possibility of
my escape from this place; and that I may, with the greater pleasure to the reader, bring
on the remaining part of my story, it may not be improper to give some account of my first
conceptions on the subject of this foolish scheme for my escape: and how and upon what
foundation I acted.
I am now to be supposed to be retired into my castle, after my late voyage to the wreck, my
frigate laid up, and secured under water as usual, and my condition restored to what it was
before. I had more wealth, indeed, than I had before, but was not at all the richer: for I had
no more use for it than the Indians of Peru had before the Spaniards came there.
It was one of the nights in the rainy season in March, the four-and-twentieth year of my first
setting foot in this island of solitariness, I was lying in my bed or hammock, awake, and very
wellin health, had no pain, no distemper, no uneasiness of body, no, nor any uneasiness of mind
more than ordinary, but could by no means close my eyes, that is, so as to sleep: no, not a wink
all night long, otherwise than follows:-
It is as impossible as needless to set down the innumerable crowd of thoughts that whirled
through that great thoroughfare of the brain, the memory, in this night's time. I ran over the
whole history of my life in miniature, or by abridgment, as I may call it, to my coming to this
island; and also of the part of my life since I came to this island. In my reflections upon the
state of my case, since I came on shore on this island, I was comparing the happy posture
of my affairs in the first years of my habitation here, compared to the life of anxiety, fear,
and care, which I had lived ever since I had seen the print of a foot in the sand: not that I
did not believe the savages had frequented the island even all the while, and might have been
several hundreds of them at times on the shore there; but I had never known it, and was inca-
pable of any apprehensions about it, my satisfaction was perfect, though my danger was the
same; and I was as happy in not knowing my danger, as if I had never really been exposed to
it; this furnished my thoughts with many very profitable reflections, and particularly this
one:-How infinitely good that Providence is, which has provided in its government of mankind
such narrow bounds to his sight and knowledge of things; and though he walks in the midst
of so many thousand dangers, the sight of which, if discovered to him, would distract his mind,
and sink his spirits, he is kept serene and calm, by having the event of things hid from his
eyes, and knowing nothing of dangers which surround him.
After these thoughts had for some time entertained me, I came to reflect seriously upon the
real danger I had been in for so many years in this very island; and how I had walked about
in the greatest security and with all possible tranquillity, even when perhaps nothing but a brow
of a hill, a great tree, or the casual approach of night, had been between me and the worst kind
of destruction, viz. that of falling into the hands of cannibals and savages, who would have
seized on me with the same view as I did of a goat or a turtle, and have thought it no more a
crime to kill and devour me, than I did of a pigeon or a curlew; I would unjustly slander
myself, if I should say I was not sincerely thankful to my great Preserver, to whose singular
protection I acknowledged, with great humility, that all these unknown deliverances were due,
and without which I must inevitably have fallen into their merciless hands.
When these thoughts were over, my head was for some time taken up in considering the
nature of these wretched creatures, I mean, the savages; and how it came to pass in the world,
that the wise Governor of all things should give up any of His creatures to such inhumanity,
nay, to something so much below even brutality itself, as to devour its own kind: but as this
ended in some (at times fruitless) speculations, it occurred to me to inquire what part of the
world these wretches lived in ; how far off the coast was from whence they came; what they
ventured over so far from home for: what kind of boats they had; and why I might not order
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 91
myself, and my business so, that I might be as able to go over thither as they were to come to
I never so much as troubled myself to consider what I should do with myself when I came
thither; what should become of me if I fell into the hands of the savages; or how I should
escape from them if they attempted me; no, nor so much as how it was possible for me to
reach the coast, and not be attempted by some or other of them, without any possibility of
delivering myself; and if I should not fall into their hands, what I should do for provision, or
whither I should bend my course: none of these thoughts, I say, so much as came in my way;
but my mind was wholly bent upon the notion of my passing over in my boat to the main
land. I looked back upon my present condition as the most miserable that could possibly
be; that I was not able to throw myself into anything but death, that could be called worse;
that if I reached the shore of the main, I might, perhaps, meet with relief ; or I might coast
alohg, as I did on the shore of Africa, till I came to some inhabited country, and where I
might find some relief; and after all, perhaps, I might fall in with some Christian ship that
might take me in; and if the worst came to the worst, I could but die, which would put an
end to all these miseries at once. Pray note. All this was the fruit of a disturbed mind, an
impatient temper, made, as it were, desperate by the long continuance of my troubles, and
the disappointments I had met in the wreck I had been on board of, and where I had been so
near the obtaining what I so earnestly longed for, viz. somebody to speak to, and to learn some
knowledge from of the place where I was, and of the probable means of my deliverance. I say
I was agitated wholly by these thoughts. All my calm of mind in my resignation to Provi-
dence, and waiting the issue of the dispositions of Heaven, seemed to be suspended; and T had,
as it were, no power to turn my thoughts to anything but to the project of a voyage to the
main; which came upon me with such force, and such an impetuosity of desire, that it was not
to be resisted.
When this had agitated my thoughts for two hours or more, with such violence that it set my
very blood into a ferment, and my pulse beat as high as if I had been in a fever, merely with the
extraordinary fervour of my mind about it, nature, as if I had been fatigued and exhausted with
the very thought of it, threw me into a sound sleep; one would have thought I should have
dreamed of it; but I did not, nor of anything relating to it; but I dreamed that I was going
out in the morning, as usual, from my castle, I saw upon the shore two canoes and eleven
savages coming to land, and that they brought with them another savage, who they were
going to kill, in order to eat him; when, on a sudden, the savage that they were going to kill,
jumped away, and ran for his life; then I thought in my sleep that he came running into my
little thick grove, before my fortification, to hide himself; and that I seeing him alone, and
not perceiving that the others sought him that way, showed myself to him, and smiling upon
him, encouraged him, that he kneeled down to me, seeming to pray me to assist him; upon
which I showed my ladder, made him go up, and carried him into my cave, and he became my
servant; and that as soon as I had gotten this man, I said to myself, Now I may certainly
venture to the main land; for this fellow will serve me as a pilot, and will tell me what to do,
and whither to go for provisions, and whither not to go for fear of being devoured; what places
to venture into, and what to escape. I waked with this thought, and was under such inex-
pressible impressions of joy at the prospect of my escape in my dream, that the disappoint-
ments which I felt upon coming to myself, and finding it was no more than a dream, were
equally extravagant the other way, and threw me into a very great dejection of spirit.
Upon this, however, I made this conclusion, that my only way to go about an attempt for an
escape, was, if possible, to get a savage into my possession; and, if possible, it should be one
of their prisoners whom they had condemned to be eaten, and should bring thither to kill; but
these thoughts still were attended with this difficulty, that it was impossible to effect this with-
out attacking a whole caravan of them, and killing them all; and this was not only a very des-
perate attempt, and might miscarry; but, on the other hand, I had greatly sc rpled the law-
fulness of it to me, and my heart trembled at the thoughts of shedding so much blood, though
it was for my deliverance. I need not repeat the arguments which occurred to me against this,
they being the same mentioned before: but though I had other reasons to offer now, viz. that
92 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
those men were enemies to my life, and would devour me, if they could; that it was self-
preservation, in the highest degree, to deliver myself from this death of a life, and was acting
in my own defence, as much as if they were actually assaulting me, and the like; I say, though
these things argued for it, yet the thoughts of shedding human blood for my deliverance were
very terrible to me, and such as I could by no means reconcile myself to a great while.
However, at last, after many secret disputes with myself, and after great perplexities about
it (for all these arguments, one way and another, struggled in my head a long time), the eager
prevailing desire of deliverance at length mastered all the rest, and I resolved, if possible, to
get one of these savages into my hands, cost what it would: the next thing then was to con-
trive how to do it; and this indeed was very difficult to resolve on: but as I could pitch upon
no probable means for it, so I resolved to put myself upon the watch to see them when tey
came on shore, and leave the rest to the event, taking such measures as the opportunity
should present, let be what would be.
With these resolutions in my thoughts, I set myself upon the scout as often as possible, and
indeed so often, till I was heartily tired of it; for it was above a year and a half that I waited,
and for great part of that time went out to the west end, and to the south-west corner of the
island, almost every day, to see for canoes, but none appeared: this was very discouraging, and
began to trouble me much; though I cannot say that it did in this case, as it had done some
time before that, viz. wear off the edge of my desire to the thing; but the longer it seemed to
be delayed, the more eager I was for it: in a word, I was not at first so careful to shun the sight
of these savages, and avoid being seen by them, as I was now eager to be upon them.
Besides, I fancied myself able to manage one, nay, two or three savages, if I had them, so as
to make them entirely slaves to me, to do whatever I should direct them, and to prevent their
being able, at any time, to do me any hurt. It was a great while that I pleased myself with
this affair, but nothing still presented; all my fancies and schemes came to nothing, for no
savages came near me for a great while.
Abouta year and a half after I had entertained these notions, and by long musing, had, as"
it were, resolved them all into nothing, for want of an occasion to put them in execution, I
was surprised one morning early, with seeing no less than five canoes all on shore together on
my side of the island, and the people who belonged to them all landed, and out of my sight:
the number of them broke all my measures; for seeing so many, and knowing that they always
came four, or six, or sometimes more, in a boat, I could not tell what to think of it, or how to
take my measures to attack twenty or thirty men singlehanded; so I lay still in my castle,
perplexed and discomforted: however, I put myself into all the same postures for an attack
that I had formerly provided, and was just ready for action, if anything had presented. Having
waited a good while, listening to hear if they made any noise; at length being very impatient, I
set my guns at the foot of my ladder, and clambered up to the top of the hill by my two stages,
as usual; standing so, however, that my head did not appear above the hill, so that they could
not perceive me by any means: here I observed, by the help of my perspective glass, that they
were no less than thirty in number; that they had a fire kindled, that they had had meat
dressed; how they had cooked it, that I knew not, or what it was; but they were all dancing
in I know not how many barbarous gestures and figures, their own way, round the fire.
When I was thus looking on them, I perceived by my perspective two miserable wretches
dragged from the boats, where, it seems, they were laid by, and were now brought out for the
slaughter. I perceived one of them immediately fell, being knocked down, I suppose, with a
club or wooden sword, for that was their way; and two or three others were at work imme-
diately, cutting him open for their cookery, while the other victim was left standing by himself,
till they should be ready for him: in that very moment this poor wretch, seeing himself a little
at liberty, nature inspired him with hopes of life, and he started away from them, and ran
with incredible swiftness along the sands, directly towards me, I mean, towards that part of
the coast where my habitation was.
I was dreadfully frightened (that I must acknowledge) when I perceived him to runmy way;
and especially when, as I thought, I saw him pursued by the whole body; and now I expected
that part of my dream was coming to pass, and that he would certainly take shelter in my
ROBINSON CPUSOE RESCUJ6 F RIDAY.
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 93
grove; but I could not depend, by any means, upon my dream for the rest of it, viz. that the
other savages would not pursue him thither and find him there. However, I kept my station,
and my spirits began to recover, when I found that there were not above three men that followed
him; and still more was I encouraged, when I found he outstript them exceedingly in running,
and gained ground of them, so that if he could but hold it for half an hour, I saw easily he
would fairly get away from them all.
There was between them and my castle the creek, which I mentioned often at the first part
of my story, when I landed my cargoes out of the ship: and this I saw plainly he must neces-
sarily swim over, or the poor wretch would be taken there; but when the savage escaping came
thither, he made nothing of it, though the tide was then up, but plunged in, swam through in
about thirty strokes, or thereabouts, landed, and ran on with exceeding strength and swiftness.
When the three persons came to the creek, I found that two of them could swim, but the third
could not, and that, standing on the other side, he looked at the other, but went no farther;
and soon after went softly back again, which, as it happened, was very well for him in the
I observed, that the two who swam were yet more than twice as long swimming over the
creek as the fellow was that fled from them. It came now very warmly upon my thoughts, and
indeed irresistibly, that now was my time to get a servant, and perhaps a companion, or
assistant, and that I was called plainly by Providence to save this poor creature's life. I im-
mediately ran down the ladders with all possible expedition, fetches my two guns, for they
were both at the foot of the ladder, as I observed above; and getting up again with the same
haste to the top of the hill, I crossed toward the sea; and having a very short cut, and all down
hill, clapped myself in the way between the pursuers and the pursued, hallooing aloud to him
that fled, who, looking back, was at first perhaps as much frightened at me as I at them; but I
beckoned with my hand to him to come back; and in the mean time, I slowly advanced towards
the two that followed; then rushing at once upon the foremost, I knocked him down with the
stock of my piece; I was loth to fire, because I would not have the rest hear, though at that
distance it would not have been easily heard: and being out of sight of the smoke too, they
would not have easily known what to make of it. Having knocked this fellow down, the other
who pursued with him stopped, as if he had been frightened, and I advanced a pace towards
him; but as I came nearer, I perceived presently he had a bow and arrow, and was fitting it to
shoot at me; so I was then necessitated to shoot at him first, which I did, and killed him at
the first shoot. The poor savage who fled, but had stopped, though he saw both his enemies
fallen, and killed (as he thought), yet was so frightened with the fire and noise of my piece, that
he stood stock still, and neither came forward or went backward, though he seemed rather
inclined to fly still than to come on. I hallooed again to him, and made signs to come forward,
which he easily understood, and came a little way, then stopped again, and then a little farther,
and stopped again; and I could then perceive that he stood trembling, as if he had been taken
prisoner, and had just been to be killed, as his two enemies were. I beckoned him again to
come to me, and gave him all the signs of encouragement that I could think of; and he came
nearer and nearer, kneeling down every ten or twelve steps, in token of acknowledgment for
saving his life. I smiled at him and looked pleasantly, and beckoned to him to come still nearer.
At length he came close to me, and he then kneeled down again, kissed the ground, and laid
his head upon the ground, and taking me by the foot, set my foot upon his head. This, it seems,
was in token of swearing to be my slave for ever. I took him up, and made much of him, and
encouraged him all I could. But there was more work to do yet, for I perceived the savage,
who I knocked down, was not killed, but stunned with the blow, and began to come to himself:
so I pointed to him, and showed him the savage, that he was not dead: upon this he spoke
some words to me; and though I could not understand them, yet I thought they were pleasant
to hear, for they were the first sound of a man's voice that I had heard, my own excepted, for
above twenty-five years. But there was no time for such reflections now; the savage who was
knocked down recovered himself so far as to sit up upon the ground, and I perceived that my
savage began to be afraid; but when I saw that I presented my other piece at the man, as if I
would shoot him: upon this my savage, for so I call him now, made a motion to me to lend him
94 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
my sword, which hung naked in a belt by my side; so I did. He no sooner had it, but he runs
to his enemy, and at one blow cut off his head so cleverly, no executioner in Germany could have
done it sooner or better; which I thought very strange for one who, I had reason to believe,
never saw a sword in his life before, except their own wooden swords. However, it seems, as I
learned afterwards, they make their wooden swords so sharp, so heavy, and the wood is so hard
that they will cut off heads even with them, ay, and arms, and that at one blow too. When he
had done this, he comes laughing to me in sign of triumph, and brought me the sword again,
and, with abundance of gestures, which I did not understand, laid it down, with the head of the
savage that he had killed, just before me.
But that which astonished him most was, to know how I had killed the other Indian so far
off: so pointing to him, he made signs to me to let him go to him: so I bade him go, as well
as I could. When he came to him, he stood like one amazed, looking at him; turned him first
on one side, then on the other; looked at the wound the bullet had made, which it seems was
just in his breast, where it had made a hole, and no great quantity of blood had followed; but
he had bled inwardly, for he was quite dead: he took up his bow and arrows, and came back;
so I turned to go away, and beckoned him to follow me, making signs to him that more might
come after them.
Upon this he signed to me that he should bury them with sand, that they might not
be seen by the rest, if they followed; and so I made sign again to him to do so. He fell
to work, and in an instant he had scraped a hole in the sand with his hands, big enough
to bury the first in, and then dragged him into it, and covered him, and did so also by the
other. I believe he had buried them both in a quarter of an hour: then calling him away,
I carried him not to my castle, but quite away to my cave, on the farther part of the
island; so I did not let my dream come to pass in that part; viz. that he came into my
grove for shelter.
Here I gave him bread, and a bunch of raisins to eat, and a draught of water, which I found
he was indeed in great distress for, by .his running; and having refreshed him, I made signs
for him to go lie down and sleep, pointing to a place where I had laid a great parcel of rice-
straw, and a blanket upon it, which I used to sleep upon myself sometimes; so the poor creature
lay down and went to sleep.
He was a comely, handsome fellow, perfectly well made, with straight, long limbs, not too
large, tall, and well-shaped, and, as I reckon, about twenty-six years of age. He had a very
good countenance, not a fierce and surly aspect, but seemed to have something very manly in
his face, and yet he had all the sweetness and softness of an European in his countenance too,
especially when he smiled: his hair was long and black, not curled like wool; his forehead very
high and large, and a great vivacity and sparkling sharpness in his eyes. The colour of his
skin was not quite black, but very tawny, and yet not of an ugly yellow nauseous tawny, as
the Brazilians and Virginians, and other natives of America are; but of a bright kind of a dun
olive colour, that had in it something very agreeable, though not very easy to describe. His
face was round and plump, his nose small, not flat like the negroes, a very good mouth, thin
lips, and his fine teeth, well-set, and white as ivory. After he had slumbered, rather than
slept, about half an hour, he waked again, and comes out of the cave to me, for I had been
milking my goats, which I had in the enclosure just by. When he espied me, he came run-
ning to me, laying himself down again upon the ground, with all the possible signs of an hum-
ble thankful disposition, making many antic gestures to show it. At last he lays his head flat
upon the ground, close to my foot, and sets my other foot upon his head, as he had done before;
and after this, made all the signs to me of subjection, servitude, and submission imaginable, to
let me know how he would serve me as long as he lived. I understood him in many things, and
let him know I was very well pleased with him. In a little time I began to speak to him, and
teach him to speak to me; and first, I made him know his name should be Friday, which was
the day I saved his life; I called him so for the memory of the time. I likewise taught him to
say, Master, and then let him know that was to be my name; I likewise taught him to say
"Yes" and "No," and to know the meaning of them. I gave him some milk in an earthen
pot, and let him see me drink it before him, and sop my bread in it; and I gave him a cake of
'-. -r wE.-~ ~% -5;-),- p.
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
bread to do the like, which he quickly complied with, and made signs that it was very good for
I kept there with him all that night, but as soon as it was day I beckoned him to come with
me, and let him know I would give him some clothes; at which he seemed very glad, for he was
stark-naked. As we went by the place where he had buried the two men, he pointed exactly to
the spot, and showed me the marks that he had made to find them again, making signs to me
that we should dig them up again and eat them. At this I appeared very angry, expressed my
abhorrence of it, made as if I would vomit at the thoughts of it, and beckoned with my hand to
him to come away, which he did immediately with great submission. I then led him up to the
top of the hill, to see if his enemies were gone, and pulling out my glass, I looked, and saw
plainly the place where they had been, but no appearance of them, or of their canoes; so that it
was plain that they were gone, and had left their two comrades behind them, without any search
But I was not content with this discovery; but having now more courage, and consequently
more curiosity, I takes my man Friday with me, giving him the sword in his hand, with the bow
and arrows at his back, which I found he could use very dexterously, making him carry one gun
for me, and I two for myself, and away we marched to the place where these creatures had
been; for I had a mind now to get some fuller intelligence of them. When I came to the place,
my very blood ran chill in my veins, and my heart sank within me at the horror of the spectacle ;
indeed, it was a dreadful sight-at least, it was so to me, though Friday made nothing of it.
The place was covered with human bones, the ground dyed with their blood, great pieces of
flesh left here and there half-eaten, mangled, and scorched; and, in short, all the tokens of the
triumphant feast they had been making there after a victory over their enemies. I saw three
skulls, five hands, and the bones of three or four legs and feet, and abundance of other parts of
the bodies; and Friday, by his signs, made me understand that they brought over four prisoners
to feast upon; that three of them were eaten up, and that he, pointing to himself, was the
fourth; that there had been a great battle between them and their next king, whose subjects,
it seems, he had been one of; and that they had taken a great number of prisoners, all which
were carried to several places by those that had taken them in the fight, in order to feast upon
them, as was done here by these wretches upon those they brought hither.
I caused Friday to gather all the skulls, bones, flesh, and whatever remained, and lay them
together on a heap, and make a great fire upon it, and burn them all to ashes. I found Friday
had still a hankerng stomach after some of the flesh, and was still a cannibal in his nature; but
I discovered so much abhorrence at the very thoughts of it, and at the least appearance of it,
that he durst not discover it, for I had, by some means, let him know that I would kill him if
he offered it.
When we had done this, we came back to our castle, and there I fell to work for my man
Friday. And, first of all, I gave him a pair of linen drawers, which I had out of the poor gun-
ner's chest I mentioned, and which I found in the wreck, and which, with a little alteration, tted
him very well; then I made him a jerkin of goat's-skin, as well as my skill would allow, and I
was now grown a tolerably good tailor; and I gave him a cap, which Ihad made of a hare-skin,
very convenient, and fashionable enough: and thus he was dressed, for the present, tolerably
well, and was mighty well pleasedto see himself almost as well clothed as his master. It is true,
he went awkwardly in these things at first; wearing the drawers was very awkward to him, and
the sleeves of the waistcoat galled his shoulders and the inside of his arms; but a little easing
them, where he complained they hurt him, and using himself to them, at length he took to them
The next day after I came home to my hutch with him, I began to consider where I should
lodge him; and that I might do well for him, and yet be perfectly easy myself, I made a little
tent for him, in the vacant place between my two fortifications, in the inside of the last, and
in the outside of the first; and, as there was a door or entrance there into my cave, I made a
formal framed door-case, and a door to it of boards, and set it up in the passage, a little within
the entrance, and, causing the door to open on the inside, I barred it up n the night, taking in
my ladders too, so that Friday could no way come at me in the inside of my innermost wall
96 hIe Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
without making so much noise in getting over that it must needs waken me; ifor my first wall
had now a complete roof over it of long poles, covering all my tent, and leaning up to the side
of the hill, which was again laid across with small sticks, instead of laths, and then thatched
over a great thickness with the rice-straw, which was strong, like reeds; and at the hole, or
place which was left to go in or out by the ladder, I had placed a kind of trap-door, which,
if it had been attempted on the outside, would not have opened at all, but would have fallen
down and made a great noise; and, as to weapons, I took them all into my side every night.
But I needed none of all this precaution; for never man had a more faithful, loving, sincere
servant than Friday was to me; without passions, sullenness, or designs; perfectly obliged
and engaged; his very affections were tied to me like those of a child to a father, and I dare
say he would have sacrificed his life for the saving mine upon any occasion whatsoever. The
many testimonies he gave me of this put it out of doubt, and soon convinced me that I
needed to use no precautions as to my safety on his account.
This frequently gave me occasion to observe, and that with wonder, that however it had
pleased God in His providence, and in the government of the works of His hands, to take from
so great a part of the world of His creatures the best uses to which their faculties and the
powers of their souls are adapted, yet that He has bestowed upon them the same powers, the
same reason, the same affections, the same sentiments of kindness and obligation, the same
passions and resentments of wrongs, the same sense of gratitude, sincerity, fidelity, and all
the capacities of doing good and receiving good that He has given to us; and that, when He
pleases to offer to them occasions of exerting these, they are as ready-nay, more ready-to
apply them to the right uses for which they were bestowed than we are. And this made me
very melancholy sometimes in reflecting, as the several occasions presented, how mean a use
we make of all these, even though we have these powers enlightened by the great lamp of in-
struction, the Spirit of God, and by the knowledge of His Word, added to our understand-
ing; and why it has pleased God to hide the like saving knowledge from so many millions of
souls, who, if I might judge by this poor savage, would make a much better use of it than
From hence I sometimes was led too far to invade the sovereignty of Providence, and, as it
were, arraign the justice of so arbitrary a disposition of things, that should hide that light
from some and reveal it to others, and yet expect a like duty from both; but I shut it up, and
checked my thoughts with this conclusion :-First, that we did not know by what light and
law these should be condemned; but that as God was necessarily, and by the nature of His
being, infinitely holy and just, so it could not be but that, if these creatures were all sen-
tenced to absence from Himself, it was on account of sinning against that light which, as the
Scripture says, was a law to themselves, and by such rules as their consciences would
acknowledge to be just though the foundation was not discovered to us; and, secondly, that,
still, as we are all clay in the hand of the potter, no vessel could say to Him, Why hast Thou
formed me thusP
But, to return to my new companion. I was greatly delighted with him, and made it my
business to teach him everything that was proper to make him useful, handy, and helpful; but
especially to make him speak, and understand me when I spake: and he was the aptest
scholar that ever was; and particularly was so merry, so constantly diligent, and so pleased
when he could but understand me, or make me understand him, that it was very pleasant to me
to talk to him. And now my life began to be so easy that I began to say to myself that,
could I but have been safe from more savages, I cared not if I was never to remove from
the place while I lived.
After I had been two or three days returned to my castle, I thought that, in order to bring
Friday off from his horrid way of feeding, and from the relish of a cannibal's stomach, I ought
to let him taste other flesh; so I took him out with me one morning to the woods. I went,
indeed, intending to kill a kid out of my own flock, and bring him home and dress it; but,
as I was going, I saw a she-goat lying down in the shade, and two young kids sitting by her.
I catched hold of Friday. "Hold," said I, stand still," and made signs to him not to stir;
immediately I presented my piece, shot and killed one of the kids. The poor creature, who
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 97
had, at a distance indeed, seen me kill the savage, his enemy, but did not know or could
imagine how it was done, was sensibly surprised, trembled and shook, and looked so amazed that
I thought he would have sunk down. He did not see the kid I shot at, or perceive I had killed
it, but ripped up his waistcoast to feel if he was not wounded; and, as I found, presently
thought I was resolved to kill him, for he came and kneeled down to me, and, embracing my
knees, said a great many things I did not understand, but I could easily see that the
meaning was to pray me not to kill him.
I soon found a way to convince him that I would do him no harm; and, taking him up by
the hand, laughed at him, and, pointing to the kid which I had killed, beckoned to him to run
and fetch it, which he did; and, while he was wondering and looking to see how the creature
was killed, I loaded my gun again, and by and by I saw a great fowl like a hawk, sit upon
a tree within shot; so, to let Friday understand a little what I would do, I called him to me
again, pointing at the fowl, which was indeed a parrot, though I thought it had been a hawk;
I say, pointing to the parrot, and to my gun, and to the ground under the parrot, to let him
see I would make him fall, I made him understand that I would shoot and kill that bird;
accordingly, I fired and bid him look, and immediately he saw the parrot fall He stood like
one frightened again, notwithstanding all I had said to him; and I found he was the more,
amazed, because he did not see me put anything into the gun, but thought there must be some
wonderful fund of death and destruction in that thing, able to kill man, beast, bird, or anything,
near or far off: and the astonishment this created in him was such as could not wear off for a
long time; and I believe, if I would have let him, he would have worshipped me and my
gun. As for the gun itself, he would not so much as touch it for several days after; but
would speak to it, and talk to it, as if it had answered him, when he was by himself, which, as
I afterwards learned of him, was to desire it not to kill him.
Well, after his astonishment was a little over at this, I pointed to him to run and fetch
the bird I had shot, which he did, but stayed some time; for the parrot, not being quite dead,
had fluttered a good way off from the place where she fell. However, he found her, took
her up, and brought her to me; and, as I had perceived his ignorance about the gun before, I
took this advantage to charge the gun again, and not let him see me do it, that I might be
ready for any other mark that might present; but nothing more offered at that time: so I
brought home the kid; and the same evening I took the skin off, and cut it out as well as I
could, and, having a pot for that purpose, I boiled or stewed some of the flesh, and made
some very good broth. After I had begun to eat some, I gave some to my man, who seemed
very glad of it, and liked it very well; but that which was strangest to him was to see me eat
salt with it. He made a sign to me that the salt was not good to eat, and, putting a little into
his own mouth, he seemed to nauseate it, and would spit and sputter at it, washing his mouth
with fresh water after it. On the other hand I took some meat in my mouth without salt, and
I pretended to spit and sputter for want of salt, as fast as he had done at the salt; but it
would not do, he would never care for salt with meat, or in his broth-at least, not a great
while, and then but a very little.
Having thus fed him with boiled meat and broth, I was resolved to feast him the next
day with roasting a piece of the kid; this I did by hanging it before the fire in a string,
as I had seen many people do in England, setting two poles up, one on each side the fire
and one across the top, and tying the string to the cross stick, letting the meat turn con-
tinually: this Friday admired very much; but when he came to taste the flesh, he took
so many ways to tell me how well he liked it, that I could not but understand him; and at
last he told me he would never eat man's flesh any more, which I was very glad to hear.
The next day I set him to work to beating some corn out, and sifting it in the manner I used
to do, as I observed before; and he soon understood how to do it as well as I, especially after
he had seen what the meaning of it was, and that it was to make bread of; for after that I
let him see me make my bread, and bake it too. And in a little time Friday was able to do all
the work for me, as well as I could do it myself.
I began now to consider that having two mouths to feed instead of one, I must provide
more ground for my harvest, and plant a larger quantity of corn than I used to do. So I
98 The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
marked out a larger piece of land, and began the fence in the same manner as before, in which
Friday not only worked very willingly, and very hard, but did it very cheerfully; and I told
him what it was for, that it was for corn to make more bread, because he was now with
me, and that I might have enough for him and myself too. He appeared very sensible of
that part, and let me know that he thought I had much more labour upon me on his account
than I had for myself, and that he would work the harder for me, if I would tell him what
This was the pleasantest year of all the life I led in this place. Friday began to talk
pretty well, and understand the names of almost everything I had occasion to call for, and of
every place I had to send him to, and talked a great deal to me; so that, in short, I began now
to have some use for my tongue again, which indeed I had very little occasion for before, that
is to say, about speech. Besides the pleasure of talking to him, I had a singular satisfaction in
the fellow himself; his simple, unfeigned honesty appeared to me more and more every day,
and I began really to love the creature; and on his side, I believe he loved me more than it was
possible for him ever to love any thing before.
I had a mind once to try if he had any hankering inclination to his own country again; and
having learned him English so well that he could answer me almost any questions, I asked
him, whether the nation that he belonged to never conquered in battle. At which he smiled,
and said, "Yes, yes, we always fight the better; that is, he meant, always get the better in
fight; and so we began the following discourse. "You always fight the better!" said I. "How
came you to be taken prisoner then, Friday P "
Friday. My nation beat much for all that."
Master. "How beat ? if your nation beat them, how came you to be taken?"
Friday. "They more many than my nation in the place where me was; they take one, two,
three, and me. My nation over beat them in the yonder place, where me no was; there my
nation take one, two, great thousand."
Master. But why did not your side recover you from the hands of your enemies ?"
Friday. They run, one, two, three, and me, and make go in the canoe; my nation have
no canoe that time."
Master. "Well, Friday, and what does your nation do with the men they take ? Do
they carry them away, and eat them as these did P"
Friday. "Yes, my nation eat mans too, eat all up."
Master. "Where do they carry them ?"
Friday. Go to other place where they think."
Master. "Do they come hither?"
Friday. "Yes, yes, they come hither: come other else place."
Master. Have you been here with them P"
Friday. Yes, I been here (points to the N.W. side of the island which it seems, was their
By this I understood that my man Friday had formerly been among the savages who used to
come on shore, on the farther part of the island, on the same man-eating occasions that he
was now brought for; and some time after when I took the courage to carry him to that
side, being the same I formerly mentioned, he presently knew the place, and told me he
was there once when they ate up twenty men, two women, and one child. He could not tell
twenty in English, but he numbered them by laying so many stones in a row, and pointed to me
to tell them over.
I have told this passage because it introduces what follows-that after I had had this dis-
course with him, I asked him how far it was from our island to the shore, and whether the
canoes were not often lost ? He told me that there was no danger, no canoes ever lost; but
that after a little way out to sea, there was a current, and wind always one way in the morning,
the other in the afternoon.
This I understand to be no more than the sets of the tide, as going oat, or coming in; but I
afterwards understood it was occasioned by the great draught and reflux of the mighty
river Oroonoque; in the mouth, or the gulph, of which river, as I thought afterwards our