_ I II/ i i
Everyman, I will go with thee, and be thy guide,
In thy most need to go by thy side.
EDITED BY ERNEST RHYS
ROBINSON CRUSOE BY DANIEL DEFOE
INTRODUCTION BY GUY POCOCK
GLOSSARY BY CHARLES LEE
DANIEL DEFOE (FOE), born in St. Giles
about, 1661. Joined Monmouth's army,
1685; William III's, 1688. Employed in
the Glass Duty Office, 169S-9, and then
settled down to journalism and pamphleteer-
ing. He died in 1731.
LONDON: J. M. DENT & SONS LTD.
NEW YORK: E. P. DUTTON & CO. INC.
All rights reserved
Made in Great Britain
at The Temple Press Letchworth
J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd.
Aldine House Bedford St. London
First published 1719
First published in Everyman's Library 1906
New, unabridged edition, 1945
THIS BOOK IS PRODUCED IN COM-
PLETE CONFORMITY WITH THE
AUTHORIZED ECONOMY STANDARDS
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE xii
THE AUTHOR'S PREFACES I
The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson
Crusoe of York, Mariner 3
The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe 223
THIS book, The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, is something of a literary
miracle. How came it that one Daniel Defoe, a middleaged, middle,
class pamphleteer, the son of a butcher of yeoman stock, should suddenly
as it were, produce a masterpiece of literature, timeless and universal
No use for the greatDea-iSwifrt shimas 'an illiterate fellowwhose
name I forget.' The fact remains that Robinson Crusoe is every bit as
alive today as Lemuel Gulliver. He stands, indeed, upon a plane with
Odysseus, and Don Quixote, and Falstaff, and the rest ofthe immortal few.
How did it happen? One can never account exactly for the uprush
of true genius. The creator of supreme work cannot himself account
for it; and it seems to him often enough, as we have many statements and
records to prove, that the great idea comes to him from some external
source, with a power beyond his own control. One frequently knows
very well, as in the case of Shakespeare, where the original crude idea
came from; but when the great mind is brought to bear upon it, a miracle
happens, and one can say no more than that.
The original facts which gave Defoe the idea for his supreme work
are sufficiently well known. It seems that one Alexander Selcraig, or
Selkirk, a sailor from Fife in Scotland, left the Downs in the Cinque Ports
galley of ninetysix tons, eighteen guns, and a crew of sixty-three, in
May 1703. Charles Pickering was captain, Thomas Stradling lieu,
tenant, and he himself sailingmaster. They reached Brazil in the same
year, and there Captain Pickering died, and Stradling took command.
But Selkirk did not hit it off with the new captain: there were constant
quarrels, and arguments as to the seaworthiness of the ship; and at last,
in September 1704, he decided to be put ashore on the island of Juan
Fernandez, with all his own effects, and certain other necessaries; and
there he lived all alone for four and a half years. On 2nd February 1709,
the Duke, under command of Captain Woodes Rogers, dropped anchor
off the island and found Alexander Selkirk there. He took him aboard,
in the capacity of mate, and sailed back to England. Selkirk's subsequent
history does not very much matter: how he went back to his native place,
and later went to sea again, eventually becoming a lieutenant in the
What does matter is that Selkirk, who never seems to have written a
line of his own about his lonely adventures, talked a great deal to Captain
Woodes Rogers, and to Captain Edward Cooke, an officer of the same
expedition, both of whom published during the next year accounts of the
finding of Selkirk, and of his four and a half years spent all alone. Later
on, Selkirk met Sir Richard Steele, and he, too, in 1713, published an
account in the Englishman. All three accounts seem to have been
widely read; but it was left for Defoe to transform these first short notes
into a masterpiece of narrative fiction.
Here are a few paragraphs from the original brief narrative by Captain
Woodes Rogers, from which it will be seen how closely Defoe, in fiction,
Kept to the actual facts, and how strongly his genius for minute and
cumulative detail must have been stimulated:
'He had with him his clothes and bedding, with a firelock, some
powder, bullets, and tobacco, a hatchet, a knife, a kettle, a Bible, some
practical pieces, and his mathematical instruments and books. He
diverted and provided for himself as well as he could; but for the first
eight months had much ado to bear up against melancholy, and the
terror of being left alone in such a desolate place. He built two huts with
pimentovtrees, covered them with long grass, and lined them with the
skins of goats, which he killed with his gun as he wanted, so long as his
powder lasted, which was but a pound; and that being almost spent he
got fire by rubbing two sticks ofpimento wood together upon his knee. ...
'After he had conquered his melancholy, he diverted himself sometimes
with cutting his name on the trees, and the time of his being left, and
continuance there. He was at first much pestered with cats and rats that
bred in great numbers from some of each species which had got ashore
from ships that put in there to wood and water. The rats gnawed his
feet and clothes whilst asleep, which obliged him to cherish the cats with
his goats' flesh, by which many of them became so tame, that they would
lie about him in hundreds, and soon delivered him from the rats. He
likewise tamed some kids; and, to divert himself, would now and then
sing and dance with them and his cats; so that, by the favour of Provi,
dence, and vigour of his youth, being now but thirty years old, he came,
at last, to conquer all the inconveniences of his solitude, and to be
'When his clothes were worn out he made himself a coat and a cap o0
goatskins, which he stitched together with little thongs of the same, that
he cut with his knife. He had no other needle but a nail; and when his
knife was worn to the back, he made others, as well as he could, of some
iron hoops that were left ashore, which he beat thin, and ground upon
stones. Having some linen cloth by him, he sewed him some shirts
with a nail, and, stitched them with the worsted of his old stockings,
which he pulled out on purpose. He had his last shirt on when we
found him in the island.'
This, then, is the nucleus-the slight account of the doings of Alex,
ander Selkirk on Juan Fernandez-which inspiredtheimmortal adventures
of Robinson Crusoe on an island in the Caribbean Sea.
Daniel Defoe was born in or about the year 1660, and he came of good
middleclass yeoman stock. His father's name was Foe, but he added
the prefix on no better grounds than a personal whim. Daniel Defoe,
then, was a middleclass, commonsense Englishman who, in spite of a
knowledge of other languages, spoke and wrote plain, strong, middle,
class English without polish or any sort of pomposity or erudition. In
point of griammii anTi-spelling he was careless, perhaps ignorant, but
the vitality of his style is such that it sweeps everything before it, andI
grammatical crudities do not seem to matter.
His astonishing capacity for observation may be compared with that
of Charles Dickens; in addition to which he had a rare and almost
unparalleled power of putting himself in other people's shoes-of under,
standing other people's lives and business. And if he had a somewhat
unfortunate predilection for thieves and rogues and pirates, one must
remember that the demand for that kind of story in the seventeenth
century was not altogether unlike, the powerful vogue of the detective
story in our own day. There is little doubt that, like many another,
Defoe wrote to sell. He even wrote a History of the Devil.
Defoe was a pamphleteer of enormous influence in the days when
pamphlets took the place now held on a vaster scale by the B.B.C. His
pamphlet style is trenchant and forceful, while his knowledge of every,
body's affairs is such as no one else has ever approached-not even
He was a journalist of genius; and his genius is shown, not so much in
his terrific and indefatigable output, as in his originality. His was the
original idea which led to the Tatler and the Spectator, and the periodical
essay, which through the genius of Addison and Steele culminated in the
Sir Roger de Coverley papers. It was Defoe's long article with which
every number of his paper, the Review, began, which led directly to the
leading article of our own times. It was he who invented the 'personal
interview'; while his 'Advice from the Scandalous Club' was the first
idea of the gossip column of our own day.
He made a great deal of money by his writings, and built himself'a
very handsome house' at Stoke Newington. He was 'a middle-sized, spare
man of a brown complexion, and dark brown hair, but wears a wig;
a hooked nose, a sharp chin, grey eyes, and a large mole near his mouth.'
Such was the description published when the author was 'wanted' to
stand in the pillory-which he did three times for his political writings.
For he wrote about everything. Before he even began his novels he had
written more than two hundred treatises, pamphlets, and booklets on
all sorts of subjects.
But his genius as an originator culminated in his invention of the novel.
He is the father of all novelists. Strictly speaking, Robinson Crusoe,
Moll Flanders, and the rest are brilliant autobiographical adventure stories,
and not novels as we now understand the term. That is to say, there is no
subtle psychological analysis, and indeed no plot-one just goes on
with one adventure after another. There is very little humour or poig,
nancy as in the great novels. His books are simply marvellous examples
of the adventure story as told by oneself. But for all that he is the originator
of all novels, including that great novelbyaccident, the Sir Roger de
The first part of Robinson Crusoe is, without question, by far the greatest
work Defoe ever produced. Its power and hold are extraordinary,
especially when one remembers his carelessness in the matter of grammar
and phraseology, and his propensity to moralize on all occasions in the
crudest manner. Wherein lies the power which has placed Robinson
Crusoe among the immortals? One may suggest two outstanding
reasons for the book's tremendous popularity and influence.
First, the power of his writing lies in its truth-the piling up of in,
numerable apparently trivial details till the reader's mind is battered into
acceptance. One feels unconsciously that this vast accumulative sequence
of trivialities is just what life is, and must be true. Otherwise how could
the author remember them, and why bother to put them down In this
great story the author is the lonely sailor: the impression is conveyed in
this way with absolute conviction.
It is the same with his other stories, notably in his journal of the Plague
Year, which for long was quoted by historians as being authentic. It is
true that Defoe was in London during the great.plague of 1665, but he
was only a baby at the time, and could not possibly have remembered
what he recounts. Yet as one reads the Journal today, one has such
a conviction of authenticity that it is difficult to persuade oneself that
one is not reading the account of an eyewitness. Moreover, this sense of
actuality is intensified by his forthright English style, which takes no
count of refinements. He thought clearly, and as he thought, he wrote.
Scholars and men of letters, such as Jonathan Swift, might affect to
.despise him; but the great English public did not. They were wiser
than the scholars, and Robinson Crusoe remains, and is likely to remain,
one of the best-loved and most widely read books in the language.
The second reason for the tremendous hold the first part of Robinson
Crusoe has had upon every generation since it was first published goes
far deeper, and is not often consciously realized and accepted. It is
just this, that the book is first and last the supreme justification of in,
dividuality. It is that, though he does not know it, that thrills the heart
of the boy as he reads for the first time the romance of the uninhabited
island, and identifies himself with the lonely castaway. And it was that,
and he did know it, which made so profound an impression upon
Rousseau. And, by the same token, it is a suggestive thought that it was
Rousseau more than any other man whose writings led to the great up,
heaval of the French Revolution, and all its still living consequences in
the cause of the individual.
This, too, is the answer to the question, How is it that, while every
educated person in the country has read Part I, which contains the whole
story of Crusoe's life on the island, not one in twenty thousand has ever
read Part II, nor perhaps ever heard ofit The reason is this same appeal
to individuality. It enthrals us to read of this unique and lonely figure,
selfsufficing, and monarch of all he surveys, forming by his single
personality the centre of one of the most romantic and convincing stories
in the world. The magic and romance persists, though in a less and
less degree, even after his rescue-until he is landed safe in England.
Then it fades; and that is the end of Part I.
Part II tells of Crusoe's adventures and perils by sea, of his strange and
unexpected doings in China, of his great journey by caravan to the Great
Wall of China-which he affected to despise-and thence right across
Asia, into Russia, and finally by sea to England. Here again adventures
come thick, the narrative is strong and rapid, while detail after trivial
detail give it the stamp of authenticity. But the magic has gone. Crusoe
is just a man among men-though an important and masterful one; and,
try as we may, we lose interest in him and his doings. In short, Part II
is first-rate autobiographical adventure, but the genius that makes Part I
immortal is no longer there.
Never again, indeed, does he quite touch the supreme heights. The
Journal of the Plague Year is outstanding as pseudohistory told by a pseudo,
eye-witness. Moll Flanders is astonishingly convincing; as are all his other
histories of whores and rogues. But Defoe's great genius burnt at its
brightest on Robinson Crusoe's lonely island; and there it burns for ever.
It has been suggested above that perhaps one person out of twenty
thousand who read The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson
Crusoe in Part I goes on to read the Farther Adventures in Part II. But
surely not one in a million has read or even heard of the third part, which
Defoe called Serious Reflections on the Life. The reason for this is
that it is quite unreadable, and hence is never reprinted. All the same,
its rarity and obscurity, and the fact that Defoe considered it important,
entitles this third part to a note.
The year after the appearance of Robinson Crusoe, Defoe published his
Serious Reflections on the Life, in which he explains that Crusoe's life is
really emblematic of his own, and the book purports to be a sort of
occult autobiography. What he meant to be heavily veiled in his own
time has now become too obscure to have any meaning for us. The
style lacks spontaneity and charm; and, moreover, one has an uneasy
impressionthat as an allegory of his own life it is all bogus-just a riddle
worked backwards after the answer has been given. But for all that, it
has a faint fascination if only for the light it throws on the workings of
This is how he states his purpose. He affirms in the preface that
'the story through allegorical, is also historical. Further, that there is a
man alive, and well known too, the actions of whose Jife are the just
subject of these volumes, and to whom the whole or most part of the story
most directly alludes; this may be depended upon for truth. Without
letting the reader into a further explication of the matter, I proceed to
let him know that the happy deductions I have employed myself to make
from all the circumstances of my story, will abundantly make him amends
for his not having them explained by the original. ... In a word, there's
not a circumstance in the original story, but has its just allusion to a
real story, and chimes part for part, and step for step, with the inimitable
Life of Robinson Crusoe.'
He goes on to explain-not very convincingly-that Crusoe's im,
prisonment on the island was only symbolical of what had happened in
his own mind:
"Tis as reasonable to represent one kind of imprisonment by, another,
as it is to represent anything that really exists by that which exists not.
Had the common way of writing a man's history been taken and I had
given you the conduct of life of a man you knew, and whose misfortunes
and infirmities perhaps you had unjustly triumphed over; all I could have
said would have yielded no diversion, and perhaps have scarce obtained
a hearing, or at best no attention.'-All of which is probably true!
He goes on to explain that in his own 'surprising adventures' he had
'suffered all manner of violence and oppressions, injurious reproaches,
contempt of men . and had innumerable ups and down in matters
of fortune'; and that if he had put all this down, it would appear like
an attack on his contemporaries, which they would naturally resent,
or decline to read. And so he had wrapped up his own life-or said
he had-in the emblematical life of Robinson Crusoe, and published
the very obscure 'key' afterwards.
And so, with his somewhat unfortunate penchant for moralizing, he
launches out upon his Reflections, dividing them into sections, such as
'On Solitude,' 'On Immorality in Conversation,' 'On the Present State
of Religion in the World,' 'A Vision of the Angelic World'-and so
on and so forth; while the link between the 'real man' and his 'emblematic
original' is simply this, that they both represent the Solitary Man.
So much for the Serious Reflections; and whether they really do veil a
true spiritual and factual autobiography or not, or whether they really
have a close connection with the Life of Robinson Crusoe, which the |
author maintains was written as a parable, or whether all that is a bogus
afterthought, though perhaps not realized as such, it is obvious that the
Life of Robinson Crusoe and the Serious Reflections are not in the least
likely to appeal to the same audience. And so the latter are never re,
printed. They are worthy of notice, however; though it is a relief to
turn back to the miracle of Part I, which will stand on its own merits
for all time.
The Life and ... Adventures of Robinson Crusoe was first published 25th
April 1719, and The Farther Adventures on 20th August in the same year.
There are variant readings of the first edition of both books, and, in the
case of the first book, certain alterations were made in the third edition,
published on 8th August 1719. This Everyman Robinson Crusoe is
based on the Shakespeare Head Press edition (1927) by courtesy of the
publishers, Messrs. Basil Blackwell, and gives the complete text of both
books. The Shakespeare Head text of The Life and Adventures was
taken from the British Museum copy of the first edition, the alterations in
the third edition being incorporated, and that of The Farther Adventures
from a privately owned copy of the second 'issue' of the first edition, this
being compared with the Bodleian Library copy of the first 'issue.'
The only changes from the original in the present Everyman volume
are such as bring the work into line with presentday practice in typo,
graphy, that is to say, most of the words originally in italics are here set in
X1V BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
roman type, capitals for initial letters of words have been considerably
reduced, and the punctuation has been to some, extent modernized.
Defoe's spelling has been retained throughout. A Glossary of obsolete
and unfamiliar words and phrases will be found on pages 428-32.
Abridged and mutilated versions of Robinton Crusoe have always
abounded, beginning only ten years after the first publication with the
'pirated abridgment,' which was the subject of legal action by the pub,
lisher of the genuine work. In its 200 years of life the story has .been
issued in hundreds of editions of all shapes and sizes, very few giving the
complete text and most of them produced as books for children.
It was among the first works to be included in Everyman's Library
(1906); it was placed in the Young People's section, the text used being
an abridgment which gave about fourfifths of the original, and some
illustrations in line were included. Now that that edition has been
superseded by the present complete one the work has been transferred to
the Fiction section.
The following is a list of Defoe's works:
1691: A New Discovery of an Old Intrigue (verse).
1697: Character of Dr. Samuel Annesley (verse).
1698: An Essay upon Projects; An Enquiry into the Occasional Conformity of Dissenters.
1700: The Pacificator (verse); The Two Great Questions Considered.
1701: The True-born Englishman (verse); Legion's Memorial to the House of Commons.
17oz: The Mock Mourners (verse); Reformation of Manners (verse); A New Test of
the Church of England's Loyalty; The Shortest Way with the Dissenters.
1703: Ode. to the Athenian Society (verse); An Enquiry into Asgill's General Transla-
tion; More Reformation (verse); A Hymn to the Pillory.
1704: The Storm; A Layman's Sermon on the Late Storm; An Elegy on the Author of the
True-born Englishman; A Hymn to Victory; Giving Alms no Charity.
1705: The Consolidator or Memoirs of Sundry Transactions from the World in the Moon;
The Experiment or The Shortest Way with the Dissenters Exemplified; The Double
Welcome (verse); The Dyet of Poland (verse).
1706: A True Relation of the Apparition of one Mrs. Veal; A Sermon on the Filling-up
of Dr. Burgess's Meeting-house; Jure Divino (verse); Caledonia (verse).
1709: History of the Union of Great Britain.
17Io: An Essay on Public Credit; An Essay upon Loans.
171Z: The Present State of Parties in Great Britain.
1713: A General History of Trade.
1715: An Appeal to Honour and Justice; The Family Instructor; History of the Wars
of Charles XII; A Hymn to the Mob.
1717: Memoirs of the Church of Scotland; The Life and Death of Count Patkul.
1718: Memoirs of the Duke of Shrewsbury; Memoirs of Daniel Williams; The Family
Instructor, part ii.
1719: The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner;
The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe; The Dumb Philosopher or Great
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE XV
Britain's Wonder (Dickory Cronke); The King of Pirates (Captain Avery);
Life of Baron de Goertz.
1720: The Life and Adventures of Duncan Campbell; Memoirs of a Cavalier; The Life,
Adventures, and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton; Serious Reflections during
the Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe; The Supernatural Philosopher
or The Mysteries of Magick; Translation of du Fresnoy's Compleat Art of Painting
1722: The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders; A Journal of the Plague Year;
Due Preparations for the Plague; The Life of Dominique Cartouche; The History of
,Colonel Jacque; Religious Courtship.
1723 : The Highland Rogue (Rob Roy); History of Peter the Great.
1724: The Fortunate Mistress (Roxana); Life of John Sheppard; The Robberies, Escapes,
etc., of John Sheppard; The Great Law of Subordination or The Insolence and Unsufer-
able Behaviour of Servants in England; A Tour Thro' the Whole Island of Great
Britain, 3 vols. (1724-6).
1725: A New Voyage round the World; Account of Jonathan Wild; Account of John
Cow; Everybody's Business is Nobody's Business (on servants); The Complete
English Tradesman, part i.
1726: The Friendly Demon; Mere Nature Delineated (Peter theWild Boy); The
Political History of the Devil; An Essay upon Literature; A System of Magic;
The Protestant Monastery; The History of Discoveries (1726-7).
1727: Parochial Tyranny; Conjugal Lewdness, and with new title, A Treatise on the
Use and Abuse of the Marriage Bed; The Complete English Tradesman, part ii;
A New Family Instructor; History and Reality of Apparitions, and with new
title (1728), The Secrets of the Invisible World Disclosed.
1728: A New Family Instructor; Augusta Triumphans or The Way to make London the
most Flourishing City in the Universe; A Plan of the English Commerce; Second
Thoughts are Best (on street robberies); Street Robberies Considered.
1729: A Humble Proposal to the People of England for the Increase of Trade, etc.;
Preface to R. Dodsley's poem Servitude.
173 I: An Effectual Scheme for preventing Street Robberies.
Besides the above-mentioned publications a large number of further tracts
on politics, church matters, etc., are extant. Of Defoe's journalistic enter-
prises the most important was the Review, which he conducted from 1704 to
1713, writing nearly all of it himself.
The best collected edition of Defoe's works is the Novels and Selected Writings,
published at Oxford, 1927-8, in fourteen volumes.
Biographies of Defoe include: Life of Defoe, by George Chalmers, 1785; Memoirs
of the Life and Times of Daniel Defoe, byWalter Wilson, 3 vols., 1830; Life and
Times of Daniel Defoe, byWilliam Chadwick, 1859; Daniel Defoe: his Life
and recently discovered Writings, by William Lee, 1869; Defoe (English Men of
*Letters), byWilliamMinto, 1879; Life of Daniel Defoe, by ThomasWright,
1894; Daniel Defoe: how to know him, byW. P. Trent, 1916; Defoe et ses
romans, by Paul Dottin, 1924; Defoe, by James Sutherland, 1937.
THE AUTHOR'S PREFACES
[To THE LIFE AND STRANGE SURPRISING ADVENTURES OF
If ever the story of any private man's adventures in the world were worth making
public, and were acceptable when published, the editor of this account thinks this
will be so.
The wonders of this man's life exceed all that (he thinks) 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, and 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 our circumstances, let them happen how they will.
The editor believes the thing to be a just history of fact; neither is there any
appearance offiction in it: and whoever thinks, because all such things are dis,
patch'd,1 that the improvement of it, as well to the diversion as to the instruction of
the reader, will be the same; and as such, he thinks, without farther compliment
to the world, he does them a great service in the publication.
[To THE FARTHER ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE]
The success the former part of this work has met with in the world, has yet been no
other than is acknowledged to be due to the surprising variety of the subject, and to
the agreeable manner of the performance.
All the endeavours of envious people to reproach it with being a romance, to
search it for errors in geography, inconsistency in the relation, and contradictions in
the fact, have proved abortive, and as impotent as malicious.
The just application of every incident, the religious and useful inferences drawn
from every part, are so many testimonies to the good design of making it public,
and must legitimate all the part that may be called invention or parable in the story.
The second part, if the editor's opinion may pass, is (contrary to the usage of
second parts) every way as entertaining as the first, contains as strange and surprising
incidents, and as great a variety of them; nor is the application less serious or suit,
able; and doubtless will, to the sober as well as ingenious reader, be every way as
profitable and diverting; and this makes the abridging this work as scandalous as
1 All editions except the first two read disputed.
2 THE AUTHOR'S PREFACES
it is knavish and ridiculous; seeing, while to shorten the book, that they may seem
to reduce the value, they strip it of all those reflections, as well religious as moral,
which are not only the greatest beauty of the work, but are calculated for the infinite
advantage of the reader.
By this they leave the work naked of its brightest ornaments; and if they would
at the same time pretend that the author has supply'd the story out of his invention,
they take from it the improvement which alone recommends that invention to wise
and good men.
The injury these men do the proprietor of this work is a practice all honest men
abhor; and he believes he may challenge them to shew the difference between that
and robbing on the highway, or breaking open a house.
If they can't shew any difference in the crime, they willfind it hard to shew why
there should be any difference in the punishment; and he will answer for it, that
nothing shall be wanting on his part, to do them justice.
THE LIFE AND STRANGE SURPRISING
ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE
OF YORK, MARINER
THE LIFE AND STRANGE SURPRISING ADVENTURES
OF ROBINSON CRUSOE, OF YORK, MARINER
I WAS born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, tho'
not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled
first at Hull. He got a good estate by merchandise, and leaving off his
trade lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my mother,
whose relations were named Robinson, a very good family in that country,
and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual
corruption of words in England, we are now called, nay, we call our
selves and write our name, Crusoe, and so my companions always
I had two elder brothers, one of which was lieutenant colonel to an
English regiment of foot in Flanders, formerly commanded by the famous
Coll. Lockhart, and was killed at the battle near Dunkirk against the
Spaniards. What became of my second brother I never knew any more
than my father or mother did know what was become of me.
Being the third son of the family and not bred to any trade, my head
began to be filled very early with rambling thoughts. My father, who
was very ancient, had given me a competent share of learning, as far as
houseeducation and a country free/school generally goes, and designed
me for the law; but I would be satisfied with nothing but going to sea,
and my inclination to this led me so strongly against the will, nay, the
commands of my father, and against all the entreaties and perswasions 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
My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent counsel
against what he foresaw was my design. He called me one morning into
his chamber, where he was confined by the gout, and expostulated very
warmly with me upon this subject. He ask'd me what reasons more than
a meer wandering inclination I had for leaving my father's house and my
native country, where I might be well introduced, and had a prospect
of raising my fortune by application and industry, with a life of ease and
pleasure. He told me it was for men of desperate fortunes on one hand,
or of aspiring, superior fortune on the other, who went abroad upon
adventures, to rise by enterprise, and make themselves famous in under,
takings of a nature out of the common road; that these things were all
either too far above me, or too far below me; that mine was the middle
6 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
state, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had
found by long experience was the best state in the world, the most suited
to human happiness, not exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labour
and sufferings of the mechanic part of mankind, and not embarass'd
with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper part of mankind.
He told me I might judge of the happiness of this state by this one thing,
viz. that this was the state of life which all other people envied, that kings
have frequently lamented the miserable consequences of being born to
great things, and wish'd they had been placed in the middle of the two
extremes, between the mean and the great; that the wise man gave his
testimony to this as the just standard of true felicity, when he prayed to
have neither poverty or riches.
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 expos'd 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 kinds of vetues and all kinds 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 thro' the world, and corn,
fortably out of it, not embarass'd with the labours of the hands or of the
head, not sold to the life of slavery for daily bread, or harrast with per,
plex'd circumstances, which rob the soul of peace, and the body of rest;
not enrag'd with the passion of envy, or secret burning lust of ambition
for great things; but in easy circumstances sliding gently thro' the world,
and sensibly tasting the sweets of living without the bitter, feeling that
they are happy, and learning by every day's experience to know it more
After this, he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affectionate manner,
not to play the young man, not to precipitate my self into miseries which
nature and the station of life I was born in seem'd 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 meer fate or fault that must
hinder it, and that he should have nothing to answer for, having thus dis,
ROBINSON CRUSOE 7
charged 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 perswasions to keep him from
going into the Lovw Country wars, but could not prevail, his young desires
prompting him to run into the army, where he was killed; and tho' 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 prophetick,
tho' 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 mov'd 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 farther impor,
tunities, 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 any thing vith
resolution enough to go through with it, and my father had better give me
his consent than force me to go without it; that I was now eighteen years
old, which was too late to go apprentice to a trade, or clerk to an attorney;
that I was sure if I did, I should never serve out my time, and I should
certainly run away from my master before my time was out, and go to sea;
and if she would speak to my father to let me go but one voyage abroad,
if I came home again and did not like it, I would go no more, and I
would promise by a double diligence to recover that time I had lost.
This put my mother into a great passion. She told me she knew it
would be to no purpose to speak to my father upon any such subject;
that he knew too well what was my interest to give his consent to any 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 us'd to me; and
.that in short, if I would ruine my self there was no help for me; but I
8 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
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.
Tho' 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 shewing a great concern at it, said to her with a sigh, 'That boy
might be happy if he would stay at home, but if he goes abroad he will
be the miserablest wretch that was ever born: I can give no consent to it.'
It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose, tho' in the
mean time I continued 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 inclina,
tions 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, II consulted neither father or mother any more, nor so much as
sent their word of it; but leaving them to hear of it as they might, with,
out 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 gotten out of the
Humber, but the wind began to blow and the waves to rise in a most
frightful manner; and as I had never been at sea before, I was most in-
expressibly sick in body and terrify'd in my mind. I began now seriously
to reflect upon what I had done, and how justly I was overtaken by the
judgment of Heaven for my wicked leaving my father's house, and aban,
doing 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, reproach'd me with the contempt of advice, and the breach of my
duty to God and my father.
All this while the storm encreas'd, and the sea, which I had never been
upon before, went very high, tho' 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 any
thing 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
ROBINSON CRUSOE 9
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 liv'd; that I would take his advice, and never run my self
into such miseries as these any more. lNow I saw plainly the goodness of
his observations about the middle station of life, how easy, how comr
fortably he had liv'd all his days, and never had been expos'd to tempests
at sea or troubles on shore; and I resolved that I would, like a true repenting
prodigal, go home to my father.1
These wise and sober thoughts continued all the while the storm con,
tinued, and indeed some time after; but the next day the wind was abated
and the sea calmer, and I began to be a little inur'd to it. However, I
was very grave for all that day, being also a little seasick 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 seasick 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, least my good resolutions should continue, my companion,
who had indeed entic'd me away, comes to me. 'Well, Bob,' says he,
clapping me on the shoulder, 'how do you do after it? I warrant you
were frighted, wasn't you, last night, when it blew but a cap full of wind '
'A cap full d' you call it?' said I, "twas a terrible storm.' 'A storm, you
fool, you,' replies he, 'do you call that a storm Why, it was nothing
at all; give us but a good ship and sea room, and we think nothing of
such a squall of wind as that; but you 're but a fresh water sailor, Bob;
come, let us make a bowl of punch and we'll forget all that; d' ye see
what charming weather 'tis now To make short this sad part of my
story, we went the old way of all sailors, the punch was made, and I was
made drunk with it, and in that one night's wickedness I drowned all my
repentance, all my reflections upon my past conduct, and all my resolu,
tions 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 swallow'd
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 dis,
tress. 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 rouz'd my self from them as it were from a distemper, and apply,
ing my self to drink and company, soon mastered the return of those fits,
IO THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
for so I called them, and I had in five or six days got as compleat 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 harden'd 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 New,
castle came into the same roads, as the common harbour where the ships
might wait for a wind for the river.
We had not, however, rid here so long, but should have tided it up
the river, but that the wind blew too fresh, and, after we had lain four or
five days, blew very hard. However, the roads being reckoned as good
as a harbour, the anchorage good, and our groundltackle 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 topmasts 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 rid forecastle in, shipp'd several seas, and we thought once
or twice our anchor had come home; upon which our master ordered
out the sheet anchor; to that we rode with two anchors ahead, and the
cables vered 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, tho' vigilant to the business of preserving the ship, yet as he went
in and out of his cabbin by me, I could hear him softly to himself say
several times, 'Lord, be merciful to us, we shall be all lost, we shall be
all undone'; and the like. During these first hurries I was stupid, lying
still in my cabbin, which was in the steerage, and cannot describe my
temper. I could ill re-assume the first penitence, which I had so appar,
ently trampled upon and hardened my self against: I thought the bitter,
ness of death had been past, and that this would be nothing too, like the
first. But when the master himself came by me, as I said just now, and
said we should be all lost, I was dreadfully frighted. I got up out of my
cabbin, 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.
ROBINSON CRUSOE II
Two ships that rid near us we found had cut their masts by the board,
being deep loaden; and our men cry'd out that a ship which rid about a
mile ahead of us was foundered. Two more ships, being driven from
their anchors, were run out of the roads to sea at all 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 sprit-sail out before the wind.
Towards evening the mate and boatswain begg'd the master of our
ship to let them cut away the foremast, which he was very unwilling to:
but the boatswain protesting to him that if he did not, the ship would
founder, he consented; and when they had cut away the foremast, the
main-mast stood so loose, and shook the ship so much, they were obliged
to cut her away also, and make a clear deck.
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 resolu,
tions I had wickedly taken at first, than I was at death it self; 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
loaden, 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 enquir'd. However, the
storm was so violent, that I saw what is not often seen, the master, the
boatswain, and some others more sensible than the rest, at their prayers,
and expecting every moment when the ship would go to the bottom. In
the middle of the night, and under all the rest of our distresses, one of the
men that had been down on purpose to see, cried out we had sprung a
leak; another said there was four foot water in the hold. Then all hands
were called to the pump. At that very word my heart, as I thought, died
within me, and I fell backwards upon the side of my bed where I sat,
into the cabbin. 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 stirr'd 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 oblig'd to slip and run away to sea and
would come near us, ordered to fire a gun as a signal of distress. I,
who knew nothing what that meant, was so surprised that I thought the
ship had broke, or some dreadful thing had happened. In a word, I was
so surprised that I fell down in a.swoon. As this was a time when every
body had his own life to think of, no body minded me, or what was
become of me; but another man stept up to the pump, and thrusting me
aside with his foot, let me lye, thinking I had been dead; and it was a
great while before I came to my self.
We worked on, but the water increasing in the hold, it was apparent
that the ship would founder, and tho' the storm began to abate a little,
yet as it was not possible she could swim till we might run into a port, so
the master continued firing guns for help; and a light ship who had rid
it out just 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 side, till at last, the men rowing
very heartily and venturing their lives to save ours, our men cast them a
rope over the stern with a buoy to it, and then vered it out a great length,
which they after great labour and hazard took hold of, and we hawl'd
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 stav'd upon shore he would make it good to their master; so
partly rowing and partly driving, our boat went away to the norward
sloaping towards the shore almost as far as Winterton Ness.
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of our ship
but 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 lighthouse at Winterton, the shore falls off to the west,
ward towards Cromer, and so the land broke off a little the violence of the
wind. Here we got in, and, tho' 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 magis,
trates of the town, who assigned us good quarters, as by particular mer,
chants and owners ofships, and had money given us sufficient to carry us
either to London or back to Hull, as we thought fit.
THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
ROBINSON CRUSOE 13
Had I now had the sense to have gone back.to Hull, and have gone
home, I had been happy, and my father, an emblem of our Blessed
Saviour's parable, had even killed the fatted calf for me; for hearing the
ship I went away in was cast away in Yarmouth road, it was a great
while before he had any assurance that I was not drown'd.
But my ill fate push'd me on now with an obstinacy that nothing could
resist; and tho' 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 tho' 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 perswasions of my most retired thoughts, and
against two such visible instructions as I had met with in my first attempt.
My comrade, who had help'd 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 alter'd, and looking very melancholy and
shaking his head, ask'd 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,' continues he, 'what
are you ? and on what account did you go to sea ?' Upon that I told him
some of my story; at the end of which he burst out with a strange kind of
passion. 'What had I done,' says he, 'that such an unhappy wretch
should come into my ship I would not set my foot in the same ship with
thee again for a thousand pounds.' This indeed was, as I said, an ex-
cursion 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 ruine; 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, where,ever you go, you will meet with nothing but
disasters and disappointments till yourfather's words are fulfilled upon you.
14 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
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 my self, 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 laugh'd at
among the neighbours, and should be asham'd to see, not my father and
mother only, but even every body else; from whence I have since often
observed, how incongruous and irrational the common temper of man,
kind is, especially of youth, to that reason which ought to guide them in
such cases, viz. that they are not asham'd to sin, and yet are asham'd to
repent; not asham'd of the action for which they ought justly to be
esteemed fools, but are asham'd 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 re,
luctance continued to,going home; and as I stay'd awhile, the remem,
brance 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
lay'd aside the thoughts of it, and lookt out for a voyage.
That evil influence which carryed me first away from my father's house,
that hurried me into the wild and indigested notion of raising my fortune,
and that imprest those conceits so forcibly upon me, as to make me deaf
to all good advice, and to the entreaties and even command of my father;
I say the same influence, whatever it was, presented the most unfortunate
of all enterprises to my view; and I went on board a vessel bound to the
coast of Africa; or, as our sailors vulgarly call it, a voyage to Guinea.
It was my great misfortune that in all these adventures I did not ship
my self as a sailor; whereby, tho' I might indeed have workt 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 quallified my self 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
loaths 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
It was my lot first of all to fall into pretty good company in London,
which does not always happen to such loose and unguided young
fellows as I then was; the devil generally not omitting to lay some snare
for them very early; but it was not so with me. I first fell acquainted
with the master of a ship who had been on the coast of Guinea, and who,
ROBINSON CRUSOE IS
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
wou'd go the voyage with him I should be at no expence; I should be his
messmate and his companion, and if I could carry any thing 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 plaindealing man, I went the voyage
with him, and carried a small adventure with me, which by the dis,
interested 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 first
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 mathe,
maticks and the rules of navigation, learned how to keep an account of
the ship's course, take an observation, and in short, to understand some
things that were needful to be understood by a sailor: for, as he took
delight to introduce me, I took delight to learn; and, in a word, this
voyage made me both a sailor and a merchant; for I brought home
5 pounds 9 ounces of gold dust for my adventure, which yielded me in
London at my return almost 30oo., and this filled me with those aspiring
thoughts which have since so completed my ruin.
Yet even in this voyage I had my misfortunes too; particularly, that I
was continually sick, being thrown into a violent calenture by the ex,
cessive heat of the climate; our principal trading being upon the coast,
from the latitude of 15 degrees north even to the line it self.
I was now set up for a Guiney trader; and my friend, to my great mis,
fortune, 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 tho' I did not carry quite
iool. of my new gained wealth, so that I had 200 left, and which I lodg'd
with my friend's widow, who was very just to me, yet I fell into terrible
misfortunes in this voyage; and the first was this, viz.: Our ship making
her course towards the Canary Islands, or rather between those 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
16 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
make. We crowded also as much canvass as our yards would spread,
or our masts carry, to have got clear; but finding the pirate gained upon us
and would certainly come up with us in a few hours, we prepared to fight;
our ship having 12 guns, and the rogue Is. About three in the after,
noon he came up with us, and bringing to by mistake, just athwart our
quarter, instead of athwart our stern, as he intended, we brought 8 of
our guns to bear on that side, and pour'd in a broadside upon him, which
made him sheer offagain, after returning our fire, and pouring in also his
small shot from near zoo 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 our selves; but laying us on board the
next time upon our other quarter, he entered 60 men upon our decks, who
immediately fell to cutting and hacking the decks and rigging. We
ply'd them with small-shot, half pikes, powderlchests, and such like,
and cleared our deck of them twice. However, to cut short this melan,
cholly part of our story, our ship being disabled, and three of our men
killed, and eight wounded, we were obliged to yield, and were carry'd 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 miser,
able slave, I was perfectly overwhelmed; and now I look'd back upon my
father's prophetick discourse to me, that I should be miserable, and have
none to relieve me, which I thought was now so effectually brought to
pass that it could not be worse; that now the hand of Heaven had over,
taken me, and I was undone without redemption. But alas! this was but
a taste of the misery I was to go thro', as will appear in the sequel of this
SAs my new patron or master had taken me home to his house, so I was
in hopes that he would take me with him when he went to sea again,
believing that it would some time or other be his fate to be taken by a
Spanish or Portugal man of war; and that then I should be set at liberty.
But this hope of mine was soon taken away; for when he went to sea, he
left me on shoar 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 lye in the cabbin to look after the ship.
Here I meditated nothing but my escape, and what method I might
take to effect it, but found no way that had the least probability in it.
Nothing presented to make the supposition of it rational; for I had no
body to communicate it to, that would embark with me; no feliowislave,
ROBINSON CRUSOE 17
no Englishman, Irishman, or Scotsman there but my self; so that for
two years, tho' I often pleased my self with the imagination, yet I never had
the least encouraging prospect of putting it in practice.
After about two years an odd circumstance presented it self, which put
the old thought of making some attempt for my liberty again in my head.
My patron lying at home longer than usual, without fitting out his ship,
which, as I heard, was for want of money, he used constantly, once or
twice a week, sometimes oftener, if the weather was fair, to take the
ship's pinnace, and go out into the road 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 offish for him.
It happened one time, that going a fishing in a stark calm morning,
a fog rose so thick, that tho' we were not half a league from the shoar,
we lost sight of it; and rowing we knew not whither or which way, we
labour'd 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 shoar. However, we got well in
again, tho' 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
But our patron, warned by this disaster, resolved to take more care of
himself for the future; and having lying by him the longboat of our
English ship they 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 Englishslave to build a little stateroom or
cabin in the middle of the long boat, like that of a barge, with a place to
stand behind it to steer and hale home the mainsheet, and room before
for a hand or two to stand and work the sails; she sail'd with that we
call a shoulder of mutton sail; and the boom gib'd over the top of the
cabbin, which lay very snug and low, and had in it room for him to lye,
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
dextrous 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 fuzees with powder and shot, which were
18 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
on board his ship; for that they designed some sport of fowling as well
I got all things ready as he had directed, and waited the next morning
with the boat, washed clean, her antient and pendants out, and every thing
to accommodate his guests; when by and by my patroon came on board
alone, and told me his guests had put offgoing, 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 as soon as I had got some fish I should bring
it home to his house; all which I prepared to do.
This moment my former notions of deliverance darted into my thoughts,
for now I found I was like to have a little ship at my command; and my
master being gone, I prepared to furnish my self, not for a fishing business,
but for a voyage; tho' 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 bisket of their kind, and three jarrs with fresh
water into the boat; I knew where my patroon's case of bottles stood,
which it was evident by the make were taken out of some English prize;
and I convey'd them into the boat while the Moor was on shoar, as if
they had been there before, for our master: I conveyed also a great lump
of beeswax into the boat, which weighed above half a hundred weight,
with a parcel of twine or thread, a hatchet, a saw and a hammer, all
which were of great use to us afterwards; especially the wax to make
candles. Another trick I try'd upon him, which he innocently came
into also; his name was Ismael, who they call Muly or Moely; so I called
to him, 'Moely,' said I, 'our patroon'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 curlieus) for our selves, for I know he keeps the gunner's
stores in the ship?' 'Yes,' says he, 'I'll bring some,' and accordingly he
brought a great leather pouch which held about a pound and half of
powder, or rather more; and another with shot, that had five or six pound,
with some bullets; and put all into the boat. At the same time I had
found some powder of my master's in the great cabbin, 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 every thing needful,
we sail'd 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 hal'd in our sail and set us down to
fish. The wind blew from the N.N.E., which was contrary to my
ROBINSON CRUSOE 19
desire; for had it blown southerly I had been sure to have made the coast
of Spain, and at least reacht to the bay of Cadiz; but my resolutions were,
blow which way it would, I would be gone from that horrid place where
I was, and leave the rest to fate.
After we had fisht some time and catcht nothing, for when I had
fish on my hook, I would not pull them up, that he might not see them;
I said to the Moor, 'This will not do, our master will not be thus served,
we must stand farther off.' He, thinking no harm, agreed, and being in
the head of the boat set the sails; and as I had the helm I run the boat out
a league farther, and then brought her too as if I would fish; when giving
the boy the helm, I stept forward to where the Moor was, and making as if
I stoopt for something behind him, I took him by surprise with my
arm under his twist, and tost him clear overboard into the sea; he rise
immediately, for he swam like a cork, and called to me, begg'd 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 reacht me very quickly, there being but
little wind; upon which I stept into the cabbin, and fetching one of the
fowlingpieces, I presented it at him, and told him I had done him no
hurt, and if he would be quiet I would do him none; 'but,' said I, 'you
swim well enough to reach to the shoar, and the sea is calm, make the best
of your way to shoar and I will do you no harm, but if you come near the
boat I'11 shoot you thro' the head; for I am resolved to have my liberty';
so he turned himself about and swam for the shoar, and I make no doubt
but he reacht it with ease, for he was an excellent swimmer.
I could ha' been content to ha' taken this Moor with me, and ha'
drown'd 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 streak 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
smil'd 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 straitsmouth (as indeed any one that had been
in their wits must ha' been supposed to do), for who would ha' supposed
we were saild 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 ne'er once go on shoar but we should be
devour'd by savage beasts, or more merciless savages of humane kind
But as soon as it grew dusk in the evening, I changed my course, and
steer'd directly south and by east, bending my course a little toward the
20 THE LIFE AND -ADVENTURES OF
east, that I might keep in with the shoar; 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 a clock in the afternoon, when I first made the land, I could
not be less than 50o 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 shoar, or come to an anchor; the wind continuing fair, 'till I
had sail'd 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 ventur'd to make to the coast,
and came to an anchor in the mouth of a little river, I knew not what, or
where; neither what latitude, what country, what nations, or what river:
I neither saw, or desir'd to see, any people, the principal thing I wanted
was fresh water. We came into this creek in the evening, resolving to
swim on shoar 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 beg'd of me not to go on
shoar 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 lyons.' 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 dram (out of our patroon's
case of bottles) to chear him up. After all, Xury's advice was good, and
I took it. We dropt 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,
shoar 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 frighted, and indeed so was I too; but we were
both more frighted 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 lyon, and it might be so for ought I know; but poor Xury
cryed to me to weigh anchor and row away. 'No,' says I, *Xury, we can
slip our cable with the buoy to it and go off to sea, they cannot follow us
far.' I had no sooner said so, but I perceived the creature (whatever it
was) within two oars' length, which something surprised me; however,
I immediately stept to the cabbindoor, and taking up my gun fir'd at
ROBINSON CRUSOE 21
him, upon which he immediately turned about and swam towards the
But it is impossible to describe the horrible noises, and hideous cryes
and howlings, that were raised, as well upon the edge of the shoar 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 shoar for us in the night upon
that coast, and how to venture on shoar 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 lyons and tygers; at least we were
equally apprehensive of the danger of it.
Be that as it would, we were oblig'd to go on shoar 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 shoar with one of
the jarrs, he would find if there was any water and bring some to me.
I ask'd him why he would go; why I should not go and he stay in the
boat; the boy answered with so much affection that made me love him
ever after. Says he,' Ifwild 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 ruskbread
to eat and a dram out of our patroon's case of bottles which I mentioned
before; and we hal'd the boat in as near the shoar as we thought was
proper,'and so waded on shoar, carrying nothing but our arms and two
jarrs 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
frighted with some wild beast, and I run forward towards him to help
him, but when I came nearer to him, I saw something hanging over his
shoulders which was a creature that he had shot, like a hare but different
in colour, and longer legs; however, we were very glad of it, and it was
very good meat; but the great joy that poor Xury came with, was to tell
me he had found good water and seen no wild mans.
But we found afterwards that we need not take such pains for water, for
a little higher up the creek where we were, we found the water fresh when
the tide was out, which flowed but a little way up; so we filled our jarrs
and feasted on the hare we had killed, and prepared to go on our way,
having seen no footsteps of any humane 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
22 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
far off from the coast. But -as I had no instruments to take an observa,
tion 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 negro's, lies wast and uninhabited, except by wild beasts; the
negroes having abandoned it and gone farther south for fear of the Moors;
and the Moors not thinking it worth inhabiting, by reason of its barren,
ness; and indeed both forsaking it because of the prodigious numbers of
tygers, lyons, 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 an hun/
dred miles together upon this coast, we saw nothing but a wast unin,
habited country by day, and heard nothing but howlings 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 Teneriffe in the Canaries, and had a
great mind to venture out in 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 shoar.
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 shoar; '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 lyon that lay on the side of the shoar, under the shade of a piece of
the hill that hung as it were a little over him. 'Xury,' says I, 'you shall
go on shoar and kill him.' Xury looked frighted, and said, 'Me kill!
he eat me at one mouth'; one mouthful he meant; however, I said no more
to the boy, but bad him lye still, and I took our biggest gun, which was
almost musquet-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
ROBINSON CRUSOE 23
bullets. I took the best aim I could with the first piece to have shot him
into the head, but he lay so with his leg rais'd 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 surpriz'd.that I had not hit him on the head; however, I
took up the second piece immediately, and tho' he began to move off,
fir'd again, and shot him into 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 shoar. 'Well, go,' said I;
so the boy jump'd into the water, and taking a little gun in one hand
swam to shoar with the other hand, and coming close to the creature, put
the muzzle of the piece to his ear, and shot him into the head again, which
dispatched 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 ask'd me to give him the hatchet. 'For what,
Xury?' said I. 'Me cut off his head,' said he. However, Xury could
not cut off his head, but he cut off a foot and brought it with him, and
it was a monstrous great one.'
I bethought my self, however, that perhaps the skin of him might one
way or other be of some value to us, and I resolved to take off his skin if
I could. So Xury and I went to work with him; but Xury was much the
better workman at it, for I knew very ill how to do it. Indeed, it took
us up both the whole day, but at last we got off the hide of him, and
spreading it on the top of our cabbin, the sun effectually dried it in two
days' time, and it afterwards served me to lye upon.
After this stop we made on to the southward continually for ten or
twelve days, living very sparing on our provisions, which began to abate
very much, and going no oftner into the shoar than we were oblig'd to
for fresh water; my design in this was to make the river Gambia or
Senegall, 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 out for the islands, or perish there
among the negroes. I knew that all the ships from Europe, which sail'd
either to the coast or Guiney, or to Brasil, or to the East/Indies, made
this cape or those islands; and in a word, I put the whole of my fortune
upon this single point, either that I must meet with some ship, or must
When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer, as I have
said, I began to see that the land was inhabited, and in two or three places
24 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
as we sailed by, we saw people stand upon the shoar to look at us; we
could also perceive they were quite black and starknaked. I was once
inclined to ha' gone on shoar to them; but Xury was my better coun,
cellor, and said to me, 'No go, no go'; however, I hal'd in nearer the
shoar that I might talk to them, and I found they run along the shoar 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 some thing to eat. They beckon'd to me to stop my boat,
and that they would fetch me some meat; upon this I lower'd the top of
my sail and lay by, and two of them run up into the country, and in less
than half an hour came back and brought with them two pieces of dry
flesh and some corn, such as is the produce of their country, but we
neither knew what the one or the other was; however, we were willing
to accept it, but how to come at it was our next dispute, for I was not for
venturing on shore to them, and they were as much afraid of us; but they
took a safe way for us all, for they brought it to the shore and laid it down,
and went and stood a great way off till we fetch'd it on board, and then
came close to us again.
We made signs of thanks to them, for we had nothing to make them
amends; but an opportunity offered that very instant to oblige them
wonderfully, for while we were lying by the shore, came two mighty
creatures, one pursuing the other (as we took it) with great fury, from the
mountains towards the sea; whether it was the male pursuing the female,
or whether they were in sport or in rage, we could not tell, any more than
we could tell whether it was usual or strange, but I believe it was the
latter; because in the first place, those ravenous creatures seldom appear
but in the night; and in the second place, we found the people terribly
frighted, 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 plung'd 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 bad Xury load both the other;
as soon as he came fairly within my reach, I fir'd, and shot him directly
into the head; immediately he sunk down into the water, but rose in,
stantly and plung'd 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
dyed just before he reached the shore.
ROBINSON CRUSOE 25
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 dye for
fear, and fell down as dead with the very terror. But when they saw the
creature dead and sunk in the water, and that I made signs to them to
come to the shore, they took heart and came to the shore and began to
search for the creature. I found him by his blood staining the water,
and by the help of a rope which I slung round him and gave the negroes
to hawl, they drag'd 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, frighted 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 tho' they had no knife, yet
with a sharpen'd piece of wood they took off his skin as readily and much
more readily than we cou'd have done with a knife; they offered me some
ofthe flesh, which I declined, making as ifI would give it them, but made
signs for the skin, which they gave me very freely, arid brought me a great
deal more of their provision, which tho' I did not understand, yet I
accepted; then I made signs to them for some water, and held out one of
my jarrs to them, turning it bottom upward, to shew 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 jarrs, 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 shoar, till I saw the land run out a
great length into the sea, at about the distance of four or five leagues before
me, and the sea being very calm I kept a large offing to make this point;
at length, doubling the point at about two leagues from the land, I saw
plainly land on the other side to seaward; then I concluded, as it was most
certain indeed, that this was the Cape de Verd, and those the islands
called from thence Cape de Verd Islands. However, they were at a
great distance, and I could not well tell what I had best to do, for if I
should be taken with a fresh of wind I might neither reach one or other.
In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stept into the cabbin and sat
me down, Xury having the helm, when on a suddain the boy cry'd out,
26 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
'Master, master, a ship with a sail,' and the foolish boy was frighted 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 jump'd out of the cabbin, 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 steer'd, I was soon convinced they were bound some other way,
and did not design to come any nearer to the shoar; 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 perspectiverglasses, and that it
was some European boat, which as they supposed must belong to some
ship that was lost, so they shortned sail to let me come up. I was en,
courage with this, and as I had my patroon's antient on board, I made
a waft of it to them for a signal of distress, and fir'd a gun, both which
they saw, for they told me they saw the smoke, tho' they did not hear the
gun; upon these signals they very kindly brought too, and lay by for me,
and in about three hours time I came up with them.
They ask'd me what I was, in Portuguese, and in Spanish, and in
French, but I understood none of them; but at last a Scots sailor who was
on board called to me, and I answered him, and told him I was an Eng,
lishman, that I had made my escape out of slavery from the Moors at
Sallee; then they bad me come on board, and very kindly took me in,
and all my goods.
It was an inexpressible joy to me, that any one will believe, that I was
thus delivered, as I esteem'd it, from such a miserable and almost hopeless
condition as I was in, and I immediately offered all I had to the captain
of the ship, as a return for my deliverance; but he generously told me he
would take nothing from me, but that all I had should be delivered safe
to me when I came to the Brasils, 'for' says he, 'I have sav'd your life on
no other terms than I would be glad to be saved my self, 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 Brasils, so great a way from your own
country, if I should take from you what you have, you will be starved
there, and then I only take away that life I have given. No, no, Seignor
Inglese,' says he (Mr. Englishman), 'I will carry you thither in charity,
and those things will help you to buy your subsistence there and your
passage home again.'
As he was charitable in his proposal, so he was just in the performance
to a tittle, for he ordered the seamen that none should offer to touch any
ROBINSON CRUSOE 27
thing I had; then he took every thing 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 jarrs.
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 ask'd me what I would have
for it. I told him he had been so generous to me in every thing, 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
80 pieces of eigl for it at Brasil, and when it came there, if any one offered
to give more he would make it up; he offered me also 60 pieces of eight
more for my boy Xury, which I was loath to take, not that I was not
willing to let the captain have him, but I was very loath to sell the poor
boy's liberty, who had assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own.
However, when I let him know my reason, he own'd it to be just, and
offered me this medium, that he would give the boy an obligation to set
him free in ten years, if he turned Christian; upon this, and Xury saying
he was willing to go to him, I let the captain have him.
We had a very good voyage to the Brasils, and arriv'd in the Bay de
Todos los Santos, or AllSaints' Bay, in about twentytwo days after.
And now I was once more delivered from the most miserable of all con,
editions of life, and what to do next with my self I was now to consider.
The generous treatment the captain gave me, I can never enough re,
member; he would take nothing of me for my passage, gave me twenty
ducats for the leopard's skin, and forty for the lyon's skin which I had in
my boat, and caused every thing 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 beeswax, 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 shoar in the Brasils.
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 sugarhouse, I lived with him some time, and
acquainted my self by that means with the manner of their planting and
making of sugar; and seeing how well the planters liv'd, and how they
grew rich suddenly, I resolved, ifI could get licence to settle there, I would
turn planter among them, resolving 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 uncur'd as my money would reach, and formed a
plan for my plantation and settlement, and such a one as might be suitable
to the stock which I proposed to myself to receive from England.
I had a neighbour, a Portugueze of Lisbon, but born of English parents,
28 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
whose name was Wells, and in much such circumstances as I was. I
call him my neighbour, because his plantation lay next to mine, and we
went on very sociably together. My stock was but low as well as his;
and we rather planted for food than any thing 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 XuryJ
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.Lo my genius, and directly contrary to the life I delighted in, and for
which I forsook my father's house and broke thro' 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 ha' staid at home, and never have fatigu'd my
self in the world as I had done; and I used often to say to my self, I could
ha' done this as well in England among my friends, as ha' gone 5,000
miles off to do it among strangers and salvages in a wilderness, and at
such a distance as never to hear from any part of the world that had the
least knowledge of me.
In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the utmost
regret. I had no body 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
liv'd just like a man cast away upon some desolate island, that has no
body 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 meer
desolation should be my lot, who had so often unjustly compared it with
the life which I then led, in which had I continued, I had in all probability
been exceeding prosperous and rich.
I was in some degree settled in my measures for carrying on the plant,
tion, 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 pre,
paring 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: 'Seignior Inglese,' says he, for so he always called me, 'if
you will give me letters, and a procuration here in form to me, with
orders to the person who has your money in London, to send your effects
to Lisbon, to such persons as I shall direct, and in such goods as are
ROBINSON CRUSOE 29
proper for this country, I will bring you the produce ofthem, God willing,
at my return; but since human affairs are all subject to changes and
disasters, I would have you give orders but for one hundred pounds
sterling, which you say is half your stock, and let the hazard be run for
the first; so that if it come 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 wholesom advice, and looked so friendly, that I could not
but be convinced it was the best course I could take; so I accordingly
prepared letters to the gentlewoman with whom I had left my money, and
a procuration to the Portuguese captain, as he desired.
I wrote the English captain's widow a full account of all my adventures,
my slavery, escape, and how I had met with the Portugal captain at sea,
the humanity of his behaviour, and in what condition I was now in, with
all other necessary directions for my supply; and when this honest captain
came to Lisbon, he found means by some of the English merchants there,
to send over not the order only, but a full account of my story to a mer/
chant at London, who represented it effectually to her; whereupon she
not only delivered the money, but out of her own pocket sent the Portugal
captain a very handsome present for his humanity and charity to me.
The merchant in London, vesting this hundred pounds in English
goods, such as the captain had writ for, sent them directly to him at
Lisbon, and he brought them all safe to me to the Brasils, among which,
without my direction (for I was too young in my business to think ofthem),
he had taken care to have all sorts of tools, ironwork, and utensils neces,
sary for my plantation, and which were of great use to me.
When this cargo arrived, I thought my fortunes made, for I was
surprised with the 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' ser/
vice, 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 cloath, stuffs, bays, and things particularly valuable and desirable
in the country, I found means to sell them to a very great advantage; so
that I might 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 advance,
ment 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 abus'd prosperity is oftentimes made the very means of our
greatest adversity, so was it with me. I went on the next year with great
30 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
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 neigh,
bours; and these fifty rolls being each of above a Ioo wt. were well cur'd
and laid by against the return of the fleet from Lisbon: and now in,
creasing in business and in wealth, my head began to be full of projects
and undertakings beyond my reach; such as are indeed often the ruine
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 de/
scrib'd the middle station of life to be full of; but other things attended
me, and I was still to be the wilful agent of all my own miseries; and
particularly to increase my fault and double the reflections upon my self,
which in my future sorrows I should have leisure to make; all these mis,
carriages were procured by my apparent obstinate adhering to my foolish
inclination of wandering abroad and pursuing that inclination, in con/
tradition to the clearest views of doing my self good in a fair and plain
pursuit of those prospects and those measures of life which nature and
Providence concurred to present me with, and to make my duty.
As I had once done thus in my breaking away from my parents, so I
could not be content now, but I must go and leave the happy view I
had of being a rich and thriving man in my new plantation, only to
pursue a rash and immoderate desire of rising faster than the nature of the
thing admitted; and thus I cast my self down again into the deepest
gulph of human misery that ever man fell into, or perhaps could be
consistent with life and a state of health in the world.
To come then by the just degrees to the particulars of this part of my
story; you may suppose, that having now lived almost four years in the
Brasils, and beginning to thrive and prosper very well upon my plant,
tion, I had not only learned the language, but had contracted acquaintance
and friendship among my fellowplanters, 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, scissars, hatchets, bits of glass, and the like, not only gold dust,
Guinea grains, elephants' teeth, &c., but negroes, for the service of the
Brasils, in great numbers.
They listened always very attentively to my discourses on these heads,
but especially to that part which related to the buying negroes, which was
a trade at that time not only not far entered into, but as far as it was, had
been carried on by the assiento's, or permission of the kings of Spain
ROBINSON CRUSOE 31
and Portugal, and engross'd in the public, so that few negroes were
brought, 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 straiten'd for nothing so
much as servants; that as it was a trade that could not be carried on, be,
cause they could not publicly sell the negroes when they came home,
so they desired to make but one voyage, to bring the negroes on shoar
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 confess'd, had it been made to
any one that had not had a settlement and plantation of his own to look
after, which was in a fair way of coming to be very considerable, and with
a good stock upon it. But for me that was thus entered and established,
and had nothing to do but go on as I had begun for three or four years
more, and to have sent for the other hundred pound from England, and
who in that time, and with that little addition, could scarce ha' 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 miscarry'd.
Thisthey all engag'd 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 sav'd 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 ship'd 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 look'd 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
32 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
an undertaking, leaving all the probable views of a thriving circumstance,
and gone upon a voyage to sea, attended with all its common hazards;
to say nothing of the reasons I had to expect particular misfortunes to
But I was hurried on, and obey'd 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 first of September, 1659, being
the same day eight year 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 tun burthen, carried 6 guns and 14 men, be,
sides the master, his boy, and my self; we had on board no large cargo of
goods, except of such toys as were fit for our trade with the negroes, such
as beads, bits of glass, shells, and odd trifles, especially little looking,
glasses, knives, scissars, hatchets, and the like.
The same day I went on board we set sail, standing away to the north,
ward upon our own coast, with design to stretch over for the Affrican
coast, when they came about io 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 steer'd as if we was 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 past the line in about 12 days' time, and were by
our last observation in 7 degrees 22 min. northern latitude, when a
violent tournado or hurricane took us quite out of our knowledge; it
began from the southeast, came about to the northwest, and then settled
into the northeast, 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
dyed of the calenture, and one man and the boy wash'd over board;
about the Izth day the weather abating a little, the master made an
observation as well as he could, and found that he was in about ii de,
grees 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 Brasil, beyond the river Amozones,
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
ROBINSON CRUSOE 33
was leaky and very much disabled, and he was going directly back to the
coast of Brasil.
I was positively against that, and looking over the charts of the sea,
coast of America with him, we concluded there was no inhabited country
for us to have recourse to, till we came within the circle of the Carribbe,
Islands, and therefore resolved to stand away for Barbadoes, which by
keeping off at sea, to avoid the indraft of the bay or gulph 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 Affrica without
some assistance, both to our ship and to our selves.
With this design we changed our course and steer'd away N.W. by W.
in order to reach some of out English islands, where I hoped for relief;
but our voyage was otherwise determined, for being in the latitude of
12 deg. 18 min. a second storm came upon us, which carry'd us away
with the same impetuosity westward, and drove us so out of the very way
of all humane 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 cry'd out, 'Land!' and we had no sooner run out of the
cabbin to look out in hopes of seeing where about 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 sprye of
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 in,
habited; and as the rage of the wind was still great, tho' 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 upon one another,
and expecting death every moment, and every man acting accordingly,
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 tho' we thought that the wind did a little abate, yet the ship
having thus struck upon the sand, and sticking too fast for us to expect
her getting off, we were in a dreadful condition indeed, and had nothing
34 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
to do but to think of saving our lives as well as we could; we had a boat
at our stern just before the storm, but she was first stav'd by dashing against
the ship's rudder, and in the next place she broke away, and either sunk
or was driven off to sea, so there was no hope from her; we had another
boat on board, but how to get her off into the sea was a doubtful thing;
however, there was no room to debate, for we fancy'd the ship would
break in pieces every minute, and some told us she was actually broken
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'sside, and
getting all into her, let go, and committed our selves, being eleven in
number, to God's mercy and the wild sea; for tho' the storm was abated
considerably, yet the sea went dreadful high upon the shore, and might
well be cal'd 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,t hat
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 ha' done any thing with it: so we worked at the oar towards
the land, tho' with heavy hearts, like men going to execution; for we all
knew that when the boat came nearer the shore, she would be dash'd 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 hasten'd 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 gulph, 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 row'd, or rather driven, about a league and a half, as we
reckon'd it, a raging wave, mountain/like, came rowling a-stern of us,
and plainly bad 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, O 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 tho' I swam very well, yet I could not deliver
my self 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 it self, went back, and left me upon the land almost dry, but half,
ROBINSON CRUSOE 35
dead with the water I took in. I had so much presence of mind as well
as breath left, that seeing my self nearer the main land 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 my self upon the water, if I could; and so by swimming to pre,
serve my breathing, and pilot my self 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 20 or 30
foot deep in its own body; and I could feel my self carried with a mighty
force and swiftness towards the shore a very great way; but I held my
breath, and assisted my self to swim still forward with all my might.
I was ready to burst with holding my breath, when, as I felt my self rising
up, so to my immediate relief, I found my head and hands shoot out above
the surface of the water; and tho' it was not two seconds of time that I
could keep my self 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 it self, and began to
return, I strook 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 run with what
strength I had farther towards the shore. But neither would this deliver
me from the fury of the sea, which came pouring in after me again, and
twice more I was lifted up by the waves and carried forwards as before,
the shore being very flat.
The last time of these two had well near been fatal to me; for the sea
having hurried me along as before, landed me, or rather dash'd me against
a piece of a rock, and that with such force as it left me senseless, and indeed
helpless as to my own deliverance; for the blow taking my side and breast,
beat the breath as it were quite out of my body; and had it returned again
immediately, I must have been strangled in the water; but I recovered a
little before the return of the waves, and seeing I should be cover'd 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 nearer land, I held my hold till the wave
abated, and then fetch'd another run, which brought me so near the shore,
that the next wave, tho' 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 main land, where,
36 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
to my great comfort, I clamber'd up the cliffs of the shore and sat me down
upon the grass, free from danger, and quite out of the reach of the water.
I was now landed and safe on shore, and began to look up and thank
God that my life was sav'd 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 extasies and transports of the soul are, when it is so sav'd,
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 tyed 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
blood 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, wrapt up in the contemplation of my deliverance,
making a thousand gestures and motions which I cannot describe,
reflecting upon all my comrades that were drown'd, and that there should
not be one soul sav'd but my self; for, as for them, I never saw them
afterwards, or any sign of them, except three of their hats, one cap, and
two shoes that were not fellows.
I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel, when the breach and froth of the
sea being so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far off, and considered,
Lord! how was it possible I could get on shore?
After I had solac'd 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 any thing either to eat or drink to comfort me, neither did I see
any prospect before me, but that of perishing with hunger, or being
devour'd 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 my self 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 run
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 firr, but thorny, which grew near me, and
where I resolved to sit all night, and consider the next day what death I
ROBINSON CRUSOE 37
should dye, 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 drank and put a little tobacco in my mouth to
prevent hunger, I went to the tree, and getting up into it, endeavour'd to
place my self 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 fatigu'd, I fell fast asleep and slept as comr
fortably as, I believe, few could have done in my condition, and found
my self the most refresh'd with it that I think I ever was on such an
When I wak'd 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 tyde, and was driven up almost as far
as the rock which I first mentioned, where I had been so bruis'd by the
dashing me against it; this being within about a mile from the shore
where I was, and the ship seeming to stand upright still, I wish'd my self
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 toss'd 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 hop'd to find something for my present
A little after noon I found the sea very calm, and the tyde ebb'd 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 forc'd 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 spy'd a small piece of a rope, which I wondered
I did not see at first, hang down by the forechains 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 bulg'd, and had
a great deal of water in her hold, but that she lay so on the side of a bank
38 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
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 spoil'd 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 dispos'd to eat, I went to the breadroom and
filled my pockets with bisket, and eat it as I went about other things, for
I had no.time to lose; I also found some rum in the great cabbin, 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
my self 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 rouz'd my application. We had several spare yards, and two
or three large sparrs of wood, and a spare topmast or two in the ship;
I resolved to fall to work with these, and I flung as many of them over
board 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 ty'd 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 topmast into three lengths, and added them to my raft, with a great
deal of labour and pains; but hope of furnishing my self 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 empty'd, and lower'd them down upon my raft;
the first ofthese I filled with provision, viz. bread, rice, three Dutch cheeses,
five pieces of dry'd goat's flesh, which we liv'd much upon, and a little
remainder of European corn which had been laid by for some fowls
which we brought to sea with us, but the fowls were killed; there had been
some barely and wheat together, but, to my great disappointment, I found
afterwards that the rats had eaten or spoil'd 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 stow'd
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 tyde began to flow,
ROBINSON CRUSOE 39
tho' very calm, and I had the mortification to see my coat, shirt, and wast,
coat which I had left on shore upon the sand, swim away; as for my
breeches, which were only linnen and open knee'd, I swam on board in
them and my stockings. However, this put me upon rummaging for
clothes, of which I found enough, but took no more than I wanted for
present use, for I had other things which my eye was more upon, as first
tools to work with on shore, and it was after long searching that I found
out the carpenter's chest, which was indeed a very useful prize to me, and
much more valuable than a ship loading of gold would have been at that
time; I got it down to my raft, even whole as it was, without losing time
to look into it, for I knew in general what it contained.
My next care was for some ammunition and arms; there were two very
good fowling-pieces in the great cabbin, and two pistols; these I secur'd
first, with some powderhorns, 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 stow'd 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 my self pretty well
freighted, and began to think how I should get to shore with them, having
neither sail, oar, or rudder, and the-least cap full of wind would have
overset all my navigation.
I had three encouragements: I, a smooth calm sea; 2, the tide rising,
and setting in to 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
thereabouts, 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 perceiv'd
that there was some indraft of the water, and consequently I hop'd 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 as I could to keep in the middle of the stream. But here I
had like to have suffered a second shipwreck, which, if I had, I think
verily would have broke 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 slip'd
off towards that end that was afloat, and so fall'n 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,
40 THE LIFE 'AND ADVENTURES OF
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 my self
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 my self as near
the coast as I could.
At length I spy'd 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 dipt all my cargo in the sea again; for that
shore lying pretty steep, that is to say sloping, there was no place to land
but where one end of my float, if it 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 soon as I found water enough, for my rafi drew
about a foot of water, I thrust her on upon that flat piece of ground, and
there fasten'd or mord 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 ebb'd away, and left my raft and all my
.cargoe 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 and high, and which seemed to overtop some other hills,
which lay as in a ridge from it northward; I took out one of the fowling
pieces, and one of the pistols, and an horn of powder, and thus arm'd I
travell'd 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 environ'd 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, un/iihabited, 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
ROBINSON CRUSOE 41
not; at my coming back, I shot at a great bird which I saw sitting upon a
tree on the side of a great wood. I believe it was the first gun that had
been fir'd there since the creation of the world; I had no sooner fir'd, but
from all the parts of the wood there arose an innumerable number of
fowls of many sorts, making a confused screaming, and crying every one
according to his usual note; but not one of them of any kind that I knew.
As for the creature I kill'd, I took it to be a kind of a hawk, its colour and
beak resembling it, but had no talons or claws more than common; its
flesh was carrion, and fit for nothing.
Contented with this discovery, I came back to my raft, and fell to work
to bring my cargoe on shore, which took me up the rest of that day, and
what to do with my self 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, tho', as I afterwards found, there was really no
need for those fears.
However, as well as I could, I barricado'd my self 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
my self, 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 stripp'd before I went from my hut, having nothing on but a chequer'd
shirt, and a pair oflinnen drawers, and a pair of pumps on my feet.
I got on board the ship, as before, and prepared a second raft, and having
had experience of the first, I neither made this so unweildy, or 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 skrewjack, a dozen or two of hatchets, and above all, that most
useful thing called a grindstone; all these I secur'd together, with several
things belonging to the gunner, particularly two or three iron crows, and
two barrels ofmusquet bullets, seven musquets, 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
hoise it up to get it over the ship's side.
42 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
Besides these things, I took all the men's cloaths that I could find, and
a spare foretopsail, a hammock, and some bedding; and with this I
loaded my second raft, and brought them all safe on shore to my very
I was under some apprehensions during my absence from the land, that
at least my provisions might be devour'd 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 per,
fectly unconcerned at it, nor did she offer to stir away; upon which I
toss'd her a bit of bisket, tho' by the way I was not very free of it, for my
store was not great. However, I spar'd her a bit, I say, and she went to
it, smell'd of it, and ate it, and looked (as pleased) for more, but I thanked
her, and could spare no more, so she march'd off.
Having got my second cargoe on shore, tho' I was fain to open the
barrels of powder and bring them by parcels, for they were too heavy,
being large casks, I-went to work to make me a little tent with the sail
and some poles which I cut for that 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 block'd up the door of the tent with some
boards within, and an empty chest set up on end without, and spreading
one of the beds upon the ground, laying my two pistols just at my head,
and my gun at length by me, I went to bed for the first time, and slept
very quietly all night, for I was very weary and heavy, for the night before
I had slept little, and had labour'd very hard all day, as well to fetch all
those things from the ship, as to get them on shore.
I had the biggest maggazin of all kinds now that ever were laid up,
I believe, for one man, but I was not satisfy'd still; for while the ship sat
upright in that posture, I thought I ought to get every thing out of her that
I could; so every day at low water I went on board, and brought away
some thing 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 canvass, which was to mend the
sails upon occasion, the barrel of wet gunpowder: in a word, I brought
away all the sails first and last, only that I was fain to cut them in pieces,
and bring as much at a time as I could; for they were no more useful to
be sails, but as meer canvass only.
But that which comforted me more still, was that at last of all, after I
ROBINSON CRUSOE 43
had made five or six such voyages as these, and thought I had nothing
more to expect from the ship that was worth my medling 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 flower; this was
surprising to me, because I had given over expecting any more provisions,
except what was spoiled by the water: I soon empty'd the hogshead of
that bread, and wrapt 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 plunder'd 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 iron work I could get; and
having cut down the spritsailyard, and the missenyard, 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 unweildy, and so overloaden, that after I was enter'd 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 cargoe
into the water; as for my self it was no great harm, for I was near the shore;
but as to my cargoe, 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,
tho' with infinite labour; for I was fain to dip for it into the water, a
work which fatigu'd 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, tho' I believe verily, had
the calm weather held, I should have brought away the whole ship piece
by piece. But preparing the 12th time to go on board, I found the wind
begin to rise; however, at low water I went on board, and tho' I thought
I had rumag'd the cabbin 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 sizzers, 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 Brasil, some pieces
of eight, some gold, some silver.
I smil'd to my self at the sight of this money. '0 drug!' said I aloud,
'what are thou good for? Thou art not worth to me, no, not the taking
off of the ground; one of those knives is worth all this heap; I have no
manner of use for thee, e'en remain where thou art, and go to the bottom
as a creature whose life is not worth saving.' However, upon second
44 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
thoughts, I took it away, and wrapping all this in a piece of canvas, -I
began to think of making another raft, but while I was preparing this,
I found the sky over-cast, and the wind began to rise, and in a quarter
of an hour it blew a fresh gale from the shore; it presently occur'd 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, other,
wise I might not be able to reach the shore at all. Accordingly I let
my self down into the water, and swam across the channel which lay
between the ship and the sands, and even that with difficulty enough,
partly with the weight of the things I had about me, and partly the
roughness of the water, for the wind rose very hastily, and before it was
quite high water it blew a storm.
But I was gotten home to my little tent, where I lay with all my wealth
about me very secure. It blew very hard all that night, and in the morning
when I looked out, behold, no more ship was to be seen; I was a little
surpriz'd, but recovered my self with this satisfactory reflection, viz.
that I had lost no time, nor abated no dilligence to get every thing 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 anymore thoughts of the ship, or of any thing 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 my self
against either savages, if any should appear, or wild beasts, if any were in
the island; and I had many thoughts of the method how to do this, and
what kind of dwelling to make, whether I should make me a cave in the
earth, or a tent upon the earth: and, in short, I resolved upon both, the
manner and description of which it may not be improper to give an
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 wholsome, and more particularly 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: Ist, health and fresh water I just now mentioned; 2dly,
shelter from the heat of the sun; 3dly, security from ravenous creatures,
whether men or beasts; 4thly, 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,
ROBINSON CRUSOE 45
side, so that nothing could come down upon me from the top; on the
side of this rock there was a hollow place worn a little way in like the
entrance or door of a cave, but there was not really any cave or way into
the rock at all.
On the flat of the green, just before this hollow place, I resolved to pitch
my tent. This plain was not above an hundred yards broad, and about
twice as long, and lay like a green before my door, and at the end of it
descended irregularly every way down into the low-grounds by the sea
side. It was on the N.N.W. side of the hill, so that I was shelter'd from
the heat every day, till it came to a W. and by S. sun, or thereabours, which
in those countries is near the setting.
Before I set up my tent, I drew a half circle before the hollow place
which took in about ten yards in its semidiameter from the rock, and
twenty yards in its diameter, from its beginning and ending.
In this half circle I pitch'd 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 foot and a half, and sharpen'd 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 I laid
them in rows one upon another, within the circle, between these two
rows of stakes, up to the top, placing other stakes in the inside, leaning
against them, about two foot and a half high, like a spurr to a post, and
this fence was so strong that neither man or 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 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 compleatly fenc'd in, and fortify'd, as I thought, from all
the world and consequently slept secure in the night, which otherwise
I could not have done, tho', as it appeared afterward, 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 carry'd 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 cover'd the
uppermost with a large tarpaulin which I had sav'd 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
belong'd to the mate of the ship.
Into this tent I brought all my provisions, and every thing that would
46 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
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 pass'd and repass'd, 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 thro' my tent, I
laid 'em up within my fence in the nature of a terras, that so it rais'd 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 it self:
O my powder! My very heart sunk 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, tho' 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, my building and fortifying, and apply'd my
self to make bags and boxes to separate the powder, and keep it a little
and a little in a parcel, in hope that whatever might come, it might not
all take fire at once, and to keep it so apart that it should not be possible
to make one part fire another. I finished this work in about a fortnight,
and I think my powder, which in all was about 240 lb. weight, was
divided in not less than a hundred parcels; as to the barrel that had been
wet, I did not apprehend any danger from that, so I placed it in my new
cave, which in my fancy I called my kitchin, 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 my self as to see if I could kill
any thing fit for food, and as near as I could to acquaint my self 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 subtile, and so swift of foot, that it was the difficultest thing in the
world to come at them. But I was not discouraged at this, not doubting
but I might now and then shoot one, as it soon happened, for after I had
ROBINSON CRUSOE 47
found their haunts a little, I laid wait in this manner for them: I observed
if they saw me in the valleys, tho' 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 opticks, their sight was so directed
downward, that they did not readily see objects that were above them; so
afterward I took this method, I always clim'd 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 griev'd 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 carry'd the old one with me upon my shoulders, the kid
followed me quite to my enclosure, upon which I laid down the dam,
and took the kid in my arms, and carry'd it over my pale, in hopes to have
it bred up tame, but it would not eat, so I was forc'd to kill it and eat it
my self; these two supply'd me with fesh a great while, for I eat sparingly,
and sav'd my provisions (my bread especially) as much as possibly I could.
Having now fix'd my habitation, I found it absolutely necessary to
provide a place to make a fire in, and fewel 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 my self, and of my thoughts about living, which it may well
be supposed were not a few.
I had a dismal prospect of my condition, for as I was not cast away
upon that island without being driven, as is said, by a violent storm quite
out of the course of our intended voyage, and a great way, viz. some
hundreds of leagues, out of the ordinary course of the trade of mankind,
I had great reason to consider it as a determination of Heaven, that in this
desolate place and in this desolate manner I should end my life; the tears
would run plentifully down my face when I made these reflections, and
sometimes I would expostulate with my self, why Providence should thus
compleatly ruine its creatures, and render them so absolutely miserable, so
without help abandoned, so entirely depress'd, 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 seaside, I was very pensive upon the subject of my present
condition, when reason as it were expostulated with me t'other way, thus:
Well, you are in a desolate condition, 'tis true, but pray remember, where
are the rest of you Did not you come eleven of you into the boat?
where are the ten Why were not they sav'd and you lost? Why were
you singled out? Is it better to be here or there and then I pointed to
48 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
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 sub,
sistence, and what would have been my case if it had not happened,
which was an hundred thousand to one, that the ship floated from the
place where she first struck and was driven so near to the shore that I had
time to get all these things out of her. What would have been my case
if I had been to have liv'd in the condition in which I at first came on
shore, without necessaries of life, or necessaries to supply and procure
them? Particularly, said I aloud (tho' to my self), what should I ha'
done without a gun, without ammunition, without any tools to make
any thing, or to work with, without clothes, bedding, a tent, or any manner
of covering? and that now I had all these to a sufficient quantity, and was
in a fair way to provide my self in such a manner, as to live without my
gun when my ammunition was spent; so that I had a tollerable view of
subsisting without any want as long as I liv'd; for I considered from the
beginning how I would provide for the accidents that might happen,
and for the time that was to come, even not only after my ammunition
should be spent, but even after my health or strength should decay.
I confess I had not entertain'd 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 lighten'd and
thunder'd, as I observed just now.
And now being to enter into a melancholy relation of a scene of silent
life, such perhaps as was never heard of in the world before, I shall take'
it from its beginning, and continue it in its order. It was, by my account,
the 30th of September when, in the manner as above said, I first set foot
upon this horrid island, when the sun being, to us, in its autumnal
equinox, was almost just over my head, for I reckon'd my self, by observa,
tion, to be in the latitude of 9 degrees 22 minutes north of the line.
After I had been there about ten or twelve days, it came into my
thoughts that I should lose my reckoning of time for want of books and
pen and ink, and should even forget the sabbath days from the working
days; but to prevent this I cut it with my knife upon a large post, in capital
letters, and making it into a great cross I set it up on the shore where I
first landed, viz. 'I come on shore here on the 30th of 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 kalender, 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 ofthe ship in the several voyages, which, as above mentioned,
ROBINSON CRUSOE 49
I made to it, I got several things of less value, but not at all less useful to
me, which I omitted setting down before; as in particular, pens, ink, and
paper, several parcels in the captain's, mate's, gunner's, and carpenter's
keeping, three or four compasses, some mathematical instruments, dials,
perspectives, charts, and books of navigation, all which I huddled to,
gether, whether I might want them or no; also I found three very good
Bibles which came to me in my cargo from England, and which I had
pack'd up among my things; some Portugueze books also, and among
them two or three popish prayerbooks, and several other books, all
which I carefully secur'd. 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 carry'd both the cats with me, and as
for the dog, he jump'd 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, nor
any company that he could make up to me, I only wanted to have him talk
to me, but that would not do. As I observed before, I found pen, ink,
and paper, and I husbanded them to the utmost, and I shall shew, that
while my ink lasted, I kept things very exact, but after that was gone
I could not, for I could not make any ink by any means that I could
And this put me in mind that I wanted many things, notwithstanding
all that I had amass'd together, and of these, this of ink was one, as also
spade, pickaxe, and shovel to dig or remove the earth, needles, pins, and
thread; as for linnen, I soon learned to want that without much difficulty.
This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily, and it was near
a whole year before I had entirely finished my little pale or surrounded
habitation. The piles or stakes, which were as heavy as I could well
lift, were a long time in cutting and preparing in the woods, and more by
far in bringing home, so that I spent some times two days in cutting and
bringing home one of those posts, and a third day in driving it into the
ground; for which purpose I got a heavy piece of wood at first, but at
last bethought my self of one of the iron crows, which however, tho' I
found it, yet it made driving those posts or piles very laborious and
But what need I ha' been concerned at the tediousness of any thing I
had to do, seeing I had time enough to do it in? nor had I any other
employment if that had been over, at least that I could foresee, except the
ranging the island to seek for food, which I did more or less every day.
j I now began to consider seriously my condition, and the circumstance
I was reduc'd-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
50 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
have but few heirs, as to deliver my thoughts from daily poring upon
them, and afflicting my mind; and as my reason began now to master my
despondency, I began to comfort my self 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 enjoyd against the miseries I suffered, thus:
I am cast upon a horrible desolate
island, void of all hope of recovery.
I am singled out and separated, as it
were,from all the world to be miserable.
I am divided from mankind, a soli,
taire, one banish'd from humane society.
I have not clothes to cover me.
I am without any defence or means to
resist any violence of man or beast.
I have no soul to speak to, or
But I am alive, and not drown'd
as all my ship's company was.
But I am singled out too from all the
ship's crew to be spar'd from death;
and He that miraculously sav'd me
from death, can deliver me from this
But I am not starv'd and perishing
on a barren place, affording no
But I am in a hot climate, where if
I had clothes I could hardly wear them.
But I am cast on an island, where I
see no wild beasts to hurt me, as I saw
on the coast of Africa; and what if I
had been shipwreck'd there?
But God wonderfully sent the ship
in near enough to the shore, that I have
gotten out so many necessary things as
will either supply my wants, or enable
me to supply my self even as long as
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 our
selves from, and to set in the description of good and evil, on the credit
side of the accompt.
Having now brought my mind a little to relish my condition, and given
ROBINSON CRUSOE 51
over looking out to sea to see ifI could spy a ship; I say, giving over these
things, I began to apply my self 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 rais'd a kind of wall up against it of turfs,
about two foot thick on the outside, and after some time, I think it was a
year and a half, I rais'd rafters from it leaning to the rock, and thatch'd or
covered it with bows of trees, and such things as I could get to keep out
the rain, which I found at some times ofthe 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 ofgoods, which as they lay in no order,
so they took up all my place, I had no room to turn my self; so I set my
self to enlarge my cave and works farther into the earth, for it was a loose
sandy rock, which yielded easily to the labour I bestow'd 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,
work'd quite out and made me a door to come out, on the outside of my
pale or fortification.
This gave me not only egress and regress, as it were a back way to my
tent and to my storehouse, but gave me room to stow my goods.
And now I began to apply my self 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 in time master of every mechanic art. I had never
handled a tool in my life, and yet in time, by labour, application, and
contrivance, I found at last that I wanted nothing but I could have made
it, especially if I had had tools; however, I made abundance of things,
even without tools, and some with no more tools than an adze and a
hatchet, which perhaps were never made that way before, and that with
infinite labour. For example, if I wanted a board, I had no other way
but to cut down a tree, set it on an edge before me, and hew it flat on
either side with my axe, till I had brought it to be thin as a plank, and
then dubb'it smooth with my adze. It is true, by this method I could
make but one board out of a whole tree, but this I had no remedy for
but patience, any more than I had for the prodigious deal of time and
labour which it took me up to make a plank or board. But my time
52 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
or labour was little worth, and so it was as well employed one way as
However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed above, in the
first place, and this I did out of the short pieces of boards that I brought
on my raft from the ship. But when I had wrought out some boards, as
above, I made large shelves of the breadth of a foot and a half one over
another, all along one side of my cave, to lay all my tools, nails, and iron,
work, and in a word, to separate every thing at large in their places, that
I must 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.
SAnd now it was when I began to keep a journal of every day's employ,
ment, 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
ha' been full of many dull things. For example, I must have said thus:
'Sept. the 3oth. After I got to shore and had escap'd 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 my self 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 tyr'd and faint I was forced to lye down on the ground
to repose, but durst not sleep for fear of being devour'd.'
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 spy'd a sail, please my self 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 (tho' in it will be told all these
particulars over again) as long as it lasted, for having no more ink I was
forced to leave it off.
September 30, 1659. I, poor miserable Robinson Crusoe, being ship.
wreck'd, 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 drown'd, and my self almost dead.
All the rest of that day I spent in afflicting my self at the dismal circum,
stances 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 devour'd by wild beasts, murther'd by
savages, or starv'd to death for want of food. At the approach of night,
I slept in a tree for fear of wild creatures, but slept soundly tho' it rain'd
October I. 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 hop'd, if the wind abated, I might
get on board, and get some food and necessaries out of her for my relief;
so on the other hand, it renewed my grief at the loss of my comrades, who
I iniagin'd if we had all staid on board might have sav'd the ship, or at
least that they would not have been all drown'd as they were; and that
had the men been sav'd, 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 my self 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, tho' with no
wind at all.
From the Ist of October to the 24th. All these days entirely spent in
many several voyages to get all I could out of the ship, which I brought
on shore, every tide of flood, upon rafts. Much rain also in these days,
tho' with some intervals of fair weather: but, it seems, this was the
Oct. 20. I overset my raft and all the goods I had got upon it, but being
in shoal water, and the things being chiefly heavy, I recovered many of
them when the tide was out.
Oct. 25. It rain'd 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 sav'd, that the rain might not spoil them.
Oct. 26. I walk'd about the shore almost all day to find out a place to
54 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
fix my habitation, greatly concerned to secure my self from an attack in the
night, either from wild beasts or men. Towards night I fix'd upon a
proper place under a rock, and mark'd out a semicircle for my encamp,
ment, which I resolved to strengthen with a work, wall, or fortification
made of double piles, lin'd within with cables, and without with turf.
From the 26th to the 30th, I worked very hard in carrying all my goods
to my new habitation, tho' some part of the time it rain'd exceeding hard.
The 3 Ist, in the morning I went out into the island with my gun to see
for some food, and discover the country, when I killed a shegoat, and her
kid followed me home, which I afterwards killed also because it would
November I. 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
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 mark'd out for my fortification.
Nov. 3. I went out with my gun and kil'd two fowls like ducks,
which were very good food. In the afternoon went to work to make me
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 my self to work till about eleven a/clock, then eat 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, tho' time and necessity made me a
compleat natural mechanic soon after, as I believe it would do any
Nov. 5. This day went abroad with my gun and my dog, and kil'd
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 under,
stand, but was surprised and almost frighted 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, tho' not to my liking; nor was it long before I learned to
Nov. 7. Now it began to be settled fair weather. The 7th, 8th, 9th,
Ioth, and part of the 2Ith (for the nxth was Sunday) I took wholly up to
ROBINSON CRUSOE 55
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 pull'd 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 rain'd, which refresh'd me exceedingly, and cool'd
the earth, but it was accompany'd with terrible thunder and lightning,
which frighted 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, I6. These three days I spent in making little square
chests or boxes, which might hold a pound or two pound, at most, of
powder, and so putting the powder in, I stow'd 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 in to the rock to
make room for my farther conveniency. Note. Three things I wanted
exceedingly for this work, viz. a pickaxe, a shovel, and a wheelbarrow
or basket; so I desisted from my work, and began to consider how to
supply that want and make me some tools; as for a pickaxe, I made use
of the iron crows, which were proper enough, tho' 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
Nov. r8. The next day in searching the woods I found a tree of that
wood, or like it, which in the Brasils they call the iron tree, for its exceed,
ing hardness; of this, with great labour and almost spoiling my axe, I cut
a piece, and brought it home too with difficulty enough, for it was exceed,
The excessive hardness of the wood, and having no other way, made me
a long while upon this machine, for I work'd it effectually by little and
little into the form of a shovel or spade, the handle exactly shap'd like ours
in England, only that the broad part having no iron shod upon it at
bottom, it would not last me so long; however, it served well enough for
the uses which I had occasion to put it to; but never was a shovel, I believe,
made after that fashion, or so long a making.
I was still deficient, for I wanted a basket or a wheelbarrow; a basket
I could not make by any means, having no such things as twigs that would
bend to make wicker ware, at least none yet found out; and as to a wheel,
barrow, I fancy'd 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
56 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
of the cave, I made me a thing like a hodd, which the labourers carry
morter 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 wheel,
barrow, took me up no less than four days; I mean, always excepting my
morning, walk with my gun, which I seldom fai'd, and very seldom
failed also bringing home something fit 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 work'd to make this room or cave spacious
enough to accommodate me as a warehouse or magazine, a kitchen, a
diningroom, and a cellar; as for my lodging, I kept to the tent, except
that some times in the wet season of the year, it rain'd so hard that I could
not keep my self 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 flaggs and large leaves of trees like a thatch.
December loth. 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
frighted me, and not without reason too; for if I had been under it I had
never wanted a gravedigger. 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 selling to prop up, so that I might be
sure no more would come down.
Dec. ii. 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 secur'd, and the
posts, standing in rows, served me for partitions to part of my house.
Dec. 17. From this day to the twentieth I placed shelves, and knock'd
up nails on the posts to hang every thing up that could be hung up, and
now I began to be in some order within doors.
Dec. 20. Now J carry'd every thing 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
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 lam'd another so as that I catch'd it,
ROBINSON CRUSOE 57
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 liv'd, and
the leg grew well, and as strong as ever; but by my nursing it so long it
grew tame, and fed upon the little green at my door, and would not go
away. This was the first time that I entertained a thought of breeding up
some tame creatures, that I might have food when my powder and shot
was all spent.
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 I. 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 center of the island, I found there was
plenty of goats, tho' 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 fac'd about upon
the dog, and he knew his danger too well, for he would not come near
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
3d of January to the i4th of April, working, finishing, and perfecting this
wall, tho' 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 center behind it.
All this time I worked very hard, the rains hindering me many days,
nay, sometimes weeks together; but I thought I should never be perfectly
secure 'till this wall was finished; and it is scarce credible what inexpres,
sible labour every thing 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 fenc'd with a
turf/wall raised up close to it, I persuaded my self that if any people were
to come on shore there, they would not perceive any thing like a habitation;
and it was very well I did so, as may be observed hereafter upon a very
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
58 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
wild pidgeons, who built not as wood pidgeons, in a tree, but rather as
house pidgeons, in the holes of the rocks; and taking some young ones,
I endeavoured to breed them up tame, and did so; but when they grew
older they flew all away, which perhaps was at first for want of feeding
them, for I had nothing to give them; however I frequently found their
nests, and got their young ones, which were very good meat.
And now, in the managing my household affairs, I found my self
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, tho' I spent 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, which was generally by sevena/clock, I was oblig'd to go to
bed. I remembered the lump of beeswax 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 sav'd the tallow, and with a
little dish made of clay, which I bak'd in the sun, to which I added a
wick of some oakum, I made me a lamp; and this gave me light, tho' 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 devour'd 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 any thing, and not so much as re/
membering that I had thrown any thing there; when about a month after,
or thereabout, I saw some few stalks of something green shooting out of
the ground, which I fancy'd might be some plant I had not seen; but I
was surpriz'd 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 found,
tion at all; indeed, I had very few notions of religion in my head, or had
entertained any sense of any thing that had befallen me, otherwise than as
ROBINSON. CRUSOE 59
a chance, or, as we lightly say, what pleases God; without so much as
enquiring into the end of Providence in these things, or His order in
governing events in the world. But after I saw barley grow there, in a
climate which I know was not proper for corn, and especially that I knew
not how it came there, it started me strangely, and I began to suggest
that God had miraculously caus'd this grain to grow without any help of
seed sow n, and that it was so directed purely for my sustenance on that
wild miserable place.
This touch'd my heart a little, and brought tears out of my eyes, and I
began to bless my self that such a prodigy of nature should happen upon
my account; and this was the more strange to me, because I saw near it
still all along by the side of the rock, some other straggling stalks, which
prov'd to be stalks ofryce, and which I knew, because I had seen it grow
in Africa when I was ashore there.
I not only thought these the pure productions of Providence for my
support, but not doubting but that there was more in the place, I went all
over that part of the island where I had been before, peering in every
corner, and under every rock, to see for more of it, but I could not find any;
at last it occur'd to my thoughts, that I had shook a bag of chicken's
meat out in that place, and then the wonder began to cease; and I must
confess, my religious thankfulness to God's providence began to abate
too, upon the discovering that all this was nothing but what was common;
tho' I ought to have been as thankful for so strange and unforseen provi,
dence, as if it had been miraculous; for it was really the work of providence
as to me, that should order or appoint, that o1 or 12 grains of corn should
remain unspoil'd (when the rats had destroyed all the rest) as if it had been
dropt 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 immedi,
ately; whereas, if I had thrown it anywhere else at that time, it had been
burnt up and destroyed.
I carefully sav'd 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 4th year that I could allow
my self 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 sow'd the first season
by not observing the proper time; for I sow'd it just before the dry season,
so that it never came up at all, at least not as it would ha' done: of which
in its place.
Besides this barley, there was, as above, 2o or 30 stalks ofryce, which I
preserv'd 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
60 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
to cook it up without baking, tho' 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 x4th 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 I6. 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 in the inside. This was a
compleat enclosure to me; for within I had room enough, and nothing
could come at me from without, unless it could first mount my wall.
The very next day after this wall was finished, I had almost had all my
labour overthrown at once, and my self 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 frighted with a most dreadful surprising thing indeed;
for all 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 set up in the cave crack'd in a frightful manner; I was heartily
scar'd, 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 bury'd in it, I ran forward to my ladder, and not
thinking my self 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
stepp'd 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 halfa mile from me
next the sea, fell down with such a terrible noise as I never heard in all
my life. I perceiv'd 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 amaz'd with the thing it self, having never felt the like, or
discours'd with any-one that had, that I was like one dead or stupify'd;
and the motion of the earth made my stomach sick like one that was toss'd
at sea; but'the noise of the falling of the rock awak'd me, as it were, and
rousing me from the stupify'd 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 time.
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 go 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
ROBINSON CRUSOE 61
not the least serious religious thought, nothing but the common Lord ha'
mercy upon me; and when it was over that went away too.
While I sat thus I found the air over-cast 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 cover'd over with foam and froth, the shore was cover'd 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 terrify'd and dejected,
when on a sudden it came into my thoughts, that these winds and rain
being the consequences of the earthquake, the earthquake it self 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 forc'd to go into
my cave, tho' very much afraid and uneasy for fear it should fall on
This violent rain forced me to a new work, viz. to cut a hole thro' my
new fortification like a sink to let the water go out, which would else
have drown'd 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 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, how,
ever, 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 compos'd, 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 my self
secure from wild beasts or men; but concluded, if I staid where I was, I
should certainly, one time or other, be bury'd 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 certainly fall upon my tent. And I
spent the two next days, being the 19th and 20th of April, in contriving
where and how to remove my habitation.
The fear of being swallow'd up alive, made me that I never slept in
quiet, and yet the apprehensions of lying abroad without any fence was
almost equal to it; but still when I looked about and saw how every thing
62 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
was put in order, how pleasantly conceal'd I was, and how safe from
danger, it made me very loath to remove.
In the mean time it occur'd 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 form'd a camp for my self, and had secur'd it so
as to remove to it; so with this resolution I compos'd my self 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 2zst.
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 tho' I had a grind/
stone, I could not turn it and grind my tools too; this cost me as much
thought as a statesman would have bestow'd upon a grand point of
politicks, or a judge upon the life and death of a man. At length I con,
triv'd 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, tho' 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 to perfection.
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 my self to one bisket/cake a day, which
made my heart very heavy.
May i. In .the morning, looking towards the seaside, the tide being
low, I saw something lye 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
lye higher out of the water than it us'd 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 cak'd as hard as a stone; however,
I roll'd 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 bury'd in sand, was heav'd up at least six
foot, and the stern, which was broke to pieces and parted from the rest
ROBINSON CRUSOE 63
by the force of the sea soon after I had left rummaging her, was toss'd,
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
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
loosen'd, 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 my self 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 choak'd
up with sand. However, as I had learned not to despair of any thing,
I resolved to pull every thing to pieces that I could of the ship, concluding
that every thing 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 thro', which I
thought held some of the upper part or quarterdeck together, and when
I had cut it thro', I cleared away the sand as well as I could from the side
which lay highest; but the tide coming in, I was oblig'd to give over for
May 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 me a long line of some rope yarn, but I had no
hooks, yet I frequently caught fish enough, as much as I car'd to eat;
all which I dry'd in the sun, and eat them dry.
May 5. Work'd on the wreck, cut another beam asunder, and brought
three great fir planks off from the decks, which I ty'd together, and made
swim on shore when the tide of flood came on.
May 6. Work'd on the wreck, got several iron bolts out ofher, and other
pieces of iron work; worked very hard, and came home very much tyr'd,
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 broke itself down, the beams being
cut, that several pieces of the ship seem'd to lie loose, and the inside of
the hold lay so open that I could see into it, but almost full of water and
May 8. Went to the wreck, and carry'd an iron crow to wrench up the
deck, which lay now quite clear of the water or sand; I wrench'd 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
64 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
body of the wreck, and felt several casks,.and loosen'd 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 Io, 11, 12, 13, 14. Went every day to the wreck, and got a great
deal of pieces oftimber, and boards, or plank, and 2 or 300 weight ofiron.
May 15. I carry'd two hatchets to try if I could not cut a piece off ofthe
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 blow'd 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 pidgeons for food, that the tide prevented' me going to the wreck
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 loosen'd 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 to land that day but pieces of
timber and a hogshead which had some Brazil pork in it, but the salt,
water and the sand had spoil'd it.
I continued this work every day to the i5th 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 ebb'd out, and by this time I had gotten timber, and plank, and iron,
work enough to have builded a good boat, if I had known how; and also
I got, at several times and in several pieces, near 100 weight of the
June 16. Going down to the seaside, I found a large tortoise or turtle;
this was the first 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 threescore 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 I8. Rain'd 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.
ROBINSON CRUSOE 65
June 20. No rest all night, violent pains in my head, and feverish.
June 21. Very ill, frighted almost to death with the apprehensions of
my sad condition, to be sick, and no help; pray'd to God for the first time
since the storm off of 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 shivering, and then a violent head/ach.
June 24. Much better.
June 25. An ague very violent; the fit held me seven hours, cold fit and
hot, with faint sweats after it.
June 26. Better; and having no victuals to eat, took my gun, but found
my self very weak; however, I killed a she/goat, and with much difficulty
got it home, and broil'd some of it and eat; I wou'd fain have stew'd it
and made some breath, but had no pot.
June 27. The ague again so violent that I lay abed all day, and neither
eat or drank. I was ready to perish for thirst, but so weak, I had not
strength to stand up, or to get my self any water to drink: pray'd to God
again, but was lightheaded, and when I was not, I was so ignorant
that I knew not what to say; only I lay and cry'd, '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 wak'd, I found my self much refresh'd, 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 sa 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 light
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 inexpres,
sibly dreadful, impossible for words to describe; when he stepp'd upon the
ground with his feet, I thought the earth tremb'd, just as it had done
before in the earthquake, and all the air looked, to my apprehension, as if
it had been fill'd 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 repentance, 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
66 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
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 awak'd 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 8 years, of seafaring wickedness, and a constant conversation with
nothing but such as were like my self, wicked and prophane 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 toward God, or inwards to,
wards 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 hardned, unthinking, wicked creature among
our common 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
In the relating what is already past of my story, this will be the more
easily believed, when I shall add, that thro' 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 savages: but I was meerly thoughtless of a God or a providence;
acted like a meer brute from the principles 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 us'd, and dealt justly and honourably with, as well as charitably,
I had not the least thankfulness on my thoughts. When again I was
shipwreck'd, ruin'd, 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 my self
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
drown'd, and my self spar'd, I was surpriz'd with a kind of extasie, and
some transports of soul, which, had the grace of God assisted, might have
come up to true thankfulness; but it ended where it begun, in a meer
common flight ofjoy, cr 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
ROBINSON CRUSOE 67
were destroyed; or an enquiry why Providence had been thus merciful
to me; even just the same common sort of joy which seamen generally
have after they are got safe ashore 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
humane 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 begun to be very
easy, apply'd my self 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 enter'd 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 the thought was remov'd, all the impression which was raised
from it wore off also, as I have noted already.
Even the earthquake, tho' nothing could be more terrible in its nature,
or more immediately 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 affliction 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 burthen of a strong distemper, and nature was exhausted with
the violence of the feaver, conscience, that had slept so long, begun to
awake, and I began to reproach my self 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
These reflections oppress'd me for the second or third day of my dis/
temper, and in the violence, as well of the feaver as of the dreadful re/
preaches of my conscience, extorted some words from me, like praying
to God, tho' I cannot say they were either a prayer attended with desires
or with hopes; it was rather the voice of meer fright and distress; my
thoughts were confused, the convictions great upon my mind, and the
horror of dying in such a miserable condition rais'd vapours into my head
with the meer apprehensions; and in these hurries of my soul, I know not
what my tongue might express: but it was rather exclamation, such as,
68 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
'Lord! what a miserable creature am I? If I should be sick, I shall cer,
tainly 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 at 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 my self, or
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 refus'd their help and assistance who wou'd have lifted me into the
world, and wou'd have made every thing easy to me, and now I have
difficulties to struggle with, too great even for nature itself to support, and
no assistance, no help, no comfort, no advice.' Then I cry'd out, 'Lord,
be my help, for I am in great distress.'
This was he F-ii 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 refresh'd with the sleep I had had,
andthe fit being entirely off, I got up; and tho' the fright and terror of my
dream was very great, yet I considered that the fit of the ague wou'd return
again the next day, and now was my time to get something to refresh and
support my self 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 mix'd them together;
then I got me a piece of the goat's flesh, and broi'd it on the coals, but
could eat very little; I walk'd about, but was very weak, and withal very
sad and heavyhearted in the 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 eat, as we call
it, in the shell; and this was the first bit of meat I had ever ask'd God's
blessing to, even as I cou'd remember, in my whole life.
After I had eaten, I try'd to walk, but found my self so weak that I
cou'd 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._-
Whait is this earth and sea-ofwhichT I have seen so much? Whence
ROBINSON CRUSOE 69
is it produced? And what am I and all the other creatures, wild and
tame, humane 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 power 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 appointment.
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 befal me.
Nothing occurred to my thought to contradict any of these conclu,
sions; and therefore it rested upon me with the greater force that it must
needs be, that God had appointed all this to befal me; that I was brought
to this miserable circumstance by His direction, He having the sole
power, not of me only, but of every thing that happened in the world.
Immediately it followed:
Why has God done this to me? What have I done to be thus us'd?
My conscience presently checked me in that enquiry, as if I had
blasphem'd, and methought it spoke to me like a voice: 'WRETCH!
dost thou ask what thou hast done? Look back upon a dreadful mis,
spent life, and ask thy self what thou hast not done; ask, Why is it that thou
wert not long ago destroyed Why wert thou not drown'd in Yarmouth
roads. kill'd in the figh when the ship was taken by the Sallee man of
war? devour'd by the wild beasts on the coast of Africa? or drown'd
here, when all the crew perish'd but thy self? Dost thou ask, "What have
I was struck dumb with these reflections, as one astonish'd, and had not
a word to say, no, not to answer to my self, but rose up pensive and sad,
walk'd back to my retreat, and went up over my wall, as if I had been
going to bed, but my thoughts were sadly disturb'd, and I had no inclina,
tion 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
terrify'd me very much, it occurred to my thought, that the Brasilians take
no physick 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 cur'd, and some
also that was green and not quite cur'd.
T 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
70 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
look'd for, viz. the tobacco; and as the few books I had sav'd 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
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 try'd several experiments with it,
as ifI was resolved it should hit one way or other. I first took a piece of
a leaf, and chew'd it in my mouth, which indeed at first almost stupify'd
my brain, the tobacco being green and strong, and that I had not been
much us'd 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 theheat as almost for suffocation.
In the interval of this operationiitook up the Bible and began to read,
but my head was too much disturb'd with the tobacco to bear reading,
at least that time; only having opened the book casually, the first words that
occur'd to me were these: Callton-nte in the day of trouble, and I will deliver,
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, tho' 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 Israel did, when they were
promised flesh to eat: Can God spread a table in the wilderness? 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 great impression upon me, and
I mused upon them very often. It grew now late, and the tobacco had,
as I said, doz'd my head so much, that I inclin'd to sleep; so I left my
lamp burning in the cave, least I should want any thing in the night,
and went to bed; but before I la down, I did what I never had done in
all my life, I kneel'd down and pray'd to God toTulfil 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 drunk the rum in which
I had steep'd 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. I found presently it flew up in my head violently, but I fell into a
sound sleep, and wak'd no more'till by the sun it must necessarily be near
three arclock in the afternoon the next day; nay, to this hour, I'm partly
of the opinion that I slept all the next day and night, and 'till almost
three that day after; for otherwise I knew not how I should lose a day out
ROBINSON CRUSOE 71
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 accompt,
and never knew which way.
Be that, however, one way or th' other, when I awak'd I found my self
exceedingly refresh'd, and my spirits lively and cheerful; when I got up,
I was stronger than I was the day before, and my stomach better, for I was
hungry; and in short, I had no fit the next day, but continued much
alter'd 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 kill'd 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 renew'd the medicine which I had supposed did me good
the day before, viz. the tobacco steep'd 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 hop'd I should have been; for I had a little spice of the cold fit, but it
was not much.
July 2. I renewed the medicine all the three ways, and doz'd my self
with it as at first; and doubled the quantity which I drank.
3. I miss'd the fit for good and all, tho' I did not recover my full
strength for some weeks after; while I was thus gathering strength, my
Thoughts run exceedingly upon this scripture, I will deliver thee, and the
impossibility of my deliverance lay much upon my mind in barr of my
ever expecting it. But as I was discouraging my self with such thoughts,
it occurred to my mind that I pored 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 my self such questions as these, viz. Have
I not been delivered, and wonderfully too, from sickness from the most
distress'd 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 I had not glorify'd Him; that is to say, I had not own'd and been
thankful for that as a deliverance, and how cou'd I expect greater
This touch'd my heart very much, and immediately I kneel'd 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 impos'd upon my self to read
a while every morning and every night, not tying my self 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
72 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
sincerely affected with the wickedness of my past life. The impression
of my dream reviv'd, and the words, All these things have not brought thee
to repentance, ran seriously in my thought. I was earnestly begging of
God to give me repentance, when it happened providentially 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
extasy of joy, I cry'd 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 pray'd in all my life;Cor now Ipray'd 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 you, in a different sense from what I had ever done before;
for then I had no notion of any thing being called deliverance, but my
being delivered from the captivity I was in; for tho' 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 honour, 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 to this. And I
add this part here, to hint to whoever shall read it, that whenever they come
to a true sense of things, they will find deliverance from sin a much greater
blessing thandeliverance from affliction. ..
But leaving this part, I return to my journal.
My condition began now to be, tho' 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 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 bestirr'd my self
to furnish my self with every thing that I wanted, and make my way of
living as regular as I could.
From the 4th of July to the i4th, 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 imagin'd 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 cur'd an ague before, neither can I recommend it to any one to
ROBINSON CRUSOE 73
practise, by this experiment; and tho' it did carry off the fit, yet it rather
contributed to weakening me; for I had frequent convulsions in my nerves
and limbs for some time.
I learned 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 the dry season was always most accompany'd
with such storms, so I found that rain was much more dangerous than the
rain which fell in September and October.
I had been now in this unhappy island above 10 months; all possi,
ability of deliverance from this condition seem'd to be entirely taken from
me; and I firmly believed that no humane shape had ever set foot upon
that place. Having now secur'd 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
It was the ISth of July that I began to take a more particular survey
of the island it self. 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 savana's 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 vertues 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 ofalloes,
but did not then understand them. I saw several sugar canes, but wild
and, for want of cultivation, imperfect. I contented my self with these
discoveries for this time, and came back musing with my self what course
I might take to know the vertue 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 Brasils, that I
knew little of the plants in 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 gone the day before, I found the brook, and
74 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
the savana's began to cease, and the country became more woody than
before; in this part I found different fruits, and particularly I found mellons
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 exceeding 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 English men who were slaves there,
by throwing them into fluxes and feavers. But I found an excellent use
for these grapes, and that was to cure or dry them in the sun, and keep
them as dry'd grapes or raisins are kept, which I thought would be, as
indeed they were, as wholesom as agreeable to eat, when no grapes might
be to be 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, travelling
near 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 northside 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 offresh water, which issued
out of the side of the hill by me, run 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 flourish of spring, that it looked like a planted garden.
'I descended a little on the side of that delicious vale, surveying it with a
secret kind of pleasure (tho' mixt with my other afflicting thoughts) to
think that this was all my own, that I was king and lord of all this country
in efeasibly, and had a right of possession; and if I could convey it, I
n ht have it in inheritance as compleatly as any lord of a manner in
England. I saw here abundance of cocoa trees, orange, and lemon, and
citron trees; but all wild, and very few bearing any fruit, at least not then.
However, the green limes that I gathered were not only pleasant to eat,
but very wholesome; and I mix'd 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 I
resolved to lay up a store, as well of grapes as limes and lemons, to furnish
my self for the wet season, which I knew was approaching.
In order to 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 travell'd homeward,
and resolved to come again, and bring a bag or sack, or what I could
make, to carry the rest home.
ROBINSON CRUSOE 75
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 fruits and the weight of the juice
having broken them and bruis'd 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 me two small
bags to bring home my harvest; but I was surpriz'd, when coming to my
heap of grapes, which were so rich and fine when I gathered them, I
found them all spread about, trod to pieces, and dragg'd about, some here,
some there, and abundance eaten and devour'd. 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 that there was no laying them up on heaps, and
no carrying them away in a sack, but that one way they would be de,
stroy'd, 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 up upon the out branches of the trees, that they might cure
and dry in the sun; and as for the limes and lemons, I carry'd as many back
as I could well stand under.
When I came home from this journey, I contemplated with great
pleasure the fruitfulness of that valley and the pleasantness of the situation,
the security from storms on that side the water, and the wood, and con,
eluded that I had pitch'd 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, situate, if possible, in that pleasant fruitful part of the
This thought run long in my head, and I was exceeding fond of it
for some time, the pleasantness 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 by the same ill fate that brought me hither, might bring
some other unhappy wretches to the same place; and tho' it was scarce
probable that any such thing should ever happen, yet to enclose my self
among the hills and woods, in the center 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 enamour'd of this place, that I spent much of my
time there for the whole remaining part of the month of July; and tho'
upon second thoughts I resolved as above, not to remove, yet I built me
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 stak'd, and
76 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
filled between with brushwood; and here I lay very secure, sometimes two
or three nights together, always going over it with a ladder, as before;
so that I fancy'd now I had my country/house, and my seacoast-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, but
the rains came on, and made me stick close to my first habitation; for tho'
I had made me 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 dry'd, 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 spoil'd
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 carry'd most of them home to my cave, but it began to rain,
and from hence, which was the fourteenth of August, it rain'd 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 surpriz'd with the increase of my family.
I had been concerned for the loss of one of my. cats, who run 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 tho' I had
killed a wild cat, as I called it, with my gun, yet I thought it was a quite
differing 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,
I thought it very strange. But from these three cats, I afterwards came to
be so pester'd with cats, that I was forc'd to kill them like vermine 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 strained 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 eat a bunch of raisins for my breakfast, a piece of the
goat's flesh or of the turtle for my dinner, broil'd; for, to my great mis,
fortune, I had no vessel to boil or stew any thing; and two or three of the
turtle's eggs for my 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
ROBINSON CRUSOE 77
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 manag'd my self
before, I was in a perfect enclosure, whereas now I thought I lay expos'd,
and open for any thing to come in upon me; and yet I could not perceive
that there was any living thing to fear, the biggest creature that I had yet
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 religious exercise, prostrating my self on the ground
with the most serious humiliation, confessing my sins to God, acknow/
pledging 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 till the going down of the sun, I then
eat a bisket cake and a bunch of grapes, and went to bed, finishing the
day as I began it.
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
A little after this my ink began to fail me, and so I contented my self
to use it more sparingly, and to write down only the most remarkable
events of my life, without continuing a daily memorandum of other things.
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 sav'd the few ears of barley and rice, which
I had so surprisingly found spring up, as I thought, of themselves, and
believe there was 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 sow'd my grain; but as
I was sowing, it casually occur'd to my thoughts that I would not sow it
all at first, because I did not know when was the proper time for it; so
I sow'd about two thirds of the seed, leaving about a handful of each.
78 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
It was a great comfort to me afterwards that I did so, for not one grain
of that I sow'd this time came to any thing; 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 but 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 sow'd 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 plea/
sandy, and yielded a very good crop; but having part of the seed left
only, and not daring to sow all that I had, I had but a small quantity
at last, my whole crop not amounting to above half a peck of each
But by this experiment 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 year.
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 out 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 surpriz'd, and yet very well pleas'd, to see
the young trees grow; and I prun'd them, and led them up to grow as much
alike as I could; and it is scarce 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
cover'd it; and it was a compleat shade, sufficient to lodge under all the
This made me resolve to cut some more stakes, and make me 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 thus:
ROBINSON CRUSOE 79
March Rainy, the sun being then on or near the equinox.
June -Dry, the sun being then to the north of the line.
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 happen d
to blow; but this was the general observation I made. After I had found
by experience the ill consequence of being abroad in the rain, I took care
to furnish my self with provisions before hand, that I might not be
oblig'd to go out; and I sat within doors as much as possible during the
This time r 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 my self with, but by hard labour and constant application; par,
ticularly, I try'd many ways to make my self 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 basketmaker's in the town where
my father liv'd, to see them make their wickerware; 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 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 countryhouse, as I called it,
and cutting some of the smaller twigs, I found them to my purpose as
80 THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF
much as I could desire; whereupon 1 came the next time prepared with an
hatchet to cut down a quantity, which I soon found, for there was great
plenty of them; these I set up to dry within my circle or hedge, and when
they were fit for use, I carry'd them to my cave, and here during the next
season, I employed my self in making, as well as I could, a great many
baskets, both to carry earth, or to carry or lay up any thing as I had occa,
sion; and tho' I did not finish them very handsomly, 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 decay'd, 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 bestirr'd my self to see if possible how to supply two wants. I had no
vessels to hold any thing that was liquid, except two runlets which were
almost full of rum, and some glassbottles, 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 any thing, except a great
kettle, which I sav'd out of the ship, and which was too big for such use
as I desired it, viz. to make broth and stew a bit of meat by it self. The
second thing I would fain have had, was a tobacco/pipe, but it was
impossible to make one; however, I found a contrivance for that too at last.
I employed my self in planting my second rows of stakes or piles, and
in this wicker working, 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 travell'd 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 cross to the seashore on that side; so taking
my gun, a hatchet, and my dog, and a larger quantity of powder and shot
than usual, with two bisket cakes and a great bunch of raisins in my pouch
for my store, I began my journey. When I had pass'd 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 descry'd land, whether an island or a
continent, I could not tell; but it lay very high, extending 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 kiew 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 dis,
positions of Providence, which I began now to own and to believe