The Baldwin Library
R m1P Univcrsity
LIFE AND ADVENTURES
" THIS WAS GAME INDEED."
(See 5. 20.)
Surpring Adventures of
Of York, Mariner,
With One Hundred and 'Twventy, Original Illuftrations by
CASSELL AND COMPANY, LIMITED
PARIS & MELBOURNE
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
"THIS WAS GAME INDEED" .
"'YOU'RE BUT A FRIESH-WATER SAILOR'" .
"WE WALKED ON FOOT TO YARMOUTH .
' SURPRISED IN THE GREY OF THE MORNING"
"I PROVED VERY DEXTEROUS" .
"'IF YOU COME NEAR THE liOAT, I'LL SHOOT YOU'"
" WE I' .I O IR I \
"1 O (;'llT MEI A NEG;RO Sl,.\V." .
"L.O(KING OV\ER ITHIIE (l.'RTS" .
"w ST N IIIs NEl I' ESIRU(CTI',N W'Il I iR OWN II.AN S".
'I WAS NOW I,.\NDEI1 .
'8110S III.\T WVI R'; NOT FELLOWS .
"I ESPIED A SMALL, PIECE OF RO)PE'.
" I FE'Ll, FAST AsIlEE .)
"A CONU11SED SCREAMING AND CRYIN; .
"I WANTED NOT111N; TI:HAT E II Ol ('11 F1ET ME .I M
"TI'l Y AI Ll, IA('ED \I 1 T1 T I1'PON THEi I 1); .
" \ KINII O1 \VwI II I' ;I'.4 NS . N
"I WAS 1SIuRPRISED AND IPERI I'C'I.V .ASTONISIm1lE "
"GRINDING M TOOLS" .
"I CAUGHT A YOUNG DOLPHIN" .
"A LARGE TORTOISE, OR TURTLE" .
"BROILED IT ON THE COAS .
I WENT UP THE CREEK FIRST" .
fo face 35
" I SOWED MY GRAIN .
"I DESCENDED A LITTLEE ON THE SIDE OF THAT DELICIOUS VALLEY"
"I KNOCKED IT DOWN WITH A STICK ". .
"AN INFINITE NUMBER OF FOWLS" .
"I FIRED AGAIN .
"I HANGED THEM IN CHAINS" .
"WHAT ODD, MISSHAPEN, UGLY THINGS I MAD" .
"I RESOLVED TO DIG INTO THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH"
'I MADE ME A SUIT OF CLO'IIES .
"I BROUGHT IT INTO THE CREEK .
"I FELL ON MY KNEES .
"HOW LIKE A KING I DINED" .
"I STOOD I.IKE ONE THUNDERSTRUCK" .
"I HAD MY COUNTRY SEAT "
1MY EVENING DIVERSIONO' .
"A PLACE WHEIIE TIIHERE HAI) 1EEN A FIRE MADE" .
"TO SEE IF I COULD OBSERVE ANY BOATS" .
I STIRRED HIM A LITTI.E .
A LIGHT OF SOME FIRE UPON THE SHORE" .
"THE CORPSE OF A DROWNED BOY"' .
"BEGAN TO EXAMINE THE PARTICULARS .
"DANCING ROUND THE FIREl '. .
"I IWAS THEN OBLIGED TO SHOOT" .
"AT ONE DBLOW CUT OFF HIS IEAD" .
"I PRESENTED MY PIECElI' . .
"I ENTERED INTO A LONG DISCOURSE". .
"UPON SFEING THIS BOAT, FRIDAY STOOD MUSING A GREAT W1III.I"'
"INCH IV INCH UPON GREAT ROLLERS" .
"IN THIS POSTURE WE MARCHED OUT" .
"I FIRED AGAIN AMONG THE1 AMAZED WRLTCHIES"
"I MADE DIRECTLY TOWARDS THE POOR VICTIM" .
"WRINGING MY SWORD OUT OF HIS HAND" .
"MY EYE PLAINLY DISCOVERED A SHIP LYING AT AN ANCHOR" .
"'WHAT ARE YE, GENTLEMEN?'" .
"THEY BEGGED FOR MERCY" .
/ t fe,' 74
S fte 110
1. . 24
S / fRee 146
S to fce 170
LIST OF ILLUSTRATI77ONS.
"HE MADE ROBINSON HAIL THEM" .'
" SHOT THE NEW CAPTAIN THROUGH THE HEAD o. face
"I SHOWED THEM THE NEW CAPTAIN HANGING AT THE YARD-AR.M OF THE SHIP:'
"UPON THIS HE PULLS OUT AN OLD POUCH" .
"TWO OF THE WOLVES FLEW UPON THE GUIDE"
" 'WHAT, YOU NO COME FARTHER?'" .
'THEY CAME ON US WITH A GROWLING KIND OF A NOISE"
"I FARMED UPON MY OWN LAND 219
"IT WAS ALL TO NO PURPOSE" .22
"THE SHIP BLEW UP" 229
"THE MATE BROUGHT SIX MEN WITH HIM" 232
"1 FOUND THE POOR MEN ON BOARD ALMOST IN A TUMULT" 237
"1I CAME FAIR ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF MY ISLAND" 240
"' DO YOU NOT KNOW MEl?"' "to face 242
"1ADE THEM STAND OFF" 245
"WITH ONE BLOW OF IlIS FIST KNOCKED 111M DOWN" 248
"THEY CAME UP IN A. \V.RY SUBMISSIVE, IIU17,lll.E MANNER". 253
"THEYV WERE SURPRISED WITHIN SEEING A. LIGHT" . 256
"INDIANS JUST COMING ON SHORE" 257
"PLACED HIMSELF BETWEEN HIIM AND) THE SAVAGE" 261
"'I'ITHREE STRANGE MEN COMING TOWARDS HIM" 264
" DREW LOTS AMONG THEM" 269
"'ITHllREE SAVAGES 1,EFIT DEHllIND, AND LYING FAST ASLEEP'" 272
ALL THEIR IIUTS AND IIOISEIIOID STIFF FLA.\MING uil' TOG THE 277
"CAME RANGING ALONG THE SORE" 280
" DESPATCHED THESE POOR CREATURES" 285
"ATE THEIR PROVISIONS VERY THANKFULLY" face 287
"IN THIS GREAT BEE-HIVE LIVED THE THREE FAMILIES 289
"WE MADE A SPLENDID FEAST" to faCe 292
"MADE EVERY ONE A LIGHT COAT" 297
"WE WALKED ON 301
MADE ME A VERY OW OW 305
"THEY ALL CAME TO ME" .
.ATKINS AND HIS TAWNY WIFE" .
"WE CALLED HIM IN ALONE" .
"MADE HER KNEEL BY HIM .
" WE MARRIED THEM THE SAME DAY .
"I HAVE BROUGHT YOU AN ASSISTANT" .
"GAVE THEM SUCH A BROADSIDE" .
"GIVING THEM A SALUTE OF FIVE GUNS ".
"KILLED POOR FRIDAY" .
"WE GAVE THEM A VOLLEY" .
" THE COW WENT ON BEFORE THEM" .
"HE SHOWED ME THE POOR FELLOW HANGING"
"COMES TO ME ONE DAY AN ENGLISHMAN" .
" COULD SEE THE BOATS AT A DISTANCE" .
"THEY HAULED HER SAIL" .
"'WELL DONE, JACK GIVE THEM SOME MORE OF IT'".
. . 308
So face 332
Sto face 365
"A BOAT CAME OFF"
" BROUGHT ABUNDANCE OF THINGS TO SELL ; .
"HE CAME TO ME WITH ONE OF THE MISSIONARY PRIESTS" .
"AS SOON AS THEY SAW US, ONE OF THEM BLEW A KIND OF HORN"
" KILLED THE SECOND WITH HIS PISTOL"
"TWO OF THEM SEIZED THE FELLOW AND TOOK THE CAMEL"
"SENT THREE MESSENGERS TO US" .
" BROUGHT US IN FINE VENISON" .
TAILPIECE . .
t .. .
lo fJcc 385
WAS born in the year 1632, in the -city of York, of a good family, though not
of that country, my father being a foreigner, of Bremen, who settled first at
Hull: he got a good estate by merchandise, and leaving off his trade, lived
afterwards at York; from whence he had married my mother, whose relations
were named Robinson, a very good family in that country, and from whom I was
called Robinson Kreutznaer; but, by the usual corruption of words in England, we
are now called, nay, we call ourselves, and write our name, Crusoe; and so my
companions always called me.
I had two elder brothers, one of whom was lieutenant-colonel to an English
regiment of foot in Flanders, formerly commanded by the famous Colonel Lockhart,
and was killed at the battle near Dunkirk against the Spaniards. What became of
my second brother I never knew, any more than my father or mother did know what
was become of me.
Being the third son of the family, and not bred to any trade, my head began to be
filled very early with rambling thoughts: my father, who was very ancient, had given
me a competent share of learning, as far as house-education. and a country free-school
generally goes, and designed me for the law; but I would be satisfied with nothing
but going to sea ; and my inclination to this led me so strongly against the will, nay,
the commands, of my father, and against all the entreaties and persuasions of my
mother and other friends, that there seemed to be something fatal in that propension
of nature, tending directly to the life of misery which was to befall me.
My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent counsel against
what he foresaw was my design. He called me one morning into his chamber, where
he was confined by the gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this subject:
he asked me what reasons, more than a mere wandering inclination, I had for leaving
my father's house and my native country, where I might be well introduced, and had
a prospect of raising my fortune by application and industry, with a life of ease and
pleasure. He told me it was men of desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring,
superior fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by enterprise,
and make themselves famous in undertakings of a nature out of the common road;
that these things were all either too far above me or too far below me; that mine was
the middle state, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had
found by long experience was the best state in the world, the most suited to human
happiness, not exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labour and sufferings of the
mechanic part of mankind, and not. embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and
envy of the upper part of mankind. He told me, I might judge of the happiness of this
state by this one thing, viz., that this was the state of life which all other people
envied ; that kings have frequently lamented the miserable consequence of being born
to great things, and wished they had been placed in the middle of the two extremes,
between the mean and the great; that the wise man gave his testimony to this, as the
just standard of true felicity, when he prayed to have neither poverty nor riches.
He bade me observe it, and I should always find, that the calamities of life
were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind ; but that the middle station
had the fewest disasters, and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher
or lower part of mankind ; nay, they were not subjected to so many distempers and
uneasiness, either of body or mind, as those were who, by vicious living, luxury, and
extravagances on one hand, or by hard labour, want of necessaries, and mean or
insufficient diet on the other hand, bring distempers upon themselves by the natural
consequences of their way of living; that the middle station of life was calculated for
all kind of virtues and all kind of enjoyments ; that peace and plenty were the hand-
maids of a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation, quietness, health, society, all
agreeable diversions, and all desirable pleasures, were the blessings attending the
middle station of life; that this way men went silently and smoothly through the
world, and comfortably out of it, not embarrassed with the labours of the hands or of
the head, not sold to a life of slavery for daily bread, nor harassed with perplexed
circumstances, which rob the soul of peace, and the body of rest; nor enraged with
the passion of envy, or the secret burning lust of ambition for great things ; but, in
easy circumstances, sliding gently through the world, and sensibly tasting the sweets
of living, without the bitter; feeling that they are happy, and learning by every day's
experience to know it more sensibly.
After this he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affectionate manner, not to
play the young man, nor to precipitate myself into miseries which Nature, and the
station of life I was born in, seemed to have provided against; that I was under no
necessity of seeking my bread ; that he would do well for me, and endeavour to enter
me fairly into the station of life which he had just been recommending to me ; and
that if I was not very easy and happy in the world, it must be my mere fate or fault
that must hinder it; and that he should have nothing to answer for, having thus
discharged his duty in warning me against measures which he knew would be to my
hurt; in a word, that as he would do very kind things for me, if I would stay and
MY F4 THER's AD VICE.
settle at home as he directed, so he would not have so much hand in my misfortunes
as to give me any encouragement to go away ; and to close all, he told me I had my
elder brother for an example, to whom he had used the same earnest persuasions to
keep him from going into the Low Country wars, but could not prevail, his young
desires prompting him to run into the army, where he was killed; and though he said
he would not cease to pray for me, yet he would venture to say to me, that if I did
take this foolish step, God would not bless me, and I should have leisure hereafter to
reflect upon having neglected his counsel, when there might be none to assist in my
I observed in this last part of his discourse, which was truly prophetic, though I
suppose my father did not know it to be so himself-I say, I observed the tears run
down his face very plentifully, especially when he spoke of my brother who was
killed; and that when he spoke of my having leisure to repent, and none to assist me,
he was so moved that he broke off the discourse, and told me his heart was so full
he could say no more to me.
I was sincerely affected with this discourse, as indeed who could be otherwise?
and I resolved not to think of going abroad any more, but to settle at home
according to my father's desire. But, alas a few days wore it all off; and, in short,
to prevent any of my father's further importunities, in a few weeks after I resolved to
run quite away from him. However, I did not act quite so hastily neither as the first
heat of my resolution prompted, but I took my mother at a time when I thought her a
little more pleasant than ordinary, and told her that my thoughts were so entirely bent
. upon seeing the world, that I should never settle to anything with resolution enough
to go through with it, and my father had better give me his consent than force me to
go without it ; that I was now eighteen years old, which was too late to go apprentice
to a trade, or clerk to an attorney; that I was sure, if I did, I should never serve out
my time, but I should certainly run away from my master before my time was out, and
go to sea; and if she would speak to my father to let me go one voyage abroad, if I
came home again, and did not like it, I would go no more, and I would promise, by a
double diligence, to recover the time that I had lost.
This put my mother into a great passion ; she told me she knew it would be to no
purpose to speak to my father upon any such subject; that he knew too well what was'
my interest to give his consent to anything so much for my hurt; and that she
wondered how I could think of any such thing after the discourse I had had with my
father, and such kind and tender expressions as she knew my father had used to me;
and that, in short, if I would ruin myself, there was no help for me ; but I might
depend I should never have their consent to it ; that for her part, she would not have
so much hand in my destruction ; and I should never have it to say that my mother
was willing when my father was not.
Though my mother refused to move it to my father, yet I heard afterwards that she
reported all the discourse to him, and that my father, after showing a great concern
at it, said to her with a sigh : That boy might be happy if he would stay at home;
but if he goes abroad, he will be the most miserable wretch that ever was born; I
can give no consent to it."
It was not till almost a year after this that I broke loose, though, in the
meantime, I continued obstinately deaf to all proposals of settling to business, and
frequently expostulated with my father and mother about their being so positively
determined against what they knew my inclinations prompted me to. But being one
day at Hull, whither I went casually, and without any purpose of making an elopement
at that time-but I say, being there, and one of my companions being going by sea to
London in his father's ship, and prompting me to go with them, with the common
allurement of a seafaring man, that it should cost me nothing for my passage, I
consulted neither father nor mother any more, nor so much as sent them word of it;
but leaving them to hear of it as they might, without asking God's blessing, or my
father's, without any consideration of circumstances or consequences, and in an ill
hour, God knows, on the ist of September, 1651, I went on board a ship bound for
London. Never any young adventurer's misfortunes, I believe, began sooner or
continued longer than mine. The ship was no sooner got out of the Humber than the
wind began to blow, and the sea to rise in a most frightful manner; and, as I had
never been at sea before, I was most inexpressibly sick in body, and terrified in mind.
I began now seriously to reflect upon what I had done, and how justly I was overtaken
by the judgment of Heaven for my wicked leaving my father's house, and abandoning
my duty. All the good counsels of my parents, my father's tears and my mother's
entreaties, came now fresh into my mind; and my conscience, which was not yet
come to the pitch of hardness to which it has come since, reproached me with the
contempt of advice, and the breach of my duty to God and my father.
All this while the storm increased, and the sea went very high, though nothing
like what I have seen many times since ; no, nor what I saw a few days after; but it
was enough to affect me then, who was but a young sailor, and had never known
anything of the matter. I expected every wave would have swallowed us up, and that
every time the ship fell down, as I thought it did, in the trough or hollow of the sea,
we should never rise more : in this agony of mind I made many vows and resolutions,
that if it would please God to spare my life in this one voyage, if ever I got once my
foot upon dry land again, I would go directly home to my father, and never set it
into a ship again while I lived; that I would take his advice, and never run myself
into such miseries as these any more. Now I saw plainly the goodness of his
observations about the middle station of life, how easy, how comfortable he had lived
all his days, and never had been exposed to tempests at sea, or troubles on shore;
and, in short, I resolved that I would, like a true repenting prodigal, go home
to my father.
These wise and sober thoughts continued all the while the storm lasted, and
indeed some time after; but the next day the wind was abated, and the sea calmer,
and I began to be a little inured to it: however, I was very grave for all that day, being
also a little sea-sick still; but towards night the weather cleared up, the wind was quite
over, and a charming fine evening followed; the sun went down perfectly clear, and
rose so the next morning; and having little or no wind, and a smooth sea, the sun
shining upon it, the sight was, as I thought, the most delightful that ever I saw.
I had slept well in the night, and was now no more sea-sick, but very cheerful,
AFTER THE STORM. 5
looking with wonder upon the sea that was so rough and terrible the day before, and
could be so calm and so pleasant in so little a time after. And now, lest my good
resolutions should continue, my companion who had enticed me away comes to me.
/. i .,
'YOU'RE BUT A FRESHI-WATER SAILOR'" (p. 6).
Well, Bob," says he, clapping me upon the shoulder, "how do you do after it ?
I warrant you were frighted, wer'n't you, last night, when it blew but a capful of
wind ? "
A capful d'you call it ? said I ; "'twas a terrible storm."
"A storm, you fool, you !" replies he; "do you call that a storm ? why, it was
nothing at all; give us but a good ship and sea-room, and we think nothing of such a
squall of wind as that; but you're but a fresh-water sailor, Bob. Come, let us make a
bowl of punch, and we'll forget all that d'ye see what charming weather 'tis now ? "
To make short this sad part of my story, we went the way of all sailors; the punch
was made, and I was made half drunk with it; and in that one night's wickedness I
drowned all my repentance, all my reflections upon my past conduct, all my resolutions
for the future. In a word, as the sea was returned to its smoothness of surface and
settled calmness by the abatement of that storm, so the hurry of my thoughts being
over, my fears and apprehensions of being swallowed up by the sea being forgotten,
and the current of my former desires returned, I entirely forgot the vows and promises
that I made in my distress. I found, indeed, some intervals of reflection; and the
serious thoughts did, as it were, endeavour to return again sometimes ; but I shook
them off, and roused myself from them as it were from a distemper, and applying
myself to drinking and company, soon mastered the return of those fits, for so I called
them; and I had, in five or six days, got as complete a victory over my conscience as
any young fellow that resolved not to be troubled with it could desire. But I was to
have another trial for it still; and Providence, as in such cases generally it does,
resolved to leave me entirely without excuse; for if I would not take this for a
deliverance, the next was to be such a one as the worst and most hardened wretch
among us would confess both the danger and the mercy.
The sixth day of our being at sea we came into Yarmouth Roads; the wind having
been contrary, and the weather calm, we had made but little way since the storm.
Here we were obliged to come to an anchor, and here we lay, the wind continuing
contrary, viz., at south-west, for seven or eight days, during which time a great many
ships from Newcastle came into the same Roads, as the common harbour where the
ships might wait for a wind for the river.
We had not, however, rid here so long but we should have tided it up the river,
but that the wind blew too fresh, and, after we had lain four or five days, blew very
hard. However, the Roads being reckoned as good as an harbour, the anchorage
good, and our ground-tackle very strong, our men were unconcerned, and not in the
least apprehensive of danger, but spent the time in rest and mirth, after the manner of
the sea; but the eighth day, in the morning, the wind increased, and we had all hands
at work to strike our top-masts, and make everything snug and close, that the ship
might ride as easy as possible. By noon the sea went very high indeed, and our ship
rode forecastle in, shipped several seas, and, we thought once or twice our anchor had
come home; upon which our master ordered out the sheet-anchor, so that we rode
with two anchors ahead, and the cables veered out to the better end.
By this time it blew a terrible storm indeed ; and now I began to see terror and
amazement in the faces even of the seamen themselves. The master, though vigilant
in the business of preserving the ship, yet as he went in and out of his cabin by me, I
could hear him softly to himself say, several times, Lord, be merciful to us we shall
be all lost we shall be all undone !" and the like. During these first hurries I was
stupid, lying still in my cabin, which was in the steerage, and cannot describe my
temper. I could ill resume the first penitence, which I had so apparently trampled
upon, and hardened myself against: I thought the bitterness of death had been past,
THE STORM IN YARMOUTH ROADS.
and that this would be nothing too, like the first ; but when the master himself came
by me, as I said just now, and said we should be all lost, I was dreadfully frighted. I
got up out of my cabin, and looked out; but such a dismal sight I never saw; the
sea ran mountains high, and broke upon us every three or four minutes. When
I could look about, I could see nothing but distress round us; two ships that rode near
us, we found, had cut their masts by the board, being deep-laden; and our men cried
out that a ship which rode about a mile ahead of us was foundered. Two more ships,
being driven from their anchors, were run out of the Roads to sea, at all adventures,
and that not with a mast standing. The light ships fared the best, as not so much
labouring in the sea but two or three of them drove, and came close by us, running
away with only their spritsail out before the wind.
Towards evening the mate and boatswain begged the master of our ship to let them
cut away the foremast, which he was very unwilling to do; but the boatswain
protesting to him that if he did not, the ship would founder, he consented; and when
they had cut away the fore-mast, the main-mast stood so loose, and shook the ship so
much, they were obliged to cut that away also, and make a clear deck.
And one must judge what a condition I must be in at all this, who was but a young
sailor, and who had been in such a fright before at but a little. But if I can express
at this distance the thoughts I had about me at that time, I was in tenfold more horror
-of mind upon account of my former convictions, and the having returned from them to
the resolutions I had wickedly taken at first, than I was at death itself; and these,
added to the terror of the storm, put me into such a condition, that I can by no words
describe it. But the worst was not come yet; the storm continued with such fury,
that the seamen themselves acknowledged they had never seen a worse. We had a
good ship, but she was deep-laden, and wallowed in the sea, so that the seamen every
now and then cried out she would founder. It was my advantage, in one respect, that
I did not know what they meant by founder, till I inquired. However, the storm was
so violent that I saw, what is not often seen, the master, the boatswain, and some
others more sensible than the rest, at their prayers, and expecting every moment when
the ship would go to the bottom. In the middle of the night, and under all the rest of
our distresses, one of the men that had been down to see, cried out we had sprung a
leak; another said there was four feet water in the hold. Then all hands were called
to the pump. At that word, my heart, as I thought, died within me; and I fell
backwards upon the side of my bed, where I sat, into the cabin. However, the men
roused me, and told me that I, that was able to do nothing before, was as well able
to pump as another; at which I stirred up, and went to the pump, and worked very
heartily. While this was doing, the master seeing some light colliers who, not
able to ride out the storm, were obliged to slip and run away to the sea, and would
come near us, ordered to fire a gun as a signal of distress. I, who knew nothing what
they meant, thought the ship had broken, or some dreadful thing happened. In a
word, I was so surprised that I fell down in a swoon. As this was a time when every-
body had his own life to think of, nobody minded me, or what was become of me;
but another man stepped up to the pump, and thrusting me aside with his foot, let me
lie, thinking I had been dead ; and it was a great while before I came to myself.
We worked on; but the water increasing in the hold, it was apparent that the ship
would founder; and though the storm began to abate a little, yet as it was not possible
she could swim till we might run into any port, so the master continued firing guns for
help ; and a light ship, who had rid it out just ahead of us, ventured a boat out to help
"WE WALKED ON FOOT TO
YARMOUTH" (p. 9).
us. It was with the utmost hazard the boat came near us ; but it was impossible for
us to get on board or for the boat to lie near the ship's side, till at last the men rowing
very heartily, and venturing their lives to save ours, our men cast them a rope over the
stern with a buoy to it, and then veered it out a great length, which they, after much
labour and hazard, took hold of, and we hauled them close under our stern, and got all
into their boat. It was to no purpose for them or us, after we were in the boat, to
;, 't i' ) '
think of reaching to their own ship; so all agreed to let her drive, and only to pull her
in towards shore as much as we could; and our master promised them that if the
boat was staved upon shore, he would make it good to their master : so partly rowing,
and partly driving, our boat went away to the northward, sloping towards the shore
almost as far as Winterton Ness.
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of our ship till we saw her
sink, and then I understood for the first time what was meant by a ship foundering in
the sea. I must acknowledge I had hardly eyes to look up when the seamen told me
she was sinking ; for from the moment that they rather put me into the boat, than
that I might be said to go in, my heart was, as it were, dead within me, partly with
fright, partly with horror of mind, and the thoughts of what was yet before me.
While we were in this condition, the men yet labouring at the oar to bring the
boat near the shore, we could see (when, our boat mounting the waves, we were
able to see the shore) a great many people running along the strand, to assist us
when we should come near; but we made but slow way towards the shore; nor were
we able to reach the shore till, being past the lighthouse at Winterton, the shore
falls off to the westward, towards Cromer, and so the land broke off a little the violence
of the wind. Here we got in, and, though not without much difficulty, got all safe on
shore, and walked afterwards on foot to Yarmouth, where, as unfortunate men, we were
used with great humanity, as well by the magistrates of the town, who assigned us good
quarters, as by particular merchants and owners of ships, and had money given us
sufficient to carry us either to London or back to Hull, as we thought fit.
Had I now had the sense to have gone back to Hull, and have gone home, I had
been happy, and my father, an emblem of our blessed Saviour's parable, had even
killed the fatted calf for me ; for hearing the ship I went away in was cast away in
Yarmouth Roads, it was a great while before he had any assurances that I was not
But my ill fate pushed me on now with an obstinacy that nothing could resist; and
though I had several times loud calls from my reason, and my more composed
judgment, to go home, yet I had no power to do it. I know not what to call this,
nor will I urge that it is a secret overruling decree that hurries us on to be the
instruments of our own destruction, even though it be before us, and that we rush
upon it with our eyes open. Certainly, nothing but some such decreed unavoidable
misery attending, and which it was impossible for me to escape, could have pushed me
forward against the calm reasoning and persuasions of my most retired thoughts, and
against two such visible obstructions as I had met with in my first attempt.
My comrade, who had helped to harden me before, and who was the master's son,
was now less forward than I. The first time he spoke to me after we were at
Yarmouth, which was not till two or three days, for we were separated in the town to
several quarters-I say, the first time he saw me, it appeared his tone was altered;
and looking very melancholy, and shaking his head, he asked me how I did, and
telling his father who I was, and how I had come this voyage only for a trial, in order
to go farther abroad : his father turning to me with a very grave and concerned tone,
"Young man," says he, "you ought never to go to sea any more; you ought to take
this for a plain and visible token that you are not to be a seafaring man." "Why,
sir," said I, will you go to sea no more ? " That is another case," said he ; it is
my calling, and therefore my duty; but as you made this voyage for a trial, you see
what a taste Heaven has given you of what you are to expect if you persist. Perhaps
this has all befallen us on your account, like Jonah in the ship of Tarshish. Pray,"
continues he, what are you; and on what account did you go to sea ? Upon that
I told him some of my story ; at the end of which he burst out into a strange kind of
passion : What had I done," says he, "that such an unhappy wretch should come
into my ship ? I would not set my foot in the same ship with thee again for a
thousand pounds." This indeed was, as I said, an excursion of his spirits, which were
yet agitated by the sense of his loss, and was farther than he could have authority to
go. However, he afterwards talked very gravely to me, exhorting me to go back to
my father, and not tempt Providence to my ruin ; telling me I might see a visible hand
of Heaven against me. "And, young man," said he, "depend upon it, if you do not
go back, wherever you go, you will meet with nothing but disasters and disappoint-
ments, till your father's words are fulfilled upon you."
We parted soon after, for I made him little answer, and I saw him no more; which
way he went I know not. As for me, having some money in my pocket, I travelled to
London by land ; and there, as well as on the road, had many struggles with myself
what course of life I should take, and whether I should go home or go to sea.
As to going home, shame opposed the best motions that offered to my thoughts;
and it immediately occurred to me how I should be laughed at among the neighbours,
and should be ashamed to see, not my father and mother only, but even everybody
else; from whence I have often since observed how incongruous and irrational the
common temper of mankind is, especially of youth, to that reason which ought to
guide them in such cases, viz., that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed
to repent; not ashamed of the action for which they ought justly to be esteemed fools,
but are ashamed of the returning which only can make them be esteemed wise men.
In this state of life, however, I remained some time, uncertain what measures to
take, and what course of life to lead. An irresistible reluctance continued to going
home; and as I stayed awhile, the remembrance of the distress I had been in wore
off; and as that abated, the little motion I had in my desires to a return wore off with
it, till at last I quite laid aside the thoughts of it, and looked out for a voyage.
That evil influence which carried me first away from my father's house, which
hurried me into the wild and undigested notion of raising my fortune; and that
impressed those conceits so forcibly upon me, as to make me deaf to all good advice,
and to the entreaties and even the commands of my father-I say, the same influence,
whatever it was, presented the most unfortunate of all enterprises to my view; and I
went on board a vessel bound to the coast of Africa; or, as our sailors vulgarly call
it, a voyage to Guinea.*
Guinea.-A district of that part of the West Coast of Africa where the land runs nearly due
east and west. The six countries into which it is divided are known to sailors under the names
of Sierra Leone, Grain Coast, Ivory Coast, Gold Coast, Slave Coast, and Benin.
A VOYAGE TO GUINEA.
It was my great misfortune that in all these adventures I did not ship myself as a
sailor; when, though I might indeed have worked a little harder than ordinary, yet at
the same time I should have learnt the duty and office of a foremast man, and in time
might have qualified myself for a mate or lieutenant, if not for a master. But as it
was always my fate to choose for the worst, so I did here ; for having money in my
pocket, and good clothes upon my back, I would always go on board in the habit of a
gentleman; and so I neither had any business in the ship nor learnt to do any.
It was my lot first of all to fall into pretty good company in London, which does
not always happen to such loose and misguided young fellows as I then was ; the devil
generally not omitting to lay some snare for them very early; but it was not so with
me. I first got acquainted with the master of a ship who had been on the coast of
Guinea; and who, having had very good success there, was resolved to go again ; this
captain taking a fancy to my conversation, which was not at all disagreeable at that
time, hearing me say I had a mind to see the world, told me if I would go the voyage
with him, I should be at no expense; I should be his messmate and his companion;
and if I could carry anything with me, I should have all the advantage of it that the
trade would admit; and perhaps I might meet with some encouragement.
I embraced the offer; and entering into a strict friendship with this captain, who
was an honest, plain-dealing man, I went the voyage with him, and carried a small
adventure with me, which, by the disinterested honesty of my friend the captain, I
increased very considerably ; for I carried about 40 in such toys and trifles as the
captain directed me to buy. This 40 I had mustered together by the assistance of
some of my relations whom I corresponded with, and who, I believe, got my father, or
at least my mother, to contribute so much as that to my first adventure.
This was the only voyage which I may say was successful in all my adventures, and
which I owe to the integrity and honesty of my friend the captain ; under whom also I
got a competent knowledge of the mathematics and the rules of navigation, learned
how to keep an account of the ship's course, take an observation, and, in short, to
understand some things that were needful to be understood by a sailor ; for, as he
took delight to instruct me, I took delight to learn ; and, in a word, this voyage made
me both a sailor and a merchant; for I brought home five pounds nine ounces of
gold-dust for my adventure, which yielded me in London, at my return, almost
300; and this filled me with those aspiring thoughts which have since so completed
Yet even in this voyage I had my misfortunes too ; particularly, that I was con-
tinually sick, being thrown into a violent calenture by the excessive heat of the climate;
our principal trading being upon the coast, from the latitude of fifteen degrees north,
even to the line itself.
I was now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to my great misfortune,
dying soon after his arrival, I resolved to go the same voyage again, and I embarked
in the same vessel wit4i one who was his mate in the former voyage, and had now got
the command of the ship. This was the unhappiest voyage that ever man made: for
though I did not carry quite ioo of my new-gained wealth, so that I had 200 left
which I had lodged with my friend's widow, who was very just to me, yet I fell into
12 ROBINSON CRUSOE.
SURPRISED ' I I .
terrible misfortunes in this voyage; and the first was this, viz., our snip making her
course towards the Canary Islands, or rather between those islands and the African
shore, was surprised in the grey of the morning by a Moorish rover of Sallee, who gave
chase to us with all the sail she could make. We crowded also as much canvas as our
yards would spread, or our masts carry, to have got clear; but finding the pirate
gained upon us, and would certainly come up with us in a few hours, we prepared to
fight; our ship having twelve guns, and the rogue eighteen. About three in the
afternoon he came up with us, and bringing-to, by mistake, just athwart our quarter,
instead of athwart our stern as he intended, we brought eight of our guns to bear on
that side, and poured in a broadside upon him, which made him sheer off again, after
returning our fire, and pouring in also his small shot from near two hundred men
which he had on board. However, we had not a man touched, all our men keeping
close. He prepared to attack us again, and we to defend ourselves; but laying us on
board the next time upon our other quarter, he entered sixty men upon our decks,
who immediately fell to cutting and hacking the sails and rigging. We plied them
with small shot, half-pikes, powder-chests, and such-like, and cleared our deck of them
twice. However, to cut short this melancholy part of our story, our ship being
disabled, and three of our men killed, and eight wounded, we were obliged to yield,
and were carried all prisoners into Sallee, a port belonging to the Moors.
The usage I had there was not so dreadful as at first I apprehended; nor was
I carried up the country to the Emperor's court, as the rest of our men were, but was
kept by the captain of the rover as his proper prize, and made his slave, being young
PRISONER AT SALLEE.
and nimble, and fit for his business. At this surprising change of my circumstances from
a merchant to a miserable slave, I was perfectly overwhelmed ; and now I looked back
upon my father's prophetic discourse to me, that I should be miserable and have none
to relieve me; which I thought was now so effectually brought to pass, that I could
not be worse ; for now the hand of Heaven had overtaken me, and I was undone
without redemption. But, alas this was but a taste of the misery I was to go through,
as will appear in the sequel of this story.
As my new patron, or master, had taken me home to his house, so I was in hopes
that he would take me with him when he went to sea again, believing that it would some
time or other be his fate to be taken by a Spanish or Portuguese man-of-war; and
that then I should be set at liberty. But this hope of mine was soon taken away;
for when he went to sea, he left me on shore to look after his little garden, and do
the common drudgery of slaves about his house ; and when he came home again from
his cruise, he ordered me to lie in the cabin to look after the ship.
Here I meditated nothing but my escape, and what method I might take to
effect it; but found no way that had the least probability in it; nothing presented
to make the supposition of it rational; for I had nobody to communicate it to that
would embark with me; no fellow-slave, no Englishman, Irishman, or Scotsman there
but myself; so that for two years, though I often pleased myself with the imagination,
yet I never had the least encouraging prospect of putting it in practice.
After about two years, an odd circumstance presented itself, which put the old
thought of making some attempt for my liberty again in my head. My patron lying
at home longer than usual without
fitting out his ship, which, as I
heard, was for want of money, he
used constantly, once or twice a
week, sometimes oftener, if the --_ .
weather was fair, to take the .
ship's pinnace, and go out into
the road a-fishing: and as he
always took me and a young
Moresco with him to row the boat,
we made him very merry, and I
proved very dexterous in catching .-.
fish ; insomuch that sometimes he -
would send me with a Moor, one
of his kinsmen, and the youth, the
Moresco, as they called him, to ....
catch a dish of fish for him.
It happened one time that,
going a-fishing with him in a calm -
morning, a fog rose so thick, that
though we were not half a league
from the shore, we lost sight of "1 PROVED VERY DEXTEROUS."
it; and rowing we knew not whither or which way, we laboured all day, and all the
next night ; and when the morning came, we found we had pulled out to sea instead
of pulling in for the shore ; and that we were at least two leagues from the land.
However, we got well in again, though with a great deal of labour, and some danger;
for the wind began to blow pretty fresh in the morning; but particularly we were all
But our patron, warned by this disaster, resolved to take more care of himself
for the future; and having lying by him the long-boat of our English ship which he
had taken, he resolved he would not go a-fishing any more without a compass and
some provision ; so he ordered the carpenter of his ship, who also was an English
slave, to build a little state-room, or cabin, in the middle of the long-boat, like that of
a barge, with a place to stand behind it to steer, and haul home the main-sheet ; and
room before for a hand or two to stand and work the sails. She sailed with what we
call a shoulder-of-mutton sail ; and the boom jibbed over the top of the cabin, which
lay very snug and low, and had in it room for him to lie, with a slave or two, and a
table to eat on, with some small lockers to put in some bottles of such liquor as he
thought fit to drink ; and particularly his bread, rice, and coffee.
We went frequently out with this boat a-fishing; and as I was most dexterous to
catch fish for him, he never went without me. It happened that he had appointed
to go out in this boat, either for pleasure or for fish, with two or three Moors of
some distinction in that place, and for whom he had provided extraordinarily, and had
therefore sent on board the boat over-night a larger store of provisions than usual;
and had ordered me to get ready three fusils* with powder and shot, which were on
board his ship, for that they designed some sport of fowling as well as fishing.
I got all things ready as he had directed; and waited the next morning with
the boat washed clean, her ancient t and pendants out, and everything to accommo-
date his guests ; when by-and-by my patron came on board alone, and told me his
guests had put off going, from some business that fell out, and ordered me, with
the man and boy, as usual, to go out with the boat and catch them some fish; for
that his friends were to sup at his house; he commanded me, too, that as soon as I had
got some fish, I should bring it home to his house : all which I prepared to do.
This moment, my former notions of deliverance darted into my thoughts, for now
I found I was likely to have a little ship at my command ; and my master being gone,
I prepared to furnish myself, not for fishing business, but for a voyage; though I knew
not, neither did I so much as consider, whither I would steer; for anywhere to get
out of that place was my desire.
My first contrivance was to make a pretence to speak to this Moor, to get something
for our subsistence on board; for I told him we must not presume to cat of our
patron's bread. He said, that was true; so he brought a large basket of rusk or
biscuit of their kind, and three jars with fresh water, into the boat. I knew where my
patron's case of bottles stood, which it was evident, by the make, were taken out of
Fusil, a French word, meaning a light musket or firelock.
t Ancient, the old word, derived from the French enseigne, for a flag, or the man who carries it.
some English prize, and I conveyed them into the boat while the Moor was on
shore, as if they had been there before for our master. I conveyed also a great lump of
beeswax into the boat, which weighed about half an hundredweight, with a parcel of
twine or thread, a hatchet, a saw, and a hammer, all of which were of great use to
us afterwards, especially the wax to make candles. Another trick I tried upon him,
which he innocently came into also : his name was Ismael, which they call Muley,
or Moely; so I called to him : Moely," said I, our patron's guns are all on board
the boat; can you not get a little powder and shot? It may be we may kill some
alcamies" (a fowl like our curlews) for ourselves, for I know he keeps the gunner's
stores in the ship." Yes," says he, I'll bring some:" accordingly, he brought a
great leather pouch, which held about a pound and a half of powder, or rather more
and another with shot, that had five or six pounds, with some bullets, and put all into
the boat. At the same time, I had found some powder of my master's in the great
cabin, with which I filled one of the large bottles in the case, which was almost empty,
pouring what was in it into another ; and thus furnished with everything needful, we
sailed out of the port to fish. The castle, which is at the entrance of the port, knew
who we were, and took no notice of us; and we were not above a mile out of the
port before we hauled in our sail, and sat us down to fish. The wind blew from the
N.N.E., which was contrary to my desire, for had it blown southerly I had been sure
to have made the coast of Spain, and at least reached to the bay of Cadiz ; but my
resolutions were, blow which way it would, I would be gone from that horrid place
where I was, and leave the rest to fate.
After we had fished some time and caught nothing, for when I had fish on my
hook I would not pull them up, that he might not see them, I said to the Moor,
" This will not do ; our master will not be thus served ; we must stand farther off."
He, thinking no harm, agreed, and, being in the head of the boat, set the sails ; and,
as I had the helm, I ran the boat out near a league farther, and then brought her to
as if I would fish; when, giving the boy the helm, I stepped forward to where the
Moor was, and making as if I stooped for something behind him, I took him by
surprise with my arm under his waist, and tossed him clear overboard into the sea.
He rose immediately, for he swam like a cork, and called to me, begged to be taken
in, telling me he would go all over the world with me. He swam so strong after the
boat, that he would have reached me very quickly, there being but little wind ; upon
which I stepped into the cabin, and fetching one of the fowling-pieces, I presented it
at him, and told him I had done him no hurt, and if he would be quiet I would do
him none: But," said I, "you swim well enough to reach the shore, and the sea is
calm ; make the best of your way to shore, and I will do you no harm ; but if you
come near the boat, I'll shoot you through the head, for I am resolved to have my
liberty." So he turned himself about, and swam for the shore, and I make no doubt
but he reached it with ease, for he was an excellent swimmer.
I could have been content to have taken this Moor with me, and have drowned
the boy, but there was no venturing to trust him. When he was gone, I turned to the
boy, whom they called Xury, and said to him, Xury, if you will be faithful to me, I'll
make you a great man; but if you will not stroke your face to be true to me (that is,
-_ _:_ 4..
-. -- .- -.-- .-
IF Y COJME NEAR THE BOAT, I'LL SHOOT YOU'
"IF XOU COME NEAR THF BOAT, I'LL SHOOT YOU"'" (A '5).
WITH XURY IN THE BOAT.
swear by Mahomet and his father's beard), "I must throw you into the sea too." The
boy smiled in my face, and spoke so innocently, that I could not mistrust him, and
swore to be faithful to me, and go all over the world with me.
While I was in the view of the Moor that was swimming, I stood out directly to
sea, with the boat rather stretching to windward, that they might think me gone
"\ WE FILLED OUR~ JARS "(p. Ig).
towards the Straits'* mouth (as indeed anyone that had been in their wits must have
been supposed to do): for who would have supposed we were sailing on to the
southward, to the truly barbarian coast, where whole nations of negroes were sure to
surround us with their canoes, and destroy us ; where we could never once go on
shore but we should be devoured by savage beasts, or mere merciless savages of
human kind ?
Straits, the Straits of Gibraltar.
But as soon as it grew dusk in the evening, I changed my course, and steered
directly south and by east, bending my course a little towards the east, that I might
keep in with the shore; and having a fair, fresh gale of wind, and a smooth, quiet
sea, I made such sail that I believe by the next day at three o'clock in the afternoon,
when I first made the land, I could not be less than one hundred and fifty miles
south of Sallee : quite beyond the Emperor of Morocco's dominions, or indeed of
any other king thereabouts, for we saw no people.
Yet such was the fright I had taken at the Moors, and the dreadful apprehensions
I had of falling into their hands, that I would not stop, or go on shore, or come to an
anchor, the wind continuing fair, till I had sailed in that manner five days ; and then,
the wind shifting to the southward, I concluded also that if any of our vessels were
in chase of me, they also would now give over; so I ventured to make to the coast,
and came to an anchor in the mouth of a little river, I knew not what nor where;
neither what latitude, what country, what nation, or what river. I neither saw nor
desired to see any people ; the principal thing I wanted was fresh water. We came
into this creek in the evening, resolving to swim on shore as soon as it was dark,
and discover the country; but as soon as it was quite dark, we heard such dreadful
noises of the barking, roaring, and howling of wild creatures, of we knew not what
kinds, that the poor boy was ready to die with fear, and begged of me not to go
on shore till day. "Well, Xury," said I, "then I won't; but it may be we may
see men by day, who will be as bad to us as those lions." "Then we give them
the shoot-gun," says Xury, laughing, "make them run wey." Such English Xury
spoke by conversing among us slaves. However, I was glad to see the boy so
cheerful, and I gave him a dram (out of our patron's case of bottles) to cheer him up.
After all, Xury's advice was good, and I took it: we dropped our little anchor,
and lay still all night : I say still, for we slept none; for in two or three hours we
saw vast great creatures (we knew not what to call them), of many sorts, come
down to the sea-shore, and run into the water, wallowing and washing themselves
for the pleasure of cooling themselves; and they made such hideous howlings and
yelling that I never indeed heard the like.
Xury was dreadfully frighted, and indeed so was I too ; but we were both more
frighted when we heard one mighty creature come swimming towards our boat; we
could not see him, but we might hear him by his blowing to be a monstrous, huge,
and furious beast. Xury said it was a lion, and it might be so for aught I know;
but poor Xury cried to me to weigh the anchor and row away. No," says I, Xury,
we can slip our cable, with the buoy to it, and go to sea ; they cannot follow us far."
I had no sooner said so but I perceived the creature, whatever it was, within two
oars' length, which something surprised me; however, I immediately stepped to the
cabin-door, and taking up my gun, fired at him ; upon which he immediately turned
about, and swam towards the shore again.
But it is impossible to describe the horrid noises and hideous cries and howlings
that were raised, as well upon the edge of the shore as higher within the country,
upon the noise or report of a gun, a thing I have some reason to believe those
creatures had never heard before. This convinced me that there was no going on
WE VENTURE ON SHORE.
shore for us in the night upon that .coast; and how to venture on shore in the day was
another question too; for to have fallen into the hands of any of the savages, had
been as bad as to have fallen into the paws of lions and tigers ; at least we were
equally apprehensive of the danger of it.
Be that as it would, we were obliged to go on shore somewhere or other for water,
for we had not a pint left in the boat; when or where to get it was the point. Xury
said, if I would let him go on shore with one of the jars, he would find if there was
any water, and bring some to me. I asked him why he would go ? why I should not
go, and he stay in the boat ? The boy answered with so much affection, that made
me love him ever after. Says he, If wild mans come, they eat me, you go wey."
" Well, Xury," said I, we will both go, and if the wild mans come, we will kill them,
they shall eat neither of us." So I gave Xury a piece of rusk-bread to eat, and a dram
out of our patron's case of bottles which I mentioned before ; and we hauled the boat
in as near the shore as we thought was proper, and waded on shore, carrying nothing
but our arms, and two jars for water.
I did not care to go out of sight of the boat, fearing the coming of canoes with
savages down the river; but the boy, seeing a low place about a mile up the country,
rambled to it, and by-and-by I saw him come running towards me. I thought he was
pursued by some savage, or frighted with some wild beast, and I ran forward towards
him to help him ; but when I came nearer to him, I saw something hanging over his
shoulders, which was a creature that he had shot, like a hare, but different in colour,
and longer legs; however, we were very glad of it, and it was very good meat; but
the great joy that poor Xury came with, was to tell me he had found good water, and
seen no wild mans.
But we found afterwards that we need not take such pains for water, for a little
higher up the creek where we were, we found the water fresh when the tide was out,
which flows but a little way up ; so we filled our jars, and feasted on the hare we had
killed, and prepared to go on our way, having seen no footsteps of any human creature
in that part of the country.
As I had been one voyage to this coast before, I knew very well that the Islands of
the Canaries, and the Cape de Verd Islands also, lay not far off from the coast. But
as I had no instruments to take an observation to know what latitude we were in, and
did not exactly know, or at least not remember, what latitude they were in, I knew not
where to look for them, or when to stand off to sea towards them ; otherwise I might
now easily have found some of these islands. But my hope was that if I stood along
this coast till I came to that part where the English traded, I should find some of their
vessels upon their usual design of trade, that would relieve and take us in.
By the best of my calculation, that place where I now was must be that country
which, lying between the Emperor of Morocco's dominions and the negroes, lies waste
and uninhabited, except by wild beasts ; the negroes having abandoned it, and gone
farther south, for fear of the Moors ; and the Moors not thinking it worth inhabiting,
by reason of its barrenness ; and indeed both forsaking it because of the prodigious
numbers of tigers, lions, leopards, and other furious creatures which harbour there ; so
that the Moors use it for their hunting only, where they go like an army, two or three
thousand men at a time : and, indeed, for near a hundred miles together upon this
coast, we saw nothing but a waste uninhabited country by day, and heard nothing but
howlings and roarings of wild beasts by night.
Once or twice in the day-time, I thought I saw the Pico of Teneriffe, being the
high top of the mountain Teneriffe in the Canaries ; and had a great mind to venture
out, in hopes of reaching thither; but having failed twice, I was forced in again by
contrary winds, the sea also going too high for my little vessel; so I resolved to
pursue my first design, and keep along the shore.
Several times I was obliged to land for fresh water, after we had left this place;
and once in particular, being early in the morning, we came to an anchor under a little
point of land, which was pretty high; and the tide beginning to flow, we lay still to go
farther in. Xury, whose eyes were more about him than it seems mine were, calls
softly to me, and tells me that we had best go farther off the shore ; for," says he,
" look, yonder lies a dreadful monster on the side of that hillock, fast asleep." I
looked where he pointed, and saw a dreadful monster indeed, for it was a terrible
great lion that lay on the side of the shore, under the shade of a piece of the hill that
hung as it were a little over him. "Xury," says I, "you shall go on shore and kill
him." Xury looked frighted, and said, Me kill! he eat me at one mouth;" one
mouthful he meant. However, I said no more to the boy, but bade him be still, and
took our biggest gun, which was almost musket-bore, and loaded it with a good charge
of powder, and with two slugs, and laid it down ; then I loaded another gun with two
bullets ; and the third (for we had three pieces) I loaded with five smaller bullets.
I took the best aim I could with the first piece to have shot him in the head, but he
lay so, with his leg raised a little above his nose, that the slugs hit his leg about the
knee, and broke the bone. He started up growling at first, but finding his leg broke,
fell down again; and then got up upon three legs, and gave the most hideous roar
that ever I heard. I was a little surprised that I had not hit him on the head;
however, I took up the second piece immediately, and though he began to move off,
fired again, and shot him in the head, and had the pleasure to see him drop; and
making but little noise, he lay struggling for life. Then Xury took heart, and would
have me let him go on shore. Well, go," said I; so the boy jumped into the water,
and taking the little gun in one hand, swam to shore with the other hand, and coming
close to the creature, put the muzzle of the piece to his ear, and shot him in the head
again, which despatched him quite.
This was game indeed to us, but this was no food ; and I was very sorry to lose
three charges of powder and shot upon a creature that was good for nothing to us.
However, Xury said he would have some of him ; so he comes on board, and asked
me to give him the hatchet. For what, Xury ? said I. Me cut off his head,"
said he. However, Xury could not cut off his head, but he cut off a foot, and brought
it with him, and it was a monstrous great one.
I bethought myself, however, that perhaps the skin of him might, one way or other,
be of some value to us; and I resolved to take off his skin if I could. So Xury and I
went to work with him ; but Xury was much the better workman at it, for I knew very
ill how to do it. Indeed, it took us up both the whole day, but at last we got off the
TRAFFIC WITHi T7E NEGROES.
hide of him, and spreading it on the top of our cabin, the sun effectually dried it in
two days' time, and it afterwards served me to lie upon.
After this stop, we made on to the southward continually for ten or twelve days,
living very sparingly on our provisions, which began to abate very much, and going no
oftener into the shore than we were obliged to for fresh water. My design in this was
to make the River Gambia or Senegal; that is to say, anywhere about the Cape de
Verd, where I was in hopes to meet with some European ship; and if I did not,
I knew not what course I had to take, but to seek for the islands, or perish there
among the negroes. I knew that all the ships from Europe, which sailed either to the
coast of Guinea or to Brazil, or to the East Indies, made this cape, or those islands ;
and, in a word, I put the whole of my fortune upon this single point, either that I must
meet with some ship, or must perish.
When I had pursued this resolution about ten days longer, as I have said, I began
to see that the land was inhabited; and in two or three places, as we sailed by, we saw
people stand upon the shore to look, at us; we could also perceive they were quite
black, and stark naked. I was once inclined to have gone on shore to them; but
Xury was my better counsellor, and said to me, No go, no go." However, I hauled
in nearer the shore that I might talk to them, and I found they ran along the shore by
me a good way : I observed they had no weapons in their hands, except one, who had
a long slender stick, which Xury said was a lance, and that they could throw them a
great way with good aim : so I kept at a distance, but talked with them by signs as
well as I could ; and particularly made signs for something to eat : they beckoned to
me to stop my boat, and they would fetch me some meat. Upon this, I lowered the
top of my sail, and lay by, and two of them ran up into the country, and in less than
half an hour came back, and brought with them two pieces of dry flesh and some corn,
such as is the produce of their country; but we neither knew what the one or the
other was: however, we were willing to accept it, but how to come at it was our next
dispute, for I would not venture on shore to them, and they were as much afraid of us :
but they took a safe way for us all, for they brought it to the shore and laid it down,
and went and stood a great way off till we fetched it on board, and then came close
to us again.
We made signs of thanks to them, for we had nothing to make them amends; but
an opportunity offered that very instant to oblige them wonderfully : for while we were
lying on the shore, came two mighty creatures, one pursuing the other (as we took
it) with great fury from the mountains towards the sea; whether it was the male
pursuing the female, or whether they were in sport or in rage, we could not tell, any
more than we could tell whether it was usual or strange : but I believe it was the
latter; because, in the first place, those ravenous creatures seldom appear but in the
night; and, in the second place, we found the people terribly frighted, especially the
women. The man that had the lance or dart did not fly from them, but the rest did ;
however, as the two creatures ran directly into the water, they did not offer to fall upon
any of the negroes, but plunged themselves into the sea, and swam about, as if they
had come for their diversion : at last one of them began to come nearer our boat than
at first I expected; but I lay ready for him, for I had loaded my gun with
all possible expedition, and bade Xury load both the others. As soon as he came
fairly within my reach, I fired, and shot him directly in the head : immediately he
sank down into the water, but rose instantly, and plunged up and down, as if he was
struggling for life, and so indeed he was : he immediately made to the shore; but
between the wound, which was his mortal hurt, and the strangling of the water, he died
just before he reached the shore.
It is impossible to express the astonishment of these poor creatures at the noise
and fire of my gun ; some of them were ready even to die for fear, and fell down as
dead with the very terror. But when they saw the creature dead, and sunk into the
water, and that I made signs to them to come to the shore, they took heart and came
to the shore, and began to search for the creature. I found him by his blood staining
the water; and by the help of a rope, which I slung round him, and gave the negroes
to haul, they dragged him on shore, and found that it was a most curious leopard,
spotted, and fine to an admirable degree; and the negroes held up their hands with
admiration, to think what it was I killed him with.
The other creature, frighted with the flash of fire and the noise of the gun, swam to
the shore, and ran up directly to the mountains from whence they came ; nor could I
at that distance know what it was. I found quickly the negroes were for eating the
flesh of this creature, so I was willing to have them take it as a favour from me;
which, when I made signs to them that they might take it, they were very thankful for.
Immediately they fell to work with him; and though they had no knife, yet, with a
sharpened piece of wood, they took off his skin as readily, and much more readily
than we would have done with a knife. They offered me some of the flesh, which I
declined, making as if I would give it them; but made signs for the skin, which they
gave me very freely, and brought me a great deal more of their provision, which,
though I did not understand, yet I accepted. Then I made signs to them for some
water, and held out one of my jars to them, turning its bottom upward, to show that it
was empty, and that I wanted to have it filled. They called immediately to some of
their friends, and there came two women, and brought a great vessel made of earth,
and burnt, as I suppose, in the sun; this they set down for me, as before, and I sent
Xury on shore with my jars and filled them all three. The women were as stark
naked as the men.
I was now furnished with roots and corn, such as it was, and water; and leaving
my friendly negroes, I made forward for about eleven days more, without offering to
go near the shore, till I saw the land run out a great length into the sea, at about the
distance of four or five leagues before me; and the sea being very calm, I kept a large
offing to make this point. At length, doubling the point at about two leagues from the
land, I saw plainly land on the other side, to seaward : then I concluded, as it was
most certain indeed, that this was the Cape de Verd, and those the islands called, from
thence, Cape de Verd Islands. However, they were at a great distance, and I could
not well tell what I had best do ; for if I should be taken with a fresh gale of wind, I
might neither reach one nor other.
In this dilemma, as I was very pensive, I stepped into the cabin, and sat me down,
Xury having the helm ; when, on a sudden, the boy cried out, Master, master, a ship
PICKED UP BY A POR TUGUESE SHIP.
with a sail!" and the foolish boy was frighted out of his wits, thinking it must needs
be some of his master's ships sent to pursue us, when I knew we were gotten far
enough out of their reach. I jumped out of the cabin, and immediately saw, not only
the ship, but that it was a Portuguese ship ; and, as I thought, was bound to the coast
of Guinea, for negroes. But, when I observed the course she steered, I was soon
convinced they were bound some other way, and did not design to go any nearer the
shore : upon which I stretched out to the sea as much as I could, resolving to speak
with them if possible.
With all the sail I could make, I found I should not be able to come in their way,
but that they would be gone by before I could make any signal to them; but after I
had crowded to the utmost, and began to despair, they, it seems, saw me by the help
of their perspective glasses, and that it was some European boat, which they supposed
must belong to some ship that was lost ; so they shortened sail to let me come up. I
was encouraged with this, and as I had my patron's ancient on board, I made a waft
of it to them for a signal of distress, and fired a gun, both of which they saw; for they
told me they saw the smoke, though they did not hear the gun. Upon these signals
they very kindly brought to, and lay by for me ; and in about three hours' time I came
up with them.
They asked me what I was, in Portuguese, and in Spanish, and in French, but I
understood none of them ; but at last a Scotch sailor, who was on board, called to me;
and I answered him, and told him I was an Englishman, that had made my escape out
of slavery from the Moors at Sallee; they then bade me come on board, and very
kindly took me in, and all my goods.
It was an inexpressible joy to me, which anyone will believe, that I was thus
delivered, as I esteemed it, from such a miserable and almost hopeless condition as I
was in; and I immediately offered all I had to the captain of the ship, as a return for
my deliverance ; but lie generously told me, he would take nothing from me, but that
all I had should be delivered safe to me, when I came to the Brazils. For," says he,
"I have saved your life on no other terms than as I would be glad to be saved myself;
and it may, one time or other, be my lot to be taken up in the same condition.
Besides," said he, when I carry you to the Brazils, so great a way from your own
country, if I should take from you what you have, you will be starved there, and then
I only take away that life I have given. No, no," says he; "Seignor Inglese (Mr.
Englishman), I will carry you thither in charity, and these things will help you to
buy your subsistence there, and your passage home again."
As he was charitable in this proposal, so he was just in the performance to a tittle;
for he ordered the seamen that none should offer to touch anything I had : then he
took everything into his own possession, and gave me back an exact inventory of them,
that I might have them, even to my three earthen jars.
As to my boat, it was a very good one; and that he saw, and told me, he would
buy it of me for the ship's use ; and asked me what I would have for it. I told him,
he had been so generous to me in everything, that I could not offer to make any price
of the boat, but left it entirely to him : upon which, he told me, he would give me a
note of his hand to pay me eighty pieces of eight for it at Brazil; and when it came
there, it anyone offered to give more, he would make it up. He offered me also sixty
pieces of eight more for my boy Xury, which I was loth to take ; not that I was
unwilling to let the captain have him, but I was very loth to sell the poor boy's liberty,
who had assisted me so faithfully in procuring my own. However, when I let him know
my reason, he owned it to be just, and offered me this medium, that he would give the
boy an obligation to set him free in ten years, if he turned Christian : upon this, and
Xury saying he was willing to go to him, I let the captain have him.
We had a very good voyage to the Brazils, and I arrived in the Bay de Todos los
Santos, or All Saints Bay, in about twenty-two days after. And now I was once more
delivered from the most miserable of all conditions of life; and what to do next with
myself I was to consider.
The generous treatment the captain gave me, I can never enough remember : he
would take nothing of me for my passage, gave me twenty ducats for the leopard's
skin, and forty for the lion's skin, which I had in my boat, and caused everything I
had in the ship to be punctually delivered to me ; and what I was willing to sell, he
bought of me : such as the case of bottles, two of my guns, and a piece of the lump of
beeswax, for I had made candles of the rest: in a word, I made about two hundred
and twenty pieces of eight of all my cargo ; and with this stock, I went on shore in the
I had not been long here, but being recommended to the house of a good, honest
man, like himself, who had an ingenio, as they call it (that is, a plantation and a sugar-
house), I lived with him some time, and acquainted myself, by that means, with the
manner of their planting and making of sugar; and seeing how well the planters lived,
and how they got rich suddenly, I resolved, if I could get a licence to settle there, I
would turn planter among them; resolving, in the meantime, to find out some way to
get my money, which I had left in London, remitted to me. To this purpose, getting
a kind of letter of naturalisation, I purchased as much land that was uncured as my
money would reach, and formed a plan for my plantation and settlement; such a one
as might be suitable to the stock which I proposed to myself to receive from England.
I had a neighbour, a Portuguese, of Lisbon, but born of English parents, whose
name was Wells, and in much such circumstances as I was. I call him neighbour,
because his plantation lay next to mine, and we went on very sociably together. My
stock was but low, as well as his ; and we rather planted for food than anything else,
for about two years. However, we began to increase, and our land began to come
into order; so that the third year we planted some tobacco, and made each of us a
large piece of ground ready for planting canes in the year to come; but we both
wanted help ; and now I found, more than before, I had done wrong in parting with
my boy Xury.
But, alas for me to do wrong that never did right, was no great wonder. I had
no remedy but to go on : I had got into employment quite remote to my genius and
directly contrary to the life I delighted in, and for which I forsook my father's house,
and broke through all his good advice; nay, I was coming into the very middle station,
or upper degree of low life, which my father advised me to before, and which, if I
resolved to go on with, I might as well have stayed at home, and never fatigued myself
IN TZEZ BRAZILS. 25
in the world, as I have done ; and I used often to say to myself, "I could have done
this as well in England, among my friends, as have gone five thousand miles off to do
it among strangers and savages, in a wilderness, and at such a distance as never to
hear from any part of the world that had the least knowledge of me."
In this manner I used to look upon my condition with the utmost regret. I had
nobody to converse with but now and then this neighbour; no work to be done
but by the labour of my
hands ; and I used to say,
I lived just like a man
cast away upon some de-
solate island, that had no-
body there but himself.
But how just has it been
and how should all men
"' ". reflect, that when they
compare their present con-
ditions with others that
are worse, Heaven may
oblige them to make the
o exchange, and be con-
vinced of their former feli-
city by their experience-
I say, how just has it been
that the truly solitary life
I reflected on, in an island,
or mere desolation, should
be my lot, who had so
often unjustly compared it
.':: %with the life which I then
led, in which, had I con-
tinued, I had in all pro-
bability been exceedingly
prosperous and rich.
I was, in some degree,
I BOUGT ME NEGRO SLAVE" 26). settled in my measures for
carrying on the plantation
before my kind friend, the captain of the ship that took me up at sea, went back;
for the ship remained there, in providing her lading, and preparing for her voyage,
near three months; when, telling him what little stock I had left behind me in
London, he gave me this friendly and sincere advice:-"Seignor Inglese," says he
(for so he always called me), if you will give me letters, and a procuration here
in form to me, with orders to the person who has your money in London, to send
your effects to Lisbon, to such persons as I shall direct, and in such goods as
are proper for this country, I will bring you the produce of them, God willing, at
my return J but, since human affairs are all subject to changes and disasters, I would
have you give orders but for one hundred pounds sterling, which, you say, is half
your stock, and let the hazard be run for the first; so that, if it come safe, you may
order the rest the same way ; and if it miscarry, you may have the other half to have
recourse to for your supply."
This was so wholesome advice, and looked so friendly, that I could not but be
convinced it was the best course I could take; so I accordingly prepared letters to
the gentlewoman with whom I had left my money, and a procuration to the Portuguese
captain, as he desired.
I wrote the English captain's widow a full account of all my adventures, my
slavery, escape, and how I had met with the Portuguese captain at sea, the humanity
of his behaviour, and what condition I was now in, with all other necessary directions
for my supply; and when this honest captain came to Lisbon, he found means, by
some of the English merchants there, to send over not the order only, but a full
account of my story, to a merchant at London, who represented it effectually to her ;
whereupon she not only delivered the money, but out of her own pocket sent the
Portugal captain a very handsome present for his humanity and charity to me.
The merchant in London vested this hundred pounds in English goods, such as
the captain had written for, sent them directly to him at Lisbon, and he brought
them all safe to me to the Brazils ; among which, without my direction (for I was too
young in my business to think of them), he had taken care to have all sorts of
tools, iron work, and utensils necessary for my plantation, and which were of great use
When this cargo arrived, I thought my fortune made, for I was surprised with the
joy of it; and my good steward, the captain, had laid out the five pounds, which my
friend had sent him for a present for himself, to purchase and bring me over a servant,
under bond for six years' service, and would not accept of any consideration, except a
little tobacco, which I would have him accept, being of my own produce.
Neither was this all; for my goods being all English manufacture, such as cloth,
stuffs, baize, and things particularly valuable and desirable in the country, I found
means to sell them at a very great advantage ; so that I may say I had more than
four times the value of .my first cargo, and was now infinitely beyond my poor
neighbour-I mean in the advancement of my plantation; for the first thing I did,
I bought me a negro slave and an European servant also: I mean another besides that
which the captain brought me from Lisbon.
But as abused prosperity is oftentimes made the very means of our greatest
adversity, so was it with me. I went on the next year with great success in my
plantation: I raised fifty great rolls of tobacco on my own ground, more than I
had disposed of for necessaries among my neighbours; and these fifty rolls, being each
of above a hundredweight, were well cured, and laid by against the return of the fleet
from Lisbon. And now increasing in business and wealth, my head began to be full
of projects and undertakings beyond my reach; such as are indeed often the ruin of
the best heads in business. Had I continued in the station I was now in, I had room
for all the happy things to have yet befallen me, for which my father so earnestly
MY PLANTATION IN THE BRAZILS.
recommended a quiet, retired life, and which he had so sensibly described the middle
station of life to be full of; but other things attended me, and I was still to be the
wilful agent of all my own miseries ; and particularly, to.increase my fault, and double
the reflections upon myself, which in my future sorrows I should have leisure to make,
all these miscarriages were procured by my apparent obstinate adhering to my foolish
inclination of wandering abroad, and pursuing that inclination, in contradiction to the
clearest views of doing myself good in a fair and plain pursuit of those prospects and
those measures of life which nature and Providence concurred to present me with, and
to make my duty.
As I had once done thus in breaking away from my parents, so I could not be
content now, but I must go and leave the happy view I had of being a rich and
thriving man in my new plantation, only to pursue a rash and immoderate desire of
rising faster than the nature of the thing admitted; and thus I cast myself down again
into the deepest gulf of human misery that ever man fell into, or perhaps could be
consistent with life, and a state of health in the world.
To come then by just degrees to the particulars of this part of my story :--You
may suppose that having now lived almost four years in the Brazils, and beginning to
thrive and prosper very well upon my plantation, I had not only learned the language,
but had contracted acquaintance and friendship among my fellow-planters, as well as
among the merchants at St. Salvadore, which was our port; and that, in my discourse
among them, I had frequently given them an account of my two voyages to the coast
of Guinea, the manner of trading with the negroes there, and how easy it was to
purchase upon the coast for trifles-such as beads, toys, knives, scissors, hatchets, bits
of glass, and the like-not only gold-dust, Guinea grains, elephants' teeth, &c., but
negroes, for the service of the Brazils, in great numbers.
They listened always very attentively to my discourses on these heads, but especially
to that part which related to the buying negroes ; which was a trade, at that time,' not
only not far entered into, but, as far as it was, had been carried, on by the Assiento,
or permission, of the King of Spain and Portugal, and engrossed in the public stock;
so that few negroes were brought, and those excessively dear.
It happened, being in company one day with some merchants and planters of my
acquaintance, and talking of those things very earnestly, three of them came to me the
next morning, and told me they had been musing very much upon what I had dis-
coursed of with them the last night, and they came to make a secret proposal to me;
and, after enjoining me secresy, they told me that they had a mind to fit out a ship to
go to Guinea ; that they had all plantations as well as I, and were straitened for
nothing so much as servants; that as it was a trade that could not be carried on
because they could not publicly sell the negroes when they came home, so they desired
to make but one voyage, to bring the negroes on shore privately, and divide them
among their. own plantations; and, in a word, the question was, whether I would go
their supercargo in the ship, to manage the trading part upon the coast of Guinea;
and they offered me that I should have my equal share of the negroes, without pro-
viding any part of the stock.
This was a fair proposal, it must be confessed, had it been made to anyone that
had not had a settlement and plantation of his own to look after, which was in a
fair way of coming to be very considerable, and with a good stock upon it. But for
me, that was thus entered and established, and had nothing to do but go on as I had
begun, for three or four years more, and to have sent for the other hundred pounds
from England; and
who in that time,
and with that little
-. ----- addition, could
scarce have failed of
being worth three or
-I four thousand pounds
sterling, and that in-
g creasing too-for me
to think of such a
voyage was the most
S4- preposterous thing
'E. sl n that ever man in such
61 ibe guilty of.
,' But I, that was
born to be my own
"' destroyer, could no
more resist the offer,
than I could restrain
my first rambling
designs, when my
father's good coun-
sel was lost upon
me. In a word, I
told them I would
go with all my heart,
"LOOKING OVER THE CHARTS (p. 30). if they would un-
dertake to look after
my plantation in my
absence, and would dispose of it as I should direct, if I miscarried. This they all
engaged to do, and entered into writings and covenants, to do so ; I made a formal
will, disposing of my plantation and effects in case of my death, making the captain
of the ship that had saved my life, as before, my universal heir, but obliging him
to dispose of my effects as I had directed in my will ; one-half of the produce being
to himself, and the other to be shipped to England.
In short, I took all possible caution to preserve my effects, and to keep up my
plantation. Had I used half as much prudence to have looked into my own interest,
and have made a judgment of what I ought to have done, and not to have done, I had
certainly never gone away from so prosperous an undertaking, leaving all the probable
A VIOLENT TORNADO.
views of a thriving circumstance, and gone upon a voyage to sea, attended with all its
common hazards, to say nothing of the reasons I had to expect particular misfortunes
But I was hurried on, and obeyed blindly the dictates of my fancy rather than my
reason; and, accordingly, the ship being fitted out, and the cargo finished, and all
things done as by agreement, by my partners in the voyage, I went on board in an
evil hour again, the ist of September, 1659, being the same day eight years that I
went from my father and mother at Hull, in order to act the rebel to their authority
and the fool to my own interest.
Our ship was about one hundred and twenty tons burden, carried six guns, and
fourteen men, besides the master, his boy, and myself; we had on board no large
cargo of goods, except of such toys as were fit for our trade with the negroes, such as
beads, bits of glass, shells, and odd trifles, especially little looking-glasses, knives,
scissors, hatchets, and the like.
The same day I went on board we set sail, standing away to the northward upon
our own coasts, with design to stretch over for the African coast, when they came
into about ten or twelve degrees of northern latitude ; which, it seems, was the manner
of their course in those days. We had very good weather, only excessively hot, all the
way upon our own coast till we came to the height of Cape St. Augustino; from
whence, keeping farther off at sea, we lost sight of land, and steered as if we were
bound for the isle Fernando de Noronha, holding our course N.E. by N., and leaving
those isles on the east. In this course we passed the line in about twelve days' time,
and were, by our last observation, in seven degrees twenty-two minutes northern
latitude, when a violent tornado, or hurricane, took us quite out of our knowledge.
"WE HASTENED OUR DESTRUCTION WITH OUR OWN HANDS" (P. 31).
ROBINVSON ClR USOE.
It began from the south-east, came about to the north-west, and then settled into the
north-east; from whence it blew in such a terrible manner, that for twelve days
together we could do nothing but drive, and, scudding away before it, let it carry us
wherever fate and the fury of the winds directed; and during these twelve days, I need
not say that I expected every day to be swallowed up ; nor did any in the ship expect
to save their lives.
In this distress we had, besides the terror of the storm, one of our men died of
the calenture, and a man and a boy washed overboard. About the twelfth day, the
weather abating a little, the master made an observation as well as he could, and found
that he was in about eleven degrees of north latitude, but that he was twenty-two
degrees of longitude difference west from Cape St. Augustino; so that he found he was
gotten upon the coast of Guiana, or the north part of Brazil, beyond the river
Amazones, towards that of the river Oroonoque, commonly called the Great River;
and now he began to consult with me what course he should take ; for the ship was
leaky, and very much disabled, and he was for going directly back to the coast of Brazil.
I was positively against that; and looking over the charts of the sea-coast of
America with him, we concluded there was no inhabited country for us to have
recourse to till we came within the circle of the Caribbee Islands, and therefore
resolved to stand away for Barbadoes; which, by keeping off at sea, to avoid the
in-draft of the Bay or Gulf of Mexico, we might easily perform, as we hoped, in about
fifteen days' sail; whereas we could not possibly make our voyage to the coast of
Africa without some assistance both to our ship and to ourselves.
With this design we changed our course, and steered away N.W. by W., in order
to reach some of our English islands, where I hoped for relief; but our voyage was
otherwise determined ; for, being in the latitude of twelve degrees eighteen minutes,
a second storm came upon us, which carried us away with the same impetuosity
westward, and drove us so out of the way of all human commerce, that had all our
lives been saved as to the sea, we were rather in danger of being devoured by savages
than ever returning to our own country.
In this distress, the wind still blowing very hard, onie of our men early one morning
cried out, Land !" and we had no sooner run out of the cabin to look out, in hopes
of seeing whereabouts in the world we were, than the ship struck upon a sand, and in
a moment, her motion being so stopped, the sea broke over her in such a manner that
we expected we should all have perished immediately, and we were even driven into
our close quarters, to shelter us from the very foam and spray of the sea.
It is not easy for anyone who has not been in the like condition to describe or
conceive the consternation of men in such circumstances. We knew nothing where
we were, or upon what land it was we were driven; whether an island or the main,
whether inhabited or not inhabited. As the rage of the wind was still great, though
rather less than at first, we could not so much as hope to have the ship hold many
minutes without breaking in pieces, unless the winds, by a kind of miracle, should turn
immediately about. In a word, we sat looking one upon another, and expecting death
every moment, and every man acting accordingly, as preparing for another world ; for
there was little or nothing more for us to do in this ; that which was our present
comfort, and all the comfort we had, was that, contrary to our expectation, the ship
did not break yet, and that the master said the wind began to abate.
Now, though we thought that the wind did a little abate, yet the ship having thus
struck upon the sand, and sticking too fast for us to expect her getting off, we were in
a dreadful condition indeed, and had nothing to do but to think of saving our lives as
well as we could. We had a boat at our stern just before the storm, but she was first
staved by dashing against the ship's rudder, and in the next place, she broke away,
and either sunk, or was driven off to sea; so there was no hope from her. We had
another boat on board, but how to get her off into the sea was a doubtful thing ;
however, there was no room to debate, for we fancied the ship would break in pieces
every minute, and some told us she was actually broken already.
In this distress, the mate of our vessel lays hold of the boat, and with the help of
the rest of the men, they got her flung over the ship's side; and getting all into her,
let go, and committed ourselves, being eleven in number, to God's mercy and the wild
sea : for though the storm was abated considerably, yet the sea went dreadfully high
upon the shore, and might be well called den wild zee, as the Dutch call the sea in a
And now our case was very dismal indeed; for we all saw plainly that the sea
went so high that the boat could not escape, and that we should be inevitably
drowned. As to making sail, we had none, nor, if we had, could we have done
anything with it ; so we worked at the oar towards the land, though with heavy hearts,
like men going to execution; for we all knew that when the boat came near the shore,
she would be dashed in a thousand pieces by the breach of the sea. However, we
committed our souls to God in the most earnest manner; and the wind driving us
towards the shore, we hastened our destruction with our own hands, pulling as well as
we could towards land.
What the shore was, whether rock or sand, whether steep or shoal, we knew not;
the only hope that could rationally give us the least shadow of expectation, was if we
might happen into some bay or gulf, or the mouth of some river, where by great chance
we might have run our boat in, or 'got under the lee of the land, and perhaps made
smooth water. But there was nothing of this appeared ; but as we made nearer and
nearer the shore, the land looked more frightful than the sea.
After we had rowed, or rather driven, about a league and an half, as we reckoned
it, a raging wave, mountain-like, came rolling astern of us, and plainly bade us expect
the coup de grdce. In a word, it took us with such a fury that it overset the boat at
once ; and separating us as well from the boat as from one another, gave us not time
hardly to say, 0 God !" for we were all swallowed up in a moment.
Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt, when I sank into the
water; for though I swam very well, yet I could not deliver myself from the waves so
as to draw breath, till that wave having driven me, or rather carried me, a vast way on
towards the shore, and having spent itself, went back, and left me upon the' land
almost dry, but half dead with the water I took in. I had so much presence of mind,
as well as breath left, that seeing myself nearer the mainland than I expected, I got
upon my feet, and endeavoured to make on towards the land as fast as I could, before
another wave should return and take me up again ; but I soon found it was impossible
to avoid it; for I saw the sea come after me as high as a great hill, and as furious as
an enemy, which I had no means or strength to contend with : my business was to
hold my breath, and raise myself upon the water, if I could; and so by swimming to
preserve my breathing, and pilot myself towards the shore if possible ; my greatest
concern now being that the wave, as it would carry me a great way towards the shore
when it came on, might not carry me back again with it when it gave back towards
"I WAS NOW LANDED. (.. 33).
The wave that came upon me again buried me at once twenty or thirty feet
deep in its own body, and I could feel myself carried with a mighty force and
swiftness towards the shore a very great way; but I held my breath, and assisted
myself to swim still forward with all my might. I was ready to burst with holding
my breath, when as I felt myself rising up, so, to my immediate relief, I found my
head and hands shoot out above the surface of the water; and though it was not
two seconds of time that I could keep myself so, yet it relieved me greatly, gave
me breath and new courage. I was covered again with water a good while, but
not so long but I held it out; and finding the water had spent itself, and began
to return, I struck forward against the return of the waves, and felt ground again with
my feet. I stood still a few moments to recover breath, and till the waters went
from me, and then took to my heels, and ran with what strength I had, farther
towards the shore. But neither would this deliver me from the fury of the sea,
which came pouring in after me again; and twice more I was lifted up by the
waves and carried forwards as before, the shore being very flat.
-~ --. -
SESPED A SMALL PEC ROPE
"I ESPIED A SMALL PIECE OF ROPE.'
(See A. 35.)
SAFE ON SHORE.
The last time of these two had wellnigh been fatal to me; for the sea having
hurried me along, as before, landed me, or rather dashed me, against a piece of
a rock, and that with such force as it left me senseless, and indeed helpless, as to my
own deliverance; for the blow, taking my side and breast, beat the breath as it were
quite out of my body; and had it returned again immediately, I must have been
strangled in the water; but I recovered a little before the return of the waves, and
seeing I should be covered again with the water, I resolved to hold fast by a piece of
the rock, and so to hold my breath, if possible, till the wave went back. Now, as the
waves were not so high as at first, being nearer land, I held my hold till the wave
abated, and then fetched another run, which brought me so near the shore that the
next wave, though it went over me, yet did not so swallow me up as to carry me away;
and the next run I took I got to the mainland; where, to my great comfort, I
clambered up the cliffs of the shore, and sat me down upon the grass, free from danger
and quite out of the reach of the water.
I was now landed, and safe on shore, and began to look up and thank God that my
life was saved, in a case wherein there was some minutes before scarce any room to
hope. I believe it is impossible to express, to the life, what the ecstacies and transports
of the soul are when it is so saved, as I may say, out of the very grave: and I do not
wonder now at that custom, when a malefactor, who has the halter about his neck, is
tied up, and just going to be turned off, and has a reprieve brought to him-I say, I
do not wonder that they bring a surgeon with it, to let him blood that very moment
they tell him of it, that the surprise may not drive the animal spirits from the heart,
and overwhelm him.
For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first."
I walked about on the shore, lifting up my hands, and my whole being, as I may
say, wrapt up in a contemplation of my deliverance; making a thousand gestures and
motions, which I cannot describe; reflecting upon all my comrades that were drowned,
and that there should not be one soul saved but myself; for, as for them, I never saw
T. ~ TF w _
"SHOES THAT WERE NOT FELLOWS" (0. 34).
them afterwards, or any sign of them, except three of their hats, one cap, and two shoes
that were not fellows.
I cast my eyes to the stranded vessel, when, the breach and froth of the sea being
so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far off; and considered, Lord! how was it
possible I could get on shore ?
After I had solaced 'my mind with the comfortable part of my condition, I began
to look round me, to see what kind of place I was in, and what was next to be done:
and I soon found my comforts abate, and that, in a word, I had a dreadful deliverance:
for I was wet, had no clothes to shift me, nor anything either to eat or drink, to
comfort me; neither did I see any prospect before me but that of perishing with
hunger, or being devoured by wild beasts : and that which was particularly afflicting to
me was, that I had no weapon, either to hunt and kill any creature for my sustenance,
or to defend myself against any other creature that might desire to kill me for theirs.
In a word, I had nothing about me but a knife, a tobacco-pipe, and a little tobacco in a
box. This was all my provision ; and this threw me into terrible agonies of mind, that
for a while I ran about like a madman. Night coming upon me, I began, with a heavy
heart, to consider what would be my lot if there were any ravenous beasts in that
country, seeing at night they always come abroad for their prey.
All the remedy that offered to my thoughts, at that time, was to get up into a thick
bushy tree, like a fir, but thorny, which grew near me, and where I resolved to sit all
night, and consider the next day what death I should die, for as yet I saw no prospect
of life. I walked about a furlong from the shore, to see if I could find any fresh water
to drink, which I did to my great joy; and having drunk, and put a little tobacco in
my mouth to prevent hunger, I went to the tree, and getting up into it, endeavoured
to place myself so that if I should sleep I might not fall. And having cut me a short
stick, like a truncheon, for my defence, I took up my lodging; and being excessively
fatigued, I fell fast asleep, and slept as comfortably as, I believe, few could have done
in my condition, and found myself more refreshed with it than I think I ever was on
such an occasion.
When I waked it was broad day, the weather clear, and the storm abated, so that
the sea did not rage and swell as before; but that which surprised me most was, that
the ship was lifted off in the night from the sand where she lay, by the swelling of the
tide, arid was driven up almost as far as the rock which I at first mentioned, where I
had been so bruised by the wave dashing me against it. This being within about a
mile from the shore where I was, and the ship seeming to stand upright still, I wished
myself on board, that at least I might save some necessary things for my use.
When I came down from my apartment in the tree, I looked about me again, and
the first thing I found was the boat, which lay, as the wind and sea had tossed her up,
upon the land, about two miles on my right hand. I walked as far as I could upon
the shore to have got to her; but found a neck, or inlet, of water between me and the
boat, which was about half a mile broad ; so I came back for the present, being more
intent upon getting at the ship, where I hoped to find something for my present
A little after noon I found the sea very calm, and the tide ebbed so far out, that
A VISIT TO HE WRECK
I could come within a quarter of a mile of the ship. And here I found a fresh
renewing of my grief; for I saw evidently that if we had kept on board, we had been
al. safe : that is to say, we had all got safe on shore, and I had not been so miserable
as to be left entirely destitute of all comfort and company, as I now was. This forced
tears to my eyes again; but as there was little relief in that, I resolved, if possible, to
get to the ship; so I pulled off my clothes, for the weather was hot to extremity, and
took the water. But when I came to the ship, my difficulty was still greater to know
how to get on board; for, as she lay aground, and high out of the water, there was
nothing within my reach to lay hold of. I swam round her twice, and the second
time I espied a small piece of rope, which I wondered I did not see at first, hanging
down by the fore-chains so low that, with great difficulty, I got hold of it, and by the
help of that rope got up into the forecastle of the ship. Here I found that the ship
was bulged, and had a great deal of water in her hold; but that she lay so on the side
of a bank of hard sand, or rather earth, that her stern lay lifted up upon the bank, and
her head low, almost to the water. By this means all her quarter was free, and all
that was in that part was dry ; for you may be sure my first work was to search, and to
see what was spoiled and what was free. And, first, I found that all the ship's
provisions were dry and untouched by the water, and being very well disposed to eat,
I went to the bread-room, and filled my pockets with biscuit, and ate it as I went
about other things, for I had no time to lose. I also found some rum in the great
cabin, of which I took a large dram, and which I had, indeed, need enough of to
spirit me for what was before me. Now I wanted nothing but a boat, to furnish myself
with many things which I foresaw would be very necessary to me.
It was in vain to sit still and wish for what was not to be had; and this extremity
roused my application. We had several spare yards, and two or three large spars of
wood, and a spare top-mast or two in the ship : I resolved to fall to work with these,
and I flung as many of them overboard as I could manage for their weight, tying every
one with a rope, that they might not drive away. When this was done I went down
the ship's side, and pulling them to me I tied four of them together at both ends, as
well as I could, in the form of a raft, and laying two or three short pieces of plank
upon them, crossways, I found I could walk upon it very well, but that it was not
able to bear any great weight, the pieces being too light. So I went to work, and with
the carpenter's saw I cut a spare top-mast into three lengths, and added them to my
raft, with a great deal of labour and pains. But the hope of furnishing myself with
necessaries encouraged me to go beyond what I should have been able to have done
upon another occasion.
My raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable weight. My next care was
what to load it with, and how to preserve what I laid upon it from the surf of the sea :
but I was not long considering this. I first laid all the planks or boards upon it that
that I could get, and having considered well what I most wanted, I first got three of
the seamen's chests, which I had broken open and emptied, and lowered them down
upon my raft; the first of these I filled with provisions-viz., bread, rice, three Dutch
cheeses, five pieces of dried goat's flesh (which we lived much upon), and a little
remainder of European corn, which had been laid by for some fowls which we brought.
tL-u e.a ,ith u;, but th fowls
.:ere kilI d. There. had been
urnv- Lbariev and hcAt to-
e thcr, but, to nv girat dis-
Sl'a',ii:irintnilc t. I Iound after-
;ard that the r.t- had eaten
or ; :.a I clehd it all. As for
lijuorr. I tf'.:.und -e' c ral cases
of I,,tt Fes bAl ',,n4.ng to our
ki[icr, in whi h %scre uorte cordial
.t ar: anJ, in all, About thi : or six
w:reiynii of arraa, The e I to,. ed by
thc:-el-]c. tlh:re bl-n- no nrLed to'
put thLetm into the chest, nor anmy room
for them. \hil,- I w diin_ this, I
,r Ierund the tide began to fliv., though
,, vrry calmi and I had the nmortifica-
I FELL FAST ASLEEP fi 34) tion to see my coat, shirt, and waistcoat,
which I had left on shore upon the sand,
swim away. As for my breeches, which
were only linen, and open-kneed, I swam on board in them and my stockings.
However, this put me upon rummaging for clothes, of which I found enough, but took
no more than I wanted for present use, for I had other things which my eye was more
upon; as, first, tools to work with on shore: and it was after long searching that I
found out the carpenter's chest, which was indeed a very useful prize to me, and much
more valuable than a ship-lading of gold would have been at that time. I got it down
to my raft, whole as it was, without losing time to look into it, for I knew in general
what it contained.
LOADING THE RAFT.
My next care was for some ammunition and arms. There were two very good
fowling-pieces in the great cabin, and two pistols. These I secured first, with some
powder-horns, a small bag of shot, and two old rusty swords. I knew there were three
barrels of powder in the ship, but knew not where our gunner had stowed them ; but
with much search I found them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken water.
Those two I got to my raft, with the arms. And now I thought myself pretty well
freighted, and began to think how I should get to shore with them, having neither sail,
.oar, nor rudder; and the least capful of wind would have overset all my navigation.
I had three encouragements : first, a smooth, calm sea; secondly, the tide rising,
.and setting in to the shore; thirdly, what little wind there was blew me towards the
land. And thus, having found two or three broken oars, belonging to the boat, and
besides the tools which were in the chest, two saws, an axe, and a hammer, with this
,cargo I put to sea. For a mile, or thereabouts, my raft went very well, only that I
found it drive a little distant from the place where I had landed before : by which I
perceived that there was some indraught of the water, and consequently, I hoped to
find some creek or river there, which I might make use of as a port to get to land with
As I imagined, so it was. There appeared before me a little opening of the land.
I found a strong current of the tide set into it ; so I guided my raft as well as I could,
to keep in the middle of the stream.
But here I had like to have suffered a second shipwreck, which, if I had, I think
verily would have broken my heart; for, knowing nothing of the coast, my raft ran
aground at one end of it upon a shoal, and not being aground at the other end, it
wanted but a little that all my cargo had slipped off towards the end that was afloat,
:and so fallen into the water. I did my utmost, by setting my back against the chests,
to keep them in their places, but could not thrust off the raft with all my strength;
neither durst I stir from the posture I was in ; but holding up the chests with all my
'might, I stood in that manner near half an hour, in which time the rising of the water
brought me a little more upon a level; and a little after, the water still rising, my raft
floated again, and I thrust her off with the oar I had into the channel, and then driving
up higher, I at length found myself in the mouth of a little river, with land on both
sides, and a strong current or tide running up. I looked on both sides for a proper
place to get to shore, for I was not willing to be driven too high up the river; hoping
in time to see some ship at sea, and therefore resolved to place myself as near the
coast as I could.
At length I spied a little cove on the right shore of the creek, to which, with great
pain and difficulty, I guided my raft, and at last got so near, that reaching ground with
my oar, I could thrust her directly in. But here I had like to have dipped all my
cargo into the sea again ; for that shore lying pretty steep-that is to say, sloping-
there was no place to land but where one end of my float, if it ran on shore, would
lie so high, and the other sink lower, as before, that it would endanger my cargo again.
All that I could do was to wait till the tide was at the highest, keeping the raft with my
.oar like an anchor, to hold the side of it fast to the shore, near a flat piece of ground,
which I expected the water would flow over; and so it did. As soon as I found water
enough, for my raft drew about a foot of water, I thrust her upon that flat piece of
ground, and there fastened or moored her, by sticking my two broken oars into the-
ground-one on one side, near one end, and one on the other side, near the other
end ; and thus I lay till the water ebbed away, and left my raft and all my cargo safe
My next work was to view the country, and seek a proper place for my habitation,
and where to stow my goods, to secure them from whatever might happen. Where I
was, I yet knew not; whether on the continent or an island ; whether inhabited or not
inhabited; whether in danger of wild beasts or not. There was a hill not above a
mile from me, which rose up very steep and high, and which seemed to overtop some
other hills, which lay as in a ridge from it, northward. I took out one of the fowling
pieces, and one of the pistols, and a horn of powder ; and thus armed, I travelled for
discovery up to the top of that hill, where, after I had with great labour and difficulty
got to the top, I saw my fate, to my great affliction-viz., that I was in an island
environed every way with the sea : no land to be seen except some rocks, which lay a
great way off, and two small islands, less than this, which lay about three leagues to
I found also that the island I was in was barren, and, as I saw good reason to
believe, uninhabited, except by wild beasts, of which, however, I saw none. Yet I saw
abundance of fowls, but knew not their kinds; neither, when I killed them, could I
tell what was fit for food, and what not. At my coming back, I shot at a great
bird, which I saw sitting upon a tree, on the side of a great wood. I believe it was
the first gun that had been fired there since the creation of the world. I had no
sooner fired, but from all parts of the wood there arose an innumerable number of
fowls of many sorts, making a confused screaming and crying, every one according to
his usual note, but not one of them of any kind that I knew. As for the creature I
killed, I took it to be a kind of hawk, its colour and beak resembling it, but it had
no talons or claws more than common. Its flesh was carrion, and fit for nothing.
Contented with this discovery, I came back to my raft, and fell to work to bring
my cargo on shore, which took me up the rest of the day : what to do with myself at
night I knew not, nor indeed where to rest, for I was afraid to lie down on the ground,
not knowing but some wild beast might devour me; though, as I afterwards found,
there was really no need for those fears.
However, as well as I could, I barricaded myself round with the chests and boards
that I had brought on shore, and made a kind of hut for that night's lodging. As for
food, I yet saw not which way to supply myself, except that I had seen two or three
creatures, like hares, run out of the wood where I shot the fowl.
I now began to consider that I might yet get a great many things out of the ship,
which would be useful to me, and particularly same of the rigging and sails, and such
other things as might come to land; and I resolved to make another voyage on board
the vessel, if possible. And as I knew that the first storm that blew must necessarily
break her all in pieces, I resolved to set all other things apart, till I got everything out
of the ship that I could get. Then I called a council-that is to say, in my thoughts-
whether I should take back the raft, but this appeared impracticable : so I resolved to
A SECOND CARGo. *
go as before, when the tide was down; and I did so, only that I stripped before I went
from my hut, having nothing on but a chequered shirt, a pair of linen drawers, and a
pair of pumps on my feet.
I got on board the ship as before, and prepared a second raft; and, having had
experience of the first, I neither made this so unwieldy, nor loaded it so hard, but yet
I brought away several things very useful to me; as, first, in the carpenter's stores I
found two or three bags full of nails and spikes, a great screw-jack, a dozen or two of
hatchets, and, above all, that most useful thing called a grindstone. All these I
secured, together with several things belonging to the gunner, particularly two or three
iron crows, and two barrels of musket bullets, seven muskets, and another fowling
piece, with some small quantity of powder more; a large bag-full of small shot, and a
great roll of sheet lead; but this last was so heavy I could not hoist it up to get it over
the ship's side.
Besides these things, I took all the men's clothes that I could find, and a spare fore-
top sail, a hammock, and some bedding; and with this I loaded my second raft, and
brought them all safe on shore, to my very great comfort.
I was under some apprehension during my absence from the land, that at least my
provisions might be devoured on shore; but when I came back, I found no sign of
any visitor; only there sat a creature like a wild cat upon one of the chests, which,
when I came towards it, ran away a little distance, and then stood still. She sat very
composed and unconcerned, and looked full in my face, as if she had a mind to be
acquainted with me. I presented my gun to her, but, as she did not understand it, she
was perfectly unconcerned at it, nor did she offer to stir away; upon which I tossed
her a bit of biscuit, though, by the way, I was not very free of it, for my store was not
great ; however, I spared her a bit, I say, and she went to it, smelled at it, and ate it,
and looked (as pleased) for more ; but I thanked her, and could spare no more : so
she marched off.
Having got my second cargo on shore-though I was obliged to open the barrels
of powder, and bring them by parcels, for they were too heavy, being large casks-I
went to work to make me a little tent, with the sail, and some poles which I cut for
that purpose ; and into this tent I brought everything that I knew would spoil either
with rain or sun; and I piled all the empty chests and casks up in a circle round the
tent, to fortify it from any sudden attempt, either from man or beast.
When I had done this, I blocked up the door of the tent with some boards within,
and an empty chest set up on end without; and spreading one of the beds upon the
ground, laying my two pistols just at my head, and my gun at length by me, I went to
bed for the first time, and slept very quietly all night. I was very weary and heavy ;
for the night before I. had slept little, and had laboured very hard all day, as well to
fetch those things from the ship, as to get them on shore.
I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that ever was laid up, I believe, for one
man ; but still I was not satisfied, for while the ship sat upright in that posture, I
thought I ought to get everything out of her that I could ; so every day, at low water,
I went on board, and brought away something or other ; but particularly the third
time I went, I brought away as much of the rigging as I could, as also all the
small ropes and '
rope twine I
could get, with
a piece of spare
canvas, which was to riend-I ihr ils i.ii:rn
occasion, and the barrel i, v.%. t un|.o,.,:l..,i.
In a word, I brouglit ;.., all tli< s.!-,
first and last; only ih-r I I..'I In i:. :uLt
them in pieces, and brinn as much .it r
time as I could, for lth-, ..re ro in.:,re:
useful to me for sail-. buit rr m-cr -ari-t;
But that which .:... ,rifr -I nee in:re
still was that at la-t ...I- l, lu-icr I i.i J
made five or six si,-h ,:.,aces i ili,.se,
and thought I had int[-r.- nmre tI:o e.-
pect from the ship tlii .. \..:rl- ii ,
meddling with- I --i,.- iltr ,ll thi-, I
found a great hogsheai--.i,' .rcad, tliire
large runlets of rur i. -o r ., 1 : :.'. .4
fine sugar, and a barrel ..-( irire i:Lur t
to me, because
I had given over
except what was
spoiled by the
water. I soon
hogshead of the '- .'
bread, and wrap- .
ped it up, parcel
by parcel,, in
pieces of the
sails, which I cut
out; and, in a '
word, I got all
this safe on shore .. /.
also, though at ".'..,''','
several times. r,; '1
The next day "
I made another '.P,-\ "
- 'A ~'
Ii.LiiY -; 'i-I1
" A CONFUSED SCREAMING AND
CRYING" (A 38).
_. f .,
fr--^'k r 1,W1
THE LAST OF 7TiE SHIP. 41
now, having plundered the ship of what was portable and fit to hand out, I
began with the cable; cutting the great cable into pieces such as I could move, I
got two cable and a hawser on shore, with all the iron-work I could get; and
having cut down the spritsail-yard, and the mizen-yard, and everything I could to
make a large raft, I loaded it with all those heavy goods and came away. But my
good luck began to leave me, for this raft was so unwieldy, and so overladen, that
after I was entered the little cove, where I had landed the rest of my goods, not being
able to guide it so handily as I did the other, it overset, and threw me and all my
cargo into the water. As for myself, it was no great harm, for I was near the
shore; but as to my cargo, it was great part of it lost, especially the iron, which I
expected would have been of great use to me; however, when the tide was out, I
got most of the pieces of cable ashore, and some of the iron, though with infinite
labour; for I was fain to dip for it into the water, a work which fatigued me very much.
After this, I went every day on board, and brought away what I could get.
I had now been thirteen days on shore, and had been eleven times on board the
ship, in which time I had brought away all that one pair of hands could well be sup-
posed capable of bringing; though I verily believe, had the calm weather held, I
should have brought away the whole ship, piece by piece; but preparing the twelfth
time to go on board, I found the wind began to rise. However, at low water I went on
board, and though I thought I had rummaged the cabin so effectually that nothing
more could be found, yet I discovered a locker with drawers in it, in one of which I
found two or three razors, and one pair of large scissors, with some ten or a dozen of
good knives and forks ; in another I found about thirty-six pounds value in money-
some European coin, some Brazil, some pieces of eight, some gold, and some silver.
I smiled to myself at the sight of this money. Oh, drug !" said I aloud, what
art thou good for ? Thou art not worth to me-no, not the taking off the ground; one
-of those knives is worth all this heap; I have no manner of use for thee; e'en remain
where thou art, and go to the bottom, as a creature whose life is not worth saving."
However, upon second thoughts, I took it away; and wrapping all in a piece of canvas,
I began to think of making another raft; but while I was preparing this, I found the
sky overcast, and the wind began to rise, and in a quarter of an hour it blew a fresh gale
from the shore. It presently occurred to me that it was in vain to pretend to make a
raft with the wind off shore; and that it was my business to be gone before the tide of
flood began, otherwise I might not be able to reach the shore at all. Accordingly, I
let myself down into the water, and swam across the channel which lay between the
-ship and the sands, and even that with difficulty enough, partly with the weight of the
things I had about me, and partly from the roughness of the water ; for the wind rose
very hastily, and before it was quite high water it blew a storm.
But I was gotten home to my little tent, where I lay, with all my wealth about me
very secure. It blew very hard all that night, and in the morning, when I looked out,
behold, no more ship was to be seen. I was a little surprised, but recovered myself
with this satisfactory reflection, that I had lost no time, nor abated any diligence, to
get everything out of her that could be useful to me ; and that, indeed, there was little
left in her that I was able to bring away, if I had had more time.
I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, or of anything out of her, except
what might drive on shore from her wreck ; as, indeed, divers pieces of her afterwards
did ; but those things were of small use to me.
My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing myself against either
savages, if any should appear, or wild beasts, if any were in the island; and I had
many thoughts of the method how to do this, and what kind of dwelling to make-
whether I should make me a cave in the earth, or a tent upon the earth ; and, in short,
I resolved upon both; the manner and description of which it may not be improper to
give an account of.
I soon found the place I was in was not fit for my settlement, particularly because
it was upon a low moorish ground near the sea, and I believed would not be whole-
some, and more particularly because there was no fresh water near it ; so I resolved to.
find a more healthy and more convenient spot of ground.
I consulted several things in my situation, which I found would be proper for me;
first, health and fresh water, I just now mentioned; secondly, shelter from the heat of
the sun ; thirdly, security from ravenous creatures, whether man or beast; fourthly, a
view to the sea, that if God sent any ship in sight, I might not lose any advantage for
my deliverance, of which I was not willing to banish my expectation yet.
In search of a place proper for this, I found a little plain on the side of a rising hill,
whose front towards this little plain was steep as a house-side, so that nothing could
come down upon me from the top. On the side of the rock there was a hollow place,
worn a little way in, like the entrance or door of a cave ; but there was not really any
cave, or way into the rock, at all.
On the flat of the green, just below this hollow place, I resolved to pitch my tent.
This plain was not above a hundred yards broad, and about twice as long, and lay like
a green before my door; .and, at the end of it, descended irregularly every way down
into the low ground by the sea-side. It was on the N.N.W. side of the hill; so that
it was sheltered from the heat every day, till it came to the W. and by S. sun or
thereabouts, which, in those countries, is near the setting.
Before I set up my tent, I drew a half-circle before the hollow place, which took in
about ten yards in its semi-diameter, from the rock, and twenty yards in its diameter
from its beginning and ending.
In this half-circle I pitched two rows of strong stakes, driving them into the ground
till they stood very firm like piles, the biggest end being out of the ground above five
feet and a half, and sharpened on the top. The two rows did not stand above six
inches from one another.
Then I took the pieces of cable which I had cut in the ship, and laid them in rows,
upon one another, within the circle, between these two rows of stakes, up to the top,
placing other stakes in the inside, leaning against them, about two feet and a half high,
like a spur to a post; and this fence was so strong that neither man nor beast could
get into it or over it. This cost me a great deal of time and labour, especially to cut
the piles in the woods, bring them to the place, and drive them into the earth.
The entrance into this place I made to be, not by a door, but by a short ladder to
go over the top ; which ladder, when I was in, I lifted over after me; and so I was
completely fenced in and fortified, as I thought, from all the world, and consequently
slept secure in the night, which otherwise I could not have done; though, as it
appeared afterwards, there was no need of all this caution from the enemies that I
apprehended danger from.
Into this fence, or fortress, with infinite labour, I carried all my riches, all my
provisions, ammunition, and stores, of which you have the account above ; and I made
me a large tent also, to preserve me from the rains, that in one part of the year are
very violent there. I made it double-viz., one smaller tent within, and one larger
tent above it; and covered the uppermost part of it with a large tarpaulin, which I had
saved among the sails.
And now I lay no more for awhile in the bed which I had brought on shore, but
in a hammock, which was indeed a very good one, and belonged to the mate of the
Into this tent I brought all my provisions, and everything that would spoil by the
wet; and having thus enclosed all my goods, I made up the entrance, which till now
I had left open, and so passed and re-passed, as I said, by a short ladder.
When I had done this, I began to work my way into the rock, and bringing all the
earth and stones that I dug down out through my tent, I laid them up within my
fence, in the nature of a terrace, so that it raised the ground within about a foot and a
half; and thus I made me a cave, just behind my tent, which served me like a cellar
to my house.
It cost me much labour and many days before all these things were brought to
perfection; and therefore I must go back to some other things which took up some of
my thoughts. At the same time it occurred, after I had laid my scheme for the
setting up the tent, and making the cave, that a storm of rain falling from a thick,
dark cloud, a sudden flash of lightning happened, and after that, a great clap of
thunder, as is naturally the effect of it. I was not so much surprised with the
lightning, as I was with the thought which darted into my mind as swift as the
lightning itself, "Oh, my powder !" My very heart sank within me when I thought
that, at one blast, all my powder might be destroyed; on which not my defence only,
but the providing me food, as I thought, entirely depended. I was nothing near so
anxious about my own danger; though, had the powder took fire, I had never known
who had hurt me.
Such impression did this make upon me, that after the storm was over, I laid
aside all my work, my building and fortifying, and applied myself to make bags
and boxes to separate my powder, and to keep it a little and a little in a parcel, in
hopes that, whatever might come, it might not all take fire at once; and to keep it so
apart that it should not be possible to make one part fire another. I finished this
work in about a fortnight; and I think my powder, which in all was about one
hundred and forty pounds weight, was divided into no less than a hundred parcels.
As to the barrel that had been wet, I did not apprehend any danger from that ; so I
placed it in my new cave, which, in my fancy, I called my kitchen ; and the rest I hid
up and down in holes among the rocks, so that no wet might come to it, marking very
carefully where I laid it.
In the interval of time while this was doing, I went out at least once every day with
my gun, as well to divert myself as to see if I could kill anything fit for food; and, as
near as I could, to acquaint myself with what the island produced. The first time I
went out, I presently discovered that there were goats in the island, which was a great
satisfaction to me; but then it was attended with this misfortune to me, viz., that they
were so shy, so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was the most difficult thing in the
world to come at them; but I was not discouraged at this, not doubting but I
might now and then shoot one, as it soon happened ; for after I had found their haunts
a little, I laid wait in this manner for them: I observed if they saw me in the valleys,
though they were upon the rocks, they would run away, as in a terrible fright; but if
they were feeding in the valleys, and I was upon the rocks, they took no notice of me;
from whence I concluded that, by the position of their optics, their sight was so directed
downward that they did not readily see objects that were above them ; so afterwards
I took this method-I always climbed the rocks first, to get above them, and then had
frequently a fair mark.
The first shot I made among these creatures, I killed a she-goat, which had a little
kid by her, which she gave suck to, which grieved me heartily; for, when the old one
fell, the kid stood stock-still by her, till I came and took her up ; and not only so, but
when I carried the old one with me upon my shoulders, the kid followed me quite to
my enclosure ; upon which I laid down the dam, and took the kid in my arms, and
carried it over my pale, in hopes to have bred it up tame ; but it would not eat ; so I
was forced to kill it and eat it myself. These two supplied me with flesh a great while,
for I ate sparingly, and saved my provisions, my bread especially, as much as I possibly
Having now fixed my habitation, I found it absolutely necessary to provide a place
to make a fire in, and fuel to burn ; and what I did for that, as also how I enlarged
my cave, and what conveniences I made, I shall give a full account of in its place;
but I must now give some little account of myself, and of my thoughts about living,
which, it may well be supposed, were not a few.
I had a dismal prospect of my condition, for as I was not cast away upon that
island without being driven, as is said, by a violent storm quite out of the course of
our intended voyage, and a great way, viz., some hundreds of leagues, out of the
ordinary course of the trade of mankind, I had great reason to consider it as a deter-
mination of Heaven that in this desolate place, and in this desolate manner, I should
end my life. The tears would run plentifully down my face when I made these
reflections ; and sometimes I would expostulate with myself why Providence should
thus completely ruin its creatures, and render them so absolutely miserable, so without
help abandoned, and so entirely depressed, that it could hardly be rational to be
thankful for such a life.
But something always returned swift upon me to check these thoughts, and to
reprove me ; and particularly one day walking with my gun in my hand by the seaside,
I was very pensive upon the subject of my present condition, when Reason, as it were,
put in expostulating with me the other way, thus: "Well, you are in a desolate
condition, it is true ; but, pray remember, where are the rest of you ? Did not you
come eleven of you into the boat? Where are the ten ? Why were not they saved,
and you lost ? Why are you singled out ? Is it better to be here or there ? And
then I pointed to the sea. All evils are to be considered with the good that is in them
and with what worse attended them.
Then it occurred to me again, how
, .y well I was furnished for my subsist-
'<-ne, and what would have been my
0 c ;1:e it had not happened (which
was a hundred thousand to one) that
3 ^the s-hip floated from the place where
S.. first she struck, and was driven so near
'l I.-, tI,- sliore, that I had time to get all
thei--e t.lnrigs out of her? What would
i.. e been my case, if I had been
f,:'rc:ed to have lived in the condition
in % Iui -i I at first came on shore, with-
c .ut n:'essaries of life, or any means
t,: supHIly and procure them? Par-
3 tc.:ularly," said I aloud (though to
myself), what should I
have done without a gun,
without ammunition, with-
out any tools to make
anything, or to work with ?
i t.:u. t clothes, bedding, a tent, or any
n.arnne of coverings?" and that now
.I aIl 411 these to a sufficient quantity,
:anc I. in a fair way to provide my-
S.sf .;uch a manner as to live without
I I, I ia n, when my ammunition was
e -atpei t : -o that I had a tolerable view
,,,. "h o0 .i ib-, isting without any want as long
I lied; for I considered from the
Sbe. innini g how I would provide for
thie :,c dents that might happen, and
for the time that was to come, even
T'PicE KID FOLLOWED ME (A 44). not only after my ammunition should
be spent, but even after my health
and strength should decay.
I confess I had not then entertained any notion of my ammunition being de-
stroyed at one blast-I mean, my powder being blown up by lightning; and this
made the thoughts of it surprising to me, when it lightened and thundered, as I
observed just now.
And now, being to enter into a melancholy relation of a scene of silent life, such,.
ROBIN2SON, GB USOE.
perhaps, as was never heard of in the world before, I shall take it from its beginning,
and continue it in its order. It was, by my account, the 30th of September when, in
the manner as above said, I first set foot upon this horrid island; when the sun
being to us in its autumnal equinox, was almost just over my head : for I reckoned
myself, by observation, to be in the latitude of nine degrees twenty-two minutes north
of the line.
After I had been there about ten or twelve days, it came into my thoughts that I
should lose my reckoning of time for want of books, and pen, and ink, and should
even forget the Sabbath-day from the working days ; but to prevent this, I cut it with
my knife upon a large post, in capital letters ; and making it into a great cross, I set
it up on the shore where I first landed, viz., "I came on shore here on the 3oth of
Upon the sides of this square post I cut every day a notch with my knife, and. every
seventh notch was as long again as the rest, and every first day of the month as long
again as that long one ; and thus I kept niy calendar, or weekly, monthly, and yearly
reckoning of time.
In the next place, we are to observe that among the many things which I brought
from the ship in the several voyages which, as above mentioned, I made to it, I got
several things of less value, but not at all less useful to me, which I omitted setting
down before; as, in particular, pens, ink, and paper; several parcels in the captain's,
mate's, gunner's, and carpenter's keeping; three or four compasses, some mathematical
instruments, dials, perspectives, charts, and books of navigation; all which I huddled
together, whether I might want them or no : also I found three very good Bibles,
which came to me in my cargo from England, and which I had packed up among my
things; some Portuguese books also; and, among them, two or three Popish prayer-
books, and several other books; all which I carefully secured. And I must not forget
that we had in the ship a dog and two cats, of whose eminent history I must have
occasion to say something in its place, for I carried both the cats with me; and as for
the dog, he jumped out of the ship of himself, and swam on shore to me the day after
I went on shore with my first cargo, and was a trusty servant to me many years; I
wanted' nothing that he could fetch me, nor any company that he could make up to
me; I only wanted to have him talk to me, but that he could not do. As I observed
before, I found pens, ink, and paper, and I husbanded them to the utmost; and I shall
show that while my ink lasted I kept things very exact; but after that was gone I could
not, for I could not make any ink by any means that I could devise.
And this put me in mind that I wanted many things, notwithstanding all that I had
amassed together; and of these, ink was one : as also a spade, pickaxe, and shovel to
dig or remove the earth ; needles, pins, and thread : as for linen, I soon learned to
want that without much difficulty.
This want of tools made every work I did go on heavily ; and it was near a whole
year before I had entirely finished my little pale, or surrounded habitation. The piles
or stakes, which were as heavy as I could well lift, were a long time in cutting and
preparing in the woods, and more, by far, in bringing home ; so that I spent sometimes
two days in cutting and bringing home one of those posts, and a third day in driving
THE EVIL- THE GOOD.
it into the ground ; for which purpose I got a heavy piece of wood at first, but at last
bethought myself of one of the iron crows ; which, however, though I found it, yet
made driving those posts or piles very laborious and tedious work. But what need I
have been concerned at the tediousness of anything I had to do, seeing I had time
enough to do it in ? nor had I any other employment, if that had been over, at least
that I could foresee, except the ranging the island to seek for food, which I did, more
or less, every day.
I now began to consider seriously my condition, and the circumstances I was
reduced to ; and I drew up the state of my affairs in writing, not so much to leave
them to any that were to come after me, for I was like to have but few heirs, as to
deliver my thoughts from daily poring upon them, and afflicting my mind; and as my
reason began now to master my despondency, I began to comfort myself as well as I
could, and to set the good against the evil, that I might have something to distinguish
my case from worse, and I stated it very impartially, like debtor and creditor, the
comfort I enjoyed against the miseries I suffered, thus :-
I am cast upon a horrible, desolate is-
lain ; void of all hope of recovery.
I .im singled out and separated, as it
were, from all the world, to be miserable.
I am divided from mankind, a solitary ;
one banished from human society.
I have no clothes to cover me.
I am without any defence, or means to
resist any violence of man or beast.
I have no soul to speak to or relieve me.
But I am alive; and not drowned, as all my ship's
But I am singled out, too, from all the ship's crew, to
be spared from death ; and He that miraculously saved
me from death can deliver me from this condition.
But I am not starved, and perishing on a barren place,
affording no sustenance.
But I am in a hot climate, where if I had clothes, I
could hardly wear them.
But I am cast on an island where I see no wild beasts
to hurt me, as I saw on the coast of Africa; and what if
I had been shipwrecked there ?
But God wonderfully sent the ship in near enough to
the shore, that I have got out so many necessary things
as will either supply my wants or enable me to supply
myself, even as long as I live.
Upon the whole, here was an undoubted testimony that there was scarce any
condition in the world so miserable but there was something negative, or something
positive, to be thankful for in it : and let this stand as a direction, from the experience
of the most miserable of all conditions in this world-that we may always find in it
something to comfort ourselves from, and to set, in the description of good and evil,
on the credit side of the account.
Having now brought my mind a little to relish my condition, and giving over
looking out to sea if I could spy a ship-I say, giving over these things, I began to
apply myself to accommodate my way of living, and to make things as easy to me as I
I have already described my habitation, which was a tent under the side of a rock,
surrounded with a strong pale of posts and cables ; but I might now rather call it a
wall, for I raised a kind of wall up against it of turfs, about two feet thick, on the
outside ; and after some time (I think it was a year and a half) I raised rafters from it,
48 ROBINSON CRUSOE.
leaning to the rock, and thatched or covered it with boughs of trees, and such things
as I could get to keep out the rain, which I found at some times of the year very
I have already observed how I brought all my goods into this pale, and into the
cave which I had made behind me. But I must observe, too, that at first this was a
confused heap of goods, which, as they lay in no order, so they took up all my place ;
I had no room to turn myself: so I set myself to enlarge my cave, and worked farther
"I WANTED NOTHING THAT HE COULD FETCH ME" (P. 46).
into the earth; for it was a loose, sandy rock, which yielded easily to the labour I
bestowed on it : and so when I found I was pretty safe as to beasts of prey, I worked
sideways, to the right hand, into the rock, and then turning to the right again, worked
quite out, and made me a door to come out on the outside of my pale or fortification.
This gave me not only egress and regress, as it was a back way to my tent and to
my storehouse, but gave me room to stow my goods.
And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary things as I found I most
wanted, particularly a chair and a table ; for without these I was not able to enjoy the
few comforts I had in the world ; I could not write, or eat, or do several things with
so much pleasure without a table.
So I went to work ; and here I must needs observe that as reason is the substance
I BEGzIN -efY JOURNAL.
and original of the mathematics, so by stating and squaring everything by reason, and
by making the most rational judgment of things, every man may be, in time, master of
every mechanic art. I had never handled a tool in my life ; and yet, in time, by
labour, application, and contrivance, I found, at last, that I wanted nothing but I could
have made it, especially if I had had tools. However, I made abundance of things
even without tools ; and some with no more tools than an adze and a hatchet, which,
perhaps, were never made that way before, and that with infinite labour. For example,
if I wanted a board, I had no other way but to cut down a tree, set it on an edge
before me, and hew it flat on either side with my axe, till I had brought it to be as thin
as a plank, and then dub it smooth with my adze. It is true, by this method I could
make but one board out of a whole tree ; but this I had no remedy for but patience,
any more than I had for the prodigious deal of time and labour which it took me up to
make a plank or board ; but my time or labour was little worth, and so it was as well
employed one way as another.
However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed above, in the first place;
and this I did out of the short pieces of boards that I brought on my raft from the
ship. But when I had wrought out some boards as above, I made large shelves,
of the breadth of a foot and an half, one over another, all along one side of my
cave, to lay all my tools, nails, and iron-work on; and, in a word, to separate
everything at large into their places that I might come easily at them; also I
knocked pieces into the wall of the rock to hang my guns and all things that
would hang up : so that had my cave been to be seen, it looked like a general
magazine of all necessary things; and I had everything so ready at my hand,
that it was a great pleasure to me to see all my goods in such order, and
especially to find my stock of all necessaries so great.
And now it was when I began to keep a Journal of every day's employment ; for,
indeed, at first I was in too much hurry, and not only an hurry as to labour, but in
too much discomposure of mind ; and my Journal would have been full of many dull
things: for example, I must have said thus: "Sept. the 3oth.-After I had got to
shore, and had escaped drowning, instead of being thankful to God for my deliverance,
having first vomited, with the great quantity of salt water which was gotten into my
stomach, and recovering myself a little, I ran about the shore wringing my hands and
beating my head and face, exclaiming at my misery, and crying out I was undone,
undone till, tired and faint, I was forced to lie down on the ground to repose, but
durst not sleep, for fear of being devoured."
Some days after this, and after I had been on board the ship, and had got all I
could out of her, yet I could not forbear getting up to the top of a little mountain, and
looking out to sea, in hopes of seeing a ship : then fancy at a vast distance I spied a
sail, please myself with the hopes of it, and then, after looking steadily till I was
almost blind, lose it quite, and sit down and weep like a child, and thus increase my
misery by my folly.
But having gotten over these things in some measure, and having settled my
household stuff and habitation, made me a table and a chair, and all as handsome
about me as I could, I began I say to keep my Journal ; of which I shall here give you
the copy (though in it will be told all these particulars over again), as long as it lasted;
for at last, having no more ink, I was forced to leave it off.
September 30, 1659.-I, poor miserable Robinson Crusoe, being shipwrecked,
during a dreadful storm, in the offing, came on shore on this dismal, unfortunate
island, which I called The Island of Despair;" all the rest of the ship's company
being drowned, and myself almost dead.
All the rest of the day I spent in afflicting myself at the dismal circumstances I was
brought to : viz., I had neither food, house, clothes, weapon, nor place to fly to; and,
in despair of any relief, saw nothing but death before me : either that I should be
devoured by wild beasts, murdered by savages, or starved to death for want of food.
At the approach of night I slept in a tree, for fear of wild creatures ; but slept soundly,
though it rained all night.
October i.-In the morning I saw, to my great surprise, the ship had floated with
the high tide, and was driven on shore again, much nearer the island; which, as it was
some comfort, on one hand (for seeing her sit upright, and not broken to pieces, I
hoped, if the wind abated, I might get on board, and get some food and necessaries
out of her for my relief), so, on the other hand, it renewed my grief at the loss of my
comrades, who, I imagined, if we had all stayed on board, might have saved the ship,
or, at least, that they would not have been all drowned, as they were ; and that, had
the men been saved, we might perhaps have built us a boat out of the ruins of the ship
to have carried us to some other part of the world. I spent great part of this day in
perplexing myself on these things ; but at length, seeing the ship almost dry, I went
upon the sand as near as I could, and then swam on board. This day also it continued
raining, though with no wind at all.
From the ist of October to the 24th.-All these days entirely spent in many several
voyages to get all I could out of the ship, which I brought on shore, every tide of
flood, upon rafts. Much rain also, in these days, though with some intervals of fair
weather; but it seems this was the rainy season.
Oct. 24.-I overset my raft, and all the goods I had got upon it ; but being in
shoal-water, and the things being chiefly heavy, I recovered many of them when the
tide was out.
Oct. 25.-It rained all night and all day, with some gusts of wind ; during which
time the ship broke in pieces, the wind blowing a little harder than before, and was no
more to be seen, except the wreck of her, and that only at low water. I spent this day
in covering and securing the goods which I saved, that the rain might not spoil them.
Oct. 26.-I walked about the shore almost all day, to find out a place to fix my
habitation, greatly concerned to secure myself from any attack in the night, either from
wild beasts or men. Towards night I fixed upon a proper place, under a rock, and
marked out a semi-circle for my encampment, which I resolved to strengthen with a
work, wall, or fortification, made of double piles, lined within with cables, and without
From the 26th to the 3oth, I worked very hard in carrying all my goods to my new
habitation, though some part of the time it rained exceeding hard.
The 31st, in the morning, I went out into the island with my gun, to see for some
food, and discover the country; when I killed a she-goat, and her kid followed me
home, which I afterwards killed also, because it would not feed.
November I.-I set up my tent under a rock, and lay there for the first night;
making it as large as I could, with stakes driven in to swing my hammock upon.
Nov. 2.-I set up all my chests and boards and the pieces of timber which made
my rafts, and with them formed a fence round me, a little within the place I had
marked out for my fortification.
Nov. 3.-I went out with my gun, and killed two fowls like ducks, which were very
good food. In the afternoon went to work to make me a table.
Nov. 4.-This morning I began to order my times of work, of going out with my
gun, time of sleep, and time of diversion : viz., every morning I walked out with my
gun foi- two or three hours, if it did not rain ; then employed myself to work till about
eleven o'clock ; then ate what I had to live on ; and from twelve to two I lay down to
sleep, the weather being excessive hot ; and then, in the evening, to work again. The
working part of this day and the next were wholly employed in making this table, for I
was yet but a very sorry workman, though time and necessity made me a complete
natural mechanic soon after, as I believe they would do anyone else.
Nov. 5.-This day I went abroad with my gun and my dog, and killed a wild cat;
her skin pretty soft, but her flesh good for nothing. Every creature I killed, I took off
the skins and preserved them. Coming back by the sea-shore, I saw many sorts of
sea-fowls, which I did not understand ; but was surprised, and almost frighted, with two
or three seals, which, while I was gazing at, not well knowing what they were, got into
the sea, and escaped me for that time.
Nov. 6.-After my morning walk, I went to work with my table again, and finished
it, though not to my liking ; nor was it long before I learned to mend it.
VNov. 7.-Now it began to be settled fair weather. The 7th, 8th, 9th, ioth, and part
of the 12th (for the i ith was Sunday according to my reckoning), I took wholly up to
make me a chair, and with much ado brought it to a tolerable shape, but never to
please me; and even in the making I pulled it to pieces several times.
Note.-I soon neglected keeping Sundays ; for, omitting my mark for them on my
post, I forgot which was which.
Nov. 13.-This day it rained, which refreshed me exceedingly, and cooled the
earth ; but it was accompanied with terrible thunder and lightning, which frighted me
dreadfully for fear of my powder. As soon as it was over, I resolved to separate
my stock of powder into as many little parcels as possible, that it might not be
Nov. 14, 15, 16.-These three days I spent in making little square chests, or boxes,
which might hold about a pound, or two pounds at most, of powder ; and so, putting
the powder in, I stowed it in places as secure and remote from one another as possible.
On one of these three days I killed a large bird that was good to eat, but I knew not
what to call it.
Nov. 17.-This day I began to
dig behind my tent into the rock,
to make room for my further con-
.\,-,.- Three things I \%:int:-d
e:xce: din._l, for this work. .i a
I I I,
i Till. 1 1 I *,, t [ 1 . i. , I ;
Ela-.:il the, ,:,ill the ir..n tre, l'o-r it[
-e.ced'n hir.dne -of th- ', .h
grtair labo,:jr, and Abiio:,t p:'Oilii'l.
n,, t\ev. I cut a pice,. and n.r..u._hr
it homn., rith ddi.:ulty eno,.u-hI, f.-.r
it v.a,; e..ccediri he-,.). The ci :e.s-
s5'.e hardnsci.. the v.ood, and ha\-
ir,.. no other v.jai, nad,': me a Ion'
while upon thiv machine, I'-'r I
worked it einectually by little and
^- ][. ic k. *' e, a
ihoIl, and a
or Ibs:et so
from ni i, -. rk,
and be-.Ian to con-
sid r I...w to su pply
that iant, and
make me soine
tool As for the
pick-:x.e, I madc ue: o' the
ir.n cro( i: ih-iich %tiir pro-
per enLu ..h, thouL'h l':a\ g;
but the next thing \:a, a
shovel, or sip.jde: tlis v.as
soab.:lutel,, ne'-cssar\ that
indeed I could jdor: nothing
effeo.tuallv a iI.ut I .L t
,h:it kind t:' one to ri,.ke
I knew not.
A.-:.. iS.-Tie rlc.t Jay,
in icrdc iiLn the v.... .ds, I
Iounll :i trI .c :,'f than u :: ,
or like it, ii..,h i, the
MY DIARY CONTINUED. 53
little into the form of a shovel or spade; the handle exactly shaped like ours in
England, only that the board part having no iron shod upon it at bottom, it
would not last me so long; however, it served well enough for the uses which
I had occasion to put it to; but never was a shovel, I believe, made after that
fashion, or so long making.
I was still deficient, for I wanted a basket, or a wheelbarrow. A basket I could
not make by any means, having
no such things as twigs that would
bend to make wicker-ware-at
least, none yet found out; and
as to the wheelbarrow, I fancied
I could make all but the wheel;
but that I had no notion of;
neither did I know how to go
about it; besides, I had no pos- f
sible way to make iron gudgeons
for the spindle or axis of the
wheel to run in; so I gave it .
over, and so, for carrying away e .
the earth which I dug out of the
cave, I made me a thing like a
hod, which the labourers carry L
mortar in when they serve the .
bricklayers. This was not so dif- ,
ficult to me as the making the
shovel ; and yet this and the A KIND OF WILD PIGEONS" (l 55).
shovel, and the attempt which I
made in vain to make a wheel-
barrow, took me up no less than four days, I mean always excepting my morning's
walk with my gun, which I seldom failed, and very seldom failed also of bringing
home something fit to eat.
Nov. 23.-My other work having stood still, because of my making these tools,
when they were finished I went on, and working every day, as my strength and time
allowed, I spent eighteen days entirely in widening and deepening my cave, that it
might hold my goods commodiously.
INote.-During all this time I worked to make this room, or cave, spacious enough
to accommodate me as a warehouse or magazine, a kitchen, a dining-room, and a cellar.
As for a lodging, I kept to the tent; except that sometimes, in the wet season of
the year, it rained so hard that I could not keep myself dry, which caused me
afterwards to cover all my place within my pale with long poles, in the form of
rafters, leaning against "the rock, and load them with flags and large leaves of trees,
like a thatch.
December io.-I began now to think my cave or vault finished, when on a sudden
(it seems I had made it too large) a great quantity of earth fell down from the top and
one side ; so much that, in short, it frighted me, and not without reason, too ; for if I
had been under it, I had never wanted a grave-digger. Upon this disaster I had a
great deal of work to do over again, for I had the loose earth to carry out; and, which
was of more importance, I had the ceiling to prop up, so that I might be sure no more
would come down.
Dec. i i.-This day I went to work with it accordingly, and got two shores or posts
pitched upright to the top, with two pieces of board across over each post; this I
finished the next day, and setting more posts up with boards, in about a week more
I had the roof secured ; and the posts, standing in rows, served me for partitions to
part off my house.
Dec. 17.-From this day to the 20oth I placed shelves, and knocked up nails on the
posts, to hang everything up that could be hung up ; and now I began to be in some
order within doors.
Dec. 20.-Now I carried everything into the cave, and began to furnish my house,
and set up some pieces of board like a dresser, to order my victuals upon; but board
began to be very scarce with me : also I made me another table.
Dec. 24.-Much rain all night and all day ; no stirring out.
Dec. 25.-Rain all day.
Dec. 26.-No rain, and the earth much cooler than before, and pleasanter.
Dec. 27.-Killed a young goat, and lamed another so that I catched it, and led it
home in a string ; when I had it at home, I bound and splintered up its leg, which was
N/VB.-I took such care of it that it lived, and the leg grew well and as strong as
ever; but by nursing it so long it grew tame, and fed upon the little green at my door,
and would not go away. This was the first time that I entertained a thought of
breeding up some tame creatures, that I might have food when my powder and shot
were all spent.
Dec. 28, 29, 30, 31.-Great heats, and no breeze, so that there was no stirring
abroad, except in the evening, for food; this time I spent in putting all my things in
order within doors.
January i.-Very hot still : but I went abroad early and late with my gun, and
lay still in the middle of the day. This evening, going farther into the valleys
which lay towards the centre of the island, I found there was plenty of goats, though
exceedingly shy, and hard to come at; however, I resolved to try if I could not
bring my dog to hunt them down.
Jan. 2.-Accordingly, the next day I went out with my dog, and set him upon the
goats; but I was mistaken, for they all faced about upon the dog, and he knew his
danger too well, for he would not come near them.
Jan. 3.-I began my fence, or wall; which, being still jealous of my being attacked
by somebody, I resolved to make very thick and strong.
NB.-This wall being described before, I purposely omit what was said in the
Journal; it is sufficient to observe that I was no less time than from the 3rd of January
to the 14th of April working, finishing, and perfecting this wall, though it was no more
than about twenty-four yards in length, being a half-circle, from one place in the rock
to another place, about eight yards from it, the door of the cave being in the centre
All this time I worked very hard, the rains hindering me many days, nay, some-
times weeks together; but I thought I should never be perfectly secure till this wall
was finished ; and it is scarce credible what inexpressible labour everything was done
with, especially the bringing piles out of the woods, and driving them into the ground;
for I made them much bigger than I needed to have done.
When this wall was finished, and the outside double-fenced, with a turf wall raised
up close to it, I persuaded myself that if any people were to come on shore there, they
would not perceive anything like a habitation; and it was very well I did so, as may
be observed hereafter, upon a very remarkable occasion.
During this time I made rounds in the woods for game every day, when the rain
permitted me, and made frequent discoveries in these walks of something or other to
my advantage; particularly I found a kind of wild pigeons, which build, not as wood-
pigeons in a tree, but rather as house-pigeons, in the holes of the rocks; and taking
some young ones, I endeavoured to breed them up tame, and did so; but when they
. grew older they flew all away, which perhaps was at first for want of feeding them, for
I had nothing to give them ; however, I frequently found their nests, and got their
young ones, which were very good meat.
And now, in the managing my household affairs, I found myself wanting in many
things, which I thought at first it was impossible for me to make; as, indeed, as to
some of them it was : for instance, I could never make a cask to be hooped. I had a
small runlet or two, as I observed before; but I could never arrive to the capacity of
making one by them, though I spent many weeks about it; I could neither put in
the heads, nor join the staves so true to one another as to make them hold water ; so
I gave that also over.
In the next place, I was at a great loss for candles ; so that as soon as it was dark,
which was generally by seven o'clock, I was obliged to go to bed. I remembered the
lump of bees'-wax with which I made candles in my African adventure; but I had none
of that now; the only remedy I had was, that when I had killed a goat I saved the
tallow, and with a little dish made of clay, which I baked in the sun, to which I added
a wick of some oakum, I made me a lamp; and this gave me light, though not a clear
steady light like a candle. In the middle of all my labours it happened that, rummaging
my things, I found a little bag which, as I hinted before, had been filled with corn for
the feeding of poultry-not for this voyage, but before, as I suppose, when the ship
came from Lisbon. What little remainder of corn had been in the bag was all
devoured by the rats, and I saw nothing in the bag but husks and dust; and being
willing to have the bag for some other use (I think it was to put powder in, when I
divided it for fear of the lightning, or some such use), I shook the husks of corn out
of it on one side of my fortification, under the rock.
It was a little before the great rains just now mentioned that I threw this stuff
away, taking no notice of anything, and not so much as remembering that I had thrown
anything there, when, about a month after, or thereabouts, I saw some few stalks of
something green shooting upon the ground, which I fancied might be some plant I
had not seen; but I was surprised and perfectly astonished when, after a little longer
time, I saw about ten or twelve ears come out, which were perfectly green barley, of the
same kind as our European-nay, as our English barley.
It is impossible to express the astonishment and confusion of my thoughts on this
occasion ; I had hitherto acted upon no religious foundation at all; indeed, I had very
few notions of religion in my head, nor had entertained any sense of anything that had
befallen me, otherwise than as a chance, or, as we lightly say, what pleases God, without
so much as inquiring into the end of Providence in these things, or His order in
governing events in the world. But after I saw barley
grow there in a climate which I knew was not proper
for corn, and especially that I knew not how it came
there, it startled me strangely, and I began to suggest
thi:a G.d h.jd rI.Ir.,aul.I..diy caused this grain to grow
without aiy iheip of seed sown, and that it
so directed purely for my sustenance in
tl t ,- i,., ii-er.ble place.
I Ih: Iu- Ih 1, my heart a little, and brought
.ter- ,urt inf i, eyes, and I began to bless my-
,Il that -uich a prodigy of Nature should
hal-per u., ,-,j ,iy account; and this was the
more strange to me
because I saiv near
it still, all along by
the side of the rock,
f -some other straggling
I stalks, which proved
'. to be stalks of rice,
\: "' and which I knew,
because I had seen
Sit grow in Africa when
SI was ashore there.
I not only thought
these the pure pro-
.ductions of Provid-
, ence for my support,
but not doubting but
that there was more
in the place, I went
-. all over that part of
_-. 1 the island where I
Y \ had been before, peer-
ing in every corner
S and under every rock,
I WAS SURPRISED AND PERFECTLY ASTONISHED." to see for more of it,
AN UNEXPECTED CROP.
but I could not find any. At last it occurred to my thoughts that I had shaken
the bag of chickens' meat out in that place; and the wonder began to cease;
and I must confess, my religious thankfulness to God's providence began to abate
too, upon the discovering that all this was nothing but what was common : though I
ought to have been as thankful
for so strange and unforeseen
providence as if it had been
miraculous; for it was really
the work of Providence as to .
me, that should order or appoint
that ten or twelve grains of corn
should remain unspoiled, when I 8
the rats had destroyed all the
rest, as if it had been dropped
from heaven; as also that I
should throw it out into that
particular place, where, it being
in the shade of a high rock, it
sprang up immediately; whereas,
if I had thrown it anywhere else
at that time, it had been burnt
up and destroyed.
I carefully saved the ears of
this corn, you may be sure, in
their season, which was about
the end of June; and laying up
every corn, I resolved to sow
them all again, hoping in time_
to have some quantity, sufficient ". .
to supply me with bread. But -
it was not till the fourth year that
I would allow myself the least
grain of this corn to eat, and
even then but sparingly, as I
shall say afterwards, in its order ; GRIND)ING MY TOOLS (p. 60).
for I lost all that I sowed the first
season, by not observing the
proper time ; for I sowed it just before the dry season, so that it never came up at
all, at least not as it would have done : of which in its place.
Besides this barley, there were, as above, twenty or thirty stalks of rice, which I
preserved with the same care, and whose use was of the same kind, or to the same
purpose, viz., to make me bread, or rather food ; for I found ways to cook it up
without baking, though I did that also after some time.
But to return to my Journal:-
58 RoBNvsoN CRUsoE.
I worked excessive hard these three or four months, to get my wall done ; and the
14th of April I closed it up, contriving to go into it, not by a door, but over a wall,
by a ladder, that there might be no sign on the outside of my habitation.
April 16.-I finished the ladder; so I went up the ladder to the top, and then
pulled it up after me, and let it down on the inside : this was a complete enclosure to
me; for within I had room enough, and nothing could come at me from without,
unless it could first mount my wall.
The very next 'day after this wall was finished, I had almost had all my labour
overthrown at once, and myself killed. The case was thus :-As I was busy in the
inside of it, behind my tent, just in the entrance into my cave, I was terribly frightened
with a most dreadful surprising thing indeed : for, all on a sudden, I found the earth
came tumbling down from the roof of my cave, and from the edge of the hill over my
head, and two of the posts I had set up in the cave cracked in a frightful manner I
was heartily scared ; but thought nothing of what really was the cause, only thinking
that the top of my cave was falling in, as some of it had done before : and for fear I
should be buried in it, I ran forwards to my ladder, and not thinking myself safe there
neither, I got over my wall for fear of the pieces of the hill, which I expected might
roll down upon me. I was no sooner stepped down upon the firm ground, than I
plainly saw it was a terrible earthquake; for the ground I stood on shook three times
at about eight minutes' distance, with three such shocks as would have overturned the
strongest building that could be.supposed to have stood upon the earth; and a great
piece of the top of the rock which stood about half a mile from me, next the sea, fell
down with such a terrible noise as I never heard in all my life. I perceived also the
very sea was put into a violent motion by it; and I believe the shocks were stronger
under the water than on the island.
I was so amazed with the thing itself, having never felt the like, or discoursed with
anyone that had, that I was like one dead or stupefied; and the motion of the earth
made my stomach sick like one that was tossed at sea; but the noise of the falling
of the rock awaked me as it were, and rousing me from the stupefied condition I was
in, filled me with horror, and I thought of nothing then but the hill falling upon my
tent and all my household goods, and burying all at once ; and this sunk my very soul
within me a second time.
After the third shock was over, and I felt no more for some time, I began to take
courage; and yet I had not heart enough to get over my wall again, for fear of being
buried alive, but still sat upon the ground, greatly cast down and disconsolate, not
knowing what to do. All this while, I had not the least serious religious thought;
nothing but the common "Lord, have mercy upon me!" and when it was over, that
went away too.
While I sat thus, I found the air overcast, and it grew cloudy, as if it would rain;
soon after that, the wind arose by little and little, so that in less than half an hour it
blew a most dreadful hurricane of wind : the sea was, all on a sudden, covered with
foam and froth; the shore was covered with the breach of the water; the trees were
torn up by the roots ; and a terrible storm it was. This held about three hours, and
then began to abate ; and then in two hours more it was calm, and began to rain very
EARTHQ(,UAKE ANrD STORM.
hard. All this while I sat upon the ground very much terrified and dejected ; when
on a sudden it came into my thoughts, that these winds and rain being the consequences
of the earthquake, the earthquake itself was spent and over, and I might venture into
my cave again. With this thought, my spirits began to revive ; and the rain also
helping to persuade me, I went in and sat down in my tent; but the rain was so
violent that my tent was ready to be beaten down with it; and I was forced to go into
my cave, though very much afraid and uneasy, for fear it should fall on my head.
This violent rain forced me to a new work, viz., to cut a hole through my new
fortifications, like a sink, to let the water go out, which would else have drowned my
cave. After I had been in my cave some time, and found still no more shocks of the
earthquake follow, I began to be more composed. And now to support my spirits,
which indeed wanted it very much, I went to my little store, and took a small sup of
rum; which, however, I did then and always very sparingly, knowing I could have no
more when that was gone. It continued raining all that night, and great part of the
next day, so that I could not stir abroad; but my mind being more composed, I began
to think of what I had best to do ; concluding that if the island was subject to these
earthquakes, there would be no living for me in a cave, but I must consider of building
me some little hut in an open place which I might surround with a wall, as I had done
here, and so make myself secure from wild beasts or men ; for I concluded if I stayed
where I was, I should certainly, one time or other, be buried alive.
With these thoughts, I resolved to move my tent from the place where it now
stood, which was just under the hanging precipice of the hill; and which, if it should
be shaken again, would certainly fall upon my tent : and I spent the two next days,
being the 19th and 20th of April, in contriving where and how to remove my
habitation. The fear of being swallowed up alive made me that I never slept in
quiet; and yet the apprehensions of lying abroad without any fence were almost equal
to it; but still, when I looked about, and saw how everything was put in order, how
pleasantly concealed I was, and how safe from danger, it made me loth to remove.
In the meantime, it occurred to me that it would require a vast deal of time for me to
do this, and that I must be contented to run the venture where I was, till I had
formed a camp for myself, and had secured it so as to remove to it. So with this
resolution I composed myself for a time, and resolved that I would go to work with all
speed to build me a wall with piles and cables, &c., in a circle, as before, and set my
tent up in it, when it was finished; but that I would venture to stay where I was till it
was finished, and fit to remove to. This was the 21ist.
April 22.-The next morning I began to consider of means to put this resolve in
execution ; but I was at a great loss about my tools. I had three large axes, and
abundance of hatchets (for we carried the hatchets for traffic with the Indians) ; but
with much chopping and cutting knotty hard wood, they were all full of notches, and
dull; and though I had a grindstone, I could not turn it and grind my tools too.
This cost me as much thought as a statesman would have bestowed upon a grand
point of politics, or a judge upon the life and death of a man. At length, I contrived
a wheel with a string, to turn it with my foot, that I might have both my hands at
not seen any such
thing in England,
or at least not to
take notice how it
was done, though
.. v. since I have ob-
"' served it was very
besides that, my
.very large and
machine cost me
a full week's work
to bring it to
S;-April 28, 2 9.--
These two whole
.I 1 ,:.,-,k up in grinding my
Stool iY ':,-chine for turning my
S.:r ,e i : reforming very well.
.4.' r': 3.:.-Having perceived
i 'n, read hlfd been low a great
tIoc, I ii:,. took a survey of it,
Sin redud myself to one biscuit-
b:ake a da,, which made my heart
i./' i.-In the morning, look-
,, rd, the sea-side, the tide
_, .... I saw something lie on
: -hcre bigger than ordinary,
S.n, it looked like a cask; when
o-- w I w.-ane t. it, I found a small
I ,rr 1I, and two or three pieces of
-r I. %. r k -, the ship, which were
*dricni on -hore by the late hurri-
..,e"- and looking towards the
wreck itself, I thought it seemed
to lie higher out of the water than
"I CAUGHT A YOUNG DOLPH-IN" (62). it used to do. I examined the
barrel which was driven on shore,
and soon found it was a barrel of gunpowder; but it had taken water, and the
powder was caked as hard as a stone : however, I rolled it farther on shore for the
A VISIT TO THE WRECcK.
present, and went on upon the sands, as
near as I could to the wreck of the ship,
> Sto look for more.
When I came down to the ship I found
,t 3it strangely removed. The forecastle, which
S / lay before buried in sand, was heaved up
S\' \ at least six feet, and the stern, which was
broken to pieces and parted from the rest
by the force of the sea soon after I had
.. left rummaging of her, was tossed, as it
lpt were, up, and cast on one side; and the
/.r .sand was thrown so high on that side next
the stern, that whereas there was a great
place of water before, so that I could not
come within a quarter of a mile of the
wreck without swimming, I could now
walk quite up to her when the tide was
out. I was surprised with this at first, but
soon concluded it must be
done by the earthquake; and
as by this violence the ship
was more broken
open than formerly,
so many things
came daily on
shore, which the
sea had loosened, +
and which the -
winds and water
rolled by degrees
to the land. "A LARGE TORTOISE, OR TURTLE (/. (3).
This wholly di-
verted my thoughts
from the design of removing my habitation, and I busied myself mightily, that day
especially, in searching whether I could make any way into the ship; but I found
nothing was to be expected of that kind, for that all the inside of the ship was
choked up with sand. However, as I had learned not to despair of anything, I
resolved to pull everything to pieces that I could of the ship, concluding that
everything I could get from her would be of some use or other to me.
May 3.-I began with my saw, and cut a piece of a beam through, which I thought
held some of the upper part or quarter-deck together, and when I had cut it through,
I cleared away the sand as well as I could from the side which lay highest; but the
tide coming in, I was obliged to give over for that time.
May 4.-I went a-fishing, but caught not one fish that I durst eat of, till I was
weary of my sport; when, just going to leave off, I caught a young dolphin. I had
made me a long line of some rope-yarn, but I had no hooks ; yet I frequently caught
fish enough, as much as I cared to eat; all which I dried in the sun, and ate
May 5.-Worked on the wreck; cut another beam asunder, and brought three
great fir planks off from the decks, which I tied together, and made swim on shore
when the tide of flood came on.
Mlay 6.-Worked on the wreck; got several iron bolts out of her, and other pieces
of iron-work ; worked very hard, and came home very much tired, and had thoughts
of giving it over.
May 7.-Went to the wreck again, with an intent not to work, but found the weight
of the wreck had broken itself down, the beams being cut; that several pieces of the
ship seemed to lie loose, and the inside of the hold lay so open that I could see into
it ; but it was almost full of water and sand.
May 8.-Went to the wreck, and carried an iron crow to wrench up the deck, which
lay now quite clear of the water or sand. I wrenched open two planks, and brought
them on shore also with the tide. I left the iron crow in the wreck for. next day.
May 9.-Went to the wreck, and with the crow made way into the body of the
wreck, and felt several casks, and loosened them with the crow, but could not break
them up. I felt also a roll of English lead, and could stir it, but it was too heavy to
May Io, II, 12, 13, 14.-Went every day to the wreck;.and got a great deal of
pieces of timber, and boards, or planks, and two or three hundredweight of iron.
.Mafy 15.-I carried two hatchets, to try if I could not cut a piece off the roll of
lead, by placing the edge of one hatchet, and driving it with the other; but as it lay
about a foot and a half in the water, I could not make any blow to drive the hatchet.
May 16.-It had blown hard in the night, and the wreck appeared more broken by
the force of the water; but I stayed so long in the woods, to get pigeons for food, that
the tide prevented me going to the wreck that day.
May 17.-I saw some pieces of the wreck blown on shore, at a great distance, near
two miles off me, but resolved to see what they were, and found they were pieces of
the head, but too heavy for me to bring away.
May 24.-Every day, to this day, I worked on the wreck; and with hard labour I
loosened some things so much with the crow, that the first flowing tide several casks
floated out, and two of the seamen's chests ; but the wind blowing from the shore,
nothing came to land that day but pieces of timber, and a hogshead, which had some
Brazil pork in it; but the salt water and the sand had spoiled it. I continued this
work every day to the i5th of June, except the time necessary to get food, which I
always appointed, during this part of my employment, to be when the tide was up, that
I might be ready when it was ebbed out ; and by this time I had gotten timber, and
plank, and iron-work enough to have built a good boat, if I had known how; and
also I got, at several times, and in several pieces, near one hundredweight of the
June 16.-Going down to the sea-side, I found a large tortoise, or turtle. This
was the first I had seen, which, it seems, was only my misfortune, not any defect of the
place or the scarcity ; for had I happened to be on the other side of the island, I
might have had hundreds of them every day, as I found afterwards, but perhaps had
paid dear enough for them.
June 17 I spent in cooking the turtle. I found in her threescore eggs; and her
flesh was to me, at that time, the most savoury and pleasant that ever I tasted in my
life, having had no flesh, but of goats and fowls, since I landed in this horrible place.
June 18.-Rained all the day, and I stayed within. I thought, at this time, the
rain felt cold, and I was something chilly, which I knew was not usual in that latitude.
June 19.-Very ill, and shivering, as if the weather had been cold.
June 20.-No rest all night; violent pains in my head, and feverish.
June 2 .-Very ill; frighted almost to death with the apprehensions of my sad
condition-to be sick, and no help : prayed to God, for the first time since the storm
off Hull, but scarce knew what I said or why; my thoughts being all confused.
June 22.-A little better; but under dreadful apprehensions of sickness.
June 23.-Very bad again; cold and shivering, and then a violent headache.
June 24.-Much better.
June 25.-An ague, very violent: the fit held me seven hours ; cold fit, and hot
with faint sweats after it.
June 26.-Better; and having no victuals to eat, took my gun, but found myself
very weak; however, I killed a she-goat, and with much difficulty got it home, and
broiled some of it, and ate. I would fain have stewed it, and made some broth, but
had no pot.
June 27.-The ague again so violent that I lay a-bed all day and neither ate nor
drank. I was ready to perish for thirst; but so weak I had no strength to stand up,
or to get myself any water to drink. Prayed to God again, but was light-headed; and
when I was not, I was so ignorant that I knew not what to say; only I lay and cried,
"Lord, look upon me Lord, pity me Lord, have mercy upon me I suppose I did
nothing else for two or three hours; till the fit wearing off, I fell asleep, and did not
awake till far in the night. When I awoke, I found myself much refreshed, but weak,
and exceeding thirsty ; however, as I had no water in my whole habitation, I was
forced to lie till morning, and went to sleep again. In this second sleep, I had this
terrible dream : I thought that I was sitting on the ground, on the outside of my wall,
where I sat when the storm blew after the earthquake, and that I saw a man descend
from a great black cloud, in a bright flame of fire, and light upon the ground : he was
all over as bright as a flame, so that I could but just bear to look towards him : his
countenance was most inexpressibly dreadful, impossible for words to describe; when
he stepped upon the ground with his feet, I thought the earth trembled, just as it had
done before in the earthquake, and all the air looked, to my apprehension, as if it had
been filled with flashes of fire. He was no sooner landed upon the earth but he
moved forwards towards me, with a long spear or weapon in his hand, to kill me; and
when he came to a rising ground, at some distance, he spoke to me-or I heard a
voice so terrible that it is impossible to express the terror of it. All that I can say I
understood was this :-" Seeing all these things have not brought thee to repentance,
now thou shalt die ;" at which words, I thought he lifted up the spear that was in his
hand to kill me.
No one that shall ever read this account will expect that I should be able to
describe the horrors of my soul at this terrible vision. I mean that even while it was
a dream, I even dreamed of those horrors. Nor is it any more possible to describe
the impression that remained upon my mind when I awaked, and found it was but
I had, alas no divine knowledge. What I had received by the good instruction
of my father was then worn out by an uninterrupted series, for eight years, of seafaring
wickedness, and a constant conversation with none but such as were, like myself,
wicked and profane to the last degree. I do not remember that I had, in all that time,
one thought that so much as tended either to looking upwards towards God, or inwards
towards a reflection upon my own ways; but a certain stupidity of soul, without desire
of good, or conscience of evil, had entirely overwhelmed me; and I was all that the
most hardened, unthinking, wicked creature among our common sailors can be
supposed to be-not having the least sense, either of the fear of God in dangers, or
of thankfulness to God in deliverances.
In the relating what is already past of my story, this will be the more easily believed
when I shall add, that through all the variety of miseries that had to this day befallen
me, I never had so much as one thought of its being the hand of God, or that it was
a just punishment for my sins-my rebellious behaviour against my father-or my
present sins, which were great-or so much as a punishment for the general course of
my wicked life. When I was on the desperate expedition on the desert shores of
Africa, I never had so much as one thought of what would become of me, or one
wish to God to direct me whither I should go, or to keep me from the danger which
apparently surrounded me, as well from voracious creatures as cruel savages ; but I
was merely thoughtless of God or a Providence-I acted like a mere brute, from the
principles of nature, and by the dictates of common sense only, and indeed hardly
that. When I was delivered and taken up at sea by the Portugal captain, well used,
and dealt justly and honourably with, as well as charitably, I had not the least thank-
fulness in my thoughts. When, again, I was shipwrecked, ruined, and in danger of
drowning on this island, I was as far from remorse, or looking on it as a judgment. I
only said to myself often that I was an unfortunate dog, and born to be always
It is true, when I got on shore first here, and found all my ship's crew drowned,
and.myself spared, I was surprised with a kind of ecstacy, and some transports of soul,
"I DESCENDED A LITTLE ON THE SIDE OF THAT DELICIOUS VALLEY."
(See P. 73 )
A s. k -, --, -- % .,
4s s .s S ls . ",
_- _. "-.s._"g _- :
THOUGHTS' IN SICKNESS.
which, had the grace of God assisted, might have come up to true thankfulness ; but
it ended where it began, in a mere common flight of joy, or, as I may say, being glad
I was alive, without the least reflection upon the distinguishing goodness of the Hand
which had preserved me, and had
singled me out to be preserved
when all the rest were destroyed,
or an inquiry hy Providence ha,.i
been thus mnerciful to ine. EU:r
ROILED IT ON THE COALS" (p. 67).
just the same common sort of joy which seamen generally have, after they have got safe
ashore from a shipwreck, all which they drown in the next bowl of punch, and forget
almost as soon as it is over, and all the rest of my life was like it. Even when I was
afterwards, on due consideration, made sensible of my condition, how I was cast on this
dreadful place, out of the reach of humankind, out of all hope of relief, or prospect of
redemption, as soon as I saw a probability of living, and that I should not starve and
perish for hunger, all the sense of my affliction wore off; and I began to be very easy,
applied myself to the works proper for my preservation and supply, and was far enough
from being afflicted at my condition, as a judgment from Heaven, or as the hand of
God against me : these were thoughts which very seldom entered into my head.
The growing up of the corn, as is hinted in my Journal, had, at first, some little
influence upon me, and began to affect me with seriousness, as long as I thought it
had something miraculous in it; but as soon as ever that part of the thought was
removed, all the impression which was raised from it wore off also, as I have noted
already. Even the earthquake, though nothing could be more terrible in its nature,
or more immediately directing to the invisible Power which alone directs such things,
yet no sooner was the first fright over but the impression it had made went off also.
I had no more sense of God, or His judgments-much less of the present affliction
of my circumstances being from His hand-than if I had been in the most prosperous
condition of life. But now, when I began to be sick, and a leisurely view of the
miseries of death came to place itself before me; when my spirits began to sink under
the burden of a strong distemper, and nature was exhausted with the violence of the
fever, conscience, that had slept so long, began to awake, and I began to reproach
myself with my past life, in which I had so evidently, by uncommon wickedness,
provoked the justice of God to lay me under uncommon strokes, and to deal with
me in so vindictive a manner. These reflections oppressed me from the second or
third day of my distemper; and in the violence, as well of the fever as of the
dreadful reproaches of my conscience, extorted some words from me like praying to,
God, though I cannot say they were either a prayer attended with desires or with
hopes : it was rather the voice of mere fright and distress. My thoughts were confused,
the convictions great upon my mind, and the horror of dying in such a miserable
condition raised vapours into my head with the mere apprehensions; and in these
hurries of my soul, I knew not what my tongue might express. But it was rather
exclamation, such as, Lord, what a miserable creature am I! If I should be sick, I
shall certainly die for want of help, and what will become of me ?" Then, the tears
burst out of my eyes, and I could say no more for a good while. In this interval, the
good advice of my father came to my mind, and presently his prediction, which I
mentioned at the beginning of this story, viz., that if I did take this foolish step, God
would not bless me, and I would have leisure hereafter to reflect upon having neglected
his counsel, when there might be none to assist me in my recovery. "Now," said I
aloud, my dear father's words are come to pass; God's justice has overtaken me, and
I have none to help or hear me. I rejected the voice of Providence, which had
mercifully put me in a posture or station of life wherein I might have been happy and
easy; but I would neither see it myself, nor learn to know the blessing of it from my
parents. I left them to mourn over my folly; and now I am left to mourn under the
consequences of it. I refused their help and assistance, who would have lifted me into
the world, and would have made everything easy to me ; and now I have difficulties to
struggle with too great for even nature itself to support, and no assistance, no help,
no comfort, no advice." Then I cried out, Lord, be my help, for I am in great
distress." This was the first prayer, if I might call it so, that I had made for many
years. But I return to my Journal:-
June. 28.-Having been somewhat refreshed with the sleep I had had, and the fit
being entirely off, I got up; and though the fright and terror of my dream was very
great, yet I considered that the fit of the ague would return again the next day, and
I REFLECT ON MY INGRATITUDE.
now was my time to get something to refresh and support myself when I should be ill:
and the first thing I did, I filled a large square case-bottle with water, and set it upon
my table, in reach of my bed; and to take off the chill or aguish disposition of the
water, I put about a quarter of a pint of rum into it, and mixed them together. Then
I got me a piece of the goat's flesh, and broiled it on the coals, but could eat very
little. I walked about, but was very weak, and withal very sad and heavy-hearted in
the sense of my miserable condition, dreading the return of my distemper the next day.
At night, I made my supper of three of the turtle's eggs, which I roasted in the ashes,
and ate, as we call it, in the shell, and this was the first bit of meat I had ever asked
God's blessing to, even, as I could remember, in my whole life.
After I had eaten, I tried to walk, but found myself so weak that I could hardly
carry the gun, for I never went out without that; so I went out but a little way, and
sat down upon the ground, looking out upon the sea, which was just before me, and
very calm and smooth. As I sat here, some thoughts such as these occurred to me :-
" What is the earth and sea, of which I have seen so much ? Whence is it produced ?
And what am I, and all the other creatures, wild and tame, human and brutal?
Whence are we ? Sure we are all made by some secret Power, who formed the earth
and sea, the air and sky. And who is that ?" Then it followed most naturally- "It is
God that has made it all. Well, but then," it came on strongly, "if God has made all
these things, He guides and governs them all, and all things that concern them ; for
the Being that could make all things must certainly have power to guide and direct
them. If so, nothing can happen, in the great circuit of His works, either without His
knowledge or appointment.
And if nothing happens without His knowledge, He knows that I am here, and am
in this dreadful condition ; and if nothing happens without His appointment, He has
appointed all this to befall me." Nothing occurred to my thoughts to contradict any
of these conclusions, and therefore it rested upon me with the greater force, that it
must needs be that God had appointed all this to befall me; that I was brought to
this miserable circumstance by His direction, He having the sole power, not of me only,
but of everything that happened in the world. Immediately it followed-" Why has
God done this to me ? What have I done to be thus used ?" My conscience presently
checked me in that inquiry, as if I had blasphemed, and methought it spoke to me
like a voice, "Wretch, dost thou ask what thou hast done ? Look back upon a
dreadful misspent life, and ask thyself, what thou hast not done ? Ask, why is it that
thou wert not long ago destroyed? Why wert thou not drowned in Yarmouth
Roads? killed in the fight, when the ship was taken by the Sallee man-of-war?
devoured by the wild beasts off the coast of Africa ? or drowned here, when all the
crew perished but thyself? Dost thou ask, 'What have I done ?'" I was struck dumb
with these reflections, as one astonished, and had not a word to say-no, not to
answer to myself-but rose up pensive and sad, walked back to my retreat, and went
up over my wall, as if I had been going to bed; but my thoughts were sadly disturbed,
and I had no inclination to sleep; so I sat down in my chair, and lighted my lamp,
for it began to be dark. Now, as the apprehensions of the return of my distemper
terrified me very much, it occurred to my thought that the Brazilians take no physic
ROBINSON CR USOE.
but their tobacco for almost all distempers, and I had a piece of a roll of tobacco in
one of the chests, which was quite cured, and some also that was green, and not quite
I went, directed by Heaven, no doubt; for in this chest I found a cure both for
soul and body. I opened the chest, and found what I looked for, viz., the tobacco;
and as the few books I had saved lay there too, I took out one of the Bibles which I
mentioned. before, and which to this time I had not found leisure, or so much as
inclination, to look into. I say I took it out, and brought both that and the tobacco
with me to the table. What use to make of the tobacco I knew not, as to my
distemper, or whether it was good for it or no; but I tried several experiments with
it, as if I was resolved it should heal one way or other. I first took a piece of leaf,
and chewed it in my mouth, which indeed, at first, almost stupefied my brain, the
tobacco being green and strong, and that I had not been much used to it. Then I
took some and steeped it an hour or two in some rum, and resolved to take a dose of
it when I lay down; and, lastly, I burnt some upon a pan of coals, and held my nose
close over the smoke of it as long as I could bear it, as well for the heat as the virtue of
it, and I held it almost to suffocation. In the interval of this operation, I took up the
Bible, and began to read ; but my head ,was too much disturbed with the tobacco to
bear reading, at least at that time : only having opened the book casually, the words
first that occurred to me were these, Call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will
deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me." These words were very apt to my case, and
made some impression upon my thoughts at the time of reading them, though not so
much as they did afterwards ; for, as for being delivered, the word had no sound, as I
may say, to me : the thing was so remote, so impossible in my apprehension of things,
that I began to say, as the children of Israel did when they were promised flesh to
eat, Can God spread a table in the wilderness ?" so I began to say, Can God
Himself deliver me from this place ?" And as it was not for many years that any
hopes appeared, this prevailed very often upon my thoughts ; but, however, the words
made a great impression upon me, and I mused upon them very often. It grew now
late, and the tobacco had, as I said, dozed my head so much that I inclined to sleep :
so I left my lamp burning in the cave, lest I should want anything in the night, and
went to bed. But before I lay down, I did what I never had done in all my life: I
kneeled down, and prayed to God to fulfil the promise to me, that if I called upon
Him in the day of trouble, He would deliver me. After my broken and imperfect
prayer was over, I drank the rum in which I had steeped the tobacco, which was so
strong and rank of .the tobacco, that indeed I could scarcely get it down; immediately
upon this I went to bed ; and I found presently it flew up into my head violently;
but I fell into a sound sleep, and waked no more till, by the sun, it must necessarily
be near three o'clock in the afternoon the next day ; nay, to this hour I am partly of
opinion that I slept all the next day and night, and till almost three the day after; for
otherwise, I know not how I should lose a day out of my reckoning in the days of the
week, as it appeared some years after I had done; for if I had lost it by crossing and
re-crossing the line, I should have lost more than one day ; but in my account it was
lost, and I never knew which way. Be that, however, one way or other, when I
awaked I found myself exceedingly refreshed, and my spirits lively and cheerful; when
I got up I was stronger than I was the day before, and my stomach better, for I was
hungry; and, in short, I had no fit the next day, but continued much altered for the
better. This was the 29th.
The 3oth was my well ft
day, of course, and I went -
abroad with my gun, but "!
did not care to travel too
far. I killed a sea-fowl or
two, something like a brand ,
goose, and brought them ''" -
home; but was not very .. ..
forward to eat them; so I ate .
some more of the turtle's f Il/"
eggs, which were very good. X
This evening I renewed the
medicine, which I had sup-
posed did me good the day
before, viz., the tobacco
steeped in rum; only I did W
not take so much as before,
nor did I chew any of the
leaf, or hold my head over
the smoke; however, I was
not so well the next day,
which was the Ist of July, .,
as I hoped I should have
been; for I had a little .,,
spice of the cold fit, but ,
it was not much.
July 2.-I renewed the i., Al
medicine all the three ways; .,
and dosed myself with it as .,
at first, and doubled the l
quantity which I drank., .
July 3.--1 missed the fit
for good and all, though I
did not recover my full IWENT UP THE CREEK FIRST" (fr. 7).
strength for some weeks
after. While I was thus gathering strength, my thoughts ran exceedingly upon
this Scripture, "I will deliver thee ;" and the impossibility of my deliverance lay
much upon my mind, in bar of my ever expecting it; but as I was discouraging
myself with such thoughts, it occurred to my mind that I pored so much upon my
deliverance from the main affliction, that I disregarded the deliverance I had
received, and I was, as it were, made to ask myself such questions as these, viz.,
" Have I not been delivered, and wonderfully too, from sickness ? from the most
distressed condition that could be, and that was so frightful to me? and what notice
had I taken of it ? Had I done my part? God had delivered me, but I had not
glorified Him; that is to say, I had not owned and been thankful for that as a
deliverance; and how could I expect greater deliverance?" This touched my heart
very much; and immediately I kneeled down, and gave God thanks aloud for my
recovery from my sickness.
July 4.-In the morning, I took the Bible; and beginning at the New Testament,
I began seriously to read it, and imposed upon myself to read awhile every morning
and every night ; not tying myself to the number of chapters, but as long as my
thoughts should engage me. It was not long after I set seriously to this work, till I
found my heart more deeply and sincerely affected with the wickedness of my past life.
The impression of my dream revived; and the words, "All these things have not
brought thee to repentance," ran seriously in my thoughts. I was earnestly begging
of God to give me repentance, when it happened providentially the very day that,
reading the Scripture, I came to these words : He is exalted a Prince and a Saviour,
to give repentance and to give remission." I threw down the book ; and with my heart
as well as my hands lifted up to heaven, in a kind of ecstacy of joy, I cried out aloud,
"Jesus, Thou Son of David! Jesus, Thou exalted Prince and Saviour! give me
repentance !" This was the first time I could say, in the true sense of the words,
that I prayed in all my life; for now I prayed with a sense of my condition, and with a
true Scripture view of hope, founded on the encouragement of the Word of God; and
from this time, I may say, I began to have hope that God would hear me.
Now I began to construe the words mentioned above, "Call on Me, and I will
deliver thee," in a different sense from what I had ever done before; for then I had no
notion of anything being called deliverance but my being delivered from the captivity
I was in; for though I was indeed at large in the place, yet the island was certainly
a prison to me, and that in the worst sense in the world. But now I learned to take
it in another sense; now I looked back upon my past life with such horror, and my
sins appeared so dreadful, that my soul sought nothing of God but deliverance from
the load of guilt that bore down all my comfort. As for my solitary life, it was
nothing; I did not so much as pray to be delivered from it, or think of it; it was all of
no consideration, in comparison of this. And I added this part here, to hint to
whoever shall read it, that whenever they come to a true sense of things, they will find
deliverance from sin a much greater blessing than deliverance from affliction.
But, leaving this part, I return to my Journal:-
My condition began now to be, though not less miserable as to my way of living,
yet much easier to my mind: and my thoughts being directed, by a constant reading
the Scripture and praying to God, to things of a higher nature, I had a great deal of
comfort within, which, till now, I knew nothing of; also, my health and strength
returned, I bestirred myself to furnish myself with everything that I wanted, and make
my way of living as regular as I could.
From the 4th of July to the 14th, I was chiefly employed in walking about with
THE FERTILE SIDE OF THE ISLAND.
my gun in my hand, a little and a little at a time, as a man that was gathering up his
strength after a fit of sickness : for it is hardly to be imagined how low I was, and to
what weakness I was reduced. The application which I made'use of was perfectly
new, and perhaps what had never cured an ague before; neither can I recommend it
to anyone to practise, by this experiment; and though it did carry off the fit, yet
it rather contributed to weaken me-; for I had frequent convulsions in my nerves and
limbs for some time; I learned from it also this, in particular, that being abroad in the
rainy season was the most pernicious thing to my health that could be, especially in
those rains which came attended with storms and hurricanes of wind ; for as the rain
which came in a dry season was always most accompanied with such storms, so I
found this rain was much more dangerous than the rain which fell in September and
I had now been in this unhappy island above ten months; all possibility of
deliverance from this condition seemed to be entirely' taken from me; and I firmly
believed that no human shape had ever set foot upon that place. Having now secured
my habitation, as I thought, fully to my mind, I had a great desire to make a more
perfect discovery of the island, and to see what other productions I might find, which
yet I knew nothing of.
It was the 15th of July that I began to take a more particular survey of the
island itself. I went up the creek first, where, as I hinted, I brought my rafts on
shore. I found, after I came about two miles up, that the tide did not flow any
higher; and that it was no more than a little brook of running water, and very fresh
and good : but this being the dry season, there was hardly any water in some parts of
it; at least, not enough to run in any stream, so as it could be perceived. On the banks
of this brook, I found many pleasant savannahs or meadows, plain, smooth, and covered
with grass; and on the rising parts of them, next to the higher grounds, where the
water, as it might be supposed, never overflowed, I found a great deal of tobacco,
green, and growing to a great and very strong stalk; there were divers other plants,
which I had no notion of or understanding about, and might, perhaps, have virtues of
their own, which I could not find out. I searched for the cassava root, which the
Indians in all that climate make their bread of, but I could find none. I saw large
plants of aloes, but did not then understand them. I saw several sugar-canes, but
wild and, for want of cultivation, imperfect. I contented myself with these discoveries
for this time, and came back, musing with myself what course I might take to know
the virtue and goodness of any of the fruits of plants which I should discover; but
could bring it to no conclusion : for, in short, I had made so little observation while I
was in the Brazils, that I knew little of the plants of the field; at least, very little that
might serve me to any purpose now in my distress.
The next day, the i6th, I went up the same way again ; and after going something
further than I had gone the day before, I found the brook and savannahs cease, and
the country became more woody than before. In this part I found different fruits, and
particularly I found melons upon the ground, in great abundance, and grapes upon
the trees : the vines had spread indeed over the trees, and the clusters of grapes were
just now in their prime, very ripe and rich. This was a surprising discovery, and I
ROBINSON CR USOE.
was exceeding glad of them ; but I was warned by my experience to eat sparingly of
them, remembering that, when I was ashore in Barbary, the eating of grapes killed
several of our Englishmen, who were slaves there, by throwing them into fluxes and
fevers. But I found an excellent use for these grapes: and that was, to cure or dry
I SOVWED MY GRAIN" (.A 75).
them in the sun, and keep them as dried grapes or raisins are kept, which I thought
would be, as indeed they were, as wholesome amd as agreeable to eat, when no grapes
might be had.
I spent all that evening there, and went not back to my habitation, which, by the
way, was the first night, as I might say, I had lain from home. In the night, I took
my first contrivance, and got up into a tree, where I slept well; and the next morning
proceeded upon my discovery, travelling nearly four miles, as I might judge by the
length of the valley, keeping still due north, with a ridge of hills on the south and
FRESH DIsco VEFRIES.
north side of me. At the end of this march I came to an opening, where the
country seemed to descend to the west; and a little spring of fresh water, which
issued out of the side of the hill by me, ran the other way, that is, due east; and
the country appeared so fresh, so green, so flourishing, everything being in a constant
verdure, or flourish of spring, that it looked like a planted garden. I descended a
little on the side of that delicious valley,, surveying it with a secret kind of pleasure,
though mixed with other afflicting thoughts, to think that this was all my own; that
I was king and lord of all this country indefeasibly, and had a right of possession;
and, if I could convey it, I might have it in inheritance as completely as any lord of
a manor in England. I saw here abundance of cocoa-trees, orange and lemon, and
citron-trees; but all wild, and few bearing any fruit, at least not then. However, the
green limes that I gathered were not only pleasant to eat, but very wholesome ; and I
mixed their juice afterwards with water, which made it very wholesome, and very cool
and refreshing. I found now I had business enough to gather and carry home; and
I resolved to lay up a store, as well of grapes as limes and lemons, to furnish
myself for the wet season, which I knew was approaching. In order to do this, I
gathered a great heap of grapes in one place, a lesser heap in another place, and a
great parcel of limes and lemons in another place; and taking a few of each with me,
I travelled homeward, and resolved to come again, and bring a bag or sack, or what
I could make to carry the rest home. Accordingly, having spent three days in this
journey, I came home (so I must now call my tent and my cave); but before I got
thither, the grapes were spoiled; the richness of the fruit, and the weight of the juice,
having broken them and bruised them, they were good for little or nothing : as to the
limes, they were good, but I could bring but a few.
The next day, being the 19th, I went back, having made me two small bags to
bring home my harvest; but I was surprised when, coming to my heap of grapes,
which, were so rich and fine when I gathered them, I found them all spread abroad,
trodden to pieces, and dragged about, some here, some there, and abundance eaten
and devoured. By this I concluded there were some wild creatures thereabouts, which
had done this; but what they were I knew not. However, as I found there was no
laying them up on heaps, and no carrying them away in a sack, but that one way they
would be destroyed, and the other way they would be crushed with their own weight,
I took another course; for I gathered a large quantity of the grapes, and hung them
upon the out branches of the trees, that they might cure and dry in the sun; and as
for the limes and lemons, I carried as many back as I could well stand under.
When I came -home from this journey, I contemplated with great pleasure the
fruitfulness of that valley, and the pleasantness of the situation; the security from
storm on that side of the water, and the wood; and concluded that I had pitched
upon a place to fix my abode which was by far the worst part of the country. Upon
the whole, I began to consider of removing my habitation, and to look out for a
place equally safe as where now I was situate, if possible, in that pleasant, fruitful
part of the island.
This thought ran long in my head, and I was exceeding fond of it for some time,
the pleasantness of the place tempting me; but when I came to a nearer view of it, I
considered that I was now by the sea-side, where it was at least possible that some-
thing might happen to my advantage; and that the same ill fate that brought me
hither, might bring some other unhappy wretches to the same place; and though it
was scarce probable that any such thing should ever happen, yet to enclose myself
among the hills and woods in the centre of the island was to anticipate my bondage,
and to render such an affair ndt only improbable, but impossible ; and that therefore I
ought not by any means to remove. However, I was so enamoured with this place
that I spent much of my time there for the whole remaining part of the month of July;
and though, upon second thoughts, I resolved as above not to remove, yet I built me
a little kind of a bower, and surrounded it at a distance with a strong fence, being a
double hedge, as high as I could reach, well staked, and filled between with brush-
wood; and here I lay very secure, sometimes two or three nights together, always
going over it with a ladder as before ; so that I fancied now I had my country house
and my sea-coast house ; and this work took me up to the beginning of August.
I had but newly finished my fence, and began to enjoy my labour, but the rains
came on, and made me stick close to my first habitation; for though I had made me
a tent like the other, with a piece of a sail, and spread it very well, yet I had not the
shelter of a hill to keep me from storms, nor a cave behind me to retreat into when
the rains were extraordinary.
About the beginning of August, as I said, I had finished my bower, and began to
enjoy myself. The 3rd of August, I found the grapes I had hung up were perfectly
dried, and indeed were excellent good raisins of the sun; so I began to take them
down from the trees, and it was very happy that I did so, for the rains which followed
would have spoiled them, and I had lost the best part of my winter food; for I had
above two hundred large bunches of them. No sooner had I taken them all down,
and carried most of them home to my cave, but it began to rain; and from hence,
which was the 14th of August, it rained more or less every day till the middle of
October, and sometimes so violently that I could not stir out of my cave for several
In this season I was much surprised with the increase of my family; I had been
concerned for the loss of one of my cats, who ran away from me, or, as I thought, had
been dead, and I heard no more tidings of her till, to my astonishment, she came
home about the end of August, with three kittens. This was the more strange to me
because, though I had killed a wild cat, as I called it, with my gun, yet I thought it
was a quite different kind from our European cats; but the young cats were the same
kind of house-breed as the old one ; and both my cats being females, I thought'it very
strange. But from these three cats I afterwards came to be so pestered with cats, that
I was forced to kill them like vermin, or wild beasts, and to drive them from my house
as much as possible.
From the i4th of August to the 26th, incessant rain, so that I could not stir, and
was now very careful not to be much wet. In this confinement, I began to be
straitened for food : but venturing out twice, I one day killed a goat; and the last
day, which was the 26th, found a very large tortoise, which was a treat to me, and my
food was regulated thus :-I ate a bunch of raisins for my breakfast; a piece of the
THE ANNIVERSARY OF MY SHIPWRECK.
goat's flesh, or of the turtle, for my dinner, broiled (for, to my great misfortune, I had
no vessel to boil or stew anything), and two or three of the turtle's eggs for supper.
During this confinement in my cover by the rain, I worked daily two or three
hours at enlarging my cave, and by degrees worked it on towards one side, till I came
to the outside of the hill, and made a door or way out, which came beyond my fence
or wall; and so I came in and out this way. But I was not perfectly easy at lying so
open ; for, as I had managed myself before, I was in a perfect enclosure ; whereas now,
I thought, I lay exposed, and yet I could not perceive that there was any living thing
to fear; the biggest creature that I had yet seen upon the island being a goat.
Sept. 30.-I was now come to the unhappy anniversary of my landing. I cast up
the notches on my post, and found I had been on shore three hundred and sixty-five
days. I kept this day as a solemn fast, setting it apart for religious exercise, prostrating
myself on the ground with the most serious humiliation, confessing my sins to God,
acknowledging His righteous judgment upon me, and praying to Him to have mercy
on me through Jesus Christ; and having not tasted the least refreshment for twelve
hours, even till the going down of the sun, I then ate a biscuit-cake and a bunch of
grapes, and went to bed, finishing the day as I began it. I had all this time observed
no Sabbath-day, for as at first I had no sense of religion upon my mind, I had, after
some time, omitted to distinguish the weeks by making a longer notch than ordinary
for the Sabbath-day, and so did not really know what any of the days were; but now,'
having cast up the days as above, I found I had been there a year; so I divided
it into weeks, and set apart every seventh day for a Sabbath; though I found at the
end of my account I had lost a day or two in my reckoning. A little after this, my
ink began to fail me, and so I contented myself to use it more sparingly, and to
write down only the most remarkable events of my life, without continuing a daily
memorandum of other things.
The rainy season and the dry season began to now appear regular to me, and I
learned to divide them so as to provide for them accordingly; but I bought all my
experience before I had it, and this I am going to relate was one of the most dis-
couraging experiments that I made at all.
I have mentioned that I had saved the few ears of barley and rice which I had so
surprisingly found spring up, as I thought, of themselves; and I believe there were
about thirty stalks of rice, and about twenty of barley ; and now I thought it a proper
time to sow it, after the rains, the sun being in his southern position, going from me.
Accordingly, I dug up a piece of ground as well as I could with my wooden spade,
and dividing it into two parts, I sowed my grain ; but as I was sowing, it casually
occurred to my thoughts that I would not sow it all at first, because I did not
know when was the proper time for it, so I sowed about two-thirds of the seed,
leaving about a handful of each. It was a great comfort to me afterwards that I did
so, for not one grain of that I sowed this time came to anything ; for the dry months
following, the earth having had no rain after the seed was sown, it had no moisture to
assist its growth, and never came up at all till the wet season had come again, and
then it grew as if it had been newly sown. Finding my first seed did not grow, which
I easily imagined was by the drought, I sought for a moister piece of ground, to
make another trial in, and I dug up a piece of ground near my new bower, and sowed
the rest of my seed in February, a little before the vernal equinox ; and this, having the
rainy months of March and April to water it, sprang up very pleasantly, and yielded a
very good crop; but having part of the seed left only, and not daring to sow all that I
had got, I had but a small quantity at last, my whole crop not amounting to above half
a peck of each kind. But by this experiment I was made master of my business, and
knew exactly when the proper season was to sow, and that I might expect two seed-
times and two harvests every year. While this corn was growing I made a little
discovery, which was of use to me afterwards. As soon as the rains were over, and the
weather began to settle, which was about the month of November, I made a visit up
the country to my bower, where, though I had not been some months, I found all
things just as I left them. The circle or double hedge that I had made was not only
firm and entire, but the stakes which I had cut off of some trees that grew thereabouts
were all shot out and grown with long branches, as much as a willow-tree usually
shoots the first year after lopping its head. I could not tell what tree to call it that
the stakes were cut from. I was surprised, and yet very well pleased, to see the young
trees grow; and I pruned them, and led them up to grow as much alike as I could;
and it is scarcely credible how beautiful a figure they grew into, in three years; so that
though the hedge made a circle of about twenty-five yards in diameter, yet the trees,
for such I might now call them, soon covered it, and it was a complete shade, sufficient
to lodge under all the dry season. This made me resolve to cut some more stakes,
and make me a hedge like this in a semi-circle round my wall (I mean that of my first
dwelling), which I did; and placing the trees or stakes in a double row, at about eight
yards distance from my first fence, they grew presently, and were at first a fine cover
to my habitation, and afterwards served for a defence also, as I shall observe in its
I found now that the seasons of the year might generally be divided, not into
summer and winter, as in Europe, but into the rainy seasons and the dry seasons,
which were generally thus :-
The half of February, the whole of March, and the half of April-rainy, the sun
being then on or near the equinox.
The half of April, the whole of May, June, and July, and the half of August-dry,
the sun being then to the north of the line.
The half of August, the whole of September, and the half of October-rainy, the
sun being then come back.
The half of October, the whole of November, December, and January, and the half
of February-dry, the sun being then to the south of the line.
The rainy seasons sometimes held longer or shorter as the winds happened to
blow, but this was the general observation I made. After I had found, by experience,
the ill consequence of being abroad in the rain, I took care to furnish myself with
provisions beforehand, that I might not be obliged to go out, and I sat within doors
as much as possible during the wet months. In this time I found much employment,
and very suitable also to the time, for I found great occasion of many things which I
had no way to furnish myself with but by hard labour and constant application;
particularly, I tried many ways to make myself a basket, but all the twigs I could get
for the purpose proved so brittle that they would do nothing: It proved of excellent
advantage to me now that when I was a boy I used to take great delight in standing
at a basket-maker's, in the town where my father lived, to see them make their
''I KNOCKED IT DOWN WITH A STICK (p. 79).
wicker-ware; and being, as boys usually are, very officious to help, and a great observer
of the manner how they worked those things, and sometimes lent a hand, I had by this
means so full knowledge of the methods of it, that I wanted nothing but the materials;
when it came into my mind that the twigs of that tree from whence I cut my stakes
that grew might possibly be as tough as the sallows, willows, and osiers in England, and
I resolved to try. Accordingly, the next day I went to my country house, as I called
it, and cutting some of the smaller twigs, I found them to my purpose as much as I
could desire; whereupon I came the next time prepared with a hatchet to cut down
a quantity, which I soon found, for there was a great plenty of them. These I set up
to dry within my circle of hedges, and when they were fit for use, I carried them to my
cave; and here, during the next season, I employed myself in making, as well as I
could, a great many baskets, both to carry earth or to carry or lay up anything, as I
had occasion; and though I did not finish them very handsomely, yet I made them
sufficiently serviceable for my purpose; and thus, afterwards, I took care never to be
without them; and as my wicker-ware decayed, I made more, especially strong, deep
baskets to place my corn in, instead of sacks, when I should come to have any
quantity of it.
Having mastered this difficulty, and employed a world of time about it, I bestirred
myself to see, if possible, how to supply two wants. I had no vessel to hold anything
that was liquid, except two runlets, which were almost full of rum, and some glass
bottles-some of the common size, and others which were case-bottles, square, for the
holding of water, spirits, &c. I had not so much as a pot to boil anything in, except
a great kettle, which I saved out of the ship, and which was too big for such uses as
I desired it for-viz., to make broth, and stew a bit of meat by itself. The second
thing I fain would have had was a tobacco-pipe, but it was impossible for me to make
one; however, I found a contrivance for that, too, at last. I employed myself in
planting my second row of stakes or piles, and in this wicker-work, all the summer or
dry season, when another business took me up more time than it could be imagined I
I mentioned before that I had a great mind to see the whole island, and that I had
travelled up the brook, and so on to where I built my bower, and where I had an
opening quite to the sea on the other side of the island. I now resolved to travel
quite across to the sea-shore on that side; so, taking my gun, a hatchet, and my dog,
and a larger quantity of powder and shot than usual, with two biscuit-cakes and a
great bunch of raisins in my pouch for my store, I began my journey. When I had
passed the vale where my bower stood, as above, I came within view of the sea to
the west, and it being a very clear day, I fairly described land-whether an island or a
continent I could not tell; but it lay very high, extending from the W. to the W.S.W.,
at a very great distance ; by my guess, it could not be less than fifteen or twenty
I could not tell what part of the world this might be, otherwise than that I knew
it must be part of America, and, as I concluded, by all my observations, must be near
the Spanish dominions, and perhaps was all inhabited by savages, where, if I should
have landed, I had been in a worse condition than I was now; and therefore I
acquiesced in the dispositions of Providence, which I began now to own and to believe
ordered everything for the best; I say I quieted my mind with this, and left afflicting
myself with fruitless wishes of being there.
Besides, after some pause upon this affair, I considered that if this land was the
Spanish coast, I should certainly, one time or other, see some vessel pass or
repass one way or other; but if not, then it was the savage coast between the
Spanish country and the Brazils, which were indeed the worst of savages; for
"A TABLE IN THE WILDERNESSS"
they are cannibals, and fail not to murder and devour all the human bodies that
fall into their hands.
With these considerations, I walked very leisurely forward. I found that side of
the island where I now was much pleasanter than mine-the open or savannah fields
sweet, adorned with flowers and grass, and full of very fine woods. I saw abundance
of parrots, and fain would I have caught one, if possible, to have kept it to be tame,
and taught it to speak to me. I did, after some painstaking, catch a young parrot, for
I knocked it down with a stick, and having recovered it, I brought it home; but it
was some years before I could make him speak; however, at last, I taught him to call
me by my name very familiarly. But the accident that followed, though it be a trifle,
will be very diverting in its place.
I was exceedingly diverted with this journey. I found in the low grounds hares
(as I thought them to be) and foxes; but they differed greatly from all the other kinds
I had met with, nor could I satisfy myself to eat them, though I killed several. But
I had no need to be venturous, for I had no want of food, and of that which was very
good, too, especially these three sorts, viz., goats, pigeons, and turtle, or tortoise, which,
added to my grapes, Leadenhall Market could not have furnished a table better than I,
in proportion to the company; and though my case was deplorable enough, yet I had
great cause for thankfulness that I was not driven to any extremities for food, but had
rather plenty, even to dainties.
I never travelled in this journey above two miles outright in a day, or thereabouts;
but I took so many turns and returns to see what discoveries I could make, that I
came weary enough to the place where I resolved to sit down for all night; and then
I either reposed myself in a tree, or surrounded myself with a row of stakes set upright
in the ground, either from one tree to another, or so as no wild creature could come
at me without waking me. As soon as I came to the sea-shore I was surprised to see
that I had taken up my lot on the worst side of the island, for here, indeed, the shore
was covered with innumerable turtles, whereas on the other side I had found but three
in a year and a half. Here was also an infinite number of fowls of many kinds, some
of which I had not seen before, and many of them very good meat, but such as I knew
not the names of, except those called penguins.
I could have shot as many as I pleased, but was very sparing of my powder and
shot, and therefore had more mind to kill a she-goat, if I could, which I could better
feed on; and though there were many goats here, more than on the other side of the
island, yet it was with much more difficulty that I could come near them, the country
being flat and even, and they saw me much sooner than when I was on the hills.
I confess this side of the country was much pleasanter than mine; but yet I had
not the least inclination to remove, for as I was fixed in my habitation it became
natural to me, and I seemed all the while I was here to be as it were upon a journey,
and from home. However, I travelled along the shore of the sea towards the east, I
suppose about twelve miles, and then setting up a great pole upon the shore for a
mark, I concluded I would go home again, and that the next journey I took should
be on the other side of the island east from my dwelling, and so round till I
came to my post again, of which in its place.
I took another way to come back than that I went, thinking I could easily keep
all the island so much in my view, that I could not miss finding my first dwelling by
viewing the country; but I found myself mistaken, for, being come about two or three
miles, I found myself descended
into a very large valley, but so
surrounded with hills, and those
hills covered with wood, that I
-- M... could not see which was my
way by any direction but that
=1 .... of the sun, nor even then unless
S1 I knew very well the position
of the sun at that time of the
day. It happened, to my further
S .misfortune, that the weather
proved hazy for three or four
days while I was in this valley,
mg. and not being able to see the
sun, I wandered about very un-
comfortably, and at last was
obliged to find out the sea-side,
K s,.-k for my post, and come back the
Z d l saine way I went; and then, by easy
.tLuroeys, I turned homeward, the weather
I- cann-ot eexceeding hot, and my gun, anmu-
,n, hatchet, and other things, very
lin this journey my dog surprised a
I1u.',g kid, and seized upon it, and I
running in to take hold of it, caught it,
and saved it alive from the dog. I had
a great mind to bring it home if I could,
"AN INFINITE NUMBER OF FOWLS (P. 79). for I had often been musing whether it
might not be possible to get a kid or two,
and so raise a breed of tame goats, which might supply me when my powder and shot
should be spent. I made a collar to this little creature, and with a string, which I
made of some rope-yarn, which I always carried about me, I led him along, though with
.some difficulty, till I came to my bower, and there I enclosed him and left him, for
I was very impatient to be at home, from whence I had been absent above a month.
I cannot express what a satisfaction it was to me to come into my old hutch, and
lie down in my hammock-bed. This little wandering journey, without settled place of
abode, had been so unpleasant to me that my own house, as I called it to myself, was
a perfect settlement to me, compared to that; and it rendered everything about me so
comfortable, that I resolved I would never go a great way from it again, while it
should be my lot to stay on the island.
THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY.
I reposed myself here a week, to rest and regale myself after my long journey;
during which, most of the time was taken up in the weighty affair of making a cage
for my Poll, who began now to be a mere domestic, and to be mighty well acquainted
with me. Then I began to think of the poor kid which I had pent in within my little
circle, and resolved to go and fetch it home, or give it some food ; accordingly I went,
and found it where I left it, for indeed it could not get out, but was almost starved for
want of food. I went and cut boughs of trees, and branches of such shrubs as I
could find, and threw them over, and having fed it, I tied it as I did before, to lead it
away; but it was so tame with being hungry that I had no need to have tied it, for
it followed me like a dog; and as I continually fed it, the creature became so loving,
so gentle, and so fond, that it became from that time one of my domestics also, and
would never leave me afterwards.
The rainy season of the autumnal equinox was now come, and I kept the 3oth of
September in the same solemn manner as before, being the anniversary of my landing
on the island, having now been there for two years, and no more prospect of being
delivered than the first day I came there. I spent the whole day in humble and
thankful acknowledgments of the many wonderful mercies which my solitary condition
was attended with, and without which it might have been infinitely more miserable.
I gave humble and hearty thanks that God had been pleased to discover to me that
it was possible I might be more happy in this solitary condition than I should have
been in a liberty of society, and in all the pleasures of the world : that He could fully
make up to me the deficiencies of my solitary state, and the want of human society,
by His presence, and the communication of His grace to my soul; supporting,
comforting, and encouraging me to depend upon His providence here, and hope for
His eternal presence hereafter.
It was now that I began sensibly to feel how much more happy the life I now led
was, with all its miserable circumstances, than the wicked,,cursed, abominable life I
led all the past part of my days ; and now having changed both my sorrows and my
joys, my very desires altered, my affections changed their gusts, and my delights were
perfectly new from what they were at first coming, or, indeed, for the two years past.
Before, as I walked about, either on my hunting, or for viewing the country, the
anguish of my soul at my condition would break out upon me on a sudden, and my
very heart would die within me, to think of the woods, the mountains, the deserts I .
was in, and how I was a prisoner, locked up with the eternal bars and bolts of the
ocean, in an uninhabited wilderness, without redemption. In the midst of the greatest
composures of my mind, this would break out upon me like a storm, and make me
wring my hands, and weep like a child : sometimes it would take me in the middle of
my work, and I would immediately sit down and sigh, and look upon the ground for
an hour or two together; and this was still worse to me, for if I could burst out into
tears, or vent myself by words, it would go off, and the grief having exhausted itself
But now I began to exercise myself with new thoughts. I daily read the Word of
God, and applied all the comforts of it to my present state. One morning, being very
sad, I opened the Bible upon these words, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Immediately it occurred that these words were to me; why else should they be
directed in such a manner, just at the moment when I was mourning over my con-
dition, as one forsaken of God and man ? Well, then," said I, "if God does not
forsake me, of what ill consequence can it be, or what matters it, though the world
should all forsake me, seeing, on the other hand, if I had all the world, and should
lose the favour and blessing of God, there would be no comparison in the loss ?"
From this moment I began to conclude in my mind that it was possible for me to
be more happy in this forsaken, solitary condition, than it was probable I should ever
have been in any other particular state in the world ; and with this thought I was
going to give thanks to God for bringing me to this place. I know not what it was,
but something shocked my mind at that thought, and I durst not speak the words.
How canst thou become such a hypocrite," said I, even audibly, to pretend to be
thankful for a condition which, however thou mayest endeavour to be contented with,
thou wouldst rather pray heartily to be delivered from ?" So I stopped there; but
though I could not say I thanked God for being there, yet I sincerely gave thanks to
God for opening my eyes, by whatever afflicting providence, to see the former
condition of my life, and to mourn for my wickedness, and repent. I never opened
the Bible, or shut it, but my very soul within me blessed God for directing my friend
in England, without any order of mine, to pack it up among my goods, and for
assisting me afterwards to save it out of the wreck of the ship.
Thus, and in this disposition of mind, I began my third year; and though I have
not given the reader the trouble of so particular an account of my works this year as
the first, yet in general it may be observed that I was very seldom idle, but having
regularly divided my time according to several daily employment that were before
me, such, as, first, my duty to God, and the reading the Scriptures, which I constantly
set apart some time for, thrice every day; secondly, the going abroad with my gun for
food, which generally took up three hours in every morning, when it did not rain;
thirdly, the ordering, curing, preserving, and cooking what I had killed or caught for
my supply : these took up great part of the day; also, it is to lie considered that in
the middle of the day, when the sun was in the zenith, the violence of the heat was too
great to stir out; so that about four hours in the evening was all the time I could be
supposed to work in, with this exception, that sometimes I changed my hours of
hunting and working, and went to work in the morning, and abroad with my gun in
To this short time allowed for labour, I desire may be added the exceeding
laboriousness of my work; the many hours which for want of tools, want of help, and
want of skill, everything I did took up out of my time : for example, I was full two-
and-forty days in making a board for a long shelf, which I wanted in my cave;
whereas two sawyers, with their tools and a saw-pit, would have cut six of them out
of the same tree in half a day.
My case was this: it was to be a large tree which was to be cut down, because my
board was to be a broad one. This tree I was three days a-cutting down, and two
more cutting off the boughs, and reducing it to a log, or piece of timber. With
inexpressible hacking and hewing, I reduced both the sides of it into chips till it