• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Shipwreck and preparations for...
 The landing and first day...
 Voyage of discovery
 Voyage to the wreck
 What passed on land during our...
 Projects of migration
 The migration
 The building in the tree
 Sunday
 The hurdle
 Second voyage to the vessel
 Third voyage to the vessel
 The bakehouse
 The Pinnace
 A walk
 The heath-cock
 Wax-lights
 Sago
 The wild ass
 Return of the fine season
 Cotton
 The feast of deliverance
 Divers labours
 The weaving machine
 Epitaph on the ass
 An excursion
 Journey to the farm
 The peccaries
 Walk in the savannah
 Labours of the mother during our...
 Arab tower
 Return of the rainy season
 Departure of the boys for...
 Trial of the canoe
 Departure for Wuldegg
 Construction of a summer habit...
 Glance at the colony at the end...
 Confidences of Fritz
 James's fright
 Jenny
 Continuation of Miss Jenny's...
 Conclusion
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Schweizerische Robinson
Title: The Swiss family Robinson
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00085415/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Swiss family Robinson the adventures of a family shipwrecked on a desert island
Uniform Title: Schweizerische Robinson
Physical Description: 302 p., 8 leaves of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wyss, Johann David, 1743-1818
Mather, Richard ( Illustrator )
Longmans, Green, and Co ( Publisher )
Edinburgh Press ( Printer )
Publisher: Longmans, Green & Co.
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: (Edinburgh Press
Publication Date: 1896
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Family -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Castaways -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Pirates -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Robinsonades -- 1896   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1896
Genre: Robinsonades   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
General Note: Title page printed in red and black.
Statement of Responsibility: Johann Wyss ; with eight illustrations by Richard Mather.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00085415
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002225282
notis - ALG5554
oclc - 22122834

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Half Title
        Page 3
    Frontispiece
        Page 4
    Title Page
        Page 5
    Preface
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    List of Illustrations
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Shipwreck and preparations for escape
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    The landing and first day on land
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Voyage of discovery
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    Voyage to the wreck
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
    What passed on land during our absence
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Projects of migration
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    The migration
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 70a
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
    The building in the tree
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
    Sunday
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    The hurdle
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    Second voyage to the vessel
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
    Third voyage to the vessel
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 108a
        Page 109
    The bakehouse
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    The Pinnace
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
    A walk
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    The heath-cock
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
    Wax-lights
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
    Sago
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 142a
        Page 143
        Page 144
    The wild ass
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
    Return of the fine season
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
    Cotton
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
    The feast of deliverance
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
    Divers labours
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 182a
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
    The weaving machine
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
    Epitaph on the ass
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
    An excursion
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
    Journey to the farm
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
    The peccaries
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
    Walk in the savannah
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 212a
        Page 213
        Page 214
    Labours of the mother during our absence
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 216a
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
    Arab tower
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
    Return of the rainy season
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
    Departure of the boys for a rat-hunt
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
    Trial of the canoe
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
    Departure for Wuldegg
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
    Construction of a summer habitation
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
    Glance at the colony at the end of ten years
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 262a
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
    Confidences of Fritz
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
    James's fright
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
    Jenny
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
    Continuation of Miss Jenny's history
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
    Conclusion
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
    Back Cover
        Page 303
        Page 304
    Spine
        Page 305
Full Text



































































The Baldwin Library

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THE
Swiss
FAMILY
ROBINSON
































































A FAMILY PARTY,


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THE SWISS FAMILY


ROBINSON


THE ADVENTURES OF A FAMILY SHIPWRECKED ON
A DESERT ISLAND


WITH EIGHT ILL USTRA TIONS
BY

RICHARD MATHER


0 11,
s E
r4 ON


NEW YORK
LONGMANS, GREEN & CO.


MDCCCXCVI











PREFACE


AT the commencement of the present century, a
Swiss Pastor, who had lost his fortune, resolved
to set sail, as a voluntary exile, for one of the newly
discovered regions of the Pacific Ocean, and to seek
there the means of support for himself and family,
denied him by his own country, then convulsed with
the horrors of war.
He departed accordingly, with his wife and four sons,
varying from six to fifteen years of age, in search of
a new home. A prosperous voyage brought the ship
within sight of New Guinea; when a violent storm
arose, which drove the ill-fated vessel out of its course,
and finally wrecked it on an unknown coast.
It was in this crisis of their affairs that the worthy
Pastor began the journal which is now placed before
the public.


















CON TE NTS




CHAPTER I.
PAGE
Shipwreck and preparations for escape 5

CHAPTER II.
The landing and first day on land 20

CHAPTER III.
Voyage of discovery 29

CHAPTER IV.
Voyage to the Wreck 43

CHAPTER V.
What passed on land during our absence 50

CHAPTER VI.
Projects of migration. The dead shark. The bridge 57

CHAPTER VII.
The migration. The porcupine. The tiger-cat. The wounded
flamingo 62

CHAPTER VIII.
The building in the tree 74

CHAPTER IX.
Sunday 78







8 CONTENTS.

CHAPTER X.
The hurdle. The salmon. The kangaroo 92

CHAPTER XI.
Second voyage to the vessel 99

CHAPTER XII.
Third voyage to the vessel. The penguins o6

CHAPTER XIII.
The bakehouse o

CHAPTER- XIV.
The pinnace 113

CHAPTER XV.
A walk. The wizard of the tree. The wild hog .

CHAPTER XVI.
The heath-cock. Wax. The parrot's nest. The india-rubber tree 125

CHAPTER XVII.
Wax-lights. Butter. Plantations. Last voyage to the vessel. Palm
wine. The buffaloes 130

CHAPTER XVIII.
Sago. The bees. The education of the animals 38

CHAPTER XIX.
The wild ass. Flax. The rainy season 145

CHAPTER XX.
Return of the fine season. The cavern of salt. The bank of herrings.
The sea dogs 53

CHAPTER XXI.
Cotton. The farm. The canoe. 163







CONTENTS. 9

CHAPTER XXII.
The feast of deliverance 170

CHAPTER XXIII.
Divers labours. Expedition against the apes. The whale 175


CHAPTER XXIV.
The weaving machine. The palanquin. The boa 87


CHAPTER XXV.
Epitaph on the ass. The boa stuffed 194


CHAPTER XXVI.
An excursion. A new grotto 197


CHAPTER XXVII.
Journey to the farm. The cavy. The musk rat 201


CHAPTER XXVIII.
The peccaries. The gigantic bamboos. Continuation of our journey 206


CHAPTER XXIX.
Walk in the Savannah. Troop and eggs of ostriches. The green
valley. Fright of Ernest. The bears 209


CHAPTER XXX.
Labours of the mother during our absence. The condor. Skinning
the bears, and preparing their flesh. Excursion of the three
boys. The Angora rabbits.' The antelopes. Fritz's recital.
The guide cuckoo. The nest of bees 215


CHAPTER XXXI.
Arab tower. Taking an ostrich. General departure and arrival
at the grotto. The eel. Education of the ostrich. Hydromel.
Making hats 220







CONTENTS.


CHAPTER XXXII.
Return of the rainy season. Making pottery. A voyage to Requin
Island 227


CHAPTER XXXIII.
Departure of the boys for a rat hunt. Massacre of devastating pigs.
Return of the young people. Shoal of herrings and sea-dogs 232


CHAPTER XXXIV.
Trial of the canoe. Disappearance of Fritz. The walrus. The
storm. Anxiety about Fritz 237


CHAPTER XXXV.
Departure for Waldegg. The hyena. The messenger pigeon.
Fritz's letter. The black swans. The royal heron. The tapir.
The cranes. The bird of paradise. Ravages made by apes 244


CHAPTER XXXVI.
Construction of a summer habitation. Fruits of the cacao-tree
and banana tree. The mysterious sack. The sultana hens.
Elephants. Panthers. The amphibious monster. The deceiver
deceived.. Restoration of Falcon's Nest. Construction of a
bodyguard in Requin Island 252


CHAPTER XXXVII.
Glance at the Colony at the end of ten years. Excursion of Fritz
in his canoe. The nests. The bay of pearls. The sea-dogs.
The albatross 259


CHAPTER XXXVIII.
Confidences of Fritz. The Englishwoman on the Fiery Rock.
Departure for the pearl-oyster fishery. The unloading 266


CHAPTER XXXIX.
James's fright. The wild boar. Truffles. Lions. Death of Belle.
Fritz's expedition 271








CONTENTS. II


CHAPTER XL.
Jenny 279


CHAPTER XLI.
Continuation of Miss Jenny's history 288


CHAPTER XLII.
Conclusion 294





























LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


A FAMILY PARTY

"A FLOCK OF FLAMINGOES ROSE IN THE AIR"

CAPTURING THE PENGUINS

A BUFFALO IN HARNESS

THE STRANDED WHALE

"A BEAR, A BEAR, FATHER "I

A HERD OF ANTELOPES

AN ADVENTURE WITH A TIGER


Frontispiece.

To face page 70

8,,

S, 143

182

S*, 212

217

S 262














THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.



CHAPTER I.

SHIPWRECK AND PREPARATIONS FOR ESCAPE.

THE tempest lasted for six days, and, far from lessening,
redoubled its fury. Driven out of our route to the south-west,
it was impossible for us to recognize our position. The ship
had lost her masts, and took in water on every side. Each
one recommending his soul to God, implored Him for the means
of escaping death. "Children," said I to my four sons, who
were weeping round their mother, "God can yet save us, if
such be His will; but if He has decided otherwise, let us
submit. We shall, at least, quit this world only to be re-united
in a better."
My wife dried her tears, and, from my example, forced
herself to appear calm, to inspire the children with courage
and resignation. We fell on our knees and prayed with
fervour. Suddenly, through the noise of the wind and waves,
I heard with delight the cry of "Land! land!" but at the
same instant we felt a dreadful shock, which was followed by
a long and frightful crackling. Then, from the immobility of
the ship, and the deafening noise which the sea made in rushing
round it, I found that we had struck on the rocks, and that
the vessel had split in the middle.
"We are lost! get out the boats!" cried a voice, which
I recognized as that of the captain. "Lost!" repeated the
children, with looks full of anguish. "Re-assure yourselves,"
said I; "do not yet despair. God will assist the brave. I
will go and see what can be attempted for our safety."
I quitted the cabin and went on the deck. Blinded by
15







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


the surge, I remained for some moments incapable of dis-
tinguishing anything. When at last I had gained the highest
part of the deck, I saw the boats already over-filled with
people, who were striving to get away from the wreck. A
sailor had just cut the last rope. They had forgotten us.
I called aloud, but my voice was lost in the tumult, and
I ascertained with deep horror that we were abandoned on
the shipwrecked vessel. In this terrible extremity, I was con-
soled by finding that the ship had struck in such a manner
that the poop, in which our cabin was situated, could not be
reached by the waves. At the same time, in spite of the thick
rain which was falling, I could perceive, at some distance to
the south, a shore, which, though of desolate aspect, became
henceforward the object of my hope. I returned to my family,
and affecting a tranquillity I was far from feeling, "Take
courage," said I, "all is not lost. A part of the ship, thank
God, remains fixed above the water. To-morrow the wind
and sea will be calmer, and we may reach the shore." The
children, with the confidence of their age, accepted this supposi-
tion as a certainty. By a sign of intelligence from my wife,
I found that she penetrated the truth, but I saw, also,
that her faith in God was not diminished. "We shall have,"
said she, "a fearful night to pass; let us take some nourishment;
the food of the body strengthens the mind."
The evening was in fact approaching, and the tempest,
still violent, was beating at the ship with such fury that every
instant I feared it would be entirely broken up. Their mother
having hastened the preparations for a simple repast, the
children ate heartily, then went to bed and slept soundly.
Fritz, the eldest, who better understood our position than
his brothers, wished to watch with us. "Father," said he,
"I have reflected on the means of reaching the shore. If we
had some cork or some bladders to make swimming belts for
my mother and my brothers, you and I could swim without
help." "Your idea is good, my dear child," replied I; "let
us prepare some as quickly as we can." Having then gathered
together a number of small empty barrels, and of those tin
bottles in which, at sea, they keep rations of fresh water, aided
by Fritz I joined them together with handkerchiefs, and fastened







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


two of them under the arms of each of the children, and of
my dear, brave wife. Fritz and I then filled our pockets and
theirs with knives, cords, steels, and other things which might
be very necessary to us, should the vessel be broken up during
the night, and we fortunate enough to reach the shore. These
precautions taken, Fritz, re-assured and very much fatigued,
laid down beside his brothers and soon fell asleep.
This terrible night was passed by myself and my wife in
prayer. Towards morning, however, I thought the tempest
had abated. At the first dawn of day I mounted on the
deck. The wind had fallen a little, the sea was calmer, and
a fine dawn tinged the horizon with light. Re-animated by
this view, I called my wife and sons. The children were
alarmed when they saw that we were alone on the ship. "Where
are the sailors?" said they. "Why, if they have gone away,
did they not take us with them? What will become of us?"
"My children," replied I, "our companions have gone away
in the boats without thinking of us, and it is to be feared
they have perished by their precipitation. At present, they
are perhaps more to be pitied than we are. See, the sky is
clear, the land is not far off; our abandonment is perhaps
fortunate. Let us hope in God, who has not forsaken
us, and consider what must be undertaken to assure our
safety."
Fritz, enterprising and adventurous, persisted in his idea
of swimming to land. Ernest, my second son, aged twelve
years, intelligent, but timid and indolent, was frightened at
the idea of such a venture, and proposed constructing a raft.
I showed him that such a conveyance, besides the time necessary
to construct it, was very difficult to guide. These two con-
siderations made him abandon his opinion almost immediately.
"Now, my children," said I, "let us explore the vessel; and
while reflecting on the means of gaining the shore, let us gather
together on the deck everything which may be useful to us
on shore."
We separated for the search. I went first to the place
where the provisions were kept, to secure the first necessaries
of existence. Fritz visited the magazine of arms and muni-
tions, whence he brought up guns, pistols, powder, balls, and
2







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


shot. Ernest rifled the carpenter's cabin, and returned loaded
with tools and nails. Little Francis, my youngest child, aged
six years, wishing to show his activity, brought a box full
of fish-hooks. Fritz and Ernest laughed at him; but I
thought we ought not to despise this acquisition, for we might
be reduced to live by fishing. As to James, our third son,
an urchin of ten years old, he re-appeared with two large
dogs, which he had found shut up in the captain's cabin, and
being rendered docile by hunger, suffered themselves to be
led by the ears. My wife told me that she had found a cow,
an ass, and two goats, to whom she had given food and drink
just in time to save them, for these poor beasts had had no
food for two days.
Each one appeared to have made useful discoveries, except
James. "You have brought," said I, "two terrible eaters, who
will cost a great deal, without being of any use." I thought,
dear father," replied he, "that they would help us to hunt,
when we were on land." "You are right; but we are not yet
on land! Have you thought of any means of arriving there,
dear little one?" "Ah!" said he, "we might sail in the tubs,
as I did formerly in my grandfather's pond." "A good idea,"
said I, and immediately went, followed by my children, to
the hold, where several large empty barrels were floating.
I drew out four of them to the planks of the middle deck,
which was near the level of the water. These barrels were
made of strong wood, bound with iron; I judged them very
fit for the execution of our project. Aided by Fritz, I began
by sawing them into two equal parts. When we had thus
obtained eight tubs, which I ranged side by side, I looked for
a flexible plank, long enough to hold them all, and to form
besides at each end a kind of keel. We nailed the tubs firmly
to this plank, and each of them was attached to the other by
bolts. All this being well accomplished, we saw ourselves in
possession of a conveyance which, in a calm sea, would, in my
opinion, be perfectly safe.
It now remained to put it into the water, but it was so
heavy that our united efforts could not move it. I wanted
a screw-jack. Fritz, who recollected having seen one, went to
look for it. By the help of this instrument I raised the heavy







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


construction, and Fritz placed some rollers under it; it was
then easy to set it in motion. The children were astonished
at seeing the power of the screw-jack. I promised them to
explain its mechanism at the first leisure moment. A few
minutes after, our barque glided from the deck into the sea, on
which it floated, with such rapidity, that it would have escaped,
if I had not taken the precaution to fix it firmly by a cable
to a joist of the vessel. The children uttered cries of joy
on seeing it float; I was not so well satisfied as they
were. It went all on one side, which discouraged me for the
moment, but I soon found that I could remedy this by ballast.
Seizing all the heavy things that were near my hand, I threw
them into the tubs, and by degrees I saw the boat recover its
equilibrium.
We now-wanted oars. Ernest found four which had been
left under a sail-cloth. Recollecting that the savages used a
kind of fly-beam to ensure the steadiness of their canoes, I
resolved to adapt similar ones to our boat. I took two pieces
of yard, which I fixed by pegs to the extremities of the boat,
so that they could turn. At each end of these poles I fixed a
little empty cask, to float on the water right and left. These
kept the boat quite steady.
When these labours were completed, it was too late to think
of putting to sea the same day. We must resign ourselves to
pass another night on the stranded ship. This determination
taken, my wife comforted us materially by a good meal, for we
had taken nothing during the day but a little bread and wine.
Although more satisfied than on the preceding evening, I would
not go to bed without putting on the children their swimming
apparatus. Sleep was not long in coming to us, for the day had
been a busy one. The night passed without any unfortunate
incident.


















CHAPTER II.


THE LANDING AND FIRST DAY ON LAND.

AT the break of day we were all awake. As soon as we
had engaged in morning prayer, I said to my children, "We
shall now, with God's help, attempt our deliverance. Give the
animals provisions for several days, for we must return to fetch
them, if, as I hope, our journey succeed. Collect, then, all that
will be of the greatest use to us after our landing, and take
courage." I placed among the cargo a barrel of powder, some
guns, several pairs of pistols, some bullets, also some lead and
moulds to make more. Each of us carried a game bag full of
food. I took a chest full of broth-cakes, another of biscuits, a
porridge pot, some knives, hatchets, scythes, pincers, nails,
gimlets, and fishing lines. I took also some sails to make
a tent. We had amassed so many things, that we were obliged
to leave a great number, though I had exchanged for useful
things the ballast I had thrown into the tubs. My wife thought
that we should do well to take with us some fowls, ducks, geese,
and pigeons. She placed two cocks and twelve hens in one of
the tubs, which I enclosed with a sort of grating formed by
cross pieces of wood. As to the ducks, pigeons, and geese,
I gave them their liberty, trusting to their instinct to gain the
land, some by flying, others by swimming. The children had
already embarked in the order I had arranged, when my wife
came from the interior of the vessel, carrying in her arms a
large bag which she threw into the tub occupied by little
Francis. I took no notice of this bag, presuming that the
thoughtful mother had taken it to make a seat for the
child.
As soon as I saw everybody installed, I cut the cable which
20







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


retained the boat, and began to row towards the land. In the
first tub was my wife, in the second little Francis. Fritz
occupied the third. The two middle ones contained the
powder, arms, sails, the tools, the food, and the poultry. James
was in the sixth; Ernest in the seventh; and I took the last
one for myself, whence, helm in hand, I directed our naviga-
tion. Each of us had beside him one of our belts of bottles
and barrels to serve in case of accident. As I judged the
dogs too big to embark with us, we left them on the vessel.
When they saw that we were going, they began to howl, but
suddenly decided on throwing themselves into the water and
soon rejoined us. Fearing that the journey was too long for
their strength, I eased them by letting them put their fore
paws from time to time on the balancing poles or on the
barrels. The good animals soon understood this manceuvre,
and could thus follow us without too much fatigue.
The sea curled softly, the sky was pure, the sun radiant.
We rowed with a will, and the tide favoured us. Around us
floated chests, barrels, bales, and other waifs of the shipwrecked
vessel. Fritz and I seized with the oars and fastened to the
boat some of the barrels which we towed along. My wife,
her hand resting on the head of her youngest child, her eyes
raised to heaven, was silently praying. The journey was
happily accomplished, but the nearer we approached the shore,
the more wild and melancholy it appeared. A line of grey
and naked rocks was all we could see.
After a time, however, Fritz, who was very strong sighted,
thought he discovered some trees, among which, he assured us,
were some palm trees. Ernest, naturally dainty, was rejoiced
at the idea of eating cocoa-nuts, which, as he had read, were
much better than the walnuts of Europe.
A discussion arose among the children, on the kind of
trees which Fritz was endeavouring to make them see. As I
was regretting not having brought away the captain's telescope,
James drew from his pocket a little eye-glass which he had
found in the mate's room. I could then observe the shore.
Forgetting the subject in dispute, I looked round anxiously
for a place to land at. I noticed a creek towards which the
geese and ducks were making their way. "Do you see the






THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


cocoa-nuts, papa?" said little Francis. "Yes," said I, smiling,
"Fritz has good eyes; he is not deceived. I distinguish in
the distance some trees which appear to be cocoa-nut trees."
"I am very glad," said the little boy, clapping his hands
together for joy. My wife leant forward to embrace him and
hide a tear. When she raised her head she only showed us
a smile. We bent well to our oars, and landed near the mouth
of a stream, at a place where the water was scarcely deeper
than was necessary to keep our tubs afloat, and where the
shore was very low. The children jumped hastily on shore,
with the exception of Francis, who, in spite of his impatience,
was too young to get out of his tub without his mother's
assistance. The dogs, who had preceded us, welcomed us
with joyful barks. The ducks and geese already installed
on the shores of the stream, saluted us with their quackings,
with which were mingled the harsh cries of some penguins
who remained motionless on the rock, and of several flamingoes
who ran away frightened.
Our first care, as soon as we touched land, was to throw
ourselves on our knees to thank God who had so mercifully
delivered us, and ask Him to continue His protection. I
clasped my wife and my poor little ones in my arms. The
moist eyes of my wife met mine. "God is good," said she,
with an angelic smile; "He has left us each other and our
children." We then proceeded to unload the boat, and every-
thing was soon transported to the shore. Though this booty
was inconsiderable, how rich we thought ourselves in pos-
sessing it!
I chose a convenient place to pitch the tent which was to
shelter us. I fixed in the soil one of the poles which served
to balance our boat; at the top of this pole I placed the
second, resting one end in a cleft of the rock. Then I threw
over it the sail which I extended with pegs, taking care to
fix the edges inside, with our chests of provisions and other
heavy things, and Fritz fixed some hooks to the opening, so
that we might close it at night. I ordered the children to
collect all the dry grass and moss they could find to make
beds. Whilst they were thus occupied I built with some
stones, at a little distance from the tent, a sort of furnace, on







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which I placed several armsful of dead wood, picked up from
the sides of the stream, and I soon kindled a large fire, which
blazed gaily. My wife placed on the hearth the pot full of
water, into which I threw five or six soup-cakes. What
are you going to glue, papa?" asked little Francis, who took
the soup-cakes for strong glue. His mother, smiling at his
artless question, said I was making soup. "Glue soup," said
he, making a sour face. "Oh, no," said his mother, "meat
soup." "Meat!" cried Francis, opening his eyes, "are you
going to the butcher's, mama?" His mother laughed, and
told him that what he had taken for glue, was the juice of
meat reduced to this state by long boiling. "They employ
this means," said she, "to supply fresh meat, which would be
tainted in long sea voyages."
Fritz, who had loaded his gun, went off up the stream;
Ernest went the opposite way along by the sea. James began
to search the rocks in the hope of finding mussels. I was busy
drawing from the water the barrels which we had towed along,
when I heard James uttering loud cries. Armed with a hatchet,
I ran to the side whence the voice proceeded. I perceived the
child on his knees in the water. "Papa, papa," cried he, with
an accent in which triumph and terror were mingled, "come
quickly; I have caught a great beast." "Well, bring him."
"I cannot, papa; he holds me." I could not help laughing
to see this conqueror a prisoner to his captive, but it was time
to go to his assistance. A large lobster was holding him by the
leg, and poor James tried in vain to escape from the claws of
the animal. I went into the sea; the lobster let go his prize
and tried to escape, but I seized him by the middle of the
body, and brought him to land. My scapegrace, proud of
being able to show this fine captive to his mother, hastily seized
the creature with both hands, but scarcely had he touched him,
than he struck his face such a violent blow with his tail, that
he let him fall, and began to cry. While consoling him, I
could not help laughing at his discomfiture. I showed him
that nothing was more simple than to conquer his prisoner by
holding him by the middle of his body. As soon as he was
satisfied, he resumed his road to let his mother admire his
capture. "Mama! Francis Ernest! Fritz where is Fritz ?"







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cried he, arriving at the tent; "Come and see! A lobster, a
lobster !"
Ernest, after having gravely examined the creature, advised
his mother to put him into the boiling pot, which would
make us a rich soup. My wife did not think much of the
excellence of this receipt, and decided that we should cook the
lobster separately. Ernest then told us that he had also made
a discovery. "I have seen," said he, "some shell-fish in the
water; but it would wet me to take them." "I saw them
also," replied James, with a disdainful air; *' but what of that?
Small shell-fish, I would not eat them. Think of my lobster!"
"Who knows ?" said Ernest again, perhaps they are oysters.
I should say they were by the manner in which they stuck to
the rocks, and the depth at which they are found." "Well,
soft one," said I, "if you thought they were oysters, why did
you not bring us some? You were afraid of wetting yourself,
you say; remember, in our position we must give proofs of
energy and self-denial."
I also saw," said Ernest, some salt among the holes of the
rocks." I explained this fact by supposing that the sun had
dried the sea-water. "Ah !" cried I, "eternal discoverer! if
you saw salt, you ought to have collected a sack full. Go
then and repair this negligence quickly, that we may not
eat insipid soup." Ernest set off, and soon returned. The
salt which he brought was so mixed with sand and earth,
that I was on the point of throwing it away, but my wife
prevented me. She threw it into some water, which she then
strained through a cloth, and we used this water to salt our
soup. I, however, scolded Ernest for having taken so little
care.
The soup was ready, but Fritz had not come in, and besides,
standing before the boiling pot, we asked each other, very
foolishly, how we were going to empty it. Must we carry by
turns the great burning pot to our lips, and fish up the biscuit
with our fingers? We found ourselves nearly in the situation
of the fox in the fable, to whom the stork presented food in
a bottle. Our embarrassment was so great that we burst out
laughing. "If we only had some cocoa-nuts," said Ernest,
"we might make some spoons." "Yes," said I, "if it were







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only to wish and have, we might instantly be provided with
magnificent silver covers. But Fritz's cocoa-nut trees are
yet to be discovered. The rocks separate us from them.
Come my children, invent something that may serve our
purpose. Could we not," replied Ernest, "make use of oyster-
shells ?" "Capital! cried I; "make haste and procure
some."
Ernest went off again, but was forestalled by James, who
had gone into the water before the indolent one had reached
the shore. James detached the oysters and threw them on
the ground. Ernest was satisfied with picking them up, thus
avoiding wetting his feet. At the same time that our oyster
fishers returned, Fritz came in. He advanced, holding his
hand behind his back, and affecting a sorrowful air. Have
you found nothing?" I asked. "Nothing at all," replied he.
But his brothers, who were surrounding him, cried out, "Oh!
a little guinea pig! where did you find it ? Let me see it."
Then Fritz proudly showed the game which he had at first
hidden.
I congratulated him on his hunting; but reprimanded him
for the falsehood he had told, though it was only in jest. He
asked pardon; then told us that he had gone to the other
side of the stream, and had found a very different country from
that in which we were. "There," said he, "the vegetation
is magnificent; besides, there is on the shore a quantity of
chests, barrels, and other waifs of the shipwreck which the sea
has thrown up. Shall we suffer all these riches to be lost?
Shall we go and fetch the cattle from the vessel? The cow
especially would give us excellent milk to steep our biscuits.
Down below there is plenty of grass to feed her, and beautiful
trees to shelter us. Let us go and settle there. Let us quit
this naked and arid shore."
"Patience, patience," replied I, "every thing in time. First
tell me, have you discovered any trace of our companions?"
"Nothing, either on land or sea. I have seen no other living
beings than a troop of animals like the one I have brought.
These are, I think guinea-pigs, but of a particular kind, for
their paws are made like those of hares. They are so tame
that I could look at them closely. They bounded about in







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the grass, sat, and carried their food to their mouths like
squirrels." Ernest gravely examined the animal, and said that
according to his natural history, he believed it was an ag6uti.
"Ah!" cried Fritz, "see how. the learned impose on us; I say
it is a guinea-pig."
I interfered in the discussion: "Do not take so high a
tone with your brother," said I to Fritz; I have never seen
a living ag6uti; but what you hold there is certainly the ag6uti
of which the naturalists speak. In the first place, your animal
is much too large for a guinea-pig; he has a flat head, small
ears, a small tail, and short yellow-brown hair. He is about
the size of a large rabbit; and see, its front teeth are sharp and
bent inwards. A guinea-pig never had such teeth." Father,"
said Ernest, "since the ag6utis are so tame, suppose we try
to take some alive. We could bring them up like rabbits,
and should have game always at hand, without the trouble
of hunting it." "Yes, that would suit your idleness, Ernest.
Try if you like. The ag6uti is not difficult to provide for;
but I foresee that these rabbits will give you more trouble
than those of Europe. They are great gnawers, whose teeth
are always at work. Nothing resists them, however hard,
and they have been known to bite through the iron bars of the
cage in which they were confined. Where do you intend to
keep yours?"
James, while his brothers were attentively listening to this
lesson of natural history, was struggling to open an oyster with
his knife; but though he employed all his strength, he could
not succeed. I then took the oysters, placed them on the
hot coals, and they soon opened of themselves. Now," said
I, "my children, this is a very delicious dish; taste it." Saying
this I sucked up an oyster and swallowed it. James and Fritz
imitated me, but did not hesitate to declare that they were
detestable. Ernest and Francis thought the same. So we
only took that part of the oysters which is usually thrown
away, namely the shells, and using them for spoons, began to
eat our soup.
Whilst we were feasting with a good appetite, the two dogs,
who had good reasons for wishing to imitate us, discovered
Fritz's ag6uti, and began to tear it. Fritz rose furiously, and






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seizing his gun, struck them with it so violently that he broke
the stock; then while the dogs were running away, he threw
stones at them as long as he could reach them. This was not
the first time that Fritz had shown irritability. And I felt
that I ought to repress this violence of disposition, which
grieved me, and might set a bad example to his brothers.
I scolded him severely, and showed him that in the blindness
of his anger he had not only made his gun useless, but risked
laming poor animals who were intended to be of great
service to us. He saw the justice of my reprimand, and ex-
pressed his sorrow for it. I pardoned him on condition that
he should make his peace with the dogs. Fritz immediately
took a piece of biscuit in each hand, and shortly after these
good animals reappeared with him. Poor Fritz had his eyes
full of tears. "Oh, father," said he, "even before taking the
biscuit they licked my hand. How could I be so harsh to
such good creatures ?" "Anger is always wrong, my dear
child," said I; "do not forget it."
As we finished our repast, the sun disappeared in the
horizon. The cocks, hens, and ducks assembled round us.
Then my wife threw them some handfuls of corn, which she
drew from the ba.g I had seen her put into Francis's tub. I
praised her highly for her forethought; but remarked that it
would be better still to keep these grains to sow, than to lavish
them on the animals who could be fed with damaged biscuits.
The pigeons took refuge in the crevices of the rocks; the cocks
and hens perched on the ridge of the tent; and the ducks
couched in the tufts of rushes at the mouth of the stream.
We also prepared for repose. The arms were loaded and
placed in such a manner that we could seize them at the
first alarm. We then joined in prayer, and retired into the
tent.
To the great astonishment of the children, darkness suc-
ceeded to daylight very rapidly. I concluded from this that
we must be near the equator, at all events in a tropical region.
I looked once more out of the tent to assure myself that all
was calm around us; then I closed the entrance and went
to bed. The night was very fresh; we were obliged to lie
close together to keep warm. This contrast between the






28 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

temperature of the day and night confirmed me in my opinion
of the situation of the country. My wife slept, and so did the
children. It was agreed between us that I should watch till
the middle of the night, and that I should then call her to
take my place; but sleep insensibly overcame me, and God
alone watched over us on the first night that we passed on
the land of deliverance.
















CHAPTER III.


VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY.

THE cocks did not forget to salute the sun. My wife and I
were awoke by their crowing. Our first care was to arrange
the employment of the day. She agreed with me that we ought
first of all to try and ascertain the fate of our companions. We
,also wished to explore the country, to know in what part to fix
our residence. It was agreed that I should go on this discovery
with Fritz, whilst the mother should remain near the tent with
the other boys. I then begged her to prepare breakfast, and
woke the children, who immediately arose.
I asked James what had become of his lobster. He told me
that he had hid it in a hole of the rock, for fear the dogs should
take it as they had Fritz's ag6uti. "Very well," said I; "this
is a proof that you are not a careless boy when your own
interests are concerned, and that you learn experience by others'
misfortunes. However, will you give us your lobster's claws to
eat during our journey ?"
"Oh, a journey! a journey!" cried all the children at
once; "take me, papa; take me!" "This time," said I, "it
is not possible to take the whole family. We should advance
too slowly, and in case of danger it would be more difficult
to defend ourselves. Fritz only will come with me; one dog,
whom we will call Turk, if you like, shall come with us. You
will remain here with your mother, under care of the other
dog, to whom I propose to give the name of Belle." Fritz
asked me, with a blush, to let him take another gun instead
of his own, which was useless. I permitted him, without
appearing to remark the confusion which the remembrance
of his fault caused him. I made him put in his belt a pair
of pistols and a hatchet. I armed myself in the same manner.







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We took care to fill our game bags with powder, balls, and
some biscuit. Each of us took a tin bottle full of water.
Breakfast was ready. It consisted of the lobster which my
wife had cooked. It was found so hard that we left the greater
part of it. Fritz was of opinion that we should begin our
journey before the great heat came on. "You are right," said
I; "we will set out; but we have forgotten a very important
thing." "What?" said he. "To embrace my mother and
brothers; to thank God," said Ernest eagerly. "Right, my
dear Ernest; you have understood me."
I was interrupted by James, who pretended to ring a bell.
"Boom, boom, boom," cried he, "to prayers! to prayers!"
"Foolish child," said I; "leave off turning sacred things into
ridicule. To punish you, we will not admit you to pray with
us. Retire." Confused at this reprimand, James went away
with a full heart, and knelt down at a distance. Whilst we
were praying, I heard him ask pardon of God for his untimely
jest. Then he came humbly and promised me never more to
commit the same fault. I embraced him, satisfied by finding
that he redeemed his thoughtlessness by an excellent heart.
After having recommended union and obedience to those
children who were to remain with their mother, we separated.
It was not without regret and some tears; for my wife was
uneasy at seeing us set out on this adventure, and I was not
without anxiety for the dear treasure that I left behind me.
We hastened our steps, and soon the noise of the stream by
which we were walking prevented us from hearing the adieus
of our loved ones. To cross the stream it was necessary to
go back to a place where it was enclosed by very steep rocks,
from which fell a cascade.
On the opposite shore nature entirely changed her aspect.
We came first to some high, dry grass, through which we
advanced with difficulty. Scarcely had we gone a hundred
steps when we heard a great noise; turning back, we saw the
grass moving. Fritz loaded his gun and held it ready to receive
the aggressor, whatever it might be. But we soon recognized
Turk, our dog, whom we had forgotten, and who had just
rejoined us. I received the brave animal with caresses, and
congratulated Fritz on his coolness; for he not only faced the







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danger bravely, but abstained from firing before he distinctly
saw what the enemy was.
Continuing our route, we gained the borders of the sea.
We looked all around, endeavouring to find traces of our
companions, but could perceive none. We also attentively
examined the sand, hoping to see men's footsteps, but this
hope was also disappointed. Fritz said, "Shall we fire from
time to time, that the shipwrecked ones may hear us, if there
are any here ?" That is well thought of," I replied; "but
perhaps this noise may attract savages, with whom a meeting
would not be agreeable." "After all," said he, "I scarcely
know why we should trouble ourselves about people who
inhumanly abandoned us." "For several reasons," I replied.
"First, because it is not christian-like to return evil for evil;
and then because, if our companions have need of us, we also
may have need of them." But, dear father, in looking for
them we lose time which may be better employed; for example,
in saving the cattle which have been left on the ship."
"Between different duties," said I, "let us accomplish first
the most important. Besides, my dear child, the animals
have sufficient food for several days, and the sea, which is
calm, does not threaten to carry away the rest of the vessel."
We quitted the shore. After having walked two leagues,
looking carefully about us, we entered into a little wood. We
had walked then for nearly two hours; the sun was very high.
We hastened to the borders of a little stream which softly
murmured. Around us flew, warbling, beautiful birds, which
were unknown to us. Fritz thought he saw a monkey on the
branch of a tree. Turk also began to smell about, and bark
in that direction. Fritz rose to ascertain the fact; and as he
was walking with his eyes raised upwards, he struck his foot
against a round thing with bristling hairs, which made him
stumble. He picked this thing up and brought it to me,
saying that it must be the nest of a large bird. "Your nest,
my dear Fritz," said I, laughing at his mistalte, "is a cocoa-
nut." By a disposition natural to self-love at his young age,
Fritz persisted in his opinion. "There .are many birds," said
he, "which make round nests like this." "That is true; but
why pronounce with so much precipitation, and then support







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your judgment when you are shown that it is ill founded?
Do not you recollect having read that the cocoa-nut is sur-
rounded with a mass of fibres which cover a thin and brittle
skin ? The fruit which you have just found is doubtless old;
the exterior envelope has been destroyed by the air. If you
take away these bristly fibres you will see the nut." Fritz
obeyed, and found that I was right. Then we broke the
nut, in which we found a dry and uneatable kernel. "What,"
said Fritz, "is this the fruit of which Dr Ernest spoke with
so much praise? I thought I should find some delicious milk."
" We should have done so if we had met with a nut which was
not quite ripe. But in proportion as the nut ripens, the milk
which it contains hardens, and forms a kernel, which later still
dries, unless the fruit falls into suitable ground, and the kernel
germinating, breaks its shell to give birth to a new tree."
"What," asked Fritz, astonished, "would the kernel have
strength enough to pierce a shell so solid as this?" "Cer-
tainly; have you not seen peach stones open, and they are
very hard ? Yes; but the peach stones are naturally formed
in two pieces, which the kernel separates when it is swollen
by moisture." I praised my son for the correctness of this
remark, and told him that the cocoa-nut grows in a different
manner. I then pointed out three little openings towards the
end of the nut. "These openings," said I, "are closed, as
you may see, by a hood, less hard than the rest of the shell.
It is there that the germs of the stalk and roots take their
issue." I was glad to see that my son followed with great
interest these explanations, which initiated him into the wise
laws of creation.
We resumed our route, walking still through the wood, which
appeared to extend a long way. We were often obliged to cut
a passage with our hatches from the innumerable bindweeds
which interlaced the trees. At each step some magnificent
plant or some strange tree came in sight. Fritz, who was more
and more astonished, cried out suddenly, Oh, papa! what are
these great trees with wens on the trunks?" I recognized the
calibash, whose flexible stalk rolling round the trees forms on
their trunks a kind of gourd, with a hard and dry shell. It may
be employed in making dishes, porringers, bottles, and spoons.







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I told Fritz that the savages even use them to boil water and
cook their victuals. He was greatly astonished, not under-
standing how such utensils could bear fire. I then explained
the method of the savages, which consisted in throwing into the
water contained in these vases, stones previously made red hot
in the fire, until the water boiled.
While talking, we had each taken a gourd to make into
household utensils. Fritz endeavoured to shape his with his
knife, but did not succeed. He became impatient, and threw
it away. I took care not to imitate him, but surrounded mine
with a string, which I pressed gradually tighter, till I obtained
two porringers of equal size. "I must own," said Fritz, that
this is an ingenious idea." "I have not, my dear child, the
merit of the invention; I only recollected that this method
is employed by people who have no knives, so I put it in
practice." Fritz wished to know how the bottles were made.
"I understand," said he, "that by letting the gourd dry we
might extract the marrow through the hole. But could we give
to this round fruit a more convenient form ? Could we succeed
in pressing it so as to obtain a neck?" I told him that to
obtain this result, they surround the young fruit with bands of
linen or skin. The part thus tied cannot grow, while the rest
develops at liberty.
Seeing my success, Fritz took courage. We gathered a
sufficient number of gourds, which I exposed to the sun, after
having filled them with fine sand to prevent their shrinking too
much in drying ; then, in order to take them on our return, we
took care to mark the place where we left them.
We then pursued our route, endeavouring to form some
spoons with fragments of calibash. We produced nothing very
remarkable; coarse as they were, however, these spoons were
much more convenient than the oyster shells which we used the
evening before. Fritz jumped for joy: "Dishes, plates, cups!
ah, how glad my mother will be! She will have something to
serve up our soup in." And thinking of Francis; "Father, let
us look for a little calibash; our spoons will stretch his poor
mouth from ear to ear. I will try and make him a little one
for himself." And as one good thought leads to another, he
also prepared two gourds for Turk and Belle. When his labour
3







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


was finished, Fritz took some biscuit and soaked it in fresh
water for Turk. When Turk saw this, his large eyes shone
with tenderness; he gratefully licked his young master's hand,
and did honour to this unexpected repast.
After having walked about three hours more, we arrived at a
neck of land which stretched into the sea, and on which rose a
hill, which, not without some trouble, we ascended. From the
summit, the view embraced a vast extent; but, though aided by
the spy-glass, we discovered no signs of other shipwrecks, nor
anything which would make us suppose that the island was
inhabited.
A most magnificent view stretched before us. Under our
feet shone the calm sea in an immense bay, whose shores were
covered with a rich vegetation, which extended a long way.
This spectacle would have filled us with delight if the fate of
our companions had not saddened us. Yet I could not prevent
an expression of satisfaction in contemplating this country,
whose fertility promised well for our future support. "Well,"
said I, we are destined to the life of isolated colonists. God
has thus decided for us. Let us submit courageously to His
will." "But," said Fritz, "we are in greater numbers than at
the time of Adam and Eve; and who knows if we shall not be
like that patriarch of whom the Bible speaks, the source of
an innumerable nation?" This idea of an Abraham of fifteen
years old made me smile.
At this moment the sun darted its fiercest rays. I told Fritz
to follow me and seek the shade in a grove of palm-trees which
I perceived at some distance. "For," said I, "my poor Fritz,
it would be sad that we should be burnt up before we have
accomplished our patriarchal destiny." "Dear father," said
Fritz, "I wished to cheer you a little. As to us, do not fear.
Where you and my mother are, what can I and my brothers
want? We shall be very happy, and shall soon grow up and
work so as to save you all trouble." I pressed the dear child
in. my arms, and thanked God for having given me so good a
son.
To gain the wood we had to cross a field of reeds, so close
and entangled, that they very much impeded our walk. As this
place might be a refuge for reptiles, I cut one of the reeds to







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defend myself against unpleasant rencontres. Scarcely had I
taken it, than I felt my hand wet with a glutinous liquid. I put
it to' my lips, and it was clear to me that we had discovered a
natural plantation of sugar-canes. I did not tell Fritz at first,
wishing to give him the pleasure of making this precious dis-
covery. He was walking before me. I told him to cut a reed,
which would be a safer arm against the serpents than pistols or
knives. He obeyed me, and I soon heard him cry out with
delight, "Sugar-canes! sugar-canes! What an exquisite juice,
what delicious syrup! How glad my mother and little brothers
will be!" He broke his reed into several fragments, that he
might more easily squeeze out the juice, which he eagerly sucked.
"I will," said he, "carry home a good stock of these canes to regale
my mother and brothers." I told him not to burden himself
with too heavy a load, for we had still a long way to go; but
he cut a dozen of the largest stalks, which he wrapped up in
their leaves and put under his arm.
Scarcely had we entered the grove of palm-trees, when a
troop of monkeys, frightened at our arrival, and Turk's bark,
sprang on the trees, from which they looked at us, uttering
piercing cries and making horrible grimaces. Fritz, without
reflecting, threw down his bundle of canes, took his gun and
was going to fire, but I stopped him. "Why do you wish
to kill these animals?" "Apes," said he, "are wicked, foolish
beasts; see how they menace us and show their teeth." "Be
it so; but if they are angry it is not without cause, since we
have come to disturb them; let us be careful not to kill any
creature unnecessarily. It is sufficiently painful, that care for
his life obliges man to kill a great many animals. Suffer
these apes to live; who knows if they may not be useful to
us?" "Useful!" replied Fritz, "how can that be ?" "You
will see," said I. I then threw some stones at the monkeys,
who, obeying their imitative instincts, snatched from the top of
the palm-trees a quantity of cocoa-nuts, which they threw at
us. It was easy to avoid these ill-directed missiles. Fritz
was diverted with the success of my trick. "Thanks, Messrs
Apes," said he, hiding behind a tree; "many thanks !"
When the hail was a little abated, he picked up as many of
the nuts as he could carry, and we went, to regale ourselves at







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leisure, out of the reach of the apes. At first, we made with the
point of our knives some openings in the tender places, which
are near the end of the nut, so that we might drink the milk
which they contained. But we were astonished not to find
this liquor so excellent as we expected. The cream which
adhered to the interior seemed much better. After having
opened the nut with a blow from the hatchet, we collected,
by the aid of our spoons, this cream, which we sweetened
with the juice of our canes, and thus made a delicious meal.
Thanks to this windfall, Fritz could spare Turk the remainder
of the lobster and biscuit; a very meagre provision for his
robust appetite, for after having swallowed it, he began to
chew the canes and search for cocoa-nuts.
I tied together several nuts which adhered to the end
of a stalk, and loaded myself with them; Fritz took what
remained of the sugar-canes; and, strengthened by the repast
which we had made, we resumed our walk to rejoin our
family.
Fritz soon found his burden troublesome; every moment
he changed it from shoulder to shoulder; took it under one
arm, then under the other. At last he said, groaning with
fatigue, Truly, I was far from thinking that these reeds would
cause me so much embarrassment; yet I do wish to carry
them to the tent, that my mother and brothers may enjoy
them." "Patience and courage," said I; "your burden may
be compared to the basket of bread which zEsop carried, and
which became naturally lighter after each meal. In the same
way, we shall diminish our provision of canes before we reach
home. Give me one, which I will use as a pilgrim's staff, and
a portable honeycomb. Take one also, and you will be relieved
of so much. As to the others, tie them so as to place them
like a cross on your back with your gun."
We resumed our route. Fritz, seeing that from time to
time I put to my lips the cane which he had given me, wished
to do the same, but could not make the least drop of liquor
come out. He, impatiently, asked me the reason of his
ill success. "Reflect a little," said I, "and I am persuaded
you will soon find out." He soon discovered that to give
entrance to the air, it was necessary to pierce a hole above







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the first knot of the cane. This done, he had no difficulty in
extracting the juice, and could refresh himself from this delicious
stick. All at once he observed to me, that if we continued to
use them thus, we should not carry many canes to the tent.
"Never mind," said I; "the juice will not long keep sweet,
especially when the canes are exposed to the sun. If we
were to walk some time longer, it is probable that on
our return home we could only offer reeds full of sour
liquor."
"Well," replied Fritz, "to make them amends, I have in
my tin bottle a stock of cocoa-nut milk." "Yes; but you
must know that out of the shell the milk ferments and turns
sour." Fritz then took out his bottle, but scarcely had he
touched the cork than it flew out, and the liquor escaped from
the neck of the bottle, fizzing like champagne. We tasted this
liquor, which was very agreeable. Fritz found it so much to
his taste, that I was obliged to recommend moderation, fearing
it would affect his head. Whatever this drink might be, it
refreshed us, and we walked on more quickly. We soon
came to the place where we had left our gourds. They
were perfectly dry, so we took them up and carried them
away.
A little farther on Turk sprang barking at a troop of
monkeys, who were quietly feeding, and had not perceived
our approach. At the first bark of the dog these animals
dispersed; but a female, who was nursing her little one, was
less agile, and was seized by the dog. Fritz sprang forward
to save it; he lost his hat, threw down his bottle and sugar-
canes; but he arrived too late: the poor beast was dead, and
the dog had already begun to devour it. Fritz endeavoured
to prevent Turk from continuing his repast, but I dissuaded
him, as it was for our own safety that Turk's appetite should
be satisfied, and we could not save his victim. The young
one, in its first movement of fright, had squatted against a
tuft of grass, and ground its teeth at the melancholy scene.
When he perceived Fritz, he sprang on his shoulder and
fastened on him so skilfully, that the poor boy, in spite of
all his efforts, could not get rid of him. The young ape
had no intention of hurting him, but separated from his







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mother, he seemed to ask Fritz's aid and protection against
the terrible enemy who had just made him an orphan.
Laughing at my son's embarrassment, I advanced, and
gently removed the little animal. Then holding him in my
arms, as a nurse does a child, I could not help pitying him.
"Poor little being," said I, "what shall we do with you? for
we must think twice, before we admit a useless mouth into
the number of our colony." But Fritz interrupted me im-
mediately. "Oh, papa, pray let me keep it. It would die
if we abandon it. Let me adopt it. I have read that apes,
guided by instinct, know how to distinguish good fruits from
those that are hurtful; if this is true, we should not hesitate
to attach to us our little companion." "Well, my child, I
acknowledge the goodness of your heart, and the wisdom of
your suggestion. I consent to the adoption of your little
prot6g6; but remember, you must bring it up properly if you
wish to make it useful."
Whilst we were thus discussing, Turk had tranquilly finished
his odious repast. "Turk," said Fritz, with solemnity, showing
him his monkey, "you have made an orphan; you have eaten
the mother of this poor innocent. We pardon you this crime,
because you knew no better. But look well at this little ape,
and promise me to love and respect it for the future. It is
too young, fortunately, to understand the wrong you have done
it. If you are honest and repentant, I engage to recom-
pense your conversion, by making you some good soup,
which will make you disgusted with these vile dinners of raw
flesh." Turk crouched at Fritz's feet, as if he had understood
the gravity of this discourse; he looked from his young master
to the little animal, whom Fritz was caressing before him, to
make him understand that the little ape was to be henceforth
.sacred to him. This done, the little animal resumed his place
on Fritz's shoulder, and remained there with as much tran-
quillity and confidence as if he had been long accustomed to
it. He appeared frightened, however, when Turk approached
too near him, and endeavoured to hide himself in Fritz's arms.
Wishing to secure their reconciliation, he again addressed the
culpable Turk: "Wicked one," said he, "repair thy fault.
Thou hast deprived this poor little one of his support and







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guardian; it is but just that you should replace her." Pass-
ing a cord round Turk's neck, he gave the end of it to the
little ape, whom he had placed on the back of the dog.
At first, Turk greatly objected to this, but submitted after
a slight reprimand; and the little ape, completely reassured,
appeared to enjoy the seat in which Fritz had installed him.
"Do you know," said I to my boy, "that we now look
like jugglers going to a fair. How astonished your brothers
will be when they see us arrive with this equipage!" "Yes,"
said Fritz; "and James, who is so fond of making grimaces,
will have a professor to teach him." "Do not speak thus of
your brother," I replied; "when we have to live together and
love each other, it is bad to remark on the faults of our
companions. Mutual indulgence is a guarantee of union and
happiness, for we all have our failings."
Fritz owned that he had spoken without reflection, and
then turned the conversation. He asked me to tell him all
I knew of the habits of apes. This discourse shortened so
much the length of our road, that we arrived, without think-
ing of it, in the midst of our family, who were awaiting us on
the borders of the stream. The dogs saluted each other from
a distance. This uproar so frightened the ape, that he again
jumped on Fritz's shoulder, and would not descend. As soon
as the children perceived us, they uttered cries of joy; but
when they saw the little animal, who sat trembling on Fritz's
shoulder: "Oh, a monkey! a monkey !" cried they. "Where
did you find him? How did you catch him? How pretty
he is!" Then remarking our provisions: "What are these
sticks and these great bowls with which papa is loaded?"
There was such a deluge of questions, that we could not reply
to them. The first transport having a little subsided: "Yes,
thank God," said I, "we are returned safe and sound, and
have brought you all sorts of good things. But what we
desired, what we went to seek, were men, and we have not
alas! met any. Not the least vestige of our companions."
"Do not damp our joy," said the mother, "but let us thank
God, who has permitted us to be reunited. Lay down your
burdens, and relate the incidents of your journey." Every
one hastened to take some part of our load. Ernest took







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the cocoa-nuts, which, however, he had not recognized; Francis
the gourd utensils, which were very much admired, and he
declared that his own little spoon was better than his old
silver one; James took my gun; his mother the game-bag.
Fritz distributed his sugar-canes, and again placed the little ape
on Turk's back; then he presented his gun to Ernest, who did
not fail to remark that it was dangerous to carry it as we
had done with such heavy loads. The good mother, com-
prehending this indirect complaint, relieved him of his cocoa-
nuts, and the little caravan began its march towards the
tent.
"Ah," said Fritz, "if Ernest knew the name of these balls
which he let mamma take, he would not have given them up.
They are cocoa-nuts." "Cocoa-nuts!" cried Ernest; "cocoa-
nuts! Oh, mamma, pray give them back to me, I will carry
them as well as the gun." "No, no," replied the mother, "you
will only grumble; I do not wish to hear your complaints."
"I promise you I will say nothing," replied Ernest; "besides,
I can throw away these long stalks, and carry the gun in my
hand." "Don't do that," said Fritz, "for these stalks are
sugar-canes, and I will show you how to drink the sweet
liquor which they enclose." "Yes yes !" cried all the children
together, "let us suck the sugar-canes!" and as Fritz was
walking before with his brothers, to whom he showed the
method I had pointed out to him, I remained alone with
my wife, whose curiosity I satisfied by reciting our little
adventures.
None of the things which we had brought caused so much
pleasure to the good housekeeper as the utensils shaped out
of gourds. I must say that, though imperfect, they were
really useful.
When we arrived at the tent, I was happy to see that
all was prepared for a comfortable repast. On the fire was
the pot full of delicious broth; on one side a spit full of fish;
on the other, a goose roasting, whose fat fell into a large
shell; near this, a barrel containing some nice Dutch cheese;
everything calculated to excite our appetite. I could not,
however, help remarking to my wife, that she was beginning
very soon to kill our poultry, which had better be left to







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multiply. "Re-assure yourself," said my wife; "our poultry-
yard has not contributed to this repast. These fish were
caught by James and Francis; and this roast is the produce
of Ernest's hunting, who gives a very singular name to his
game." "I give it its true name," replied the young doctor,
"and I call it a stupid penguin. I cannot be deceived, for
this animal let me approach and kill it with a stick. Besides,
it had four fingers in its claws united by a membrane, a long,
strong beak, bent at the point. All this accords perfectly
with the description which Jonathan Franklin gives of the
penguin in his book of natural history." I congratulated my
little savant on the use he had made of his reading, and we
sat down in a circle on the sand, to commence the repast.
Each of us was provided with a shell and a gourd spoon.
The children, while waiting till the soup was cool, broke some
cocoa-nuts, and drank the milk eagerly. Then, the soup eaten,
we attacked the fish, which were rather dry, and the penguin,
which decidedly tasted of train oil. This did not prevent us
from enjoying the good cheer; a good appetite makes every-
thing good.
The monkey was naturally the object of general attention;
the children steeped the corners of their handkerchiefs in
the cocoa-milk, and the little animal appeared to take great
pleasure in sucking this milk, so we were satisfied that it
would be easy to bring him up. It was decided to call him
Knips. Fritz asked me if we would drink his champagne
cocoa-milk. "Taste it first," I replied, "and see if it is fit
to offer us." Scarcely had he put the bottle to his lips, than
he made a frightful grimace, and cried out, "Pooh, it is vine-
gar!" "I thought so," said I; "but never mind; misfortune
is sometimes good; this vinegar will serve to relish our fish,
which will not then be so dry." I then poured a little of the
vinegar in my plate. They all imitated me, and cried "Bravo!"
to the cocoa vinegar.
The repast was finished, and as the sun was disappearing
beneath the horizon, we joined in prayer and went to bed.
Knips had his place between Fritz and James, who covered
him up very carefully that he might not be cold. "This is
our son," they said, laughing.







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After having satisfied myself that there was no appearance
of any enemy near us, I closed my eyes, and enjoyed the
sleep which I had earned. I had slept but a very little time,
when I was awoke by the howling of the dogs, and the agita-
tion of the fowls perched on the edge of the tent. I hastened
out, followed by my wife and Fritz, who did not sleep so
soundly as his brothers. We took care to provide ourselves
with arms. By the light of the moon we saw our dogs fight-
ing with ten jackals. Already our brave guardians had brought
three of our nocturnal visitors to the ground; but they would
have been overpowered by numbers, if we had not come to
their assistance. Fritz and I fired together. Two jackals fell
dead; the rest, frightened by the noise, ran away. Fritz
wished to bring into the tent the one he had killed, to show
to his brothers in the morning. I permitted him, and we
returned to the little sleepers, whom neither the firing nor
barking of the dogs had awakened. Then we resumed our
sleep, which was no more troubled.

















CHAPTER IV.


VOYAGE TO THE WRECK.

As soon as day began to break, I called my wife, to
concert with her the employment of the day. "My dear,"
said I, "I see so many things wanting to be done, that
I know not to which to give the preference. For one thing,
I think that if we wish to preserve the cattle, and not lose
a number of things which may be useful to us, we must
make a voyage to the vessel; then again, it will be necessary
to construct a more comfortable abode. I own I am a little
frightened at our task." "Don't be afraid," said she; "with
patience, order, and perseverance, we shall surmount all
obstacles. The courage of a father like you, and brave
children like ours, will suffice for everything. It is not with-
out uneasiness that I shall see you return to the vessel, but
if this voyage is indispensable, I will not oppose it." "Well,
then," said I, "I will set out with Fritz, whilst you remain
here with the other children. Come, get up," cried I; "get
up, the sun has risen; there is no time to lose."
Fritz appeared the first, and profited by the time which
his brothers took to rub their eyes, to place his dead jackal
on its legs before the tent, in order to see the surprise which
this sight would produce in the children. I had not thought
of the dogs, who, seeing the animal, and doubtless thinking
it still alive, threw themselves upon it, barking furiously.
Fritz had great trouble in driving them off. This un-
accustomed noise hastened the lazy ones. They arrived one
by one; the little monkey on James's shoulder; but at
sight of the jackal he was so frightened that he ran back
into the tent, and hid himself under our beds, where we could
43







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only see the end of his nose. As Fritz had foreseen, the
children were greatly astonished.
"A wolf!" cried James; "there are wolves on our island!"
"No," said Ernest, "it is a fox." "No," said little Francis,
"it is a yellow dog." "Ah! ah! Master Ernest," said Fritz,
with mock vanity, "you could recognize the ag6uti; but this
time your knowledge is at fault. What, do you think it is
a fox?" "Yes," replied Ernest, "I think it is a golden fox."
"Ah! ah! a golden fox," repeated Fritz, with a burst of
laughter. Poor Ernest, whose self-love as a scholar seemed
gravely compromised, was so disconcerted that the tears came
in his eyes. "You are unkind," said he to his brother; "I
may well be deceived; besides you would not have known
the name of this animal, if papa had not told you." "Come,"
said I, "do not tease each other so much. Besides, though
you thus laugh at your brother, my dear Fritz, you must
know that, according to naturalists, the jackal partakes the
nature of a wolf, a fox, and a dog. There is even a generally
admitted opinion that the domestic dog is descended from the
jackal. So not only was Ernest right in calling this animal
a fox, but so was James, who took it for a wolf, and Francis,
who thought it was a dog."
The discussion ended, I reminded my children that we
ought to commend ourselves to God on beginning the day,
and we knelt in prayer. Then we began breakfast, for my
little fellows' appetites arose as soon as their eyes were opened.
A chest of biscuits was broken open and the barrel of cheese
visited. Suddenly, Ernest, who had been roaming for some
minutes round one of the barrels we had fished up, cried out,
"Oh, papa, how much better we should enjoy our biscuit if
we could spread it with good butter." "Ah," said I, "with
your eternal if's, you only arouse our desires without giving
us the power of satisfying them. Is it not sufficient to have
good cheese?" "I don't say it is not," replied he, "but if
some one would open this barrel." "What barrel?" "This
one; I am certain it contains butter, for at a joint there leaks
out a kind of greasy matter whose smell I recognize."
After satisfying ourselves that Ernest's nose had not
deceived him, we concerted how we could extract the butter







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from the tub. Fritz was of opinion that we should knock off
the hoops round the top and take away the head. I thought
that thus the staves would be so disjointed that the butter
would be melted, by the sun. It seemed better to make an
opening with a chisel, by which we could get out the butter
with a little wooden shovel. This done, we soon had some
excellent bread and butter, the taste of which made us more
anxious to save the cow from the vessel.
The dogs, fatigued with their combat, slept beside us. I
remarked that they had not escaped unhurt from their fight
with the jackals, for they both had large wounds in the neck.
My wife washed some butter in fresh water to take away the
salt, and dressed their wounds with it. Then they began to
lick each other, which made me hope that they would soon be
cured. "It would be useful," said Fritz, "if on such occasions
our dogs were furnished with pointed collars." "Ah," said
James, "if my mother would help me, I would make some
solid ones." "With all my heart," replied his mother; "let us
see what you have thought of."
"Now, Fritz," said I, "prepare to accompany me to the ship-
wrecked vessel, and we will endeavour to save the cattle, and
a quantity of things which may be useful to us."
The boat of tubs was soon ready. At the moment of
departure, we agreed with my wife that she should raise on
the shore, with a pole and a strip of white linen, a signal,
which we could see from the vessel. In case of distress, she
was to lower it, and fire the gun three times. I persuaded
her even, so courageous was this dear wife, to let us pass
the night on the vessel, if it happened that we were too late
to return. In this case, we would light lanterns to show
that all was well. Knowing that there remained some pro-
visions on the wreck, we only took our arms. I permitted
Fritz to carry his little ape, whom he wished to regale with
goat's milk. We set out, after having embraced and recom-
mended each other to God.
Fritz rowed vigorously, and I guided the boat. When we
were at some distance to sea, I saw that a very strong stream
ran from the bay. I conjectured that in going towards the
sea, it would form a current, which would help us to reach







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the ship. I was not deceived. We floated in the direction of
this current, which carried us, with very little effort on our
part, three parts of the way.
We went on board the wreck, and our boat was fastened
by thick ropes into the notch which I had made on our
departure. Fritz's first care was to run to the animals, who
at our approach began to bleat and bellow. These poor
beasts seemed to rejoice at again seeing men. We first gave
them some food and fresh water, and then made our own
meal, which was easy to procure, for the ship was provisioned
for a long voyage. Fritz put the goat's teat to the little
monkey, who joyfully took this delicious beverage. "Now,"
said I, "what shall we begin with ?" "I think," replied Fritz,
"that we should before all things, fix a sail to our boat."
It did not seem to me at first that this was very necessary;
but Fritz made me observe that in coming he had felt
some wind, against which we should have had to struggle,
if we had not been helped by the current, and we might
make this wind useful in returning to the shore. He foresaw
that we should have some trouble in making the passage, only
helped by our oars, especially when the boat was heavily laden.
These observations appeared very wise, so we set to work.
I chose a piece of yard thick enough for a mast, and another
thinner piece, to which I fixed a large square of linen. During
this time, Fritz had nailed on to one of the tubs a thick plank,
in which he made a hole to fix the mast. I then attached
some pulleys to the corners of the sail, so as to be able to
work it while holding the rudder. To finish, and with a
disposition to mix play with work, natural at his age, Fritz
tied to the end of the mast a red streamer, which he saw
flying with extreme pleasure. Smiling at this innocent joke,
I fixed towards the land a telescope, which I found in the
captain's cabin, and I had the joy of seeing that our loved ones
were all right.
It was getting late, and it was clear that we could not
regain the land that evening. The rest of the day was
employed in pillaging the vessel, as if we had been pirates,
and in loading our tubs with every useful thing they would
contain.






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Foreseeing a long abode on this desert land, I gave
preference to the utensils which would assist our industrious
efforts, and to the arms with which we might defend ourselves.
The vessel, intended for the establishment of a colony in the
South Sea, where we intended to settle, was better provided
with utensils and provisions of all sorts than it would have
been for an ordinary voyage. So we had only to choose
among the multitude of useful things. I did not forget spoons,
knives, stew-pans, plates, etc. Fritz carried away even a
silver service which was in the captain's cabin, as well as
a quantity of bottles of wine and liqueurs, also several
Westphalia hams. These luxurious provisions did not make
us disdain the sacks of corn, maize, and other seeds. I took
care not to forget a compass, some spades and other garden
implements, some guns and pistols. We took also some
hammocks and blankets, some balls of cord, some curtains,
and even a little barrel of sulphur, that we might replace
the matches, of which we had only a small quantity left.
I had declared our cargo complete, when Fritz arrived
with a last packet. "Leave that, dear child," said I, "there
is no more room. This is too large, and appears heavy."
"Oh, father," said Fritz, "let me take this packet; they are
the captain's books. Ernest and my mother will be so de-
lighted." Dear child," said I, "you are right; bread for the
mind is as valuable as bread for the body; your packet will
be a treasure to us all." Our boat was so loaded that the
water almost overflowed it. I should certainly have lightened
it, if the sea had not been perfectly calm. However, we
took care to preserve our belts, in case any accident should
happen.
The night fell. A large fire which we perceived on the
shore told us that nothing had happened on their side. To
reply to this good news, I suspended from the side of the
vessel three lighted lanterns. Soon, the firing of a gun told
us that our signal had been perceived. Our arrangements
were soon made to pass the night in our tubs. I would
not sleep on the vessel, for the least wind might dislodge it,
and expose us to danger. Fritz was soon asleep, in spite of
his uncomfortable bed. As for me, I could not close my







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eyes; I was uneasy about the fate of those on land, and I
also wished to keep an incessant watch, to be ready for all
events. Scarcely had day begun to break than I was on the
deck of the vessel, pointing the telescope towards the shore.
I saw my wife come out of the tent, and stop to look around
her. I hoisted a white flag to the top of the mast, and my
wife lowered and raised hers three times, to tell us she had
perceived and comprehended my signal. "God be praised!"
cried I; "our dear ones are safe and sound. Now we must
find means to transport the cattle to the shore." "Let us
construct a raft," said Fritz.
I showed him not only the difficulty of the work, but also
the impossibility of guiding such a machine. "Well," said
he, "let us throw the animals into the sea; they will swim.
The pig, with his large fat belly, will have no trouble in
supporting himself." I believe so; but do you think that
the ass, the cow, the goat, the sheep, will be equally fortunate ?
Now, I own that I would willingly sacrifice the pig to save the
others." Well," replied Fritz, "why not put on them some
swimming belts like our own. It will be funny to see them
swim in that manner." "Bravo, my clever Fritz; your idea,
though droll, seems practicable. To work, my friend, to work;
let us make the trial on one of our animals." We took a
sheep, to whose body we fastened our belts, one on each side,
and threw her into the sea. At first, the poor frightened
beast disappeared under the water; but soon came to the
surface, and at last, feeling the support of the belts, she
remained motionless, and we saw with satisfaction that she
swam perfectly-well.
Nothing more was necessary to show the excellence of this
method of saving the cattle. All the cork we could find served
for the little animals. As to the ass and the cow, which were
much heavier, we made a particular apparatus for each of them,
composed of two empty barrels fastened to their bodies by
linen bands.
When all our beasts were harnessed in this manner, I
attached a cord to the horns or neck of each, of which we
might hold the end when we were in the boat. Our cattle
were soon in the water, and that without much difficulty. The







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


ass alone was obstinate; we were obliged to throw him in
headlong. He beat about at first, but soon began to swim
with so much grace that we could not help applauding him.
As soon as we were all embarked, I untied the rope, and the
wind soon taking the sail, we were driven towards the shore.
Fritz, happy in having succeeded in our undertaking, played
with his monkey, and proudly regarded the red flag which
unrolled so gracefully at the top of the mast. I followed
with heartfelt looks my beloved ones, whom, by the aid of
the telescope, I could see quitting the tent and running to the
shore. Suddenly Fritz cried out, Oh, father, an enormous fish
is coming towards us." To arms said I, and attention."
Our guns were loaded. The animal whose approach Fritz
had announced was a very large shark. Let us fire together,"
said I. At the moment when the marine monster, who was
swimming very fast, opened his mouth to seize one of our sheep,
we both fired. The shark disappeared. An instant after, we
perceived on the surface of the sea the brilliant scales of his
belly, and a streak of blood showed us that we were happily
delivered from this terrible corsair. I ordered Fritz to reload
his gun, for it might be that the shark was not alone. Happily
my fears were unfounded. Without any other incident, we
reached the shore.
My wife and the three children were waiting for us. They
seized the rope which I threw to them to fasten the boat. The
animals who had reached the land, were relieved from their
belts. The ass rolled on the sand in a joyful manner, and then
uttered a formidable hee-haw, to show the joy he felt at finding
himself on firm ground. After having embraced and con-
gratulated each other at meeting again safe and sound, after
this long and perilous separation, we sat down on the grass at
the border of the stream, and I recited all that had happened
to us. I did not forget to give Fritz the praise he merited for
the assistance he had given me.

















CHAPTER V.


WHAT PASSED ON LAND DURING OUR ABSENCE.

FRITZ'S contrivance for the transport of the cattle, excited
general admiration. Good little Francis was delighted with the
sail and streamer. It is prettier than anything else," said he;
"yes, I like it better than the stew-pans, the beasts, the pig, and
even the cow." "Little silly," said his mother, "you will change
your mind, when I give you every morning a bowl full of good
milk."
We then described, in detail, all that we had done.
Their curiosity satisfied, we began to unload the tubs.
James, abandoning this employment, went towards the cattle,
and jumping on the donkey's back, came to us with a majestic
air. We had great trouble in keeping our countenances at this
comic equipage; but what was our astonishment, on seeing the
little rider encircled with a skin belt, in which he had placed
two pistols. "Where did you get this bandit's costume?" said
I. "It is all our own make," replied he, showing the dogs,
each furnished with a collar stuck full of nails to defend them
in case of attack. "Bravo, my son," said I, "if this is your
invention." "Mamma helped me," he replied, "because there
was sewing to do." "But where did you get the skin, the
thread, the needles ?" I asked my wife. Fritz's jackal fur-
nished us with the skin," she replied; "as to the rest," added
she, smiling, "a good housewife ought always to be provided
with them."
I could see that Fritz was not pleased that his skin had been
appropriated without his permission. He dissimulated his ill-
humour as well as he could; but when James came near him,
he held his nose, crying, "pooh what a frightful smell !" "It
50







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


is my belt," said he, calmly; "when it is dry, it will not smell."
As for the little wag, he did not trouble himself about the dis-
agreeable smell, but walked up and down with a superb air,
caressing his pistols. His brothers hastened to throw into the
sea the remains of the jackal.
Seeing that the supper hour approached, I told Fritz to go
and fetch one of the hams which were in the tubs. Fritz soon
returned. "Oh, a ham! a ham!" cried the children, clapping
their hands. "Moderate yourselves," said the mother, "for if
you do not sup till this ham is cooked, you will fast for a long
time; but I have some turtle's eggs with which I will make you,
in the frying pan you have had the good sense to bring, a good
omelette, for which, fortunately, butter will not be wanting."
"For these eggs," said Ernest, always desirous to show his
learning, "are easily recognized by their roundness, and their
membranous shell; besides, it is only turtles who deposit their
eggs in the sand." "How did you find them ?" I asked. "This
belongs to the history of our day," said our housekeeper;
"before relating it, I think it will be better to have supper."
"Right," said I; "make your omelette, and let us keep the
recital for the repast; it will be an agreeable entertainment.
During that time the children and I will finish and put in its
place the boat's cargo, and instal the beasts for the night."
At these words, my sons rose, and followed me to the coast.
We had just finished, when my wife invited us to do honour to
her supper. Nothing was wanting; omelette, cheese, biscuit;
all was found excellent, and the table service contributed
greatly to the charm of our repast. Francis alone, faithful to
his gourd spoon, would not return to his silver one. The
dogs, fowls, goats and sheep, made a circle around us, as
interested spectators. As to the ducks and geese, I did not
trouble about their food ; the marshy mouth of the stream fur-
nished them with abundance of worms and little crabs, of which
they were very fond. After supper I made Fritz bring a bottle
of excellent wine, found in the captain's cabin, and begged my
wife to take a glass of this strengthening liquor, before beginning
her recital.
It is fortunate," said she, laughing, "that my turn is come,
at last, to tell my great deeds. I have nothing to relate about







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the day, for uneasiness kept me on the shore, without having
the courage to undertake anything. I was not satisfied till I
saw that you had arrived at the vessel. The day had then
passed without our going away from the tent. I formed the
project of going on the morrow to find a more comfortable place
than this shore, where we are exposed to all the rigour of the
sun during the day, and to the cold at night. I thought of the
wood which you had discovered, and resolved to go there. In
the morning, as I was still thinking of my project, without hav-
ing said anything about it to the children, James took down
the jackal, and cut with his knife two large straps out of the
skin, which he cleaned as well as he could. This done he stuck
the straps full of large nails, then with a piece of the sail he
lined the insides, and asked me to sew the linen to the skin, so
as to cover the heads of the nails. I did as he wished, in spite
of the disagreeable smell. Another strap which he wished to
fold in the same way, was destined to make a belt; but I
showed him that this strap was not yet dry, and would shrink
considerably and render his work useless. Ernest advised him
to stretch the skin on a plank, which he could carry about and
expose to the sun. James, without comprehending that his brother
was joking, put his advice in practice, and I soon saw him,
loaded with his plank, walking gravely in the sun. I communi-
cated to my sons my project of removal, to which they gave
their joyful assent. In the twinkling of an eye they were
loaded with arms and provisions; I carried the water-bottle
and a hatchet. Escorted by the two dogs, we directed our
march to the borders of the stream. Turk recognized the path
you had followed, and preceded us, returning frequently, as if
he understood that he must act as guide. My two young
sons marched resolutely, proud of carrying arms; they felt all
their importance, for I did not conceal from them that our
safety depended on their bravery and address. I was glad that
you had taught our children how to use arms, and thus enabled
them to meet and confront danger.
"We had some trouble in crossing the stream on the wet,
slippery stones. Ernest crossed first, without accident. James
carried my hatchet and water-bottle. I took Francis on my
back, and could scarcely keep my footing with my dear







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burden, who joined his hands round my neck, and clung with
all his strength to my shoulders; at last I reached the other
side; and when we had attained the height from which you
had discovered the landscape of which you spoke with so much
enthusiasm, my heart opened, for the first time since our ship-
wreck, to the pleasure of hope. We soon entered a valley full
of shade and verdure. We saw a little wood at some distance;
but in order to reach it, it was necessary to cross a prairie where
the grass was so high and thick that it almost hid the children.
James at last discovered a path, where we perceived traces
of your passage. These prints conducted us, after several turn-
ings, to the wood. Suddenly we heard a rustling of leaves,
and saw a large bird fly away from the ground. Each of my
little men seized his gun, but the bird was out of sight before
they could fire. 'What bird was that?' asked James. 'An
eagle, no doubt,' said Francis, 'for he had very large wings.'
' That proves nothing,' said Ernest, 'all birds with large wings
are not eagles.' I suppose,' said I, 'that he was on his nest
when we drove him away; let us try and find the nest, and
perhaps we shall be better informed.' Careless James immedi-
ately sprang towards the place whence the bird had flown, but
at that instant another bird, like the first, flew up, flapping his
large wings in the poor boy's face, who stood astonished and
almost frightened. The other children, not less astonished,
kept their arms lowered before this new game. 'Unskilful
hunters,' said I, 'is it possible that you have missed another
chance?' Ernest was angry; as to James, he took off his hat,
and making a comic bow to the fugitive, cried out,' Au revoir,
Mr. Bird; another time I am your devoted servant.' Ernest
soon discovered the nest we sought. It was constructed very
clumsily, and only contained some broken shells. We con-
cluded that the nurslings had lately departed. 'These birds
could not have been eagles,' remarked Ernest, 'for eaglets can-
not run so soon after they are born. The contrary is the case
with pintados and other winged fowl of the same family. I
presume, then, that the birds whose nest we have discovered
are bustards, for you must have seen that their plumage was
yellowish white underneath, and a mixture of black and red
above.' 'Instead of examining it thus,' said I, to my little







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scholar, 'you had better have taken aim at it; you would then
have had a chance of deciding more certainly what it was.
But perhaps, after all, it was best to leave it to its little
ones.'
"Talking thus, we reached the little wood. A crowd of
unknown birds peopled the trees, and made a most varied
concert. The children prepared to fire, but I showed them
that the prodigious height of the trees on which these gay
singers were perched would render their efforts fruitless. The
form and extraordinary thickness of these gigantic trees sur-
prised us greatly. Their trunks were enormous, supported
by powerful roots, which spread along the ground to a con-
siderable extent. James climbed on a root, and measured
with a string the circumference of one of these trunks. Ernest
calculated that it was not less than forty feet, and the height
of the trunk more than twenty-four. Nothing has ever moved
me more than the sight of this-splendid vegetation; ten or
twelve trees formed what we had taken for a wood. The
branches spread so far, and the foliage, which resembled in
form the walnut-trees of Europe, made a delicious shade.
Underneath, the ground was covered with fine green grass,
which invited repose.
"We sat down. The bags of provisions were opened,
a stream which murmured near furnished us with fresh clear
water, and the multitude of birds singing over our heads
gave to our repast the air of a feast. Our dogs, who had
quitted us for some time, returned. To our great astonish-
ment, they did not ask for food, but laid down on the grass
and slept tranquilly, which showed us that they had found
their own breakfast. The place where we were appeared
so agreeable, that I thought it useless to seek another for
our next establishment. I resolved, then, to return, and go
to the shore, and endeavour to pick up what the wind might
have sent to land from the wreck of the ship. James, before
setting off, begged me to sew the skin belt which he had
not ceased to carry suspended on his back, and which was
now quite dry. This accomplished, he soon put on his belt,
in which he placed his pistols, and, quite proud, walked on
first, to show himself the more quickly, in case you should







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have got back during our absence. We were obliged to hurry
to keep him in sight.
On the shore we found little to carry away, for the things
we could reach were too heavy for our strength. During this
time our dogs kept close to the shore, and I saw them plunge
their paws in the water and pull out little crabs, which they
ate eagerly. 'See, my children,' said I, 'how industrious
hunger makes them; we need not be uneasy about food
for our dogs, since the sea affords them .abundant nourish-
ment.'
"On quitting the shore we perceived Belle scratching the
ground, and pulling from it a ball, which she immediately
swallowed. 'If these should be turtle's eggs!' said Ernest.
'Turtle's eggs!' said Francis; 'are turtles fowls ?' You may
judge how Ernest and James laughed at this question. When
they were calm; 'let us profit by Belle's discovery,' cried I,
'for I have heard that these eggs are excellent eating.' I
believe they are,' said Ernest, who already anticipated the
flavour of this delicate meat. We had some trouble in driving
Belle from this repast, which she found very much to her
taste. She had already eaten several eggs, but there remained
about twenty, which we put carefully into our provision bag.
Looking to sea, we perceived the sail of your boat. Francis
feared that it was savages, who would kill us; but Ernest
affirmed that it was your barque; and he was right, since a
few minutes after you landed and embraced us. Such, my
dear, are our adventures. I sought for a lodging; I found
it, and am delighted; and if you like we will go and settle
ourselves to-morrow, under those magnificent trees; the view
from thence is superb, and the place exquisite."
"What," cried I, jokingly, "trees? is that all you have
discovered for our safety and abode? I comprehend that if
they are as big as you say, we might find refuge in them
during the night; but we should want a balloon to mount
them, or else wings." "Joke as you will," said she, "but I
know that we could construct on these trees, among the great
branches, a cabin, which we could reach by a staircase. Do
we not often see the same thing in Europe? Do you not
recollect, for example, that linden-tree in our country which






56 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.

inclosed a pavilion, and which they called from that
'Robinson Crusoe's tree?'" "Well," said I, "we will think
by-and-by of executing this difficult work." However, the
night came, and the prolonged conversation made us forget
the hour of repose. We assembled for evening prayer, then
slept, delighted at being re-united, and woke in the morning
at break of day.
















CHAPTER VI.


PROJECTS OF MIGRATION. THE DEAD SHARK. THE BRIDGE.

"I HAVE reflected on your last night's project," said I to my
wife, on waking in the morning, "and I think we must not
be in too great a hurry to change our residence. Why aban-
don this place, to which Providence has conducted us? We
are here protected on one side by the sea, on the other by
the rocks. We are also near the vessel, which still holds
many useful things which we should give up if we went else-
where."
"Your reasons are undoubtedly good," replied my wife,
"but you do not know how intolerable this abode on the
coast is, when the sun is over our heads. During your excur-
sions with Fritz, you sheltered yourselves in the woods, whose
trees offered you delicious fruits. Here we have no other
asylum than the tent, under which the heat is stifling, which
makes me fear for the health of the little ones, and we find
for food only mussels and oysters, which are very little to our
taste. As to your praise of the security of this retreat, it does
not seem to me to be justified. The jackals came easily to
visit us, and there is nothing to show that lions and tigers
may not do the same. The treasures of the vessel are not
to be despised, it is true, but I would willingly renounce them
to be delivered from the uneasiness which these sea voyages
cause me."
"Well," said I to my wife, embracing her, "you defend
your opinion so well, that I am constrained to yield to it;
not, however, without a little restriction. I think I know a
way of making your ideas agree with mine. We will go,
and inhabit the little wood; but we shall keep here our maga-
zine of provisions, and we will make a sort of fortress to retire







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to, in case of attack. We will leave among the rocks our
powder, which is of great use to us, but the neighbourhood
of which may be dangerous. This plan being adopted, we
must first throw a bridge over the stream, to render our
moving and daily communications between the two shores
more easy." "Do you think so?" cried my wife. "The
construction of a bridge will be long and troublesome. Could
we not load the ass and cow with our materials?" I told
her that she exaggerated the importance of this operation,
and the obstacles we should have to surmount. "In this
case," said she, "let us begin the work without any delay,
for I long to see the migration accomplished."
Thus was settled the question of our change of residence.
The children, whom we woke and told of our project, agreed
to it with enthusiasm. They immediately baptized the little
wood The Land of Promise."
Morning prayers over, each breakfasted as he could. Fritz
did not forget his monkey, whom he placed at the teat of
the goat, his nurse. This example appeared good to James,
who at first tried to milk the cow into his hat, but not having
succeeded, he began to suck the good beast, who let him do
it. "Francis," cried he, while taking breath, "come here;
here is some good milk, quite warm." His brothers seeing
him in this singular position, laughed at him unmercifully;
they even called him the little calf, a name which he kept
for some time. His mother reproached him for his gluttony,
and to show him that he need not have recourse to so
summary a proceeding, began to milk the cow most skil-
fully. Everybody surrounded the active mother, who first
filled the cups which each presented, and then a bowl, which
she put on the fire, to make with some biscuits an excellent
soup.
During this time I prepared our boat of tubs, to fetch
from the vessel some pieces of timber and plank to construct
our bridge. Thinking that we should want some help, I
resolved to take Ernest. We put to sea, and plying well
our oars, soon gained the current of the stream which aided
us as before. As we passed near an islet situated at the
entrance of the bay, we saw a cloud of gulls, albatrosses,







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and other sea birds, who were whirling about the shore,
uttering such piercing cries that we were tempted to stop
our ears. Fritz wished to fire at this troop, but I forbade
him. Such a gathering seemed to be attributable to some
extraordinary cause which I wished to know. I raised the
sail, which filled, and a fresh wind carried us towards the
islet.
Fritz did not take his eyes from the point the birds seemed
to prefer. "Oh!" cried he, suddenly, "they are picking a
marine monster, and feasting joyously without inviting us."
He was not deceived. Having landed, we fastened our boat,
and then, without being seen, watched the troop of birds,
who were picking with delight an enormous dead fish. Fritz
asked whence this corpse could come, as we had not perceived
it before. "Ah," said Ernest, "is it not the shark you killed
yesterday ?" Indeed," replied I, "Ernest is right; it is our
pirate. See his terrible jaw; his rough skin, which is used
to polish iron and smooth wood. It is not certainly one of
the smallest of its kind, for it must measure at least fifteen
feet. God be praised who delivered us from so powerful an
enemy! We will let the gulls feed on his flesh, but I think
we should take away some strips of skin, which may be use-
ful to us." Ernest drew the ramrod from his gun, and
advanced towards the gulls, striking right and left. He
knocked down some, the others flew away. Fritz then cut
with his knife several large strips from the sides of the shark,
and we regained our boat.
As we were going towards the wreck, I remarked at some
distance from the shores of the islet a great number of joists
and planks which the waves had thrown up; it was not
necessary to continue our voyage, since we found these suit-
able materials for the intended construction. I chose from
the wreck those which might serve us, and formed a kind
of raft, which was tied by a long cord behind the boat, which
we turned homewards. The wind being favourable, we had
no need to row, it was sufficient to steer. Fritz nailed to
the mast the pieces of skin, that the sun might dry them.
During this time Ernest was examining the gulls he had
killed. He did not fail to question me about these birds, to







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which I replied as well as I could. He then wished to
know to what use I destined the skin of the shark. I
told him that I thought of making some graters, and I
added that in Europe they made the skin into what is
called shagreen.
The voyage was finished. On landing we were surprised
not to find any of the family.; but at our cries, they soon
came running to us. Francis had on his shoulder a fishing
net, and James carried in his hand a handkerchief carefully
tied up. Arrived near us, he opened it and showed us a
great quantity of fine crabs. "It is I, father! it is I who
discovered them!" cried Francis, proudly. "Yes," replied
James, "but it is I who caught them. I went into the
water up to my knees, whilst they were dining on Fritz's
jackal."
Then James begged me to accompany him to the stream, to
show me what he thought was the most convenient place to
build the bridge. "Well," cried I, I will make proof of your
sagacity; and if the place is well chosen, we will carry the
joists and planks while your mother prepares dinner." James
conducted us to the place where he thought the bridge should
be fixed, and all things considered, I was of opinion that it
was a favourable one; so we immediately began to transport
our materials; for this we employed the ass and the cow.
But as we had no harness for these animals, I passed round
the neck of each a long cord, forming a halter, the end of
which was attached to the pieces of wood. In a few journeys
the carriage was accomplished, and we were ready to begin
the building.
On the point which James had chosen, the stream was
much narrower than elsewhere, and there were trees on each
side which might serve to fix the beams to. "Now," said I,
"we must measure the width of the stream, to know if our
pieces of wood are long enough." There is nothing more easy,"
said Ernest; "we can tie a stone to the end of a string, and
throw it to the other shore: the length of the string will give
us the measure we want." Having put in practice this simple
and ingenious idea, Ernest calculated that the stream was about
eighteen feet wide. Now, as it was necessary that our principal






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joists should rest at least three feet on each shore, we chose
three of twenty-four or twenty-five feet in length. The
greatest difficulty was how we were to get these immense
pieces of wood across the stream. I proposed to my sons
to decide this important question during dinner, which had
already been delayed above an hour.
We returned, then, to the mother, who was impatiently
waiting for us, for the crabs had been cooked some time.
But before beginning to eat, we had to admire with what
patience the skilful manager had made some sail cloth bags
for the ass and cow to carry things in. We applauded it the
more when we knew that having no large needles, she had to
pierce each hole with a nail. The repast was short, for each
was anxious to begin the work.
Though we had consulted on the means of placing the
first beams, none of my children had discovered it. Happily,
I had succeeded better. As soon as we had regained the
dock-yard, I put my idea into execution. I tied one of my
great beams to one of the trees on the borders of the stream;
to the other end I attached a long cord; then I crossed the
stream to fix a pulley to one of-the trees on the opposite
shore, over which I passed the cord which I had brought
with me. I then returned and tied the ass and cow to this
same cord. The two animals pulled; the beam turned round
the trunk, and its extremity soon touched the other shore.
The children were astonished, and jumped on the beam,
uttering cries of joy. The most difficult part of our labour
was accomplished. Two other beams were placed near the
first; there remained only to nail on them a series of planks,
and the bridge would be finished. We happily completed our
task before the fall of day; then, greatly fatigued, we slept
more soundly than ever through the night which followed this
well-spent day.

















CHAPTER VII.


THE MIGRATION. THE PORCUPINE. THE TIGER-CAT. THE
WOUNDED FLAMINGO.

AT the first approach of day, I woke the children, and gave
them some advice as to their conduct during our migration.
"We are going," said I, "to enter a country quite new to us.
None of you must venture alone. Let us walk as near as
possible to each other, and if an enemy appears, let me direct
the attack or defence."
Prayers and breakfast finished, we prepared to depart. The
flock was assembled; the ass and the cow received on their
backs the sacks which my wife had made the evening before,
and which we had filled with the most useful things. We
took care not to forget the captain's case of bottles, and a
small supply of butter.
As I was completing the animals' load with our bed cover-
ings, hammocks, and cordages, my wife interfered and claimed
a place for little Francis, as well as for the sack which she
called her enchanted bag. Then she showed me that we
must certainly carry away our fowls and pigeons, who would
not fail to disperse and be lost as soon as we no longer gave
them food. I yielded to these reasons. A commodious place
was made for Francis on the ass's back, in the space between
the sacks which hung on each side of the animal; the en-
chanted bag served him for a saddle. There remained to
seize the fowls and pigeons. The children pursued them,
but without being able to capture any. Their mother told
them to keep still, saying that she would capture without
trouble all the frightened creatures. "We shall see!" cried
the careless ones. "You will see," replied the mother. Then
62







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


she spread on the ground some handfuls of grain, at the sight
of which they all assembled. This grain eaten, she threw
some more, but this time in the interior of the tent; fowls
and pigeons flew in also, and consequently were caught.
"More is done by ingenuity than violence, you see, gentle-
men," said the mother, closing the entrance of the tent,
where James glided in, and made one after the other prisoners;
we tied their feet and put them on the back of the cow.
When they were all installed there, we extended over them
a covering, held at some distance by two branches bent into
an arch. Thus plunged into shade, these creatures would
not annoy us by their cries. All the things we left, and
which the rain or sun could not spoil, were shut up in the
tent, whose entrance was carefully closed with stakes, and
barricaded with barrels full and empty; then I gave the signal
for departure.
We were all very well armed, and each of us carried a
game-bag filled with provisions and ammunition. All were
in good humour. Fritz, his gun under his arm, led the march;
behind him came his mother, leading the cow and the ass,
who walked side by side; in the third rank were James and
the goat; in the fourth, Ernest and the sheep. I was the
rear-guard. Our dogs went here and there, barking, watching,
smelling. This caravan, slowly walking, had a truly picturesque
appearance. Looking at it, I could not help crying out to
my eldest son, "Well, Fritz, here is your project beginning
to be accomplished. It is thus that our ancestor Abraham
travelled. What do you think of it, my little patriarch?"
Ernest replied for his brother: "Papa, I think it is charming;
I wonder more people do not embrace a wandering life."
"That is true," replied I; "but God grant that we may not
long be reduced to lead this life. You would soon be tired
of it, I assure you. Let us hope that this pilgrimage may be
our last." "God hears you," cried his mother; "I hope that
our new abode will please us, and will be so comfortable
that we may never need to quit it." As we approached the
bridge, the sow, who at first appeared unwilling to follow us,
rejoined us, showing by her grunting the displeasure which this
long walk gave her; but we were not much affected by her bad







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humour. The passage of the stream was effected without accident,
but the rich vegetation on the other shore greatly retarded
our march. The ass, the cow, the goat and the sheep, who
for a long time had not had such a feast, could not resist the
temptation of feeding on the fresh grass; our dogs were obliged
to keep barking round them and biting their legs to make
them advance.
To avoid such delays, I thought of keeping by the side
of the stream, but scarcely had we gone a few steps in that
direction, when our dogs bounded into the thick grass, howl-
ing frightfully, as if they had encountered a ferocious animal.
Fritz, armed with his gun, his finger on the trigger, resolutely
advanced. Ernest came near his mother, not however with-
out having prepared his arms. James sprang intrepidly after
his brother, keeping his gun in his shoulder belt. I prepared
to rejoin them, to protect them in case of danger, when I
heard them cry out loudly, "Oh, papa! come quickly! run! A
porcupine! A monstrous porcupine!" I hastened on, and
saw, indeed, a porcupine, not however so large as James made
out. The dogs were raging round the animal, whom they
could not attack without paying dearly for their rashness. The
porcupine fought after his manner, that is to say by turning
his back to his adversaries; his head between his front paws,
he marched against them, bristling his darts, which, agitated
in this manner, produced a kind of strange clicking. Every
time the dogs attacked him, they received a number of
wounds.
Fritz and I waited for the moment when we could fire
without risk of wounding the dogs; James more impatient,
and not understanding our hesitation, discharged one of his
pistols almost close to the porcupine, who fell dead. Fritz,
envying his brother's victory, cried out angrily, "Imprudent
one! you might not only have killed the dogs, but also have
wounded us by firing so close." "Wound you!" replied the
little hunter; "do you think, then, that you alone know how
to manage arms?" Seeing that Fritz was going to reply, I
hastened to interfere: "It is true," said I, to my eldest son,
"that your brother should have acted with less precipitation,
but you wanted only to deprive him of the opportunity of







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showing his skill. This is wrong, my child. Learn to loyally
applaud others, if you wish to be worthy of being praised
yourself. Come, no anger; our turn will come next. Shake
hands, and let there be no quarrel between you." The two
children immediately shook hands cordially, and then con-
sidered how they should carry away the game, whose flesh, I
knew, was excellent eating.
James, with his habitual want of thought, had placed his
hands on the animal, and consequently was severely pricked.
"Go and fetch a cord," said I; "tie the paws of the beast,
and you and your brother can carry it by the help of a stick,
which you will hold at each end." But impatient to show his
prize to his mother and brothers, James tied his handkerchief
round the porcupine's neck, and dragged it to the place
where the caravan was waiting. "See, mamma!" cried he, on
arriving; "see, Ernest! look, little Francis; what a fine
animal I have killed. Yes, I killed it. I was not afraid of
his hundred thousand lances; I approached, fired my pistol,
and lo! he fell! Ah, I did not miss him. Papa says it is
excellent eating."
The mother congratulated her son on his courage and skill.
Ernest, who approached, examined the porcupine very atten-
tively with his usual coolness, and remarked that he had in
each jaw two long incisors, like those of the hare and squirrel,
and short, round ears, something like those of a man. My
wife and I sat down, to extract from the dogs' muzzles the
quills which remained in them. "There," said I to James,
"were you not afraid that the porcupine would dart his quills
through your body? They say these animals have that
faculty." "Oh!" replied he, "I believe that is only a fable."
"You see, however, that our dogs have not been spared."
"That is true," said he, "but it is because they threw them-
selves upon the animal; if they had kept at a distance they
would not have had the least wound." "You are right, my
child, and I am happy to see that you know how to mistrust
opinions which are contrary to reason. The porcupine has
no power to dart his quills, but it often happens that he loses
some in a combat like that which has just taken place."
Resolved to carry away the porcupine, I covered him with







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a thick coating of grass, rolled it up in one of our blankets,
and tied our parcel on the ass's crupper, behind little Francis.
Then we resumed our march.
But soon the donkey escaped from my wife's hand, who
was holding him by the bridle, and sprang before us, jumping
and making a number of grotesque evolutions, which would have
been very diverting, if we had not been frightened on account
of the little horseman he carried. Fritz ran after him, and
aided by our dogs, soon mastered him. Looking to account
for this abrupt change in the usually quiet demeanour of the
animal, I soon discovered that the quills of the porcupine
coming through the grass and blanket, very disagreeably
tickled his skin. I then placed the dead beast on the enchanted
bag, taking care to warn Francis not to lean on it.
We arrived at the promised land without any other
adventure. "Wonderful!" cried Ernest, when he perceived
the great trees we were approaching; "what gigantic trees!
The spire at Strasburg is not higher, and how rich nature is
here! What an excellent thought of dear mamma's to make
us quit the desolate shore where we were!" Then he asked
me if I knew the name of these trees. "These trees are
nowhere described, and we are without doubt the first Euro-
peans who have seen them," replied I. "But I defy the
most agile bears to reach us at the summit of these enormous
trunks, when we have built our house there." "Well," said
my wife, "what do you say to our trees ?" "I comprehend
your admiration," said I, "and your choice is perfect."
We made a halt. Our first care was to unload the beasts
of burden, who were then left to feed in the neighbourhood,
as well as the sheep and goats, first taking the precaution to
tie their fore-feet together. The sow alone was left entire
mistress of her movements. We gave the fowls and pigeons
their liberty. The fowls began to peck around us, the pigeons
flew into the branches of the trees, whence they descended
at the first distribution of grain that was made. We reposed
in the thick grass which carpeted the ground, and held
council how we should construct a house on these giant trees.
All at once, as it was not probable that we could be installed
there the same day, I felt uneasy about passing the night







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in the open country, exposed to all its inclemencies, and
without defence against wild beasts.
I called Fritz, who I thought was among us, to tell him
that I wished to attempt immediately the ascent of the prin-
cipal tree. He did not answer; but two consecutive reports,
fired at some distance, warned us that he was not losing his
time, and we heard him cry out joyfully, "Hit, hit; there he
is!" He soon advanced, holding by the hinder paws a magni-
ficent tiger-cat, which he held up proudly to show us.
"Bravo! Mr Hunter," said I; "you have rendered us
signal service by delivering our poultry from this formidable
neighbour, who would soon have dislodged them, even if they
were perched on the top of the tree. If you see any more
prowling about, give them no quarter. How did you discover
him ?" I found him quite near," replied the hunter; "I
perceived something moving amongst the leaves of a tree,
and approached cautiously to the foot of it, and from there I
fired at the beast, who fell at my feet. As I was going to
take him up, he raised himself, and I finished him by a blow
from my pistol." It was fortunate," said I, that he did not
spring on you, as he was only wounded; for these animals,
though of small size, are terrible when they are defending
their life. I can affirm this with more certainty, as I recog-
nize in the individual you have just killed, not the tiger-cat,
properly so called, but the margay, very common in South
America, where it is known by its rapacity and audacity."
"Whatever it may be," said Fritz, "look at its beautiful
skin with black and brown spots on a golden ground; I hope
James will not cut up the skin of my margay as he did my
jackal." "Be tranquil; James, being warned, will not rob you
of it. But what do you intend making of this skin?" "I
must ask you that," replied the hunter, "and will follow your
advice. I do not wish to keep it entirely for myself."
"Well," said I, "in that case, as we do not need furs to
clothe us, you shall make with the skin of the body and
thighs, some cases for our table-service, and with the tail
you can make a magnificent hunting belt, to carry your
knife and pistols." "And I, father," asked James, "what
shall I make of the skin of my porcupine?" "When we







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


have taken out a certain number of quills to serve for needles
or arrow-points, I think we may make of the entire skin a
sort of cuirass to fit the body of one of our dogs, to render
him formidable in combat with ferocious animals." "Oh!
magnificent, magnificent!" cried James; "I long to see Turk
or Belle so harnessed." And my little rogue left me no repose
till I had consented to show him how to skin his porcupine.
I suspended the animal to a tree by the two hind paws, and
then began to skin it. Fritz, who observed me attentively,
did the same with his margay. The two skins were nailed to
the trunk of a tree, that the air might dry them. A portion
of the flesh of the porcupine was destined for the repast which
the mother began to prepare, and the rest was put by to be
salted.
Ernest had collected some large stones, of which he built
a fire-place, at the same time asking me if the trees under
which we were, were not mango trees. I thought it very
likely, but could not say positively till we had consulted the
captain's library. "Ah! our dear books," said he; "when
shall we be able to read them leisurely?" "Patience, my
dear child, let us first do what is necessary; a day will come
when we shall have time for this pleasure."
Francis, whom his mother had told to collect some dry
wood, arrived dragging some branches, and with his mouth
full of fruit which he seemed to be eating eagerly. "Little
imprudent one!" cried his mother, springing towards the child;
"this fruit which you are devouring with so much pleasure,
may be poisonous and kill you. Show me the fruit." "Kill
me!" repeated the child, who hastened to eject what he was
on the point of swallowing, "I will not die, mother; no, no!"
At the same time he let fall the branch he was carrying,
and drew from his pocket two or three little figs, which I
took from his hands to examine them. I was quickly re-
assured; for I do not know that there are any poisonous figs.
I asked Francis where he had found them. "Near here,"
replied he, "under one of the trees, where there are a great
many. I thought I might eat them, as I saw the fowls and
the sow regaling on them." "That is not sufficient test,"
replied I; "for many fruits are eatable for animals which







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


are not so for men, and the reverse. But as the physical
constitution of the ape is nearly the same as that of a man,
and as besides, the ape is warned by a secret instinct of the
nature of food, I warn you all to consult the ape when you
find any fruit you desire to eat."
Scarcely had I pronounced these words, when Francis ran
towards the ape, who was fastened to the foot of the tree,
and offered him one of the figs, of which his pockets were
full. The little animal took the fruit in his hands, looked
at it, smelt it, and at last bit it. "Good! good!" cried
Francis, completely re-assured, and again filled his mouth
with the figs, which he thought delicious. "So then," said
Ernest, "these are fig-trees ?" "Yes," replied I, "but not
dwarf fig-trees, like those of our country. These belong rather
to the class of mangoes, which throw out immense roots, as
we see here."
Whilst talking thus, and whilst my wife, assisted by Francis,
was busy laying the cloth, I began to make some needles
with the quills of the porcupine. The point was made
naturally; there remained only to pierce a hole in the other
extremity; I succeeded in doing so with a long nail made hot
in the fire. In an little time I had prepared an assortment
of needles, which our housekeeper accepted with great
pleasure.
The children, still astonished at the prodigious height of
the trees in which we had resolved to establish ourselves,
could not devise any way of ascending them; I was, at first,
as embarrassed as they were, but at last I thought of a plan,
which I deferred putting into execution till after dinner; which
being now ready, we seated ourselves in a circle to partake
of. The flesh of the porcupine and the broth my wife had
made for us, were found excellent; we had for desert some
butter and Dutch cheese.
Thus restored, I resolved to profit by the daylight which
still remained. I asked my wife to make, as quickly as she
could, the straps we should want to tie our beasts of burden
to the pieces of wood we should require for our building,
and which we should have to fetch from the shore. She began
her work directly. I first fixed our hammocks for the night,






THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


by suspending them to the arched roots of a mango-tree,
above which we extended a sail-cloth, fixed down on each
side to preserve us from the dew and mosquitoes. This done,
I directed Fritz and Ernest to go to the shore and find
some pieces of wood, strong and straight, which might serve
as rungs for the rope-ladder which I had resolved to make.
Ernest discovered on the borders of a little marsh, a quantity
of bamboos, half buried in the mud. We pulled them out,
and having cut them with a hatchet into pieces three or four
feet long, we made them into three packets, one for each of
us. At some distance from the place where we found the
bamboos, and a little more within the marsh, I perceived a
thick tuft of reeds, towards which I went to cut some, which
I intended to make into arrows. Belle, who was walking
beside me, sprang forward barking, and immediately a
troop of magnificent flamingoes flew away with extreme
rapidity.
Fritz, who was never taken by surprise by events of this
kind, had time to fire before the birds were out of reach.
Two flamingoes fell: one dead, the other only wounded in
the wing. This last would probably have escaped us, if Belle
had not sprung in pursuit, and seized him by the wing. The
brave dog held him, so that when we arrived, I took posses-
sion of him. When I returned to the children, and showed
them my captive, they uttered cries of joy, and said we
must keep this living bird and endeavour to tame it. "What
a beautiful effect it will make with its red and white plumage
among our other fowls," said Fritz. Ernest remarked that
the flamingo had feet formed for running like swans and
for swimming like geese, and he was astonished that the
two faculties were given to the same individual. I told him
that a certain number of species were thus privileged.
I would not let this hunting incident prevent me from
gathering the reeds which I coveted, so went to cut a number
of the longest, telling my sons that I should make them use-
ful in measuring exactly the height of the tree we were
going to inhabit. "Oh!" cried they with a kind of incredu-
lity, "you must join a great many together to reach only the
lowest branches." "Patience," replied I; "do you remember













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THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


the lesson your mother gave to you in catching the fowls. Wait
till you see what I am going to do." The two children were
silent. Then, loaded with our packets of bamboos, of reeds,
the dead flamingo, and the living one, whose feet I tied
together, we returned to the others. James and Francis
saluted with cries of joy the arrival of the flamingo; but
the mother was uneasy, in seeing that we added another
useless mouth to the already large number of our domestic
animals. Less prompt to be alarmed on such a subject, I
examined the wounds of the bird. I saw that the two
extremities of the wings were fractured, one by the gun, the
other by Belle's teeth; I dressed them both with a kind of
ointment made of butter, salt, and wine. This done, the
flamingo was attached by a cord to a stake fixed in the
ground, near the stream. Left to himself, he put his beak
under his wing, and slept on one of his long legs.
Whilst I was proceeding with this cure, the children, who
had tied several reeds together end to end, raised them
against one of the mango-trees to measure its height; but
they scarcely reached the place where the roots joined the
trunk, and I heard them again express their doubt on the
success of the method, which, however, I had not yet com-
municated to them. Letting them say and do, and smiling
at their incredulity, I sharpened some reeds at one end, and
furnished them at the other end with feathers taken from
the dead flamingo. I weighted these arrows by putting some
sand in the hollow of the reeds. Then I began to make a
bow, by bending a flexible bamboo, tied tightly at each
end.
James and Fritz, who soon perceived what I was doing,
ran to me crying out, "Oh, a bow and arrows! Papa, let me
shoot! Permit me to try. You will see that I shall be skil-
ful." "One instant," said I; "as I had the trouble of making
the bow, I wish to have the honour of trying it first. Besides,
do not think that I intend to use it as a plaything. No, I
have a useful end in view, and I will not delay in proving it
to you." Then I asked my wife if she could not give me a
ball of stout thread. "Perhaps," she replied, with a smile;
'I will consult my enchanted bag." She put her hand into







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


her bag, and pulling it out, said, "Here, I think, is what you
want." And as she seemed to show some pride in having
so promptly satisfied my demand, James took upon himself
to say: "Truly, it is a great mystery, to find in a bag what
you have put there!" "The mystery is not great, certainly,"
replied I, "but it required some coolness, in the moment of
anxiety which preceded our departure, to think of filling a
bag, as my dear wife has done, with a thousand things, for-
gotten by us, and yet very useful to us all." James was the
best boy in the world; he threw himself into his mother's
arms. "I deserve," said he, "to be sewed up in your bag,
and never to come out of it." "Naughty boy, too much
beloved," said his mother; "I should not leave you long, you
know that!" "And you would be right," said I, laughing,
"the enchanted bag would risk too much if Master James
was shut up in it."
Having unrolled the greater part of the ball, I tied the
end of the thread to one of the arrows. Then, adjusting this
arrow to the bow and bending it, I drew in the direction of
the branches of the largest mango-trees. The arrow flew, and
fell on the other side of a branch, over which, consequently,
the thread passed. It was then easy, by drawing the arrow
back to the branch, to obtain a length of thread equal to that
of the trunk, so as to know what length to make our ladder.
We found it was fifty feet. I then measured a hundred feet
of strong cord. I divided it in two parts, which I stretched
along the ground. I told Fritz to saw some pieces of bamboo
about two feet long; then aided by James and Ernest, I
fixed these rungs to the cords by knots, and with nails, which
prevented them from slipping. In less than an hour and a
half the ladder was finished.
To hoist it, I made use of the same means. A new arrow
was shot. At the end of the thread, which I tripled this time,
to make it stronger, was attached a cord, and at the end of the
cord the ladder, which was soon firmly fixed. James and
Fritz disputed who should mount the first. I gave the prefer-
ence to James, who was lighter than his brother, and as nimble
as a cabin-boy. Before letting him mount, I told him not to
venture on one step, without having tested its solidity, and to







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


descend as soon as he perceived the least danger. He sprang
up, paying little attention to my orders, and arrived, thank
God! without accident to the first branch, which he strided
across, crying out, "Victory! victory!" Fritz then mounted,
and tied the ladder more securely. This precaution taken,
I ventured in my turn. Arrived in the tree, I inspected its
form, to make the plan of our dwelling. The night approached;
it was even by moonlight that I attached to one of the branches,
over-hanging the first, a large pulley which I had brought
with me, to hoist up the pieces of wood for the projected
building. As I was getting ready to descend, I saw neither
Fritz or James. I thought they had already gone down; but
suddenly I heard in the high branches of the tree two fresh
young voices, singing the evening psalm. I would not interrupt
this impromptu concert, for there was in the accents of the
two innocent singers, and above all the thought of thus praising
the Lord, something sweet and touching, which seemed to be
a presage of blessing on our new abode. When they had
finished they rejoined me, and we descended together.
The mother, who had milked the cow and the goats,
offered us some excellent milk soup and some slices of porcu-
pine which remained from the dinner. The cattle were fastened
round our hammocks, under the roots of our tree. Ernest
and Francis had collected, by my orders, a quantity of dead
branches, which would serve to keep up a fire during the night,
to scare away ferocious animals. Prayers having been said,
the children soon went to sleep in the hammocks, which we
had hung on the roots. As for me, I did not go to bed,
resolved that I would watch by the fire which I had kindled.
During the first half of the night, I was kept perfectly
awake by the anxiety which the least noise I heard around
caused me. The murmur of the wind among the leaves was
sufficient to alarm me. But, little by little, I felt overcome
with fatigue, and towards morning I fell asleep so profoundly,
that when I awoke the family were already up.
















CHAPTER VIII.


THE BUILDING IN THE TREE.

IMMEDIATELY after breakfast, my wife ordered James and
Ernest to put on the ass and cow the harness she had made
the day before; then with her three youngest sons, she went
to the shore, to collect the load of wood which we wanted
for our aerial building. They had to make several journeys.
I was uneasy at seeing her undertake such labour, which she
was not accustomed to. "Do not be uneasy," said she;
"this farmer's wife life suits me better than you think. I
find it good, that we should gain all we want by the sweat
of our brow. This law of God is often forgotten in towns,
but it is sweet to feel that we accomplish it."
I let her depart, and fortified by her good words and
example, began my work with a joyful heart. I mounted
with Fritz into the tree, in the centre of which, with a saw
and hatchet, we prepared a space for our pavilion. The form
of the first branches, which extended horizontally, served as a
support for the planks. We left some, about six or eight feet
high, to suspend our hammocks; other, a little higher, to receive
the sail-cloth, which was to form the roof of the habitation.
This preliminary work was not without difficulties, but at
last we made in the thick part of the fig-tree a spacious
empty place. The beams and planks, which had been
brought in great quantities from the shore, were hoisted by
the aid of the pulley. The floor was fixed, and a balustrade
raised round it.
We worked with so much ardour, that the middle of the
day came, and we had not thought of eating; we contented
ourselves this time with a luncheon. After the repast, we
resumed our task. We now extended the sail-cloth, which
74







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


required much effort and skill. As this cloth fell over at
both ends, we fixed it to the balustrade, and we found that
our pavilion, of which the trunk of the tree already formed
one side, was hermetically closed on three of its sides. The
fourth, which faced the sea, remained at present open, though
I thought of closing it, in case of need, by a sail, which could
be raised or lowered at will. When we had fixed the ham-
mocks to the branches which we had reserved for that pur-
pose, our habitation was in a condition to receive us for the
night.
Fritz and I descended from the tree, and though much
fatigued, I began to make with the planks a large table and
some benches, which I fixed under the roots of the tree, in
the place where we had passed the preceding night; for this
place seemed fit to become our future dining-room. This last
work finished, to the great satisfaction of our housekeeper, I
laid down, harassed with fatigue, on one of the benches I had
just made, and said to my wife, wiping my forehead bathed with
perspiration: "I have worked to-day like a negro, and I intend
to rest to-morrow during the whole day." "You not only can,
but ought," replied she; "for if I count right, to-morrow is
Sunday; it is even the second we have passed in this place;
we have not thought of celebrating the first." "I have, like
you, remarked this forgetfulness," replied I; "but I thought
that being then in urgent necessity of providing for our safety,
there was no fault in this omission. But now that we are, in
some sort, comfortably established, it would be a great proof
of ingratitude to neglect rendering to God the thanks we owe
Him. It is then agreed that to-morrow shall be entirely con-
secrated to the Lord. Since the children have not heard us, we
will give them an agreeable surprise by not telling them our
determination till to-morrow morning." "That is agreed," said
my wife, and she called her sons, who, dispersed round about,
hastened to range themselves round the table on which the
cloth was laid.
The good mother took from the fire an earthen pot which
she brought, and with a large fork took out the flamingo
killed yesterday. "I intended," said she, "to roast it, but
Ernest dissuaded me, by saying it was an old one, which







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


could not fail to be tough; so by his advice I stewed it, and
hope you will find it well done." The doctor was rallied a
little on his culinary foresight; but we acknowledged that he
was right, for the flamingo thus prepared was excellent, and
eaten to the bone.
Whilst we dined, we had the satisfaction of seeing our
live flamingo mix familiarly, for the first time, with the
fowls who were pecking around us. For some hours we
had detached him from his stake, and left him at liberty.
He had been walking all the afternoon, gravely, slowly, on
his two long red legs, like a person absorbed in profound
meditation. We threw him some pieces of biscuit, which he
caught with dexterity, to the great disappointment of the
fowls, over whom he had the advantage of his long beak
and stilted feet. The ape became, also, more and more
familiar; he jumped from one shoulder to the other, making
a thousand gambols.
At dessert, the sow re-appeared, whom we had not seen
since the evening before. By her peculiar gruntings, she seemed
to shew the pleasure she felt at having found us again. My
wife gave her a gourd full of cow's milk, which she drank with
avidity. Such liberality appeared to me incompatible with
the principles of economy we ought to follow; I said a word
about it to our housekeeper, who had her answer ready. "Till
we are properly settled, and have all the necessary utensils,
it will be difficult to make the milk that is not wanted for
daily use into butter and cheese. It is better then to distribute
it to the animals; in the first place, to attach them to us; and
secondly, to save our grain, which is precious, and our salt,
which is nearly gone." "You are right in all things, my dear
wife; so we will soon go to the rocks to collect more salt, and
will not fail to lay in a provision of grain when we make our
next voyage to the vessel." "Ah!" cried the mother, "the
vessel again! still these dangerous journeys! I shall not be
easy till the day comes when you give up such expeditions."
" I understand your fears," said I, "but you know that we only
go when the sea is calm. And you will own that we should
be inexcusable, if we lost, through timidity, the riches which
the vessel still contains."







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Whilst we were thus _talking the children had lighted, at
a little distance from the tree, a fire, on which they placed
the longest dry branches they could find, in order that the
fire might last a long time, and protect our cattle from the
approach of dangerous animals. Then we ascended our tree.
Fritz, James, and Ernest went first, and accomplished the
ascent with the agility of a cat. Their mother followed them
slowly, and with precaution. Left to the last, I had a little
more difficulty, as I had detached the ladder from the stakes to
which it was fixed at the bottom, so that I might draw it up
after me, and also because I carried little Francis tied to my
back, as I would not let him mount alone.
However, I arrived without accident; and when I had pulled
up the ladder to the floor of the pavilion, it seemed to my
sons that they were in one of the strong castles of the ancient
chevaliers, asylums impenetrable to all enemies. I thought it
best to load our arms, ready to fire on dangerous visitors, of
whom the dogs, left on guard at the foot of the tree, would
signal the approach. This precaution taken, each mounted into
his hammock. We were soon asleep, and the night passed in
the most perfect calm.
















CHAPTER IX.


SUNDAY.

WHEN we awoke, "What shall we do to-day?" asked the
children. "Nothing, absolutely nothing," replied I. "Ah!
father, you are joking," said Fritz. "No; I do not jest. To-day
is Sunday, and we ought to celebrate the day consecrated to
God."
"Sunday!" cried James. "Ah! I will walk, hunt, fish, in
fact do only what I like." "There you deceive yourself," said I;
"I intend to celebrate Sunday in quite another fashion. It is
not a day for idleness and pleasure, but one of prayer." "But,"
replied James, "we have no church." "Nor organ," added
Francis. "That is true," replied I, "but God is everywhere;
do you not know that? Could we adore him in a more
magnificent temple than the beautiful scene around us? And
do you not think that our voices will be as pleasing to Him
alone, as when joined to sound of instruments?" "Papa is
right," said Ernest; "and besides, do we want a church to pray
in every morning and evening?" "Well said, my child,"
replied I. "So then we will pray in common, we will sing
some hymns, and I will relate to you a parable, which I have
prepared for the occasion." "A parable! Oh! let us hear it,"
cried they all at once. But I told them to have patience; we
must do all things in proper order.
After the prayers and singing we sat down on the grass, and
I gave my auditory, who listened to me with eagerness, the
following recital.


"Once upon a time," said I, there lived a great King, whose
kingdom was called the country of Light and Reality, because
there reigned there perpetual activity and unclouded light. On
78







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


the most distant frontier, and towards the north, lay another
country, which likewise acknowledged the sway of the great
King, and whose immense extent was known to none but him-
self. From the remotest ages the monarch had preserved its
map in his archives; this other kingdom was called the Land of
Darkness, or the Night, because all was dark and inactive within
its borders.
"In the most fertile and agreeable districts of the empire of
Reality, the great King had a magnificent residence called Him-
melsburg, or the Celestial City, where he resided and held the
most magnificent court imaginable; millions of servants executed
his will, and millions held themselves ready to receive his
orders. Some were clothed in garments whiter than snow,
because white was the King's colour; others were in glittering,
gleaming armour, flaming swords in their hands or cased in
sheaths of gold. Each, at a sign from his lord, flew like light-
ning to accomplish his commands. All these faithful servants,
full of zeal in the service of their King, were so united among
themselves, and so contented with their lord's favour, that one
could imagine no happiness greater than to be admitted among
them. There also lived, in this glorious city, some of less
exalted rank, who, good, wealthy, and happy, enjoyed not only
the gifts of the King, but also the indescribable happiness of
serving him, and of being treated as his own children.
"Not far from the shores of the empire of Reality was a
large uninhabited island, which the King desired to people and
cultivate, that for a short time it might be the dwelling of those
of his subjects whom he intended to admit by degrees to
the privileges of citizens of Himmelsburg-a favour which he
wished to concede to as many as possible.
"This island was named Erdheim, or the Earthly Home; and
those who by good conduct in this place of trial, and by atten-
tion to the improvement of the country, proved themselves
worthy, would be admitted to Himmelsburg.
"To attain this object, the great King equipped a fleet to
transport the colonists to the island. He chose them from
the inhabitants of the Land of Darkness, and in taking them
thence he summoned them to enjoy the light and the activity
of life; advantages which, previously, they had not known; so







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they entered on their new home in a happy and contented
spirit.
"The island was not only beautiful and fertile, but the col-
onists on arrival found that everything necessary to render their
residence agreeable had been provided, and each had the certain
knowledge that his work and his obedience to the King's laws
would be recompensed by his future admission to the splendid
city of Himmelsburg.
At the time of their embarkation, the good King addressed
the colonists thus:-

"' My children, I have withdrawn you from inaction and in-
sensibility, to render you happy by feeling, activity, and life;
henceforth your happiness and honour will largely depend upon
yourselves.
"'Never forget that I am your King; and faithfully observe
my commandments in cultivating the country which I have con-
fided to you.
"'Each person, on his arrival at Erdheim, will receive the
piece of ground which he is intended to till; and there you will
find wise and learned men, charged to make known to you my
decrees.
"' In order that you may acquire for yourselves the know-
ledge necessary for the interpretation of those decrees, I wish
every head of a family to preserve within his house a copy of
my laws, and daily read it with his family, that they may never
be forgotten.
"'Moreover, on the first day of the week, in each establish-
ment, all shall assemble in one place, where my commandments
shall be read and explained to them, and where they shall reflect
on the duties enjoined upon them. Thus will each of you find
out the most advantageous manner of cultivating the land you
have received as your inheritance; and, especially, how you may
uproot the tares and brambles that would choke the good seed.
All your requests, if made with a sincere heart, will come before
me, and if I deem them expedient and suitable, they will be
granted.
"'If, to prove your gratitude, you, on the day dedicated to
my service, abandon every other care, and devote yourselves






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wholly to the expression of your feelings towards me, that will
find favour in my eyes, and I will take care that the day so
spent shall prove of great use to you, by the repose it will afford.
I will, too, that the animals which I have placed at your disposal
shall, on this day, rest, and that the wild beasts of the fields shall
not dread the hunter.
"' He who at Erdheim shall obey my commands-who shall
do his duty with a contented and joyous spirit-who shall
maintain his land in the best order, and most fully develop its
resources, shall obtain the richest rewards.
"' But he who shall refuse to labour, and who does nothing
but trouble his fellows in their useful works, shall be condemned
for ever to toil in the mines in the bowels of the earth. From
time to time I will despatch my ships to Erdheim, which will
carry away a number of its inhabitants, for reward or punish-
ment.
"' None will be able to deceive me, as a marvellous mirror,
placed in my palace, reflects with entire accuracy the conduct of
every inhabitant.'
"The anchor was weighed, and all, full of joy and hope, sailed
to their destination. After a short space of time allowed them
on their arrival to recover from the fatigues of their voyage, each
was shown the plot of ground set apart for his cultivation. He
was supplied with the seeds of useful plants, and was left at full
liberty to act, and to use for his advantage all which had been
entrusted to him.
"But what happened ?
"Very soon most of the colonists, instead of following the
instructions they had received-instructions repeated daily by
the good servants of the King-would obey only their own
pleasure. One, instead of tilling his ground so as to obtain from
it an abundant harvest, laid it out like a garden, very agreeable,
but useless. Another, instead of the fruit-trees of which he had
received seedlings, cultivated the most miserable species, and
stated that the worthless fruit they yielded were of the most
precious descriptions. A third, it is true, frequently sowed good
grain; but as he never took pains to distinguish tares from the
wheat, his harvest consisted of weeds and darnels. Many let
their ground remain uncultivated, because they had lost their
6







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seeds and plants, or spent in other pursuits the season for sow-
ing. Some few had shown an inclination to understand the
king's orders; but others tried by all kinds of pretences to elude
them, or alter their meaning.
"However, some brought their ground into a flourishing
state, and in addition to the pleasure they derived from
being usefully employed while on the island, their hope of
being hereafter admitted to Himmelsburg cheered them in
their work.
"The misfortunes of the others arose from their unwill-
ingness to believe what the King had said to them through his
messengers, and in the disrespect in which they held his
laws. It was true that each head of a household possessed
a copy of the Sovereign's laws, but he seldom read it. Some
said that these laws were only suited to a past age. Others
professed to discover in them incomprehensible contradic-
tions, while they were careful not to seek those explanations
which the messengers could have furnished. Accordingly, they
declared they were justified in diverging from the laws as
widely as they pleased. Some carried their wicked spirit to
such an extreme as to maintain that there was not a King;
and that, if he lived, he would sometimes show himself to
his subjects. Others said: 'Yes, the great King lives; but
he is so great, so happy, so powerful, that he has no need
of us; and of what interest to him can be so poor a
colony as ours?' Many were certain, above all things, that
the magic mirror was a fable; that the great King had no
subterranean mines; that he was too merciful to punish them;
and that all vould eventually enter Himmelsburg.
"Owing to these causes, the day of the week consecrated
to the great King was observed with extreme negligence;
and many colonists refrained from attending the general
assembly. 'We know by heart,' they said, 'our King's ordin-
ances; what will it profit us to hear the same thing constantly
repeated?' The colonists who still celebrated his day accord-
ing to the King's law were few; and even among these
many were inattentive, and few listened devoutly, or profited
by the instructions addressed to them in the name of their
Sovereign.







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"However, the great King, faithful to his promise, pursued
his course. From time to time ships made their appearance
on the shores of Erdheim. They were followed by a huge
ship named the Grave, which bore the flag of Admiral Death.
This flag was embroidered with green and black; and the
colonists, according to their state, regarded it as the emblem
of Hope or of Despair.
"The fleet always arrived unexpectedly, and its appearance
was usually unwelcome. The admiral immediately sent in
search of those whom he was ordered to bring away. Many
of those who least desired it were suddenly seized, and com-
pelled to go; others who had long been preparing themselves
for the voyage, and whose crops and estate were in admirable
condition, likewise departed; but while the latter set out with
resignation, blended with joy and hope, the former exhibited
so much reluctance that it was necessary to employ force.
All resistance, however, was vain; and as soon as the ship
was loaded, she sailed, and speedily re-entered the port of
Himmelsburg. There the great King received the arrivals,
and with strict justice meted out the rewards and punish-
ments which had been promised to all. The excuses put
forward by negligent colonists availed them nothing; they
were condemned to labour in the mines; while those whose
conduct had conformed to the great King's laws during
their sojourn in Erdheim, entered with him into the bright
city of Himmelsburg, and enjoyed all the happiness of its
inhabitants.
I have finished my parable, my dear boys," added I; "may
you comprehend its meaning, and each of you apply a moral
for himself.

"Now," said I, when I finished, if I had in my possession
that excellent book, the Bible, I would read to you some
passages, which I would comment upon as well as I could,
and this reading and my reflections should terminate our
pious exercises." Whilst I spoke, my wife had risen and
gone away, and I soon saw her return holding in her hand
the book I was wishing for. It was a kind of fairy accom-
plishment of my desire; and with an astonished look, I







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seemed to ask our dear manager whence this riches came;
she said, smiling, "the enchanted bag! still the enchanted
bag!" I could not help, before opening the book, showing
the children the advantages of foresight, of which their mother
was a true model.
After having read different chapters from the holy book,
which I endeavoured to explain to my young family, I declared
the religious exercises of the day finished, and gave them per-
mission to amuse themselves. James asked for my bow, and
tried to arm the arrows with some porcupine's quills: "If I
had but a little glue," cried he. I counselled him to melt
in a little water one of our broth-cakes. He followed my
advice, and a short time after had at his disposal a number
of arrows, which would have been formidable weapons in
the hands of a skilful hunter. I thought it would be desir-
able for my sons to practise shooting with a bow and arrows
till they became expert at it; our provision of powder,
though ample, was not inexhaustible, and we might econo-
mise it. I was disturbed from these reflections by a noise
of fire-arms, and saw fall at my feet five or six dead
birds, which I picked up, and found to be ortolans. It was
our philosopher, who having mounted the tree, and seen a
number of these birds perched on the high branches, had
discharged his gun which was loaded with small shot. He
soon showed himself triumphantly on the platform, crying out,
"Well! have I hit them? am I skilful?" "Very skilful," said
I, "but you have forgotten that to-day is Sunday; hunting
is not permitted."
These words stopped Fritz and James, who had already
run for their guns, to imitate the example of their brother.
Ernest himself descended, and coming to me with a confused
air, begged me to pardon his forgetfulness. I did not make
him ask twice. The involuntary fault of our little hunter
had shown me that we had within our reach an abundant
supply of delicate game. These ortolans, attracted by the
fruits of our gigantic fig-trees, peopled all the surrounding
trees. It would be easy, either with snares or firing, to
procure a great number, and as I knew that, for the pleasure
of European gourmands, they preserve these birds half roasted







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in fat, I resolved to make a stock of them, prepared in the
same fashion. My wife took the six ortolans killed by
Ernest, picked them, and began to cook them. Fritz, who
had decided to use the skin of his margay in making bags
for our silver, consulted me how to prepare the skin. I
advised him to rub it with ashes and sand, and then to
soften it with butter and yolk of eggs. Whilst he was
busy with this preparation, came Francis, who was already
possessor of a little bow, which he began to know how to
use, begging me to make him a quiver which he could hang
over his shoulders, to hold his arrows and reeds. I made
him one with four large pieces of skin tied in a point and
fixed over each other. Thus equipped, our baby was at
the height of joy.
Ernest had taken the Bible, and seated at the foot of the
tree, appeared profoundly absorbed in his reading. My wife
called us to dinner; the ortolans were delicious, but certainly
not sufficient to satisfy us. Whilst we were dining, I told
my sons that I wished to make them a very important
proposal. I saw them all look at me with great curiosity.
"It would be," said I, "to give names to the different points.
of this land. By the help of these designations, it would be
much more easy to understand each other. We will, how-
ever, abstain from naming the coasts, for perhaps some
European navigators have already named them; and we ought
to respect the work of our progenitors." "Oh! what a good
idea," cried all the children at once. "Yes, let us find some
names." I," said James, "am of opinion that we should take
very extraordinary names; for example, Cowmandel, Chander-
nagor, Zanguebar, Monomaptoa." "But, little hairbrain," said
I, suppose we cannot keep them." "Then what names
shall we find?" asked he. "That is very simple," I replied;
"instead of seeking chance names, why should we not make
some from the different events which happened at the places
we wish to name?"
"That is evident," said Ernest; "and to begin by the
bay where we disembarked, I propose to call it THE BAY
OF DELIVERANCE." "I," objected James, "ask that we
should call it LOBSTER BAY, seeing it was there that one







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of those vile animals pinched my leg so terribly." "Then,"
said the mother, smiling at the egotistical pretension of her
son, I do not see why we should not call it THE BAY OF
CRIES, for you cried enough on that occasion! But I pro-
pose that we should adopt Ernest's idea; the gratitude we
owe to God makes it a duty." "Adopted! adopted! It
shall be THE BAY OF DELIVERANCE," cried they all.
Successively all the points of our domain received names;
the first habitation was called ZELTHEIM (an abode under
a tent); the little island at the entrance of the bay, THE
ISLE OF REQUIN (or shark), in memory of the address and
courage of Fritz. There was FLAMINGO MARSH, and JACKAL
RIVER. Our new habitation received the name of FALCON'S
NEST; "for," said I to my sons, "you are bold and adven-
turous like young falcons, and as much disposed to exercise
active pillage in the surrounding lands." The promontory,
from the top of which Fritz and I had vainly attempted to
discover traces of our unhappy companions, was called THE
CAPE OF DISAPPOINTMENT.
These useful designations thus settled, we rose from table,
and the children were at liberty to amuse themselves. Fritz
was busy with his cases, which he made with the skin of the
animal's thighs, fixing it out with moulds of wood. James
asked me to help him make for Turk, with the prickly skin
of the porcupine, the coat of mail which I told him of. I
did as he wished. After having cleaned the skin, we fixed
it with straps on the dog's back, who thus covered, looked
like a warrior. He willingly suffered himself to be thus
harnessed, and did not try to get it off; but Belle did not
at all like this costume, for every time she approached her
companion to play with him, she got cruelly pricked; so we
decided that Turk should only put on his warrior's costume
when he went on important expeditions. With the rest of
the skin James made a helmet, which he wore in military
fashion, and hoped to frighten the savages if we met any.
Ernest and Francis practised shooting with the bow, and I
was pleased to see that they were not awkward at it.
As the sun was getting low and the heat diminishing, I
proposed a walk. We consulted as to which way we should







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go. It was decided that we should go to Zeltheim; certain
of our provisions beginning to get exhausted, it was necessary
to visit our magazine. Fritz and James wanted powder and
ball; the housekeeper had need of butter; Ernest thought of
bringing back a couple of ducks, which would do very well
on the borders of our stream. "Let us set out," said I, "and
prepare for some fatigue, for we shall take a longer road
than that by which we came." Fritz and James, armed with
their guns, like Ernest and myself, had on, the one his belt
of jackal skin, the other his famous porcupine helmet. Little
Francis carried his bow and quiver; my wife alone had no
arms. The little ape sprang on Turk's back, his usual seat,
but being pricked in the paws with the quills of the coat of
mail with which the dog was armed, he went, making strong
grimaces, to take refuge with Belle, who kindly consented to
carry the affronted little horseman. Our flamingo, who wished
also to be of the party, began gravely to follow the caravan.
It was comical to see him walking on his stilts, and bending
his long neck.
Keeping close to the stream, we had a very agreeable
walk. My wife and I walked slowly side by side; the children
ran before, scattering right and left. Ernest soon came
back to us showing a stalk, at the end of which hung three
or four little clear green balls: "Potatoes, papa! potatoes!"
I soon saw that he spoke truly, and could not but praise
his spirit of observation which had caused one of the most
precious discoveries we had made since our abode in the
island.
Ernest, delighted, made us hasten to see his field of
potatoes; for in that place, said he, the plain was covered
with them. We quickly reached this precious natural plan-
tation. James went down on his knees and began to scratch
up the earth to extract some roots. The monkey, quitting
his steed, began to imitate his young master. In less than
five minutes they had pulled up a large quantity of potatoes,
which Francis put into a heap as fast as Master Knip and
James threw them on the earth. The whole were put in
our sacks and game-bags, and we resumed our walk, after
having taken care to mark attentively the situation of the







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field, to which we resolved to return and make a complete
harvest.
We crossed the stream at the foot of a little chain of rocks,
whence it issued, forming a cascade. From this elevated place
we enjoyed a varied and extensive view. We might have
believed ourselves in a European hot-house, with this differ-
ence, that instead of flower pots and tubs containing shrubs,
all the interstices of the rocks were filled with the most magni-
ficent vegetation. All sorts of plants grew here in abundance,
especially the Indian fig-tree, the aloe, the cactus with its
thorny stalks, loaded with scarlet flowers; above all, the
pine-apple, the most delicious of fruits, which my children
knew, and seized with an avidity which I was obliged to
repress, fearing they would make themselves ill.
Among these plants I recognized the karatus, a sort of
aloe, of which I gathered several feet, and which I showed
to my sons, telling them: "I have found there something very
superior to the pine-apples you are devouring so gluttonously."
"What!" said James with his mouth full, "those vile tufts
of hairy leaves? It is not possible. There is nothing better
than the pine-apple! The pine-apple is a divine fruit."
"Glutton!" said I, interrupting this panegyric, which She
other children appeared to approve, "you must learn not to
judge so much by appearances. Here, Ernest, take my flint
and steel and make a fire; I want one." "But, father," replied
my little scholar, I have no tinder."
"Then what should we do if we wanted very much to
procure a fire?" "Well," said James, "we would rub two
pieces of wood together, as I have heard the savages do."
"That would be a painful method for people not accustomed
to this exercise. I assure you, my dear child, you might rub
all day without obtaining a single spark." "In that case,"
replied Ernest, "we should be obliged to seek for a tinder
tree." "The search would be superfluous," said I, taking a
dry stalk of karatus, from which I pulled off the bark to
extract the pith. I then placed this pith on the flint, which I
struck with the steel, and it immediately caught fire. "Bravo I
bravo! Long live the tinder plant!" cried the astonished
children.







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But," said I, "you have not yet seen all the treasures which
the karatus furnishes." Speaking thus, I split a leaf, from which
I drew several lengths of very fine but very strong thread.
"I own," said Fritz, "that the karatus is a very useful plant;
but I should like to know what is the use of all these prickly
plants that we see around us ?"
You would be very wrong to judge them useless," replied
I. "The aloe, for example, produces a juice much used in
medicine; the Indian fig-tree, which you see with its prickly
leaves, must not be despised, for it grows in sterile lands, where
the inhabitants would often die of hunger, without the help of
its excellent fruit." At these words, James ran with open hand
to gather some of these fruits, which he wished to taste; but the
thorns with which they were covered ran into his fingers. He
returned to me crying, and casting an angry look on the Indian
fig-tree. His mother hastened to pull out the thorns which
pained him cruelly; and during this time I showed his brothers
the way to gather and eat these fruits without exposing them-
selves to the same misfortune.
Having cut a stick to a point, I stuck it into a fig, which
I could then easily deprive of its prickles with my knife.
Ernest, who was attentively examining a fig, remarked that
it was covered with a multitude of red insects, who appeared
to be sucking the fruit. "Look, father," said he, "tell me
the name of these animals, if you know them." I recognized
the cochineal, and said: "This is decidedly a day of extra-
ordinary discoveries. I will not say that this last is very
precious to us, unless we could sell these insects to the
Europeans, who buy them at a very high price for dying
scarlet." "However that may be," said Ernest, "this is the
second plant superior to that pine-apple which at first we so
much boasted of."
"You are right," said I, "and, to prove it, I will tell
you another useful quality of the Indian fig-tree, whose thick
tufted branches may make hedges capable of defending the
abodes of men against the attacks of wild beasts, and the
plantations against the ravages of devastating animals."
"How!" cried James, "the soft leaves serve as a barrier!
A blow of a knife or stick would remove such an obstacle."







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Speaking this, he began to strike vigorously at a magnificent
fig-tree. But one of these prickly leaves fell on his leg,
and implanted there its darts, whose pricks made our mad-
cap utter loud cries. "Well," said I, "do you understand
now, how formidable such an enclosure would be to
half-naked savages, or to animals who should try to get
through them? "We must make one round our habitation,"
said Ernest. "And I think we should do well to gather some
cochineal. The red dye might be useful to us," said Fritz.
"And I think," replied I, that it would be wiser to undertake,
at present, only what is useful; the agreeable may come later."
We continued our conversation, which became more serious,
and I was several times astonished at the judicious remarks of
Ernest. More than once his eagerness for knowledge made
me confess that I was unable to inform him on some points. I
had not yet looked over the captain's books, which I had shut
up in a chest, not wishing to leave them in the hands of
children of their age. Many times Ernest had asked me for
the key of this treasure. But everything must have its time,
and it was first necessary to attend to what was required for our
safety and well-being.
Arrived at Jackal stream, we crossed it; and after a few
minutes' walk, reached Zeltheim, where everything was in the
same order as at our departure. Fritz provided himself
abundantly with powder and lead; I helped my wife to fill
our tin bottle with butter. The young boys ran after the ducks,
who, become wild, would not be easily approached. Ernest
thought of a means of catching them, which succeeded. He
tied a piece of cheese to the end of a thread, and let it float
on the water, where the gluttons came to gobble it; and
were gently taken in the snare. Repeating this trick several
times, he became master of the rebels, who were shut up
separately in a handkerchief, and placed in our game-bags.
We took also a stock of salt, but less than we wished, for we
were already too much loaded; we were obliged to unharness
Turk of his coat of mail to give him a share of the burden.
The formidable, but decidedly useless cuirass, was left in the
tent. "Arms are like soldiers," said Ernest; "out of battle they
are good for nothing."







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We began our march. The laughter and jests provoked by
the thorns and by the contortions of our ducks and the comical
aspect of our caravan, made us forget a little the weight of our
charge. It was not till after our arrival that we felt fatigue.
But our good housekeeper hastened to fill the pot with
potatoes, which she put on a good fire; then she went to milk
the goat and cow to prepare a strengthening repast. The cloth
was soon laid. The expectation of our supper and of the
excellent potatoes, kept us awake; but as soon as supper was
finished, the children went to their hammocks. The mother,
who had been assisting them, came towards me laughing in
spite of her fatigue. Do you know what little Francis has just
added to his prayer?" said she; I give you ten times to guess
it." "Give me one, my dear," replied I, and tell me at once;
I am dying for sleep." Here it is," said she: "' Good God, I
thank Thee for having planted such good potatoes in our
island for little Francis, and such large pine-apples for James.'
And then he fell asleep." "And he did well," said I to my wife,
wishing her good-night; be assured his thanksgiving is on high.
Even the smallest prayers go to God."
We soon fell into a peaceful sleep.


















CHAPTER X.


THE HURDLE. THE SALMON. THE KANGAROO.

I HAD remarked .the evening before that the coast was
covered with a great quantity of wood, with which we could
make a hurdle, and transport burdens too heavy to be placed
on the backs of our beasts. I therefore set off at break of
day, accompanied by Ernest and our ass, both of whom I
awoke. A morning walk seemed to me desirable for Ernest,
as his habits of meditation made him somewhat indolent.
The ass dragged a large branch of a tree, which I thought
I should need. "Are you not a little angry," said I to my
son, "at having quitted your hammock sooner than usual,
where you were sleeping so soundly? Do you not regret
being deprived of the pleasure of shooting pigeons and thrushes
with your brothers?" "Oh, now I am up, I am very glad,"
said he; "as to the birds, no doubt the hunters will leave
me some, for at first they will drive away more than they
will knock down." "Why so?" asked I. "Because they will
forget to take the balls out of their guns, and to fill them
with small shot. Even if they remember that, they will fire
from below; without thinking that the distance from the ground
to the high branches is much too great." Your observations
are just, my child," said I; "but I do not think it friendly
of you not to have warned your brothers. I should like
to see you less irresolute, less apathetic; for if there are hours
when it is good to reflect and be prudent, there are others
when we ought to know how to take a sudden resolution,
and execute it with energy."
While continuing to demonstrate to my son, that though
meditation has its value, action also has its worth, we arrived






THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


at the shore. I found there several poles and pieces of
wood. We put a number of them on the branch of the
tree, which formed a sort of sledge. I had also found among
the wrecks a closed chest, which I opened with a hatchet
after our arrival at Falcon's Nest. It contained some sailor's
clothes and linen, stained with sea-water.
On arriving near Falcon's Nest, a well-kept-up firing
announced that the hunting was in train; but when they
saw us, cries of joy were heard, and all the family came
towards us.
I had to excuse myself to my wife for having left with-
out telling her. The sight of our beautiful wood, and the
thought of having a convenient sledge to transport the pro-
visions left at Zeltheim, silenced her mild reproach, and we
went gaily to breakfast. I examined the spoil of our hunters;
it amounted to four dozen birds, as many thrushes as ortolans,
which were scarcely worth the great quantity of powder
and shot expended upon them. In order to save these
articles, which we could not well renew, I showed my young
poachers how to make snares and place them in the branches
of the tree. The threads of karatus served us to make
these engines. Whilst James and Francis were thus occu-
pied, Fritz and Ernest helped me to make the hurdle.
We had worked for some time, when we were disturbed
by the horrible noise made by our poultry. My wife got
up to see if any voracious animal had caused this alarm;
but she only saw the little ape, who was running towards
the roots of the fig-tree, under one of which he disappeared.
Much puzzled, she followed him, and caught him just as
he had broken an egg to eat it. Looking under the sur-
rounding roots, Ernest discovered a great number of eggs,
which Master Knips had laid up in reserve. The little animal
was very fond of this food, and gluttony had taught him
the trick of stealing and hiding each egg as it was laid.
"I understand now," said my wife, "how it was I often heard
the fowls cackling as if they had laid eggs, without being
able to find any." The little thief received a correction, and
it was decided that he should be deprived of his liberty at
the time when fowls are accustomed to lay. We made use







THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


of him, however, to discover those eggs which the fowls did
not deposit in the usual nests.
When James, who had climbed into the tree to set the
snares, descended, he told us that the pigeons we had brought
from the vessel had constructed a nest in the branches. I
received this news with satisfaction, and prohibited the children
from firing henceforward into the tree, for fear of wounding
our little pensioners; I repented having given the idea of
the snares. But as the prohibition of firing into the tree
had already excited some murmurs on the part of the hunters,
I abstained from giving a counter order.
Little Francis came, with his customary naivete, to ask
me if it was not possible to sow some gunpowder in a field,
which he would take care of, so that his brothers might have
as much firing as they liked. We were greatly amused with
this idea, which showed the child's goodness as much as his
ignorance. "My darling Francis," said Ernest, "powder is a
thing made, and not a product of the earth; it is made by
mixing in nearly equal parts charcoal, sulphur, and saltpetre."
"Ah! I did not know," said Francis, "and I thank you for
telling me."
Leaving my young scholar to the pleasure of instructing
his little brother, I was so busy making the hurdle, that my
wife and two younger sons had picked a great quantity of
birds before I perceived them; It was a proof to me that
the snares had produced their effect. The housekeeper had
stuck all these small pieces of game on a long thin sword,
brought from the vessel, and she proposed to roast them. I
complimented her on her spit, but remarked that she had
prepared three times as many ortolans as we required for
dinner. She replied that she did so because she had heard
me say that we might preserve them, by putting them in
butter when they were half-cooked.
The hurdle being nearly finished, I resolved, in the after-
noon, to make another journey to Zeltheim, and I told Ernest
to accompany me, as he had done in the morning, for I
wished to conquer his indolence and timidity. Francis
stopped me an instant by a question, which amused us.
"Papa," said he, "Ernest told me that the fire enclosed in






THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


all bodies is developed by motion and rubbing. Now, if I
ran too fast, could I catch fire?" "Catch fire! no," said I,
"dear little one, only warm yourself; the legs of little children,
and even of men, are not strong enough to make them run
so quickly as to catch fire. Be assured then, and run as much
as you like." "I am glad," said he; "I like to run; but I
was afraid."
The hour of departure being come, Fritz made us a
present of a case which would contain a table service, and
even a small hatchet. I praised him for his ingenious work,
and, after having embraced our dear ones, we departed. The
ass and cow were attached to the hurdle; Ernest and I,
bamboo canes in our hands to serve as whips, our guns
on our backs, walked by the side of the beasts: Belle
followed us. We took the road by the shore, and after a
journey marked by no accident, arrived at the tent.
The beasts when unharnessed began to graze at liberty,
whilst we placed on our sledge the cask of butter, a barrel
of powder, some shot, some cheeses, and some other provi-
sions. This labour engaged us so much that we did not
notice that the ass and cow were gone away, beyond the
bridge, attracted by the sight of the verdant meadow on
the opposite side of the stream. I despatched Ernest to
bring them back, telling him that I would go in quest of
a place where we could bathe conveniently, thinking that
a bath would be very wholesome for us after the fatigue of
the day.
The interior part of the Bay of Deliverance, which I went
to inspect, offered a place where the rocks, coming out of
a sandy bottom, seemed to form separate bathing places.
Before getting in the water, I called Ernest several times,
but he did not reply. Becoming uneasy, I went towards
the -tent, calling him again; still the same silence. I began
to fear some accident, when I perceived him asleep under a
tree, a little distance from the stream. The cow and ass were
tranquilly feeding near him. "Idle one!" cried I, "what care
you are taking of the beasts! Do you not think they might
re-pass the bridge, and lose themselves ? "Oh! there is
nothing to fear," replied he, in a sleepy tone, rubbing his






THE SWISS FAMILY IROBINSON.


eyes, "I have taken away several planks of the bridge." "Ah!
ah! I see that idleness makes you inventive; but, instead of
sleeping as you have done, would it not have been better to
fill the ass's saddle-bag with salt, which your mother depended
on our bringing ? Busy yourself now in gathering this, and
when you have finished, come to me at the first heap of rocks,
behind which I am going to bathe." Speaking thus, I showed
him with my hand the place I had chosen, and went back
to it.
As, after having remained nearly half an hour in the water,
I was astonished not to see my salt gatherer appear, I dressed
myself to go and see if he had gone to sleep again. Scarcely
had I gone a few steps, when I heard him cry out: "Oh,
father! father I come and help me, or else he will drag me
in!" I ran, and saw my little philosopher lying on his belly
on the sand, not far from the mouth of the stream, holding
with both hands a line, at the end of which an enormous
fish was struggling. I arrived just in time to spare the
fisherman the grief of seeing his magnificent captive escape.
I took the cord and let the fish into low water, where it was
easy to catch him, after Ernest, going into the water, had
stunned him with a blow of his hatchet. It was a salmon,
weighing at least fifteen pounds.
I complimented my son, not only on his skill as a fisher,
but also on the forethought he had shown in bringing the
lines with him.
Whilst he was bathing, I cleaned the salmon and rubbed
him with salt, then placed him on the hurdle with some
other smaller fishes which Ernest had taken and wrapped in
his handkerchief. I put back the planks of the bridge; then,
when my son came back to me, the beasts were harnessed,
and we returned towards Falcon's Nest.
We had walked about a quarter of an hour, keeping by
the meadow, when suddenly Belle sprang forward, barking,
towards a large tuft of high grass, from which we saw an
animal come out nearly as large as a sheep, who ran away,
making extraordinary leaps. I fired, but too precipitately,
and failed. Ernest, placed at this moment in the direction
the beast took, fired in his turn, and killed it.






THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


We ran to examine the singular game we had just killed.
The animal had the muzzle and skin of a mouse, the ears of
a hare, the tail of a tiger, the front paws exceedingly short,
and the hind ones excessively long. I examined it a long
time before I could tell its name. As to Ernest, the joy of
his victory prevented him from observing it carefully. Ah!"
cried he, "what will my mother and brothers say on seeing
game of this size, and knowing that I killed it "Truly,
you have a good eye and sure hand," said I, "but I should
not be sorry to know the name of your game. Let us proceed
together to a minute examination of it, and perhaps we shall
arrive- Ernest interrupted me. "It has," said he, "four
incisors, and may belong, consequently, to the order of
gnawers." "That is very well reasoned," replied I, "but it
has also, below the teats, a pocket, which is the distinctive
sign of the opossum. I think I am not deceived in saying
that this animal is a female kangaroo, an animal unknown to
naturalists till the discovery of New Holland by the celebrated
Captain Cook, who was the first to observe and describe it.
You may congratulate yourself, then, on having made a truly
extraordinary capture." "Father," said Ernest, "you appear
glad that I killed this fine game; are you not sorry you did
not kill it yourself?" "No; because I love my son better
than myself, and his success gives me more pleasure than
my own." "Ah, father l" said he, throwing himself in my
arms.
The kangaroo was placed on the hurdle, and while walking,
I told Ernest all I knew about the kangaroo, of its short fore-
paws, and long hind ones, and of its tail, which serves it almost
like a fifth leg, as a sort of compensation for the insufficiency
of its fore-paws.
As soon as the children left at Falcon's Nest perceived us,
they uttered cries of joy, and we soon saw them running
towards us, all muffled up, some more comically than the
others. One was enveloped in a long white shirt, another had
his body covered in long trousers which reached to his
shoulders, the third was hid under a waistcoat which descended
to his knees, and make him resemble a walking portmanteau.
Seeing them advance gravely, like the heroes of a theatre,
7






THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON.


I asked them what was the cause of this masquerade. They
told me that during my absence, their mother having thought
fit to wash their clothes, they were obliged to wait till they
were dry, and wrap themselves up in those found in the chest
we brought from the shore.
After making us laugh at their grotesque accoutrements,
they pressed round the hurdle to inspect its load. The house-
keeper thanked us for the butter, salt, and fish we had brought;
but the attention of the children was concentrated principally
on the salmon and kangaroo, which Ernest was quite proud
of showing to his brothers. James and Francis uttered cries
of admiration at sight of this important piece of game. It
was not quite the same with Fritz, who, I perceived, was looking
at it rather spitefully. At the same time I could see that he was
trying to overcome this feeling of jealousy. "Father," said he,
approaching me, "will you take me on your next excursion?"
"Yes, my child," replied I, adding, in a whisper, "to recom-
pense you for the inner combat you have just fought and
gained." He embraced me, and went to Ernest, whom he
congratulated sincerely on his skill, showing thus the good-
ness of his heart. On the other side, I remarked with pleasure
the modesty of Ernest, who had the delicacy not to tell that
I had missed the kangaroo.
The hurdle was unloaded, and I distributed some salt to
our animals, who had been deprived of it for some time. The
kangaroo was suspended to a branch of the tree, and we made
our supper of the small fishes caught by Ernest, and a dish
of potatoes. It now being night, we regained our aerial
abode.


















CHAPTER XI.


SECOND VOYAGE TO THE VESSEL.

THE next day, very early, I called Fritz, and told him he
should accompany me in a second voyage to the vessel. My
wife, who heard me, cried.out again, as I had foreseen, about
the new dangers we were going to run. I made a fresh appeal
to her reason, by showing that it would be highly culpable in
us to abandon the thousand useful things still enclosed in the
shipwrecked vessel, for want of resolution.
I then descended from the tree, and began to despoil the
kangaroo of its pretty grey fur. The flesh was divided into
two parts; one to be eaten immediately, the other was destined
to be salted. Then we breakfasted, and after the repast I
told Fritz to collect our game-bags and gourds, and the arms
we should take with us. At the moment of departure I
called James and Ernest, to whom I wished to give some
orders for the employment of their time during our absence.
As they did not answer, I asked my wife if she knew what
had become of them. She replied that they were probably
gone to dig up some potatoes, as she heard them talk of doing
so. I was satisfied when I saw that they had taken Turk with
them. We then set out without waiting for them, leaving Belle
at Falcon's Nest.
As we arrived at Jackal Bridge, we suddenly heard shouts
of laughter at some distance, and soon saw Ernest and James
come from behind a bush, appearing very much delighted at
the trick they had played us. I scolded them severely for
having gone away without telling us. They owned that they
had done so in the hope that I should take them to the vessel.
99




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