Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Chapter I
 Chapter II
 Chapter III
 Chapter IV
 Chapter V
 Chapter VI
 Chapter VII
 Chapter VIII
 Chapter IX
 Chapter X
 Chapter XI
 Chapter XII
 Back Cover

Group Title: Seul!
Title: The solitary of Juan Fernandez, or, The real Robinson Crusoe
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00001811/00001
 Material Information
Title: The solitary of Juan Fernandez, or, The real Robinson Crusoe
Uniform Title: Seul!
Alternate Title: Solitary
Real Robinson Crusoe
Physical Description: 141 p. : ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Xavier, 1798-1865
Wood, Anne Toppan (Wilbur), 1817-1864 ( tr )
Ticknor, Reed, and Fields ( Publisher )
Publisher: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: 1851
Subject: Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Explorers -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Slave trade -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Description and travel -- Juvenile literature -- South America   ( lcsh )
Biographies -- 1851   ( rbgenr )
Robinsonades -- 1851   ( rbgenr )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1851   ( rbbin )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1851   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1851
Genre: Biographies   ( rbgenr )
Robinsonades   ( rbgenr )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
individual biography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Statement of Responsibility: by the author of Picciola ; translated from the French by Anne T. Wilbur.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements: <4> p. at front.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00001811
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002236973
oclc - 00604304
notis - ALH7452
lccn - 08003731
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Advertising 1
        Advertising 2
        Advertising 3
        Advertising 4
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Chapter I
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Chapter II
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Chapter III
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    Chapter IV
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    Chapter V
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Chapter VI
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    Chapter VII
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
    Chapter VIII
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    Chapter IX
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
    Chapter X
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    Chapter XI
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
    Chapter XII
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
    Back Cover
        Back Cover
Full Text


COmLZTEv Pos1Tca.L I
the six Volum e.tmee t ,
tdeo rlket. 14twoVekndh Nowt.



latOnI pUMAhO p-4br
Tm W I. A CollctioW of Pom

THlRNTRAY. A sweete Pos i m

O -Ma. Ailgimae Beyond te
weia l, 1m., prieesJ-
vKAsXAio. A Tale. Lately pubuied. I
loe,9 rie 75 eaten.


Twi.*ToLo TAALss A New Edion. Inh ti
looe, with Portndit, pri"e US.
TuI Bca er Lmri, A RBc. .I J .q...
lmo, price 75 eatM.,
T ta Houre oF THB 8It*m GaUs. In mo
Ie,pi pIr.eo 8.*.
Tam STrouss iraoBM Hntro A BtooQ i t'
Mw volam, 18ao, wit*h See EbiWi(f e -hI e ,es.





oa8TMoDr s SBtouias. In one vol.

JOMMAL. In one volume, 16mo,
aim n pper.
OTHaIR Pors. In one volume,

I8mo. New Edition, ao.

M Or OILLUICONs. In one vol.


S ew Editi enlarged, with Portrait In
10 price ts1.e
ass. A medley. In one volume, 16mo,

m. In one volume, 16mo, price 75 center.


SDa PA~roDIs. In one volume, 16mo, price 75 cents.
I1aAncAPAL EssAYs. In one volume, 16mo, price
7 Ints.
c LAN'cA sous ESSAYS. In one volume, 16mo, price
75 oqpta.
Ia CAsAts. In one yolhue, 16mo, price 75 cents.

" GaQ1rKr OD LAvxuS. A Collection of Stories and
Lttern. In one volamn, 1amo. Now Editioa, pripe $1.96.
Pomm. In one volume, 16mo, with fine Portrait.
Prie 75e ts.
Isr"wr or Mr Pars. A Book for Children. With
sfe Egarvins. Pror W eato.

EDWIN P. WilPt X ),W
EsSAYS AND Runiwae. A N*Wn 1 Ii
AIntw. ve whs, l6.o, Ps --.
LacTruRa oN SBoN SUBS sCOntNCt
AM ArLA I 4 M0 vol0mo, lao, prihe 3
16mo, prie 90 ea. ts.

LEcrTURs, EsaYs, AND MlsC3*4, 5i W
Two volumes, 16ao, pries I1.&0
CHnamIrsa Tnnoover ow LnnM. In Twilve
In oe volume, 16to, prile 75 eeata.

tEalrpd. In of volame, 1., ples W sa7M.
PosTauxoVS PoRMS. In one volmne, 16U
emnts. .
Imeo, psi ...

ditio.S. Ib two vo1ae, lare, prile s .,
THE BmwIOw PAPERS. In one vol. 16mo, 50 sens.

WarIMa. With I2 Portrait. Ia on Me ol ,Imao, prie 75 oeat.
In one volume, 16m, price 50 eean.
Woaxa. In two volames, 16mo, prie t.00.L
SMALL Poumb. tied Edition. In oe volume, 16"s 1 0 0.
YnAsu. In one volume, 16mo, price 7 *sots.

UnetEIed by

tk&UBT. Tftmiawd -by lvwJt. Ih

C O"'rioins ANDbCu.

JALaR Tz DAeaus Amm DtimEs
MF.- I IP a gos vimas, lip. pile 95 aseam

101m io A YouNG

k A0L Ai 104 M. Ao,

A ROL 4 P11 P=06vT b w o ,VIs

.A O S;o :n or Gocwih va Ovun.~
ft"Me. As am VAM101 pin &aD

b 11 ol
1 -6,z
iw A Iffidt?
&JS.- O E
vi, 4FROR.M No lp"up"W
w tmm O TMOL

1L MAWO *Mum% was% pW6














Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.




The Royal Salmon.--Pretty Kitty.--Captain Stradling.-
William Dampier. -Reveries and Caprices of Miss Cathe.
rine. ....... ..... ..... 1-10


Alexander Selkirk. The College. First Love. Eight
Years of Absence.- Maritime Combats. Return and De-
parture. The Swordfish. . 11-21


The Tour of the World. -The Way to manufacture Negroes.
California. The Eldorado. Revolt of Selkirk. The
Log-Book. Degradation. A Free Shore. ... 22-34


Inspection of the Country. Marimonda. A City seen
through the Fog. The Sea every where.-Dialogue with
a Toucan.- The first Shot.-Declaration of War. -Ven-
geance. -A Terrestrial Paradise. ..... 35-47



Labors of the Colonist.- His Study. Fishing. Adminis-
tration. Selkirk Island.- The New Prometheus. What
is wanting to Happiness. Encounter with Marimonda. -
Monologue. . . .... 48-56


The Hammock.- Poison.- Success.- A Calm under the
Tropics. Invasion of the Island. War and Plunder. -
The Oasis. The Spy-Glass. Reconciliation. 57-66


A Tfte-a-tAte. -The Monkey's Goblet. -The Palace. -A Re-
moval. -Winter under the Tropics -Plans for the Future.
-Property. A burst of Laughter. -Misfortune not far
off. . . . . 67-77


A New Invasion. Selkirk joyfully meets an ancient Ene-
my. Combat on a Red Cedar. A Mother and her Little
Ones. The Flock. F6te in the Island; Pacific Combats,
Diversions and Swings. A Sail. The Burning Wood. -
Presentiments of Marimonda. . 78-92


The Precipice.--A Dungeon in a Desert Island.- Resigna-
tion. The passing Bird. The browsing Goat. The
bending Tree. Attempts at Deliverance.-- Success.--
Death of Marimonda. . . .. 93-103





Discouragement. A Discovery. A Retrospective Glane. -
Project of Suicide. The Last Shot. The Sea Serpent. -
The Porro. -A Message.- Another Solitary. 104-110


The Island of San Ambrosio. -Selkirk at last knows what
Friendship is.- The Raft.- Visits to the Tomb of Mari.
monda. The Departure. The two Islands. Shipwreck.
The Port of Safety. . .. 111-119


The Island of Juan Fernandez.- Encou ~~he Moun-
tains. Discussion. A New Captivity.' ..CTannon-shot.
Dampier and Selkirk. Mas a Fara. News of Strad-
ling. Confidences. End of the History of the real Rob-
inson Crusoe. Nebuchadnezzar. .. 120-135

CoNCLusIN. ....... ..136-141





The Royal Salmon.--Pretty Kitty. Captain Stradling.--
William Dampier. Reveries and Caprices of Miss Cathe.

ABOUT the commencement of the last century, the
little town of St. Andrew, the capital of the county of
Fife, in Scotland, celebrated then for its University,
was not less so for its Inn, the Royal Salmon, which,
built in 1681 -by a certain Andrew Felton, had de-
scended as an inheritance to his only daughter, Cathe-
This young lady, known throughout the neighbor-
hood under the name of pretty Kitty, had contributed
not a little, by her persoril charms, to the success
and popularity of the inn. In her early youth, she
had been a lively and piquant brunette, with black,
gl ssy hair, combed over a smooth and prominent
forehead, and dark, brilliant eyes, a style of beauty
much in vogue at that period. Though tall and slen-


der in stature, she was, as our ancestors would have
said, sufficiently en bon point. In fine, Kitty merited
her surname, and more than one laird in the neighbor-
hood, more than one great nobleman even, thanks
to the familiarity which reigned among the different
classes in Scotland, -had figured occasionally among
her customers, caring as little what people might say
as did the brave Duke of Argyle, whom Walter Scott
has shown as conversing familiarly with his snuff
At present Catherine Felton is in her second youth.
By a process common enough, but which at first ap-
pears contradictory, her attractions have diminished
as they developed; her waist has grown thicker, the
roses on her cheek assumed a deeper vermilion, her
voice has acquired the rough and hoarse tone of her
most faithful customers; the slender young girl is
transformed into a virago. Fortunately for her, at the
commencement of the eighteenth century, and espe-
cially in Scotland, reputations did not vanish as readily
as in our days. Notwithstanding her increasing size
and coarser voice, Catherine still remained pretty
Kitty, especially in the eyes of those to whom she
gave the largest credit.
Besides, if from year to year her beauty waned, a
circumstance which might tend to diminish the attrac-
tions of her establishment, like a prudent woman she
took care that her stock of ale and usquebaugh should
also from year to year improve in quality, to preserve
the equilibrium.
Undoubtedly the visits of lairds and great noblemen
at her bar were less frequent than formerly, but all


the trades-people in town, all the sailors in port, from
the Gulf of Tay to the Gulf of Forth, still patronized
the pretty landlady.
Meanwhile Catherine was not yet married. The
gossips of the town were surprised, because she was
rich and suitors Iwere plenty; they fluttered around
her constantly in great numbers, especially when
somewhat exhilarated with wine. When their gal-
lantry became obtrusive, Kitty was careful not to
grow angry; she would smile, and lift up her white
hand, tolerably heavy, till the offenders came to order.
Catherine possessed in the highest degree the art of
restraining without discouraging them, and always so
as to forward the interests of her establishment.
To maintain the discipline of the tavern, neverthe-
less, the presence of a man was desirable; she under-
stood this. Besides, the condition of an old maid did
not seem to her at all inviting, and she did not care to
wait the epoch of a third youth, before making a
choice. But what would the unsuccessful candidates
say ? Would not this decision be at the risk of kind-
ling a civil war, of provoking perhaps a general deser-
tion ? Then, too, accustomed as she was to command,
the idea of giving herself a master alarmed her.
She was vacillating amid all these perplexities,
when a certain sailor, with cold and reserved man-
ners, whose face bore the mark of a deep sabre cut,
and who had for some time past, frequented her inn
with great assiduity, without ever having addressed to
her a single word, took her aside one fine morning
and said:
'Listen to me, Kate, and do not reply hastily. I


came here, not like many others, attracted by your
beautiful eyes, but because I wished to obtain recruits
for an approaching voyage which I expected to under-
take at my own risk and peril. I do not know how it
has happened, but I now think less about sailing; I
seem to be stumbling over roots. Right or wrong, I
imagine that a good little wife, who will fill my glass
while I am tranquilly smoking my pipe before a
blazing fire, may have as many charms as the best
brig in which one may sometimes perish with hun-
ger and thirst. Right or wrong, I imagine to myself
again that the prattle of two or three little monkeys
around me, may be as agreeable as the sound of the
wind howling through the masts, or of Spanish balls
whistling about one's ears. All this, Kate, signifies
that I mean to marry; and who do you suppose has
put this pretty whim into my head ? who, but your-
self ? '
Catherine uttered an exclamation of surprise, per-
fectly sincere, for if she had expected a declaration,
it was certainly not from this quarter.
Do not reply to me yet,' hastily resumed the sailor;
'he who pronounces his decree before he has heard
the pleader and maturely reflected on the case, is a
poor judge. To continue then. You are no longer a
child, Kate, and I am no longer a young man; you
are approaching thirty -'
At these words the pretty Kitty made a gesture of
surprise and of denial.
Do not reply to me l' repeated the pitiless sailor.
'You are thirty I I have already passed another barrier,
but not long since. We are of suitable age for each


other. The man should always have traversed the
road before his companion. You are active and gen-
teel; that does very well for women. You have
always been an honest girl, that is better still. As for
me, my skin is not so white as yours, but' it is the
fault of a tropic sun. It is possible that I may be a
little disfigured by the scar on my cheek; but of this
scar I am proud; I had the honor of receiving it,
while boarding a vessel, from the hand of the cele-
brated Jean Bart, who, after having on that occasion
lost a fine opportunity of being honorably killed, has
just suffered himself to die of a stupid pleurisy; but it
is not of him but of myself that we are now to speak.
After having fought with Jean Bart, I have made a
voyage with our itless celebrated William Dampier,
whom I may dai" call my friend. You may therefore
understand, Kate, that if you have the reputation of an
honest girl, I have that of a good sailor. The name
of Captain Stradling is favorably known upon two
oceans, and it will be to your credit, if ever, with your
arm linked in mine, we walk as man and wife,
through any port of England or Scotland. I have
said. Now, look, reflect; if my proposition suits you,
I will settle for life on terra firma, and bid adieu to
the sea; if not, I resume my projected expedition, and
it will be to you, Kate, that I shall say adieu.'
Catherine opened her mouth to thank him, as was
suitable, for his good intentions.
Do not reply to me interrupted he again; 'in
three days I will come to receive your decision.'
And he went out, leaving her amazed at having
listened to so long a speech from one, who until then,


seated motionless in a distant corner of the room, had
always appeared to her the most rigid and silent of
That very day Catherine has come to a decision
concerning the captain; she thinks him ugly and
disagreeable, coarse and ignorant; he has dared to
tell her that she is thirty years old, and she will
hardly be so at St. Valentine's Day, which is six
weeks ahead, at least. Besides the scar which he
has received from the celebrated Jean Bart, his coun-
tenance has no beauty to boast of: his face is long
and pale, his temples are furrowed with wrinkles, and
his lips thick and heavy; his eyebrows, at the top of
his forehead, seem to be lost in his hair; his eyes are
not mates, his nose is one-sided; his form is perhaps
still worse; he walks after the fashion of a duck.
Fie! can such a man be a suitable match for the rich
landlady of the Royal Salmon, for the beautiful Kitty;
for her who, among so many admirers and lovers, has
had but the difficulty of a choice ?
The next day towards nightfall, Catherine, seated
in her bar, in the large leather arm-chair which served
as her throne, with dreamy and downcast brow, and
chin resting on her hand, was still thinking of Captain
Stradling, but her ideas had assumed a different aspect
from those of the evening before.
She was saying to herself: 'If he has thick and
heavy lips, it is because he is an Englishman; if he
walks like a duck, it is because he is a sailor; if he
has taken me to be thirty years old, that proves
simply that he is a good physiognomist, and I shall
have one painful avowal the less to make after mar-


riage. As for his scar, he has a thousand reasons to
be proud of it, and, upon close examination, it is not
unbecoming. It would be very difficult for me to
choose a husband, on account of the discontented
suitors who will be left in the lurch; but I will relin-
quish my business, and that will put an end to all
inconvenience. He is rich, so much for the profit;
he is a captain, so much for the honor. Come, come,
Mistress Stradling will have no reason to complain!'
At this moment, Catherine Felton could meditate
quite at her ease, without fear of being noticed; for
the tobacco smoke, three times as dense and abundant
as usual, enveloped her in an almost opaque cloud.
There was this evening a grand fete at the tavern of
the Royal Salmon. The concourse of customers was
immense, and this time, it was neither the beauty of
the hostess, nor the quality of the liquors which had
attracted them thither.
The serving-men and lasses were going from table
to table, multiplying themselves to pour out, not only
the golden waves of strong beer and usquebaugh, but
the purple waves of claret and port; all faces were
smiling, all eyes sparkling, and in the midst of the
huzzas and vivas, was heard, with triple applause,
the name of William Dampier.
This celebrated man, now a corsair, now a skilful
seaman, who had just discovered so many unknown
straits and shores, who had just made the tour of the
world twice, in an age when the tour of the world did
not pass, as at present, for a trifling matter; who had
published, upon his return, a narrative full of novel
facts and observations; this pitiless and intelligent


pirate, who studied the coasts of Peru while he pil-
laged the cities along its shores, and meditated, in the
midst of tempests, his learned theory of winds and
tides, William Dampier, had landed, this very day at
the little pbrt of St. Andrew.
At the intelligence of his arrival, the whole mari-
time population of the coast was in commotion; the
society of the Old Pilots, with that of the Sea Dogs,
had sent to him deputations, headed by the principal
ship-owners in the town. Captain Stradling had not
failed to be among them, happy at the opportunity of
once more meeting and embracing his former friend.
Speeches were made, as if to welcome an admiral,
speeches in which were passed in review all his noble
qualities and the great services rendered by him to the
marine interest. To these Dampier replied with sim-
plicity and conciseness, saying to the orators:
Gentlemen and dear comrades, you must be hoarse,
let us drink!'
This first trait of eccentricity could not fail to enlist
universal applause.
Commissioned by him to lead the column, Stradling
could not do otherwise than to take the road to the
Royal Salmon. It was on this occasion that he ap-
peared there before the expiration of the three days:
but he had not addressed a word to Catherine, scarcely
turned his eyes towards her. Nevertheless the cir-
cumstances were favorable to his suit.
Then a millionaire, William Dampier had imme-
diately declared his intentions to treat at his own
expense the whole company and even the whole town,
if the town would do him the honor to drink with him.


Catherine at once took him into favor. When she
heard him praise his friend and companion, the brave
Captain Stradling, she felt for the hitter, not an emo-
tion of tenderness, but a sentiment of respect and even
of good-will. Dampier, excited by his audience, did
not fail, like other conquerors by land and sea, to
recount some of his great deeds. Among others, he
recapitulated a certain affair in which he and his
friend Stradling had captured a Spanish galleon, laden
with piastres. From this moment the beautiful Kitty
became more thoughtful, and began to see that the
scar was becoming to the face of this good captain.
After drinking, when Dampier, still escorted by his
fidus Achates, came to settle his account with the
hostess, he chucked her familiarly under the chin, as
was his custom with landladies in the four quarters of
the globe. From any one else, the proud Catherine
would not have suffered such a liberty; to this, she
replied only by a graceful reverence, and, while the
hero and paymaster of the fete shook a rouleau of
gold upon her counter, she said, hastily bending too
wards Stradling:
To-morrow accompanying this word with an
expressive look and her most gracious smile.
The enamored Stradling, always impassible, con-
tented himself with replying:
'It is well!'
The day following, the third, the important day, that
which Catherine already regarded as her day of be-
trothal, early in the morning, she dressed herself in
her best attire, not doubting the impatience of the
captain. Before noon, the latter entered the inn and
went directly up to the landlady.


She received him carelessly and coldly; she was
nervous, she had not had time for reflection; she did
not know what the captain wished; if he would let
her alone for the present, by and by she would con-
'Boy! a new pipe and some ale!' exclaimed Strad-
ling, addressing a waiter.
And, perfectly calm in appearance, he sauntered to
his accustomed place at the farther end of the bar-
room. However, before leaving the Royal Salmon,
approaching Catherine, he said:
'Yesterday, by your voice and gesture you said, or
almost said, yes; we sailors know the signals ; to-day
it is no, or almost no. Very well, I will wait; but
reflect, my beauty, we are neither of us young enough
to lose our time in this foolish game.'
But what had thus unexpectedly changed, from
white to black, the good intentions of Catherine in
the captain's behalf? The presence of a young boy
whom she had not seen for many years, and towards
whom she had, until then, felt only a kindly indif.



Alexander Selkirk. The College. First Love. Eight
Years of Absence. Maritime Combats. Return and
Departure. The Swordfish.

ALEXANDER SELKIRK, the name of the principal
personage in this narrative, -was born at Largo, in
the county of Fife, not far from St. Andrew. Entered
as a pupil in the university of the town, he at first
distinguished himself by his aptitude and his intelli-
gence, until the day when, hearing of the beauty of
the landlady of the Royal Salmon, he was seized with
an irresistible desire to see her: he saw her, and
became violently enamored. It was one of those
youthful passions, springing rather from the efferves-
cence of the age, than from the merit of the object;
one of those sudden ebullitions to which the young
recluses of science are sometimes subject, from a
prolonged compression of the natural and affectionate
From this moment, all the words in the Greek and
Latin dictionaries, all the principles of natural phi-
losophy, mathematics and history, suddenly taken by
storm, whirled confusedly and pell-mell in the head of
Selkirk, like the elements of the world in chaos, before
the day of creation.



His professors had predicted that at the annual
exhibition he would obtain six great prizes; he ob-
tained not even a premium.
As a punishment, he was required to remain within
the college grounds during the vacation. But its gates
were not strong enough, nor its walls high enough to
detain him.
Condemned, for the crime of desertion, to a classic
imprisonment, he was shut up in a cellar ; he escaped
through the window; in a garret; he descended by theo
Then, pronounced incorrigible, he was expelled
from the university. b
He left it joyous and happy, escaped from the tutor
commissioned to conduct him to his father, and at last
wholly free, his own master, he took lodgings in a
cabin, not far from the Royal Salmon, and thought
himself monarch of the universe.
As soon as the doors of the inn were opened, he
penetrated there with the earliest fogs of morning,
with the first beams of day; ir the evening he was
the last to cross the threshold, after the extinction of
the lights.
All day long, seated at a little table opposite the
bar, between a pipe and a pewter pot, he watched the
movements of Kitty, and followed her with admiring
Catherine was not slow to perceive this new passion;
but she was accustomed to admiring eyes, and there-
fore paid but little heed to them. She was then at the
age of twenty-two, in all the glory of her transient
royalty; he, scarcely sixteen, was in her eyes a boy, a


raw and awkward boy, like almost all the other stu-
dents, and she contented herself with now and then
bestowing a slight smile, upon him, in common with
her other customers.
But this mechanical smile, this half extinguished
spark, did but increase the flame, by kindling in the
young man's soul a ray of hope.
At this age, passion has not yet an oral language;
it is in the heart, in the head especially, but not on the
lips; one comprehends, experiences, dreams, writes of
love in prose and verse, but does not talk of it. Selkirk
had twenty times attempted to confess his affection to
Catherine; he had as yet succeeded only in a few
simple and hasty meteorological sentences, on the rain
and fine weather. He therefore wrote.
Unfortunately, Catherine could not easily read writ-
ing; she applied to him to interpret his letter. This
was a hard task for the poor boy, who, with a trem-
ulous and hesitating voice, saw himself forced to
stammer through all that burning phraseology which
seemed to congeal under the breath of the reader.
The result however was that Catherine became his
friend; she encouraged his confidence, and gave him
good advice as an elder sister might have done. She
even called him by the familiar name of Sandy, which
was a good omen.
Meanwhile his scanty resources became exhausted;
he had no longer means to pay for the pot of ale
which he consumed daily. The idea of asking credit
of his beloved, of opening with her an account, which
he might never have means to pay, was revolting to
him. On the other hand, the thought of returning


home, and asking pardon of his father, was not less
repugnant to his feelings. He was endowed with one
of those haughty and imperious natures which recog-
nize their faults, not to repair them, but to make of
them a starting point, or even a pedestal.
He was rambling about the port, reflecting on his
unfortunate situation, when he heard mention made
of a ship ready to set sail at high tide, and which
needed a reinforcement of cabin-boys and sailors.
This was for him an inspiration; he did not hesitate,
he hastened to engage. That very evening he had
gained the open sea, beyond the Isle of May, and,
with his eyes turned towards the Bay of St. Andrew,
was attempting, in vain, to recognize among the lights
which were yet burning in the city, the fortunate
lantern which decorated the sacred door of the Royal
At present, Alexander Selkirk is twenty-four years
old. He has become a genuine sailor, and he loves
his profession; the sea is now his beautiful Kitty.
Besides, it is long since he has troubled himself about
his heart. It is empty, even of friendship, for, among
his numerous companions, the proud young man has
not found one worthy of him. After having served
two years in the merchant marine, he has entered the
navy. Thanks to the war kindled in Europe for the
Spanish succession, he has for a long time cruised
with the brave Admiral Rooke along the coasts of
France; with him, he has fought against the Danish
in the Baltic Sea, and in 1702, in the capacity of
a master pilot, figured honorably in the expedition
against Cadiz, and in the affair of Vigo. Finally,


under the command of Admiral Dilkes, he has just
taken part in the destruction of a French fleet.
But all these expeditions, rather military than mari-
time, and circumscribed in the narrow circle of the
seas of Europe, have not satisfied the vast desires of
the ambitious sailor. He experiences an invincible
thirst to apply his knowledge, to exercise his intelli.
gence on a larger scale; he is impatient for a long
voyage, a voyage of discovery.
The terrific hurricane of the twenty-seventh of
November, 1703, which drove the waves of the
Thames even into Westminster, Hall, and covered
London almost entirely with the fragments of broken
vessels, appeared to Selkirk a favorable occasion for
asking his dismissal. He easily obtained it So many
sailors had just been thrown out of employment by
the hurricane.
Once more, the undisciplined scholar found himself
free and his own master! He profited' by this to pay
a visit to his birthplace in Scotland. His father was
dead, but he had some business to regulate there.
On reaching Largo he learned the arrival of William
Dampier at St. Andrew. He set sail for that port
Ah said he on his way, if this brave captain
should be about to undertake a voyage to the New
World, and will let me accompany him, no matter in
what capacity, all my wishes will be gratified. I
thirst to see tattooed faces, other trees besides beeches,
oaks and firs; other shores than those of the Baltic,
Mediterranean and Atlantic.' Who knows whether I
may not aid him in the discovery of some new con-



tinent, some unknown island which shall bear my
name '
And, cradled by the wave in the frail canoe that
bore him, he dreamed of government, perhaps of
royalty, in one of those archipelagoes which he ima-
gined to exist in the bosom of the distant Southern
seas, long afterwards explored by Cook, Bougainville
and Vancouver.
Once in port, he hastened to inquire for the dwell-
ing occupied by Dampier. The latter was absent; he
was in the harbor.
While awaiting his return, our young sailor thought
of his old friend Catherine, his pretty black-eyed Kitty,
and directed his steps towards the inn.
He found her already enthroned in her leather
arm-chair, her hair neatly braided, with two small
curls on her temples; in a toilette which the early
hour of the morning did not seem to authorize ; but it
was the famous third day, and she was awaiting Strad-
On seeing Selkirk enter, she exclaimed to the boy,
pointing to the newly-arrived: 'A pot of ale !'
'No,' cried the young man smiling; the ale which
I once drank here was for me a philter full of bitter-
ness; a glass of whiskey, if you please, -' and,
pointing to the little table opposite the bar at which he
was formerly accustomed to place himself, he said:
'Serve me there; I will return to my old habits.'
Catherine looked at him with astonishment.
'Does not pretty Kate recognize me ?' said he in a
caressing tone, approaching her.
How Is it possible I is it you, indeed, Sandy?'


Yes, Alexander Selkirk, formerly a fugitive from
the University of St. Andrew; recently a master pilot
in the royal marine ; now, as ever, your very humble
And they shook hands, and examined each other
closely, but the impression on both sides was far from
being the same.
Catherine finds Selkirk much changed, but for the
better; time and navigation have been favorable to
him. He is no longer the raw student with embar-
rassed air, awkward manner, bony frame and dilapi-
dated costume; but a stout young man, with a broad
chest, active and graceful form; though his features
are decidedly Scotch, they are handsome; his eyes,
less brilliant than formerly, are animated with a more
attractive thoughtfulness, and the naval uniform, which
he still wears, sets off his person to advantage.
On his part, Selkirk finds Catherine also much
changed; the rosy complexion, the soft voice, the
youthful look, the twenty-two years, all are gone.
Her form has assumed a superabundant amplitude.
They drop each other's hands and utter a sigh; he,
of regret; she, of surprise.
Both close their eyes, at the same time; she, with
the fear of gazing too earnestly; he, to recall the
being of his imagination.
However this may be, she is not yet a woman to
be despised by a sailor. He therefore prolongs his
visit: they come to interrogations, to confidences.
Catherine acquaints him with the situation of her
little business affairs; her fortune is improving; she
gives him an estimate of it in round numbers, as well



as of the suitors she has rejected; but she does not
mention Captain Stradling, whose arrival she yet fears
every moment.
Selkirk relates to her his campaigns, his combats
against the French, against the Danish, the victorious
attack of the English ships against the great boom
of Vigo; but, when she asks him what motive has
brought him back to St. Andrew, he replies boldly
that he came to see her and no one else, and says not
a word of Captain Dampier, whom he is even now
impatient to meet.
At last the old friends say adieu.
Then the gallant sailor, with an apparent effort,
goes away, not forgetting, however, to drink his glass
of whiskey.
And this is the reason why, on the third day, Cathe-
rine has the vapors; this is the reason why, notwith-
standing her soft words of the evening before and
her grand morning toilette, she receives so coldly the
scarred adversary of the celebrated Jean Bart.
During the whole of the week following, Stradling,
Dampier and Selkirk, did not fail to meet at the Royal
Salmon. Selkirk came to see Dampier; Dampier
came to see Stradling; Stradling came to see Cathe-
rine Felton.
The latter thought the young man already knew the
two others, that he had sailed with them, and was not
surprised at their intimacy.
Sometimes Selkirk, leaving his companions in the
midst of their bottles and glasses, would describe a
tangent towards the counter, and come to converse
with the pretty hostess. He no longer felt love for


her, and notwithstanding this, perhaps for this very
reason, he now talked eloquently.
Kitty blushed, was embarrassed, and poor Captain
Stradling, listening with all his ears to the narratives
of his illustrious friend William Dampier, or pre-occu-
pied with his pipe, lost in its cloud, saw nothing,-
or seemed to see nothing.
Nevertheless one evening, he went, in his turn, to
lean on the counter:
Kate,' said he, when is our marriage to take
place ? '
Are you thinking of that still ?' replied she, with
an air of levity which would once have became her
better; 'I hoped this fancy had passed out of your
I may then set out on my voyage, Kate ?'
'Why not? We will talk of our plans on your
'But I am going to make the tour of the world, as
well as my friend Dampier. Kate, it is the affair of
three years '
So much the better I it will give us both time for
It is well!' replied the phlegmatic Englishman,
and nothing on his polar face betokened an after-
The doors closed, the lights extinguished, Catherine
retired to rest the happiest woman in the world. She
said to herself: 'Alexander loves me, and has loved
me for eight years! he deserves to be rewarded. He
has less money than the other, it is a misfortune ; but
he has more youth and grace, that balances it. As to


rank, a master pilot of twenty-four is as far advanced
as a captain of forty. Between Selkirk and myself,
if the wealth is on my side, on his will be gratitude
and little attentions. At all events, 1 prefer a young
husband who will whisper words of love in my ear, to
amusing myself by pouring out drink for my lord and
master, while he smokes his pipe, with his feet on the
brands. Was it not thus that icicle, dressed in blue,
called Stradling, talked to me of the pleasures of mar-
riage ? And what a name! But Mistress Selkirk -
that sounds well. In our Scotland, there is the county
of Selkirk, the town of Selkirk; there is even a
great nobleman of this name, who is something like
minister to our Queen Anne, I believe. Who knows ?
we are perhaps of his family I As for walking about
the port arm-in-arm with a captain, I am sure my very
dear friends and neighbors would die with jealousy if
I took, instead of this scarred captain, a young and
handsome man. It is settled. I will marry Alexan-
der; to-morrow I will myself announce it to him. I
hope he will not die of joy!'
On the morrow she attired herself as on the day of
Selkirk's return, in her beautiful dress of cloth and
silk, with the two little curls upon her temples. She
thus waited a great part of the day. At last, about
four o'clock, Selkirk arrives in haste, his face beaming
with joy, and a gleam of triumph in his eye.
Has he then,' thought Catherine, a presentiment
of the happiness in store for him ? '
'Congratulate me, pretty Kitty,' said the young
man, almost out of breath; 'I am appointed mate of
the brig Swordfish, which I am to join at Dunbar.'


'How! you are going ?'
'In an hour.'
'For a long time ? '
'For three years at least. In a fortnight we set sail
for the East Indies. It will be a great commercial
voyage and a voyage of discovery. Unfortunately
William Dampier does not accompany us; but he
furnishes funds to the brave Captain Stradling.'
'Yes, it is he who has just engaged me, and with
whom I am to sail. Our agreement is signed,--I am
mate! I am going to explore the New World Ah!
I would not exchange my fate for that of a king. But
time presses; adieu, Kitty, till I see you again '
'Three years I murmured Catherine.
And her curls grew straight beneath the cold perspi-
ration that covered her forehead.



The Tour of the World.- The Way to manufacture Negroes
California.- The Eldorado.- Revolt of Selkirk. The
Log-Book. Degradation. A Free Shore.

THE Swordfish, well provisioned, even with guns
and ammunition, left Dunbar one morning with a fresh
breeze, sailed down the North Sea, passed Ireland,
France and Spain, the Azores, Canaries, and Cape
Verd Islands on the coast of Africa, and, after having
stopped for a short time in the harbors of Guinea and
Congo, doubled the Cape of Good Hope, amid the
traditional tempest.
Entering the Indian Oceafi, and passing through the
Straits of Sunda, she touched at Borneo, and at Java,
reached the Southern Sea by the Gulf of Siam, passed
the Philippine Isles, then, through the vast regions of
the Pacific Ocean, pursued the route which had been
marked out by the exploring ship of William Dampier
in 1686. Like that, the Swordfish remained a few
days at the Island of St. Pierre, before launching into
that immensity where, during nearly two months,
wave only succeeded to wave; at last she reached
the coasts of South America, and cast anchor in the
Gulf of California.
This gigantic voyage, which seemed as if it must


have been attempted under the inspiration of science
and with the hope of the most important discoveries,
had been undertaken by Stradling with no object but
of traffic and even of rapine. These had been the
great ends of most of the bold enterprises which had
preceded. The Spanish and Portuguese, in their dis-
coveries of new continents, had thought less of glory
than of riches; they had conquered the New World
only to pillage it; the vanquished who escaped exter-
mination, were forced to dig their native soil, not to
render it more fruitful, but to procure from it, for the
profit of the vanquisher, the gold it might contain.
Among the European nations, those who had had no
part in the conquest now sought to share the spoils.
For this the least pretext of war or commerce suf-
Stradling availed himself of both these pretences;
when he touched at the coasts of Guinea and Congo,
it was to obtain negroes whom he expected to sell in
America. At Borneo, the opportunity presented itself
for an advantageous disposal of the greater part.of his
black merchandize; as he was a man of resources
and not at all scrupulous, he soon found means to
replace them.
In the Straits of Sunda, several barques, manned by
negroes and Malays, had become entangled in the
masses of seaweed which are every where floating on
the surface of the wave; Stradling encountered them,
made the rowers enter his ship, and obligingly took
the barques in tow, to extricate them from their diffi-
culty. But those who ascended the side of the Sword-
fish, descended only to be sold in their turn.



Although he had received an education superior to
that of his companions, Selkirk shared in the preju-
dices of his times; he had therefore found nothing
objectionable in seeing his captain exchange at Congo
little mirrors, a few glass beads, half a dozen useless
guns, and some gallons of brandy, for men still young
and vigorous, torn from their country and their fami-
lies. Their skin was of another color, their heads
woolly; this was a profitable traffic, recognized by
governments; but when he saw Stradling seize the
property of others to refill his empty hold, he could
not control his indignation and boldly expressed it:
It is for their salvation,' replied the captain, with.
out emotion; we will make Christians of them.'
On approaching the Vermilion Sea, a deep gulf
which separates California from the American con-
tinent, and makes it almost an island, the Malays
were rubbed with a mixture of tar and dragon's blood,
dissolved in a caustic oil$ to give to their olive skins
a deeper shade, and their fat noses and silky hair
making them phas -for YQboli negroes, they were ex-
changed at Cape .St. lacas, along with the rest, for
pearls and native uutions.
The young mate thought this proceeding not less
mean and dishonorable than the first; he made new
Nothing now remains to be done, captain,' said he,
'but tr shave and besmear with tar the monkey you
have jhst bought, and to include it among your new
race of negroe.'
This time, the captain looked at him askance, and
shrugged his shoulders without replying



The storm was beginning to growl in the distance.
It was not without a secret object that, in his course
through the Southern Sea, Stradling had first of all
aimed at California.
He devoted an entire month to cruising along both
shores of this almost island, and penetrating all the
bays of the Vermilion Sea; he hoped to find there a
passage to an unknown land, then predicted and
coveted by all navigators. What was this land ? The
Eldorado I
Although I would hasten over these details of the
voyage to arrive at the more important events of this
history; now that the recent discovery of the immense
mines of gold buried beneath the hills of California
has aroused the entire world, that the name alone of
Sacramento seems to fill with gold the mouth which
pronounces it, there is a curious fact, perhaps entirely
unknown, which I cannot pass over in silence.
After the middle of the sixteenth century, and long
before the seventeenth, a vague rumor, a confused
tradition, had located, in the neighborhood of the
Vermilion Sea, a famed land, whose rivers rolled over
gold, and whose mountains rested on golden founda-
tions; the treasures of Mexico and Peru were nothing
in comparison with those which were to be gathered
there. An ingot of native gold was talked of, of a
pepite or eighty pounds weight.
It was a grape from the promised land.
This marvellous country had been named, in ad-
vance, Eldorado.
Among the bold Argonauts of these two centuries,
there was a contest as to who should first raise his



flag over this new Colchis, defended, it was said, by
the Apaches, a terriole, sanguinary and cannibal race,
whom Cortez himself could not subdue. This land of
gold some had located in New Biscay or New Mexico;
others, in the pretended kingdoms of Sonora and
Quivira; then, after several ineffectual attempts, the
possibility of reaching it was denied; learned men,
from the various academies of Europe, proved that the
Eldorado was not a country, but a dream; on this
subject the Old World laughed at the New; the Argo-
nauts became discouraged, and during a century the
subject was named only to be ridiculed.
And yet, in spite of sceptics and scoffers, the Eldo-
rado existed. It existed where tradition had placed it, on
the shores of this Vermilion Sea, now the Gulf of Cali-
fornia. For once, popular opinion had the advantage
over scientific dissertations and philosophic denials;
there, where, according to the Dictionary of Alcedo,
nothing had been discovered but mines of pewter!
where Jacques Baegert had indeed acknowledged the
presence of gold, but in meagre veins; where Raynal
had named as curiosities only fishes and pearls,
declaring, in California, the sea richer than the land;
where in our own times M. Humboldt discovered
nothing but cylindrical cacti, on a sandy soil, re-
mained buried, as a deposit for future ages, this
treasure of the world, which seemed to be waiting in
order to leave its native soil, the moment of falling
into the hands of a commercial and industrious people,
that of the United States.
This Eldorado, Stradling sought in vain; he there-
fore decided to pursue his route along the coast of



Mexico, now under the French flag, when he found
an opportunity for traffic with the natives, colonists or
savages; now under the English flag, when he wished
to exercise his trade of corsair, an easy profession, for
since the disaster of Vigo, the Spanish had abandoned
their transatlantic possessions to themselves.
The Spanish soldiery of America then found them-
selves, in the presence of European adventurers, in
that state of pusillanimous inferiority in which had
been, at the period of the conquest, the subjects of the
Incas and Montezuma before the soldiers of Cortez
and Pizarro. The time was not already far passed,
when a few bands of freebooters, from France, Eng-
land and Holland, had well nigh wrested from his
Majesty, the King of Spain and the Indies, the most
extensive and wealthy of his twenty-two hereditary
Stradling was following in the footsteps of these
Recently, two little cities on the coast had been put
under contribution for the supplies of the Swordfish;
there had been resistance, a threatened attack, a par-
ley, and capitulation; in this affair, the young mate
had nobly distinguished himself both as a combatant
and a negotiator, and yet the captain had not deigned
to give him a share in his distribution of compliments.
Selkirk felt an irritation the more lively that this
shore life began to be irksome. Not that his con-
science disturbed him any more than in the treatment
of the blacks; he thought it as honorable to war with
the Spaniards in the New World, as to be beaten by
them in the Old; but he compared his present chief,



Captain Stradling, with his former commander, the
noble and brave Admiral Rooke; the parallel extended
in his mind to his old companions in the royal navy,
all so frank, so gay, so loyal, among whom he had
yet never found a friend, and his new companions
of to-day, recruited for the most part in the marshy
lowlands of the merchant marine of Scotland; his
thoughts became overshadowed, and his desires for
independence, which dated from his college life, re-
turned in full force.
As much as his duties permitted, he loved to isolate
himself from all; when he could remain some time
alone in his cabin, or gaze upon the sea from a retired
corner of the deck and watch the ploughing of the
vessel, then only he was happy.
As if to increase his uneasiness, Stradling became
daily more severe and more exacting towards his chief
officer; he imposed upon him rude labors foreign to
his station. It seemed as if he were determined to
drive him to desperation.
He succeeded.
Selkirk protested against such treatment, and reca-
pitulated his subjects of complaint. The other paid
no more attention than he would have done to the
buzzing of a fly.
Irritated by this outrageous impassibility, the young
man declared that there should no longer be any thing
in common between them, and that, whatever fate
might await him, he demanded to be set on shore.
Stradling touched his forehead: \
That is a good idea,' said he, and he turned away.
The next day, they reached the Isthmus of Panama;
the persevering Selkirk returned to the charge :


'The moment is favorable for ridding yourself of
me, and me of you,' said he to the captain; let the
boat convey me to the shore ; I will cross the Isthmus,
reach the Gulf of Darien, the North Sea, and return
to Scotland, even before the Swordfish!'
This time the honest corsair listened attentively,
then shaking his head and winking his eye, with the
smile of a hungry vampire, replied:
You are then in great haste to be married, com-
It was the first word he had addressed to him relative
to Catherine during this long voyage, and this word
Selkirk had not even understood.
They were about passing Panama: the vessel con-
tinuing her voyage, Selkirk interposed his authority,
ordered the men to put about, take in sail and approach
the shore.
This Stradling prohibited, uttered a formidable oath,
and commanded the young man to bring the log-book.
When it was brought, he made the following entry:
To-day, Sept. 24th, 1704, Alexander Selkirk, mate
of this vessel, having mutinied and attempted to desert
to the enemy, we have deprived him of his title and
his office; in case of obstinacy we shall hang him to
the yard-arm.'
And he read the sentence to the offender.
From this day, the rebel saw himself compelled to
serve in the Swordfish as a simple sailor, and his sub-
ordinates of yesterday, to-day his equals, indemnified
themselves for the authority he had exercised over
them, which did not cure him of that native contempt
he had always felt for mankind.



A month passed away thus, during which the Sword-
fish several'times touched the shores of Peru, now to
renew her supplies of provisions and water, now to
exchange with the Indians, nails, hatchets, knives, and
necklaces of beads, for gold dust, furs, and garments
trimmed with colored feathers.
During one of these pauses, Selkirk, left on the ship,
accosted the captain once more. He knew that the
remains of some bands of freebooters were colonized
there, leading a peaceful and agricultural life; this
fact was known to all. At Coquimbo in Chili, some
English and Dutch pirates had formed a settlement of
this kind,, now in the full tide of prosperity. Selkirk,
who, during an entire month, had not spoken to the
captain, now demanded, in a voice which he attempted
to render calm and almost supplicating, to be landed
at Coquimbo, from which they were only a few days
You will not this time accuse me of wishing to
desert to the enemy; they are the English, Scotch,
Dutch, our countrymen and allies whom I wish to
join! Do you still suspect me ? Well, do not content
yourself with setting me on shore; place me in the
hands of the chief men of the settlement. Will that
suit you?'
Stradling winked significantly; but this was all.
'Ah!' resumed the young man with increasing
emotion, do not think to detain me longer on board,
to crush me beneath this humiliation I consented to
serve under your orders as mate, and you have made
me the lowest of your sailors; this you had no right
to do.'


Stradling took his glass and directed it towards the
shore, where his people were engaged in trafficking
their beads and hardware.
Raising his head and folding his arms:
Captain,' pursued Selkirk with vehemence, some
day or other we shall return to England, where the
laws protect all; there, I shall have the right of com-
plaint, and Queen Anne loves to render justice; be-
ware !'
Stradling, still spying, began to whistle God save the
Queen; then he called his monkey and made it gambol
before him.
I will depart, I will free myself from your presence,
and that of your worthy companions; I will do so at
all events, do you understand I' exclaimed Selkirk
exasperated, 'I will not endure your infamous treat-
ment another week If you refuse to consent to my
demand, I will leave without your permission; were
the vessel twenty miles from the land, and were I to
perish twenty times on the way, I will attempt to
swim ashore. Will you land me at Coquimbo, yes or
no? Reply!'
By way of reply, Stradling ordered him to be con-
fined in the hold.
Poor Selkirk! Ah! if pretty Kitty, if the beautiful
landlady of the Royal Salmon could know all thou
hast endured for her sake, how many tears would her
fine eyes shed over thy fate! But who knows whether
she will ever hear of thee ? Who can tell whether any
human being will learn the sufferings in reserve for



Poor Selkirk.! you who painted to yourself so smil-
ing a picture of this grand voyage to America; who
hoped to leave, like Dampier, your name to some strait,
some newly discovered island; you who dreamed of
scientific walks in vast prairies and under the arches
of virgin forests, you have shared only in the career
of a trafficker and a pirate; of this New World, full
of marvellous sights, you have seen only the shore,
the fringe of the mantle, the margin of this last work
of God!
Poor Selkirk, must you then return to your cold
and foggy Scotland, without having contemplated at
your ease, beneath the brilliant sun of the tropics,
one of those Edens overshadowed by the luxuriant
verdure of palm-trees, bananas, mimosas and gigantic
ferns ? In your country, the bark of the trees is clad
with lichens and mosses, and the parasite mistletoe
suspends itself to the branches, more as a burden than
as an ornament; here, numerous families of the orchis,
with their singular forms, showy and variegated blos-
soms, climb along the knotty stems of the tall monarchs
of the forests; from their feet spring up, as if to en-
lace them with a magic network, the brilliant passi-
flora, the vanilla with its intoxicating perfume, the
banisteria whose roots seem to have dived into mines
of gold and borrowed from thence the color of its
petals! Hither the birds of Paradise and Brazilian
parrots come to build their nests; here the bluebird and
the purple-necked wood-pigeon coo and sing; here, like
swarms of bees, thousands of humming-birds of min-
gled emerald and sapphire, warble and glitter as they
suck the nectar from the flowers. This was what you


hoped to contemplate, poor Selkirk I and this joy, like
many others, is henceforth forbidden.
In his floating prison, in his submarine cell, his only
employment is to listen to the dashing of the waves
against the ship, or now and then to catch a glimpse
of the blue sky through the hatchways.
What cares he ? He does not complain; he has
learned to abhor mankind, and he loves to be alone, in
company with himself and his own thoughts.
Several days passed in this manner.
One morning he felt the brig slacken its speed ; the
dashing of the wave against the prow diminished, and
the Swordfish, suddenly furling its sails, after having
slightly rocked hither and thither, stopped. They had
just cast anchor. Where ? he knows not.
Soon he hears the rattling of the rope-ladder which
serves as a stairway to those above who would commu-
nicate with his prison. They come, on the part of the
captain, to seek him.
He finds the latter seated on the deck, surrounded
by his principal men.
'Young man,' said Stradling, 'I have been obliged
to be severe for the sake of an example; but you have
been sufficiently punished by the time you have passed
below there,' and he pointed to the ship's hold.
'Now, your wish shall be granted. You shall be
allowed to land.'
And the rare smile which sometimes hovered on his
lips, stole over his rigid face.
So much the better,' replied Selkirk, laconically.
The boat was let down; he entered it, and ten
minutes afterwards disembarked on a green shore,



where the waves, as they broke upon it, seemed to
murmur softly in his ear the word, liberty !
The boat immediately rejoined the ship, which set
sail, coasted along Chili and Patagonia, and re-entered
the Northern Sea by the Straits of Magellan.




Inspection of the Country. Marimonda.- A City seen
through the Fog. The Sea every where. Dialogue W4*1
a Toucan.- The first Shot.- Declaration of War.-VeA
geance.- A Terrestrial Paradise.

WHILE watching the departure of the Swordfish,
Alexander Selkirk felt the same sensation as on that
day when he had seen the doors of the college of St.
Andrew thrown open for his exit; once more he was
his own master. Now, however, it is at some thou-
sands of miles from his country that he must reap the
benefits of his independence, and this idea embitters
his emotions of joy.
But is he not about to find countrymen at Coquim-
bo ? And if their society should be unpleasing ? if
their habits, their mode of life, their persons, should
become objects of antipathy to the misanthropic Sel-
kirk, as it is but natural to fear ? Well! after all, no
engagement binds him to them; he will be always free
to enter, in the capacity of a sailor, the first vessel
which may leave for Europe.
Determined to act as shall seem good to him,--to
make some excursions into the interior of the continent,
if an opportunity presents itself, and he will know how
to make one, he casts a first glance at the land of his


Before him extends a vast shore, studded with
groves of trees, covered with fine turf and little flowers
joyfully unfolding their petals to the sun: two streams,
having their source at the very base of the opposite
hills, after having meandered around this immense
lawn, unite almost at his feet.
He bends down to one of these streams, fills the
hollow of his hand with water, and tastes it, as a liba-
tion, and as a toast to the generous land which has just
received him; the water is excellent; he plucks a
flower, and continues his inspection.
On his left rise high mountains, terraced and ver-
dant, excepting at their summits, on one of which he
perceives a goat, with long horns, stationed there im-
movable like a sentinel, and whose delicate profile is
clearly defined on the azure of the sky. On the side
towards the sea, the mountains, bending their gray and
naked heads, resemble stone giants, watching the move-
ments of the wave which dashes at their feet.
On his right, where the land declines, he sees little
valleys linked together with charming undulations; but
on the mountains at his left, in the valleys at his right,
among the hills in the distance, his eye vainly seeks
the vestige of a human habitation.
He sets out in search of one. The boat from which
he landed has deposited on the shore his effects -his
arms, his nautical instruments, his charts, a Bible, and
provisions of various kinds. Notwithstanding his pirat.
ical sentiments, the captain of the Swordfish has not
designed to precede exile by confiscation. Selkirk
takes his gun, his gourd; but, unable to carry all his
riches, he conceals them behind a stony thicket, well


defended by the darts of the cactus, and the sword-like
leaves of the aloe, not caring to have the first comer
seize them as his booty.
As he is occupied with this duty, he feels himself
suddenly clasped by two long hairy arms; he turns
his head, it is Marimonda, the captain's monkey, a
female of the largest species.
How came she there ? Selkirk does not know.
Disgusted with her sea-voyages, with, the intelli-
gence natural to her race, Marimonda has undoubtedly
profited by the moment of the boat's leaving the ship
to conceal herself in it and gain the shore along with
the prisoner, which she might easily have done, un-
seen by all, during the transporting of the effects and
However this may be, Selkirk begins by freeing
himself from her grasp, repulses the monkey and sets
out: but the latter perseveres in following, and after
having, by her most graceful grimaces, sought to con-
ciliate him, marches beside him. Not caring to arrive
at Coquimbo escorted by such a companion, which
would give him in a city the appearance of a mounte-
bank and showman of monkeys, Selkirk, this time,
repulses her rudely, not with his hand, but with the
butt of his gun.
Struck in the breast by this home thrust, the poor
monkey stops, rolls up her eyes, moves her lips, and
growling confusedly her complaints and reproaches,
crouches beneath a tuft of the sapota, leaving the man
to pursue his way alone.
Selkirk has at first directed his steps toward the
valleys; after having traversed these, he arrives at



the margin of a sandy plain, and as far as the eye can
reach, perceives neither city, village, house, tent nor
hut, nothing which can indicate the presence of in-
Nevertheless, a little grove which he has just trav-
ersed, seems to have recently, in its principal path,
passed under the shears of a gardener; the foliage
presents a certain symmetry; fragments of branches
are strewed. on the ground, which seem to have been
freshly cut; he even thinks he sees vestiges of the
passage of a flock. On the lawn of the shore, he has
seen, and still sees around him, trees with tufted
heads, which must owe this form to art. He con-
tinues his researches.
At last, in the distance, beneath a fog which is
just beginning to dissolve, he perceives a vast mass of
white and red houses, some with terraced roofs, others
covered with thatch; through the humid veil which
envelopes them, he sees the glistening of the glass in
the windows; already he hears at his feet the con-
fused noise of cities; murmuring voices reply; the
measured sound of hammers and of mills even reaches
his ear.
It is Coquimbo he cannot doubt it, and shortening
his route by a path across the hill, he quickens his
Meanwhile an east wind arises, the fog disappears;
when he thinks he has reached the suburbs of the city,
Selkirk sees before him only an irregular assemblage
of calcareous stones, crowned with dry herbs, or red-
dish, arid, angular rocks, flattened at their summits,
tessellated with fragments of silex and mica, on which


the sun is just pouring his rays ; a company of goats,
which the mist had condemned to a momentary re-
pose, are bounding here and there, startling flocks of
clamorous black-birds and plaintive sea-gulls ; the fear-
less and yellow-crested woodpeckers alone do not stir,
but continue to hammer with their sharp beaks at some
old stunted trees.
The disenchantment is painful for our sailor; the
fog has deceived him with the semblance of a city, as
it has more than once deluded us in the midst of plains
and woods, by the appearance of an ocean with its
white waves, its great capes, its bold shores, and its
vessels at anchor.
Perhaps Coquimbo is still beyond. Fearing to lose
himself if he ventures farther in an unknown land, he
resolves to explore it first by a look. Returning to
the shore upon which he had landed, he scales the
mountains on the north, reaches the first platform,
and from thence seeks to discover some indications of
a city. Nothing! he still ascends, the circle enlarges
around him, but with no better result. Summoning
all his courage, through a thousand difficulties, climb-
ing, drawing himself up by the arid and abrupt rocks,
piled one upon another, he at last attains a culminating
point of the mountain. He can now embrace with his
eye an immense horizon, but this immense horizon is
the sea! On his right, on his left, before him, behind
him, every where the sea
He is not on the continent, but on an island.
This evening, exhausted with fatigue, he lies down
in a grotto at the foot of the mountain, where he
passes a night full of agitation and anxiety.



Rising with the sun, his first care, the next morning,
is to examine his riches and his provisions. He re-
turns to the thicket of cactus and aloes.
. Besides two guns, two hatchets, a knife, an iron pot,
a Bible and nautical instruments, all articles belonging
to him, he finds there a quantity of nails, a large frag-
ment of a sail, several horns of powder and shot; a
bag of ship biscuit, a salted quarter of pork, a little
cask of pickled fish, and a dozen cocoa-nuts.
The night before, at sight of these articles, he had
supposed a sentiment of justice and humanity to exist
in the soul of the corsair. Just now, he had said to
himself that Stradling, deceived by a false reckoning of
latitude, had landed him on an island, perhaps believ-
ing it to be a projecting shore of the continent. Now,
the abundance of his supplies, this biscuit, these salt
provisions, these fruits of the cocoa, all valueless if he
had really landed at Coquimbo, lead him to suspect
that the vindictive Englishman has designedly chosen
the place of his exile.
But this exile, is it complete isolation? Is the
island inhabited or deserted ? If it is inhabited, as he
still believes he has reason to suppose, by whom is
it so?
That he may obtain a reply to this double question,
he resolves to traverse the country in its whole extent.
At the very commencement of his journey, the immo-
bility of a bird suffices to give to the doubt, on which
his thoughts vacillate, the appearance almost of a
This bird is a toucan, of brilliant plumage and mon-
strous beak. Selkirk passes near it, with his eyes



fixed on the branch which serves as a perch, and the
toucan, without stirring, looks at him with a species of
calm and placid astonishment.
Selkirk stops; he comprehends the mute language
of the bird.
You do not know then what a man is! He is the
enemy of every creature to whom God has given life,
the enemy even of his kind I You have then never
been threatened by the arms that I bear '
And with the palm of his hand, striking the butt of
his gun, he made the hammer click.
At the sound of his voice, as at the noise of the
hammer, the bird raised its head, manifesting new and
redoubled surprise, but without any other movement.
It seemed to think that the man and the gun were one,
and that its strange interlocutor possessed two different
At last, by way of reply, it uttered a few shrill and
prolonged cries, accompanied by the rattling of its two
horny mandibles. After which, acting the great no-
bleman, cutting short the audience he has deigned to
grant, the toucan is silent, turns its head, proudly
raises one of its wings and busies itself in smoothing,
with the point of its large beak, its beautiful greenish
feathers, variegated with purple.
At some distance from this spot, still following the
margin of a wooded hill, Selkirk sees other birds,
some in their nests, others warbling in the shade; all
manifesting no more alarm at his presence than did
the toucan. Crested orioles, hooded bullfinches, alight
to pick up little grains or insects almost at his feet;
humming-birds, variegated cotingas, red manaquins



flutter before him in the sunbeams, pursuing invisible
flies; little wood-peckers, black or green, hop around
the trunks of the trees, stopping a moment to see him
pass and then resuming their spiral ascent.
The confidence which he inspires is not confined to
these winged people. Upon a hillock of turf he
perceives an animal, with pointed nose, brown fur
enamelled with red spots, and of the size of a hare;
seated on its hind paws, longer than those in front, it
uses these, after the manner of squirrels, to carry to its
mouth some nuts of the maripa, which constitute its
breakfast. It is an agouti,1 a mother, her little ones
are near. At sight of the stranger they run to her, but
quickly re-assured, quietly finish their morning repast.
Farther on, coatis,9 with short ears, and long tails;

Agouti. An animal of the bigness of a rabbit, with bright
red hair, and a little tail without hair. He has but two teeth
in each jaw; holds his meat in his forepaws like a squirrel,
and has a very remarkable cry: when he is angry, his hair
stands on end, and he strikes the earth with his hind feet; and
when chased, he flies to a hollow tree, whence he is expelled
by smoke. Trevoux.
2 The coati is a native of Brazil, not unlike the racoon in
the general form of the body, and, like that animal, it fre-
quently sits up on the hinder legs, and in this position carries
its fbod to its mouth. If left at liberty in a state of tameness,
it will pursue poultry, and destroy every living thing that it has
strength to conquer. When it sleeps it rolls itself into a lump,
and remains insmovable for fifteen hours together. His eyes
are small, but full of life; and when domesticated, this crea-
ture is very playful and amusing. A great peculiarity be-
longing to this animal is the length of his snout, which
resembles in some particulars the trunk of the elephant, as it


companies of little Guinea pigs; armadillos, a species
of hedge-hog without the quills, but covered with an
armor of scales, more compact and impervious than
that of the ancient knights of the Middle Ages, arrange
themselves along the line of his route, as if to pass him
in review.
Alas! this general quiet does but deepen in the
heart of Selkirk the certainty of his isolation.
Nevertheless, yesterday, said he to himself, in this
thick wood, did I not see alleys trimmed with the
shears, trees shaped by the pruning-knife ?
And the little grove which he visited the evening
previous, at that instant presents itself before him.
He examines the trees; they are myrtles of various
heights; but among their glossy branches, he in vain
seeks traces of the pruning-knife or shears; nature
alone has thus disposed in spheroids or umbels the
extremities of this rich vegetation.
The same disappointment awaits him in the under-
wood. The only pruners have been goats, or other
animals, daintily cropping the green shoots.
Then only does the complete and terrible certainty
of his disaster fall on him and crush him. Behold him
blotted from the number of men, perhaps condemned
to die of misery and of hunger I more securely impris-
oned, more entirely forgotten by the world than the
most hardened criminal plunged in the lowest depths

is movable in every direction. The ears are round, and like
those of a rat; the forefeet have five toes each. The hair is
short and rough on the back, and of a blackish color ; the tail
is marked with rings of black, like the wild cat; the rest of
the animal is a mixture of black and red.



of the Bastile! He at least, has a jailor! Miserable
Stradling I
At this moment he hears a noise above his head: it
is the monkey.
Marimonda, on her side, has also inspected the
island; she has already tasted its productions. Whether
she is satisfied with her discoveries, or whether for-
giveness and forgetfulness of injuries are natural to
her, on perceiving her old companion, wagging her
head in token of good-will, she descends towards him
from the tree on which she is perched.
But Marimonda is the captain's monkey; she has
been his property, his favorite, his flatterer I In the
disposition of mind in which Selkirk finds himself, he
does not need these thoughts to make him pitiless.
Marimonda reminds him of Stradling; the monkey
shall pay for the man I
Hie lowers his gun, and fires. The monkey has
seen the movement and divined his intentions; she
has only time to retreat behind her tree, which does
not prevent her receiving in her side a part of the
This detonation of fire-arms, the first perhaps which
has resounded in this corner of the earth since the
creation of the world, as it is prolonged from echo to
echo, even to the highest mountains, awakens in every
part of the island as it were a groan of distress. In-
stinct, that sublime prescience, has revealed to all that
a great peril has just been born.
To the cries of affright from birds of every species,
to the uneasy and distant bleating of the goats, suc-
ceeds a plaintive moaning, like the voice of a wailing


It is Marimonda lamenting over her wound.
At nightfall, after an entire day of walks and explo-
rations, Selkirk is returning to his grotto on the shore,
when he sees a stone fall at his feet, then another.
While he, astonished, is seeking to divine the direc-
tion from which this invisible battery plays, a little
date-stone hits him on the cheek. He immediately
hears as it were a joyous whistling in the foliage,
which is agitated at his right, and sees Marimonda
leaping from tree to tree, using for this movement her
feet, her tail, and one hand; for she holds the other
to her side. It is a compress on her wound.
War is already in the island! Selkirk has a de.
cleared enemy here! And this island, is it deserted?
He has just traversed it in every direction without see.
ing any thing which betokens the existence of a human
His disaster is then complete; henceforth not a
doubt of it can exist. And yet his forehead wears
rather the character of hope and fortitude than of dis-
couragement; it is more than resignation, it is pride.
He has just visited his empire. The island, irregu.
lar in form, is from four to five leagues in length; in
breadth it is from one and a half to two leagues.
This abode to which he is condemned, is the most
enchanting retreat he could have chosen; a luxuriant
park cradled upon the waves.
If sometimes, in the mountainous parts, he has en-
countered sterile and rugged rocks, even abysses and
precipices, they seem to be placed there only as a
contrast to the fresh and green valleys which encircle
them. If he has seen some dark, dense, inaccessible



forests, entangled in the thousand arms of interwoven
vines, he has not discovered a single reptile.
Every where, springs of living water, little streams
which are lost under a thick verdure, or fall in cas-
cades from the summits of the hills; every where a
luxuriant vegetation; esculent and refreshing plants,
celery, cresses, sorrel, spring in profusion beneath his
feet; over his head, and almost within reach of his
hand, palm-cabbages, and unknown fruits of succulent
appearance: on the margin of the shores, muscles, peri-
winkles, shell-fish of every species, crabs crawling in
the moist sand; beneath the transparent waters, innu-
merable shoals of fishes of all colors, all forms. Will
game be wanting here ? After what he has seen this
morning, he will not even need his gun to obtain
it. Oh! his provision of powder will last him a long
What has he to desire more in this terrestrial Para-
dise? The society of men? Why? That he may
find a master, a chief, under whose will he must
bend? Men! but he despises, detests them! Is he
not then sufficient for himself? Yes! this shall be
his glory, his happiness! To live in entire liberty, to
depend only upon himself, will not this impart to his
soul true dignity? Besides, this island cannot be so
far from the coast, but, from time to time, ships, or at
least boats must come in sight. This is then for him
but a transient seclusion; but were he even condemned
to eternal isolation, this isolation has ceased to terrify
him, he accepts it I Has he not almost always lived
alone, in spirit at least? When he was in the depths
of the hold, was he not better satisfied with his fate


than when surrounded by those coarse sailors who
composed the worthy crew of the Swordfish ?
To-day he is no longer the prisoner of Stradling,
he is the prisoner of God I and this thought re-assures
A sailor, he has never loved but the sea; well I the
sea surrounds him, guards him He has then only
thanks to render to God.
Arrived at his grotto, he takes his Bible, opens it;
but the sun, suddenly sinking below the horizon, per-
mits him to read only this passage on which his finger
is placed: Thou shalt perish in thy pride! '



Labors of the Colonist. His Study. Fishing. Adminis-
tration. Selkirk Island. The New Prometheus. What
is wanting to Happiness. Encounter with Marimonda. -

THREE months have passed away.
Thanks to Selkirk, the shore which received him at
his disembarkation, presents to-day an aspect not only
picturesque, but animated. The hand of man has
made itself felt there.
The bushes and tufts of trees which hid the view of
the hills in the distance, have been uprooted and cut
down; pretty paths, covered with gravel, wind over the
vast lawn; one in the direction of the valleys at the right,
another towards the mountains at the left; a third leads
to a tall mimosa, whose topmost boughs and dense
foliage spread out like a parasol. A wooden bench,
composed of some round sticks, driven into the earth,
with branches interwoven and covered with bark, sur-
rounds it; a rustic table, constructed in the same man-
ner, stands at the foot of the tree. This is the study
and place of meditation of the exile; here also he
comes to take his meals, in sight of the sea.
All three paths terminate in the grotto which Selkirk
continues to make his residence. This grotto he has
enlarged, quarried out with his hatchet, to make room


for himself, his furniture, and provisions. He has
even attempted to decorate its exterior with a bank of
turf, and several species of creeping plants, trained to
cover its calcareous nudity. At the entrance of his
habitation, rise two young palm-trees, transplanted
there by him, to serve as a portico. But nature is
not always obedient to man; the vines and palm-trees
do not prosper in their new location, and now the
long flexible branches of the one, and the broad leaves
of the other, droop half withered above the grotto,
which they disfigure rather than decorate.
By constant care, and with the aid of his streams,
Selkirk hopes to be able to restore them to life and
health. He has imposed on his two streams another
duty, that of supplying a bed of water-cresses and a
fish-pond, both provident establishments, the first of
which has succeeded perfectly. As for the second,
his most arduous task has been, not to dig the fish-
pond, but to people it. For this purpose he has been
compelled to become a fisherman, to manufacture a net.
He has succeeded, with some threads from his fragment
of a sail, the fibres of his cocoa-nuts, and tough reeds,
woven in close meshes; unfortunately those fine fishes,
breamns, eels and angel-fish, which show themselves so
readily through the limpid wave, are not as easy to
catch as to see. Under the surface, almost af a level
with the water, there is a ledge of rocks, upon which
the net cannot be managed. After several fruitless
attempts, he is obliged to content himself with the
insignificant employment of fishing with a line; a nail
flattened, sharpened and bent, performs the office of a
hook. Success ensues, but only with time and patience;



fortunately the sea-crabs allow themselves to be caught
with the hand, and the fish-pond does not long remain
useless and deserted.
Besides, has not our fortunate Selkirk the resource
of hunting? The chase he had commenced gene-
rously, like a wise monarch, who wages war only for
the general interest. It is true, that as it happens iith
most wise monarchs, his own private interest is also
to be consulted, at least he thinks so.
Wild cats existed in the island, destroying young
broods, agoutis, and other small game; he has almost
entirely rid it of these pirates, reserving to himself
only the right of levying upon his subjects the tribute
of blood. He has already signalized his administra-
tion by acts of an entirely different nature.
This king without a people, is ignorant in what
part of the great ocean, and at what distance from its
shores, is situated his nameless kingdom.
Armed with his spy-glass, by the aid of his nautical
charts, he attempts to ascertain, by the position of the
stars, its longitude and latitude. He at first believes
himself to be in one of the islands forming the group
of Chiloe; his calculations rectified, he afterwards
thinks it the Island of Juan Fernandez, then San Am-
brosio, or San Felix. Unable to determine the location
exactly, for want of correct instruments, he persuades
himself that the country he inhabits has never been
surveyed, that it is really a land without a name, and
he gives it his own ; he calls it Selkirk Island.
Ambitious youth, thou hast thus realized one of thy
brightest dreams I Dost thou remember the day when,
on the way from Largo to St. Andrew, to join William



Dampier, thou didst already see thyself the chief of a
new country, discovered and baptized by thee ?
Well! has he not more than discovered this country ?
He inhabits it, he governs it, he reigns in it! Not
satisfied with giving his name to the island, he soon
creates a special nomenclature for its various localities.
To the shore upon which he landed, he gives the name
of Swordfish Beach; the pile of white and red rocks,
which he saw through the fog, is the False Coquimbo;
he calls Toucan Forest, the wood where he saw that
bird for the first time; the Defile of Attack, is that
where Marimonda assaulted him with stones; upon
these arid rocks, furrowed by deep ravines and abound-
ing in precipices, he has imposed the odious name of
Stradling I In his mountains he has the Oasis; it is
a little shady valley, enlivened by the murmur of a
streamlet, and with one extremity opening to the sea.
There he often goes to watch the game and the goats,
which come to drink at the brook. Above it rises the
table-land, with difficulty scaled by him on the day of
his arrival, and from whence he became convinced
that he had landed on an island. This table-land, he
has named The Discovery.
The two streams which meander over his lawn, and
before his grotto, have also received names. This,
commissioned to feed the fish-pond, and which gently
warbles through the grass, he calls The Linnet; the
other, interrupted by little cascades, and whose course
is more rapid and impetuous, he calls The Stammerer.
He has now destroyed the noxious animals, admin-
istered government, opened ways of communication,
given a name to every part of his island. How many
great rulers have done no more !



But his labors have not been confined to his fish-
pond, his bed of water-cresses, his hunting, fishing,
building, felling of trees; it has become necessary
to procure that essential element of civilization, of
comfort, fire.
What could the opulent proprietor of this enchanting
abode do without fire? Is it not necessary, if he
would open a passage through the dense woods ? Is it
not indispensable to his kitchen ? Some of his trees,
it is true, afford fruits in abundance; but most of these
fruits are of a dry and woody nature ; besides, young
and vigorous, easily acquiring an appetite by labor and
exercise, can he content himself with a dinner which
is only a dessert? Surrounded with fishes of all
colors, with feathered and other game, must he then
be reduced to dispute with the agoutis, their maripa-
nuts ?
He reflects; armed with a bit of iron, he strikes the
flinty rocks of the mountains, to elicit from them use-
less sparks. He then remembers that savages obtain
fire without flint and matches, by the friction of two
pieces of dry wood; he tries, but in vain; he exhausts
the strength of his arms, without being discouraged;
he tries each tree, wishing even that a thunderbolt
might strike the island, if it would leave there a trace
of burning. At last, almost discouraged, he attacks
the pimento-myrtle;1 he recommences his customary
efforts of rubbing. The twigs grow warm with the
friction; a little white smoke appears, fluttering to and

IMyrtus aromatic; its berries are known under the name
of Jamaica pepper.


fro between his hands, rapid and trembling with emo-
tion. The flame bursts forth I He utters a cry of tri.
umph, and, hastily collecting other twigs and dry
reeds, he leaps for joy around his fire, which, like
another Prometheus, he has just stolen, not from
heaven, but from earth I
Afterwards, in his gratitude, he runs to the myrtle,
embraces it, kisses it. An act of folly, perhaps; per-
haps an act of gratitude, which ascended higher than
the topmost branches of the trees, higher than the
culminating summits of the mountains of the island.
But this fire, must he, each time he may need it, go
through the same tedious process? Not far from his
grotto, in a cavity which a projecting rock protects
from the sea breeze, he piles up wood and brush, sets
fire to it, keeps it alive from time to time, by the addi-
tion of combustibles, and comprehends why, among
primitive nations, the earliest worship should have been
that of fire; why, from Zoroaster to the Vestals, the
care of preserving it should have been held sacred.
At a later period, in the ordinary course of things,
he simplified his means of preservation. With some
threads and the fat of his game, he contrived a lamp;
still later, he had oil, and reeds served him for wicks.
Dating from this moment, the entire island paid
tribute to him; the crabs, the eels, the flesh of the
agouti, savory like that of the rabbit, by turns figured
on his table. When he seasoned them with some
morsels of pork, substituting ship biscuit for bread, his
repasts were fit for an admiral.
Although the goats had become wild, like the other
inhabitants of the island, since all had learned the


nature of man, and of the thunder, which he directed
at his will, Selkirk still surprised them within gun-shot.
Not only was their flesh profitable for food; their
horns, long and hollow, served to contain powder and
other small articles necessary to his house-keeping ; of
their skins he made carpets, coverings, and bags to
protect his provisions from dampness. He even man-
ufactured a game-pouch, which he constantly carried
when hunting.
His salt fish, his biscuit, some well smoked quarters
of goat's flesh, and the productions of his fish-pond, at
present constitute a store on which he can live for a
long time, without any care, but to ameliorate his
He is now in possession of all the enjoyments he
has coveted, abundance, leisure, absolute freedom.
And yet, his brow is sometimes clouded, and an
unaccountable uneasiness torments him; something
seems wanting; his appetite fails, his courage grows
feeble, his reveries are painfully prolonged. But, by
mature reflection, he has discovered the cause of the
What is it that is so essential to his happiness?
Our factitious wants often exercise over us a more
tyrannical empire, than our real ones; it seems as if
we clung with more force and tenacity to this second
nature, because we have ourselves created it; it origi-
nates* in us; the other originates with God, and is
common to all!
Selkirk now persuades himself that tobacco alone is
wanting to his comfort; it is this privation which


throws him into these sorrowful fits of languor. If
Stradling had only given him a good stock of tobacco,
he would have pardoned all; he no longer feels
courage to hate him. What to him imports the plenty
which surrounds him, if he has no tobacco ? of what
use is his leisure, if he cannot spend it in smoking?
what avails even this fire, which he has just conquered,
if he is prevented from lighting his pipe at it?
Careworn and dissatisfied, he was wandering one
morning through his domains, with his gun on his
shoulder, his hatchet at his belt, when he perceived
something dancing on a point of land, shadowed by
tall canes.
It was Marimonda.
At sight of her enemy, she darted lightly and rapidly
behind a woody hillock. An instant afterwards, he
saw her tranquilly seated on the topmost branch of a
tree, holding in each of her hands fruits which she was
alternately striking against the branch, and against
each other, to break their tough envelope.
The sight of Marimonda has always awakened in
Selkirk a sentiment of repulsion; she not only reminds
him of Stradling, but with her withered cheeks, pro-
jecting jaw, and especially her dancing motion, he
now imagines that she resembles him; and yet, paus-
ing before her, he contemplates her not without a
lively emotion of surprise and interest.
He had already encountered her within gun-shot,
when engaged in the destruction of the wild cats, and
had asked himself whether he should not reckon her
among noxious animals. But then Marimonda, with
her hand constantly pressed against her side, was with



the other seizing various herbs, which she tasted,
bruised between her teeth, and applied to her wound;
useless remedies, doubtless, for, grown meagre, her
hair dull and bristling, she seemed to have but a few
days to live, and Selkirk thought her not worth a
charge of powder and shot.
And here he finds her alert and healthy, holding in
the same hand which had served as a compress, no
longer the plant necessary for her cure, but the fruit
desirable for her sustenance.
SWhat,' said Selkirk to himself, 'in an island
where this frightful monkey has never before been,
she has succeeded in finding without difficulty the
herba sacra, that which has restored her to health and
strength! and I, Selkirk, who have studied at one of
the principal universities of Scotland, I am vainly
sighing for the plant which would suffice to render me
completely happy I Is instinct then superior to reason ?
To believe this, would be ingratitude to Providence.
Instinct is necessary, indispensable to animals, be.
cause they cannot benefit by the traditions of their
ancestors. The monkey has consulted her instinct,
and it has inspired her; if I consult reason, what will
be her counsel? She will advise me to do like the
monkey; to seek the herb of which I feel so great a
want, or at least to endeavor to substitute for it some-
thing analogous; to choose, try, and taste, in short, to
follow the example of Marimonda I I will not fail to
do so; but it is nature reversed, and, for a man, it is
too humiliating to see himself reduced to imitate a
monkey '



The Hammock. Poison. -Success.- A Calm under the
Tropics. Invasion of the Island. War and Plunder. -
The Oasis. The Spy-Glass.- Reconciliation.

Do you see, upon a carpet of fresh verdure, the
sandy margin of which is bathed by a caressing wave,
that hammock suspended to the branches of those fine
trees? What happy mortal, during the heat of the
day, is there gently rocked, gently refreshed, by a light
sea breeze? It is Selkirk; and this hammock is his
sail, attached to his tall myrtles by strips of goat-skin.
Perhaps he is resting after the fatigues of the day?
No, it is the day of the Lord, and Selkirk now can
consecrate the Sabbath to repose. With his eyes half
closed, he is inhaling, undoubtedly, the perfume of his
myrtles, the soft fragrance of his heliotropes? No,
something sweeter still pre-occupies him. Is he
dreaming of his friends in Scotland, of his first love ?
He has never known friendship, and the beautiful
Catherine is far from his memory. What is he then
doing in his hammock ? He is smoking his pipe.
His pipe! Has he a pipe? He has them of all
forms, all sizes made of spiral shells of various
kinds, of maripa-nuts, of large reeds; all set in
handles of myrtle, stalks of coarse grain, or the
hollow bones of birds. In these he is luxurious; he has



become a connoisseur; but this has not been the diffi-
culty. Before every thing else, tobacco was wanting.
In consequence of his encounter with Marimonda,
he ransacked the woods and meadows, seeking among
all plants those which approximated nearest to the
nature of the nicotiana. As it was necessary to judge
by their taste, he bit their leaves --chewed them, still
in imitation of the monkey: but, to his new and pro-
found humiliation, less skilful or less fortunate than the
latter, he obtained at first no other result than a sort of
poisoning: one of these plants being poisonous.
For several days he saw himself condemned to
absolute repose and a spare diet. His mouth, swollen,
excoriated, refused all nourishment; his throat was
burning; his body was covered with an eruption, and
his languid and trembling limbs scarcely permitted him
to drag himself to the stream to quench there the thirst
by which he was devoured.
He believed himself about to die; and grief then
imposing silence on pride, with his eyes turned towards
the sea, he allowed a long-repressed sigh to escape his
heart. It was a regret for his absent country.
Very soon these alarming symptoms disappeared;
his strength returned; his water-cresses and wild sorrel
completed the cure. Would he have dared to ask it of
the other productions of his island? He had become
suspicious of nature; these, at least, he had long
Scarcely had he recovered, when the want of to-
bacco made itself felt anew with more force than ever.
What to him imports experiment, what imports dan-
ger ? Is it not to procure this precious, indispensable


herb, which the world had easily done without for
thousands of years ?
This time, nevertheless, become more prudent, he
no longer addresses himself to the sense of taste; but
to odor, to that of smell. He has resolved to dry the
different plants which appear to him most proper for
the use to which he destines them, and to submit them
afterwards to a trial by fire. Will not the smoke
which escapes from them easily enable him to dis.
cover the qualities which he requires, since it is in
smoke that they are to evaporate, if he succeeds in his
researches ?
Of this grand collection of aromatics, two plants, at
last, come off victorious. One is the petunia, that
charming flower which at present decorates all our
gardens, whence the enemies of tobacco may one day
banish it; so it is only with trembling that I here
announce its relationship to the nicotiana; the other,
which, like the petunia, grows in profusion in the islands
as well as on the continent of Southern America, is
the herb coca, improperly so called, for its precious
leaves, which are to the natives of Peru and Chili,
what the betel is for the Indians of Malabar, grow on
an elegant shrub.1
These two plants, separately or together, composed,
thanks to a slight amalgam of chalk, sea-water, and
bruised pepper-corns, the most delicious tobacco.
Now, half awake, Selkirk smokes, as he busies
himself with constructing some necessary article, such
as a ladder a stool, a basket of rushes, with which he

I The erythroxylum coca.



is completing the furniture of his house; he smokes
while fishing, and while hunting; on his return to his
dwelling, he lies down at the entrance of his grotto,
on his bank of turf, re-lights his pipe at his fire, and
smokes; at the hour of breakfast or of dinner, seated
beneath the shade of his mimosa, his elbow on the
table, his Bible open before him, he smokes still.
Well! notwithstanding these pleasures so long de-
sired, notwithstanding this addition to his comfort,
notwithstanding his pipe, this vague uneasiness some-
times assails him anew.
He ascribes it to enfeebled health; and yet he
remains active and vigorous; he ascribes it to the
powerful odors of certain trees which affect his
brain. These trees he destroys around him, but
his uneasiness continues; he ascribes it to his food,
the insipidity of the fish which he has eaten without
salt, since his quarter of pork is consumed, and his
stores of pickled fish exhausted. In fact, the flesh of
fish has for some time given him a nausea, occasioned
frequent indigestions; he renounces it; his stomach
recovers its tone; but his fits of torpor and melan-
choly continue.
This state of suffering is most painful at those
moments of profound calm, common between the
tropics, when the birds are silent, when from the thick-
ets and burrows issue no murmurs, when the insect
seems to sleep within the closed corollas of the flow-
ers; when the leaves of the mimosa fold themselves;
when the tree-tops are not swayed by the slightest
breath of air, and the sea, motionless, ceases to dash
against the shore. What an inexpressible weight such


a silence adds to isolation! And yet it is not an
unbroken silence, for then a shrill and harsh sound
seems to grate upon the ear. It is as if in this mute-
ness of nature, one could hear the motion of the earth
on its axis; then, above his head, in the depths of
immensity, the whirling of the celestial spheres and
myriads of worlds which gravitate in space. Thought
becomes troubled and exhausted before this overwhelm-
ing and terrible immobility, and the man who, at such
a moment, cannot have recourse to his kind, to distract
or re-assure him, is overpowered with his own insig-
Sometimes the solitary calls on himself to break this
oppressive and painful silence; he articulates a few -
words aloud, and his voice inspires him with fear; it
seems formidable and unnatural.
During one of these sinister calms, in which every
thing in creation seemed to pause, even the heart of
man, seated on the shore, not having even strength
to smoke, Selkirk was vainly awaiting the evening
breeze; nothing came, but ,the obscurity of night.
The moon, delaying her appearance, submitting in
her turn to the sluggishness of all things, seemed
detained below the circle of the horizon by some
fatal power; the sea was dull, gloomy, and as it were
Suddenly, though there was not a breath of air,
Selkirk saw at his right, on a vast but limited tract
of ocean, the waves violently agitated and foaming.
He thought he distinguished a multitude of barques
and canoes furrowing the surface of the waters; not
far from Swordfish Beach, the flotilla enters a little
cove running up into the mountains.



He no longer sees any thing; but he hears a frightful
tumult of discordant cries.
There is no room for doubt! some Indian tribes,
pursued perhaps by new conquerors from Europe,
have just disembarked on the shore. Wo to him! he
can hope from them neither pity nor mercy. A cold
sweat bathes his forehead; he runs to his grotto, takes
his gun, puts in his goatskin pouch some horns of
powder and shot, a piece of smoked meat, not forget-
ting his Bible I and passes the night wandering in the
woods, in the mountains, a prey to a thousand terrors;
hearing without cessation the steps of pursuers behind
him, and seeing fiery eyes glaring at him through the
At day-break, with a thousand precautions, he re-
turns to his grotto. He finds the beach covered with
These were the enemies whose invasion had so
alarmed him.
It is now the middle of the month of February,
the period of the greatest tropical heats, and these
amphibia, having left the shores of Chili or Peru,
are accomplishing one of their periodical migrations.
They have just taken possession of the island, one of
their accustomed stations. But the island has now a
Where he expected to encounter a peril, Selkirk
finds amusement, a subject of study, perhaps a re-
A long time ago he has read, in the narratives of
voyagers, singular stories concerning these marine
animals, these lions, these sea-elephants, flocks of old


Neptune, who have their chiefs, their pacha; who
are acquainted with and practise the discipline of war;
stationing vigilant sentinels in the spots they occupy,
communicating to each other a pass-word, and atten-
tive to the Qui vive ?
He spies them, he watches them, he takes pleasure
in examining their grotesque forms,-half quadruped,
half fish; their feet encased in a sort of web, and ter-
minated by crooked claws, with which they creep on
the earth; their skins covered with short and glossy
hair; their round heads and eyes.
He is a witness of their sports, their combats; but
very soon their frightful roaring and bellowing annoys
him, and makes him regret the silence of his solitude.
Another cause of complaint against them soon arises.
Qne morning, Selkirk finds his fish-pond and bed of
water-cresses devastated.
Exasperated, he declares war against the invaders:
during three days he tracks them, pursues them; ten
of them fall beneath his. balls, leaving the shore bathed
in their blood. The rest at last take flight, and the
army of seals, regaining the sea with despairing cries,
goes to establish itself at the other extremity of the
This war has been profitable to the conqueror.
With the skin of the vanquished he makes himself a
new hammock, which permits him to employ his sail
for other uses; he also makes leather bottles, in which
he preserves the oil which he extracts in abundance
from their fat. Now he can have a lamp constantly
burning, even by night. He has all the comforts of
life. Of the hairy skin of the seals, he manufactures



a broad-brimmed hat, which shields him from the burn-
ing rays of the sun. He tastes their flesh; it appears
to him insipid and nauseous, like that of the fish;
but the tongue, the' heart, seasoned with pepper, are
for him quite a luxury.
Days, weeks, months roll away in the same toils, the
same recreations. Whatever he may do to drive it
away, this apathetic sadness, this sinking of soul,
which has already tormented him at different periods,
becomes with Selkirk more and more frequent; he
cannot conquer it as he did the seals. His seals, he
now regrets. When they were encamped on the
shore, they at least gave him something to look at, an
amusement; something lived, moved, near him.
When he finds himself a prey to these fits, which, in
his pride, he persists in attributing to transient indis-
position, he goes to walk in the mountains, taking with
him only his pipe, his Bible, and his spy-glass.
He often pursues his journey as far as the oasis;
there, he seats himself at the extremity of the little val-
ley, opposite the sea, from which his eye can traverse its
immense extent. He opens the holy book, and closes
it immediately; then, his brow reddening, he seizes his
spy-glass, levels it, and remains entire hours measur-
ing the ocean, wave by wave.
What is he looking for there ? He seeks a sail, a
sail which shall come to his island and bear him from
his desert, from his ennui. His ennui he can no
longer dissimulate; this is the evil of his solitude.
One day, while he was at this spot, the setting sun
suddenly illuminated a black point, against which the
waves seemed to break in foam, as against the prow of


a ship; his eyes become dim, a tremor seizes him.
He looks again -keeps his glass for a long time fixed
on the same object, but the black point does not stir.
Another illusion said he to himself; it is a reef,
a rock which the tide has left bare.'
He wipes the glasses of his spy-glass, he examines
again; he seems to see the waves whiten and whirl for
a large space around this rock.
'Can it be an island ? If an island, is it inhabited?
I will construct a barque, and if God has pity on me I
will reach it.'
At this moment he hears footsteps resound on the
dry leaves which the wind has swept into the little
valley. He turns hastily.
It is Marimonda.
Marimonda has no longer her lively and dancing
motions; she also seems languid, sad. At sight of
Selkirk, she makes a movement as if to flee; but
almost immediately advances a little, and, sorrowful,
with bent brow, sits down on a bank not far from him.
Has she then remarked that he is without arms?
On his side, Selkirk who had not met her for a long
time, seemed to have forgotten his former aversion.
At all events, is she not the most intelligent being
chance has placed near him ? He remembers that, in
the ship, she obeyed the voice, the gesture of the
captain, and that her tricks amused the whole crew.
This resemblance to the human form, which he at first
disliked, now awakens in him ideas of indulgence and
peace. He reproaches himself with having treated
her so brutally, when the poor animal, who alone had
accompanied him into exile, at first accosted him with


a caress. And now she returns, laying aside all ill-will,
forgetting even the wound which she received from
him in an impulse of irritation and hatred, of which
she was not the object, for which she ought not to be
He therefore makes to her a little sign with the head.
Marimonda replies by winks of the eye and motions
of the shoulders, which Selkirk thinks not wholly desti-
tute of grace.
He rises and approaches her, saluting her with an
amicable gesture.
She awaits him, chattering with her teeth and lips
with an expression of joy.
Selkirk gently passes his hand over her forehead
and neck, calling her by name; then he starts for his
habitation, and Marimonda follows him. The man
and the monkey have just been reconciled. Both were
tired of their isolation.



A Tfte-a-t4te.- The Monkey's Goblet.- The Palace.- A Re-
moval. Winter under the Tropics Plans for the Future.
Property. A burst of Laughter. Misfortune not far

TRANQUILLITY of mind has returned to our solitary;
now, his reveries are more pleasant and less prolonged;
his walks through the woods, his moments of repose
during the heat of the day seem more endurable since
something, besides his shadow, keeps him company;
he has resumed his taste for labor since there is some.
body to look at him; speech has returned to him since
somebody replies to his voice. This somebody, this
something, is Marimonda.
Marimonda is now the companion of Selkirk, his
friend, his slave; she seems to comprehend his slightest
gestures and even his ennui. To amuse him, she
resorts to a thousand expedients, a thousand tricks of
the agility peculiar to her race; she goes, she comes,
she runs, she leaps, she bounds, she chatters at his
side; she tries to people his solitude, to make a
rustling around him; she brings him his pipes, rocks
him in his hammock, and, for all these cares, all this
attention, demands only a caress, which is no longer
She is often a spectator of her master's repasts;



sometimes even shares them. This was at first a
favor, afterwards a habit, as in the case of honest coun-
trymen, who, secluded from the world, by degrees
admit their servants into their intimacy. Selkirk had
not to fear the importunate, unexpected visit of a neigh-
bor or a curious stranger.
So it is in the open air, on the latticed table, in the
shade of his great mimosa, that these repasts in com-
mon take place; the master occupies the bench, the
servant humbly seats herself on the stool, ready, at the
first signal, to leave her place and assist in serving.
Have we not seen in India, ourang-outangs trained to
perform the office of domestics ? and Marimonda was
in nothing inferior in intelligence and activity.
She is now fond of the flesh of the goat, of that of
the coatis and agoutis, for monkeys easily become
carnivorous; but the table is also sometimes covered
with the products of her hunting. If the dessert fails,
she hastily interrupts her repast, leaves the master to
continue his alone, buries herself in the surrounding
woods, reaches in three bounds the tops of the trees,
and quickly returns with a supply of fruits which he
can fearlessly taste, for she knows them.
Selkirk was one day a witness of the singular facility
with which she could supply her wants.
At the morning repast, seeing him use one of his
cocoa-nuts which "he had fashioned in the form of a
cup to drink from; in her instinct of imitation, she
had attempted to seize the cup in her turn; a look of
reprimand stopped her short in her attempt. Whether
she felt a species of humiliation at being forced to
quench her thirst in the presence of her master, by



going to the banks of the stream and lapping there,
like a vulgar animal; or whether the reprimand had
painfully affected her, she abstained from drinking and
remained for some time quiet and dreamy; but at the
following repast, with lifted head and sparkling eye she
resumed her place on the stool, provided with a goblet,
a goblet belonging to her, lawfully obtained by her,
and, with an air of triumph presented it to Selkirk,
who, wondering, did not hesitate an instant to share
with the monkey the water contained in his gourd.
This goblet was the ligneous and impermeable cap-
sule, the fruit, naturally and deeply hollowed out, of a
tree called quatela.1 It was thus that the intelligent
Marimonda, after having borrowed from the numerous
vegetables of the island their leaves, to ameliorate her
sufferings, to heal her wounds; their fruits for her
nourishment and even for her sports, also found means
to obtain the divers utensils for house-keeping of which
she stood in need.
Charmed with her gentleness, her docility, the affec-
tion she seemed to bear hiri, Selkirk grew more and
more attached to her. Winter, that is, the rainy season
which usually lasts in these regions during the months of
June and July, was approaching; he suffered in antici-
pation, from the idea that during this time his gentle
companion would not be able to retain her habitual
shelter, beneath the foliage of the trees; he conceived
the project of giving up to her his grotto, and construct-

SThe lecythis quatela, of the family of the lecythiddes, created
by Professor Richard, and whose singular fruits bear, in Peru
as well as in Chili, the denomination of monkey's goblets.



ing for himself a new habitation, spacious and commo-
dious. It is thus that our most generous resolutions,
whatever we may design to do, encountering in their
way personal interest, often turn to the increase of our
own private welfare.
At a little distance from the grotto, but farther in-
land, on the banks of the stream called the Linnet,
there was a thicket of verdure shaded by five myrtles
of from fifteen to twenty feet in height, and whose
stems presented a diameter more than sufficient to
insure the solidity of the edifice. Four of these
myrtles formed an irregular square; the fifth arose in
the midst, or nearly so; but our architect is not very
particular. He already sees the principal part of his
frame; the myrtles will remain in their places, their
roots serving as a foundation. He removes the shrubs,
the plants, the brushwood from the thicket, leaving
only a heliotrope which, at a later period, may twine
around his house and at evening shed its perfumes.
He has become reconciled to its fragrance. He trims
the trees, cuts off their tops eight feet above the ground,
leaving the middle one, which is to sustain the roof, a
foot higher; for this roof reeds and palm-leaves furnish
all the materials. The walls, made of a solid network
of young branches interwoven, and plastered with a
mixture of sand, clay, and chopped rushes, he takes
care not to build quite to the top, but to leave between
them and the roof a little space, where the air can cir-
culate freely through a light trellis formed of branches
of the blue willow.
Then, having finished his work in less than a fort-
night, he contemplates it and admires it; Marimonda


herself seems to share in his admiration, and in her
joy climbing up the new building, she begins to leap,
to dance on the roof of foliage, which bears her, and
thus gives to Selkirk an additional triumph.
He now proceeds to furnish his palace; he trans-
ports thither his bed of reeds and his goatskin cover.
ings. How much better will he be sheltered here than
under the gloomy vault of his grotto I How has he
been able to content himself so long with such an
abode, more suitable for a troglodyte or a monkey!
He will no longer be obliged to lift up his curtain of
vines, and to peep through the fans of his palm-trees,
in order to behold the beneficent rays of the new-born
day; they will come of themselves to find him and
rejoice him at his awakening, as the sea-breezes will at
evening breathe on him, to refresh him in his repose.
Already has the interior of his cabin, of his palace,
assumed an aspect which charms him; his guns, his
hatchets, his spy-glass, his instruments of labor, well
polished and shining, suspended in racks, upon wooden
pegs, decorate the walls; upon another partition, his
assortment of pipes are arranged on a shelf according
to their size; on his central pillar, he suspends his
game-bag, his gourd, his tobacco-pouch, and various
articles of daily use. As for his iron pot, his smoked
meat, his stock of skins, and bottles of seal-oil, he
leaves them under the guardianship of Marimonda in
the grotto which he will now make his store-house, his
kitchen: he will not encumber with them his new
He now sets himself to prepare new furniture; he
will construct a small portable table, two wooden seats,



one for himself, the other for Marimonda, when she
comes from her grotto to visit his cabin; for he has
now a neighborhood. Besides, during the rainy sea-
son, they will be forced to dine under cover.
The first rains have commenced, gentle, fertilizing
rains, falling at intervals and lovingly drank in by the
earth; Selkirk no longer thinks of his table and seats;
another project has just taken the place of these, and
seems to deserve the precedence.
Marimonda has just returned from a tour in the
woods, bringing fruits of all sorts, among them some
which Selkirk has never before seen. He tastes them
with more care and attention than usual; then, becom-
ing thoughtful, with his chin resting on his hand says to
himself: Why should I not make these fruits grow at
my door, not far from my habitation ? Why should I
not attempt to improve them by cultivation ? This is a
very simple and very prudent idea which should have
occurred to me long since; but I was alone, absolutely
alone; and one loses courage when thinking of self
only. A garden, at once an orchard and a vegetable
garden, will be at least as useful to me as my fish-pond
and bed of water-cresses; I will make one around my
cabin; it will set it off and give it a more home-like
appearance I Is not the stream placed here expressly
to traverse it and water it ? Afterwards, if God assist
me, I will raise little kids which will become goats and
give me milk, butter, cheese Why have I not thought
of this before ? It would have been too much to have
undertaken at once. I shall then have tame goats; I
will also have Guinea-pigs, agoutis, and coatis. My
house shall be enlarged, I will have a farm, a dairy


But the time has not yet come ; let us first prepare the
garden. Why has it not been already prepared? I am
impatient to render the earth productive, fruitful by
my cares, to walk in the shade of the trees I may
plant; it seems to me that I shall be at home there,
more than any where else !'
You are right, Selkirk; to possess the entire island,
is to possess nothing; it is simply to have permission *
to hunt, a right of promenade and pasture, which the
other inhabitants of the island, quadrupeds or birds,
can claim as well as yourself. What is property,
without the power of improvement? Can the earth
become the domain of a single person, when the true
limits of his possessions must always be those of the
field which affords him subsistence ? Envy not then
the happiness of the rich; they are but the transient
holders and distributors of the public fortune; we pos-
sess, in, reality, only that which we can ourselves
enjoy; the rest escapes us, and contributes to the
well-being of others.
Selkirk comprehends that his streams, his bank of
turf, his fish-pond, his bed of water-cresses, his grotto,
his cabin, belong to him far otherwise than the twelve
or fifteen square leagues of his island; to his private
domain he now intends to add a garden, and this
garden, this orchard, will be to him an increase of his
wealth, since it will aid in the satisfaction of his wants.
The humidity with which the earth begins to be
penetrated, facilitates his labors; he sets himself to
the work.
Behold him then, now armed with his hatchet, now
with a wooden shovel, which he has just manufactured,



clearing the ground, digging, transplanting young fruit-
trees, or sowing the seeds which he is soon to see
spring up and prosper. Every thing grows rapidly
in these climates.
When the garden-spot is marked out, dug, sown,
planted, not forgetting the kitchen vegetables, and
especially the coca and petunia-nicotiana, Selkirk,
with his arms folded on his spade, thanks God with all
his heart, God who has given him strength to finish
his work.
He has never felt so happy as when, with his hands
behind his back, he walks smoking, among his beds,
in which nothing has as yet appeared; but he already
sees, in a dream, his trees covered with blossoms;
around these blossoms are buzzing numerous swarms
of bees; he reflects upon the means of compelling
them to yield the honey of which they have just stolen
from him the essence. It is a settled thing, on, his farm
he will have hives After his bees, still in his dream,
come flocks of humming-birds to plunder in their turn.
The happy possessor of the garden will exact no tribute
from them, but the pleasure of seeing them suspend,
by a silken thread, to the leaves of his shrubs, the ele-
gant little boat in which they cradle their fragile brood.
Nothing seems to him more beautiful than his embryo
garden; here, he is more than the monarch of the
island; he is a proprietor! '
Thanks to the garden, Selkirk sees with resignation
the two long months of the rainy season pass away.
When the heavy torrents render the paths impassable,
he consoles himself by thinking that they aid in the
germination of his seeds, in the rooting of his young


plants. Sometimes, between two deluges, he can
scarcely find time to procure himself sufficient game;
what matters it! he lives on his provisions: he is for-
cibly detained within; but has he not now good cheer,
good company, and occupation, during his leisure
hours ?
It is now that he completes his furniture. His table
and his seats finished, he undertakes to provide for
another want, equally indispensable.
Worn out by the weather, and by service, his gar-
ments are becoming ragged. He must shield himself
from the humidity of the air; where shall he procure
materials ? Has he not the choice between seal-skins
and goat-skins ? He gives the preference to the latter,
as more pliable, and behold him a tailor, cutting with
the point of his knife; as for thread, it is furnished by
the fragment of the sail; and two days afterwards, he
finds himself flaming in a new suit.
To describe the delirious stupefaction of Marimonda,
when she perceives her master under this strange cos-
tume, would be a thing impossible. She finds him
almost like herself, clad like her, in a hairy suit.
Never tired of looking at him, of examining him curi-
ously, she leaps, she gambols around him, now rolling
at his feet, and uttering little cries of joy, now sus-
pended over his head, at the top of the central pillar,
and turning her wild and restless eyes. When she
has thus inspected him from head to foot, she runs
and crouches in a corner, with her face towards the
wall, as if to reflect; then, whirling about, returns
towards him, picks up on the way the garment he has



just laid aside, looking alternately at this and at the
other, very anxious to know which of the two really
made a part of the person.
After having enjoyed for a few moments the surprise
and transports of his companion, Selkirk takes his
Bible and his pipe, and, placing the book on the table,
bends over it, preparing to read and to meditate. But,
whether in consequence of her joyous excitement, or
whether she is emboldened by the species of fraternity
which costume establishes between them, Marimonda,
without hesitation, directs herself to the little shelf,
chooses from it a pipe in her turn, places .it gravely
between her lips, astonished at not seeing the smoke
issue from it in a spiral column; and, with an impor-
tant air, still imitating her master, comes to sit opposite
him, with her brow inclined, and her elbow resting on
the table.
Willingly humoring her whim, Selkirk takes the
pipe from her hands, fills it with his most spicy tobacco,
lights it, and restores it to her.
Hardly has Marimonda respired the first breath,
when suddenly letting fall the pipe, overturning the
table, emitting the smoke through her mouth and nos-
trils, she disappears, uttering plaintive cries, as if she
had just tasted burning lava.
At sight of the poor monkey, thus thrown into con-
fusion, Selkirk, for the first time since his residence in
the island, laughs so loudly, that the echo follows the
fugitive to the grotto, where she had taken refuge, and
is prolonged from the grotto to the Oasis, from the
Oasis to the summit of the Discovery.


The exile has at last laughed, laughed aloud, and,
at the same moment, a terrible disaster is taking place
without his knowledge; a new war is preparing for
him, in which his arms will be useless.



A New Invasion. -Selkirk joyfully meets an ancient Ene-
my. Combat on a Red Cedar. A Mother and her Little
Ones. The Flock. Fete in the Island; Pacific Combats,
Diversions and Swings. A Sail. The Burning Wood. -
Presentiments of Marimonda.

THE next morning the sun has scarcely touched the
horizon, Selkirk is still asleep, when he is awakened by
a sort of tickling at his feet. Thinking it some caress
or trick of Marimonda, risen earlier than usual, he half
opens his eyes, sees nothing, and places himself again
in a posture to continue his nap. The same tickling is
renewed, but with more perseverance, and very soon
something sharp and keen penetrates to the quick the
hard envelope of his heel. The tickling has become
a bite.
This time wide awake, he raises his head. His
cabin is full of rats I
Near him, a company of them are tranquilly en-
gaged in breakfasting on his coverings and the rushes
of his couch; they are on his table, his seats, along
his pillow and his walls; they are playing before his
door, running hither and thither through the crevices
of his roof, multiplying themselves on his rack and
shelf; all biting, gnawing, nibbling some his seal-
skin hat, his tobacco-pouch, the bark ornaments of his


furniture; others the handles of his tools, his pipes,
his Bible, and even his powder-horn.
Selkirk utters a cry, springs from his couch, and
immediately crushes two under his heels. The rest
take flight.
As he is pursuing these new invaders with the shovel
and musket, he perceives at a few paces' distance Mari-
monda, sorrowful and drooping, perched on the strong
branch of a sapota-tree. By her piteous and chilly
appearance, her tangled and wet hair, he doubts not
but she has passed the whole night exposed to the
inclemency of the weather. But he at first attributes
this whim only to her ill-humor the evening before.
On perceiving him, Marimonda descends from her
tree, sad, but still gentle and caressing, and with ges-
tures of terror, points to the grotto. He runs thither.
Here another spectacle of disorder and destruction
awaits him ; the rats are collected in it by thousands;
his furs, his provisions of fruit and game, his bottles
formerly filled with oil, every thing is sacked, torn in
pieces, afloat; for the water has at last made its way
through the erevices of the mountain. To put the
climax to his misfortune, his reserve of powder, not-
withstanding its double envelope of leather and horn,
attacked by the voracious teeth of his aggressors, is
swimming in the midst of an oily slime.
The solitary now possesses, for the purpose of hunt-
ing, for the renewal of these provisions so necessary to
his life, only the few charges contained in his portable
powder-horn, and in the barrels of his guns. The
blow which has just struck him is his ruin! and still
the hardest trial appointed for him is yet to come.



In penetrating the ground, the rains of winter have
driven the rats from their holes; hence their invasion
of the cabin and the grotto.
Against so many enemies, what can Selkirk do,
reduced to his single strength ?
He succeeds, nevertheless, in killing some; Mari-
monda herself, armed with the branch of a tree, serves
as an ally, and aids him in putting them to flight; but
their combined efforts are ineffectual. An hour after,
the accursed race are multiplying round him, more
numerous and more ravenous than ever.
He comprehends then what an error he has com-
mitted in the complete destruction of the wild cats
which peopled the island. With the most generous
intentions, how often is man mistaken in the object he
pursues! We think we are ridding us of an enemy,
and we are depriving ourselves of a protector. God
only knows what he does, and he has admitted appa.
rent evil, as a principle, into the admirable composition
of his universe; he suffers the wicked to live. Selkirk
had been more severe than God, and he repents it. If
his poor cats had only been exiled, he would hasten to
proclaim a general amnesty. Alas! there is no am.
nesty with death. But has he indeed destroyed all ?
Perhaps some still exist in those distant regions which
have already served as a refuge for that other banished
race, the seals.
The rains have ceased; the storms of winter, always
accompanied by overpowering heat and dense fogs, no
longer sadden the island by anticipated darkness, or
the gloomy mutterings of continual thunder. The sun,



though garue, absorbs the remainder of the inunda-
tion. Followed by Marimonda, Selkirk, for the first
time, has ventured to the woods and thickets between
the hills beyond the shore and the False Coquimbo,
when a sound, sweeter to his ear than would have been
the songs of a siren, makes him pause suddenly in
ecstasy: it is the mewing of a cat.
This cat, strongly built, with a spotted and glossy
coat, white nose, and brown whiskers, is stationed at a
little distance, on a red cedar, where she is undoubted.
ly watching her prey.
She is an old settler escaped from the general mas-
sacre; the last of the vanquished; perhaps I
Without hesitation, Selkirk clasps the trunk of the
tree, climbs it, reaches the first branches; Marimonda
follows him and quickly goes beyond. At the aspect
of these two aggressors, like herself clad in skin, the
cat recoils, ascending; the monkey follows, pursues
her from branch to branch, quite to the top of the
cedar. Struck on the shoulder with a blow of the
claw, she also recoils, but descending, and declaring
herself vanquished in the first skirmish, immediately
gives over the combat, or rather the sport, for she has
seen only sport in the affair.
Selkirk is not so easily discouraged; this cat he
must have, he must have her alive; he wishes to make
her the guardian of his cabin, his protector against the
rats. Three times he succeeds in seizing her; three
times the furious animal, struggling, tears his arms or

'In Peru and Chili, they call garua that mist which some-
times, and especially after the rainy season, floats around the
disk of the sun.



face. It is a terrible, bloody conflict, mingled with
exclamations, growlings, and frightful mewings. At
last Selkirk, forgetting perhaps in the ardor of combat
the object of victory, seizes her vigorously by the skin
of the neck, at the risk of strangling her; with the
other hand he grasps her around the body. The diffi-
culty is now to carry her. Fortunately he has his
game-bag. With one hand he holds her pressed
against the fork of the tree; with the other arm he
reaches his game-bag, opens it; the conquered animal,
half dead, has not made, during this manoeuvre, a
single movement of resistance. But when the hunter
is about to close it, suddenly rousing herself with a
leap, distending by a last effort all her muscles at once,
she escapes from his grasp, and precipitates herself
from the top of the cedar, to the great terror of Mari-
monda, then peaceably crouched under the tree, whom
the cat brushes against in falling, and to the great disap-
pointment of Selkirk, who thinks he has the captive in
his pouch.
Sliding along the trunk, Selkirk descends quickly to
the ground; but the enemy has already disappeared,
and left no trace. In vain his eyes are turned on all
sides; he sees nothing, neither his adversary nor Mari-
monda, who has undoubtedly fled under the impression
of this last terror.
As he is in despair, a whistling familiar to his ear is
heard, and at two hundred paces distant he perceives,
on an eminence of the False Coquimbo, his monkey,
bent double, in an attitude of contemplation, appearing
very attentive to what is passing beneath her, and
changing her posture only to send a repeated summons
to her master.


At all hazards he directs himself to this quarter.
What a spectacle awaits him! In a cavity at the
foot of the eminence where Marimonda is, he finds,
crouching, still out of breath with her struggle and her
race, his fugitive. She is a mother! and six kittens,
already active, are rolling in the sun around her.
Selkirk, seizing his knife, kills the mother, and
carries off the little ones.
A short time after, the rats have deserted the shore.
But their departure, though it prevents the evil they
might yet have done, does not remedy that already
The provisions of the solitary are almost entirely
destroyed, and the little powder which remains is
scarcely sufficient for a reserve which he no longer
knows where to renew.
The moment at last comes when he possesses no
other ammunition than the only charge in his gun.
This last charge, his last resource, oh! how preciously
he preserves it to-day. While it is there, he can still
believe himself armed, still powerful; he has not
entirely exhausted his resources; it is his last hope.
Who knows ? perhaps he may yet need it to protect
his life in circumstances which he cannot foresee.
But since his gun must remain suspended, inactive,
to the walls of his cabin, it is time to think of supply.
ing the place of the services it has rendered; it is time
to realize his dream, and, according to the usual course
of civilization, to substitute the life of a farmer and
shepherd for that of a hunter.
Already is his colony augmented by six new guests,
domesticated in his house; already, on every side, his



seeds are peeping out of the ground under the most
favorable auspices; his young trees, firmly rooted, are
growing rapidly beneath the double influence of heat
and moisture; at the axil of some of their leaves, he
sees a bud, an earnest of the harvest. He must now
occupy himself with the means of surprising, seizing
and retaining the ancestors of his future flock.
Here, patience, address or stratagem can alone
Notwithstanding his natural agility, he does not
dream of reaching them by pursuit. Since his last
hunts, goats and kids keep themselves usually in the
steep and mountainous parts of the island. To leap
from rock to rock, to attempt to vie with them in
celerity and lightness appears to him, with reason, a
foolish and impracticable enterprise. Later, perhaps,
S.. Who knows ?
He manufactures snares, traps; but suspicion is
now the order of the day around him; each holds
himself on the qui vive. After long waiting without
any result, he finds in his snares a coati, some little
Guinea pigs; here is one resource, undoubtedly, but
he aims at higher game, and the kids will not allow
themselves to be taken by his baits.
He remembers then, that in certain parts of Amer-
ica, the hunters, in order to seize their prey living,
have recourse to the lasso, a long cord terminated by
a slip-noose, which they know hlw to throw at great
distances, and almost always with certainty.
With a thread which he obtains from the fibres of
the aloe, with narrow strips of skin, closely woven, he
composes a lasso more than fifty feet long; he tries


it; he exercises it now against a tuft of leaves de-
tached from a bush, now against some projecting
rock; afterwards he tries it upon Marimonda, who
often enough, by her agility and swiftness, puts her
master at fault.
In the interval of these preparatory exercises, Sel-
kirk occupies himself with the construction of a lat-
ticed inclosure, destined to contain the flock which he
hopes to possess; he makes it large and spacious, that
his young cattle may bound and sport at their ease;
high, that they may respect the limits he assigns them.
In one corner, supported by solid posts, he builds a
shed, simply covered with branches; that his flock
may there be sheltered from the heat of the day.
The inclosure and the shed, together with his garden,
form a new addition to his great settlement.
When his kids shall have become goats, when the
epoch of domesticity shall have arrived for them, when
they shall have contracted habits of tameness, when
they have learned to recognize his voice, then, and
then Qnly, will he permit them to wander and browse
on the neighboring hills, under the direction of a
vigilant guardian. This guardian, where shall he
find? Why may it not be Marimonda ? Marimonda,
to whose intelligence he knows not where to affix
Dreams, dreams, perhaps! and yet but for dreams,
but for those gentle phantoms which he creates, and
by which he surrounds himself, what would sustain
the courage of the solitary ?
When Selkirk thinks he has acquired skill in the
use of the lasso, he buries himself among the high



mountains situated towards the central part of his
island. Several days pass amid fruitless attempts,
and when the delicately-carved foliage of the mimosa
announces, by its folding, that night is approaching,
he regains his cabin, gloomy, care-worn, and despair-
ing of the future.
Meanwhile, by his very failures, he has acquired
experience. One evening, he returns to his dwelling,
bringing with him two young kids, with scarcely per-
ceptible horns, and reddish skin, varied with large
brown spots. Marimonda welcomes her new guests,
and this evening all in the habitation breathes joy and
The week has not rolled away, when the number of
Selkirk's goats exceeds that of his cats ; and he takes
pleasure in seeing them leap and play together in his
inclosure; his mind has recovered its serenity.
'Yes,' said he, with pride, 'man can suffice for
himself, can depend on himself only for subsistence
and welfare! Am I not a striking proof? Did not
all seem lost for me, when an unforeseen catastrophe
destroyed the remnant of the provision of powder
which I owed to the pity of that miserable captain?
Ah undoubtedly according to his hateful calculations,
he had limited the term of my life to the last charge
which my gun should contain; this last charge is still
there Of what use will it be to me ? Why do I need
it ? Are not my resources for subsistence more cer-
tain and numerous to-day than before ? What then
is wanting? The society of a Stradling and his fel-
lows? God keep me from them The best member
of the crew of the brig Swordfish came away when I


University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs